Blog

June 2010 - Volano Solutions

RFP’s and NBA

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It’s been a while since Big Omaha so my memory is fading, but I believe one of the presenters said that companies can identify themselves by figuring out what they won’t do. At Volano, we won’t respond to RFP’s any more.

RFP’s are like the NBA championships… rigged.

Of course the championship is going to go to 7 games – there’s just too much money involved for it not too. So it comes down to the last game and the foul stats pretty much say how the game was called and who was picked to win before the tip off.

We haven’t won an RFP, but that’s not the main reason we won’t respond. It’s not our target market – our sweet spot. Our clients are between 20 and 200 employees and are relatively flat organizations. We work with the top level execs and the people who perform the actual work. We bridge the gap between the management’s vision and the worker’s know-how. If your company is putting out an RFP, the environment is most likely not there for us to do that. The project at hand, with how we do things, won’t be successful.

We like to build relationships and become our client’s technical guru’s. We don’t want to just be another vendor that supplied a chunk of code that met the spec’s of an RFP and leave. We love dynamic organizations where the spec’s might change a handful of times before the project is over and help facilitate that process.

It is with those flatter, dynamic organizations where we’ll win every time – not win an RFP but win with a successful project and a happy client.

Volano Email Hosting

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Volano Solutions does not provide hosting services of e-mail. What we do offer is assistance in the initial configuration and ongoing support of e-mail for our clients. The solutions we suggest do not tie our client to us – switching from one hosting solution to another is usually difficult, painful and may result in the loss of old e-mail. You are tied to the solution of your choice until you deem it necessary to change providers. At that time, we can assist the best we can at easing the pain of switching providers.

Converting e-mail providers also entails reconfiguring your e-mail client, e.g. Outlook, Entourage, Mail, smart phones, etc. You probably have a desktop support company handling these types of requests, but if you need us to help out in this area we charge $100/hour to show up and assist your staff.

Lastly, the monthly prices below are if you purchase the service directly from the vendor below without any mark-up from Volano. Volano does charge a $300 set-up fee to help you configure the mailboxes and point the DNS records to the new service. Migrating the existing emails using the migration tools of Options 2 and 3 would be charged at the hourly rate.

Option 1 – Basic e-mail from the company you registered your domain name

Many domain registrars such as GoDaddy, Vox Domains and VIP Connect have the same systems driving their e-mail hosting and similar price points for this service

Pros:

  • Low price point
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Group Calendar
  • 24/7 phone and email support for critical issues

Cons:

  • Limited to sending 250 emails/day per mailbox
  • Web mail interface average
  • No conversion tool to bring old emails into new mailbox

Price:

  • $300 initial set-up fee
  • 10 addresses, unlimited storage, $2.70/month

Option 2 – Google Apps Premier Addition

Google provides e-mail storage of 25GB/user

Pros:

  • 25GB/user storage
  • Google Calendar
  • 24/7 phone and email support for critical issues
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee SLA
  • Google Email Uploader Tool for Windows and Mac users to import existing emails

Cons:

  • No corporate rolodex

Price:

  • $300 initial set-up fee
  • $50/user/year

Option 3 – Microsoft Online Services Hosted Exchange

Microsoft offers a hosted Exchange solution that gives you e-mail, shared calendaring and corporate rolodex through the use of a SharePoint list.

Pros:

  • 25GB/user storage
  • Outlook Web Access web mail
  • 24/7 Web form and phone-based Tier-2 support for IT administrators
  • 99.9% scheduled uptime with financially backed service level agreements
  • Migration tool to import existing emails

Cons:

  • Corporate rolodex requires Microsoft Office 2007

Price:

  • $300 initial set-up fee
  • $5/user/month (minimum of 5 users)