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+ - Nation-wide IT Contractor?

Submitted by
merreborn writes "I work for a small (10 employee) company providing a point-of-sale solution to a chain of a few dozen retailers in the eastern half of the US. We're shipping a server to every store (built in the office from wholesale parts to minimize costs), pre-installed with our software; however, our installation process has grown more complex than the stores (who have no IT staff, nor enough IT work to justify such a position) can handle on their own.

Fedex frequently delivers these servers fairly shaken up — SATA cables rarely stay connected through shipment, and we recently had one show up in Florida with the RAM module knocked completely out of the socket. Sometimes, servers show up unbootable, in ways that are undiagnosable over the phone. We don't have any existing relationships with IT professionals in the areas our stores operate, and they're all hundreds of miles apart from each other, so anyone capable of serving one store is out of range of any others. Most stores "have a guy" in town who handles repairs for them once or twice a year, but they've proven unprofessional and slow, with systems ending up "in the shop" for two months or more for simple issues.

We're looking for some sort of national IT contractor with employees in nearly every state, that we can hold accountable for checking these computers for issues upon arrival, and insuring they're properly installed within a reasonable timeframe — for example, if geeksquad had a better reputation, they might be a candidate.

Does such an organization exist? Or have you developed a better strategy for hardware deployment on a shoestring budget?"

C for yourself.