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Sample PC and LAN Support Services Agreement

Posted in Business (600),Networking (340) by Guest on the February 28th, 2010

This is just a tempalte, always seek proper legal advise when doing consulting.

Consultant:  
Client:                       
Contract Date:

PC and Lan Support Services Agreement (the “Agreement”), made as of this xxx day of Month, 2009 (the “Effective Date”) between client (“Client”), and xxxxxxxx, (“Consultant”).   (Client and Consultant are hereinafter collectively referred to as the “parties”).

Now, Therefore, Client and Consultant agree as follows:

1. The Work.  The “Work” hereunder will consist of the following services: General LAN Support including, but not limited to: Printer sharing, File sharing, Outside Connectivity (i.e. modems) at Client’s offices at the location above. 


2. Project Liaisons.  Each party’s primary contact for development efforts shall be the project liaisons specified below or the person otherwise designated in writing by Client or Consultant, as the case may be.  The Work will be requested and directed by ————– of Client. 


3. PRICING AND TERMINATION.

3.1.Pricing.  Client will pay for the Work on a time and materials basis as follows:

i)   Monthly Maintenance – One Hour
ii)  Additional hours as requested and approved by ————.
iii) Rates billed at $150.00 per hour. 
iv) Bills will be submitted every week, net 15 days. 


3.2. Late Payment.  If Client fails to pay any when due, late charges of the greater of one and one half percent (1.5%) per month or the maximum allowable under applicable law shall also become payable by Client to Consultant.  In addition, failure of Client to fully pay any fees within five (5) days after the applicable due date shall be deemed a material breach of this Agreement, justifying suspension of the performance of the Services by Consultant, and will be sufficient cause for immediate termination of this Agreement by Consultant.  Any such suspension does not relieve Client from paying past due fees plus interest and in event of collection enforcement, Client shall be liable for any costs associated with such collection, including, but not limited to, legal costs, attorneys’ fees, court costs, and collection agency fees.

3.3. Termination.  Either party may terminate this Agreement (a) upon thirty (30) days notice, (b) immediately if a bankruptcy proceeding is instituted against the other party which is acquiesced in and not dismissed within twenty (20) days, or results in an adjudication of bankruptcy, or (c) the other party materially breaches any of its obligations under this Agreement, and such breach is not cured within five (5) days of receipt of notice specifying the breach, except that the cure period for failures of payment obligations shall be one (1) day. 

4.  ADDITIONAL TERMS.

4.1.Taxes. Client shall pay or reimburse Consultant for all sales, use, transfer, privilege, excise, and all other taxes and all duties, whether international, national, state or local, however designated, which are levied or imposed by reason of the performance by Consultant under this Agreement; excluding, however, income taxes on profits which may be levied against Consultant. Client shall be the seller of all products if any purchased through the Web Site and will be responsible for any taxes associated with its income form the sale of products through the Web Site.

4.2.Disclaimer Of Warranties.  Consultant Expressly Disclaims All Warranties Or Conditions Of Any Kind, Express Or Implied, Including Without Limitation The Implied Warranties Of Title, Non‑Infringement, Merchantability And Fitness For A Particular Purpose.

4.3.Independent Contractors.  Consultant and Client agree that they will be independent contractors. Neither party will be an agent, representative, employee or partner of the other party.  Neither party shall have any right, power or authority to enter into any agreement for or on behalf of, or incur any obligation or liability of, or to otherwise bind, the other party provided that nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the ability of Consultant to secure contractual commitments from third parties to buy or license advertising. This Agreement shall not be interpreted or construed to create an association, joint venture or partnership between the parties or to impose any partnership obligation or liability upon either party.

4.4.Governing Law.  This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Colorado applicable to contracts entered into and wholly to be performed in the State of Colorado. Each Party irrevocably consents to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of the State of Colorado and the federal court situated in the State of Colorado, in connection with any action to enforce the provisions of this Agreement, to recover damages or other relief for breach or default under this Agreement, or otherwise arising under or by reason of this Agreement.

4.5.Confidentiality.  This Agreement and price information is confidential and proprietary, and is not to be disclosed to others.

4.6.Limitation of Liability.  Under no circumstances shall Consultant be liable for loss, cost, expense, or damage in an amount exceeding the fees actually paid to Consultant under this Agreement.  Consultant shall not be liable for indirect, incidental, punitive, exemplary, special, or consequential damages of any kind whatsoever resulting from this Agreement. The parties have caused this Agreement to be executed and delivered by their duly authorized representatives as of the dates set forth below.

4.7.Entire Agreement.  This Agreement sets forth the entire understanding and agreement of the parties and supersedes any and all oral or written agreements or understandings between the parties as to the subject matter of this Agreement.  It may be changed only by a writing signed by both parties.  Neither party is relying upon any warranties, representations, assurances or inducements not expressly set forth herein.

4.8.Counterparts.  This Agreement may be executed in counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original and all of which together shall constitute one and the same document.
In Witness Whereof, the parties hereto have executed this Agreement as of the date first above written.

By: __________________________                               By: __________________________
           
Name:                                                                                              Name:  _______________________

Date: ________________________                                Date: _________________________

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Personal Computer / LAN Security Guidelines

Posted in Business (600),Compliances (1300),Networking (340),Security (1500) by Guest on the February 28th, 2010

Incorporate the following tips into your daily routine to ensure that any pc or LAN you use is secure

· Lock your pc with a power on password

· Lock your pc with a keyboard password when away from your desk

· Back up your work regularly

· Store and lock diskettes in a desk or cabinet

· Don’t write on diskettes

· Don’t’ use magnets around diskettes

· Don’t use commercial software or shareware at an Acme site without a proper license

· Check all files / downloads from electronic bulletin boards for viruses

· Report all computer viruses infections

· Logoff network servers before tuning off your pc

· Do not include passwords in LAN logon scripts

 

User security / password guidelines

· Do use at least (6) character passwords, using both letters and numbers whenever possible

· Do use high quality randomly constructed passwords

· Do change your password every 90 day’s

· Do report to management any known or suspected attempts by others to use your userid or  password

· Do follow normal log-off procedures prior to leaving a terminal unattended

· Don’t use obvious or easily guessed passwords (your name, names or family members, car model, hobby, favorite sports team, and other current months are poor passwords and should not be used

· Don’t post userid’s or passwords

· Don’t’ post telephone numbers used to access acme computers

· Don’t share your userid with others under any circumstances

· Don’t leave a terminal unattended during a session with an acme computer system

· Don’t perform sensitive / confidential work while being observed by un-authorized personal

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Computer Replacement Considerations

Posted in O S (375) by Guest on the February 28th, 2010

Options

1. Reseller / distributor agreement—subscribers afforded vendor commitment of best effort” to expedite sale of hardware if it is available at time of disaster

2. Pre-arranged rental agreement—subscribers assured that hardware will be readi­ly available for expedited shipment and can be used/rented for the recovery period

3. Dedicated storage / shipment agreement—subscribers guaranteed hardware stored exclusively for their use, to be shipped immediately to an alternate site in the event of a disaster 

Why Buy?

Most companies depend on client server computer technology to perform mission-critical tasks. However, most client/server hardware vendors operate under a just-in-time inventory system, which can make emergency acquisition a lengthy, cumbersome process. Having pre-arranged agreements in place with vendors who will quick-ship hardware allows mission-critical computing environments to be more quickly and efficiently restored.

Vendors to Choose From

Related listings in this Master Source: computer equipment leasing, emergency delivery, networking computer equipment, peripherals

 

What to Look For

1. Provider whose core business involves managing an inventory of computer hardware for expedited “next day” delivery

2. Dedicated inventory of hardware for subscribers

3. Agreement allowing you to randomly audit availability of pre-selected hardware

4. Provider who can pre-load application software and custom-configure hardware to meet your company’s particular needs

5. Receptiveness to and agreement allowing for multiple levels of preparedness testing

6. A vendor-supplied mobile recovery team to assist with hardware installation and teardown

7. Responsiveness, expertise, and efficiency of provider’s staff

8. 24-hour technical support 

Cost Considerations

A detailed cost analysis will often reveal hidden expenses. When adding up costs, consider the following:

1. Monthly subscription fee

2. Disaster declaration fee

3. Usage fee

4. Testing costs

5. Shipping costs

6. Contract term 

Be Prepared
In order to bid for your business, vendors will want to know:

1. Minimum acceptable hardware requirements, including processor type, processor speed, memory, hard-disk storage, network interface card, peripherals, etc.

2. Network connectivity devices required, such as hubs, routers, bridges, etc.

3. Standard application software image that must be pre-loaded on workstations

4. Time demands: How quickly do you need equipment to arrive, be operational?

5. Anticipated recovery time-frame 

Key Questions To Ask Potential Vendors

1. Can you pre-load my application software?

2. Can you custom-configure hardware to accommodate my particular requirements?

3. How do you handle simultaneous disaster declarations from multiple subscribers?

4. What are disaster declaration procedures?

5. If I declare a disaster, what are the usage fees?

6. Do you subcontract the quick-ship service?

7. Must equipment being shipped internationally clear customs?

8. Can I conduct an unscheduled audit of the facility where my hardware will come from in order to ensure that the inventory is available and being managed appropriately?

9. Can I conduct preparedness tests with all or a portion of the hardware for which I have contracted?

10. References available?

Key Questions To Ask Vendor References

1. How similar to my own are your company’s systems and disaster recovery needs?

2. Has this vendor actually shipped you hardware for tests or disaster declarations? Results?

3. Any experiences with damaged, malfunctioning, or missing equipment upon deliv­ery?

4. Hardware unavailable?

5. Is service prompt, consistent?

6. Have costs exceeded original estimates?

7. Have you conducted preparedness testing?

a. What is the vendor’s attitude toward it?

8. Vendor strengths, weaknesses?

9. How long have you contracted with this provider?

10. Why was this vendor chosen?

a. Others considered?

11. What did the selection process entail?

12.  Network connectivity devices required, such as hubs, routers, bridges, etc. 

Note:

· Standard application software image that must be pre-loaded on workstations

· Time demands: How quickly do you need equipment to arrive, be operational?

· Anticipated recovery time-frame

Buyer Beware

1. Make sure usage fees are reasonable. Determine whether, in the event that you declare a disaster, usage fees for short-term recovery either meet or exceed equip­ment replacement costs.

2. When discussing testing with vendors, ensure your ability to test not only the hard­ware but also the provider’s capacity to respond in the time frames specified in the agreement.

3. If subcontractors are typically employed for quick-ship service, review their con­tractual commitments to the provider and investigate their service capabilities. 

What Next?

1. After pre-qualifying all vendor candidates, request a presentation at your facility.

2. Request written replies to follow-up questions not answered during vendor presentations.

3. Visit actual site(s) of vendor finalists, involving your disaster recovery or security specialist to conduct site surveys.

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Creating Customer Service

Posted in Business (600),Compliances (1300) by Guest on the February 28th, 2010

Everyone seems to agree customer service is critical but few practice what they preach.  The industry needs more than fancy rhetoric and catchy slogans to keep customers happy. What are needed is adequate service staffing, training, and supervision to make sure every effort is made to keep your customer’s satisfied.  If you fail to take care of your most precious asset – your customers – they will most certainly take care of you, by taking their business elsewhere.  It is absolutely critical for Call Centers and Help Desk to maintain their customer focus.  The more you can do to satisfy your customers’ needs, the more personally, professionally, and economically satisfying the relationships will be. It is therefore important to offer agents training in how to provide good customer service and to fine-tune existing skills to improve upon their level of accomplishment in this area.  Such training should be in the areas of coaching, communications, customer care, education, and process improvement.

The attributes needed to create a customer service include communication, responsiveness, empathy, accuracy, trust, education, solution-oriented, encouragement, respect, value-added, information, consistency, and excellence. 

Creating Customer Service

There’s a lot of talk these days about customer service being the key to gaining and retaining business.  But with the massive corporate downsizing and a technological explosion going on, one can’t help but wonder if there’s been more talk than action on customer TLC. 

Guaranteeing Good Customer Service

Everyone seems to agree customer service is critical but few practice what they preach.  The industry needs more than fancy rhetoric and catchy slogans to keep customers happy. What are needed is adequate service staffing, training, and supervision to make sure every effort is made to keep your customer’s satisfied.  If you fail to take care of your most precious asset – your customers – they will most certainly take care of you, by taking their business elsewhere.


Over the past several years, many industries have allowed customer service to take a back seat to expense control and cost cutting. It is absolutely critical for Call Centers and Help Desk to maintain their customer focus.  The more you can do to satisfy your customers’ needs, the more personally, professionally, and economically satisfying the relationships will be.

 

Fine Tuning Skills

Customer service is a constant challenge for any organization and a Call Center or Help Desk is no exception.  It is interesting to realize that if a customer has a bad experience with an agent, the entire organization is blamed. It is therefore important to offer agents training in how to provide good customer service and to fine tune existing skills to improve upon their level of accomplishment in this area. 

Such training should be in the areas of coaching, communications, customer care, education, and process improvement.  Having constant training in these core competencies will go a long way to improving customer service. 

Customer Service Elements

The key to long-term success in customer service is to create a mind-set of customer service.  To have the right mind-set, the Call Center must internalize the practices and attributes described in this paper.  Once these are internalized, the center can then identify obstacles to true customer service, and make the necessary changes.

A little-known article published anonymously in the December 2006, issue of Bank Marketing magazine.  In this article, the author presented what he feels is the best elements needed to create the optimum customer service mind set.  These attributes are as follows:

· Communication.  Management and employees should have opportunities to listen and discuss factors that affect service, to arrive at solutions, and to understand the implications of changes necessary to influence solutions.

· Responsiveness.  Be responsive to internal customers, and to those within the organization for whom you are a customer. 

· Empathy.  Show empathy to customers’ problems, whether or not they are related to your particular Call Center.

· Accuracy.  While people want to do the right things right, recognize that new tasks require new critical thinking skills.  Employees need the skills and coaching support to make accurate decisions.

· Trust.  When employees are told to be more caring and responsive, and then watch as large numbers of co-workers are summarily dismissed as redundant, they see a corporation that is not caring and responsive.  The result is distrust.  Trust not distrust, is required for customer service changes to occur.

· Education.  Employers can tap into today’s well-educated and smart work force and help employees learn from each other.  Call Centers should be “learning organizations.”

· Solution-Oriented.  This is the fulcrum.  Give your employees a solution process.  Service is helping a person solve something.  If we have a process that resolves something, we have provided a service.

· Encouragement.  People need encouragement to continue to strive for right decisions and right actions.

· Respect.  Respect for and by employees and management is necessary for service to be delivered and accepted.

· Value-Added.  Tasks that don’t provide value shouldn’t be done.

· Information.  Instantly available information facilitates service.

· Consistency.  Call Centers must be consistent in treatment of employees, in rules, and in expectations for working with customers.

· Excellence.  Employees should be challenged to be excellent performers, not punished for falling short. 

Once a Call Center understands and makes a commitment to each of these thirteen elements, it can answer the question of whether the organizational culture supports each one.  By identifying and correcting any barriers, all employees can begin delivering top-
notch customer service.

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How fast is a Cable Modem

Posted in Networking (340) by Guest on the February 28th, 2010

There is no single answer to that one, depends who you ask… You connect your computer (Mac or PC) to the CABLE / DSL modem via your standard 10Base-T Ethernet connection. So, how fast does it really go?

Well, I’ve seen it go over 650Kbytes / sec. Web pages are usually 20 – 40 kb / sec. I’ll just list different results, which can vary based on several factors.

 

TRANSFER RATE FOR A 10 MBYTE FILE

Modem speed/type

Transfer time

9.6 kb/s telephone modem

2.3 hours

14.4 kb/s telephone modem

1.5 hours

28.8 kb/s telephone modem

46 minutes

56 kb/s telephone modem

24 minutes

128 kb/s ISDN modem

10 minutes

1.54 Mb/s T-1 connection

52 seconds

2 Mb/s cable modem

46 seconds

4 Mb/s cable modem

20 seconds

10 Mb/s cable modem

8 seconds

Results vary based on hardware, software and configuration

 
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Keeping Operating Systems and Applications up to date

Posted in O S (375) by Guest on the February 28th, 2010

 Develop and maintain a list of sources of information about security problems and software updates for your system and application software.

The most common sources of current information include Web sites of vendors and computer- and network-security organizations. Lists and Web sites appear, disappear, and change frequently. You need to ensure that the sources you consult are up-to-date.

Establish a procedure for monitoring those information sources.
In the case of mailing lists, you usually receive announcements about security problems and software updates soon after they are available. Web sites vary considerably in the timeliness of their announcements, so you need to decide how often to look for information there. Some of the news-oriented Web sites are updated one or more times a day, so daily monitoring is recommended.

Evaluate updates for applicability to your systems.
Not all updates are applicable to the configuration of the computers and networks in your organization and to your organization’s security requirements. 

Evaluate all the updates to determine their applicability, and weigh the cost of deploying an update against the benefits. Keep in mind that failure to install a vendor patch may result in a known vulnerability being present in your operational configuration.

Plan the installation of applicable updates

The installation of an update can itself cause security problems:
During the update process, the computer may temporarily be placed in a more vulnerable state.

If the update is scheduled inappropriately, it might make a computer or information resources unavailable when needed.

If an update must be performed on a large number of computers, there can be a period of time when some computers on the network are using different and potentially incompatible versions of software, which might cause information loss or corruption. 

The update may introduce new vulnerabilities.

Updates can also cause a number of problems in other installed software. You may want to consider running a previously developed regression test suite to compare current performance with past performance. Another approach is to install the update in an isolated test environment and run a series of user trials before releasing the update on your operational systems. 

Software packages are available that show you the differences in the system as a result of installing the update. We recommend that you use one of these to fully understand and analyze the effects of the update on your systems.

In addition, you should always backup your system prior to applying any updates.

Any method of updating that depends on an administrator physically visiting each computer is labor intensive but will work for networks with a small number of computers. You will need to employ automated tools to roll-out updates to a large number of computers. Some of these tools are provided by vendors for their specific products. You may need to develop tools that are tailored to your environment if vendor tools are insufficient.

Given the number and diversity of operating systems and applications, the update process can become unmanageable if it is not supported by appropriate levels of automation. This may result in updates not being performed, which in turn places your systems at risk by allowing intruders to take advantage of known vulnerabilities.

When using automated tools to roll-out updates, the affected computers and the network are likely to be vulnerable to attack during the update process.

To lessen this vulnerability, you should use only an isolated network segment when propagating the updates or consider using secure connectivity tools such as SSH.

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