Archive for May 2010

Fourth episode of The Force Field restored and re-released

Last year the CDN which hosted the first six original episodes of The Force Field went offline permanently, taking the episodes with it. As we just released The Force Field Premium Edition Volume 1 in The Force Field Podcast Store on another host, which consisted of the first six episodes remastered with extended content and no advertising, there was no immediate concern.

The original, free versions of the first six episodes of The Force Field have been remastered, restored and there are plans to re-release them online during the next few months. Three months ago I re-released The Force Field Episode 1 – Pilot and uploaded it to another CDN which hosts our current episodes. 

In March I re-released The Force Field Episode 2 – The VoIP Connection and made it available as well.

Last month I re-released The Force Field Episode 3 – The Last Frontier and it is also available on The Force Field web portal.

Today I re-released The Force Field Episode 4 – Man in the Middle and it is now available in its original listing on The Force Field Podcast Episodes page. 

This episode features interviews with Steve Faulkner and Dave Hendrickson in which we learned how the over abundance of middlemen in the business have affected profitability for the field service techs who actually do the job.

If you are among those involved in recent discussions in the OnForce forums about the low rates and profitability running calls for nationals through online service platforms, you may find this episode of particular interest. Although the episode was originally recorded and released in 2006, the topic is even more relevant today.

For those who remember the earlier days of OnForce, these episodes will be a trip down memory lane. For those who just started listening and are curious, it will be a trip back in time and a glimpse into the start of an experiment in podcasting that became a project dedicated to The Business of Tech. It is interesting to compare the early episodes and hear how the show has changed to become what it is today. If nothing else, it should at least be entertaining.

You can hear the episode at http://www.theforcefield.net/wordpress/?p=12 or at Episode 4 – Man in the Middle.

This is the fourth in a series of re-releases during the next few months. Episode 5 is planned for re-release next month. An additional episode will be re-released each month until June 2010. I will post an announcement as each episode is released.

Give it a listen and let me know what you think.

Episode 42 – Forming Your Business Part 2

Today we will continue our discussion with Tony Mancuso, an expert on business formation and learn about starting various forms of business entities for IT such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs and corporations. Part 2 of a two part series.

TechPodcasts Promo Tag :10
Intro 1:19
Billboard :29

News and Comment segment 7:06
OnForce released their Services Market Index for the first quarter of 2010 April 26. The OSMI Q1 2010 report is available for download at http://www.onforce.com/OSMI/q110.

We are currently updating the The Force Field National Contractor Directory. There are over 100 companies currently listed and you can view them all when you log into TheForceField.net and click on IT Business Resource Directory in the member menu on the left sidebar. Note: you must be a member and log in to view the directory. Membership to The Force Field portal is FREE. Join today!

Sponsor: Solve technical issues faster with GoToAssist Express. Try it FREE for 30 days.

CompTIA will hold their annual CompTIA Breakaway 2010 August 9-12 2010 in San Antonio Texas.

According to NetmarketShare, Microsoft Internet Explorer lost 20% market share in the last two years.

Commercial Break 1:00
Get Great Web Hosting at GoDaddy.com and save 10%! Listen for the discount code in the show. GoDaddy.com 1:00

Intro to Topic 1:47
Today we are going to continue our discussion with Tony Mancuso author of a book called LLC or Corporation? How to Choose the Right Form For Your Business, discover the difference between Limited Liability Companies and Corporations, discuss the different types of corporations and how you can find out which form of business is right for your company. Part 2 of a two part series.

Interview with Tony Mancuso 16:22

Wrap up and Close :46

Comments, questions or suggestions? Send them in to comments@theforcefield.net. Feedback on this topic will be read by the host and included in future episodes of the show. Visit us at http://www.theforcefield.net!

©2010 Savoia Computer. All rights reserved.

Episode 42 – Forming Your Business Part 2

Today we will continue our discussion with Tony Mancuso, an expert on business formation and learn about starting various forms of business entities for IT such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs and corporations. Part 2 of a two part series.

TechPodcasts Promo Tag :10
Intro 1:19
Billboard :29

News and Comment segment 7:06
OnForce released their Services Market Index for the first quarter of 2010 April 26. The OSMI Q1 2010 report is available for download at http://www.onforce.com/OSMI/q110.

We are currently updating the The Force Field National Contractor Directory. There are over 100 companies currently listed and you can view them all when you log into TheForceField.net and click on IT Business Resource Directory in the member menu on the left sidebar. Note: you must be a member and log in to view the directory. Membership to The Force Field portal is FREE. Join today!

Sponsor: Solve technical issues faster with GoToAssist Express. Try it FREE for 30 days.

CompTIA will hold their annual CompTIA Breakaway 2010 August 9-12 2010 in San Antonio Texas.

According to NetmarketShare, Microsoft Internet Explorer lost 20% market share in the last two years.

Commercial Break 1:00
Get Great Web Hosting at GoDaddy.com and save 10%! Listen for the discount code in the show. GoDaddy.com 1:00

Intro to Topic 1:47
Today we are going to continue our discussion with Tony Mancuso author of a book called LLC or Corporation? How to Choose the Right Form For Your Business, discover the difference between Limited Liability Companies and Corporations, discuss the different types of corporations and how you can find out which form of business is right for your company. Part 2 of a two part series.

Interview with Tony Mancuso 16:22

Wrap up and Close :46

Comments, questions or suggestions? Send them in to comments@theforcefield.net. Feedback on this topic will be read by the host and included in future episodes of the show. Visit us at http://www.theforcefield.net!

©2010 Savoia Computer. All rights reserved.

 

http://media.techpodcasts.com/theforcefield/media.libsyn.com/media/theforcefield/The_Force_Field_42.mp3 

IT Industry Business Confidence Highest among Companies in China and India, says CompTIA

More sober outlook on future business climate from firms in Canada, UK and US

Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., May 5, 2010 – Information technology (IT) companies in China and India are notably more bullish on prospects for business growth in the next six months than their counterparts in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, according to a new survey from CompTIA, the leading trade association for the global IT industry.

The CompTIA IT Industry International Business Confidence Index finds that business confidence trends are well above the global average among IT companies in China (77 on a 100-point scale) and India (76). Among other countries, Canadian sentiment falls roughly at the average (64), while business confidence among IT companies in the United States and United Kingdom lags slightly behind the global average.

Confirming the strengthening economies in many parts of the world, the overall index recorded a jump of nearly nine points in March 2010 since the previous reading in October 2009. Looking ahead, IT companies expect further improvements, reflected in their six-month confidence forecast of 68, up nearly 4 points over the March 2010 reading.

“The IT industry held up relatively well during the global economic downturn,” said Tim Herbert, vice president, research, CompTIA. “This research is another sign the IT industry is well positioned to out-perform many other industry sectors over the next year.”

The CompTIA IT Industry International Business Confidence Index also reveals that after a period of cutting or maintaining costs, a number of IT companies are looking to invest in their business.

“Nearly two-thirds expect to increase spending over the next six months on revenue-generating initiatives such as research and development; while 58 percent expect to increase spending on technology,” Herbert noted.

Though unemployment has been persistently high in many countries, the CompTIA survey data suggests hiring may start to pick up. Among all IT companies surveyed, 42 percent expect to increase hiring in the next six months, with companies in China and India having the highest expectations for staffing increases. But as a sign of the still fragile recovery, 13 percent of all respondents indicate they expect to cut staff in the next six months.

Global IT industry growth is forecast to range from flat under the most pessimistic scenario to an increase of 4.5 percent under the most optimistic scenario. Firms are slightly most bullish on IT services growth, followed by software and hardware. Firms in India see the most upside to global IT industry growth at 5.5 percent, while Canadian firms express the most concern.

Perceived threats to economic growth vary by country, the CompTIA survey indicates. U.S. IT companies are relatively more concerned about weak consumer demand, while firms in the UK voice concern about weak corporate demand. China is concerned about exports and India about domestic competition. Canadian companies believe a general lack of confidence could inhibit growth in their market.

The CompTIA IT Industry International Business Confidence Index is based on an online survey of more than 850 IT companies in more than 70 countries conducted in March. The full report is available at no cost to CompTIA members who can access the report at www.CompTIA.org or by contacting research@comptia.org.

About CompTIA
CompTIA is the voice of the world’s information technology (IT) industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through its educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications, and public policy advocacy. For more information, visit www.comptia.org or follow CompTIA on Twitter at Http://www.Twitter.com/comptia.

OnForce Announces Q1 OnForce Services Marketplace Index

OnForce Services Marketplace Index for Q1 2010 Shows Promising Signs for Upcoming Year

Work Order Pricing in the Marketplace Continues to Stabilize Quarter over Quarter; Several Trends Persist in 2010

BOSTON– April 26, 2010 –OnForce, the trusted online services marketplace that matches service buyers with service professionals released the OnForce Services Marketplace Index (OSMI) for the first quarter of 2010. The OSMI provides a comprehensive analysis of trends in information technology (IT) and consumer electronic (CE) services, based on thousands of service events across the United States and Canada. Key findings show that average work order pricing continued to stabilize for the fourth sequential quarter within the OnForce marketplace. Additionally, as we have seen in recent quarters, companies continue to opt to repair infrastructure in lieu of implementing new technology projects.

“Several trends from 2009 continue to be at the forefront this year. Organizations of all sizes are still managing their service-related budgets tightly, which is evident as break-fix and warranty work dominated work orders in the OnForce marketplace during the first quarter,” said Peter Cannone, CEO of OnForce. “However, with unemployment leveling off, consumer confidence growing, and several industry analysts predicting expansion in various technology areas this year, we are optimistic that 2010 will improve for the services industry in the coming quarters.”

While break-fix and warranty service events were dominant in the OnForce marketplace, installation work remained steady and accounted for 32 percent of total work orders, which aligns with Q4 service event results.

“Although installation work saw minimal fluctuation this quarter, we are anticipating this will shift significantly in the coming months. As organizations delayed technology projects last year, there is now pent-up demand to deploy new infrastructure in order to stay competitive,” said Cannone.

Other key findings include:

  • The top four categories in Q1 2010 in terms of work order volume include:
    • PC Desktop: 29% (increase from 27% of total work order volume in Q4 2009.)
    • TV/Video: 16% (remained relatively flat compared to Q4.)
    • Network: 14% (decrease from 16% of total work order volume in Q4.)
    • Printer: 12% (increase from 9% of total work order volume in Q4.)
  • Printer had the largest percentage increase in work order volume for any IT or CE service category.
  • TV/Video had the lowest Hourly Rate Index (HRI) in any category, with an HRI of 0.44.
  • South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia were the least expensive states for on-site service in Q1, a shift from Q4 2009 when Oklahoma, Vermont, and South Dakota were the least expensive states.
  • Houston, New York, and Chicago saw the most on-site service volume in Q1 for the sixth quarter in a row.

“In this first quarter, there were some bright spots within the OnForce marketplace. Mostly we have seen several request for proposals, demonstrating that organizations are planning for larger technology implementations towards the latter half of the year,” noted Cannone. “We are also expecting Point of Sale (POS) work to increase as retailers are being more proactive and are planning to deploy ‘must-have’ product refreshes.”

The Q1 2010 report is available for download at: http://www.onforce.com/OSMI/q110.

About OnForce

OnForce is the leading outsourced services network that connects service buyers with thousands of highly skilled service professionals to fulfill on-site work. With more than one million work orders completed, OnForce is the trusted marketplace that enables service buyers to lower service costs, improve service-level agreement compliance, achieve high customer satisfaction, and generate new streams of revenue quickly. The OnForce community is comprised of IT and CE service buyers and service professionals, located across the U.S. and Canada, who specialize in a variety of categories, such as computers, printers, networking, VoIP, Point of Sale, and more. For additional information, please visit www.onforce.com.

New Study Shows High Anguish and Anxiety With Computer Tech Support

Digitally Dependent Consumers Stressed About Losing Days of Downtime

Palo Alto, CA (Vocus/PRWEB ) April 27, 2010 — Nearly two thirds (64 percent) of consumers say their computer has caused them anxiety due in large part to frequent slowdowns and lengthy boot-up times, and more than 40 percent who use an outside computer support service are not happy with it or feel it costs too much. Despite this widespread computer-related stress and frustration, 94 percent depend on their computer in their daily lives, and 78 percent consider themselves computer-savvy.

These are among a comprehensive set of findings in an executive report released today by the CMO Council’s Customer Experience Board, in partnership with iYogi, showing the disconnect between consumer’s perceptions of their ability to fix computer problems and the realities of unresolved issues that they grapple with. The report, entitled Combating Computer Stress Syndrome: Barriers and Best Practices in Computer Tech Support, analyzes the results of a poll of more than 1,000 consumers in North America on the forces and factors at work with the different approaches to solving an expanding set of computer complexities, viruses, and glitches as the devices proliferate to a wider, less computer educated audiences.

The report captures quantitative data on the experiences and attitudes of consumers as well as a snapshot of intimate conversations on challenges and best practices with support-related executives at popular communications service providers and computer device manufacturers.

The report shows that so-called Computer Stress Syndrome is prevalent and caused by many factors:

 
  • Top sources of frustration with the tech support experience are long wait times, inability to fix problems and the cost of the service
  • Seventy-five percent are experiencing hours or more of downtime per year, and 40 percent are experiencing days or more
  • Top five impacts of computer failure include increased stress levels, interrupted work or play time, valuable lost data, dropped connections, and difficult online purchasing

“The results of our quantitative and qualitative research clearly point to the fact that people are fed up and frustrated with the current ability of traditional tech support mechanisms to solve their problems,” said Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the Customer Experience Board and CMO Council. “What is needed is a ‘resolution revolution’ in which the various parties offering support alternatives are rethinking their approach and offering innovative models that address the growing proliferation and complexities of multiple service and device types in the market today.”

Consumers use a variety of factors in order to evaluate and rank outside support services. Top factors in their decision include the cost of the service (43 percent), the skill of support technicians (40 percent), time to issue resolution (31 percent), 24/7 staff availability (27 percent), and wait times for service calls or appointments (20 percent).

“Many of today’s computer users are caught between a heavy reliance upon the latest gadgets and accelerating support needs for those devices,” said Larry Gordon, president of global channels for iYogi, a remote computer support service company with over 100,000 customers in a market for support services to the estimated 270 million PCs in use in the U.S. alone. “The computer manufacturers, retailers, and service providers are equally challenged to deliver the kinds of always on, reliable, cost-effective tech support required to meet these needs and satisfy the customer experience. The result is a growing and vibrant market for providers who can get it right.”

In part, the problem of Computer Stress Syndrome may be exacerbated by the fact that many consumers are trying to cut costs by dealing with support issues by home-grown means. Almost two thirds are trying to fix problems themselves, asking a friend or family member, or doing nothing. And cost is the biggest consideration in evaluating alternatives.

Report Available for Download:
The Combating Computer Stress Syndrome: Barriers and Best Practices in Computer Tech Support report is available for download at http://www.customerexperienceboard.org/report-variance.php.

About the Customer Experience Board:
The Customer Experience Board, a CMO Council initiative, brings together a dedicated knowledge center and global think tank comprised of concerned marketers from leading service provider organizations and key industry experts who interact and engage to gather insight around improving global integrated customer experience management and promote best practice adoption in this critical area of business performance. The Customer Experience Board is focused on benchmark studies, audits and competency assessments, content aggregation, report publication and syndication, peer-to-peer interactions, best practice development, vertical industry analytics, and global models and frameworks for integrated customer experience management. For more information, visit http://www.customerexperienceboard.org.

About iYogi
iYogi is a global on-demand services company that provides personalized computer support for consumers and small businesses in United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. iYogi’s unique model, including proprietary technology iMantra and highly qualified technicians, is designed to eliminate computer-related stress and keep millions of digitally dependent consumers and small businesses always protected and productive. Only iYogi — with its proven global expertise delivery model, intelligent customer insight systems, easy-to-use self-help tools and automated PC optimization and computer support services – offers users a simple yet comprehensive path to digital serenity. iYogi has perfected the remote technical support model to overcome the current limitations of in-store, on-site, or call center services to become the fastest growing provider of support in the industry. Major resellers and technology companies are increasingly turning to iYogi to improve customer satisfaction, reduce return rates, and deliver a compelling new-value added offering to customers. For more information on iYogi and a detailed list of technologies supported, visit http://www.iYogi.net.

Show Call-In Line
Skype Me™!

or call 407-278-5698 from any landline phone!

Techpodcast Network
Get it On Your Phone!

Listen to Stitcher

Audience Survey
The Force Field
Recognition
Rick’s Picks