Androcles Consultants is a dynamic and innovative London based MAC consulting firm operated by a Andrew Daws providing customers with outstanding MAC IT program management, technical support, logistical, and executive level support, while maximizing innovation and cost reduction for individuals and business.

Business

I have been doing this for almost 25 years, and I reckon that hardly a day goes by when I don’t learn something new. So there’s a reasonable chance that if I haven’t seen your problem before, I’ll know how to troubleshoot.

The simplest way to think of my service is that if you were in a company with 500 people, you would have an IT department. With me, you have an IT department shared between different companies. So when I am suggesting possible answers, I have plenty of experience of similar companies to draw on.

Of course I supply and maintain a wide range of hardware and software, I do all types of networking, remote access, wireless networks, VPNs etc:

The areas that seem to have been most useful, though, are in the field of custom programming.

I have written a number of databases in FileMaker, as even where there are existing off-the-shelf packages for handling the admin of, say, an Art Gallery, they are often cumbersome and inappropriate, as they are written to address the needs of a wide variety of companies. I have found that customised solutions take less learning time, and achieve more.

I have done a lot of work in publicity, both in web sites, and in email systems: installing and maintaining on-site mail servers, and using hosted mailing systems for emailshots.

Apart from that I have a passion for time and motion: above all I want to see systems that are intuitive and effortless, so that you can concentrate on your own work.

Here are some specific tasks that I do regularly

All machines

Advise on, and if required supply, all hardware and software (computers, printers, scanners, routers etc)
Update all operating systems and programs, and update hardware (memory, drives etc). Set up automatic updating.
Establish safety routines. Backup, both to local drives and over the internet, anti-virus and other malware protection
Set up email, domains, websites
Use remote access software to troubleshoot the majority of problems.
Set up phones
Set up all necessary software to keep calendars, contacts, email etc accessible wherever needed. Synchronise machines in different locations.
Set up custom databases.
Business networks

Networks, using Ethernet and wireless; wide area networks over the internet or over microwave links (or cables strung through gardens).
Servers: Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 and Mac Snow Leopard Server (standard and advanced)
Terminal servers for remote access
Email servers, both local and hosted
“Groupware”: shared contacts and calendars, document management.
Bulk emailing from local programs, including FileMaker databases, and through hosted services.
I monitor most networks remotely and proactively, so I can tell before problems occur. If your mail server is not working to its potential, there’s a reasonable chance that I will be the one to tell you, not the other way round. But the initial troubleshooting is generally done immediately remotely, with a site visit only as necessary (once it’s all set up).
What I don’t do

Hmm. Can’t think of anything offhand. Not good at dealing with international wide area networks yet as I have only one current client outside the UK. I can usually call on others if there’s something I can’t offer.
As you’ll have gathered, I’m a one man band.

The good side is that I know you and all your machines. The potential downside is that two of my clients could have a crisis at the same time, but that happens to companies with large numbers of staff as well, at a higher level. Also quite a bit of my work is software development, and that can always be fitted round site visits.

Surprisingly conflicts hardly ever happen.

Also occasionally I go away, though rarely for more than a week, and I’m almost always contactable. And if I do go away, I have arrangements with separate Mac and Windows specialists in case a site visit is needed so you’re never left to your own devices.

The only time their help has been needed in 25 years, to be honest, is when a member of staff was kicked out and the client needed the passwords changed. The first I knew was when I logged in to the server as I tend to, only to find my password no longer worked. My clients didn’t want to bother me, bless them. Once I recovered from the initial panic...

And I offer 24/7 support

Thankfully most clients don’t contact me at 3 a.m., but I often work evenings and weekends, as I sometimes need to work on networks when they are not in use. I charge the same hourly rate in evenings and weekends as during the week.

My rates

I operate a 3 tier pricing strategy. I don’t charge a call out charge, but I do a minimum of one hour. For small amounts of work I charge £95 per hour plus VAT; less if we are talking large amounts of work.

If you want to ensure that you get priority access to me, you can keep me on a retainer. This also commits me to connect regularly to monitor your network. Are the machines up to date, is the backup working, what about virus definitions, is there enough hard disk space. For retained clients, I get a report daily showing the health of the server, and from there I can monitor the individual machines.

Finally, if you are set on a fixed all-you-can-eat contract, I will consider it, subject to the reservations here.

Contact Us

Andrew Daws

phone5007976 401722

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