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Topic # 26292 17-Sep-2008 15:28
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An organisation I work for is starting a major nationwide campaign, and will have road warriors out in various regional places. I'm thinking that to relieve stress on the IT team (really development and maintenance focussed) we should find some IT support number who our staff can call and get basic IT support.

Issues like "I'm on Xtra broadband today, and I can't send mail" or "Hey, my anti-virus did an update, and now I can't log in".

They have a mixed IT structure (non-profit) with a fair bias towards PCs, but it's not strict.

We'd supply basic configuration rules for our staff, who may also be using ISP mail accounts. For "real" issues (ie ones that can't be fixed by a phonecall and some helpful advice) we'd then escalate to the technicians.

Email is the largest cause of tech support to date.

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  Reply # 165105 17-Sep-2008 16:31
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Until you start rolling it is really hard to gauge the numbers you'd require. I would say start with 2 to max 3 people, and see, it is not unusual for one person to get up to 70 calls per day on an 8 hour day, when it does get busy. But yeah I would start with 2 or 3. You can always expand, a lot harder to downsize.

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  Reply # 165115 17-Sep-2008 16:56
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webmail?

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 165138 17-Sep-2008 18:21
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xurizaemon: An organisation I work for is starting a major nationwide campaign, and will have road warriors out in various regional places. I'm thinking that to relieve stress on the IT team (really development and maintenance focussed) we should find some IT support number who our staff can call and get basic IT support.


As you've called it a campaign I'll assume its only a temporary thing, so you might be better off approaching an IT company and get a monthly contract off them for support.



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  Reply # 165235 17-Sep-2008 23:53
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@zocster - no, our needs are much smaller than that. our dev team get maybe 1 - 2 calls a week. no need to retain a fulltime support crew

@lonney - yep, we have webmail too; what we need is support for road warriors

@nate, yes, that's exactly what i'm asking - for recommendations of IT companies who provide on-call support

am i asking in the right forum?

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  Reply # 165247 18-Sep-2008 07:34
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I think you should be thinking of reducing the calls instead of taking the calls.

Is email your big headache? Fix it. Either use a paid by smtp service such as www.smtp.com or use a free service such as www.gmail.com to route emails out.

Once the level of calls is reduced you might get away with an even smaller help desk/support.

You will find that most system integrators/content providers will charge an arm and a leg for call centre services. Perhaps looking for some of those Geek on Wheels services available in NZ and getting a contract with them?





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  Reply # 165896 20-Sep-2008 23:57
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freitasm: I think you should be thinking of reducing the calls instead of taking the calls.

Is email your big headache? Fix it. Either use a paid by smtp service such as www.smtp.com or use a free service such as www.gmail.com to route emails out.

Once the level of calls is reduced you might get away with an even smaller help desk/support.

You will find that most system integrators/content providers will charge an arm and a leg for call centre services. Perhaps looking for some of those Geek on Wheels services available in NZ and getting a contract with them?



If I remember right, xtra have outbound smtp port access turned off by default for a large amount of their customers so it would have to be a secured smtp service.

If you want to, you can contact myself, Ray, or the manager, Justin at The TechHeads - 0800-263-111. We are basically a geeks-on-wheels / need-a-nerd type organisation although we focus more on small-medium businesses as clients. Give us a call on Monday as we may be interested in picking up such a temporary contract.




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  Reply # 165899 21-Sep-2008 00:21
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raytaylor:

If I remember right, xtra have outbound smtp port access turned off by default for a large amount of their customers so it would have to be a secured smtp service.


Yahoo!Xtra mail uses send.xtra.co.nz which will work from almost anywhere, Telecom BB, Telstra (Australia) blah blah blah. Secure email was withdrawn when Yahoo!Xtra went live.

nzbnw









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  Reply # 166096 21-Sep-2008 20:24
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raytaylor:

If I remember right, xtra have outbound smtp port access turned off by default for a large amount of their customers so it would have to be a secured smtp service.


i suspected this; some of our users who move to an Xtra IP report issues with being able to connect to our secured mailserver. they have no issues when on other ISP networks, just when connecting via Xtra.

so you're saying that Xtra does not allow traffic to port 25 from any IP on their network, even if the user is connecting to an authenticated session with our company mailserver? so these users must move to SMTP on another port, eg 465 or 993 (from memory)?

i swear that Xtra must be getting kickbacks from the support industry - it seems that the mere mention of their name will double the chances of any given task failing, and this even when they shack up with one of the top three mail providers worldwide.

what's most astounding to me is that they somehow keep their place in the market despite this. i'm sure this can't just be the power of regular TV commercials.

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  Reply # 166125 21-Sep-2008 22:07
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If you've got xtra broadband or dial up and need to use port 25, you can opt out of port 25 filtering by going to the port 25 page. For sending emails through another server, 587 and 465 seem to be quite common nowdays. Once you've opted out, make sure your broadband modem is set up with the correct broadband username/password, otherwise it won't pick up the port 25 settings.

If you are using Yahoo!Xtra or Officemail, the settings on their website will allow you to send mail no matter where you are, regardless of internet provider. As nzbmw said, secure remote email is a thing of the past. You won't need to opt out of port 25 filtering if you are using xtra or officemail for email access.




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  Reply # 166173 22-Sep-2008 09:38
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Thanks cokemaster

Our users are "road warriors", meaning they need access to the same mail configuration from a wide variety of internet connections, including various local offices nationwide, dialup and wireless, and essentially whatever network connection is available in their current location.

So opting out of port25 exclusion isn't such a good solution, because they'd have to repeat this process for each Xtra IP they used.

I understand that Xtra are doing this to combat spam, but I think that their methodology is too harsh, because it breaks things for normal users too.

Other ISPs I've had experience of (eg Orcon, Ihug) will use "soft" tools like the PBL to designate broadband IPs as discouraged for SMTP origin, but don't "hard" filter the traffic by port. Orcon/Ihug's softer approach still helps avoid spam from those networks, without interfering with a user using their company's SMTP server.

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  Reply # 166328 22-Sep-2008 17:37
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Perhaps you might want to consider opening up 587 on your server.




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