What I Learned About Air Conditioning: October 2012

I recently replaced the air conditioner in my home. My aging 15 year old system finally broke for good and I soon found myself trying to make a decision about a major purchase of something I know very little about. Should I buy the cheapest available, or go with the air conditioner guy’s recommendation, which was to upgrade to the deluxe model? I couldn’t tell you what all the differences were, nor was I interested. All I really wanted was something that would cool (and heat) my home. So here I was, sitting in my living room, listening to an air conditioner guy detail the features and benefits of their deluxe vs basic model.

He said that the ‘outside’ units were all basically the same (except for the pricy 2 stage models). The ‘inside’ units (air handler) did vary in noise level, build quality, warrantee, and the fan and control system, which are continuously variable in the better units. Too much information really.

In the end I just asked him for his recommendation on the best system for my money and that’s the one I bought. I’m happy with my decision.

In my opinion, technology is much the same. There are so many choices that it’s virtually impossible for most people to understand, let alone decide correctly what the best fit is for their business.

BCS invests a TON of time and money into learning about, testing, and training on new technologies. The systems we put together today bear almost NO resemblance to the ones we designed 5 years go. It’s the right thing to do for our clients because we can deliver far more functionality at a lower price than ever before. And unlike air conditioners, digital technology changes quickly. Fortunately it almost always gets better and cheaper.

To that end, I put together a list that can help you decide if you’re getting good advice from your IT company:

10 Red Flags that You May be Getting Bad Advice from Your IT Company:

  1. They tell you that cloud computing is a ‘fad’.
  2. They don’t meet with you regularly do discuss your concerns and future plans and recommend solutions.
  3. They rarely or never introduce new products.
  4. They never mention that a business-class server costs about ½ of what it did just 5 years go.
  5. They never provide a report on what they have done.
  6. They won’t offer you a fixed monthly maintenance plan or a fixed project cost.
  7. They won’t offer you any references.
  8. They don’t train on new products or partner with new technology providers.
  9. They don’t gather and present information about the health of your network on a regular basis.
  10. They try to sell you products without explaining how they will benefit you.