One of the mainstays of Cushen Computer Consulting's business since 1995 has been I.T. and Network Consulting, from small businesses to medium-to-large companies with hundreds of workstations and dozens of shared printers, scanners, and other hardware. We support individual users on the one hand, including configuring components of individual PCs and recommending software and hardware; and on the other, have designed, installed, upgraded, and done troubleshooting for large networks. We have even done the actual wiring of entire offices with 10/100 Base-T/Cat-5 cable!
One of our very first engagements was an assessment of the best method for a 2-person office to share their printers; one user had a high-quality laser printer, and the other had a color inkjet, and both users needed access to both printers. Another consultant had recommended printer switches, which were a common approach in those days; but we had experienced issues in a similar configuration. We recommended a 2-person network, with a network hub, and sharing of the printers across the network. Although the initial costs were a bit higher, we were able to convince the client that the network approach would be more stable, and that the initial outlay would be recouped in higher up-time and fewer problems. This did, in fact, work out as we expected. The client praised our approach, particularly after visiting another office where the printer-switch approach was the source of constant problems; and, in a year or so, when the time came for the client to bring in a high-speed Internet connection, the company supplying the connection was able to simply plug their equipment directly into the Uplink port on the hub. No additional equipment purchase was required.
Nowadays, we have several clients with medium-to-large networks that we have designed and implemented, and support on a daily basis. Networks have changed since those days in the early-to-mid 1990s: hubs have given way to switches and routers, Internet access from one or two PCs with painfully slow dial-up phone-line connections to network-wide high-speed, always-connected cable, DSL, and T-1 pipes. High-speed, high-throughput network printers have replaced the individual printer that might be shared among a few users, requiring that user's PC to be turned on-- the source of quite a few support calls even after educating the users! Local network speeds have likewise jumped from 10-Mbit to 100-Mbit to Gigabit; and this segment continues to represent a large portion of our business.
To find out how Cushen Computer Consulting can help your company with its software, hardware, and network issues, see below for details on how to contact us via e-mail.