January 2010
In this issue
The Service Desk . . .
4 Best IT Practices
Find Needles in a Haystack
Replace Your Old
Technology Now And Save
Like Waves on an Ocean
Replace Your
Old Technology
Now and Save

reprinted with permission from the HP Small Business Center

It can be tempting to avoid new purchases when dealing with a tight budget or a need to cut costs. When it comes to your office’s computer equipment, however, delaying a PC refresh can actually increase your operating expenses. Maintenance and support costs go up significantly over time, and productivity goes down.

Learn about the major costs associated with maintaining and supporting PCs and the six ways in which a PC refresh can benefit your business.

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Like Waves
on an Ocean

used with permission from
JOEL H. WELDON & ASSOCIATES, INC. http://www.SuccessComesInCans.com


Unconsciously, you are influencing the lives of those around you

Four of the greatest physicists in the world came from a small town in Germany. Tracing their lives, someone discovered that all four were taught by the same high school physics teacher. Obviously, that teacher touched each of these men in a special way, when they were just boys.

Without knowing it, he touched the entire world.

It’s the same with you.

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Quote of the Month

One resolution I have made,
and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things.

~John Burroughs


Just for Laughs



1661 Capitol Way, Suite 102
Bismarck, ND 58501
Phone: 701-250-9400


Welcome to 2010!

If you are like me, you are glad to put 2009 in the books and look forward to a fresh, new year. While ND did not seem to experience the shocking effects of the poor economy like other parts of the nation, we did see some reluctance to engage in the latter part of 2009.

Information Technology outlooks for 2010 indicate a pent-up demand for IT services early in 2010, and we are experiencing that already. It seems the projects that people were holding back on in 2009 are now getting momentum. This is a good sign!

NRG is continuing to find ways to improve our service delivery methods, to improve customer service. In this newsletter is an article detailing the NRG Service Desk and the changes we have made. Our goal is to get your call, e-mail or web request answered and assigned as soon as possible. We know how frustrating it can be when things are not working in your office, and want to get you up and running as soon as possible.

As always, if you have any questions, please let me know.


The Service Desk . . . Much More Than Just a Desk
Are you afraid of getting stuck in “Voice Jail” when you call for tech support? It’s happened to just about everyone, usually when the need for help is most urgent. To confront the issue head-on, NRG Technology Services implemented a customer service system that is staffed by at least two “real live people” from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm Central Time, and even more during peak times. It is called simply the “Service Desk.”

In the “old days” (last year) calls to NRG or NDACo were all routed to one extension. If that person was on the phone, the caller got voice mail and had to leave a message. Unfortunately, there was no way for the caller to know how long it might take to get a call-back, and no way for another tech support person to know that someone was waiting for help.

As you might expect, NRG Tech Services turned to technology to solve the problem. They recently installed a sophisticated new phone system that “finds” the first available live representative, even if one or more is already on the phone. The Service Desk number is 1-888-303-0094, as before, but now callers don’t have to wait through a list of options or dial an extension number. The system takes care of that for them.

Of course, the most important step is using the right phone number. The NDACo office is still getting about a dozen tech support calls per day, but cannot transfer those calls directly to the Service Desk. Calling a tech staffer directly is also a risky choice. Although there may be some emotional comfort in a direct call or e-mail, there is no way to know when or if that staffer will be available to respond. (The number for NRG’s administrative offices is 701-250-9400.)

In addition to speeding up response time, a call to the Service Desk also means your request will be tracked by the system. The status of customer requests is displayed on a large LCD monitor located above the Service Desk. The monitor displays service statistics, such as the number of alerts, the number of requests awaiting response, length of time for response, the number of service requests open, new today and closed today and if a Monitored Site goes down. A Customer Satisfaction score is also displayed as a letter grade on the board. This grade is determined by the responses submitted through on-line surveys completed by customers.

In short, a technology company is using technology to bring the human touch back to customer service.

4 Best IT Practices for Business Success
reprinted with permission from the HP Small Business Center

In today’s competitive market, small businesses need every advantage they can get. Many are looking for new ways to improve the bottom line, as well as protect their existing business.

One area you might not have looked at is the experiences of larger businesses. With their greater resources, it’s easy for them to “test drive” new ideas and strategies – which you can then borrow and apply as needed. Take a look at these four best practices borrowed from successful enterprises and try to put them to work in your business today.

Get plugged in to social media
According to a new study by marketing agency OgilvyOne Asia Pacific, over 456 million users in Asia – almost a third of the world’s population – are using social media. Japan, for example, has the highest blog readership in the world.

Never in the history of advertising and marketing has there been the ability to reach so many people so directly and personally at so little cost – which is great news for small businesses with limited marketing budgets. Maybe it’s time for your company to start a blog?

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