Our Most Commonly Asked Questions


Browse F.A.Q. Topics

General Questions

  • Why do we need IT Policies and Procedures around Onboarding and Offboarding?
    Ah. The #1 failure of today's startup. We at IPSOFACTO can't believe they don't teach On/Offboarding Policies and Procedures in startup schools (like Stanford or Berkeley). It's a historical 'whatcha don't know' kinda problem... Historically, young tech execs....when they were kids, they got a mac....they went to college with a mac, they worked at the cafeteria tables with their teams, slurping java, eating pizza, everyone using Macs. They never needed "IT Support"............ (You know, fat, out of shape white guys who love Windows XP). Anyway, then these youngsters graduated and started companies. And then their companies were 20 employees, with 20 macs, and a buncha stuff all over the cloud, and some app or some process they are working on, and a buncha data.....well....then a bunch of people get fired or quit and a buncha people get hired or promoted and then along comes VC and PE (Private Equity) to talk about investment or sale. The first thing VC/PE says is 'Tell me how you operate'. Then these young tech execs get to look VC and PE in the eyes, and say...."Well, we're a buncha folks with a buncha macs doing a buncha stuff. But hey, check out our app and buy us for $30m". Then the laughter starts. Sad. So. Sad. Anyway, I tell people a tech firm is also like a farm. You can't just buy some farmland and stick horses, cows, pigs, and chickens on the land and say..."buy my farm". A farm and a firm are organized- with fences, water, waste, workflow, poop processing... with Policies and Procedures. At the heart of a P&P Manual are the people (your farm animals), and all the rest of the farm is built around their needs; which is why On/Offboarding is tantamount to your eventual sales strategy. From that, IPSOFACTO can design the security and operations for IT strategies, neatly for the long-term sale.
  • Teleconferencing is $5k and Apple TV is super cheap. Which do you Recommend and Why?
    Apple TV. Unless you're on a PC and then we'd need to install something else. But seriously, we should examine your needs before giving a blanket answer. In our office, we use Apple TV and it works for the conferencing we need to do. In some of our clients, they have offices in Germany, Israel, & Brazil. They don't use Apple TV. The need a much better way to stay in touch. My favorite was two offices, on in Seattle and one in SF. They installed a big screen in both offices, put up cameras and mics, and the TVs were just windows into the other office, and they were on all the time. Some of the employees would say 'hi' every morning, and they'd have off-the-cuff conversations through the screen. "Hey Bobby, whatcha eatin for lunch?"
  • We have 100 employees… and what’s wrong with us all using the guest Admin WiFi Password?
    See, you keep asking me about Wi-Fi thoughtlessness (aka, stupid Wi-Fi use). I'll answer your question with a story. In 2015, four young men friends from Stanford did a start-up. When their startup hit 30 employees, VC came along and gave them $12m, paying the CFO to leave for $1.2m. That’s normal, VC’s often have their own CFO structures. But $1.2m is not bad for a 25-year-old fella. Within 2 years, the firm was worth $140 million, and the now ex-CFO 25-year-old fella was MAD, because if he waited 1 year, his ownership would have been worth $12m, and if he kept on waiting…more and more. So, in the middle of the night, maybe a few times, that ex-CFO parked in his ex-startups parking lot, logged into the Wi-Fi using the guest-admin password on one of the airport extremes, connected to QuickBooks, deleted all data prior to his departure, deleted all files that he had signed or created, deleted all backups relating to finance, and deleted all models related to the startup. When the VC appointed CFO started to notice missing data, it was too late, and backups had all been deleted. So, does that answer your question about thoughtlessness around everyone using 1 Wi-Fi password, like, for 3 years....?
  • We use Macs, what’s wrong with using Airport Extrems?
    First off, I love that you wrote Extremes. We at IPSOFACTO think airport extremes are like taco-bell burrito supremes. Looks like a burrito, the marketing calls it a burrito, but it's not a really a burrito. And a viable WiFi for an office, an Airport Extreme is NOT. That white plastic junk should go in the electronics recycle bin, along with your Comcast WiFi router. If you have an office, and you are reliant on WiFi, and you want staff happiness and efficiency over 5 years, get a Meraki WiFi system.
  • Whats wrong with using our Best Buy servers?
    IPSOFACTO says GIGO. That's an old term for Garbage In - Garbage Out. I guess the other expression is Penny wise, Dollar Foolish. Like in previous articles, IT is strongly correlated to Operating Budgets, which is usually why a CFO is overseeing IT (That's smart!). If the operating budget for Administration is, say, $3,000/day. Then three days without being able to work (which is, btw, 99% uptime), costs $9,000, and who knows the cost of labor for repairs- maybe another $5,000?. So when you go cheap, you pay more; in IT, it's too delicate to mess with going cheap. Be a smart executive and don't go cheap.
  • What’s the difference between Box and Dropbox?
    Box.net is great and Dropbox.com is not. Traditionally, Box.net is for an office with employees, and Dropbox is for your home files. Box.net leads the way in syncing, team sync, speed, service, and reliability. But Dropbox is catching up, maybe. We at IPSOFACTO use box.net. So far, it's the better solution here in 2017.
  • Why do I take this thing home every weekend. Can’t we put our data in the cloud?
    Well, if you are taking home backup drives, I guess you are also riding a horse-drawn buggy to work (smiley face). Yes, that's sarcasm. That thing that you are taking home has a bunch of data on it that after about 6 months will experience data-creep (where some 0's and 1's will demagnetize and mush around, making the chance of the data stored on there less and less viable. So put your data in the cloud. A good strategy is to take all data 5 years or older and send it to Amazon Glacier and put all the newer data into your cloud backup strategy. And for goodness sake, get rid of the external drive.
  • Can we be an all Mac company?
    IPSOFACTO says YES! You can be an all Mac company! Unless you can't (A&D firms can't). Some firms wouldn't. We've heard people (um, accountants and lawyers) say they have apps that run in Windows only. That's not big deal since Macs run Windows in a shell. But Truth be told, Macs are about 30-50% more expensive than Windows, and now that Office365 offers free software, PC gets cheaper and smarter and Mac stays expensive and a little behind the curve. What about Viruses. Well, 299 out of 300 viruses were made for Windows XP which hasn't been around since 2007. Macs are susceptible to hacks, phishing, spear phishing, and so on, but they're very stable otherwise. It boils down to preference here in 2017. But to answer your question, an all windows company can become an all mac company. Just pull out the checkbook.
  • All of my friends have great IT, How do I get better IT?
    I love this question. Thanks. Here at IPSOFACTO, we get asked this a lot. But we need to roll back the question a bit. Basically, NEVER hire in-house IT people unless you can guarantee A LOT of work for them, you know, 50 hours per week. In 100% of the situations, 100%!, a bored in-house IT guy will make a HUGE mess of the IT due to a combination of 'play, fear of losing their job, reduced risk, and hero complex'. EVERY time (in all caps) that we are asked to audit a network where Execs are trimming the IT fat, we find total-BS-tech. Recently we found ourselves in a company with 40 servers and 13 employees. The IT guy was so bored, and he had such a cushy job, that he created phenomenal complexity that was designed to always be falling apart and the execs were too scared to get rid of him. We came in and fixed all that (it took 9 months). But now, instead of paying $10k/mo in payroll (and tax) to the ex-IT guy, they pay IPSOFACTO about $2,000/mo. Everyone is now happy, and their ex-IT guy got a job teaching IT. Win-Win-Win. So the question is, "how'd you get such bad IT and are you ready to transition".
  • I hate all of this noisy old metal equipment. How can I get into that cloud thing?
    Here at IPSOFACTO, we're not bullish about getting into the cloud. The cost savings is not 'phenomenal', because Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Box.net…..they know how to price their products just slightly cheaper than having an in-house server. Servers are usually on a 4-year obsolescence track, which is why Dell and Apple offer 3-year warrantees with a 1-year extension. Anything beyond 4 years, they don't want to warranty. But in reality, for a firm that's not growing/changing/extremely active, then a server can last 6 years, easy. So, if a client of ours says "Let's go cloud", then I like to look at the state of the equipment and the warrantees. If the server is 6 years old, then YAH! Let's really think about going cloud! But if the server is 3 years old, then "Nah! Let’s talk about the investment first..." And for the record, Architectural and Design firms using AutoCAD or Revit etc., should not go cloud. It'll kill your business. Imagine, an in-house server and a network with 1gb speeds. For $1000/mo you can have synchronous fiber at 10mb or 100 times slower. But overall, it depends on the firm's IT Strategy, maybe there are multiple offices and we can set up syncing tools where the inconvenience outweighs continuation of the old solution. It's case-by-case.