A consultant is a professional who provides professional or expert advice in a particular area such as security (electronic or physical), management, education, accountancy, law, human resources, marketing and public relations, finance, engineering, science or any of many other specialized fields.

Share tech news, updates, or what's on your mind.

Sign up to Post

Hi guys

We are about to set up a Design Authority. There will be various members of teams from different areas of I.T, from full stack Developers,.NET developers, to infrastructure teams and business analysts.

We are trying to create processes,especially concerning new products that are being sought or just changes that want to get implemented.

I will be heading it. But i wanted yo go in with an agenda or checklist that I could show them that we could have people go through whenever we want to approve of their suggestions.

What things would you put in a checklist if it was you?

Thanks for helping
C++ 11 Fundamentals
LVL 13
C++ 11 Fundamentals

This course will introduce you to C++ 11 and teach you about syntax fundamentals.

How would you handle multiple 'On-Call' requests during the same time period?

Example: 3 clients want you to be on call 24 hours on the same day. For simplicity assume the rate is $10 and you don't mind being on call the requested day.

Would you charge all 3 a retainer of $240 = $720?
Would you agree to be on call with the first client and tell the others you can't do it because your on call for someone else?

One thing to worry about is if you agree to be on call with more than one client, 3 clients can call around the same time. How would you handle that or set expectations beforehand?
How do you guys bill a client that wants you 'on-call'? Would you agree to be 'on-call' if someone requests?

Let's say you tell a client up front you will be unavailable on a given week (I.e., Christmas, honeymoon etc.,) and they request you be 'on-call' during that time in case of emergencies.

Would you do it? If so, how would you bill for it?
I had a client that wanted to video chat and watch my screen whenever I worked on their 40hr project. Would you let them do that? If not, how would you politely decline?

How about if a client wants you to email them each day when you start/end work on a their 40hr project?

How about when a client wants you to call them and stay on the phone with them whenever you are working on their project?
I had some questions on how you guys handle billing...

Example: When a client calls you for the first time:

1) What do you do to confirm that person is real?
2) If they want to pay by credit card, how do you confirm its not a stolen card etc.,?
3) How do you prevent someone doing charge backs months later, making all that work you did free?
When you guys design something for someone else, do you own it or do your clients own it. For my current client, which I'm weaving out, I designed something that generated massive profits for their company. Afterwards, she came to me and said, "I own this. This is mine." There are no contracts between us...

In your contracts with your clients, do you have an ownership clause? Do your clients own everything you make or do you own it?
How do you bill when 2 or more clients ask for the same thing or when one client asks for something I've done for someone else?

Let's say you work 10 hours on a project, then a week later a different client asks for the same thing. Do you bill one client and not another or do you bill them each 10 hours totalling 20 hours even though you only worked 10?
As an independent consultant, do you charge for hours actually worked, or do you charge based on industry standard to complete job?

When you get a statement from the mechanic it sometimes shows his rate times the amount of time it takes in the industry to complete a job. (e.g., $100*2hrs - Replace Radiator)

The mechanic above may have spent only 1.5 hrs doing the job, but he would still charge 2 hours as that is the industry standard. In the past, I have always charged for time I actually spent. If a job would normally take 50 hours and I crammed red bulls to complete it in 15 hours, I would charge 15. How do you guys normally do it? If you do it like the mechanic in my example, what industry standard would you use? Is there a standard tine of completion for software developers?
In the past clients would call for advice on how to fix something. Sometimes there would be multiple 5 minute calls sometimes an hour call. How do you guys bill for phone calls?

I.e., How much do you charge if...
*Client calls for 10m once per week?
*Client calls for 10m Once per day?
*Client calls for 10m 3 times/day? etc.,
*Client calls for 45m?
*Client calls for 1hour 5 minutes?

Do you always round up to half hour? Full hour? In the past I wouldn't charge anything if I was helping them for less than 15m/day, but then they would call everyday, so I tallied minutes and rounded up to the hour. I was wondering which rules you guys use and think would be best.
On previous questions, it sounds like other experts addressed that Net 30/1.5% is standard. Nonetheless, with my current client it sometimes took 3 months or more after the invoice. It didn't sound right to me, so when I spoke with my client, her response was:

 "All the contractors here wait that long, your lucky as some wait 6 months or more and it's unprofessional ask. You'll get your money when it is approved."

Is this common in the BI/Software development field or very rare?

Also, is it unprofessional to send a one line email reminder of unpaid balances every 2 weeks when a client is late?
Expert Spotlight: Joe Anderson (DatabaseMX)
LVL 13
Expert Spotlight: Joe Anderson (DatabaseMX)

We’ve posted a new Expert Spotlight!  Joe Anderson (DatabaseMX) has been on Experts Exchange since 2006. Learn more about this database architect, guitar aficionado, and Microsoft MVP.

After feedback received from my last question, it made me realize I need to make a lot of changes. I wanted to ask other independents what things they usually discuss with clients upfront? I have compiled a list below, is there any additional items you would recommend discussing?

1) Pay rate
2) How long client takes to pay after I submit invoice/hrs
3) Length of contract
4) #Hours I work/wk
5) Notice that most work done offsite, but will be onsite when necessary.

*Scope of project
I am an independant consultant with my own business and I do not work for a temp agency. I have a support/development role with a client that insists "I need to be on-site everyday between 8a-5p and I can not work from home". I made a mistake and tried to accomodate her the last year, but as an independant, I have business responsibilities and other clients to assist. Last week I was out of town but was on call and she said "Your missing too many days"

I realize for all new clients I need to discuss these details up front, but they all try to push for that control, while I do my best work on my own time.

What would you do in my scenario?
On new jobs what do you say when they ask, "What is your schedule? When are you usually here?"

I looking for a measure of fragmentation, and occupancy of a calendar.

This is to assist in managing calendar events in order to reduce gaps between events and increase overall efficiency.

Attached is an example calendar, the grey bars are events. Each row is a resource. The events can sometimes be moved to different resources, and it can be helpful to quantify the benefit of a move.

What kinds of analysis techniques exist in this area?

Are there any analogies to other systems that could be helpful. eg if the calendar were a river, the bars islands, maybe efficiency might be the average flow rate of the river?

Thanks for your thoughts here.

example calendar
Looking for trustworthy recommendations for an IT contracting/consulting company in Brazil (Piracicaba, Sao Paulo service area).
Need some on-site hands to install new server and networking equipment along with VMware and Windows OSes.
Must be enterprise level capable.

A good buddy and I are helping another friend at a large corporation with an Access database performance issue.  My buddy is developing the SQL Web App stuff and I am in charge of all the server maintenance.  Its a 70% 30% split between the both of us.  Is there a service that will let us be paid individually at these percentages? For example client pays the entire balance and then its split 70/30 between the two of us? Does Upwork (or similar) offer something that could be of help in this scenario? We are being paid via a corporate credit card. Which is nice!
Does anyone have a quick reference on CORE 2016 installation?  Quick steps involved.  Just want to make sure all my CORE DCs are all the same build.
Is frosted glass same tough to break as a regular glass?
Our regular tinted glass got broken into last night. I wonder if we should just order a frosted glass instead getting same regular tempered glass and then calling another crew to tint it again.

Would a frosted glass be same tempered and tough to break as a regular glass with tint?
How do everyone handling old user accounts in Active Directory?    Do you disable it and move to another OU?  Delete? Other options?
Anyone know good contractors/constriction forums?  HVAC, plumbing, ventilation, etc.

I have a weird issue that need some expert contractor opinion.
Starting with Angular 5
LVL 13
Starting with Angular 5

Learn the essential features and functions of the popular JavaScript framework for building mobile, desktop and web applications.

I am looking to engage clients in a maintenance agreement (managed IT) starting Jan 2019.  I'm curious if it's common to include ransomware attacks/resolution in the flat monthly maintenance agreement with the client.  Where are the boundaries with flat monthly maintenance agreement vs charging for add/removes/changes (projects) to the environment?  A recent 12 user ransomware attack encrypted 2 out of 5 server and 7 out of approximately 20 workstations.  This was easily 30 hours worth of recovery time.  I obviously would like to exclude these catastrophic events out of the maintenance agreement and provide best effort security as we continue to make improvements to secure these environments against future attacks.  Time, money, staff constraints on both sides limit these things from being expedited.  Anyway, any advice on the legalese disclaimer?  Any other liability that I should be concerned that is or isn't cover with a related legal statement here?  Does a business associate agreement protect the IT individual from these disasters?
Hello Experts,

My customer Linda is the owner of a resource mailbox in a Exchange 2016 infrastructure on Prem which name is Resource-Capital.
When she tries to share the Contacts for this account, she is able to add the user, but when selecting the permissions levels, in this case “Reviewer”, she gets the following error message. Please, refer to screenshot attached

If she selects any other like Author or Pcontributor, she is able to add and save the permission settings but when tries to add the Contact folder, the user cannot see any of the contacts.  

I had the Client try from another PC and we experienced the same results.  We verified the owner’s permission and they stated that she had full access and should be able to grant access.  She has in the past and has many other users who currently have access. All this started a month ago.

Can someone please provide instructions step by step with tons of screenshot to resolve this incident? Please, be advised the user is trying to share a contact from a shared mailbox resource contact
I got an old heater furnace.  Probably as old as my house.  Which is state "approx 1915" in city hall records.  Wondering if worth repairing or get a new furnace, that will be a pretty pricey project.

I attached a few pictures.  I can fire up the pilot.  However, when switching to the burner the pilot shuts off.  Also notices the pilot flares a lot larger than usual.  I replaced a thermocouple last year.  That didn't help.

Any suggestion or maybe someone knows another 'hvac' specific forum?

Thanks in advance!!
Due to the fires in CA we are in smoke and keep our windows/doors closed.  Air quality is terrible.
 Wonder if anyone suggest a good air purifier for home/office with approx 1000sq ft space.

Thanks in advance!!
We are restructuring the ownership of documents with new staff/teams being formed.

We currently have IT Applications teams (who run IT Quality Management & still running it), IT Security Governance
(new team), IT Infra Ops.

In general practice (or commonly adopted out there), which team or person owns the 4 documents below:
1. IT Application Delivery Framework :  applications PM, IT Security governance, IT Quality Managemt, or ?
2. Vendor & Contract Management Framework : applications team, IT Security governance, IT Procurement or ?
     (a mix of IT applications, infra, security vendors but most of the vendors are applications vendors)
3. Project Management Methodology : applications PM, IT Quality Management, IT Security governance or ?
4. DR Plan : We don't have a DR team;  so hv to choose betw IT Ops, applications team, IT Security governance or ?

Any authoritative references (eg: NIST, big four consulting firms papers) will be helpful.
Hi Experts,

One of my customers is having some trouble with her Skype conferences.

When joining by phone and entering the conference id, the automated system states, ”Sorry, I cant find a meeting with that number.”

Any ideas as to why this may be happening with her conferences and what I may do to do troubleshoot?

My customer runs a SFB on prem with several from end servers and back end servers. Exchange 2016 with several mailbox servers in a DAG. Active directory single forest/single domain with multiple sites.


A consultant is a professional who provides professional or expert advice in a particular area such as security (electronic or physical), management, education, accountancy, law, human resources, marketing and public relations, finance, engineering, science or any of many other specialized fields.