"From £99" upgrades

An anonymous member has just posted an Any Answers query entitled IRIS "From £99" upgrades.

Do you know what they're referring to? I've got my hands full at the moment with a few other things and will take it up with IRIS when I get the chance. But I thought someone here might have received a similar offer and might be able to illuminate the situation for the question poster and other members in this group.
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John Stokdyk, Technology editor

Comments
Paul Scholes's picture

Instal service

Paul Scholes | | Permalink

Hi, Iris offer an instal service for upgrades @ £99 (notified on latest 10.1.1 upgrade earlier today.  It only takes me 10 mins so I might offer the same for £90?

P

"Update IRIS for £99..."

ianlawrance1 | | Permalink

It looks like the offer in their latest release e-mail. They just issued an update from IRIS 10.1.0 to 10.1.1.

I guess most firms would just install this by themselves, but IRIS do offer to provide assistance with the installation for £99. I guess this might involve them providing online support via logmein or similar.

We won't be using it....

John Stokdyk's picture

Thanks for all the feedback

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

I posted the query over here because I really had no idea what the person was asking about. They also wanted to know how it would workin practice. For example, what might happen if the upgrade doesn't load (I'm assuming that's if you don't pay IRIS to do it for you) and you have to call support - will you then be charged and how much?

If anyone has a definitive answer (including members of this group from IRIS), it would be great if you could pop over and put the original poster out of their misery. If no one else does, I'll post an answer once I've gathered enough information to know what I'm talking about.

Meanwhile, it seems a clever wheeze to me and a great new revenue stream for a software company to get customers to pay for software upgrades. The Cloud community will make a meal out of this when they hear about it. I'm happy for the conversation to stay within this group for the moment, but I would like to hear IRIS's rationale for this approach.
__________________________
John Stokdyk, Technology editor

Paul Scholes's picture

Ask them

Paul Scholes | | Permalink

Hi John - to be honest that was what I was going to say to his/her posting.

Given the mish-mash of platforms & configurations out there, especially with SQL (see the SQL Backup thread), I would imagine that they have spent hours or days trying to get installations to work only to find that the problem is down to a weird setup at the user end. 

I can't believe they would charge £99 before finding out a little about the user and their setup and checking the opvious support type issues.

Roll on their hosting service (at a price I can afford).

update service

cjtrevor | | Permalink

I may be wrong as I haven't enquired, but from what I have read I think this is just an optional service to help installing the updates.

I presume that they remotely log in to your server and apply the update for you, at a cost of £99 (or is it "from £99" depending on your configuration I'm not sure).

Most firms will do this themselves of course.

In the event of an update failing to install, I very much hope and expect that this would be included in the normal support to assist with establishing at least whether it is an issue with the Iris update or with the server not being to the required spec etc.

If we hadn't just had to spend many many £'000s to get a new server to run SQL, for which we invested in SBS 2008, and replace all our Office 2000 licences with Office 2007, then I would have been very much interested in the Hosted service also.  A great shame this didn't come first before the SQL upgrade requirement!

Out of interest does anyone know how the hosted service pricing work out?

Response from IRIS

switkiss | | Permalink

Hi, I’m Simon, I head up the product management team at IRIS. The posters above pretty much have it right – it is a service from our Implementations team who can manage the installation of updates.

The exact text used in our bulletin was:
If you require assistance with installing the IRIS update we offer an installation service starting at £99, please contact support@iris.co.uk

We offer this because our customer base possess a huge spectrum of IT skills.  The service means that the update is installed by our Implementations team who are experts in the different platforms our customers use, the versions of Microsoft SQL Server they might run and the IRIS program files and data.  If for whatever reason, the update doesn’t work, part of the service is getting you up and running as quickly as possible with the previous version. 

The implementation service certainly isn’t for everyone, but for the peace of mind it offers and the ability to free up otherwise non-chargeable time, some firms find it invaluable. We also have some customers who use it for the major updates and apply the service packs themselves.  It very much depends on the level of IT expertise available in-house.

Importantly, not having the upgrade service does not in any way impact your ability to use our support lines.  As well as our Implementations team, we also have a Technical Support team dedicated to helping customers install, upgrade and use our software in their IT environment.

John S – Perhaps you could direct the Any Answers poster to this forum.

If anyone else has any questions, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

Kind regards
Simon Witkiss

01753 212233
simon.witkiss@iris.co.uk

IRIS

tonyarm | | Permalink

We've just upgraded from Btrieve to SQL and decided to go the whole hog and get a new server and go from 2000 to SBS2008.  Phew!! I wish we had used IRIS's service. It took 2 weeks to sort out all the problems this process caused and we only did it in the end with the (free) help of the IRIS support  people.  The £99 service is there if you want it.  It doesn't stop you doing your own thing.

Iris Hosting

tomsk100 | | Permalink

The hosting service is £99.00 per user per month. Plus your annual Iris License fees.

This includes Iris, Exchange Word, Excel & Outlook.

So at that price we wont be using their hosting, as its way too expensive.

They also state that there will be no need for expensive IT equipment and staff if you go down the hosting route, but just lifting Iris off our network onto a Windows 2008 Terminal Server on the net is not suddenly going mean that we no longer require servers and a network infrastructure.

The costings don't add up for us, but that's not to say it's not for everyone.
I think the smaller the practice then the more cost effective it will be.
(5 to 10 users it might be ideal, that's if your broadband is working)

Paul Scholes's picture

IRIS Hosting

Paul Scholes | | Permalink

Just to echo Tom, we are in the sub-5 user category and I'll certainly consider this as the server comes to the end of its life.  Still think it is too much for most firms at the moment but given the use benefits (especially remote working) and NEVER having to worry about a SQL backup again It's the way to go.

IRIS speed

tonyarm | | Permalink

IRIS hosting sounds interesting for a small practice like ours.  However, I wonder about the speed of the programme.  We've just converted to SQL running from a new top spec server and SBS2008 and it is so slow.  Much slower than before.  What will it be like if the server is somewhere else.

Anyone out there with speed problems?? Or have had but resolved speed problems??

John Stokdyk's picture

Methinks a new thread hath suggested itself

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

Thanks everybody for helping out while I was otherwise occupied. Special thanks to Simon Witkiss for responding to the request from IRIS HQ - I've cross-posted your explanation as requested so the original poster and anyone else interested will know where they stand.

Thanks too for the lesson in basic journalism from Paul Scholes!

Meanwhile, the tail end of this discussion has opened up a new avenue. For those who want to find about more, I've just opened up an IRIS Hosting thread.
__________________________
John Stokdyk, Technology editor

Speed issues

ianlawrance1 | | Permalink

Always a difficult one, this, as it's perceptional, however, a couple of areas to investigate.

We're on SBS 2003, and I might expect some contention for Server resources as SQL shares with other resource-grabbers like Exchange Server. However, with SBS 2008 I understood that SQL sat on a separate physical server, so....

...the first thing I would do would be to get some performance measurements done. Having recently done this, we found Network, CPU & Memory usage were basically OK, but that Disk queuing was excessive. Running these checks & analysing the results are really for the techies, so this is where you need some good specialist IT support, who understand your setup.

The advice we received (and are yet to act on...) is that we needed more physical disk drives to spread the I/O load, given that each physical drive can only read/write at a fixed rate based on how fast it spins & how fast the read/write heads can handle the data.

I would also assure myself that all the LAN kit (PC/server Network Cards, LAN Swithes, etc) are all up to scratch as IRIS puts a lot of load on the LAN.

A longer (much longer...) shot...in the early days of our server (last year) we were getting very high IRIS error rates and this was eventually tracked down (with a lot of help from IRIS) to an issue between the Server Firmware, the drivers on the Server & PC Network cards & a specific feature of MSSQL. I guess something like this might cause slow response but I would be looking a Disk Queues, etc, as above first.

 

 

Performance

tomsk100 | | Permalink

SBS 2008 Standard edition will have everything running on the one server as in SBS 2003. 
As you mention Exchange, SharePoint and Iris will all be running SQL databases on the same machine.
Each SQL database will try and grab as much memory as it can and as Exchnage 2007 is notorious for wanting as much resources as possible the Iris perfomance will undoutedly be affected.

I recently put in SBS 2008 Permium edition with a second server used soley for SQL and Iris and all has worked fine since day one.
Box one is running Exchange, File and Print sharing and Remote web workspace and Box two SQL 2005 with Iris.

For the sake of £400 for the Premium edition (this includes SQL 2005 & 2008 licenses) and the cost of a second server (say £1000 - £1500) I would recommend people take this route.  

 

SBS 2008 Premium

cjtrevor | | Permalink

With SBS 2008 Premium you do get the licence to run a second server and put SQL on that second server, with everything else remaining on the first server.

This is an option, not a requirement.

We have SBS 2008 Premium with everything including SQL 2008 on just one server, although we followed advice and put 12Gb of RAM into it to give it a chance of performing well!    Performance seems fine, and we've always got the option of buying a second server in the future if there appears to be a need for it.

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