What makes Onega Different?

There are many IT companies out there. Naturally we like to think that we're one of the best.

Here are some reasons why you might agree:

  1. Thinking about solutions in context rather than just the micro problem.
  2. Very Strong Ethical Focus - by nature.
  3. No Sales People.
  4. Focus On Understanding.
  5. The Tail Does Not Wag The Dog.
  6. Long Term View.
  7. No Waiting On Hold.
  8. We don't reinvent the wheel.
  9. Not selling things when you don't need them.
  10. We think outside the box.
  11. Going One Step Beyond  (e.g.  http://www.onega.net/blog/2015/6/23/what-to-do-if-you-loose-your-laptop-computer-onega-style )
  12. At The Cutting Edge.
  13. We Don't 'Flip Burgers'.

We should probably explain some of these a little more..

No Sales staff and Engineering lead focus:

Onega don't have any sales staff per say - we are engineering lead, and the person that you are talking to about a project is most likely to be the person delivering this. The advantage of this is that the communications and feedback loop is very short. We've seen scenarios in the past where companies are sometimes sold a solution that can't be delivered, or sold something that they don't need (overkill for a requirement). Because of this engineered approach, we can work out best what is appropriate for a scenario given the relevant information at hand. You may be familiar with the famous cartoon below:

- This is from the very good website at projectcartoon.com if you'd like to make your own variant of this (what Dave asked for etc.) It makes us laugh but the message is a serious one. Communications, empathy and clarity of requirement are keys to getting to the beef of a requirement.

If there is a downside to our approach it is that we're not slick sales people so we don't drive around in Porsches. However as we aim for long term relationships with clients rather than single shot projects so we enjoy the benefit from referrals from happy clients and also work on the principle that - as per Julian Richer's quote (founder of Richer Sounds) 'what goes up slowly comes down slowly.

Focus On Understanding

We encourage staff to take an active interest in the field of computing. In a simimar way to how a doctor understands a human body, we aim to understand computing and technology. From the fundamentals of electricity to computer science, protocols and radio (which is now in nearly every computing device) we firmly believe that understanding allows for better and quicker honing in on the root cause of a problem and thus to getting to the solution. Sticking to the medical annalagy for a moment, we can thus like a GP can tell you when a solution needs one paracetemol and some rest, or when we need to refer you to a specialist for the next available appointment (in IT matters of course). As a digression on the medical side though, we can recommend Katrine Kakuls if you're looking for a good manual therapist.

We Don't Flip Burgers

IT support companies come in all shapes and sizes. Too big and things get inflexible and impersonal, too small and you have trouble keeping on top of things and can be stretched too thin. Onega like to keep a balance between the two, and have a scalable model which allows for this as we grow. Every day is different and while we may have some planned activities or meetings in a given day, the nature of IT support is that you never know what challenge we'll be faced with next. From the perspective of ourselves as staff working here this is great as it keeps us sharp and our underlying knowledge and understanding of technology as well as desire to help resolve problems mean that we welcome challenges that stretch us. We can't think of anything worse than working for a big company where you might not be allowed the time or lattitude to care for and really help resolve client problems. Equally from a client perspective it means you get to know us and who in the team can help you best for any given issue, so that computer problems become solutions in as short a time as possible.

The Tail Does Not Wag The Dog

We've been around the block and seen a thing or two in our times. We don't like to see cases where companies, schools or charities are sold solutions that they either don't need (eg cluster servers to a primary shcool) or which will not work (as noted above). Thus we made the concious decision as a company not to target staff with hard targets or commissions for selling more expensive item or the product subject to a promo this month. We don't have anything against sales people, but we very prefer to take the approach ofworking with a client to help buy a solution that is right, appropriate and best long term value for their business. Thus you know that if we are recommending something, it will be what we truely believe is the best option given all the information available to us at the time.

No Waiting On Hold

This one is fairly obvious, but when you call Onega, you'll be talking to a real life engineer very quickly. Statistically we answer 98% of our calls within 12 seconds. We understand you r time is valuable, so this is not through to an answering service, not through to a triage (ticket logging) desk, but straight to an engineer who can start to work on fixing your IT issue moments later.

We don't reinvent the wheel

From time to time we are asked if we 'can write a system for x' or 'a database to do y' etc. Our first reaction is step back and discuss with you and look at what you have and what you need, and then look for a solution. Sometimes there is no existing solution for a problem, but in the vast majority of cases, if you are a typical small company (sorry for the over generalisation here), a lawyer, investment professional, estate agent, marketeer, charity etc. then the chances are that your problem already has a very good solution. The solution may even be a free open source project or a reasonably priced piece of software - it constantly amazes us as to what you can get for your proverbial hundred dollars (or pounds here in the UK). Sometime the solution might be more expensive, but if there is an existing solution that does the job, for a reasonable cost, then the balance of value and risk is that you'll be better off with the existing solution rather than starting from scratch to create something new.

Saying this, there are sometimes where what you want to do is new and unique and part of our ecosysstem includes some very good and competent developers and our competencies include bridging the communications gap between business and developers to help get the job done and managed efficiently so that you enjoy a happy outcome.

Not selling things when you don't need them.

Some of the reference that we can give are, counterintuitively for not selling systems and solutions. For example on of our London IT Support clients had a problem on their phone system. The brief narative of the call was that the phone system had been in place for quite some time, it was a system we'd never heard of here at Onega (it was an i-box PBX if we recall correctly); the company that made and sold it were no longer in business and our client was minded that it was probably thus time to invest in a new system now that this fault had occurred. So did we do the logical thing and sell our client a new phone system (quite a significant piece of kit and no small cost)?

No, instead we took about an hour to do some detective work, look up the system, find other names it had been sold under, find the manuals for it online and then help discover / reset admin access details and ultimately then fix the problem on the PBX which was caused by the original programming. So all fixed and client happy and comms returned to normal. Our client was happy that the system did all they needed at the time, so there would have been little value to the upgrade.

This particular example was in approx 2011 and our client is still using and happy with their phone system as we write this in 2016. There are very good reasons to perhaps upgrade to a new in house phone switchboard system or hosted IP PBX and Onega supply these to clients, but in this case it took one hour of time to fix (approx £85 + VAT at the time) which compares to the alternate cost of a new phone system which in this case would likely have been about £2,500 - £3,000 for the size of the office in question here.  At some point it will of course be neccessary to update / replace the legacy PBX but by deferring this it means that the new system will be commensurately newer and more functional when it is needed.

No Rhinos were harmed in the creation of this webpage.