Suppliers are beginning to recognise the need for low cost services for Personal Computer users looking to upgrade or even just get what they hoped for out of their systems, and Sphinx Ltd of Maidenhead is the latest to enter the market, with a new Desktop service. Desktop provides an umbrella for existing support and other services offered by Sphinx, and involves an initial evaluation of the user’s problem – which Sphinx claims will be considerably cheaper than bringing in a fully fledged consultancy. We are trying to use people who don’t get charged out at UKP900 a week, commented commercial marketing manager Mike Maunder. The company insists that Desktop is not just a pre-sales pitch and points out that as a software company it is not biased in favour of any specific hardware. Indeed, the problems of offering affordable consultancy to users with a relatively small investment in systems cuts both ways – Maunder says that in the past Sphinx has effectively ended up giving free consultancy to users who wanted to do more and more with Personals. Sphinx expects to find two main types of customer for Desktop – first time users looking to get more out of their systems, and large companies that have hundreds of micros which although used only for simple tasks nevertheless overload in-house support resources. It has already undertaken two assignments: a database development for a financial company with three micros; and a small company looking to upgrade a CP/M system.
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