Designing and implementing IT solutions without a reseller
This IT malarkey is always a bit strange to me, I spent years resisting value added resellers attempting to what I thought was rip me off and sell me days of services, that a) I didn’t think I had any hope of getting financial approval for and b) I would refuse to admit I needed help in the first place! The irony is that after spending years tormenting resellers, I am now actually one! However there is a big difference between us and *them*…
I treat a lot of resellers with mistrust and suspicion, to be honest, I’d say this was quite wise given how many bad experiences I’ve had with companies selling software such as Microsoft Dynamics where I had no choice other than to use resellers instead of self-installing. I have spent many an hour writing to Microsoft to find out they simply don’t care! I’ve spent many hours talking to salesmen too – to eventually find flaws in their whole proposition and re-affirm my believe that it’s easier just to buy the parts from a box shifter and get on with it myself and figure it out as I go along.
Without doubt, this helped me and I have got to the place where I am now. But I also figured that if there were so many bad resellers out there then there was certainly room for a good one, or more modestly, someone slightly better than the rest – which wouldn’t be hard!
As I’ve matured and also experienced life in the dark side of the IT world, I’ve encounter all sorts of salespeople and IT managers. I’ve met salespeople who like to withhold the ‘I’ and have no idea about the ‘T’ and I’ve met IT managers who spend a lot of time with various resellers taking up their own time, everyone else’s time and ideas and proposals who then go ahead and self-deliver. There’s also a whole spectrum of characters in the IT world.
As an IT manager, I can quite happily say I never entertained the idea of getting suppliers in to nick their ideas on solutions and self-deliver, nor as a reseller do we withhold information or ever been accused about not knowing about technology.
The world has of course changed, IT Managers have reduced their headcounts, had to start looking at the supply-chain as things in the economy are picking up and looking again to the supply-chain to deliver. Indeed storage and virtualisation and continuity solutions these days can be so difficult, that it simply is better to outsource the work and the risk to a competent supplier.
I really think IT Managers need to consider the following before trying to go-ahead under their own steam:
Limit your time of how long you’re going to research a solution, if you hit a certain number of hours or believe it’s going to take more than you have – then this should really be put out to a supplier.
Is it currently beyond your own sphere of knowledge? If it is, then it should be outsourced!
Now at this point, I know a few of my IT manager friends are saying. But I want to learn! That’s fine, you need to find a partner who will teach you how to install, walk away and only help you when you need it. Flexibility is the key.
What is the likelihood that you could buy lots of software or equipment from your favourite box shifter, Misco or Insight and struggle to implement to the point where the purchase becomes an embarrassment. If it’s quite high, you need a partner.
Really its common sense stuff but really just consider it, you ultimately can achieve the solution but reducing the risk or at least pushing that on to someone else. I always thought my value as an IT manager was what I could do myself, these days, I think the mark of a true IT manager is how many solutions they can implement and manage at once – ultimately if you’re managing an effective supply you are achieving more and therefore worth more!
The Unleashed difference is quite simple, we don’t do IT support, we just do support for IT. We do as little or as much as an IT manager needs, if they want a solution designed, implemented and completely handed over – that’s’ really the type of work we like, but equally we’re happy to look after systems on an ongoing basis. What we’re here for is one thing – our Brains.
Chris is our lead Digital Transformation and Cyber Security Consultant, he is a trusted advisor to many high growth businesses. Chris holds the CISSP certification in cyber/information security, an Executive MBA from Manchester Business School, MSc in Technology and Innovation Policy and a BSc in Computer Science. He produced some of the UK’s first research into Shared Services of large business and has a keen interest in bringing big business technology into the reach of mid-market companies. He has worked in various technical and business management roles, as a company director and non-executive director. He has a dislike for bureaucracy and inefficient processes (and people!). Much of the technologies he implements are designed to improve processes, responsiveness to customers and management information. The views and comments in this blog however are his own and do not always reflect those of Unleashed, its suppliers, customers or affiliates.