After chuckling quietly and tossing out quotes from this article for my wife as I was reading, I looked up at her and said "This is clearly written by someone who is as burned out as I am..."
This industry has changed. Nearly everyone we've dealt with over the last 15 years has been touting "this will be great", "this is a great product you can sell", "this is a great new service you can offer", or "this change will improve _______ in all of these wonderful ways...", and the industry has gone steadily down-hill.
I met with a competitor yesterday who came in to one of my small clients, who has a single server running all of their business systems, a month ago with a "look how cheap and how complete your service can be if you 'sign up for our program'" story and now they are serving the client. Currently, the client is down. They've been down for the past 11 days (out of the 30 they've been serviced by this company). This is 10 times as much downtime as they've experienced cumulatively over the past 7 years of working with my company. They are down because they had a server power supply die.
Because I am looking at a personal career transition, I had offered up help to this new company for transitioning the client. Last Sunday, 8 days ago, the new tech company owner told me about the server being down. I told him that I have similar servers and parts standing on my shelf that could go in place and they were welcome to them, if they like.
Thursday evening, I get an email from them saying "yeah... uh... do you have a power supply for that server?" In fact, I had two. I got a replacement power supply to him, and the server is still down now - 11 days after a power supply failure - because the guy was afraid to turn it on without getting the RAID array sent out to data recovery before he powered it up... after a 'power supply failure'.
During our conversation, he described his service to me... "We have 'company X' do the 'monitoring', and 'company Y' does cloud backups. We use 'managed service W' for virus protection (I am sure you can fill in all of the blanks here...) and 'service Z' provides help desk and support. ???We move all of our clients over to Google Docs???, he told me. The only thing that the company does 'hands-on' is a biannual visit - calling it CIO services and Business planning. The rest is outsourced services.
He also described to me that their approach is to go in and tell clients to ???take these devices off the network because we won't support them???. These are devices such as older machines, older laptops, NAS devices they don't know, firewalls they aren't familiar with (???all of 'their clients' use Watchguard because they are a Watchguard partner - anything else gets pitched upon their entry into the business), and yes,... their Exchange server,... because they "can't support that".
Since when have business decisions been made based on 'our it people won't let us use Exchange because they can't support it'?
I am also curious to see how this goes with this client when they remove Exchange, but continue using their large, and very customized, industry specific MS Dynamics GP solution that has functions that are integrated into that Exchange server... sort of a 'stay tuned' situation....
The guy had the server, sitting there on his 'bench' and he was clearly confused by it. He told me about how he had looked for the power supply on eBay, and it was universally over $300 (uh, yeah,??? but call Intel and they???ll send you one tomorrow as a recall replacement ??? nah,??? learn that for yourself on someone else???s time). Clearly, this guy has never built a computer, and probably never even sold one. He wouldn't know what to recommend except for 'this is cheaper than that'. As far as CIO services or Business Planning - not only wouldn't he have a clue about his clients' businesses... he wouldn't care.
Proudly, he proclaimed to me ???We have one program and all of our clients are subscribed to that program???. Then, also proudly, he informed me ???It took us two years to develop our program.???
Yeah, the industry has changed alright. And nothing has changed for the better.
Sure, I am a dinosaur.... Competing in today???s IT consulting/services world is a very different thing than it was way back when 'capabilities, experience, ability to solve problems creatively, effectively, and quickly were factors. The days of 'gaining an understanding of your clients' businesses in order to serve their needs better' are gone. They have been replaced with "You'll be getting fries with that... because we don't sell it without fries...???
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