General discussion


Advice needed: part-time after hours work

By smatteson ·
Hello all,

I am fortunate to have a part-time consulting gig for evening/weekend work, operating remotely over a VPN to provide support for an organization. This work is outside my full-time job and lined up through a colleague.

The shop employing me for this consulting work has about 30 Windows servers, 300 users, Exchange 2007, Office 2003/2007, several networked IP printers, a handful of Macs, Sonicwall firewalls and HP managed switches.

I've had the job for a while and have assisted with a few projects and ongoing tasks such as patching Windows servers and setting up device monitoring. The nice thing about it is that the work is sort of "as needed" so it's low-pressure (e.g. no staying up past midnight doing critical server upgrades and having to go to my full-time job in the early AM; that would be extending my own personal resources a bit much)

Right now the active tasks are drying up a bit and the IT staff at this organization don't have a lot of suggestions on what else they need help with. I'd like to keep the work going as it has been helpful and lucrative, but don't want to just make up irrelevant tasks like try to milk the situation. Rather, I'd like to start recommending some useful ideas to bring to the table to justify them keeping me around part-time. One idea for instance is to eliminate the need to install multiple shared networked IP printers on local Windows workstations by setting up a print server on a Windows server and configuring client connections to this via scripting. Another, possibly, is to update all drivers/firmware on servers and maybe comb event logs for errors or better set up notifications for when certain errors are logged. The goal is to implement some immediately useful, visible stuff to prove the value of the work being done. I'm a bit reluctant to propose anything of questionable benefit or something that involves a lot of work for a small payoff.

Does anyone have any ideas on useful projects/tasks that I can suggest? Thanks in advance-

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

No suggestions from me, but a comment

by TobiF In reply to Advice needed: part-time ...

I think you have interesting ideas of what could be useful, however, there's one thing that will change the moment you start proposing things: You become a salesman.

Nothing bad in that at all, but, while they knew what they wanted to do, they simply bought these services from you.

Now you will need to tell them not only <i>what</i> you could do, but also <i>why</i>! How much can they save? Will something run smoother after these changes? Will they save x thousands of dollars on licenses and/or electricity bills? etc.

BTW, are they already integrated for mobile access to email etc(BlackBerry, iPhone etc.)? (And would they benefit from it?)

Related Discussions

Related Forums