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Two Jobs, two dilemmas

By SubDruid ·
By day, I work for a county government. By night, I am developing a U.S. distributor and reseller network for a European software company.

The IT work I do for the county is well outside my classification. Despite the county having switched to an outside contractor for IT services; I often find myself being the GO TO person in my office. In fact, on occasion, the contract staff has called me for help. Our server is woefully inadequate & ready to die soon. Neither the county nor the contractor intend to replace it even though their staff & myself have warned both parties. How do I get them to listen & do something?

As for my second job, I am attempting to introduce a european software company's products to the U.S. by acquiring distributors & resellers to carry them. I have no staff & no budget. it is all done at home in my spare time. So far, my e-mail, mail, and phone calls have yielded few results. How can I get these companies to check out our products?

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Yikes

by radiic In reply to Two Jobs, two dilemmas

As far as your second question I can't help ya too much there. I would say that it would take some creative approaches to get people to look at your product. Maybe try posting it on ZDnet in the downloads area.

As far as the county government job...I used to work for our local county government before i took my current position about 9 months ago. I was at the county job for 2 years and learned some valuable lessons, like CYA... Its always Cover Your *** with those people. So my advice is to have some sort of document (email ) stating that you told someone that the server was inadequate and ready to die. It sounds like IT is not in your job description, but that you are perceived by your peers and bosses that you are the IT go to person. Be careful, because even if the consulting company screws up people will perceive that you had something to do with it too. Also be careful in what you let the contractor make you do. They are getting payed for their services and need to respond properly, even if it means that they only needed to re-boot the server. The reason i say this is because I have seen and heard tons of stories about the Blame Game. Finger Pointing. or Its Not my Fault. Trust me. When that server dies and thecontractors head is on the chopping block, hes going to say anything to keep the ax from coming down, including saying something like "I told jimlan to re-boot the server, he must have did it wrong and thats why it crashed."

If I were you I would shun any responsibility for IT functions that you can. If they are not in your job description. Like I said that contractor is getting paid to do that, and let them do it. It sounds like you would like to break into the IT field, but there are better ways to do it.

Just my opinion
Rad

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CYA policies

by SubDruid In reply to Yikes

Yes, CYA policies are pretty common in government as well as backstabbing, game playing, etc. I am already "on record" with my warnings. And it is clearly understood that I am not responsible or accountable for any disaster which may occur.

On a positive note, I did manage to get the upper levels of management to take my warnings seriously. They are looking into what needs to be done & how they can resolve the problems which exist in middle management at the county & the contractor. Also, how they can fix the flawed contract.

Realistically, I don't expect anything
to change. But they are listening. And if they
do manage to fix the problems, I'll know I had a hand in that change. Of course, I probably haven't made too many friends in middle management. At this point, I really don't care if I have pissed off a few people. I care about my fellow employees & the taxpayers.

Thanks for your input!

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by eBob In reply to CYA policies

If you have the opportunity, you can even make a formal proposal to deal with the problem server. As you know, it's one thing to point out the problems, and it is often another thing to be part of the solution.

But then again, it sounds as if the"responsibility for IT" is outside of your area...?

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I Was There Too!

by dave4e2open In reply to Two Jobs, two dilemmas

I worked for my local county DP dept. Although I passed my C.S. tests and worked only 32.5 hours a week with 20 vacation days a year, I was unsatisfied. There was no career growth and there is not a more political company than the government. Simplylook at someone the wrong way or advertise your political affiliation (the wrong one) and your on your way out.
I was also involved in a part-time venture to earn some big $ but I learned in order for it to work, I would need to promote it. Either I would have to do it in person or hire someone else to do it.
I took some days off to see if I could do it but I was trying to sell a service to another State government and I got cold feet and bailed. So I stayed with the DP job.
What kind of Euro software are you trying to hawk? I may know someone you can hook up with?

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Politics in government work

by SubDruid In reply to I Was There Too!

I agree with you about the political elements of working for a government entity. Very Machiavellian. The county is infamous for utilizing employee talents & abilities which are outside their job description. I had been looking at a potential career path in a more IT specific role. But the county changed it's plans regarding implementation of expanding the IT department.

Basically, both problems are about "how to make oneself be heard." Besides working for the county; I have worked on the side as an independant computer consultant purchasing, assembly, installing, & troubleshooting PC systems for clients. My experience with computers goes back to the late 70's.

As for the company, it specializes in network security & anti-virussoftware. It can, also, supply 24/7 Tech support & IT consultancy services. Check out: www.ikarus-software.com
Clients include Alcatel, Skandia, Kpn/Qwest, etc. Novell licenses security software which they sell under their own name.

Thanks for your input!

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selling software

by Jay Eckles In reply to Two Jobs, two dilemmas

Email, mail, and phone calls are great for high-volume sales coverage, but the yield on that kind of contact is going to be miniscule. Nothing can replace an in-person demonstration; if you can show a distributor/reseller how a piece of software will help their customers, you can get them to carry it. You have to sell it to them, because they have to sell it to others. It would really help if a) you could work on the project full time or more and b) you were willing to invest in the project. If you put in some hours you could hit the streets with a laptop and demo the software. If you could invest, you could create some in-store demos for customers...think about those cable modem kiosks you see here and there.
Product, Promotion, Pricing, and Distribution. All four are key to marketing.

Good luck.

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