Why specialization is important

Why specialization is important

You know how they say that when you’re getting surgery, you should go with a surgeon who does that particular kind of surgery all the time? It’s good advice. It’s not that other surgeons can’t do a good job. It’s just that they’re more likely to be inefficient and make mistakes. Why? Because surgery is complicated and has a lot of little details, and if you don’t do it often enough, you tend to forget some of those little details. Sure, you can look them up and remind yourself how to do the surgery right. But what if you forget that the details even exist, so you forget to look them up?

In this respect, surgery is a lot like buying Microsoft licenses. As I’ve noted before, Microsoft licensing is not the easiest thing in the world to master. Several months ago, my clients happened to be buying a lot of Microsoft software, so I was right on top of the ins and outs. But this past winter and spring, I didn’t do much license purchasing and my skills got rusty. When it came time today to do a big order for Office, I was unprepared.

As I was researching the options for my client, I came across this thing called a Step-Up license. This is used to convert Office Standard or Office Small Business Edition to Office Professional Plus or Office Enterprise. I knew I had heard of this before, but I wasn’t familiar with exactly how the program worked. For example, could you buy Step-Ups at any time? Could you buy them for just some of the licenses in your agreement? Why were they listed in the Microsoft catalog as Software Assurance SKUs only, when in fact they are providing licenses for additional products?

I did what anyone would do in this situation. I Googled. I searched for office 2007 step-up license. That’s when I knew I was in trouble, because the #3 result was MY OWN DAMN BLOG. (Susan Bradley, how many times has this happened to you?) I had completely forgotten that I had gone through this exercise in August 2007 — for the same client, no less!

My point in this note is not to rant once again about Microsoft licensing — although I may do a follow-up piece once I get this order sorted out. My point is that it’s damn hard to do a lot of different things very well. Which is why the days of the true IT generalist may be numbered.

Posted in All, Business, MS Licensing, Office 2007, Software, Technology on May 16th, 2008, 1:17 pm by David Schrag   

One Response

  1. May 28th, 2008 | 1:08 pm

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