Muddled services

Muddled services

Michael Vizard has an interesting commentary on the choice we IT consultants face between offering our “own” services and offering similar services from well-known, brand-name providers. It’s not all that different from the choice we faced years ago, between selling “white-box” PCs and recommending or reselling Dell, HP, IBM, and so on.

There are still a few IT consultants building and selling their own brand of PCs, but they’re getting rarer and rarer. My guess is that the Software-as-a-Service market will follow a similar direction. I’ve already stopped pretending that I provide any custom-built managed services. All I do is:

  • help my clients figure out what services they need;
  • identify which major manufacturers can provide those services most cost-effectively (on a client-by-client basis);
  • make sure those services get installed and configured properly; and
  • help monitor the performance of those services (to the extent that the manufacturers don’t do the monitoring themselves)

The value I add is not the underlying service itself (backup, anti-malware, system monitoring, etc.) but rather the trained hand-holding that my clients require to get the services in place.

I’m not sure if this approach will be my downfall or my salvation. Could be either, but will probably be neither.

Posted in All, Business on Jun 12th, 2008, 11:58 am by David Schrag   

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