[There's a reason that Yoda is the unofficial mascot of SBS.  Size indeed matters not.] Ready to Learn - THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF THE SBS DIVA
Sun, Nov 27 2005 21:29 bradley

Ready to Learn

Okay if you are reading this you aren't the person I'm going to be ranting about.

You are here because you've gotten plugged in.  You've stepped up to the plate.  You are a person I would not mind sending a Small Business client to. 

And I apologize in advance to those of you this rant is intended for ...the ones that won't even been reading this.....but I think your technology customer deserves better.  You aren't listening enough.  You aren't taking the time to learn.  You aren't open for new ideas.

Have you noticed lately that many of you have been competing with a person that I'm not sure I would call an “IT Pro”?  A person that this is a side job, that it's not a career or a profession?  A person who idea it is that computers and servers are 'throwaway items'?  That in all the spin of “technology is easy” we've not realized that the only way for technology to get easier for the end user is to make it harder under the hood.  Yet there are folks I've seen posting in the newsgroup that I have to remember Grey's words to be more patient and kind to.  They come in with a “I know it all attitude” or they come in with a “I don't need to crack a book” attitude.

I don't mind the person entering the Small Business Marketplace that grabs a book, sets up a test network, reads a KB article...heck.. can attempt to Google up an answer.  I do mind the consultant who's not listening to their customer, who's not taking the time to practice a solution, or learn something new.  The one who sets up a box incorrectly and then complains that 'hasn't anyone ensured this works?“ when it's a misconfiguration that they've done to screw up the system.

I do mind the person who blindly says “Oh my customer doesn't need Exchange, will never use it“   Why do you say that?  Shared calendars?  They don't need that?

I do mind the person who blindly says “Oh my customer doesn't need Remote Web Workplace“.  Why do you say that?  Have you truly evaluated their needs?  Remote connectivity?  Heck we're leaving more and more of our workstations on 24/7 to remote back in.

I do mind the person who blindly says “Oh my customer doesnt' need...... fill in the blank....“ Why do you say that?  Aren't you making decisions based on what you think their needs are?  Are you thinking ahead enough?

I do mind the person doesn't set up a SBS box with the wizards and thinks they are smart enough to know better to set them up without the wizards.  Sure, understand what they are doing, but you'd have a hard time convincing me that installing all the parts of SBS, manually configuring everything, that you can set it up as dependably as the wizards.

As a customer, I would rather you not learn 100% on the job on your client.  Do your homework for some of these things, you know?  These days as cheap as Virtual Server is {$99), there's no reason that things like your first install of a SBS box should be in your client's office.  There's no reason that your first Swing migration should be a clients.... practice on your own network with a copy of Microsoft's new Virtual Server.

In fact, I'd strongly recommend that you grab a copy of Virtual Server.  You can practice all you want on a variety of things in a virtual setting and keep copies so that you don't screw up a real server.    How about virtual hands on labs?

The point is ... go into your client with confidence.  Yeah you don't need to know everything.... but have the attitude that you are open for learning, open for new ideas ....

...but then again... the people reading this post already are open for learning and new ideas aren't they? 

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# re: Ready to Learn

Monday, November 28, 2005 5:51 AM by bradley

Any tech who says that does not know how to setup or use the advanced features of SBS. Anyone can load a default load of SBS. To actually get all the bells and whistles working takes a tech who actually knows something. I can not tell you how many times we have came behind someone and found a totally hacked SBS install because the tech who installed it only knows Windows 2000/2003. Corporate IT guys doing work on the side are the worst. They think they know everything because they support a 200 user network when in fact they only manage adding users etc. Now that SBS is cheaper than 2003 I am sure it is happening more these days. Techs right out of school also do installs like this as they were only taught Windows 2003. Most of them are MCP in windows 2003 making things even worse.

# re: Ready to Learn

Monday, November 28, 2005 8:19 AM by bradley

I am a "Technology Consultant" that deals day in and day out with SBS 2003. While I agree with the whole of your post, we find that certain clients do not need components offered by SBS, more often then not Exchange E-mail. Now first off, we of course mail enable users as we create them, because frankly there is no time advantage to avoiding that process, but the clients in certain niches refuse to implement e-mail. Orthdontics offices for example. They have employees that are technicians. There is no advantage in their unique business strategy to mail enable their users. They communicate interoffice things through a sharepoint calendaring system and it works very well for them. I guess my point is I can honestly state "my client does not need Exchange" with a straight face, and I know I have done everything I could to sell them on the idea on needing it, and in the end, I truly believe that Exchange does not fit into their needs. You might consider this the exception to the rule, but in my experience with small businesses, they are all exceptions to one rule or the other. Just my two cents! :)

# re: Ready to Learn

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 12:31 PM by bradley

I agree 100%. I do think there a too many 'consultants' recommending SBS to clients and not implementing the features because due to ignorance. Worse yet is seeing that same consultant NOT offer SBS to a client that is perfectly suited for it.

I just saw an example of this recently when a local consultant contacted us to assist in a Netware migration to Windows 2003 Standard. I really wanted to push for SBS after listening to HIS client talk about thier needs.

I mentioned the option of SBS to this guy after we met with the client and he was completely against the idea. I guess he didn't hear the same wishes from the client that I had heard. This was a 15 person insurance company.

# re: Ready to Learn

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 12:32 PM by bradley

I agree 100%. I do think there a too many 'consultants' recommending SBS to clients and not implementing the features because due to ignorance. Worse yet is seeing that same consultant NOT offer SBS to a client that is perfectly suited for it.

I just saw an example of this recently when a local consultant contacted us to assist in a Netware migration to Windows 2003 Standard. I really wanted to push for SBS after listening to HIS client talk about thier needs.

I mentioned the option of SBS to this guy after we met with the client and he was completely against the idea. I guess he didn't hear the same wishes from the client that I had heard. This was a 15 person insurance company.