Over selling and underdoing.

Warning: The following is primarily a rant! You might not find it applicable in your situation, or you might simply not care. You have been warned 🙂

Having been a consultant for a while now, i am constantly amazed at how solutions are made up and what is sold simply because it has a buzz-word in its title or description.

For example. A salesperson selling a firewall because it has “Intrusion Prevention” listed down the list in its feature-set. Most companies we deal with dont have the resources nor the need to deploy any form of IPS solution.

I know this is what makes a good sales-person, but its what irks me as a technician. Ofcourse i like to play with shiny new toys. But believe it or not, i do have a consciousness…

Another example: “The client must have a QoS policy!” – Why? are there any technical advantages the customer will gain because of it? would it be better to simply buy a bigger pipe for the money saved?

A real life example of this happened to me a few weeks back. A client only used their MPLS network to carry voice traffic. Nothing else! To that extend the provider took the same approach and simply oversold the solution by adding a hefty “fine” for each MPLS VPN location – Read: a fine thats 90% of the cost of the line itself. I noticed this, and asked what good it would do for me. The response was “We give your voice data priority”. While that might be true internal to their backbone, if they have promised me a 10Mbit MPLS and they seem incapable of providing me this with the latency SLA they have signed, then they are breaching their own SLA anyways. Why should the client pay extra to make sure the ISP provides the service they promised in the first place?

So a client, with say, 50 employees. Do they really need a redundant vmware setup with the newest cpu generations, including fiber channel storage and so on and so forth?

Maybe. But would it be better to ask the client to spend the same amount of money and spend more hours with the client, testing with them, make failover scenarios, do a great documentation that both parties can live with?

Often alot of money are poured into the hardware of the solutions instead of spending money where it really matters, namely putting it all together and working like its supposed to, or even better, like the customer expects it to. I know its harder to sell, but its the right thing to do.

Maybe. What im getting at, is that the solution should match the problem. Roughly. Sometimes it really is best to think a bit ahead and make sure that the clients needs are covered for a while. But dont make it any more complex, expensive or redundant than it has to be!


Just thought i would let off some steam 🙂