By Monty Reagan
“Space? Power? Bandwidth? How much do you need, Mr. Customer, for your data center configuration?"
Sounds easy enough, but to craft the right data center solution for your client, a lot more thought and consideration is required. With the ever-changing technological landscape, decision makers must ensure they are leveraging the latest technology advancements, scaling resources, adding revenue streams and increasing productivity — all while ensuring their data and business operations are protected and secure.
By understanding the client first, channel providers can further ensure they are creating business value across all of these key areas and are in turn maximizing their own revenue streams. This article will explore the discovery phase required to craft an optimal data center solution.
To dig in, the first step is to comprehensively qualify the client. Understand all aspects of the customer’s business, so you can ensure your ultimate solution offers the assurance and security the customer needs to reliably house their business-critical applications and data.
I’m stating the obvious here, but it’s important: learning the basics — whether the client is a public or privately held company, management structure, number of employees and office locations — will lay the groundwork for the rest of your IT needs analysis.
Another key is to drill down into how the firm generates its revenue. This will help you to ensure your solution from the very beginning is maximizing the bottom line and enabling the customer to change and grow as their business evolves.
Investigation — A Deeper Look Into IT
Reviewing all characteristics of your client’s IT department will help you gain a clearer understanding of how the organization functions. This process will also help you identify potential challenges, plan for growth and even be ready for the unexpected.
- Ask what role the IT department plays in revenue generation. This will help determine the full impact of buying decisions and how to streamline cost savings to make IT a "hero."
- Know your customer’s team. Identify key IT personnel, their respective responsibilities and who makes the final decisions. Your conversations should change based on who you're speaking with within the organization.
- Identify where the company’s mission-critical infrastructure resides. Is this managed in-house or outsourced to another group?
- If infrastructure resides in-house, try to uncover what the current data center issues are. What are the pain points?