- If you are working with a company that already outsources its infrastructure, then find out who the current vendor is and contract end dates. Don’t be shy about asking about any issues the prospect has encountered or about unexpected downtime. Knowing about these experiences will help you add value to the final solution. Also, determine if the client requires any managed services or just colocation (power and space).
- What are the components making up the infrastructure? Ask how many servers, what types of operating systems and databases are supported. Review the firm’s current network configuration and hardware refresh cycle. What types of circuits do they have (Internet, point-to-point connections, voice and data configurations)?
Painting the Big Picture
Once you have identified these areas, take a look at which of the infrastructure components are considered to be mission-critical and what happens if any one area is not operational. Downtime affects businesses in different ways, and the impact can be devastating on many levels — operations, sales, support and customer retention. Fully knowing how downtime affects the business is key to designing a solution that quickly and reliably protects the customer when needed.
Don’t forget to also assess future needs and requirements. The rapid ebb and flow of business these days requires companies to have the flexibility to easily change configurations, along with quickly planning for growth and expansion. For example, if your client has a large IT project planned later in the year, this can mean they will need additional floor and cabinet space. It may also mean that expanding into cloud computing resources could be a solution to their growth needs. Mapping this out early in the design process can save valuable time and money in the long run.
We all know that every client is unique and different. By taking the time to understand an organization fully — at the beginning of the sales process rather than leading with your set of services — you can ensure you are creating value from the onset.
Zeroing In on More Data Center Revenue
Channel providers, in their quest to increase revenue for their bottom line and value-add for their clients, are faced with the challenge of how best to approach their clients’ business issues and technical needs. By initiating a detailed investigation with thoughtful questions at the onset about the client’s business and organizational structure, agents and resellers can more aptly design a solution that solves issues and ultimately creates more value. Moving forward with the best approach and most optimal product mix from the start is key and will ultimately save time and resources in the long run.