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[Discuss] Justify your existence

On 12/16/2011 10:39 AM, Rich Braun wrote:
> You wrote:
>> Justify your existence
> Over the years, I've learned that the answer to this question is:  you can't.
> If someone asks it in those words or similar, then if they had their druthers
> they'd call Amazon EC2 or some place in Bangalore and say, "I'll have two of
> those, how much do they cost?" just before shutting you and everyone you care
> about down.
> Even if the answer from India is "more than you thought you'd have to pay",
> they'd still rather send the money outside the firm.  Because that way they
> have someone else to blame when things go awry.
> I've tried but never succeeded with principled arguments about how a 3-fold
> reduction in costs, plus a 10-fold improvement in reliability, and/or all the
> other cerebral ways of demonstrating that a cost center succeeds in its
> mission by making the company more successful and more competitive versus
> those who rely on third parties.  In the end, they'll keep you if they trust
> you, and they ditch you if they don't.
> So rather than coming up with a fancy spreadsheet about your department's
> cost-saving and performance-boosting successes, strive to make yourself the
> one they trust to fix whatever ails them:  usually it'll boil down to some
> silly office desktop app on a 4-year-old Mac, or the like, and not some
> million-dollar initiative that kept the company out of insolvency.
Just look at Dell. After years of pushing their great support, they
moved it offshore. While my few times when I called Dell support before
they moved it, I was never impressed. But a lot of people did not like
the foreign accent, and this actually caused Michael Dell to take the
reigns of the company again. But, their reputation took a serious hit.

Jerry Feldman <gaf at>
Boston Linux and Unix
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