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[Discuss] core competency

So I've only read the most recent posts, but I think there are two different
ways of looking at this:
1. Outsourcing to save money (this seems to be the most common)
2. Outsourcing for expertise.

   We actually do the latter, and often interact with the former. The painful
part of the process is dealing with incompetence due to outsourcing. This is a
widespread issue in IT, and I think is actually hurting big business. We often
come across customers that have outsourced their IT and those outsourced people
don't even understand the simplest of technologies. Depending upon the company
it can take years for them to realize their mistake. You get what you pay for.
   We sell a different level of support, based mostly around our products and
market space (Advertising & Print). I can't remember the last time I encountered
a tech with a higher level of experience than what is available here. For our
customers they tend to defer to us for the complicated answers. Customers will
pay for it, but we do find ourselves arguing the point often enough, just not
with the folks that count (typically bean-counters).
   So you do get what you pay for. Much of outsourced IT is built around Windows
Desktop Support with a bit of Windows server support. Paying more and getting
more, you may get a reasonably skilled MIS/Enterprise IT support that will be
well versed in Microsoft products, networking, and perhaps some SAN/NAS
products. However my experience is that *NIX skills (includes Solaris, HPUX, AIX
and Linux) is something you actually need to pay a premium for. Often there are
in-house admins, and higher-level systems engineers get contracted for projects.
So day-to-day administration is always available, but complicated projects or
issues that directly affect the bottom-line get either T&M resources or contract
experts applied.

Last point: GOOD Linux system engineers are very difficult to come by. Competant
Linux admins are out there, but it's not always easy to tell them from mediocre
Linux admins. Tinkerers calling themselves admins, and admins calling themselves
engineers are far too common.

Grant M.
Grant Mongardi
Senior Systems Engineer

gmongardi at
781.894.3114 phone
781.894.3997 fax

NAPC | technology matters

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