Oct 19 2014

IT and ‘The Business’ – I thought we were on the same side

by Chris Rogan in Grinds my Gears, Technology

Do you remember the good old days of the Information Technology? Nope, me neither, what it must have been to work in an era when computers were the size of rooms and you had to have a certain type of shirt to work with them and a pocket protector for your pens.

In the early days of computing, any use of computers in business was all about automation, efficiency making and generally making the world a better place. Oh, and as an IT Manager (or equivalent) back in the day you had a Computer Science or Electronic Engineering degree or you wouldn’t be able to switch the things on…

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May 21 2014

Swimming in the Channel: Customers Matter

by Chris Rogan in Channel, Grinds my Gears, Unleashed

I’ve had a few struggles with Dell lately, they’ve shifted my account to the same call centre that calls me up at night asking if I want insurance (okay, not quite, but nearly!). I closed my account and then received a phone call from our former account manager attempting to get me to talk to said Indian call centre, despite written assurances this wouldn’t happen and a confirmation of our account closure. I’ve asked for a written apology for said issues from their UK Commercial Channel Manager and received nothing. It’s a numpty run world here in the technology channel and some companies are stuffed full of them – but is there any hope…?

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May 15 2014

Swimming in the Channel: The Disconnected world of IT

by Chris Rogan in Channel, Grinds my Gears, Solutions

Technology can be (on some days) be the greatest profession to be in, the thrill of solving problems, making processes more efficient, speeding things up and generally making the world an easier and better place is what gives most us (decent) IT people a buzz…

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May 12 2014

Swimming the Technology Channel Continued: Integrity

by Chris Rogan in Channel, Grinds my Gears

 

It’s funny, on many occasions I struggle to come up with blog topics then a series of events – or a debacle, usually (in my case) with a large company will lead to the inspiration. My saga with Dell continues – and unfortunately it doesn’t get any better for them either…

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May 11 2014

IT’s sink or swim when you’re in the Technology Channel

by Chris Rogan in Channel, Grinds my Gears

IT Managers must think life in the “channel” is easy, we rock up, shout a vendors name over-and-over again and get our deal registration to block out our competitors and bobs you’re uncle, you’ve got an order based on the fact you were first past the post and all you did was repeat a manufacturers name several times. At least, that’s what I used to think when I was an IT Manager. Now I’m in the channel I’m a self-conscious guy, after all, I’m still not too sure what channel I’m meant to be swimming in.

When you’re a smaller company in the channel, you’re at a disadvantage in the fact that we don’t have a huge call centre of people constantly calling companies, harassing their IT Managers and repeating manufacturer’s names over and over again. Then they’ll quickly register an opportunity with a manufacturer and block anyone else – just on the off-chance that the IT Manager was actually listening to the manufacturer and product name being repeated over and over again.

That would be all okay – but you see, it happens to us too and we get even more useless people who haven’t got a clue what we want on the phone. In terms of pecking order, those who call out to IT Managers have a little more brains about them than the ones calling IT Resellers. This week we’ve had conversations with distributing companies that want us to use them again, after we’ve placed business elsewhere – all we asked was a named account manager that wasn’t a moron who could turn around quotes quickly and accurately. Believe it or not – that is actually a big ask in technology distribution, we got someone whose sum total of IT&T experience was a few months in sales and prior to that working as a Barista in a Coffee Shop…

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May 02 2014

To hell with Dell?

by Chris Rogan in Channel, Grinds my Gears

Okay, there will be NO blog this week. I’m far too angry. I’m far too angry to tell you that on the back of an excellent result in our last financial year, phenomenal growth and a general good vibe returning to the economy and even though we’ve grown our business with Dell, we’re being sent off to deal with a transactional account manager in India…

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Apr 19 2014

Exchange 2003: The zombie mail server in waiting!


In my last blog I discussed the information security concerns about Microsoft’s end-of-life notice for Windows XP. Let’s not forget however, a key part of many people’s infrastructure is the Exchange 2003 mail server. Unleashed have been working on a number of upgrades for many companies that has really brought this to the top of my mind…

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Mar 25 2014

If you value your information security, then it’s time to buy new PC’s


At

As I sit in the bar on a fine evening après-ski writing this article, I’m pretty much trying to convey the same attitude to a little unknown problem outside the world of IT as other business owners and managers are. I mean, I can literally close my eyes and absolutely not care what Microsoft’s plans are for Windows XP. Nope, not bothering me in the slightest. Okay, maybe a little. Okay, quite a bit…

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Mar 24 2014

What makes an IT Manager

by Chris Rogan in Solutions, Unleashed

I frequently tell people the answer to this question is a little bit geek, a little bit facilities manager, a little bit office manager, a little bit quality manager, a fair bit project manager and a lot perfectionist (when budgets permit). The best IT Managers are also highly adept business consultants, who know more about their companies than most Managing Directors and Finance Directors. Big up those guys, they’re special.

Certainly that’s how my experiences came about, the thing is being an organisations alpha-geek means that you’re the go to guy or gal for anything vaguely technical, and regardless of whether you are the official IT Manager (if you even have one). If you don’t have an IT Manager within your organisation then the alpha-geeks are the prime candidate for elevation to the lofty status of IT Manager…

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Mar 10 2014

An IT Manager’s Guide to BT Bashing


This week I finally did it. After years of looking at the green cabinet outside my home, I finally got Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) installed. I also finally, have gone with Zen Internet, after many years of recommending them to just about everybody – I finally switched from Eclipse who in my humble opinion have took a downward slide since being bought out by Kingston.

Now, us IT guys love a bit of BT bashing and nothing ever goes straight forward when they’re involved, however contrary to my blog title, I’m probably going to put up a bit of a defence – as in all the years I’ve worked in IT, I’ve never come across a bad BT Openreach engineer…

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