What if your doctor told you that you had two weeks left to live?
I just received an email from a client of mine. They forwarded me an email from one of the other consulting companies they are doing business with and they wanted my take on things.
After giving their ridiculous recommendations on a technical issue my client is experiencing (which I will explain in further detail in a second), they casually mention that they also maintain a department of IT consultants that would love the opportunity to look further into the issue and recommend a possible solution.
Apart from my annoyance at the blatant attempt to gain my client’s IT business, I was wondering if my client was looking at this email the same way I was: Why in the world would you hire someone that is suggesting such ridiculous solutions to further generate billable items against your company?
First, let’s look at the issue: My client is operating an accounting package against several offices. The offices are connected via MPLS and they also have independent gateways to the internet. The smallest line is a dedicated 3 meg, while the biggest line is 10 megs. There are already services operating over the internal network (MPLS) such as file replication, Active Directory replication, printing and fax services, etc.
So a particular user sitting at one of the offices suggested trouble in response times when opening said accounting package. The server resides at another office, but they have already had a lot more demanding applications running over the network. Should be no problem and my particular troubleshooting would have been with the end user and not with the network infrastructure.
Here is what the other consultants suggested: 1) Upgrade the connections between the server and the one user to 1 GIG. 2) Serve the application over their personal cloud but… (you guessed it) ensure that the connections to that server are up to 1 GIG. 3) Turn the accounting server to a terminal server and have everyone in the company work locally on the server.
How companies that offer such irresponsible and potentially dangerous suggestions exist and do business is beyond me. The client, admittedly not-so-technical, is listening and wondering if they know something that the client (or even me) do not. But I applaud their hesitation before spending several fiscal years’ worth of budgets to at the very least listen to my rantings about how insanely bad those ideas are.
Without offering too much detail and breaching my client’s confidentiality, I assure you that they have plenty of bandwidth, their network is top notch, and the servers are all less than three years old. As I mentioned earlier, they have been working with other much more demanding applications with no issues. But even the most basic IT consultant that’s worth their salt knows that if the bandwidth situation was so incredibly dire that a small app cannot run across their network placing them on a thin client solutions and subjecting them to slow screen refresh rates would be equally as bad.
So what would you do? Would you feel bad about reaching out to another IT consultant if yours was making you feel like your company had two weeks to live?