Category: Consulting

Josh’s Rules on Selling Solutions

So here I am at 2:15 AM.  Storming outside and me all hopped up on caffeine.  I just took a break from righting my last post:

Welcome to the HP Dream world where reality does not apply.

During that little breather I though you know what people must think I am a Cisco Zealot.  Well that could not be further from the truth.  I am a self confessed Technology Zealot.  It it is new, shiny, blinks, chirps or at some point in its lifecycle lived in a Data Center I want it.  But alas at least at this point in my life I have to make money.  I do that by working for a Cisco VAR.  We sell 90% plus Cisco.  Unlike past jobs I do not rep Juniper, HP, F5, Foundry…oops I mean Brocade, Arista, 3com, Shoretel, Avaya or anyone else that directly competes with Cisco Networking, Compute or Unified Communications.

That being said I do not think Cisco has the best product in every segment.  But I wont flesh that out on my blog.  If you want that info there is a price.  You are either a customer with a requirement I can’t meet at which point I will be honest with you or you are a professional friend who I feel comfortable discussion the finer and rougher points of our industry with.  What I will say though is I have some Rules for what I will sell and I wont sell.  I am going to lay those out to you and in a few cases why I feel how I feel.  I hope this will provide insight to others who design, sell and deploy solutions in our industry for clients.  At the end of the day our integrity is all we really have, Vendors crash, employers go under and clients come and go.

1.  If I wont run it in my basement I wont install it at a client!

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Free Prize Inside

So I will start off by admitting that the title of this post comes from Seth Godin and his book Free Prize Inside.  Let me start of by saying if you are an idea person read this book.  But that is not what I want to focus on today.  Part of this blog that I seldom touch on is that I am a consultant.  I honestly think it is what I was born to be.  I love sharing information, expertise and honestly my thoughts with other people.  I don’t like to do so in a pushy or demeaning way  (although I’m sure some think I do) but more from the perspective of there is more than any one of us can ever know so lets share and work together.

So when I am on client site I often find that I am referring clients to tools that they have no idea about.  Things like my old favourite Ziptie (not a huge fan since Alterpoint was sold and the staff all laid off) or Angry IP Scanner.  These are free tools that if leveraged correctly can do huge things for your management, troubleshooting and planning of your network.  So when my General Manager sent out a request for what we should do at eTech this years I threw out some real challenges for what I would like to see us pull together in 11 days.  Two of those things are major free prizes and its those that I would like to discuss briefly. Read more

Seven more reasons ROCKS!

Stretch over at Packetlife goes above and beyond when it comes to practical network blogging.  Even more he publishes insanely good cheet sheets that I print, laminate and carry with me every day.  Often a customer will have a question and I pull out the handy cheet sheet and just leave it with them.  So today Strech posted Seven Free ways to improve your networks security so click through to it and do these things TODAY!  So often it is the little things that bite us in the ass when it comes to security and while letting just one little thing slip through is bad enough, so often we are lettting lots of little things through.  So start here and lets lockdown the tubes baby!

I put my bird in Fort Knox…go on try to steal it.

If you follow staticnat then you will know that I recently started a new job.  They issued me a new Dell Latitude D630 including the upgraded video card.  This was  bit a of a change since I have been using a Macbook exclusively for the past two years.  What I learned to love about the the Macbook was the strength of the underling OS and its elegant GUI for day to day use.  Knowing my OS opt out of the Win32 world and take the dive into Linux as my primary work environment.  This was easy enough considering my laptop came installed with WinXP and the Ubuntu 7.10 installer CD does a great job creating a dual boot system with minimal hassle to the end user. Read more

The Great Hope

This is outside of my normal topics but still kinda relevent. Last june we went on vacation with my inlaws. My father is law is a cool guy who worked in the accounting department of Ohio University after his stint in the Army and a brief trip to the FBI as a runner for Agents and a run in with J Edgar Hoover. He retired shortly after my wife and her sisters graduated from OU. Since then he has worked for Valic and is getting ready to start with another retirment/insurance group. All that said he is a pretty smart guy when it comes to money and finances. But back to vacation…on our way home we were talking about investing and I mentioned that I was trying to save up $10,000 to invest. Let me say this is not an easy thing and I am not there yet. If I had been able to pull that money together then this story would be alot more interesting. Anway when he asked me what I wanted to invest in I said I thought playing the stock market would be the best and most interesting return at least in the begining until I figured out what all the investment options are. He followed that question by asking how much I thought I could get in a return on my 10k, to which I informed him I thought I could pull 70% in a year. Lets just say this gave him a good laugh.

So that very day I logged into the hotels wireless and chose 10k in stock picks. They were; Read more