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Partner or Go IT Alone?

The term, “middleman” often has negative connotations in our business world.  Cutting out the middleman is often seen as a commitment to profitability.  And at times that can be true.

Unless, of course, the middleman has something of value to offer.

This balance between financial common sense and the need for professional services is a very common theme for small businesses trying to optimize their use of information technology.  When dealing with computers and relatively straightforward networks, it can often be tempting to go it alone as opposed to hiring a technology reseller to help.

I don’t think my job as your faithful blogger is to talk you out of doing this.  We all have varying levels of expertise and skills, and the technology systems that we use have varying levels of complexity, based on what we do and how we get it done.  Add the presence of available time to the equation and we’ve got a three-legged stool that becomes the basis for making the decision of hiring a reseller or forging ahead on our own.

The three legs of this stool are often very closely related.  For example, a company may have someone with a totally different job who can function as the de facto IT person.  That’s kind of a freebie, of sorts. But that person might not always have the time, or even the expertise, to do tech support without neglecting the things they are actually paid to do.  And while technology tends to gain increased importance in all of our businesses, it’s also true that the occasional temporary outage may be more of a crisis for some of us than it is for others.

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What is a Channel Partner?

I’ve been with Cisco 11 years.  Sometimes I forget that companies, much like families have their own language.  I can look at my husband at any time and say “Baxter, you ate a whole wheel of cheese?  I’m not even angry I’m impressed!” and he laughs.  He not only knows I’m trying to break the tension, but it takes us back to our first date (It’s a quote from Anchorman, the Legend of Ron Burgandy). Within my Cisco family I can say SBCS and people know exactly what products I am talking about and which products I’m not talking about.  Truth is, those four letters are a complex communication and sometimes we forget as Cisco-ites that we have our own language.

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