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When did you last see an airline pilot repairing a runway?

Once in a while I’m asked to provide support during sales meetings (“Goose to my Maverick”, as my Sales Director recently put it). I’m pretty sure I get asked to help out because I often write about the business, therefore the expectation is that I should be able to tell our story face to face with prospects. Sure, I’ve had some direct sales experience, way back in my career but let’s be honest here, I was never very good at it. And we all know what happened to Goose…

I quite enjoy getting in front of customers but it’s the sales guys in our business who have had the correct training and who’ve accumulated years of experience identifying, nurturing and closing new business. So, whilst marketing and sales are examples of disciplines that are closely intertwined, it doesn’t take rocket science to figure out that a practitioner of one discipline might not do such a good job of the other.

Now, you could argue that I might make a half-decent wing-man for a senior salesperson but let’s face it, I can’t really do that much damage flying a decaf skinny latte at a sales meeting, can I? For projects involving changes to a more crucial business asset such as IT network infrastructure, the consequences of getting it wrong quickly become a little more real. Seriously, would you consider selecting project teams for crucial technical projects by seconding colleagues based purely on their job title or their availability? Many organizations still do this. (No, really).

Clearly, there are similarities between the needs of an IT cabling infrastructure project and some of the headline capabilities of IT, Facilities or Project Management colleagues but in all but a few cases, that’s all they are – headline similarities. Corporate IT and FM teams have deep and valuable expertise in the systems, software and attached devices that run across the network and they understand the environment in which the network operates but respectfully, this knowledge rarely translates into the skills and experience required to plan and deliver complex structured cabling deployments across multiple sites. Look at it this way; if you think this is a smart way to deliver a business-critical project, ask yourself when you last saw an airline pilot repairing the runway…

Day to day delivery of complex deployments requires a very specific set of skills and in most businesses, it isn’t anyone’s actual role because projects like this don’t occur very often or at least when they do, they’re farmed out to non-specialist contractors, which can add several layers of cost and complexity, as well as risking a lack of technical competence.

One solution is to work with an independent IT infrastructure project deployment team with a global footprint to leverage their technical expertise, gain better visibility of remote projects and even save money. And what’s more, if you’re a super-busy project owner, the reduction in the hours you spend chasing vendors and suppliers could ‘take your breath away…‘

Goose out.

Dave Hitchins
Global Marketing Manager
Molex Connected Enterprise Solutions

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