In a recent article, we discussed the three major types of vendors that exist in the IT solution space. One of the biggest benefits of utilizing a partner is that they will strive to understand your business objectives first, then determine a solution that helps the organization achieve those objectives. Another significant benefit of working with a partner is that when they build that solution based on your business objectives they also incorporate certain principles to ensure that it is built in a manner that will best accomplish the desired goals. We refer to those principles as the three pillars of a solution, and they are included in every project that we undertake. Each of the three pillars is equally important, and if any of them are weak or non-existent, the entire solution is at risk. Here are the three pillars of a solution:
The design is the configuration of the solution. It includes the systems, hardware, software, and how they all coexist as a unit to help the organization achieve desired business goals or objectives. Also considered, for example, are routing protocols, policies, and call flow. While many technology solution providers appear to engage in this particular pillar, it’s actually much more likely that they stop when the equipment is purchased and installed, with little attention paid to how that equipment will contribute to the goals of the organization. This is the entire point of designing a solution, so it’s especially important to our process.
What good is it to build a Ferrari if you’re only going to drive on roads with a 25 mph speed limit? The second pillar focuses on installation, integration with legacy systems, necessary implementation phases, and any barriers that need to be addressed to ensure the system works as designed. While many organizations and leaders will certainly agree that these concerns are important, most solution providers don’t actually think about these issues as they’re building the design. Our philosophy: If these topics aren’t taken into account during the pre-installation phase, we can’t succeed in meeting your organizational objectives.
This part of the solution is frequently ignored, which is unfortunate, because it is essential to the overall success (measured by predefined criteria) of the project. Sustainability requires proper planning and includes conversations with the people (from various departments) who will be maintaining the solution. Will facilities be involved? Who will handle updates? Who will monitor the network to ensure the technology is up and everything is running smoothly? Conversations about sustainability must occur for the solution to remain operational and contribute to achieving the overall goals of your organization.