Professional Services in the New Desktop Era

As organizations adapt to an evolving desktop environment, Professional Services will play a key role in guiding this transformation. The arrival of next-generation technology is one thing, but navigating through hundreds of options and actually deploying them are the most crucial components of IT success. Our Softchoice Advisor recently team met with John Kauffman, our Director of Professional Services to discuss Professional Services’ role in delivering the new desktop era.

Advisor: John, can you define Professional Services for us? John: For IT, Professional Services (PS) relate to functions performed by consultants or contractors to help organizations achieve their objectives and goals. These services are at the heart of win-win, long term relationships.

Advisor: What kind of projects do organizations generally go to a partner for guidance with?
John: We’re seeing a whole range of clients, from enterprise to small businesses, all with a multitude of projects, from quick fixes, deployments, fleet retirements, to health checks. We’re delivering roadmap strategies, technology assessments, disaster recovery planning, and data center optimization.

A: What are some of the biggest challenges facing customers in the new desktop environment and how are PS helping remedy these challenges?
J: Desktop environments have multiple challenges and as the number of users increase, the complexity of managing the infrastructure is heightened. Desktop virtualization is one example of a major technology many IT managers are still struggling to investigate. With the economy stifling budgets a few years ago, refreshing hardware and understanding the health of your aging PCs is another growing concern.

A: What is the most commonly overlooked PS opportunity?
J: In general, organizations who jump into new technologies without doing proper assessments or tests and developments tend to have the most issues. A great example would be with virtualization, where companies manage to reduce physical hardware, but get caught with virtual server sprawl, when they fail to manage server life-cycles properly.

A: Why is it that so few organizations rely on these types of services?
J: Many customers have their own IT team and rely on it to carry out new projects while doing their day-to- day tasks. What happens is they spend much of their time maintaining their investments, and far less time innovating (the old 80/20 rule). Softchoice believes it should be different, and we see ourselves as an extension of your IT department. We help plan and put together solutions as a value-add service and provide proof of concepts for new ventures. The goal is to let you focus on what counts, as we manage the headaches.

Professional Services will be at the heart of the changing desktop in 2011 and beyond. These days, IT leaders realize it’s not enough to simply buy the best technology. Ensuring the proper processes, testing and management schemes are behind those investments are fundamental to IT success.

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About Joel Marans

Joel leads our Digital Marketing efforts at Softchoice.