Springtime. The on-ramp to summer. Channel salespeople are complaining that their customers have already “mentally checked out” and sales are going to slump.
Instead of thinking about fun in the sun, vacation time and margaritas, why not turn your focus to spring cleaning.
It’s a great time to focus on preventive maintenance. Beyond the fans in all those desktops and servers waiting to have the dust blown out of them, a world of things should be done in every data center, from the smallest closet to the largest halon-protected mega-center. It’s just that nobody ever seems to get around to it.
Be the somebody who does.
Reach out to each of your customers and ask if they’re ready for their spring cleaning. “What,” they may say, “are you talking about?”
I’m talking about that time every spring when you send in a team to check everything, diagnose everything, report on anomalies and poor performance issues, and resolve them.
“Which would you prefer,” you ask your customer, “to pay for our proactive, preventative, priced-right spring-cleaning service to make sure nothing goes wrong when you go back into the heart of next season, or call us in at emergency-response rates next season when things do go wrong?”
Nothing is off-limits with spring cleaning. Have users bring in their laptops and tablets. You’ll scan each one for viruses and other malware, disk and OS optimization, and anything else that, left unchecked, could become a disaster next winter. You have customers still using tape drives for backup? Test to make sure those drives will still restore the tapes they produce. Check drives for surface anomalies. Run every diagnostic that hasn’t been run in ages.
All of your customers are in the cloud? No worries. The data in those clouds still needs to be inventoried and checked for active encryption, anti-malware logs need to be checked, as do performance, intrusion-detection and firewall logs. Don’t forget about client devices that are accessing the cloud or evaluating cloud-to-cloud connections for efficiency. A clean cloud is a happy cloud.
While you’re at it, update your analysis of each customer’s invoices for cloud service, telephone service and all other computing and communication services to make sure they’re keeping their costs to an absolute minimum. Are they oversubscribed for cloud storage? Save them some money. Are there still users registered who are no longer with the company. Broom them.
Spring Into Action
Summer is coming, and the opportunity is here. Create your own IT spring-cleaning program, price it aggressively and then go uncover next year’s major upgrade projects. Identify areas of need that are just emerging that you’ll be able to fill in the coming months.
Feel like sharing? Tell us in the comments below about your most innovative spring-cleaning ideas.
Howard M. Cohen is a 30-plus-year IT industry veteran who continues his commitment to the channel as a columnist and consultant.