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Sure, the IT manager thinks it’s a great idea to install that new accounting package or deploy a VOIP system. But then she takes the proposal to the CFO, and he turns it down.

What to do? Solution provider Logicalis believes it has the answer. The company has created an online “IT Calculator” to guide CIOs and IT managers through an assessment of IT requests to gauge the likelihood they’ll get approval from tight-fisted finance executives. CFOs often grumble they get IT requests lacking enough details or justification to move them to approve the expense.

With the gauging tool, Logicalis takes a concrete step beyond being a provider of IT services and equipment toward a business advisor role. With the IT calculator, which accompanies a Logicalis report titled “Making IT Matter: Getting to Yes,” the solution provider is acknowledging that selling IT services and products these days doesn’t stop at the sales pitch. It is often necessary to educate the customer on how the proposed technology will advance business goals and deliver on that promise.

The calculator asks for information such as a three-year return-on-investment (ROI) projection and prompts users to rate the project’s urgency, risk and expected productivity. Users also are asked to estimate the impact of the project on the business’ operations and how it will improve customer service levels.

Based on the answers, the calculator rates a proposed IT initiative’s chance of success with financial executives.

Is the tool foolproof? That would be a good question for all things IT. After all, backup and recovery systems exist for a good reason.

And while the calculator could be dismissed as a gimmick by cynics, the information in the “Making IT Matter” report is extremely valuable. The report and the tool offer proof that Logicalis understands its role in the evolving IT channel, and not only that. It also is proof that Logicalis gets the importance of marketing, especially in economically challenging times, which is something the channel as a whole often fails to grasp.

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