20 years of bad experiences in IT in the small business venture arena

Updated: January 01, 2012

So here's a quick analysis of recent experiences as I've moved from the premise based server model, to the cloud.

Recently, I was hired to build a contact center for a company in the heavy industry space. We were doing high volumes of outbound lead generation calls for high capacity torque tools and contracting services in the energy industry and also for related services. We leased a building that was wired to the hilt...server rooms...cable every where...it had been an ethanol trading floor before we got there, and it was perfect. Lots of windows, high ceilings, edgy architecture, and a neat fountain to generate some white noise.

I went with one of the big gorillas in the SFA space. I'll hold back the name, but when I tell you that developers were all trying to get their apps onto their application clearing house...buidling to it like we are all buidling to the iphones...you'll have an idea about who I am talking about.

First, the thing was not intuitive. I was totally sold on the idea that we needed to move to the cloud for all the reasons that you are sold on it, but I had never worked for anyone else who had it in place, and this was my first install. The sales people had more than a little trouble getting used to it. Ok, they wren't all engineers, but most of them weren't complete nerf balls either. Soem of the things that each of them were doing about 1000 times a day were cumbersome.

We hired a recommended implementation consultant (which I now call myself as well, by the way) to give us a hand. It wasn't a huge amount of money, and I don't know how we could have done it without him, but we never did get the thing really working the way we needed it to. There was all the customization stuff...getting fields and permissions and forms and reports and dashboards set up right. That took a while. To be fair, at this level, everything is a custom job, so it's just going to take some time to work through it...no matter who you engage to help you with it.

keeping the data for verious databases and projects was difficult.

lack of the applications I was looking for...integrated office productivity, chat, web meeting, integration with telephony, accounting, etc.

Enterprise expectations, vendors were pricing this thing and serving it up like they were dealing with big companies.

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