What price for peace of mind?

Late last night, I sat in the offices of a small business in Dubai, trying to copy some files and it was about the most excruciating task I have ever undertaken.

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By  Peter Conmy Published  August 24, 2000

Late last night, I sat in the offices of a small business in Dubai, trying to copy some presentation files which we both thought would be useful to me as an editor, and it was about the most excruciating task I have ever undertaken.

Slow, slow, slow, and repetitive crashes. What should have been a five minute job turned out to be more than two hours work, and when I left I felt like I was going to have to kill someone.

Do you want to know the reason? 10 Mbits/second, poor cabling, and a bunch of old PCs.

Add in a group of people all frantically competing for network time, for printers and so on, and you end up with a lousy, inefficient infrastructure … and rather excitingly, a company that hates it.

Big Margins

On the drive home, I began to cheer up again, and then I started to tot up how much money there is to be made there, and how easy it would be to magic-up some big margins.

It all seems simple from my up here on my soapbox. These guys are suffering because they don’t know that they don’t have to.

They don’t know what could be done to fix their problems, and they don’t know how little—or how much—it should cost them.

How much does a PC cost? Do they have any idea? Well, they probably read the papers, have seen Compaq or Acer special offers, and know they can get a system for under AED 4,000. That gives them a ballpark figure.

But if they have ever gone out and bought one, and then tried to set it up on the network and so on, and so on, they might just form the opinion that it is worth spending an extra AED 500 per system for you to do it for them.

Over the Odds

What about hubs and switches? Can they set those up? Cabling? What is necessary, and how much would it cost them to do it properly?

I may be wrong about this—you are the channel and you live through these scenarios every day—but it seemed clear to me last night, that all these guys really wanted was an infrastructure that worked, and they may just be willing to pay 50% over the odds to get that. What price can you put on peace of mind?

They don’t know. And I am willing to bet that they are not alone by a long shot.

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