Expert or Professional. You decide.

Expert

Ex (a former) spurt (a drip under pressure)

Professional

Someone with the characteristic of professionalism, a characteristic in which the individual is expected to put the client and duties thereof at the forefront of consideration during an appointment. Above all things family, human dignity, and health.

OK the last bit is a bit of an exaggeration for humorous effect but there is a big difference I find between an expert and a professional.

Picture the following scenario; You are a business owner looking to improve communication with your teams across multiple office locations, these locations could be in a single country or even across the globe. Wherever they are they are a noticeable distance apart. It’s the 21st century so you would like to be able to see your staff when you are speaking with them. You have email but that doesn’t always get the message across the same and besides your mailbox is always full and it cost too much to give everyone a mailbox.

An expert tends to be very specifically focused on knowledge of one aspect (maybe two if your fortunate). The expert also tends to have an attitude of superiority and a mindset of you will need me before I need you.
Don’t get me wrong the expert can be very good at these one or two items but their people skills, analysis skills and the ability to look at the bigger picture of what a client wants invariably will be lacking.
I once heard a great way of describing an expert;

An expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less until he knows everything about nothing.

So thinking about our scenario, the expert will be well versed on the use of a webcam and he/she knows webcams are cheap so your solution is obviously to get a webcam. Fix the webcam above computer monitors at each site that all can gather around. Just bring everyone in to the offices Sales reps, office staff, engineers whoever. Simples!
Don’t bother about the poor-quality picture and that it keeps cutting out, you can just blame your IT department and drag them in to fix it, just pause the meeting.
Total cost webcams £200, Sales team and engineers to travel in with all the mileage and lost production… well you guess. But the expert said this was the best solution and because they are an expert it must be right.

Now consider the professional. A professional has a wide range of experience and qualifications. Not always as much depth in any one of the items as the expert might have in his/her more limited range.
The professional though has the most impressive skill of all, people skills and the ability to listen skills.
The professional is a nice person too; always has a joke ready and is a likeable person to everyone. They speak geek to the Geeks, and English to everyone else. They communicate in spoken form, in declarative sentences.
You can trust the professional to listen and know they have your best, and most important, long-term goals in their mind.

Think about our scenario then. The professional will gather together your initial basic requirement and then look at what benefits can be earned from the right solution. How can the right solution pay for itself (ROI), how do we leverage further uses within other areas of the business?
In our scenario they will suggest a proper business level video conferencing system along with an Office 365 subscription. That solution will pay for itself in approx. 8 months and will give, included in the cost, improved enterprise email for anyone in the organisation and will allow you to communicate directly with suppliers and customers as well as staff.

How will this pay for itself so quickly you question. Easy, no need to bring sales staff in for a 30 minute meeting and all the associated costs that entails. They can video in directly from thier car using thier mobile phone and Office 365 Skype for Business. No need to budget for additional software licences in restricted numbers. No need for extra IT staff because the system does what it’s meant to so your existing staff can get on with other tasks in the business without having to keep fixing the experts option.
Best of all customers and suppliers will want to work with you because you have the cool slick system that most importantly of all WORKS!

I know this scenario works as it is one of a number of IT Consultancy projects I have carried out in the past for a business. This is just a summary of the scenario but the actual solution I implemented saved the business over £1.1m cash value in the first 36 months.

Have a look at some of the consultancy work I have carried out and when you are ready to hire a professional for your IT Consultancy get in touch.

 

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