CLIENT CASES

An educational institution

CHALLENGE

An educational institution in Europe decided that they would like to implement an Internet strategy to achieve and expand globally.  They wanted to diversify from being a local school to offer training to students from abroad and to expand their use of information technology to improve their in-house operations.

The introduction of the Internet was new to the European market at the time and because of this, the technologies required were not completely known or understood and solid informational resources scarce.

Although I had researched Internet Technology, my office was still not capable of offering "out-of-the-box" solutions at the time.  I had assigned one of my software technicians the task of implementing a Unix / Linux based server but the system was unstable and our technical competency very low.  Although the Internet was booming in the USA, its progress lagged in Europe.  I had to research the entire strategy from the beginning and this was another problem because the explosion of the technology did not provide reliable or thorough sources of documented information.

Numerous problems and solutions were visible and foreseeable as well as future opportunities.

  • Unknown time requirements
  • Unknown financial requirements
  • Unknown technical competency of personnel
  • Interfacing with government controlled communications
  • Locating and interfacing with a communications backbone to the internet
  • Finding dependable suppliers

At the same time, the prospects of new business was tempting and promised to be profitable.

Some of them were:

  • Web hosting
  • Domain name registration
  • Vertical and horizontal Programming
  • Website design
  • Opportunities for new services to new clients
  • And the intrinsic value of new services to existing clients

I analyzed the situation and concluded that because of the various problems associated with the above, that the best approach to solving the client’s needs and to meet the challenges and competitions of this technology would be to outsource the solution to another company.

By outsourcing, I could satisfy the needs of the client while at the same time attain and increase technical competency for my staff and me.  This would allow me to monitor the processes, the timing required, and the financial requirements of the implementation.   At the same time, my staff and I could continue to work on other projects at hand while preparing the guidelines for future projects using the new technology.

While outsourcing was a solution to many of the above problems, it has an inherent problem of keeping ownership of the client from the outsourcer.  I determined that my final goals to implementing this technology was not only to profit from it but to also gain the advantages to reduce or eliminate the unknowns associated with this and future projects, and to meet the highest quality of service for all future clients.

RESULTS

The use of outsourcing taught me that many business concepts can be dissected into areas of processes, knowledge, and information technology that can be outsourced or produced in-house depending on the amount of controls necessary to achieve the set goals.
I achieved the needs of the client and improved various facets of my business through:

  • Improved service offerings
  • Better estimations of time requirements
  • A firm grasp of the technology for both my staff and myself
  • Reducing the learning curve of problems associated with the levels of this technology
  • Better controls to deal with the outsourcing company
  • Clearer definitions for projects requiring this technology
  • Crystallizing credibility with the client
  • Opening new business relations with suppliers

After completing this project, I was satisfied in the achievement of the above goals and project because it provided additional confidence necessary for future projects.

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