Want email updates from me?
Want more unvarnished truth?
Looking for something? Look here!
What I'm saying now

 

What you're saying...
I think tag clouds are pretty, and not to be taken overly seriously
111 Chop House 75 on Liberty Wharf 9/11 A Broth of a Boy ABCs Abiouness accountability activities alcohol Allora Ristorante Analysis Angry Hams ANSI/TIA 942 Anthony's Pier 4 Apple Application Armsby Abbey Arsenal Arturo's Ristorante Ashland AT&T Audio Automation baby Baby Monitor babysitting Back To School Bad News Bangkok Thai Bar Bay State Common BBQ BCP BeeZers Before I die I want to... behavior Big Bang Bike Bill of Rights Bistro Black Box BlackBerry Boston Boston Marathon boundaries Boyston BPO brand Breakfast Bridge Bring Your Own Technology Budget Burn Burrito buyer BYOD Cabling Cambridge Camp Campaign career Casey's Diner Castle casual cCabling Cell Phone Central Square Change Management Cheers Chef Sun ChengDu Chet's Diner Children Chinese Christmas Christmas Families Holiday CIO Cloud coddle collage College College Acceptance co-lo Co-Location Co-Location Tier Power Cooling Comfort Food Control Country Country Kettle Crisis customer dad Dad Phrases damage daredevil Data Center Data Center Design Davios Day Care Dead Death declaration Del Frisco's Design Desktop Video dinner Disaster Recovery Divorce Do Epic Shit dodgeball Downtown Crossing DR driving Droid Easter Economic Kids Education Elbow Night Elevator Employee Engagement Erin Etiquette Evaluation events Exchange Expiration Dates Facebook Failing family Fatherhood Favorite things Flash Flemings Fogo de Chão Food Hits and Misses Format Foundry on Elm Foxborough Frameworks fraternity Fraud French Fried Clams friends fun Fusion Generations germs Girl Scouts girls Global Go/No Go GPS Grafton Grandchild Grandpa Harry's hazing Healthcare Healthy Choices while Dining Out Help Desk Hisa Japanese Cuisine Historic holiday Home hope Horizons hose Hot Dog Hurricane IIT Assessment incident Indecision Indian Infrastructure Inn Innovation Internet Inventory Management iPhone IT IT Assessment IT Satisfaction Italian Jack Daniels Jakes Restaurant Janet Japanese Jazz Joey's Bar and Grill JP's Khatta Mitha kickball kids Laid off Lakes Region Lala Java Leadership Learning legacy Legal Harborside Les Zygomates L'Espalier Liberty Wharf lights out Linguine's loss Love Lucky's Cafe M&M Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade mai tai Managed Application Services Managed Services managers Mandarin Manners Mark Fidrych marriage Mary Chung Maxwell-Silverman Mediterranean meetings Memorial Day memory Mendon Mergers Mexican MiFi Migration Ming III miss MIT MIT CIO Symposium Mobility Moes Hot Dog Truck MOM Mother Moving on Name neanderthal neighborhood Network New York Marathon newborn Northborough Not Your Average Joe's Nuovo Nursing On-Call Operations Operators Oregon Club Organization Pancakes Pandemic Parental Control Parenting Patch Peeves People Perserverance UMASS growth Play Plug and Run Predictable Pride Problem Process Production program Project Management propane PTA. PTO PUE QR Quick Response Rant Recognition Red Rock Resiliency Respect restaurant Restaurant Guy RFP ribs Ritual Root Cause Analysis Sam Adams Sandy Sapporo School Sea Dog Brewing Company Sea Dog Steak and Ale Seafood Seaport Security Sel de la Terra Service Service Desk Service Indicator Light sharing SHIRO Shit Pump Shriners SHTF Simplification Skunk Works Skype Sleep sleepovers Sloan Smith & Wollensky soccer Son SOP sorority spanking Squarespace staffing Starbucks Status Reporting Steak Steve Jobs Storage Strategy Summer Sushi Tacos Acalpulco teacher Technology Teen Telephony Temperature Strip Tenka terrorist Testing Texas BBQ Company Text Thai Thanksgiving in IT The Mooring Thought Leader Three Gorges III TIA 942 Timesheets Toby Keith Toddlers traditions Transition treehouse turnover TV Twitter unspoken moments Valentine's Day Value Vendor Venezuelan Verizon Video Vietnamese voice VoIP Watertown Wedding Westborough Korean Restaurant Westborough MA. StormCam WiFI Wi-Fi Wilbraham Wine Worcester work work life balance working Yama Zakura Zem Han Zitis
Monday
Sep192011

5 Steps to Working Anywhere

As a “migrant white collar worker” IT consultant, we spend a lot of time with our clients.  In fact, I like to say if we are in the office, we’re not doing our jobs.  How do we do it?

When we founded Harvard Partners, it would have been easy for us to bring all the heavy lifting in-house, and spend a lot of time building our environments.  We didn’t, and it’s one of the reasons our overhead structure is minimal.

1.  Email – Exchange

For our email, we debated Exchange vs. Gmail.  We went with Exchange from Intermedia, and haven’t looked back.  We wanted complete interoperability with our clients, and so far every single client we have uses Exchange.   For our travelling consultants, we either use Exchange or a (less expensive) POP email, based solely on need.

We also use Intermedia for secured document storage.  We use SharePoint, and while everyone in the company knows how to use it, everyone feels it is a compromise.

2. Phone - Asterisk

For telephony, we wanted a VoIP solution.  We chose a hosted VoIP (asterisk) system from dao Consulting.   Our hosted solution allows hardphone access (I happen to use a Polycom phone), or softphone.  Our voice mails are “sent” to email (and thus the handheld).

We use this system for internal conference calls, too, with InterCall as the (somewhat pricey) backup when quality is important (i.e. client conferences.)

3. Video – Skype

While we all travel, we do try to stay in touch.  Skype offers free point to point video, and a paid group video for up to 10 people.  We all use Skype, and find its presence and text messaging capability very convenient.

4. Desktops/Laptops/Smartphone – Bring your own technology

As technologists, we all find we like to use different technology.  While for years in larger companies we advocated standardization, in our own business we are accommodating whatever technology people want to bring.

For PCs, some use Apple PCs, some buy higher end laptops, others buy the cheapest laptop they can and then “turbocharge” components.   We have company standards on virus protection and encryption; beyond that people can bring their own.  We do insist on the Microsoft Office suite for interoperability, and are surprised to find even now the Apples can struggle with 100% interoperability.

Everyone chooses to use a so-called smartphone, and we have one of everything.  Intermedia supports all our handheld devices, whether the venerable BlackBerry, the delightful iPhone, or the scrappy Droid. 

5. WAN connectivity

We’ve become adroit at establishing connections at our clients.  We never, ever use a client’s wired network.  Some clients have guest wireless, and we’re surprised how unreliable these systems are in practice.  If we can’t secure a solid wireless connection, we’ll either use a MiFi connection (through a mobile hotspot “card” or the Droid), or will tether to the smartphone.  It’s my personal experience having various connection types is important (I carry a Verizon MiFi hotspot and when it can’t connect, will tether using my AT&T BlackBerry.)  Using two vendors has always assured me a connection, and we know McDonalds, Starbucks (aka Fourbucks), and Staples have free wireless in a pinch.

We’ve tried USB wireless modems, and frankly they don’t seem to work nearly as well as the HotSpots, and are useless if more than one consultant is at a client.

So, as strategic IT consultants, we’ve outsourced all our systems.  This allows us to use “commercial grade” systems housed in high tier secured data centers.  We’re able to focus on our clients, and not on our technology.

What have we missed?  Are there other technologies you use?

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

« Are you friends with your kids on Facebook? | Main | Chinese Restaurant Review »

References (21)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    5 Steps to Working Anywhere - Journal - Gary L Kelley
  • Response
    5 Steps to Working Anywhere - Journal - Gary L Kelley
  • Response
    5 Steps to Working Anywhere - Journal - Gary L Kelley
  • Response
    Response: Andrew Ting md
    5 Steps to Working Anywhere - Journal - Gary L Kelley
  • Response
    Response: four dollar click
    5 Steps to Working Anywhere - Journal - Gary L Kelley
  • Response
    Response: three dollar click
    5 Steps to Working Anywhere - Journal - Gary L Kelley
  • Response
    Response: three dollar click
    5 Steps to Working Anywhere - Journal - Gary L Kelley
  • Response
    Response: four dollar click
    5 Steps to Working Anywhere - Journal - Gary L Kelley
  • Response
    Response: we buy houses ma
    5 Steps to Working Anywhere - Journal - Gary L Kelley
  • Response
    Response: Stefan
    5 Steps to Working Anywhere - Journal - Gary L Kelley
  • Response
    Response: three dollar click
    5 Steps to Working Anywhere - Journal - Gary L Kelley
  • Response
    Response: four dollar click
    5 Steps to Working Anywhere - Journal - Gary L Kelley
  • Response
    Response: bradley kurgis
    5 Steps to Working Anywhere - Journal - Gary L Kelley
  • Response
    Response: Andrew Ting md
    5 Steps to Working Anywhere - Journal - Gary L Kelley
  • Response
    5 Steps to Working Anywhere - Journal - Gary L Kelley
  • Response
    5 Steps to Working Anywhere - Journal - Gary L Kelley
  • Response
    Response: Iqbook.Ga2H.Com
    5 Steps to Working Anywhere - Journal - Gary L Kelley
  • Response
    5 Steps to Working Anywhere - Journal - Gary L Kelley
  • Response
    5 Steps to Working Anywhere - Journal - Gary L Kelley
  • Response
    Response: bradley kurgis
    5 Steps to Working Anywhere - Journal - Gary L Kelley
  • Response
    5 Steps to Working Anywhere - Journal - Gary L Kelley

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>