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Virtualization Projects and IT Outsourcing. 10 Reasons Why this Makes Sense

IT Outsourcing Austin

10 Reasons Why Using IT Outsouring for Virtualization Projects Might Make More Sense 

November 2012

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IT Outsourcing Austin

10 Reasons Why Using IT Outsouring for Virtualization Projects Might Make More Sense 

 

Right now there are more Citrix projects out there than there are Citrix guys to get the work done. Some of our guys are getting four to five calls a day from headhunters trying to fill short term projects or full time positions.

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Every time I see this play out, I picture an executive somewhere standing on one side of a giant canyon with their problem, looking across to the other side of the canyon where their problems are solved and their applications are performing beautifully with Citrix/VMware and trying to figure out the best way to get there. 

 

Is IT outsourcing an option? Should they hire a Citrix guy full time? Bring in a contractor? Bring in an integration specialist? Go Software-as-a-Service or Citrix-as-a-Service, have everything hosted offsite and remove the management headache (in theory) entirely?

 

Hiring a contractor for a project or hiring someone temp-to-perm in hopes of getting great work, getting a live look at their skills, and the option of making them a permanent employee at the end of the project seems to be a common path full of upside.

 

The reality is there just are not that many good Citrix systems engineers out there looking for short term project work or looking for a new job because they likely already have one they like. If they didn't have a Citrix job they liked they would have taken one of the jobs offered to them yesterday or the day before instead of one from today's batch of calls.

 

So if you need a really great Citrix resource for a project as a business, or headhunter, what do you do to fill that position? 

 

If you cannot find a great long term guy, outsource and bolt one of your bright young engineers to them to absorb knowledge like a sponge.

 

I understand the reservations that can come along with this decision because IT outsourcing to an integration partner comes with their own list of variables for a company. Which way is right for you? Good question, I can't tell you that but I can point out some reasons you probably have not even thought about as to why Whitehat Virtual Technologies might be a better fit for you.

 

When you outsource a Citrix job to Whitehat Virtual you are going to get a great Citrix/VMware/Microsoft resource. That much is a given.  

 

"We feel that there is so much more that comes along with talent from Whitehat Virtual than just a body and a brain."

 

Here are ten good reasons why looking to Whitehat Virtual to complete your virtualization project might make sense.

  1. Time.  How long will it take you to find and hire the right person for your project? How long will it take to onboard them? 
  2. Ability to predict the future. Would you like to know if your VDI desktop is going to perform as well as your physical PCs before you do your deployment? Whitehat Virtual can show you a side by side A:B comparison of your desktops, Physical vs. Virtual, measured with identical metrics so you see the ultimate performance you are going to get before you begin. Are you budgeting enough for hardware? What are your user densities going to look like on your servers? All questions that would be good to know the answers to up front.
  3. Tools for troubleshooting endpoint problems. Why are logins taking 3 minutes in Las Vegas but only 18 seconds in Dallas? Whitehat can show you every step of your boot process in a graph, show you how long each task took, which ones failed or timed out and compare those against boot times anywhere else or against a baseline of "normal." The same is true for any measurable variable on almost any endpoint including iPads, Android, laptops, PCs, etc. which takes me to point three.
  4. Measurable performance across platforms. How is your application going to perform on an iPad? How about when end users need access from their smart phone? How do you manage performance and security concerns across all of the remote devices your end users are allowed to use? IT outsourcing to Whitehat makes that not only possible, but manageable, and provides the metrics to make sure real life matches your data policies.
  5. Building Quality of Service around your applications. How long should it take to open email? How long should it take to execute a trade in your trading application? How long should it take a teller to open an account or a personal banker to create a new account in your software? Whitehat can help you define those times and build our QoS metrics into each endpoint so that you can guarantee response times around whatever metrics are important to your business.
  6. Quantify end user adoption and productivity. Is the newest version of software from your key vendor, McKesson, SAP, Oracle, Jack Henry, etc. really worth the investment in new hardware or software? Are end users going to use the new features? Are end users able to complete more transactions per hour? Before you spend the money on new hardware and software, Whitehat can show you how the new version is going to impact your users before you make that investment.
  7. Answering the "Why is Citrix Slow" problem. Hiring great systems engineers to deploy or upgrade Citrix is not nearly as effective as hiring great Citrix systems engineers that come with tools, and the knowledge to use them, to identify where Citrix performance hits are coming from. Is it the virtual host, the SAN, the network, the VLAN, the databases, a bad script, Active Directory or somewhere else? You can spend days or even weeks working out the source of these problems, spend money on better management tools, learn how to use the tools, or you can hire Whitehat.
  8. Depth of talent. When you hire a great resource, you hire a great well of technical knowledge that is also a great big single point of failure. If your resource gets a better job offer tomorrow or has a life changing event in his or her personal life, you are arguably worse off because you are not only short one great team member, you also lose the knowledge that person has on your environment. Change happens, we are not immune either, but Whitehat offsets that risk by maintaining standardized documentation on every client environment, all ticket notes, and all project related conversations just so nothing gets lost in translation. We had to build that into our business to protect our clients. You can build that capability or hire a company that has done the work for you.
  9. Mistakes happen. You can either be left holding the bag or you can have a partner who has the depth to fix the problem or, worse case, has the insurance if something truly catastrophic happens.
  10. Guaranteed performance. Can you guarantee a certain level of performance for your end users or application owners once your project is complete? Whitehat can give you the ability to do that, because as you may have guessed, we measure everything, down to execution times of the most common processes of your core applications, which might just be Outlook or a full ERP deployment for you.

All this is great, but at the end of the day you are still going to need to have someone support Citrix in your environment. If you do consider using IT outsourcing for management or management and hosting, how does Whitehat solve that problem?

 

As a rule, you should never be over a barrel to any partner because they hold knowledge about your environment that you do not have or may have lost. Pick a partner that gives you access to everything they know about your environment on your terms. If something is lost, you will know where you can go to replace it. Our approach was standing up the Whitehat Virtual Client Portal.

 

My suggestion is to hire a promising junior technical resource that has the aptitude to learn Citrix and comes at roughly half the cost of a seasoned Citrix expert, and staple that guy to the Whitehat team member(s) that do your project so he can ask why and how all the way through deployment. Let Whitehat train him on your environment, once built, and use Whitehat as a backstop for problems that arise while he or she comes up to speed.

 

I find that employees you train are typically more loyal and willing to stick around than a gun for hire. They do not come with a high payroll burden and should be capable of handling day to day operations with some handholding in the beginning, putting the business in a better position in the long term.

 

If you would like to discuss your virtualization project, or are really interested in learning about Whitehat Virtual Managed Services, or how we capture our metrics, give Whitehat Virtual Technologies a call at 888.406.8719 or email us at sales@whitehatvirtual.com.

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