I run all of the technical consulting practices and services at IIS. I have a half dozen technology practice leads that help guide the structure for where the company is going to go from a technology standpoint. Each practice lead focuses on an individual practice area, and then I have project managers and a managed service practice – so, anything you need to design, deploy, and operationally support an environment. Between the practice leads, project management, and managed services, you get the full lifecycle.
My job is to make sure I get the right guys from my team in front of the clients so we can deliver the right solution. I basically coach them to focus more on business-based solutions, as opposed to technology-based solutions. So I have to have the foresight to see where we’re going to go, how we’re going to get there, and then make sure my team understands that we’re not just technologists – we’re basically consultants that are solving business problems with technology.
I set up what we call “ride-alongs” with the consultants coming in. People think of ride-alongs as, “oh, I want to teach somebody this new technology,” and that’s all well and good, but I also want the newer consultants to learn how to be consultants. You hire someone who is in their 20s or 30s and they haven’t been doing it a long time – they have to learn that building a solution isn’t just about how much you know about our technology.
A client relationship – that’s something you never stop learning. That just comes with years of experience. But to be honest, I’ve learned a lot more about dealing with vendor relationships than I ever knew before, and how important it is to a company like IIS. There has to be a synergistic relationship because together we have the potential to bring solutions to our clients much more quickly – and that’s really what we’re all about. We’re basically about solving problems more quickly than what our clients can do on their own, more effectively than what our partners can do on their own.
I would say the biggest thing is a focus on customer service. IIS has always had the mindset that we take care of customers. Let’s say we’re doing a project for a certain amount of money. If I finish that work in a week, then I did pretty well for that money. If I finish that in a month, that’s pretty bad, but the bottom line is that we’re going to finish the project and stand by the client regardless of what happens.