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The Difference Between Configuration and Collaboration

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  Dave Guzzi, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing, discusses the differences between configuration and collaboration and how the two work together.

The key element of collaboration is the individual configuration of the servers that are required. It would be a mistake though to start at configuration. In a real collaboration, you start with understanding what the end need is. What is the purpose of this product? What do we have to do to make sure it is optimized when it is time to be deployed?

Once Servers Direct understands that, they can start creating the pieces of the full solution. Without knowing the customer's need, it's very difficult to configure the optimal server. So there's really a difference between configuration and collaboration where configuration is just one element of the overall collaboration.

The best collaborative processes are ones in which both parties are open with each other about what their goals are and what their capabilities are. For some companies, the primary focus is going to be their software. They may provide an appliance where their software gets loaded on a server and that full solution is delivered to an end customer as an appliance.

In those collaborations, there needs to be a level of trust where the software partner is willing to provide things like the next rev of their software in advance of it being released so that the hardware collaborator can optimize the hardware for that software.
In a data center environment, it's important to understand the load requirement, the demands, and how many users are going to be supported. So there's a certain level of trust that needs to be established between both of the collaborators.

The company that's building the servers needs to be able to frame solutions within budgetary requirements. If you want this option, it will be in this general range. If you want it to move up to this option, it would be this general range. If you added this option or that option, this is approximately how much it would cost. They also need to be upfront about their lead times.

There may be certain product solutions that are going to take more time to build or more time to acquire raw materials, so it's important that the IT company are aware of the restrictions or downsides if they make this selection or if they make these selections, these are some of the benefits.

That level of trust and true collaboration come together when parties view each another as an all one sort of body that's working toward a single goal. This alone is probably the most important thing in a strong collaborate.
 

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