• United States

More “Help” on the Way

Apr 25, 20062 mins
Data Center

I have nothing against the Gateway company, and in fact I liked their E-9220T server back in January. But their recent announcement (Gateway offers IT services to mid-size businesses) just illustrates a major problem for big companies providing service to small companies.

First, Gateway wants $4000 for a needs analysis, although they call it an IT assessment and design plan. Back when I focused primarily on consulting, I searched high and low for special companies: those with lots of money and stupid enough to give me a pile just to tell them what they should order from my own product list. I never had much luck finding fools with money, but perhaps Gateway will.

Yes, I know analysis takes time, and analysts deserve compensation for that time. But that brings up the second point: who will do the analysis for Gateway? They don’t have a large services organization spread around the country ready to drop in and start analyzing.

Gateway will rely on local service firms, not Gateway employees. Rather than sending four large to Gateway, why not contact the local firm with the best reputation directly? I bet they’ll come running to help if you wave only $1000 at them. You can also find a local consultant to prepare an RFP (Request for Proposal) to send to local server and storage dealers.

On a better note, the Gateway story talks about new laptops from the company. Gateway prices these better than many competitors. Lenovo (nee IBM ThinkPads) new laptop models cost well over $2000, but Gateway’s are $1400. I’m glad some people can afford $2000 laptops, but those people rarely work for small businesses.