Posts Tagged Information technology management

SPC International and MSP University Announce New Global IT Channel Strategy

New global IT Channel initiative expands scope of business improvement and transformation strategies beyond MSPs to include all IT Solution Providers and their staff

SANTA FE SPRINGS, CA, April 30, 2012 – SPC International, an organization dedicated to business transformation and improvement strategies for information technology (IT) professionals worldwide at www.spc-intl.com, announced today its new global IT Business Improvement and Transformation Strategy, expanding MSP University’s focus well beyond traditional Managed Services Provider education, training and consulting services.

SPC International focuses on improving the productivity and performance of every employee and role in an IT Solution Provider organization, with specific strategies tailored for all IT Solution Providers.

With a steadily growing International partner base now comprising upwards of 25% of its channel of 16,000 IT Solution Providers; and the overwhelmingly positive acceptance of its 3 prior United Kingdom-based Boot Camps, SPC International is accelerating the expansion of its operations into other geographies. In order to best assist solution providers in these and other nations, SPC International has added IT Business Improvement and Transformation Boot Camp dates in the US, UK, Belgium and Australia to its 2012 event schedule.

“We are proud to announce the expansion of our traditional education, training and consulting services globally through SPC International”, said Erick Simpson, Vice President.“Our new initiative allows us to greatly improve our ability to assist International as well as US-based solution provider business owners far beyond Managed Services”, continued Simpson. “We realize that in order to remain competitive and deliver the solutions that their customers need, providers must embrace many practices; including Security, Telecomm and VoIP, the Cloud, Print Management, Disaster Recovery, Virtualization, Healthcare IT and more, and we continue to evolve as an organization to better assist them in these areas”, concluded Simpson.

SPC International’s strategy involves growing and delivering their IT practice-specific education, training and consulting services on a global scale, including not only traditional Managed IT, break-fix and professional services, but also supporting existing and new emerging technologies, services and solutions like the Cloud and Virtualization, Unified Communications, Mobile Device Management and others.

“Many of our seasoned, US-based solution provider partners are growing beyond Managed Services, and providers in other geographies may not be quite ready or able to adopt the Managed Services model”, said Gary Beechum, President and CEO. “In order to continue to deliver the best support, guidance and resources for them, it is imperative that we deliver new IT practice, service and solution education, training and tools to aid them”, continued Beechum.

To support this expanded global focus and awareness, SPC International has launched SPC International Magazine, written by solution providers from their perspective and covering their unique challenges, resolutions and successes. In addition, SPC International has developed a revolutionary new IT Business Improvement Training Platform that provides role-specific training to help improve the productivity and performance of every member of an IT Solution Provider’s team; including their leadership, administrative, sales, marketing, project management, dispatch, technical and engineering staff, increasing their competencies and job satisfaction and reducing turnover.

Also in the works are SPC International’s IT Solution Provider Community and their IT Channel Vendor Mall, designed to lower the barriers to interaction and collaboration among peers and simplify Vendor evaluation and engagement. Other tools and training in development include a mobile IT Solution Provider KPI App to manage each critical business unit in an IT organization, and unique On-Demand IT Business Improvement and Transformation Boot Camps streamed in High Definition to remote audiences.

SPC International is the largest business improvement and transformation resource and independent community for IT solution providers and delivers IT business operations, sales and marketing and service delivery improvement education, training, fulfillment and consulting services to thousands of independent IT service organizations all over the world. SPC International delivers partner enablement and acquisition services to Fortune 50 IT manufacturer, distributor and vendor channels, as well as to IT membership organizations and franchises worldwide. For more information, visit www.spc-intl.com.

Contact Information:

Erick Simpson
Vice President, SPC International
(855) 772-6778
esimpson@spc-intl.com

Posted in: General Business

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The Project Management Process

The Project Management Process

 

Erick Simpson, Vice President and CIO, MSPU

One of the 3 Service Delivery areas a Solution Provider can become very profitable in; or tremendously unprofitable, is in Project Management.

If the Solution Provider’s Project Management processes are solid and delivered effectively, their project outcomes will have the best chance to meet their established criteria for success. If; however, the Provider’s Project Management processes are weak or non-existent, it will be very difficult to manage timelines, schedules and resources along with change and communications. This will effectively erode customer satisfaction, profitability and the opportunity for additional services.

As the person responsible for overall project success, the Project Manager participates in the Solution Provider’s professional service delivery process, and creates project plans that include activities, phases and timelines, and schedules and assigns resources to deliver all project-based services. In addition, the Project Manager manages every aspect of project delivery from the project kick-off meeting through provisioning, implementation, go-live and sign-off.

Project Planning

Once a prospect or customer has agreed to the Project Proposal and its Terms, the Project Manager can begin the process of planning for Project Implementation. Project Planning is the first component of Project Management, which is defined as the effective organization and management of resources to insure a Project’s completion within its defined scope, timeline and budget. Project Planning includes the following:

  • Definition of the Project Scope
  • Methods to be utilized during Project Implementation
  • The Identification of all tasks to be completed during Project Implementation
  • The creation of a timeline and expected duration for each task’s completion
  • The estimation and allocation of resources for each task’s completion
  • Managing Risk, Change and the Communications and Status Reporting processes
  • Determining the criteria for success of each phase and the overall Project
  • Incorporating Phase and overall Project Review
  • Managing individual Phase and overall Project Acceptance

Project Objectives

The overall Project objectives that the Project Plan must insure are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

The evaluation of the Project’s success at meeting these objectives occurs at the Project closure; however, effective Project Management increases the potential for their attainment.

Once the Project Plan has been created, it is presented to the customer in order to:

  • Receive approval of the overall Project Plan
  • Verify the Project Schedule against the customer’s calendar
  • Identify and allocate customer resources required for Project Implementation
  • Agree to Roles, Responsibilities and Task Assignment between all parties
  • Agree upon the Risk Management Plan
  • Agree upon the Change Control process
  • Agree upon the Communication and Status Reporting process
  • Agree to the criteria for success of individual phases and the overall Project
  • Agree to final Acceptance Criteria

In order to move to the implementation phase of the Project, it is important that the customer approve the overall Project Plan, which includes the Project Scope, the methods utilized during Project Implementation and the Project timeline and schedule. In addition, customer resources such as staff and vendors may be required as assets during Project Implementation, and their involvement must also be approved by the customer.

An effective Risk Management Plan will support Project Implementation as a contingency strategy should the need to roll back during any phase of the Project becomes necessary, and a Change Control process is required, should additional tasks or services outside of the agreed-upon Project Plan and Proposal need to be authorized by the customer to insure Project completion.

A solid communication and status reporting process must be agreed to by all parties in order to keep all affected resources including the customer apprised of Project status at all times and facilitate effective decision-making throughout the lifecycle of the Project.

Accountability to tasks and their timely completion can only be enforced once all resources have agreed to their roles and responsibilities, as well as to Project milestones and timelines. 

Join us for Part 2 of this series next month: Project Provisioning, Implementation and Management

Posted in: Service Delivery

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