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Outcomes. Come again?

We say we sell outcomes. We say we’re different. Marketing says all sorts of things, though. What do we mean?

The IT industry has pulled off a cunning ruse – if you want to buy from us, you need to speak our language. Unfortunately for you, we speak it better than you, and just to make it harder, it changes all the time. So we can give you exactly what you ask for without there being any certainty that you’ll get what you want – or what you need.

Pretty well every invitation to tender that we receive sets out in great detail the technology the tendering business presently has; many of them also describe in similar detail the technology they’d like to have. You can usually tell from the way it’s described whether the document has been pulled together by a business team, an IT manager or an external consultant, but they all share one significant defect.

None of them describe what the business would like to be able to do.

If you go about it that way, you’re falling for the scam. The IT businesses responding to the tender can pull together a schedule of kit and software based on your specification, add a margin, bung in some convincingly-named services and send it back for your approval. You get three of these, compare the numbers on the bottom line and the quality of the marketing spiel, then pick the cheapest. Job done.

So who’s to blame when it goes wrong?

The IT company can rightly claim that they’ve provided what you asked for. So long as they can prove that the kit is working as designed, it’s hardy their fault that it doesn’t do what you need, or that you’ve already outgrown it, or that it’s too slow.

The trick is to stop playing the game.

 You don’t need a new server. You don’t need a hosted desktop in the cloud. You don’t need to upgrade your email solution. Well, you may need all of those things, but you should never express it like that. After all, you’re not collecting technology for the fun of it, are you? You have a job to do, and need to use technology to do that job efficiently.

Ask for what you actually need. Don’t mention the kit.

If you express your requirements exclusively in business terms you turn the tables. Now the IT provider has to learn your language. They have to work out what you do and how you do it, and suggest the solution that best meets those needs. Frame the contract right and it doesn’t matter where the server is, or what it is, or how big or fast or shiny. What matters is whether you can work. If you can, they get paid. If you can’t, well, caveat vendor as the Romans ought to have said.

That’s where our difference comes in.

Unlike everybody else, we start from the position that our job is to enable you to do yours. We’re not a technology company, in the sense that we’re not selling technology, we’re selling capability. We find out what you need to be able to do, then provide you with the tools to do it. As your business evolves, the service evolves with it. And we guarantee that it will work.

If that sounds refreshing, why not visit http://www.mn.co.uk/will-this-work-for-me to learn more, or call us on 020 7496 8000.