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Re: AYT? Support network, anyone up to?

George Bonser <grep@oriole.sbay.org> writes:

> I am going to be doing some things in the next few months that might get
> the company I work for to start supporting Debian in a limited manner. One
> thing I have noticed as a Sys Admin consultant is that there are two
> different kinds of consulting and consultants.
> First you have Rent-a-Geek where you bring a single individual in for a
> specific project. Then you have Geek Inc. where the customer establishes
> an ongoing relationship with an outside firm that provides an array of IT
> services.

Yes, I agree totally.  I'm stuck in the "Rent-a-Geek" rut myself.

But I realize the way to make money and provide better service is to
join up with others.  Otherwise, I have difficulty servicing anything
other than small jobs.  Even those seem to drag on longer than they

I've worked in an IS department too, so I know that large companies
tend to shy away from the excitable, hairy "Rent-a-Geek" types.

They'd rather deal with the suit-and-tie "Geek, Inc." (which has a
bunch of hacker-types locked in a closet working behind the scenese).

We will only do well if we present the second "Geek, Inc." image.

> I am going to try to convince out management to offer some
> fixed-price canned servers based on a rack-mount PC running Debian Linux.
> For a fixed price, we would install a DNS server or an SMTP mail server or
> a POP3 or FTP server.

This matches the profile of what a lot of my customers (and several
potential customers) want to do.  Of course, to do this, they need
more support than what I can currently give them.

Debian is the best OS (IMHO) to do this sort of stuff.  That's why a
support network might really be a profitable arrangement to set up.

> Can we turn this into a world-wide "vendor support" network?

I don't see why not.  There's already really good world-wide volunteer
support.  We just need a little bit of organization to do some of it
for pay.

The trick right now is just getting started.

 - Jim

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