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In the world of IT, reliability isn’t applauded. It’s assumed.

Today’s users expect everything to work without a hitch. They think it is a given that they can collaborate, communicate, and interact with colleagues, customers and the outside world with no real effort on their part. Whether they are using a PC, tablet, mobile device or anything in the office, they expect it to work. Fast. Effortlessly. The very first time they try.

So how does an IT department meet the high expectations of their users? Our beleaguered technical teams need solutions to support a diverse mobile computing fleet while delivering increasingly flexible, user-centric services that work reliably outside traditional business hours and are available from any location.

A tale of two users

By way of explanation, let me introduce two users – Adam and Zach – who work for different global companies. Adam works for ABCmeds GmbH and Zach works for XYZmart Inc. Both are fictitious companies, though the scenarios depicted are true to life.

ABCmeds is a global leader in the pharmaceutical sector that has 127 locations throughout the world. With a revenue turnover of $27B, ABCmeds has an IT department on the ‘bleeding edge’ of technology. Likewise, the company’s users are enthusiastic adopters of nearly everything that the IT department does from a strategy and software roll out perspective.

Zach’s employer, XYZmart, is recognized as a one of the top global retailers with stores in the US, Canada, Europe and Asia-Pacific. With a turnover of $280B, the CEO runs a ‘lean and mean ship’ – with profit and margins seen as the linchpins to their success.

So, how do Adam and Zach compare as users within their respective global organisations? In a brief series of Blog posts, I’d like to describe a few scenarios that may ring true in your organization.

An important meeting

Adam is based in the ABCmeds offices in London and is flying to Munich tomorrow for a very important meeting with the executive board. He is to present his research findings in documents prepared for each board member and must provide an information pack including his PowerPoint slides.

Happy man in suit in his office

 “One less thing to worry about tomorrow.”

Sitting in his London office, Adam submits a print job with the twelve documents and another with twelve information packs. The next day, Adam arrives in Munich at 8.00am. He walks up to the nearest printer, taps a proximity card to retrieve his print jobs, and collects all of his documents for the board meeting. No muss, no fuss.

Hand tapping proximity card to retrieve print jobs

 “That was easy.”

ABCmeds has invested in pull printing software that has allowed Adam to print from any device on the corporate network. Adam is a very happy user. He pops out to a nearby café for a quick coffee break before his meeting.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Zach also has an important meeting to attend.  He is based in the XYZmart offices in New Jersey and has an early morning flight to the corporate headquarters in Atlanta, GA. Working late into the evening, Zach finally has all of his documents ready to print. He presses ‘print’ and rushes to his local multifunction print device.

man in dark suit working in his office

“Why do I always wait to the last minute?”

But nothing happens. No documents arrive in the hopper. He rings the Help Desk, but everyone is finished for the day. Disaster.

XYZmart does not invest in software that helps Zach.

Zach is a very unhappy user.

Unhappy user looking down with hand on forehead
“Now what?”

Sure, it would be easy to blame Zach for waiting until the last minute to print his documents. Serves him right. But that misses the point – part of the IT department’s job is to save busy people like Zach from themselves.

Will the help desk return Zach’s call? Will he get his documents in time for the meeting? How will the board like Adam’s proposal? Tune in to the next instalment to find out…

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