[colug-432] Linux and the Maytag vs. Snap-On Business Model
josh at globalherald.net
Wed Nov 18 16:50:17 EST 2009
Has anyone seen this article?
I was thinking about this and came up with an interesting thought. There
are many SMB consultants (who only do Windows) that offer a "monthly
service contract" - for a certain fee, they will spend X hours (on site or
remote) maintaining your system. According to the noted article, this is
a consultant's bread and butter and it's how they guarantee residual
income, as Windows always requires maintenance of some sort.
The common thought is that by installing Linux, there are few or no
support calls, so there is nothing to charge for.
So why don't more folks adopt the Snap-On model? For reference: Snap-On
is a tool company whose distributors drive around in large trucks to
mechanic shops. If you are a mechanic, you'll have an account with the
local Snap-On guy. Every week, the Snap-On guy comes at roughly the same
time and gives you the chance to *improve your situation* by buying new
tools and other items.
A clever consultant might do this: deploy Linux and charge a monthly
retainer similar to what a Windows-consultant would charge to maintain a
Windows box. Guarantee a certain number of hours of service per month
just like the Windows consultant does. However, when the clever
consultant visits with his client and the servers do not need maintained,
he will spend his alloted time creating scripts or working to *create real
economc value* by *improving the client's situation* in some way.
Contrast this to the Windows consultant who will be required to spend his
allotted time *misplacing economic value* (maintaining servers) and simply
*preserving the status quo*.
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