|The Aldridge Company Consultant Can you imagine the business world where all technology works for everyone every time? Do you have fun making complex things seem easy for others? Are you willing to work a little harder, but know that you are making a difference? The Aldridge Company is not for everyone; but for us, it’s home. If you think you may be a good fit, keep reading . . . If you’re looking for a job description, you’re not going to find it here. Careers at The Aldridge Company don’t start with a job; they start as an experience. Here’s an example of a typical day in this position: I’ve started this job a week ago and it is more challenging than I expected, but I think I am making progress. I just arrived about 7:45am, and I’m still groggy. I said ‘hi’ to the few people who are here already. Last night’s network upgrade was a success despite a scare when all traffic stopped flowing inexplicably. Thankfully I called Curtis on his cell and we had things running again in less than an hour. The client is thrilled because were up and running inside the maintenance window. I could sure use more sleep, but I’m still pumped from doing such a huge migration basically on my own. Their new network really hauls ass now! It’s 8:00am and I’m waiting for any support calls as the day gets started for the client. The client has my cell phone so I’ll know pretty quickly if things don’t go well. I’m a little nervous because I have two other projects I need to move forward today. I have to get three new VM servers setup for a project that is two weeks behind schedule, and I have a new project kick-off meeting in the afternoon. Uh, oh! 8:05am and the dreaded call comes. “Everything is down and no one can work!” Crap! What could possibly have gone wrong? I’m 20 minutes in and I can’t figure out what’s happened. I’m panicking. But then the break comes. First, we figure out that the ISP is down. That fixes part of the issue but not everything. What the heck?? Then finally we realize that only about 10 users are affected. The last IT guy apparently statically configured IP addresses for the creative department. That’s about another hour of wasted time. Lesson learned though. Okay, 10:30am and all is calm on that front. Still I’m basically on track for the day. Let’s get these VMs built. It’s nice to get some exposure to vSphere. I’ve worked with Hyper-V for a few years and there are a lot of differences. I have my favorite but I can see the benefits to both. Setting these up will be a snap. The tricky part will be getting them connected to the client infrastructure. I want to get a VPN setup and tested because I have to join these nodes to the existing cluster. The real issue is that the client network is a mess and they haven’t approved our recommendations for fixing that quite yet. And on top of that, my contact at the client is a “personality” to put it mildly. Working with this guy really tests my patience. I spoke to Shawn about him though and he’s assured me that if personalities become a real problem, he’ll get involved and get it handled. I’ve seen him do that before so I know it’ll be fine. Meanwhile as the servers are installing, I’m preparing for the kick-off meeting this afternoon. Looks like a fun project. They have about 100 users on a 3rd party hosted email solution and they want to move to Exchange 2010 on their own hardware. They have some very specific data management requirements otherwise we’d probably put them in our cloud. I’m excited about this project because I really haven’t done much with Exchange server so far. I have Chris going out with me to meet with the client and to help me on the project. He’s amazing and he has so much experience. It’s a great feeling that these guys trust me with this project. I guess my track record speaks for itself but this is a critical project for the client, I’m new to this technology, and I’m basically running the whole project and doing almost all the work. It’s really important to me that this goes really well. I know that these guys have my back if I need them though. That’s an amazing feeling. Ironically we have a client doing the opposite migration next week. We seem to be migrating our clients off their own hardware a lot these days. Cloud hosted email and servers are more common than not and that will be even more true next year. We’ll be migrating over 300GB of mail data over the internet for this one client. I still think that’s amazing! Tomorrow is packed. I need to finish getting these VMs integrated into the client network, and I’m scheduled to be on site to continue with a major IT assessment and consulting project. That’s a lot to do. Never mind! Change of plan…. Shawn just came over and told me that we have a new client that needs special attention. Apparently they suddenly fired their previous IT company and they have some serious security concerns. They need someone on the ground first thing in the morning to rescue them. I’m totally ready! He said they have a very complicated door security system that integrated with their Active Directory and it needs to be reconfigured in the morning. I just found the link to the administrator’s guide. I guess I know what I’ll be reading before I go to bed tonight! This is not for everyone but if you read this thinking “this is awesome,” here’s what you need to be successful with us: Be mentally aware of the status and progress of all projects Simultaneously manage between 3 and 6 small, fast paced projects ranging from 10 hours to 100 hours. Be aware of and accountable for both client expectations and internal management expectations Create documentation and new processes related to implementing projects Create user self-help documents Create “train the trainer” guides Stay late to complete a project fully Show up early the next day to be 100% sure that the client is taken care of Be hands on and accountable for all projects Confidently interact with and consult with the client on your own most of the time Pull in the right team member when needed Be there for your team when they need you Get management involved if issues or client situations become "at-risk" Follow established processes thoroughly where they exist Use your resourcefulness and experience when the processes don’t exist or apply Be ready for extensive client interaction Be ready to successfully tackle projects, you may or may not feel totally expert on, like: Exchange, SQL, SharePoint and Lync installations and migrations Router and firewall installations and replacements Complex network switch configurations Cloud server implementations on VMware and/or Hyper-V HP, Dell and NetApp SAN implementations Hands on end user migrations If you’re excited about this and are ready to learn more, click here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/395292W [ http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/395292W|
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