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How does doing good affect your business?

A few months ago, I wrote in my personal blog about a technology facelift donated to a New York women’s shelter by the Big Apple Chapter of the Ingram Micro VentureTech Network. Well, the chapter is at it again.

This time, as part of its “Big Apple Cares” initiative, the group of IT solution providers is donating and installing more than $30,000 work of IT infrastructure and services at the AIDS Resource Foundation for Children. The donation is also supported by the Big Apple Chapter’s technology partners: Cisco, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft. Here are some of the things that the chapter did for the foundation:

  • Installed new cabling at four locations (provided by Managed Business Communications)
  • Deployed a wireless network (designed by TransNet)
  • Provisioned computers, netbooks and printers (handled by Exigent Technologies, the IT services company that proposed the AIDS Resource Foundation as a cause in the first place)

Here’s the requisite thank-you statement from Kevin Zealand, who is the director of the AIDS Resource Foundation:

“This technology upgrade comes just in time. It’s really great when we have donations from the community to help us do the work we are doing. For our foundation, the ability to utilize up-to-date computers and a state-of-the-art wireless network is something we can use on a daily basis.”

The Big Apple Chapter of Ingram VTN includes approximately 35 solution providers. The chapter is hoping that its work with non-profits can be formalized into a model that can be replicated by other VTN chapters (there are 12 throughout North America).

Which brings me back to the question in the headline of this post: What is your solution provider organization doing within your community to help non-profits that have been hard-hit by the recession? There are two reasons you might want to develop a story around community philanthropy:

  1. It will help build community goodwill, which can translate into sales
  2. It will help build internal goodwill with your own employees

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Are you a versatilist, generalist or specialist?
I'm versatilist specialized in generalization. In other words, I'm a life long learner and practitioner of my craft. I aim at solving problems, not going through the motions.
I am glad that the term versalist exists.t up. After 10 years in a service desk environment I have found myself needing to have a deep understanding of the various systems and platforms. This term best describes the requirements of a modern IT professional.