Identifying and Qualifying Architect Opportunities Quick Reference



This Quick Reference provides information about identifying opportunities and qualifying customers where Architect would be a great solution to fill the needs of a prospective client. Through interaction with a prospective client you can determine if Architect is the right fit for the organization.

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Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery projects are typically driven by several market drivers affecting all businesses. It's important to understand each one, how they affect your potential customer, and how they impact the priority of the project.

Over the last 18 months, customers have told us that with the rate of change virtualization represents, massive data growth, and 24x7 business expectations, the way they handle DR is now much more complex and holistic. The bottom line is they can’t trust their DR plans will work when they need them to.

While there are a myriad of reasons, they all revolve around a few, specific issues:

  • The business expects IT to handle DR, but rarely agrees to make the investments needed to ensure continuity. Although when an outage occurs, IT takes the blame.
  • The rate of change in a data center today is too dynamic to accurately track. In short, most IT organizations do not have a holistic picture of everything that exists in their environment at any given time.
  • There is a disconnect between how IT assets depend on each other and how IT inventory actually aligns to support the processes and services the business relies on.
  • Because of this disconnect, DR happens in a silo applying point solutions to point problems that don’t fully address the business service’s needs.

This leads to the current state of the BC/DR project market - a series of failed tests, unbudgeted project needs, and failed plans when the business needed them the most (which are always blamed on IT). This also means that IT departments have to settle for what they can get approved, versus what they actually require, because the data to support the business spend is undefined.

The problem is simple - the majority of business continuity plans are not working because we try to deliver recovery and continuity without first knowing what we have, what it relies on, what makes it important, how important it is, and what impact daily changes in the environment make on our ability to deliver continuity to the users. We implement point solutions to point problems when we are able to get budget approved, and those point solutions are out of date the day we implement them as the infrastructure and need continuously evolve.

The end result – budgets are cut, projects are turned down, we lose sleep supporting a multitude of failed tests, and we lose reputation (or more) when the plans fail all together.

Lead Qualification

The client's operational environment plays an important role in determining not only if Architect is an appropriate product for the client, but also the success of the solution.

Identifying potential issues with infrastructure, existing applications, custom applications, or other non-standard applications or configurations early in the sales process will prevent problems later.Taking the time to ask key questions will save time and frustration by the client during implementation.

To convert an unqualified lead to a qualified lead, Neverfail recommends asking the prospective client the following simple key questions.

  • Are you a VMware customer?
  • Are you on the latest vSphere 5.1 release?
  • How many ESX hosts are in your environment?
  • How many total sockets does that represent?
  • What % of your environment has been virtualized?
  • Do you make use of VMware availability tools such as HA, FT, SRM or vSphere replication?
  • What other technologies do you use to protect the availability of your key applications?
  • How often do you add servers or new technologies?
  • When was your last DR test? How did it go?
  • Who in your organization is responsible for IT service continuity when an outage occurs?
  • Who pulls together the enterprise architecture and service catalogues that enable IT continuity planning?

Qualifying an Opportunity

To ensure that Architect is the right tool for the job, it's important to ask the following qualifying questions.

  • How confident are you that your DR plan will actually work when you need it?
  • Are your biggest concerns around not knowing what you have and making sure your plan works, or executing failover solutions for application services that have already been defined?
  • How much downtime can you afford?
  • Is your DR plan something that you have to test periodically?
  • When was the last time you tested it?
  • What is driving this project? Is it in the budget, or did you just experience downtime? How are you handling HA and or DR for your critical servers today? What is the impact on your business? Is this a planned and budgeted project?  And, did this come up from an audit or other external drivers?
  • What is the project timeframe? Is this an immediate need or are you just planning for a future project? And, do you have an implementation timeframe or deadline?
Applies To

Neverfail IT Continuity Architect

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