A Word from Our Partners: Scott Kunau from IGTG - Part 1
In March, I wrote about the advantages being a small company when it comes to providing superior service to our customers. Recently, I had the opportunity to catch Scott Kunau of the Innovative Global Technology Group (IGTG) between projects for an informative chat about the company, their clients' most pressing IT needs, and the partnership with Messaging Architects. One of the things that makes the partnership work so well is the fact that IGTG is a small, hands-on company with comprehensive expertise in Novell, Microsoft and Linux environments that follows a very simple philosophy: total commitment to client satisfaction by outstanding performance and professionalism. Here's the first part of what Scott had to say...
Founded in 2006, Innovative Global Technology Group (IGTG) helps organizations of all sizes and industries find the right technology solutions in networking, messaging, virtualization, and storage. The two founders, Scott Kunau and Sam Lohrer, who between themselves bring over 30 years of technology experience, joined forces following a clear and simple philosophy: total commitment to client satisfaction by outstanding performance and professionalism.
What makes IGTG unique is their straightforward, tangible, measurable solutions without the fluff, spin, or unnecessary steps sometimes employed by other consulting firms. Their only concern is making sure the solution they offer a client is customized to their needs, exceeding only their expectations, not their budget or the time needed to complete the project. They also empower clients with knowledge transfer to help their IT staff troubleshoot various issues with ease.
What sets IGTG apart from other systems integrators and technology consultants is their extensive skills and hands-on expertise in Novell, Microsoft and Linux environments.
RD: What's your approach working with clients?
SK: One of the things that differentiates us is the fact that we work with clients in a comprehensive way: in addition to the software implementation, we help them with the planning stage, provide training following the deployment, and suggest best practices on managing the solution. We are also able to adapt depending on organizations' budgets, infrastructures, and deployment schedules.
RD: That’s a bit different from the typical approach of professional services, isn’t it?
SK: You’re absolutely right. Many IT consulting firms go into a company, do the project on a schedule they define and leave, perhaps providing documentation, perhaps not. When we work with a client, we insist on providing knowledge transfer and training during and after the deployment as part of the total solution we offer. We want our clients to be as self-reliant as possible while knowing that we are right behind them if they need us.
RD: I agree with you there - one of the strongest complaints we get from clients is the lack of knowledge transfer from consultants. In your case, it's actually part of your professional services engagement...
SK: Here’s an example with a recent email migration from GroupWise to Exchange that we did using M+Archive. The entire new email environment was set up by their IT department in-house. I didn’t physically run any of the installations, but I explained each stage of the project and discussed possible problems they could run into. The internal IT staff was implementing the steps. The result was, they came out of the migration knowing exactly what they had and how to manage it. This way, they are able to do future upgrades themselves and deal with potential troubleshooting. It's also a more cost effective way of using our services.
RD: You mentioned your clients highly value your flexibility. Can you elaborate on that?
SK: A big consulting company comes in, dictates the implementation schedule and then they walk away. Often, the client doesn’t know what was done, there’s little or no documentation, there’s no knowledge transfer and training. The end result is, now the client is married to the consulting company for any problem-solving, upgrades, fixes, additional deployments and so forth, which is their end game.
We work with clients in a way that best suits them. Our clients choose to work with us; they are not stuck with us because they have no other alternatives. For instance, some clients rely on their own expertise for many projects. However, when it comes to GroupWise-related matters, OES, or other Novell products, they turn to us because they know we have the Novell experience they don’t. Just recently, a new client selected us over another integrator because we were willing to approach the IT projects they needed assistance on their terms.
Or another example: a large company with thousands of users needed a GroupWise stabilization, virtualization, and clustering project. Now, I could have completed the entire project in about six to eight weeks, perhaps even less. But the client wasn’t interested in this blitz scenario. They wanted to go slowly, test things thoroughly in a virtual lab, implement changes only in off-hours when everyone was out of the system, schedule changes and upgrades well in advance, get full approval, etc. So the project ended up taking significantly longer, almost eight months. The point is, we are flexible enough to take as much time as necessary.
RD: It seems that while emotionally you have a strong allegiance to Novell products, which you regard highly, you are equally knowledgeable and at ease with Microsoft technologies.
SK: Ultimately, it’s all about the clients and what they are using. That’s why we make sure to stay on top of things, whether we are talking about Novell, Linux, or Microsoft. We have to be ready. And while this may seem likes a daunting task, it isn’t that difficult once you have a strong foundation and the ability to be a quick study. That's why we are able to execute complex and multi-stage projects, such as software upgrades, email migrations, archiving, clustering, data recovery, and compliance without being concerned about the particular operating system or messaging platform.
In part 2 of Scott's interview, he discusses why he recommends M+Archive to his numerous clients in healthcare, government, and education.
– Roumiana Deltcheva