Barron McCann - Delivering Service Excellence

PIDS: Encompassing IMACs and a lot else besides

Many IT services delivery companies offer what they term IMACs; Installations, Moves, Additions and Changes. At Barron McCann, we use the initialization ‘PIDS’: Project, Infrastructure and Deployment Services. At first glance it might seem as though the two are essentially similar; we may divide the elements up differently, but surely the overall offering is the same?

Breaking down the remits of IMACs and PIDS and examining the elements of service which are picked out reveals that this is not the case: while PIDS can deliver all that IMACs can (and more), IMACs alone cannot provide the comprehensive coverage which is offered by the PIDS approach.

Starting with the familiar IMAC offering, we don’t find an awful lot to break down: ‘Installations’ encompass devices, the software which runs on them, and the resources (including cabling) which power them. ‘Moves’ can be as simple as removing a device from its current location and installing it in another room in the same facility, or as complex as uprooting most of an IT system and reinstalling it at a new site location. ‘Additions’ can be thought of as installations within an existing system, while ‘Changes’ essentially covers all of the physical activities which don’t slot neatly into the other categories.

What immediately jumps out is the fact that all of these elements focus on the physical work done. Installations may involve days of planning, configuration and testing before they reach the deployment stage, moves might entail a comprehensive survey of the destination site, and changes could require a detailed review of the operational strategies of the business to optimise the use of new systems. The term IMAC reduces all of these requirements to the end result.

This is no surprise, as IMACs are not intended to be comprehensive. Even a simple project (e.g. replacing a dozen PCs) requires work which doesn’t fall tidily into any of the categories, and this ‘non-IMAC’ work can actually comprise the greater part of larger projects (e.g. overhauling a large retail store with leading-edge technology). Even after surveys, strategic planning, project proposals and consultations, there are many, many links in the chain before we come to anything which looks convincingly like an IMAC. IMACs, then, are smaller parts of larger, far more comprehensive offerings.

‘PIDS’ is an initialization that does justice to the breadth and scope of work required to ensure that any IT provision project runs smoothly from planning to sign-off, delivers customer satisfaction and allows the customer to leverage maximum benefit from their investment. Project encompasses all of the planning, evaluation, information and theoretical knowledge which goes into delivering a high-quality service which is truly suited to the customer. Infrastructure describes all of the practical elements of making a project run smoothly; our extensive logistics systems, secure warehousing and build and configuration facilities to name but a few.  Deployment covers all of the practical expertise and activity needed to rollout a project, including our nationwide installation engineers.

None of these elements is effective without the others: PIDS sets out a holistic approach to IT services provision. Where ‘IMACs’ separates examples of very similar activity into their own, slightly fragmented categories, PIDS instead sets out three distinct but deeply connected and interdependent types of activity, working together cohesively to deliver a rounded, thoroughly planned and ultimately well-executed delivery which draws on all elements of our knowledge, experience and ability. We believe that this holistic approach, encompassing all aspects of planning and execution, is the approach required to ensure the best possible results for our clients.

Contributed by: Simon Philips, Head of Business Development, Barron McCann

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