The Very Important Extras (VIEs) of the IT World

A Look at the Technology that Works Behind the Scenes for Your Success

Shannon Barnes

Picture yourself at a wedding. At one time or another you have been at a table with a bunch of people who you’ve never met before—and at first sight you might not have anything in common with them. I call this the “Very Important Extras” table. You might find yourself seated with distant friends of the bride and groom, or perhaps the DJ, photographer, or others not part of the “inner circle.” These Very Important Extras (VIEs) may also include the college roommates, the friend who is thought of often but seen infrequently because of “life,” and maybe even the long-lost cousin.

One thing is clear: nobody at the table is the center of attention at the reception. But during the course of the event, the VIEs introduce themselves and you begin to realize you have a few shared interests or things in common. Ideally, you end up seeing these people again. Because you were so impressed with them, you hired them for your events—or after hitting it off, you become friends and advocates for each other’s success.

When it comes to my role as a Product Manager at Connection, I don’t represent the giants within the data center providers, or software solutions, or even computers. I represent all the products that support those areas. When our customers are planning their purchases and strategizing their needs, I’m waiting in the wings to tie it all together to make the operation work. I am not at the top of their list. No, but just like at the wedding, the VIEs may not be in the center of the room, but our attendance is vital to the success of the event. So are the products I represent.

So, as you plan your major server purchase, don’t forget to add new fiber connections to optimize connectivity. When you purchase tablets and laptops for your field personnel for work, remember to include cases, bags, mice, keyboards, and of course headsets for high quality communications. We can tell when you use cheap ear buds with speakers on conference and WebEx calls—we assure you! And as you are planning your computer refresh, recognize that the printers and scanners you need to go with them have improved by leaps and bounds—from hi-tech security to app-based options that can do a multitude of time and cost saving functions—up to and including translating content into foreign languages after scanning in the document. Awesome!

As you plan your investment in IT improvements, think of your new friends at the VIE table. You didn’t know them before the wedding, but by the end of the day, you were all enjoying each other’s company. The same goes with secondary purchases. We want your investment to be “work ready” upon delivery, don’t forget those very important add-ons. We can help in that regard!

Shannon Barnes is a Product Manager at Connection. With 25 years of industry experience, Shannon is the go-to resource for technology that drives workforce productivity. Outside of work, she serves as the Chair of the Merrimack School Board, President of the NH School Boards Association, and NH Delegate to the National School Boards Association.