A few months ago I wrote about Margie’s adventures in renewing VPN access for one of our vendors. Well, a couple weeks ago she started working on the next 90 day renewal; she gave herself a six-week lead in case things went wrong.
Of course, a six-week lead on a 90 day cycle means she’s starting over half-way through the cycle. That’s an unattractive long-term prospect, since the vendor’s got a five-year contract. So she got on the phone, found out who she needed to contact to get a policy exception, and made her case that an exception was appropriate. She’d done her homework, and she convinced the key decision-makers that a six-month renewal cycle was more appropriate to this specific situation. She copied me a very graceful concession from the policy makers just before lunch.
IT’s renewal policy clearly assumes all contractual relationships are inherently unstable. The short-cycle renewal process assures that we’ve got current information about the actual staffers supporting our products. I’ve known support teams where such caution was appropriate, but such precautions are not always appropriate. Margie’s case was that the policy needs more nuance, and she convinced ’em. How this will work out for the rest of IT’s customers remains to be seen, but she’s got a commitment through the end of our vendor’s contract. Good work.
As I mentioned in the earlier essay, IT’s still finding its feet after a major reorganization. Sometimes we need to teach them what we know about their impact on the business. It’s good to know they listen.