My Guide to a Successful VDI Implementation, Part 3

Sorry for the delay in posting this last part, but vacation took priority.  To finish the series out (part 1 here, part 2 here), I want to provide you with a short list of things not to do.  These are the things I’ve seen customers not do properly that eventually come back to haunt us and make us all look bad (IT staff and consultant).  Obviously, anything that would be opposite of any items above would fit here as well.

  1. Don’t pay for a consultant to come in, then stick him in a room and say “come on out when you’re done.”  There’s no way he can understand your objectives or the special quirks your organization has.  This approach reduces the valuable knowledge transfer and experience you could gain by doing the work yourself while the consultant guides you through the process.
  2. Make sure your house is in order first.  If your infrastructure is not prepared, don’t rush the project in.  Many of these items have gone into my pre-engagement checklist.
  3. Nothing in IT is perfect, so don’t expect VDI to be.  As much as we depend on computers these days, we should all realize by now that they don’t always work as we plan them to.  Be prepared for this and don’t blame anyone for it.  Work through it together.  Collaboration is key, because one person does not always have every answer.
  4. Cutting corners saves money, but cutting the wrong corners too deep will destabilize the building.  Work with your partner to determine when, where and how much the quote can be cut back.

Many of the items in all three parts rely on you trusting your partner, which is why I put that at the very beginning.  Go back and read each of my recommendations and you’ll realize that most of them involve trusting your partner to some extent.  You may have a lot of expertise with virtualization and desktop management, but in this case 1 + 1 doesn’t equal 2.

Hopefully my role as a consultant doesn’t make you instantly dismiss my recommendations.  I have only spent the last two years as a consultant, so I can still put myself into the mindset of a customer.  While I was a customer, we did a mix of learning on our own and relying on consultants for many different non-VDI projects.  While most projects were successful, I always felt the ones that were the most successful were the ones where we had a trustworthy advisor.

VDI really is a paradigm shift and will require you to think in different ways.  That’s not to say you or any of the customers I’ve worked with couldn’t do it on their own, after all, I and every other VDI pioneer had to figure it out somehow.  The advantage a seasoned consultant can bring is experience, which manifests as quicker, more decisive success for you.