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Re: [vox] [OT] Budget Surplus - How Do I Spend It?
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Re: [vox] [OT] Budget Surplus - How Do I Spend It?

On Fri, May 14, 2004 at 10:54:28AM -0700, Mark K. Kim wrote:
> Wow... what a happy problem you have...
> With so much money, I'd go through a entire software catalog and buy
> everything you might possibly want in it -- stock up on any software you
> may need in the future, like several copies of MS Project Professional,
> Visual Studio Professional, MS Office Professional, ZoneAlarm Pro, VMWare,
> antivirus software, antispyware, Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, lots and
> lots of computer books, and whatever else you wouldn't normally buy
> because of cost.  Have them available for anyone to try out and sample to
> see if it'll increase their productivity or the company's.  If anything
> does, you can get some more if you have time.  Even if they become
> obsolete by the time you need them, you'll have a pile of software you can
> get upgrade pricing on in the future.

We've got all the traditional tools already: development environments
(Delphi), graphic design tools (PhotoShop, DreamWeaver, Illustrator,
InDesign), etc. VMWare is an excellent suggestion, though! With VMWare
we could have multiple virtual machines to support our customers with
Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Windows XP while we had all
the utility of Linux or *BSD available as well. I'm using Cygwin and
PuTTY on my Win2k box now but would love to have it be running Linux 
with Windows under VMWare instead :^)

Contrariwise, I've never been one to buy software I'm not going to use.
I don't think I can recommend that direction.

> You can probably also hire some people to do office efficiency and
> security analysis.  I'm sure there are people that do that and you may get
> some benefit that'll last for a long time.

Indeed. Once again, the difficulty comes in having the goods delivered
by June 30. Finding a consultant, negotiating a contract, having the
consultant become familiar with our infrastructure and business
processes, and providing us with deliverables in that time frame will be
> And! Some employees can take some computer classes, apply for
> certificates, etc. and the company can pay for everything, including the
> tests, study materials, study courses, etc.  MSCE, all those network/CISCO
> certificate tests, Linux certificate tests, etc.  The company may be
> interested in having lots of certified people in the company to show off
> to clients, and it's something they can show off to their potential future
> employees ("hey, we pay for all this education whenever we can!")  Also,
> if there's any conferences or exhibits in the country that may be relevant
> to your company, offer to fly anyone interested over, pay for all their
> food, lodging, classes, etc.  That should be pretty fruitful for the
> employees' experiences.

I've got the staff hitting Google overtime looking for training
opportunities that can be justified with their current responsibilities.
Again, if it isn't going to be used in the workplace under our current
business plan, I can't justify it to my boss.
> Just some ideas...
With some good ones sprinkled in there, too! Thanks.
> -Mark
> On Fri, 14 May 2004, Marc Elliot Hall wrote:
> > So, My boss's boss called me into a meeting yesterday to announce that
> > our organization has found $200k remaining in the fiscal year budget.
> > That means it must be spent before June 30, or we lose it. The funds
> > must be spent on training, software, or consulting - No hardware or
> > other capital equipment.
> >
> > As a consequence, I have until Monday morning to compile a wishlist of
> > all the stuff I think we ought to acquire. The list must include cost
> > estimates; and all costs must be incurred and goods delivered by June
> > 30.
> >
> > Our organization (unfortunately) develops Windows-based software for
> > medical recordkeeping. Our front-end client is built in Delphi with a
> > back-end using either MS JET or MS SQL Server, depending on the
> > customer's needs.
> >
> > We have a development staff of six (located in Berkeley) and a help
> > desk staff of eight, three of whom share office space in Sacramento
> > with the rest distributed geographically around the US. Currently, the
> > help desk staff is using Act! to manage its operations - non-optimal.
> > Organization policy is to use MS SQL Server for all data storage,
> > wherever possible. However, there has been some recent interest on the
> > part of our development manager, web designer, and other staff in
> > using Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP for some internal operations.
> >
> > This brings me to my question: given these facts and criteria, what
> > recommendations for training, software, and consulting (with an emphasis
> > on open source and Free software, wherever possible) would you have for
> > our organization? Suggestions of specific vendors and programs are
> > welcome, although direct sales inquiries are *NOT*.
> >
> >
> -- 
> Mark K. Kim
> AIM: markus kimius
> Homepage: http://www.cbreak.org/
> Xanga: http://www.xanga.com/vindaci
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> PGP key available on the homepage
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> vox@lists.lugod.org
> http://lists.lugod.org/mailman/listinfo/vox

Marc Elliot Hall		
P.O. Box 435
Shingle Springs, CA 95682
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