After the fiasco of the proposal to locate the BritBreak drop-in PC centre in a high security area, I have had a stroke of luck. A large suite of offices next to the staff restaurant has become available. By getting direct support from IT director Mike Rapton, I secured this site, and work is already underway ripping out partitioning to create three large areas: an office, a demonstration area and a lecture room. My intention is to leave the design to an external agency, Zappilook Holdings, who will handle everything from the logo to the furniture for a suitably high fee.
It might be worth explaining why a high fee is important. We have to bring in an external firm rather than using BritBreak's own staff because senior management always pays more attention to an external source, however ill-informed. While in theory Slaughter McTone Regis could do the job alone, it would endanger our standing as serious management consultants - you simply can't be a serious management consultant and understand colour swatches. So we bring in a third party, the more expensive the better, because everyone knows you have to pay for quality. Oh, and because SMR gets a 15% cut for introducing them.
With the premises in hand I could spend some time on purchasing. When purchasing director Ralph Cram faced IT difficulties some while ago he was quick to buck the system. However, the thought of users acquiring software without his involvement has made him wary. Our customer focus group has suggested we have popular software available off-the-shelf.
The packages could be picked up from the PC centre immediately when required.
Cram had a blocking tactic ready. It would be expensive, as we'd bear the stockholding cost. Luckily I was ready for this argument. Our software suppliers had already agreed to hold stock on our premises, only charging us when it is issued. Round one to the PC centre.
An interesting side issue cropped up during the interchange of memos with purchasing. I received a Word document through the Email. When I double-clicked it my virus checker went off, pointing out a macro virus.
Quickly I rang up IT security. The following interesting discussion ensued:
"I've just received a Word document from purchasing with the WM.Cap.A macro virus in it. What do you want me to do?"
"Hang on." Much rustling of papers. "How do you know it's got that virus?"
"My virus checker says so."
"But our standard issue virus checker can't detect WM.Cap.A."
"I'm using my own virus checker."
Loud sucking of air. "I'm afraid we can't accept virus reports from non-standard virus checkers."
"But what about the virus?"
"It doesn't do much, just disables macro functions. Anyway, it's endemic.
It would cost far too much to fix it." He put the phone down before I could say anything else.
It's nice to know that BritBreak's IT security is in safe hands.
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