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The ‘all you can eat’ buffet.
There I was, empty plate in hand, looking at a choice of 100 hot, steaming trays of food - from Indian, Mexican, Chinese, puddings, starters, salads, and a variety of as yet undiscovered wonders to enjoy.
How did I choose what I wanted? I obviously wanted to stick with some old favourites, but at the same time explore new flavours and textures that may open the doors to some wonderful experiences.
So, I did what many people would have done in my position. And, I'm sure, many more will continue to do.
Everything went on – Chicken Madras, Beer Ribs, Sweet and Sour Chicken and a combination of rices and chips. Plus some deep fried pastry things that could have contained anything.
The only thing I really knew was that I was going to get my money’s worth; trying as many of these foods as I could, and still leave room for that rather scrummy looking Banoffee Pie.
As I waded through my first plate with joy at the spiciness of the Madras, confusion at the unusual aftertaste of the ribs, and the horror of finding a piece of Broccoli inside a pastry parcel, I started to look at those around me;
A gentleman opposite was well into his third mound, meat sweats pouring off his head as he forced mouthful after mouthful away; my partner was recommending the salt and pepper chicken wings; and a lady at the next table had a tasty looking pile of noodles I had missed on my first lap.
Back I went, all sense of responsibility going even further out the window – heedless of the bold warning on the menu about penalty charges if I left too much behind.
Ultimately? I was left disappointed. I found the noodles were a bit bland, the chicken didn’t work with them, and I was really beginning to wonder whether the food I had looked forward to most (Banoffee Pie in case you had forgotten) was going to find room in my now stretched stomach.
Just as the buffet offered an endless choice of solutions, I considered this as an analogy for the IT world.
Microsoft, Apple, and Linux all offer different operating systems; Sage, Navision, and Pegasus offer differing accounting solutions, then there is Sage CRM, Microsoft CRM, and Goldmine amongst many CRM solutions.
And the list goes on. It can be a minefield knowing what to choose for your business.
As a consumer I would like to try the latest Android offering, but will it work with my ERP system? Sage may offer the best accounting solution for me, but what if I want to try it with Microsoft CRM?
Forcing down the Banoffee Pie, I considered the success of the evening:
Had I got what I wanted?
Was I happy with what I had eaten?
Could I have done better with my choices?
All in all, would I really have been better choosing from an A la Carte menu, where experts had put together flavour combinations that worked together and best suited my taste buds, delivered the final course, and left me full but satisfied (rather than feeling a little sick)?
I like to think of TSG as the Maître D’ – getting to know your palate likes and dislikes, and putting together the combinations that best fulfil my actual needs, rather than the wants I would happily gorge upon...but probably aren’t all that good for me…
And, importantly, they can advise you where that hidden piece of broccoli is…