11. System Developers for the 21st Century

The successful network development and sales companies in the 21st century will require much more than hired technicians. They will need people who care about their personal excellence and not just the money they make; who have a passion to help others and to be a part of the attempt to perfection; whose ultimate desire is to proudly represent their company as a real competitor in the emerging network development industry.

Perfect business situations are dependent upon network functionality, so naturally the main business interest of the company should be the selling of perfect networks. Perfect networks must provide custom functionality capable of supporting the evolving infrastructure goals of the companies for whom they are designed. This requires not only competent development, but well-researched, futuristic design.

Perfect networks require two things: the productive utilization of the technology that makes networks run, and the development of future-ready business tools and workflow systems that run on networks. This necessarily requires much more than experienced technical expertise for efficient implementation, but far-reaching conceptual visualization capabilities on the part of the sales team.

This requires sales leaders who can take the study of needs analysis beyond mere documentation to a higher, concept-building level. Who are attentive in needs analysis, well versed in both applicable technology and contemporary business concept, and who apply conspicuous attention to infrastructure concerns in order to impress the customer that their company will truly be a value added reseller and not just a technical crew.

Anyone can sell network hardware, but why should they allow their network clients to purchase their productivity services system from another company more into 21st century business thought than themselves? And why would astute clients choose to purchase their network components from a company unprepared to mold those components into a custom leading-edge business flow system?

It is plain to see that the evolution of corporate human resources management is being paralleled by, and integrally linked to, the development of Intranets (and extranets) as leading edge business and productivity tools.

That is why network development companies will need to have thinkers who are paid to do nothing but think, to research and develop clear and communicable network functionality concepts, translatable into workable plans, both for internal and external implementation.

There is little doubt that all network-using enterprises of the future will need to have on-staff full-time technical architects and dreambuilders whose job it is to research and develop practical and futuristic network functionality concepts. So a network sales team will naturally want to grow into a consulting group providing that kind of thinking and experience to corporate customers.

The goal then becomes to transform the network development company into more than just a leading-edge technical services provider, but into a trend-setting (not trend- following) Business Consulting Firm whose own internal example shines so brightly that they no longer need to sell their services, but are busy training new associates to represent them to a steadily increasing client base.

This 'Firm-of-the-Future' will, like all companies, comprise three forces - technical consultants, management consultants and sales consultants, and the sales/consultant force must be dreambuilders.