Posted by: peterhact | September 5, 2013

“X” As a Service

Many different things have come about over the years “as a service”. We have had software, infrastructure, software, security, storage, cloud…. all provided as a service to a client. The newer versions of the “As a Service” seem to be limited by imagination only, there are Sales offerings, Managed services, Business development, in fact, anything that a person wants to get for a business, there is probably an “As a Service” offering that will meet their needs.

This got me thinking. What if the breadth of my knowledge in my industry could benefit an organisation who is looking to buy equipment, but just doesn’t have the time to research it? What if there is a company that is looking to utilize social media but just doesn’t know where to start? What if there are people with websites that feel that the money they spent doesn’t seem to be returning on their investment? I can help these companies and people out.

I was talking with a person on the telephone the other day that told me that they signed up to several social media services, but they really think that they haven’t scraped the surface on what these services could do for them. They were at a loss as to how to approach social media, and had started using a site that fed their blog posts directly into a twitter feed – apparently, this will increase their presence.  It will, true. It may also result in many twitter followers moving away from them as they are bombarded by lots of ad-like tweets. I could help this company write a social media engagement plan. I could also assist them in seeing value in all of the applications that they are using.

I have written policy for social media. I have written sales plans, business plans and marketing plans, responded to tenders, proposals and expressions of interest. I have done all these things for other employers, and felt that I was contributing to the overall success of a company. What if these skills I have could be encapsulated into a program for a business that needs them on an ad-hoc basis? Couldn’t I be providing them with these skills as a service?

I called this post “X” as a service. “X” stands for every single thing that you can think of that I could help you with. It could be analysing data about your business, your sales processes, it could be researching a new technology for adoption, I could be explaining social media, websites and methods of attracting new clients to you.

Why limit what “X” is?

I was talking to a colleague a little while ago that told me he made the move to canberra to start a new life, but he was finding it hard going as the industry he came from has little or no presence here. I took it upon myself to help him understand the ICT industry here, the technology that we were selling and different gadgets that clients are interested in. I enjoyed helping him and answering his questions. I enjoyed it so much that I had a lightbulb moment. I could be helping people like him to understand technology.

So that is where I am now. I have an ABN, I can create invoices and I can absolutely help out anyone who needs help. I am not charging like a wounded bull, I have calculated my fees carefully and I am able (and willing) to come and give people a hand. The only difference is now I am going to be paid for what I used to do for free, as a part of the customer service I provided for other employers. I am my own employer, and my overheads include a mortgage, electricity and other bills and my photography – I would like to be able to run a site with my photos on it for purchase, but this is a long term goal.

If I were holding up a placard, it would read: “Will work for money”.

If this doesn’t work, I will be content in knowing that the idea is still there. I am not relying on this as my only source of income – I have to crawl before I can walk, but the first step is always better than never taking a step at all.

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