STATIC DISCLAIMER: All the stuff in here is purely my opinions, and they tend to change depending on what mood I'm in. If you're going to get bitter if I say something about you that you don't like, then maybe don't read. I avoid using names as much as possible, and would request that people who know me do the same in their comments. Basically, I often vent my frustrations on here, so if you happen to be someone who frustrates me, expect to read a description of someone very much like you in here!

Friday, July 29, 2005


I'm a little concerned. I just answered a call at work from someone at AIS who wanted to talk to my boss. The front desk had told him that my boss was off on leave (his wife has just had a baby girl) and so he'd decided it was worth seeing if any discussion had taken place in the IT office about a product he'd been advertising. My boss apparently has the information about this - it's called ISOnet, and is basically the AIS providing network services like web filtering, proxying, spam filtering, etc. to schools at a price which hopefully is competitive with what they're currently spending.

My problem is this: I thought my boss wasn't interested, but my co-worker has told me that he is considering going with it. This causes me a major problem, as most of the systems that I currently manage would then be outsourced to this company. Now, I wouldn't lose my job or anything, but it means it would become increadibly mundane. They would manage all of the following:
  • web servers
  • email servers
  • content filtering (web/email) and useage monitoring
  • virus protection
  • firewalls and routing
  • DNS
  • proxy and cache

It would also mean that the public Class-C IP range that we own would become completely unused, as they say they will "attempt" to accomodate sites that have their own IP ranges, but also state the the assumption is that your external IP address will be assigned by ISOnet.

The biggest problem for me is that basically they're going to take work off me, save money, and then some guy on $150k+ a year will be doing my job. It's good for the school, good for the ISOnet admin, but suckfest for me and other l33t sysadmins (the not l33t ones were probably paying for these services externally already). I mean, if they've got 100 schools on-board, and they pay $20k/yr each, that's $2,000,000. You could provide some pretty sweet service on that kind of money, and pay your admins increadibly well. Meanwhile, 100 sysadmins lose their jobs, or at least have to recreate them.


I give up. I think I'm going to end up pointing out the "Any" key for the rest of my working life.


hayley b said...

Justin, while your boss is away, now is the time to come up with a plan that shows him just how valuable you and your skills are!

Failing that, I know how much you hate your job sometimes, so maybe now is the time to explore other avenues (or at least positions in other companies). Time to keep your eye out for jobs going. I know I know, they're all too far away/not as flexible/too long hours etc etc. But I here's a suggestion; I've been working at a temp job in a government department for the last couple of months, and over the time that I have been here, I have seen heaps and heaps of jobs advertised internally (have even seen some sys admin jobs - but since these are advertised internally, unfortunately you can't currently apply). So my suggestion is to keep your eye out for government jobs, try to obtain one, and once you're in there, there is much chance of career progression, (which is w00t!). You may not start out where you want to, but you certainly have the chance to get there! Some gov jobs have flexible working time (like mine), you can start whenever and finish whenever, as long as you do the minimum hours. You can also do more hours (if time permits) and get flex time or overtime. And for this department, it's right near the train station, so really convenient! Just a suggestion my friend..... something to think about.

Grant said...

Hmmm... maybe you should get his contact details and tell him that you aren't interested ;)

Elsewise, you need to make your boss realise that issues that need to be addressed on your network will not be dealt with as quickly or efficiently as internally. Additionally, an outsourced company doesn't truly appreciate or know your values, needs or targets - you are just another account to them.
Additionally, if these guys go out of business, where does it leave you?

Nathan Zamprogno said...

We looked into the same deal, and I'm aware of this vendor's efforts of spruiking through AIS. They've made approaches through AACS as well.

IMHO, it represents very poor value and would be a disaster for any school with a half-way competant IT dept of their own. Sure, maybe if you're a school with no in-house IT expertise it may offer some advantages, but the cost! Erg!

My advice for schools is to steer away from it and do everything in-house.