IT field service technician installing cables

Jul 10, 2017 11:00:00 AM | Field Services 4 Things to Control in Global IT Integrations 🌏

Exceptional outcome delivery stems from clear communication between all parties, which in turn is enhanced by transparency.

IT project expertise is so valuable because of the inherent complexity of each undertaking. Every deployment, installation, break/fix issue, or other scenario brings with it many variables for which to account. In other words, each project has litany of potential things—large and small—that could go awry.

Exceptional outcome delivery stems from clear communication between all parties, which in turn is enhanced by transparency.

As such, what allows a global IT integrator to excel at projects of any magnitude is the ability to prepare for and control these variables. Some things are unpredictable and out of your control, to be sure. But minimizing the array of variables that can affect an IT deployment and your client’s satisfaction is a major differentiator between being successful and simply getting a project accomplished.

Let’s take a look at four common elements that you should control in global IT integrations:

1. Margins

Controlling the total cost is the foremost challenge for IT integrators, as it is for your clients. This is simple in theory but requires thoroughness in execution. Hitting your margins as an IT integrator relies largely on the planning and research done before a project is started. Calculating the basics like planned value and the likely timeframe for completion must be bolstered by looking back at the actual cost and longevity for previous projects of similar scope.

Make sure you fully understand all of the costs, fees and taxes involved in your global dispatch or project. Factor an appropriate amount of risk into your anticipated costs and clearly define the work to be done ahead of time to give yourself enough budgetary leeway without over-quoting a client.

2. Managed expectations

That point about defining the scope, scale and details of a project ahead of time is doubly important. The obvious practical reason, of course, is the increased expenses that miscalculated the amount of work incurs. But alongside that, allowing dreaded “scope creep” to occur reflects poorly on your competence and authority as a provider of IT solutions.

There are many causes for the scope of a project to get subtly widened until it’s no longer tenable to deliver as initially promised. Sometimes it’s a matter of clients seeing additional improvements they’d like and think are simple to enact. Other times it can be the result of mismanaged execution or deployment of techs. More often than not, though, the root cause is poor planning caused by poor communication.

Hence the importance of defining every element of an IT project with a client and drafting a comprehensive statement of work for your field services provider. You must set expectations in stone to deliver a managed outcome to everyone’s satisfaction. That underlies the importance of the next aspect to control:

3. The flow of information

Exceptional outcome delivery stems from clear communication between all parties, which in turn is enhanced by transparency. From the client and integrator to the project manager and technicians, everyone needs to keep everyone else in the loop about what can be done, when it can be accomplished, and how the work is progressing.


Controlling this properly involves being an adept facilitator. Open the lines of communication up early in the planning process to gather and disseminate deadlines, restrictions, and needs as the project’s scope is being defined.

Keep those channels open and active through the execution of the work. Have work hierarchies and comprehensive schedules for the project coordinator and technicians accessible, inform clients of any delays or difficulties and whether they will affect the promised outcome, and distribute regular (weekly is often a good frequency) updates on progress and the comparison to the actual work value compared to that which was predicted at the outset.

4. A functional end result

“Measure twice, cut once,” as the old carpenter's adage goes. That certainly applies to the previous points in this article, as we’ve emphasized the importance of planning and setting parameters. But this, too, is relevant to final stages of an IT integration.

Amid all this talk about project management, coordination, communication and definition of scope, let’s not forget the paramount importance of the end result: the technology you put into place for a client has to work right from the get-go. Test and troubleshoot as much as possible while hardware and software are being implemented. Be aggressive in looking for compatibility issues, security flaws, or anything that can be anticipated and addressed before telling your client the work is done. Failing to address integration issues that fall within a project’s scope will cost your client time and money and, in turn, tarnish your organization’s reputation.

You can’t control everything in an IT project, and the complexity that arises from having a client, a field services provider and multiple technicians involved compounds the amount of things that could go wrong. Just remember that with some serious planning, a little extra legwork, and anticipating likely problems, you can drastically cut down on uncertainty and risk for each integration.


Chad Mattix

Written By: Chad Mattix

A global IT executive experienced in establishing strategic partnerships for large U.S.-based organizations, Chad Mattix specializes in managed services, contract pricing and negotiation, and the startup and growth of technology services companies. Chad has spent the last 15 years helping large U.S. retailers and U.S.-based IT service providers expand their capabilities across the globe to follow their clients’ expansions. He has developed and completed full entity formations in Brazil and China and has worked with sales pursuit teams in messaging and client-facing presentations. He has also established global alliance and partnership models for multiple global IT organizations. Chad travels around the world to develop and maintain long-term relationships with employees, clients, vendors and partners, which are critical for success.