I’m happily killing 2 birds with one Stone during my time at VMworld. In addition to the conference itself , I’m taking the opportunity to catch up with work colleagues across the world, to share war stories and compare solutions to see the excellence in each others endeavours.

In a typical office , the helpdesk is seen as the script based staff on the end of a phone who tells you to turn it of and back on again. What really impressed me about my hosts was that their helpdesk was the polar opposite. It could not have been put in a more prominent position if they’d tried.

Between the reception desk & canteen were a serious of booths , organised more along the lines of a Genius Bar , where users are encouraged to drop equipment off on the way to lunch. Loan kit is easy to obtain , from projectors to printers and above all an atmosphere of the IT function working with the business , not against it. I wanted to pinch myself and make sure I wasn’t in the middle of a Utopian dream. To put things in scale , this not a tiny SME – This is an office with 1000+ staff. I hear operations people these days complaining so much about a culture where IT felt they were on the back foot and had to “push back” against the business. This was a perfect example of how an IT function can operate when its had that light bulb moment of working with the business to enable them to do what the business does , which is make money !

I’d love to see a little debate around this – do you see IT as a function to accelerate the business , or do you see end users as a necessary evil ?