March 7, 2018

Secret Agent Man

Long-time reader and infrastructure monitoring expert Mike Julian sent in this gem in response to yesterday’s message “57 Thunderbird” (shared with permission):

Hey Jonathan, This reminds me of a story, which only just now do I realize was a calculated case of value. Years ago, I was working at a manufacturing plant in a rural state for a weekend, doing a major overhaul and upgrade of their ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system. Their ERP system ran everything in the plant (which made something like $50k/day) and was crucial to operations. My job was to migrate the ERP to a datacenter in another state, which just involved an online data transfer of the database. Unfortunately, we got behind. There was no way we could have the new system online by Monday and returning to the original system was no longer an option. The plant was going to be offline during a workday and that was Very Bad for everyone. My colleague suggested, “What if we ship the hard drives?” What? There’s no way it’ll be there in time. It’s a weekend. Well, as it turns out, there are companies that exist for exactly this sort of situation. A man in a suit showed up at the plant on a Saturday afternoon with a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist. I put the hard drives in the briefcase. His driver immediately took him to a private, chartered flight to the other location, and another private car service drove him directly to the datacenter, where my colleague was waiting. Total time: 3 hours. The project met the deadline thanks to this. I think the total price for this service was somewhere in the $10k range, but looking back, I and my client would have happily paid double considering the alternative of the plant being shut down. It’s funny now that I know what value really means. I’m starting to see it everywhere, including my own past experiences that were previously just “crazy stories.” -Mike

Thanks for sharing, Mike!



P.S. Friends don’t let friends bill by the hour. Gift options available at checkout ->