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Bad Experiences Thread, Paid for something not needed in Purchasing and Trading; Ok this is a question that not exalty a bad experince but i did not know where else to put ...
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    alonebfg's Avatar
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    Paid for something not needed

    Ok this is a question that not exalty a bad experince but i did not know where else to put it. A week ago i hade a cd drive failer and had to change it. This was not a problem t was on one of my servers so it had to be done in the quite hours. when I open the sever up I had the shock of my life. we have a scsi array (not raid yet) with a tape drive and looking in the pc I found that there was not just one but two controlers both the exact same. both 3 channel and one did not even have anything plugged into it. When i found the order i have since found out that the school bought the extra controler card ?? at the time there was not tech support for the school. Has anyone seen or heard of big companys selling non tech staff in schools things they dont need for the school??

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    Re: Paid for something not needed

    Perhaps it was for future expandability. Often its better to have more then you need ready for when you do need it, then have to upgrade later. That or one of the none tech staff thought it sounded good and asked for extra parts.

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    Re: Paid for something not needed

    Future proofing perhaps? Keeping the server upgradable?

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    Re: Paid for something not needed

    Redundancy/emergency changeover if the old card fails - saves sourcing a new one of the same spec as older hardware/worrying about different drivers etc.

    Not really worth thinking about if it's already been paid for and before your time anyway?

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    Re: Paid for something not needed

    We have several hundred PCs which have 2 network cards - one an "on board" Realtek device and the other an Intel Pro 100.

    I'd guess anyone coming in now and looking at it would wonder why we'd been sold 2 network cards (they were only ever used with one) might wonder why but it wasn't because the company was trying to rip us off; it's because I wanted Intel network cards rather than Realtek (no major reason; just wanted a standard!)

    I'd say it's very common for almost all IT equipment to be over-specced unless it's very cheap. Go to the Dell web site and customise an item - you'll see all sorts of options which are "Dell recommended" that you might not actually need but could make the equipment better. If you know exactly what you need you might not pick some of them; someone who doesn't know much about IT is likely to accept them. In most cases you're not being ripped off - as others have said, having a spare SCSI card could be really useful if one fails.

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    alonebfg's Avatar
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    Re: Paid for something not needed

    yes but two 3 channel scsi card is not good fair enough if they sold raid as well but to spend £75 when its not needed at all. If it brakes and not under the 3 year gar then the chances you could get the same card cheaper anyway.

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    Re: Paid for something not needed

    Quote Originally Posted by alonebfg
    If it brakes and not under the 3 year gar then the chances you could get the same card cheaper anyway.
    You might get it cheaper, but how much would the x of days of downtime you create while waiting while the school waits for you to source, order, and receive 3 year old identical SCSI card be worth? More than £75 I'd wager.

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    Re: Paid for something not needed

    One thing you learn after working in the public sector for a while, is that saving money gets you nowhere. There are no bonuses for good performance or financial benefits of a job well done.

    "value for money" is a myth. Expenditure ALWAYS expands to the size of the budget, no matter how big it is.

    There is simply no gain in saving money as it will mean the "saving" is cut from the budget allowance next year.

    I have found this to be true of IT equipment as well, a budget is set aside for a project, so the final price just happens to work out to be your project budget!

    In my experience I have found most people who have always worked in the public sector to be very blaise about spending public money, there seems to be little to no recognition to where that money really comes from.

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    Re: Paid for something not needed

    I don't think that's true at all. Having worked in both public sector and private schools, I've seen waste in both of them (but often in very different ways).

    value for money does not always mean spending the least money; in the example I gave above, we specced Intel cards because we knew they would work without trouble - that meant that although we paid a few pounsd more per machine (can't remember exactly what now but it was less than £10), we got a machine we knew we could rely on.

    As it happens, as we've taken those machines out of service, it's been useful to have 2 network cards - they've gone into the network classes where students want to have machines with 2 cards so they can set up things like routers, multi-home servers etc.

    It's almost the end of the financial year here and I've nowhere near spent my total budget (about 25% unspent). If my budget gets cut next year then that's fine - I haven't needed it this year so I probably won't next year. If it does cause problems, I know I can go and ask the finance director for extra money; if I can justify this then that will be fine.

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