What a deal!

Once upon a time I was a young man starting my career in IT. I found myself in New York (the city) on an assignment, and walking down the street I was lured in by a street hawker selling knock-off watches. No one, including the salesperson himself denied they were knock-offs. But, I walked away with a nice looking Patek Phillippe forgery that would have been $100K if it were real. I scored mine for $10.

This Patek Philippe automatic-self-wind men’s Watch can be had for the paltry sum of $179,995.

In truth, the watch performed quite well. It kept extremely accurate time, didn’t turn my arm any strange color, and even garnered a few compliments along the way. I knew it was not a Patek Phillippe, and anyone well-versed in watches in the $100K price range knew it, too. But for the casual observer, it was a handsome watch that worked. Well worth my investment.

One morning, hurrying out of my hotel room to get to an early appointment, I hung the faceplate of the watch on the zipper of my briefcase as I was reaching for my car keys. I heard a slight but strange and indeterminable sound. I thought it came from the area of the case, but I was in a hurry and went about my business. When I got to the street, I looked down at my watch to see what time it was, and I was looking at the inside of the back of the watch, still on the band. Apparently, I had ripped the entire face off the watch and its guts were now in the bottom of my briefcase.

Falling victim to cheap.

I wouldn’t say I learned my lesson with the knock-off Patek Phillippe. After all, it was only a $10 investment and loss. But it was an early (and inexpensive) lesson in beware of cheap.

Rarely if ever does cheap pay off – in watches, cars, wines, vacations, lawnmowers or appliances. And never in IT. Sure, it’s important to look for inexpensive solutions, good values and cost-efficient alternatives.

But the $199 laptop just doesn’t perform. The “protect your network for a one-time fee of $299” firewall solution is no solution at all.

Patched together wireless networks from clearance modems are far more likely to fail and cause turmoil than bring about a realistic working environment.

NetCare™ Procure is the acquisition piece of our full lifecycle IT management. The key is, it is not a standalone service, and doesn’t operate in a vacuum. It is one of six parts of an overall matrix that delivers well-planned, finely-adjusted enterprise solutions. Without Planning, Review and every piece in between, procurement can fall to the lowest-common denominator: price. But price is a poor indicator of quality. Value is the better determinant. Far better. And value is what NetCare™ delivers.

I don’t wear a watch anymore. I haven’t for years. My laptop dings me when my schedule dictates, and if I’m on the move, my phone does the same. It’s really better for me. But even if neither did, I wouldn’t miss my Patek Phillippe knock-off. As it turns out, it was a piece of junk. Cheap. I should have known. I just should have known.