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Summer project kickoff: 5 questions to ask your SLED customers in July

July 01, 2018

Summer project kickoff: 5 questions to ask your SLED customers in July

Summer is here, and your SLED projects are likely in full swing. It’s a busy season for sure, but it also signals an important transition—the shift from one fiscal year to the next.

Budgets for many state and local governments as well as education customers end in June, so there’s often new funding available in July to finish projects started earlier in the year. In addition, there may be federal funding grants that your customers must spend by the end of September.

Either way, summer is a great time to close out projects—and kick off new ones. So there’s no better chance to keep your customer conversations going, learn all you can about what’s coming next, and inquire about how you can help.

5 questions to ask your SLED customers in July

How are your summer implementations going? Is everything complete, or do you need additional warranties, services or help with in-site installation?
Look for: Hidden or newly uncovered needs that may have come to light during the initial implementation. A good example would be incremental infrastructure due to heavier loads, extended warranties due to lack of future capital funding, or higher-resolution monitors due to ADA rules.

Now that you’ve completed this phase of the project … what’s next?
Look for: Clarification on technology plans and budgets. In some instances, projects are pilot studies with future expansion plans. Discuss factors that may be important for a successful project implementation, such as professional development for instructors in a K–12 scenario or incremental technicians for a site needing more support.

In the new budget, what funded technology needs do you have?
Look for: New priorities for the upcoming fiscal period. New budgets often reflect changes in direction or different customer priorities. A good example is the increasing importance of all aspects of physical security for government and school buildings, personnel and the public.

Does E-rate funding have to be spent in the fiscal year? If so, what resources do you need to apply?
Look for: Information about E-rate funding for the upcoming year and new E-Rate applications at district locations. Since E-rate funding is often spread out over years, it’s important to understand what funding is available for the upcoming school year. In addition, your customer may be building new schools that qualify for both Category 1 and 2 funding, and they may need assistance with product selection and pricing.

Does the new budget allocate any money toward physical security, such as cameras, badges and magnetic door locks?
Look for: New security needs in the areas of security software, building monitoring systems and physical access.

The bottom line: Find out what’s earmarked in the new budgets and what (if any) challenges they may be having with their summer implementations. You’ll not only poise yourself as a strategic support partner, you’ll set yourself up for another stream of work in the year ahead.

For more information on supporting your contracts, contact the Ingram Micro public sector sales team at (800) 456-8000.