Nuturing your consultant

I’ve just finished reading an article by Wayne Schulz on his blog and I’ve got to say it resonates with me. The article in questions? “Care And Feeding of MAS 90 Consultants (Tips & Tricks)

Although I deal with a different product to Wayne (he works with MAS 90, I work with ACT!) the questions he’s heard from end users are similar to what I’ve heard. His response to these four questions are worth reading. The questions he hears are:

  1. Can you write down all the instructions that my IT guy needs to upgrade…
  2. Hey, quick question – you’re not going to charge me are you?
  3. That network or hardware issue is definately a result of your product….
  4. Can’t you call Sage and have them fix it?

Go read his thoughts on why these questions should set off an alarm bell.

I think however that these situations arise when the clients expectations haven’t be correctly set. The best time to set the expectations of what we as consultants do is at the beginning of the relationship. Sometimes however, we find that the situation needs to be reset. In that case I’ve found it best to be upfront with the client as to what we find difficult and why, discussing with them what we are prepared to do and what we are not.

We as the consultant need to nurture the client, equally, the client needs to nurture the consultant. That is what a relationship is, individuals working through challenging issues, for the benefit of both.

Reminds me of this youtube video: “The Vendor Client relationship – in real world situations“.

Got a thought on this? Leave a comment below…

How to clear the MS Exchange mail queue quickly

Spent the day dealing with an exchange server that had been compromised. As a result, heaps of spam emails were in the exchange mail queue. Manually removing them is a major pain in the rear. Fortunately, others have shared how to clear the Microsoft Exchange mail queue of thousands for spam mails.

  1. Stop the SMTP service.
  2. Create a new spam folder for example in
    C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\Mailroot\vsi 1\Spam
  3. With the SMTP service still stopped, move all the messages from the
    C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\Mailroot\vsi 1\Queue
    to the spam folder (in case you need to retrieve a message)
  4. Restart the SMTP service.

Of course prior to doing that, the instructions at this Microsoft KB How to block open SMTP relaying and clean up Exchange Server SMTP queues in Windows Small Business Server is quite helpful in showing how to make sure your exchange server is not an open relay. It also shows how to test if it is an authenticated relay attack that is the problem.

How to block open SMTP relaying and clean up Exchange Server SMTP queues in Windows Small Business Server