Shark Tank: Plugged up

This retailer has more than 50 stores networked with a VPN that runs over cable Internet connections, says a sysadmin pilot fish who keeps it going.

"I configure our VPN router and ship it to one particular store and inform the manager that he needs to plug it up to the cable-provided router/modem, and then I wait for service to come up," fish says.

"It never does."

Over the phone, fish walks the manager through a check of all the cables. They all seem to be connected properly, so fish configures another VPN router and ships it to the store via overnight delivery.

Manager swaps the new router in for the old one. Still nothing.

Fish is sure the new VPN router is configured correctly. So what's going on?

"Two days later, the manager's boss calls me from the store, wondering why the service isn't up yet," says fish. "When I talk him into looking at the cables, he makes an amazing discovery: The power cord for the cable company's router is unplugged.

"When asked about it, the store manager says, 'Well, I had to plug up your router somewhere, didn't I?'

"I now try to supply an extension cord with every router when I ship one out."

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