Where do you turn for information and help when you have an IT issue you need to resolve? “Depends on the issue”, you say. Fair enough. Let’s say you are looking for a replacement for existing technology because it has exceeded its useful life, or need to know what’s in the market place to help you perform your backups better. Who are you going to call?
If you’re a big IT shop, you may have standardized on a main vendor like IBM or HP. If that’s the case, we know whom you are calling. Sure, you might investigate other vendor solutions for your needs, but admit it, at the end of the process you will go with your main vendor whenever you can. Standardization suits your shop and helps drive down your support and training costs. Or if you are a big IT shop you may have the staff that can do the upfront legwork on finding solutions to bring to the table. Then you call in those vendors to vet their solutions. If the solution appears to solve the problem, the vendor looks stable, and the price is in line with your budget, you pull the trigger. If not, you probably fall back to your standardized vendor and ask them to help the best they can.
What if you’re not a big IT shop? What if you don’t have in-house staff to research the market, vet the solutions and make recommendations that you can act on? Or what if you are not standardized on a vendor infrastructure like IBM or HP? You have three choices. Option one is to do what research you can and then have all of the appropriate vendors with potential solutions come in to make presentations. Option two, call your trusted VAR (Reseller, Systems Integrator) and explain the situation to them. Chances are they have already selected a couple of vendors to work with that can provide solutions for your problem. Or option three is do nothing; live with your problem until it fixes itself or kills you. Now lets look at each option to determine which is best.
Option three is not very good. If it weren’t a problem, it wouldn’t need solving, but it is, so it does. Doing nothing is a dangerous path that will most likely cost you more in the long run.
Option one is a time intensive, management heavy process. Each vendor will claim that their solution is best, forcing you to gather references and most likely commit to a POC. And word will spread like wildfire that you are looking for a solution to solve your problem meaning the vendors will come out of the woodwork, swarming you like termites. Sounds like a waste of your time trying to manage that process.
Option two, turn to a VAR with experience in solving problems like yours. Let them manage the process of vendor selection, POC, and reference checking. After all, that is the value add of a VAR – understanding your needs and bringing forth appropriate solutions. They can provide full integration (most vendors can’t), training, and support. In the long run, working with a VAR can be a huge savings for you and your staff. Give us a call to discuss your options and let’s see if we can help.
Added on 06/25/2012
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