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No one needs to tell you that being an IT professional today means working in a truly challenging environment. Businesses are evolving as technology changes – and that evolution is happening at warp speed. To help your company grow, you are tasked with making sure all systems are go, all the time, while anticipating the needs of tomorrow.
In the midst of this, you also need to ensure all employees can work remotely, with the same network experience they get in the office, at any time of the day, from just about anywhere. Other stakeholders, potentially working remotely, too, also need to connect seamlessly. Systems are taxed, network security concerns abound, and the IT specialist is expected to make a work. And work well.
One of the hardest parts of IT professional’s job: Ensuring you have the right hardware and software solutions in place, making the right buying decisions for your organization, while working with budgets that do not expand as quickly as demand.
Working with an experienced IT reseller can make your life easier. Here’s how:
1.Expert advice – Yes, Virginia, you can get a free lunch
Good IT firms, including ours, stay on top of industry trends, evolving business needs and the ever-changing technologies that help you do your job. We have resources dedicated to evaluating emerging technologies, and determining which ones are viable and have the potential to help different types of clients. We also spend hours getting certified on all major manufacturers’ products and software solutions – and benefit from all of their research, too.
What does this mean for you?
Getting the best possible solution for your situation, no matter what the problem or challenge.
IT managers have told us they can get tunnel vision when looking for new technologies. They can get so focused on the specific tree, that they temporary lose sight of the forest.
A VAR will help you see the bigger picture more clearly. Usually, resellers will have addressed your challenge effectively many times before, with myriad companies and existing networks, using the best manufacturers for the job at hand. You benefit from this experience by getting multiple perspectives how to solve the current problem, taking into account other network and hardware concerns you may not have considered, if this is the first time you have encountered this particular situation.
Not only will you get multiple perspectives, you’ll get a solid recommendation on how to proceed – whether or not you end up purchasing from that reseller.
2.Ensures you “buy right” today, while laying the correct foundation for tomorrow
Many IT managers are reluctant to share future plans with “sales reps”, fearing they will be sold something they don’t need. With reputable resellers, the opposite is usually true.
By working openly with an expert third-party, not only will you get good advice on how to solve your current problem, you can ensure your purchase will be the right one for how your company plans to evolve.
Sometimes, knowing what’s on their horizon and on the manufacturer’s, we also recommend that clients delay purchases.
One of our account managers put it this way: “Imagine you’re adding a deck. You talk about the barbecues you’ll host, and how you will be entertaining your 300-pound cousin. Your contractor designs something that will easily support all your cousins when they’re horsing around. You’re so focused on the weight that you forget to tell him about the new gas barbecue you’d like to connect to the house.
Luckily, when checking the garage to see if it could be used for wood storage during construction, he sees the box. At that point, only a small adjustment is needed the only extra cost is the coupling. It’s like a good sales rep figuring out how the new solution fits the current situation.
But… You also neglected to say that you’re thinking of putting in a 1,000-pound hot tub four years down the road. If the contractor had known, the right deck would have been built – and key would’ve told you to hold off on planting the rosebushes. Because you did not say anything, most of that original deck will need to be replaced when the hot tub goes in, and your bushes will need to be moved.”
Worried about confidentiality? We have business and tech experts on staff who regularly deal with clients’ sensitive information and are bound to keep it confidential. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t stay in business long – and we’ve been helping clients for over 20 years.
When you share your longer-term business needs and vision with your outside tech partner, you can receive advice that will let you lay the foundation for your tomorrow, saving you money, time and effort down the road. It may also open the door to possibilities not yet imagined.
At very least, such discussions could prevent you from having to bring about keeping your cousin out of an improperly-supported hot tub!
3.Manufacturer Agnostic Advice
Working with a reseller who works as multiple manufacturers, ensures you get unbiased advice as well as the solution best-suited to your needs, perhaps combining products and services from multiple manufacturers.
If you only work with the manufacturer or its distributor, you will only be offered solutions that work with their products.
Also, a reseller what do its due diligence thoroughly, ensuring has a thorough understanding of all hardware, software and services you currently have in place. Thanks to the work it does with others manufacturers, resellers have a good understanding of how each complements the other, which is vital when introducing new applications and vital for large projects.
4.You will save money.
A good tech partner is always looking to improve efficiencies and save you money, whether that means repurposing existing equipment, finding ways to help you take advantage of manufacturers’ specials, or advising that you hold off on certain purchases.
Resellers can also take care of configuration installation, saving your department time and money when doing network and equipment upgrades and/or deploying new solutions.
You can also expand your IT department resource time by using a Managed Services Provider to take on some of the load – even if it’s just checking network security and performance levels 24/7, so that you can focus on your primary role.
Another with that resellers can help: By providing various financing options, you can sometimes switch funds between CapEx and OpEx budgets, making it possible to afford a purchase sooner than anticipated.
5. Managing the Manufacturer
If you are looking at multiple options, then you need to deal with multiple manufacturers. It can be very time-consuming even when making the top-level decisions, adding to an already full day.
When it gets down to the nitty-gritty details, going through multiple manufacturers’ catalogs, and ensuring you got all the component pieces needed, can be a daunting task.
A good reseller will assess your needs, condense the relevant information into digestible quantities and make recommendations.
We can also negotiate with the manufacturer(s) on your behalf – and they can become highly motivated when they know the reseller represents multiple brands.
Some people think they will get a better deal going directly to the manufacturer. This rarely happens. Also, in some cases, you cannot buy directly from the manufacturer, anyway.
At the end of the day, working with an experienced IT solutions provider such as Cloud Managed Networks will save you time money and energy – all resources in scarce supply these days.
Please contact us to learn how we can help you.