IT Solution Partners and Resellers.
Turning business plans into realities requires constant learning and planning about technology. As an IT leader, you’re reading industry sources like Gartner, signing up for virtual events and other resources so you can create a better, more relevant and strategic IT road map.
But these priorities are scattered between calls, meetings, and putting out fires.
Much of your time is spent educating leadership and other business units that don’t understand the IT complexities behind what they believe to be simple capabilities.
When you agree to a 30-minute call with a technology manufacturer thinking it can help with your research and planning, the manufacturer reps share use cases and features relevant to fortune 500 companies. How is any of this applicable to your company?
Recommended Reading: AI Just Bells and Whistles or Adding Value to SMB IT Networks?
You’re willing to spend lunch breaks, nights and weekends learning and planning, but these times are often are spent fixing IT problems because you’re also one of the top technical resources on your team.
That’s because it’s the same story for many IT leaders and staff working for small-medium-sized business (SMBs). They are burdened down from the day-to-day responsibilities of IT network management and don’t have adequate time to research, plan, and campaign for the needed change and funding for IT development.
How does a company step out of this disadvantageous cycle and actually make progress that you, other leadership, and business units want?
As you may have experienced, many IT resellers will push you to purchase products before you are ready for a refresh. They are interested in the sale.
Your best option is to work with an IT solution partner that offers consulting before a purchase is needed. This way, the IT consultants are actually consultants and not just sales reps.
Here’s how to ensure you’re working with an IT solution partner who will help take some of the time-consuming burdens off your plate.
Start A Relationship Sooner Than Later
Don’t wait to reach out to an IT partner until you need to purchase a product. Already spent your CAPEX and OPEX budget for the year? That’s fine. You can and should still contact different IT solution partners and get to know them and their business models.
When you wait, it’s more likely you will be rushed to make a decision on who to work with and what technology stack to purchase without long-term planning. The IT reseller could also take advantage of the situation.
Waiting also doesn’t give you adequate time to understand if the IT company is just an IT reseller or an actual IT solution partner and how much they are willing to invest in you and your business.
At EdgeTeam, for example, we built into our business model the flexibility to offer consulting before a purchase is needed. We prefer to discuss your goals and current roadmap so we can offer consulting, research, advice on technology vendors, and more. That’s our passion and where we can help the most.
Learn Which Services Are Offered
What differentiates an IT reseller from an IT solution provider is the services they offer other than IT procurement. Just as the name suggests, an IT reseller will simply sell technology.
A true IT solution partner will want to start a relationship with you beyond taking product orders. Services they will offer include:
IT Strategy and Road Mapping
Where is your business going? What products, service offerings, and user experiences are planned for upcoming years?
An IT solution partner should ask these types of questions so they can help you plan the role of technology, the IT network, and company policies that support the company direction.
They need to have knowledge of and experience working with a variety of manufacturers. This ensures they can provide consulting on the best technology to select and which budget cycles to purchase and deploy that technology. Which brings us to….
What budget is needed and how does it need to be invested over multiple budget cycles?
Budget planning requires thorough knowledge of IT network design and what’s happening within the technology industry. Otherwise, your company could suffer the consequences of creating rather than solving more issues with security, connection and user experience.
For example, upgrading some infrastructure in a budget cycle before other infrastructure could make issues worse. It can move issues to a different part of the network. Either way, the real issue isn’t solved.
Or, if a manufacturer plans to sell their product lines to different companies, you may want to reconsider choosing them in your refresh since your technology support and capabilities will likely change.
This brings us to…
Technology Research and Selection
What market changes should be considered before you purchase? Have there been any mergers or acquisitions? Are your current vendors keeping research and development (R&D) a priority? How will this impact your roadmap going forward?
An IT solution partner should have a strong understanding of the technology market. They will listen to your goals and challenges, help identify the best tools to consider, and manage demos and trials across various manufacturers. No more wasting phone calls with manufacturers that just want to brag about what they can do for bigger companies in certain markets.
Because of their product knowledge, a true IT solution partner will simplify your build and save you from unnecessary product upgrades and purchases.
Help Build and Present Your Case to Decision Makers
How do you best present your vision, road map, and reasoning to leadership and other business units so you get support and needed resources?
The right IT solution partner will help you organize your plan and develop your case so you can successfully campaign for the resources you need.
Product Purchase for Great Prices
Your IT solution partner will be able to order the products, licensing, and other sub components for a significantly lower price than if you were to purchase from an online IT reseller.
This is because the cost of services and technology are built into the agreements between the IT solution provider and manufacturer. The pricing IT solution partners can provide are based off the IT solution partner’s capabilities, certifications, and partnership level with a manufacturer. Learning about such credentials will help you discern which IT solution partners should be in your top consideration.
Recommended Reading: Why Companies Need an IT Solution Provider and How to Choose One
Your relationship with an IT solution partner shouldn’t end at the purchase. The relationship should be on-going so they can continue to help you research, plan, and even manage the network.
For example, EdgeTeam has specific tools that help our team members from veteran employees to new hires keep updated on all our customers’ refresh cycles, software upgrades, and more. This way you always have a reliable partner, regardless of who at EdgeTeam is serving on your team.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also like Why Companies Need and IT Solutions Provider.
Reach out to EdgeTeam so we can start getting to know each other and you can feel confident in starting a working relationship with the IT solution partner best for your business.
Call us at 817-953-2750 or or submit the contact form