A New, Not New Approach to Working with IT Service Providers!

Are you looking for a solution to a business need that may or may not require technology? LOL, whose not? But who do you call when you need to find that solution? Traditionally, you call your trusted advisers like your Microsoft/Cisco/VMWare/IBM/Dell/CDW/AWS representative. However with the changing landscape of consumption based IT products and services, is this still the best way?

For the last few years some IT providers have attempted to adapt to the new way of operating. Some successful, some not. If we look at the strategies that seem to be working within our IT shops, we can identify what products and services are having an affect on these winning strategies. So what are these products and services that are helping our IT Shops achieve their goals?

The first one, a deliberate buying strategy for products or services. As mentioned in
5 Ways IT has Changed In the Last 10 Years “Consumption Based Buying” there are multiple benefits to creating a strategy for purchasing products and services.  The primary benefit is that consumption based buying allows you to buy only what each user needs which helps to decrease IT spend. Long story short, in the last 10 years of buying and selling, the one idea that continues to prove itself is, “a good buying strategy will beat any discount a provider can give you!” Thanks @SuckowKevin

Another transformation that is having some difficulty is the idea that subject matter experts (SMEs) for products can be available for a consultative discussion on a general topic. For example, if you are in the market for a new communication system, traditionally we would reach out to the communication providers for guidance such as Cisco, Shoretel, AT&T, or Verizon. Now if you have someone on staff that can assemble these documents, this approach will work. However if you are looking to start with a general communications discussion that is vendor agnostic, well you can’t go to the individual providers because they will discuss why their solution is better that the others no mater what your business requirements are.  The answer is to look for a vendor agnostic consulting service that will let you identify your business needs and truly match the solutions to them. Today we are seeing Platform (all one provider), best of breed (multiple providers), and hybrid solutions (mix of on premise and cloud solutions) that have good use cases to drive toward one or many of these approaches. A SME from a product team cannot focus on your specific needs be cause inherently they are a hammer in search of a nail.  Therefore your solution provider needs to have multiple relationships with multiple vendors and multiple product providers. But most importantly your trusted adviser needs to talk about your business and business processes before any product is discussed.

Things your provider will consider are, current business goals, current business process, currently owned solutions, other related contracts, and the what success looks like to the adoption of a business solution (which should be better productivity, lower cost of ownership, or higher profit margins).

If your current trusted adviser does not operate this way, call your local CDW Account Executive and tell them you would like to talk to Rocky or Steve Mocilnikar on the CAS Team at CDW!


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