The Road to a Well-Planned Solution

June 13, 2019

When it comes to technology, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the sales process. As buyers, we often either settle for the least expensive option, or because of the overwhelming options out there, throw our hands up and do nothing.

Whatever the price, or complexity of a solution, not all IT service providers are created equal. In fact, the fine details of a service provider’s recommendations can greatly vary among vendors too.

At CDS, we believe in solutions that make sense for our customers, not the other way around.

All too often, IT providers have their own agenda, force fitting their services to their clients. We make managing your IT simple with a single point of contact, and a single bill for all of your services, so you’re not wasting time trying to figure out who you are supposed to call for help.

If that doesn’t sound your current IT situation, here are some tips to keep you on the right track when seeking a new provider.

#1 - Seek Out A Provider With Similar Core Values As Your Own

One of the easiest ways to vet a managed IT provider is to take a look at the company’s core operating values and see if they are in alignment with your own. If a company takes care of its employees, chances are their employees genuinely like what they do, and in turn, will take care of you. Companies with high turnover are more likely to be shuffling their clients through their support person of the week instead of a trusted professional with legacy knowledge of your account.

Ask yourself:

  • Does your company’s core values align with the IT vendor you are considering?
  • Are they trustworthy?
  • Do their employees genuinely enjoy what they do?
  • Do they have raving fans among their customer base?

#2 - Don’t Get Caught Up in the Minutia

The moment you start thinking about streamlining any business process, or making a major IT change, there are likely to be a number of different ways to start solving the challenge. Don’t be blinded but the inevitable chaos that will come out of the discovery phase of a new solution. Internally, everyone thinks that their problem should take precedence over another. Don’t ignore them, rather take note and prioritize.

Ask your teams:

  • How is your request connected to others in the company?
  • What are the three things, in order of most important to least, that you struggle with each day?
  • Can a financial return on investment be calculated if we were to tackle your area first?
  • Can you break your needs down into short-term and long-term objectives that will have the most impact on your productivity?

#3 - Read the Fine Print

Above all else, read what you are signing. Managed IT and print partnerships typically come with lengthy service level agreements, and with good reason—so everyone knows their roles and responsibilities.

It’s up to you to actually read them and do your part. Some managed providers will give you a set number of hours for remote support but charge by the hour for on-site work. Other vendors may lump all of your support into an hourly agreement. While one may seem like a better deal, it’s good to know how your employees will call on your vendor so they are not eating up all of their contracted support within the first week of the month, subjecting you to higher support rates thereafter.   

At the end of the day, the solution is yours, so make it that way.  As the saying goes, garbage in, garbage out. Vendors are not mind readers. Come to the planning table prepared with clearly defined needs, budget, and goals. Then, work with your partner to create a scalable IT roadmap with set milestones along the way to keep you and your teams going.

Ready to get started giving your customers and employees an even better experience than today? Contact one of our CDS Managed IT Works specialists today.

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About CDS

Beyond copiers and printers, CDS offers a full suite of technology solutions ranging from Managed Print Services, to Managed IT Services, and Project-Based IT Services, providing our customers a Single Source for all their business technology needs.

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