We are all aware of the large concern administrators face when trying to implement new technology solutions into their organization or agency. Many problems arise such as short on capital, project creeping inevitably ensues, and the technology does not perform as expected. Now for the difficult part — finding a vendor who will listen to your needs, understand your project timeline and requirements, while still providing a solution to obtain your desired results, and yet in the end, performs as promised. Some might say that is almost impossible to find, do you find this to be true?
Implementing the right technology is not always about the “best of breed” but it is always about delivery. Everyone has worked with vendors who pursue based on dollars and do not understand the or care to understand your actual needs. There are key differentiators between an integrator and a solutions provider, these levels of support are crucial to successful technology rollouts. What do you look for when selecting a vendor? The increased complexity across the technology ecosystem, combined with the continual emergence of new trends and offerings, has made it extremely challenging for most agencies to effectively design and manage their IT systems. Finding a partner who will act as a complete solutions provider to listen, design, implement and manage the entire system is a big deal today and more and more agencies are searching for this model. After all, who has the time, resources and patience to manage multiple IT vendors?
Here are a few things to consider when searching for your next IT solutions provider:
- Look for a company who makes meaningful connections with their customers and has a high level of client referrals.
- Companies who invite perspective and innovation — working together to bring the best possible solution to clients no matter what.
- A one-stop-shop value proposition: a multi-partner approach with strong product manufacturer relationships and distribution partners to service a global portfolio of IT solutions that make the most sense for your specific IT environment.
- Look for an organization who understands complex licensing requirements, who understands how to optimize agency usage and compliance management.
- Find a vendor with custom client portals which enhance the user experience, manage customized purchasing, and allow for a view of hardware warranties and software licenses. Furthermore, streamline procurement and processes through a self-service online tool available in the client portal.
- Find a partner with scalable service and solutions offerings — select a vendor who helps organizations of all sizes and has well-developed services capabilities focused on managed, technical and professional services that integrate hardware to provide end-to-end solutions to meet your individualized agency needs.
- Find a company with strong cash flow with the resources necessary to invest in sales, technology, training, engineering and leadership. By doing so, this vendor will deliver the promised leading edge technology solutions.
- Choose a company who is efficient, with high-volume and cost effective direct sales and marketing models to allow for the most competitive prices. By having a choice of multiple partners, you will be provided a variety of product solutions to address your specific department needs.
- Look for a company with a vendor-agnostic approach, who will assist you in choosing the best IT systems to meet your needs, not based on what product they are trying to promote or push.
- Vendors who currently hold a significant number of cooperative purchasing contracts are a wise choice and offer a variety of viable options.
- Choose a partner who begins with either an assessment or planning and design session. Technical specialists and field solution architects are experts in many areas including unified communications, networking, wireless, network and physical security and server/storage solution. Make sure this partner has a trusted team of advisors to protect your investment.
- Decide on a partner whose services offerings include assisting agencies with onsite help desk and technical support services. These services will provide skilled, temporary staffing to assist with IT challenges that will arise.
- Several engineers and project managers, paired with configuration capabilities, allows a company to handle any rollout project that agencies may have. Choose a company capable of delivering on your investment.
- Installation services can include installing and deploying new systems, moving existing equipment, assessing systems and testing installed equipment, and advanced IT support. Staging options are also important, should you need to complete the installation in several rollouts — selecting a company capable of deployment services is a must.
Bottom line, when you are ready to implement new IT systems into your department, really spend the time to select the proper partner who truly understands your IT ecosystem. It is easy to find a reseller who will order boxes of hardware and deliver them to your door. Choosing the right partner not only ensures a successful implementation but a partner who will be present and available for the life of your project. Select a company who cares to align a complete consultation to understand your budget, timeline and project details — that is how you achieve a true return on investment. Contact one of Group Mobile’s public safety technology experts today to discuss how your IT rollout can be a seamless project from beginning to end.
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