Obviously, price is a factor in your choice of IT service and support partner. Obtain proposals from a few suppliers and compare prices between them by all means – but do make sure you are comparing like with like. If prices differ, look carefully at what is actually being offered. You need to get to the heart of the business value offered by each proposal, which usually means looking beyond the price and understanding exactly what will be delivered, and how it will support your business.
As the old saying goes: ‘buy on price, buy twice’. Nowhere is this more true than in the area of IT service and support, where choosing a solution that doesn’t meet your needs, or isn’t futureproof, can lead to significant costs further down the line.
Breadth of Expertise
IT service and support is a broad church, encompassing a range of areas including networks, servers, email, mobile communications, backup, remote support, data storage, accounting and operational support, VoIP telephone systems and more. The key point to consider is whether a supplier can offer you IT service and support in every area that’s relevant to your business – now, and in the future.
Attempting to buy IT service and support in Melbourne, Austarlia on price, or to focus on one area of their business when choosing suppliers, can lead to awkward multi-supplier arrangements when requirements change or develop. (To be fair, a multi-vendor environment is sometimes unavoidable, for example in situations where a company has committed to a particular software package and its users are completely familiar with it.) So as far as possible, aim to ‘future-proof’ your IT service and support arrangement by striking up a relationship with an IT service and support provider who can meet all the needs you can foresee. And if you do have legacy arrangements in place, opt for a IT service and support partner who can demonstrate the skills and understanding required to deal with it.
Some IT service and support providers profess to have a broad mix of skills, but are actually specialists in one area. It’s easy for firms to put up a web page claiming expertise in many areas of IT service and support, when their actual knowledge is much narrower. Look for verifiable customer testimonials that back up the supplier’s expertise in the areas of IT service and support you are interested in.
Qualifications from reputable third parties are an important indicator of a IT service and support provider’s skill and application. Accreditations such as becoming a Microsoft Certified Partner are hard-won, only being acquired by firms who can demonstrate consistent, reliable skills and prove their knowledge with the products of a reputable brand. At the end of the day, world-leading companies such as Microsoft take no chances with their brand – yet, at the same time, they need IT service and support providers who can deliver their products to customers effectively. Look to high-profile accreditations for proof that you are dealing with a reputable, committed and highly professional IT service and support company.