Are You Making These Common Mistakes with Your Tech Program?
Technology is advancing at a remarkable pace, and it’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve to remain competitive. From SMB to Fortune 500, many organizations find it increasingly complex to manage their tech fleets and mitigate business-impacting issues that arise.
How are you working to future-proof your mobile and payment technology? Do you have the talent on staff to manage hardware through its full lifecycle, or should at least certain pieces of your program be outsourced to a managed services provider?
Read on to learn about common technology mistakes and ways to mitigate the effects.
1) Only working with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)
To cut out the middleman, some companies choose to work directly with the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). There are four key questions to keep in mind if you are considering this approach.
Does a third-party provider make sense?
First, depending on the size of your organization, you may get the most competitive pricing by working with a third-party provider, who can leverage pre-established relationships and economies of scale to negotiate more favorable pricing and terms on your behalf. Further, they may be able to factor in the trade-in or consignment of your existing equipment to decrease the overall cost of your initial investment.
How will you finance equipment?
Will you be purchasing the equipment outright or are you considering leasing? Some manufacturers do offer financing programs but if you need devices from multiple OEMs or wish to bundle in accessories, software or services, you will end up with more payments to manage. Working with the right managed services provider can allow you to bundle everything together into one financing package.
How will you manage logistics?
While most OEMs offer attractive two- or three-year warranty coverage for new equipment, managing logistics can still be very time consuming. Devices are often brought online in different batches, and as they require service, must be checked to confirm whether they remain in-warranty and should be sent to the OEM or are out-of-warranty and should be sent to a third party. It’s also important to confirm OEM SLAs and their track record of success. In certain situations, it may be best to invest in establishing a spares pool to mitigate concerns about turnaround time and ensure a working device is always readily available.
Do you have a plan for device management and reporting?
Finally, consider the effect on overall device management and reporting. Will you be able to produce a comprehensive summary of all assets and their condition, location, etc. - regardless of OEM? Or will you need to invest time in integrating data from multiple sources to achieve this?
Strategically, it may make the most sense to establish a partnership with a managed services provider. Partners can help find budget-minded solutions that help you grow as an organization. And offloading the day-to-day management, logistics and servicing of your hardware can free up your team’s time to focus on more strategic objectives.
2) Managing technology services and logistics in-house
Keeping technology functioning properly is an essential part of creating the best employee—and ultimately customer—experience. But it can be expensive to manage, optimize and secure the wide range of equipment that organizations leverage today.
First, you’ll need individuals who know how to train, maintain and repair each type of device. Do you have someone on staff who is technically capable of this and further, has the time to do so? Time spent managing equipment quickly adds up, and costs are not limited to just salary. Every employee you bring-on also requires benefits, training, management time and more.
It’s also crucial to know exactly where devices are at all times. Do you have the resources and staff required to manage this in-house? If so, who oversees it? Having only one person involved can be risky - what would happen if that person would leave your organization? Engaging with a third-party provider can establish a deeper ‘bench’ for your team and can help you reduce risks associated with internal bandwidth constraints or turnover.
You’ll also need to consider the future state of your program and the possibilities of growth or reduction over the course of a few years. If performance is suffering or if the equipment or service mix needs to change, it can be easier to hold third party vendors accountable to KPIs or SLAs. If you need to reduce service or cut ties, it’s often less complicated to disengage a partner than discharge an employee. Choosing to outsource and invest in a partnership with a managed services partner may better set you up for success.
3) Choosing the cheapest managed service provider
When choosing a managed services provider, don’t let budget be the only factor. The lowest priced partner is likely missing the track record or solution set to ensure success for your organization. Breadth of service is particularly important when trying to improve efficiency and accountability by consolidating your vendor pool.
The ability to provide hardware is important, but it's only one piece of the puzzle. Think of your tech program overall and whether this provider will be able to navigate you through every stage of the device lifecycle. The ideal partner will offer a completeness of ‘wheel’ to cover your devices from cradle-to-grave.
Cheaper partners often cannot handle all services in house and may subcontract certain elements of your program. If they outsource, this may lead to longer wait times for repairs and services and less visibility into expenses, device analytics and more.
In short, when using budget as the deciding factor, you may end up with an underperforming partner. Be realistic about their ability to support your organization and guarantee quality of service.
Next steps for choosing a managed services partner
Partnering with the right managed services provider can be a game changer; however, finding one that meets your requirements takes time and careful evaluation. From breadth of services to depth of lifecycle management solutions and more, there are many factors to consider when selecting a managed services provider.
When choosing a vendor, prioritize finding one that will be able to support you today, and also 5-10 years down the road. Don’t overload your internal team by trying to become experts in your entire tech stack. Preserve bandwidth by bringing on a third-party provider to manage the logistics of procuring, tracking, securing and maintaining your tech fleet so you can focus on more strategic objectives.
At TRG, our managed services team has partnered with 5,000+ industry-leading organizations to help them create and support seamless service management experiences on a global scale. Contact us to talk with one of our team members today.
TRG is a global managed solutions provider focused on mobility, point of sale and payments. With facilities across the United States, Canada and Europe, we provide the most comprehensive suite of lifecycle management services – from warehouse to boardroom and deployment to retirement. Our mission is to Make Technology Simple, helping customers accelerate projects, drive application success, improve employee/customer experience and maximize ROI. We’re relentless in our drive to find innovative, effective ways to enhance customer operations and challenge conventional thinking along the way. Learn more about why The Difference Is Us at www.trgsolutions.com.