What do converged solutions really mean and how can they benefit us?
IT companies come in all shapes and sizes, selling a vast array of products and services. You will use different companies to supply your laptops, your internet, mobiles, phone lines and your IT support. If you do, you will have done your research and will surely be comfortable that all of your eggs are not in the same basket.
But is this really the best solution…?
Who do you talk to if you have an issue? How do you know what the issue is and where it originates from? Something IT related slows down or stops – do you know who to call? “Yes!” I hear you reply, smugly – “my IT support company!” Ok, but how long will it take them to get to the bottom of the problem? Do they supply all elements of your IT or do they need to carry out various diagnostics and contact numerous suppliers on your behalf? Using a converged technology solution rather than lots of individual products from numerous suppliers means that you have one-stop-shop for support – and if they are a converged technology provider, they will have control over the services that make up the solution too.
A converged technology provider will examine your business needs and propose a solution, as opposed to a product; addressing the needs of your business as a whole rather than solving a single issue with a single product.
They will know the dependencies of each part of the solution and will factor in things like the right sized leased line to support the data and voice traffic; they will know that you are growing and might need a service that will scale up and be flexible as your business evolves; they will talk to you about “solutions” to save you time, money and improve efficiencies and will want to learn about your business so they understand your needs.
Further – converged technology suppliers are able to monitor and manage all elements of the services they provide and can keep tabs on things like usage levels, bandwidth speeds, server capacities and so on. So they can advise when you might need to increase capacity to accommodate new demands on your systems, such as during a marketing campaign when your web servers are taking more hits. They can be progressing a repair before you have even noticed an issue and should you need a temporary change for a short term increase in demand – such as a Black Friday sale, then they may offer bursts in bandwidth usage, for example.
You will probably get a good deal for buying more than one product and the provider will be a central point of contact should you have any issues. They will be in full control of all the parts that make up the solution that you have from them and can diagnose and repair problems more efficiently than having multiple suppliers to manage. Putting all your eggs in one basket needn’t be a negative thing – if you have researched the “basket” and they are offering suitable eggs, then you should be on to a winner!