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The Value of Multivendor Services : Knowledge, Reduced Cost and Service Quality

January 22, 2014 No Comments

Featured Article by Dave Eichorn, Associate Vice President & Global Data Center Practice Head, Zensar Technologies

As IT infrastructure becomes increasingly complex with the latest technologies, the skillset of the IT administrator must also mature in order to manage the environment. Today’s data centers predominantly consist of several different types of hardware and software from various vendors, and training IT staff to handle all of these different components has become costly. By investing in a multivendor services strategy, organizations can conveniently and cost-effectively source their complex IT infrastructure, allowing them to focus on their core business initiatives through allocating resources toward their bottom line.

Multivendor services provide several benefits including a single point of contact; increased uptime; improved response time; as well as a pay-as-you-grow infrastructure model. The key benefits of multivendor services are discussed in detail below:

Superior Service Delivery

By selecting an experienced services provider to monitor and maintain their IT infrastructure, organizations can ensure they are working with a partner that provides the most comprehensive product knowledge. Instead of working with each individual vendor’s support services, a multivendor service provider connects companies with industry experts while maintaining a single day-to-day point of contact. This simplifies the IT strategy, saving resources and time by allowing IT staff to connect with experts who understand how multiple vendor’s systems interact.  Additionally, a multivendor service provider can provide expertise that goes beyond hardware, understanding the software components of the programs and how the systems interact with other areas of the entire infrastructure.  Because multivendor service providers have an understanding of different OEM product lines they are able to more quickly determine problems, and can therefore resolve issues faster.

Modernize and Maintain

Modernizing infrastructure, while maintaining a legacy environment, can be a daunting process. By working with a multivendor service provider, organizations can simplify the transition process. IT organizations have several options available for planning and executing a modernization project, including:

  • * Hire a multivendor service provider to plan and assist with the transition efforts, while the internal IT team focuses simultaneously on maintaining the legacy environment and developing the new infrastructure.
  • * Build the new environment and leave the legacy environment to the multivendor service provider while the transition occurs. This allows the organization to fully focus on critical projects instead of dealing with the ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the legacy environment. This approach provides the most flexibility for the organization in terms of the pace of the project and fiscal spend.
  • * Fully outsource modernization and cloud efforts to a multivendor service provider.

Preventive Measures

Many legacy IT departments do not have the resources or capability to actively monitor the data center continuously and in real-time. In-house IT departments may attempt to monitor “in the margins” of their day jobs, or monitor simple (yet important) metrics (i.e. up/down time), but neglect deeper layers, which are less obvious but no less important due to the interdependence of software and hardware.  As more programs are virtualized and rely increasingly on software, it is even more critical that IT personnel understand these relationships.

Multivendor service providers have automation programs that go beyond basic system monitoring and a long history of experience supporting large-scale clients. The multivendor service provider is proactively alerted when a system is running or may soon run abnormally, and can take action before the client realizes it is even having an IT problem. This happens around the clock and across the globe. If a server isn’t running within a specific CPU threshold, the service provider will receive an alert to respond immediately and address any implications prior to downtime occurring – ultimately saving the organization both time and money.

Cost Effective

Significant training and resources are necessary to effectively monitor today’s data center environment. Technology is changing too rapidly for IT departments to keep up without allocating additional budget and staff. Some organizations still have concerns over outsourcing their IT services and a misconception that a third-party provider won’t consider their IT issues a priority.

In contrast, multivendor service providers have a larger footprint with global organizations and are  able to pass along lower costs to their clients. Multivendor service providers offer IT resources as necessary and can then allocate additional resources as their customers grow, and can also support a more flexible, pay as you grow model.   Enterprises can ensure they are not over spending on in-house IT support or services that are not needed and have peace of mind that ample support is available if needed.

As we move forward in 2014, data centers will continue to change rapidly and continue to evolve. Enterprises will continue to want the most effective solution at the lowest price point and realize that an in-house IT department will increasingly be challenged to provide the level of service and resources required to cost effectively run the complex data center environment. By selecting a multivendor service provider, enterprises are able to leverage the expertise they need immediately, stop IT crises before they happen, and apply continuous improvement to their IT operations and infrastructure.

David Eichorn 7

David Eichorn has more than 20 years of experience in IT and telecommunications.  He is currently responsible for Zensar’s Global Data Center Solutions Portfolio, consisting of a range of multi-vendor consulting, integration, support and managed services.   Prior to that, he was the company’s Product Champion for its Data Center Maintenance Services business. Before coming to Zensar, David worked for 15 years with Alcatel-Lucent in a variety of leadership positions across product and services organizations , driving record setting revenue in data switching and establishing the company’s managed services and network operations programs.

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