There are five questions you should ask yourself when evaluating potential business partners to develop and support your converged environment:
- Will I have a single point of contact? – A leading frustration of IT managers is getting transferred between multiple support techs – all of whom specialize in just one part of the equation and have you spending your extended downtime on the phone. Identify a vendor with elite expert engineers who can troubleshoot all enterprise products, both hardware and software, for faster resolution or what IDC calls a lead service provider (LSP) approach. With the right support partner, potential issues will be identified and fixed before you even realize they exist.
- Do they offer a vendor-agnostic approach across technology? – You are probably already operating in a multi-vendor environment with respect to hardware and software. You should identify a single, trusted partner that has a solution that is integrated between software and hardware and can support your entire data center holistically (including legacy systems) and maximize your existing investments.
- Do they offer the latest online tools and automated processes? – A solid, converged infrastructure solution should have unified system management software that collapses multiple management consoles, simplifies infrastructure configuration, and drives automation and consistency. In addition, online support, including remote monitoring and automation tools, enhances your ability to address issues more quickly, identify potential problems, speed resolution, and collect key environmental data.
- Do they offer a consistent global experience? – Regardless of your size, location, or language; you need a partner with global reach and experience that has an established infrastructure and scale. You benefit from their experience and ability to implement best in industry practices.
- Will they help me anticipate and prepare for future IT needs? – Intelligence is not just about avoiding break fix incidents but planning for the future. If you are running near capacity, it is time for you to look at your budget and plan for expansion so that you won’t have to risk downtime or scramble when you reach capacity. You also need to plan for trends such as BYOD which create support challenges; businesses and their end users benefit from the CIO taking industry trends into consideration when planning. Choose a partner that knows your environment and can help you plan for future needs.
Return On Investment
The economic driver for converged infrastructure is flexibility as much as management simplicity or cost savings. Converged infrastructure offerings – especially those with built-in enterprise-class support – promise to enable IT to better meet business goals, ensuring operational agility, efficiency and quality of IT service delivery well into the future.
If your organization is evaluating converged systems, remember that converged offerings should have built-in best practices. They help eliminate the management of multiple vendors, disparate systems and service contracts. Choose an industry expert that will help you get ahead of issues and increase the efficiency of your existing hardware and software. All of which allows you to focus on your core business. At the end of the day, isn’t that what matters most?
Industry Perspectives is a content channel at Data Center Knowledge highlighting thought leadership in the data center arena. See our guidelines and submission process for information on participating. View previously published Industry Perspectives in our Knowledge Library.
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