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When Manufacturer's Support Doesn't Cut It

If you’ve ever tried to get IT support from a manufacturer, you’ve probably hit a brick wall a time or two. It isn’t that the manufacturer isn’t knowledgeable or capable when it comes to their product (although that certainly is the case with some manufacturers). More often than not, it’s a problem with understanding your organization’s specific needs, or with trying to work through compatibility issues with equipment or software from another vendor.

It isn’t even that your manufacturer is inept, or that they don’t want to stand behind their product. In many cases, a manufacturer is just unable to support your needs because their expertise is limited to their product.

The good news is that you have options. For most IT hardware and software, there are solutions providers who can work with you to really understand your organizational structure, your business needs, and your overall technology configurations and strategies.

Here are some considerations to look at when deciding whether to rely on manufacturer support or to contract with a service provider:

Response Time
Manufacturer support can, in some cases, be slower than service provider support. In some instances, the manufacturer may not have local resources that can be deployed to your site to address your issues. If the problem can’t be solved remotely, you may have to wait.

You choose a solutions provider, in part, on their proximity to your organization. You want someone nearby who can get to your location and provide the response you need. Even if your organization has disparate physical locations, chances are you can find a service provider who will be able to reach most of those locations. This means that a solutions provider can often get to you and fix your problem long before a manufacturer’s technician can even be on site.

Cross-Technology Support
One of the risks in relying on manufacturer support is the inevitable finger-pointing that occurs. One vendor blames another for a problem, and the other points back. A solutions provider takes end-to-end ownership, and can ferret out a problem and recommend a solution without worrying about who gets the blame.

Beyond Break-Fix
Many manufacturers offer little in the way of support beyond break-fix. System repair and replacement of parts is about as far as many go. In contrast, a service provider can tailor a solution to your specific needs. They can design service-level agreements that go beyond a manufacturer’s capabilities to insure your systems are humming along like they need to be.

Customized Solutions
A solutions provider offers you more than an out-of-the-box approach. They offer solutions that are unique to your organization and its business needs. They can be tailored to fit your risk management strategy and your unique organizational culture.
A solutions provider gives you resources you can’t get from manufacturer’s support alone. Many solutions providers will work with you in order to take care of your IT needs, either exclusively or in conjunction with your manufacturer support options.

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.