Technology Unwrapped

The most important technology concepts, strategies and actions uncovered for your business.

What Is Technology Vendor and Asset Management?

shutterstock_2014536923When you explore companies to outsource some or all of your tech support, you’ll find services that you might not expect. Managed IT providers in and around Omaha do a lot more than fix computers, and understanding the full scope of services helps you get more from the time and money you spend on your technology.

As an example, did you know that IT providers offer specialized services that specifically help you source computer hardware, research tech vendor services, and provide ongoing management of vendors?

Usually lumped together, the concept is known as technology vendor and asset management. It can transform how you go about technology management, providing more benefits than you might initially assume.

Take a moment to learn a little more about this service to see if it could benefit your organization.

Vendor and Asset Management as a Service

What do vendor and asset management services look like? Even though the group of services is usually bundled together, it’s important to understand the range of benefits and options you might be weighing.

In general, you’re hiring an IT firm to provide expertise and consultation any time you might spend money on more IT resources. That includes hardware, software, and technology services (internet, print services, and phone service provider).

In detail, we can break these areas into components — looking separately at vendor and asset management services. As you read below, keep in mind that these services are generally  included in a single service bundle.

Expectations for Vendor Management

Let’s start with vendor management. Most business leaders can intuitively understand why they may want help purchasing specialized technology components, but vendor management isn’t always as easy to see.

As part of the service, you receive professional assistance when seeking out new vendors. Each vendor is evaluated and contracts are reviewed. You gain insights into contract negotiation, and you get professional vendor contract management. On top of that, your IT partner will provide support if and when you have issues with any vendor service providers.

Acquiring Services

One of the leading aspects of vendor management includes acquiring services. Whether you are adding services or replacing vendors, you gain access to technology industry expertise to facilitate the search, negotiations, and contract management.

As an example, what happens if you need a new cloud provider? Without vendor management, you have to spend hours learning about new services, how cloud services or applications will interact with what your organization does, and vetting potential vendors.

With vendor management, all of that is outsourced. Instead, your IT partner can streamline information for you — ensuring you know what you need for any transactions. At the same time, they can help you understand what specific cloud services suit your needs. They can vet vendors and they know what discounts are available through their business relationships.

In the end, you onboard the new vendor faster with the knowledge and peace of mind that it’s a quality service provider ready to meet your needs and your budget.

Managing Services

And yet, acquiring vendors only represents one facet of management services. Your IT partner also helps you manage the ongoing relationship and support.

Through this process, you receive regular updates pertaining to your vendors, contracts, services, and performance. If prices are set to rise, you know in advance. If service levels aren’t meeting business needs, you get that information along with recommendations to remedy the situation.

The idea is that you have industry experts serving as advocates in this space. Service management keeps your contracts up to date and keeps you on top of spending and ROI.

Vendor Support

Lastly, and sometimes most importantly, vendor management includes facilitating support.

How often do you contact your vendors directly? Is it usually a good experience?

Think of a single example. Your internet service goes down, and you need to contact your provider to get it fixed. Is that usually a fast and painless process?

If not, then this is another way you can rely on vendor management services. In this case, you won’t be waiting on hold to get help from your ISP. Instead, your technology vendor handles the situation. Your IT experts work with the ISP to restore service as efficiently as possible.

This allows you to maintain your focus on your own areas of expertise, confident in the knowledge that you already have dedicated professionals attending to the issue.

Keep in mind that internet outages are a single example. Vendor management can help you with support for cloud contracts, business software applications, phone services, and so much more.

Aspects of Asset Management

Naturally, it’s nice to have an expert on your side when you need to buy specialized hardware, but asset management goes far beyond purchase recommendations.

The service includes long-term strategic planning paired with asset management, maintenance, and support.

Strategic Acquisition

The bottom line is simple. Is leasing or buying best for your business model? You likely buy some of the technology that you use in your office. It costs money, and technology purchasing mistakes create losses that few organizations can easily afford.

Strategic acquisition means your IT partners fill a role in purchasing technology equipment. They carefully review your business needs and present you with options. Part of that strategy shows where you can jettison costs and when the best time to buy is. They will prepare a quote that will show you what to buy so that you avoid overspending.

Similarly, your IT experts help you analyze compatibility to ensure every purchase will fold nicely into your existing resources.

The goal is to optimize IT spending to get the most value from every dollar invested.

Lifecycle Management

All technology tools age and eventually become end of life (EOL). This applies to both hardware and software applications.

Lifecycle management anticipates EOL in your IT tools and schedules replacement. This avoids downtime from slow or poorly functioning tools.

Lifecycle management also includes long-term planning so you aren’t suddenly hit with unexpected upgrade costs. This allows you to carefully plan and budget for IT spending in the future — keeping everything in working order without creating new problems along the way.

Lifecycle management is one of the best ways to optimize IT spending and ROI.

Maintenance and Support

The final component of asset management provides maintenance and IT support for businesses in Lincoln and Omaha. What happens if equipment breaks down before its scheduled end of life? You need support, and arranging support is included and  saves you time from doing so.

Routine maintenance keeps your IT resources healthy and up to date. This prevents security issues, premature wear, bottlenecks, and many sources of unexpected downtime.

Vendor support contracts extend beyond routine updates, providing repairs as needed and even replacing hardware components under warranty if they fail. All of this extends the lifespan of your equipment and optimizes your spending. It’s the final piece that allows you to extract the most value possible from your vendor management partnership.

Combined, technology vendor and asset management empower your organization to control IT infrastructure and resources in ways that help your bottom line while improving everyday business functions.

Topics: IT Support