You know that I am a HUGE proponent of having a local technology adviser help guide your business through the pros and cons and ups and downs of using technology as a tool to grow your business. Technology requires expertise, just like accounting, finance and real estate – you do have advisers for these areas – right?
Your local consultant is a pretty important person to you but also to technology vendors such as HP and Dell. These two computing giants are in a fierce fight to have you buy as much of your existing technology from one source. Them. They know one of the key influencers in your decision is you local consultant.
For years Dell has been known for going “direct”. They wanted to directly sell technology to you, for the most part by-passing or paying little attention to local consultants. Over the last several months Dell has been quickly changing this strategy. In fact, Computer Reseller News reports that Dell has more than 11,500 registered solution providers.
CDW, one of my favorite online retailers (sells technology products, installation and support services) is focused on the small business market. CRN also reports that HP has partnered with CDW to reach 500,000 small businesses in a renewed marketing push.
HP has been a long time channel partner and like Dell is looking for ways to best market to, sell to and meet the needs of smaller businesses.
What does this mean to your business?
Whether you buy Dell or HP really doesn’t make too much of a difference. What’s important is that you select a vendor whose solution best meets your needs and that over the long term is able to grow with your business.
The most important thing you should invest in, is support. Whether the support is provided by your local computer consultant or by the vendor directly, when your computer fails, as has happened to me, you want someone to quickly come and solve the problem.
You’ll also find that who your local consultant is can make a big difference. If they have too many clients and one day you really need help – the worst thing that can happen is for the consultant to tell you they can get to you next week as they are too busy. Ensure your local solution provider always has time for you. It can’t hurt to have a backup consultant who you know, in case you need them as well.