When looking for the right technology or solution, IT professionals will often look at the tool itself. They’ll examine the benefits, the costs and how easy it would be to integrate that tool into their existing infrastructure.
But there’s another consideration that departments should consider when preparing to deploy a new solution, and that’s the agreement. The right agreement can bring an organization extra resources and expertise to make deployment smoother, as well as ongoing support once the technology is in use.
Making sure that your provider is a partner in your operational success can ensure that your users are getting the most out of the solution, and it can even help save money down the line.
Get the Right Agreement to Enable Your Business
Any IT professional knows that the solution landscape is vast. There are many solutions to choose from, and deciding what to put in your organization’s toolbox can be overwhelming.
Craig Martin, former technical solutions architect at Cisco, says in a recent webinar that even within just one provider, there can be numerous options.
“At Cisco, we have a very broad portfolio,” he says. “It can be complex because you have a lot of choices. The Enterprise Agreement buying program gives customers more buying leverage and it gives them value by offering tiered discounts when they add more products to their contract.”
Martin says that EAs can work with the entire infrastructure, which can help organizations connect different aspects of their environments.
“EAs can be applied to not just the Cisco security portfolio; other architectures can be added to that,” he says. “Customers can really ensure that their security moves across their entire infrastructure and their other architecture, such as their network, their data centers, the users, the endpoint technologies and the applications.”
The EA model also suits organizations expanding their use of cloud products for remote work setups.
“The cloud environments that are out there and cloud-based security products, these can all be purchased through one simplified … buying agreement,” says Martin. “The EA also lets customers scale their licensing during periods of growth.”
Watch experts discuss the benefits of the right agreement model.
Partnership Can Bolster IT Success
Provider agreements are one aspect of a seamless deployment, but so is service. Partnering with a third party can help guide IT through acquisition, implementation and training — something that can be particularly attractive to businesses with smaller IT departments.
CDW Cybersecurity Practice Lead Ziyad Roumaya says in the webinar that at CDW, there are services available for each step of the customer experience.
“The CX team has a dedicated team that focuses specifically on Cisco Enterprise Agreements,” he says. “They will help the customer throughout the entire process, from a presale standpoint, helping our customers understand all the different buying models.”
Once customers have made a purchase, Roumaya says, CDW’s dedicated architects help them navigate the products.
“We're helping our customers work through which products within Cisco they're going to get the most value out of based on use cases,” he says. “We'll help design, we'll help demo products for our customers. We'll help them create the bill of materials and present those options to our customers.”
After making selections, CDW can also help with arguably the most important aspect: implementation.
“Every time we sell an agreement, we are putting our professional services on paper for our customers,” Roumaya says. “That way, they are adapting to the products and using them to their fullest capabilities. We're doing full implementation services, as well as something called adoption services, to help our customers be able to keep using the products over time.”