At vCom, everything we do is to provide our partners with three core values: time, information, and money. While all of these are of equal importance, we asked our clients which one of these they value most. The answer was the one that no one could ever produce more of:
We all need more of it, yet can’t produce it. What we can do is use the amount of time we have more wisely, more efficiently, and more productively. This is where a great IT aggregator can help.
Now we can’t speak on behalf of every aggregator, because each platform offers different features, but these are the key advantages that you should expect from a good IT aggregator – and they’re the ones we aim to provide with our own IT aggregator, or as we like to call it, the vCom Buyer’s Club.
Pre-Negotiated Pricing and Buying Power
Negotiating pricing is rarely an enjoyable experience. Either one side is paying too much or the other side is doing too much work for what they’re getting paid. Not to mention, negotiating takes time – and we already discussed how that’s a value we need to preserve and use wisely.
Utilizing a Buyer’s Club usually means this step will already have been done for you via pre-negotiated pricing that is often the most competitive and cost-friendly on the market. The time saved is plentiful, but even more importantly there is no question about what type of value you’re getting, making you immediately feel confident about how you’re spending your money. In the case of vCom’s Buyer’s Club, because of the strong relationships with have with dozens of providers, clients take advantage of increased buying power to secure the best possible rates, as well as better terms and conditions.
The world of IT solutions is plentiful – and this variety is both a curse and a blessing. More choices means the right solution for your business most likely exists, but it also means you have to find it among a huge sea of options.
The beauty of an aggregator is in the ability to not only compile all of those options for you, but compare and contrast them so you can quickly make a decision as to which is best for your business–both in price and performance.
Not every IT solution is turnkey. To be honest, this is where many IT aggregators fall short because they are entirely automated systems. At vCom, our aggregator tool is paired with expertise–white-glove service that guides the process, ensures that your unique needs are accounted for, that you have complete visibility into the features and functionality of the services or product you are evaluating, that you receive the best possible pricing (as well as terms and conditions), and that the solution is implemented correctly, to your satisfaction.
RFP’s are often a reflection of those unique needs – a particular mashup of products, services, and solutions that look different between each organization. Using a good IT aggregator tool can expedite the RFP process and ensure a level of thoroughness that speeds decision-making, resulting in less back and forth and more immediate conclusions.
Expert Service & Support
The hands-on portion of IT management shouldn’t end with just RFP support.
Access to expertise that can aid you in the various stages of the IT lifecycle (using the aggregator as the vehicle to manage the process) can be the secret to really speeding up your IT management.
How often do you or your staff toil over finding solutions in areas where you’re not necessarily experts? As your business matures and demands increase, how often are you applying new technologies that you’re not very comfortable with, only to spend more time sifting through how to best use them and less time implementing any of them confidently and properly? Learning takes time, but time is not always afforded. An expert’s direction can expedite that learning curve.
Much like that building project, a tool is only as good as the person wielding it and their ability to bring a vision to life. Without both, it is easy to spend way too much time toiling away for an outcome that’s undesirable. Having the combination of an expert in your back pocket to provide that guidance and a strong IT aggregator tool in your hands is a sure-fire way to get better results, faster.
Take a moment to think about how many invoices your organization gets every month (if you don’t know, ask the person who pays them). And if those invoices are being manually paid, consider how much time it takes to process each of those bills.
It’s a lot of paperwork, and it takes a lot of time.
But imagine if all of those bills were consolidated down to a single invoice? It’s a feature that radically reduces the time spent on inbound invoice management – not just in processing speed but trackability as well. Everything in one easy to find place makes for less searching, less busy work, and less opportunity of costs squandered.
Vendor and Dispute Management
There’s no clearer indication of how much your time is worth than when you spend it all on the phone with a provider trying to fix a problem. The hours of lost productivity can be considerable. Managing your vendors and any disputes regarding products or services that may arise is one of the unheralded benefits of an aggregator solution. Problems occur, they are never well-timed, and a solution must be found. So let the experts handle the problem while you focus on the more important issues of the day.
Taking advantage of someone with deep provider relationships means being able to escalate issues and obtain the required results faster.
… and There’s More
The benefits of using an IT aggregator are extensive and continually growing. By this point, we hope that the decision to apply an IT aggregator to your business is less about whether or not you should, and more about which one to choose.
Look for one that will grow with your organization. New features should be regularly added, the platform should be updated frequently, and much like vManager, it should be accompanied by best-in-class service that makes the aggregator more than just a one-size-fits-all product, but a unique tool that can be used to meet the specific needs of your business.