Jul 12 Healthcare IT: Discovering Gold within the Independent IT Support Community
You may not be completely familiar with this concept, but there exists a small (but, rapidly growing) industry of independent IT support providers all around the world. They are NOT the OEM, nor are they fiscally attached to any OEM. Such independence permits this unique industry to be free from OEM tech refresh strategies or any other sales tactic that does not directly serve your healthcare organization’s best interests.
Furthermore, these independent IT support providers are 100% hard-wired to solve every puzzle put in front of them, with an unrelenting empathy for your business drivers, your timelines and your budget. In my opinion, the techs and solutions architects in this independent support industry epitomize innovation and service dedication. But, the truly awe-inspiring component of these two character traits is what happens AFTER a client signs their first agreement (often a “test”) with an independent provider. Through competency, kindness and agility, the independent vendor engenders deep levels of trust within a few short months. Such trust causes greater client openness about pain points for unrelated internal processes, IT assets or unsolved obstacles to business drivers. Most all of these independent support providers will shift into solutions mode, establish a plan, present it for collaborative input, be entrusted to lead and then delight these clients much more than was hoped for upon signing the original MSA. Then, the independent tackles the next problem, and then the next. Unrelenting puzzle solvers!
How the independent IT support community faces a challenge, their maturity in facing an obstacle…it gets to the heart of why so many in Healthcare IT are now turning to independent IT support providers.
Please permit me to share a very specific example, one that I personally observed with the members of my team at XS International (XSi):
A large and respected Northeast healthcare organization had learned the value of adopting a hybrid hardware support model, which simply means that assets under warranty are supported by the OEM and the useful life of post-warranty assets can be extended by independent, Third-Party Hardware Maintenance providers. Truly, the savings are remarkable! They chose XSi to form an agreement for the support of several post-warranty servers, storage and networking hardware assets.
We quickly learned they were particularly concerned with Cisco entitlements and getting audited. In efforts to contain IT costs, they were buying their own spares and shifted their Cisco SLA to a “Next Business Day” model. While they enjoyed the savings, they knew they hadn’t mitigated the risk of a Cisco entitlements audit. Upon hearing about this unsolved obstacle, our team went to work and conducted a full site audit of all their spares. The discrepancies between actual assets and records validated their discomfort. So XSi proposed a solution to take over their logistics, receive their sparing assets at our HQ, testing everything, manage all entitlements and then re-ship to XSi forward stocking locations. Our online asset management system has provided all the transparency and reporting – exceeding their expectations. Problem solved! What’s more, moving their networking spares to our facility freed up three rooms for them.
I’m telling you, there is something very unique about the independent IT support community. There are no cookie-cutter solutions strategies. There are no self-serving tech refresh agendas. Instead, you’ll be a front-row witness to how innovation and dedication are blended, to provide customized solutions. For many, it feels like discovering gold!
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About the Author
Todd founded XS International in 1990, helping to build an independent IT support organization led by pioneering executives with proven tenures at Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks. He holds a board of director positions with the world’s two most prominent associations for independent IT support providers – Service Industry Association (SIA) and ASCDI (hardware resellers). He was a founding member of the Digital Right to Repair Coalition (now known as Repair.org, and continues to serve on their Board of Directors. As a hobby, he also co-founded VinoApp, specifically for Argentine wines. Very much a serial entrepreneur, Todd earned his Bachelor’s in Finance from Ohio State University and later completed a three-year Entrepreneurial Masters Program, given by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization & MIT Enterprise Forum. He resides in the greater Atlanta area with his family.