Just about every business today benefits from working with specialized partners. The days when even smaller companies sought to cover every need in-house are now history, and recognizing that is always important. At the same time, some companies still fail to understand the full extent of what partnering with others can do for them. This is often particularly true in the important and fast-moving field of information technology, where businesses on the smaller end of the scale regularly overlook opportunities for improvement.


When it comes time to invest in new IT assets, for example, simply seeking out the lowest price can seem like a good idea. Because IT devices like servers, routers, and network-attached storage systems are often treated as commodities, shopping for them can seem like an equally simple matter. In practice, though, vendors of such equipment range greatly in terms of what they deliver and understanding this is the only way of accurately recognizing the amount of value that a given quote represents.

A supplier who strives to deliver the lowest price on a certain order of equipment will rarely provide much else. On the other hand, a Value Added Reseller will typically sweeten the deal greatly, offering a lot more than just the equipment itself. Whether that means help with setup, configuration, and regular maintenance; a guarantee that goes beyond what manufacturers will offer; or services of other kinds entirely, the price associated with a particular quote is only one part of what determines the overall value equation.

The same basic idea holds when it comes to selecting IT services of other kinds. Many small and medium companies have become used to relying on others for IT basics like networking, user support, and other important kinds of assistance. What is actually delivered with a given contract, though, will vary more than might be expected.

A Managed Service Provider that covers the kinds of problems that might occasionally crop up can save a business money compared to one that will charge extra for anything outside the routine and expected. While working with the right IT partners can be an excellent way of saving money, understanding just what each will offer is always important, as well.