What to Expect When Calling IT Providers for Quotes
The End User’s Perception on Picking the Winning Bid
So you are calling multiple IT providers to get pricing on a project you have coming up; maybe it’s a move to Live 365 or a shiny new server. Seems simple enough: with one phone call you tell them what you’re looking for and they should be able to send over prices. You then compare each vendor’s quote and easily pick which firm you plan to go with. That sounds all well and good; however, if any IT provider is willing to blindly quote out your project without examining your environment first, you should be very, very afraid! A provider willing to quote a job without inspecting your environment would be like a builder not coming to your home prior to quoting your kitchen remodel.
Why Is There A Perception That Providers Should Just Be Able To Blindly Quote IT Projects?
In todays on-demand/iPhone era we have been trained that technology should just work. It’s been engrained into our psyche. And that perception, combined with the wizardry we think all IT people possess, makes it very easy to see why an end user would have different expectations about quoting a new IT project compared to, let’s say, a kitchen remodel. The truth is, a good IT company would thoroughly examine your environment before giving you a formal quote.
Why Should Someone Examine My Environment?
Most technology environments have many moving pieces, many not visible to the end user. These items need to be assessed in order for someone to accurately quote your job. You may think you have a small network with just a handful of users; however – to go back to my kitchen remodel analogy – that is like saying you have a small kitchen. The kitchen may be small, but it still needs to be measured, cabinets still need to come out, windows need to be accounted for, plumbing and electrical considerations and so on.
Once I Have The Quotes… Then What?
Different IT providers have different methods of doing things, so they may suggest different solutions to accomplish the end goals that you’re seeking. It’s very important to examine the quotes – and the line items in the quotes – to make certain you are comparing apples to apples as opposed to just looking at the bottom lines of the competing quotes.
Watch For the Oversell!
In some cases a salesperson will oversell you something that you don’t need. He or she may be so good at it that you become fearful that the other quotes don’t contain that item. This is something that should throw up a big red flag. There are providers that will sell you something that doesn’t really benefit you in order to meet their own bottom line.
Making the Final Decision
Price is obviously a factor in making your final decision, but it’s important not to make it the only factor. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples, the organization’s reputation and your personal level of comfort.