What should resellers look for when considering configuration services?by Mark Forster
September 20, 2017
Configuration of devices is a time-consuming, resource-eating and logistically-challenging job, all important reasons why resellers should ensure they try to find an effective service provider to outsource it to. The success of an outsourced configuration service extends well beyond simply ‘getting someone else to do it’, you’ll require a streamlined service that reduces supply chain friction between manufacturer and end user. But what are the main features to look out for when considering a configuration service provider?
Flexibility is key, particularly in relation to multi-vendor and multi-technology capabilities. End user requirements will inevitably mean you will need to be able to tap into expertise across a range of vendors and technologies and a single service provider capable of working in this way will ultimately save time – and cost - by removing the need to use various suppliers for different specifications.
Furthermore, a service provider with the expertise to offer bespoke configuration services, such as complete design and testing for ‘greenfield’ installations will enhance your offerings to your end user customer.
Another thing you’ll want to look for is reliability. Ensuring you outsource to a reliable service provider is a must in any situation, but how do you evaluate this? When you strip back configuration services, there is a strong physical capability required in order to be successful and the environment of the configuration centre itself can be an excellent indicator.
Predominantly you should look out for a purpose-built facility that can handle shipments effectively, whether large or small, organising them into designated areas with no risk of contamination between customer projects.
As configuration centres handle large quantities of high value electronic goods there is also huge value in an environment which is temperature-controlled and protects against Electro-Static Discharge.
Reliability can also be measured through an analysis of a service provider’s quality standards. Ensuring they have the appropriate business management systems, such as ISO27001 Information Security Management and ISO20000 IT Service Management, confirms that there certainly isn’t a casual approach to configuration which could lead to mistakes due to a lack of tested and approved procedures. By checking a service provider’s accreditations, you can be reassured of greater reliability.
For an added-value tick in the box, look for service providers who can offer the opportunity for your engineers to work alongside their configuration team in order to maximise and develop your own quality management systems.
Housed in 4,000 square feet of Ingram Micro’s Logistics & Distribution Centre Comms-care offers a set of configuration services which can meet all these needs and more, with the primary objective of reducing friction between distributor and end user. We cover core services such as image deployment and a fully tailored and scalable service around networking, switches, routers and servers along with a range of additional services, such as laser engraving and warranty registration. As a single provider for the entirety of the equipment lifecycle from purchase and deployment to support and maintenance, Comms-care employed staff conduct all stages of the process and are able to assist with partners’ supplier management and jeopardy management.
By choosing a configuration service provider such as Comms-care, that offers flexibility, peace of mind and the opportunity to maximise development and quality management opportunities, you will ensure that you don’t just ‘plug the gap’ with third-party services but you can confidently eliminate the risk of errors, minimise lead times and deliver an outstanding service to your end user customers, making it a very profitable exercise. To find out more about Comms-care’s configuration services click here or contact us today on +44 (0) 8702 644 303.