Help us help you: How enterprise IT teams can improve supply chain efficiency

When it comes to selecting a solutions provider, organizations today are prioritizing long-term support over cost. More than a one-and-done solution, they want a strategic partner that can help them tackle their current IT demands and work with them to identify needs they might not know they have, or that might not exist yet.

For a solutions provider, too, these are the best kind of customer relationships—true partnerships with organizations that take an active role in improving their IT environment, and that not only to ask, “what else can you do be doing for us?” but also, “what can we be doing for you?”

There are many ways that enterprise IT teams can work with solutions providers to take their partnership—and thus the efficiency of their supply chain —to the next level. As Jerry Maguire might say, it’s all about finding the best ways to “Help us, help you!

Here are three of the best ways to do that.

1. Maintain an effective IT asset management solution. In terms of hardware, traditional volume licensing software, and cloud-based solutions, nothing can be done efficiently without understanding the relationship between what your contracts entitle you to deploy vs. what is actually deployed in your environment.

As an organization gets bigger, it’s harder to maintain that understanding, meaning more money can be wasted through redundant purchases—or worse—audit remediation. Understanding the products deployed, quantities, and entitlements granted by ongoing maintenance is a great start. From there, efficient forward progress is possible.

2. Understand which other internal groups will need to weigh in on big projects. IT must constantly evaluate new technologies, which requires time, bandwidth, and expertise. However, once a solution is found, other parts of the organization—like procurement, corporate governance, information security, and others—might also need to sign off on a solution.

Whether it’s leveraging an existing licensing agreement or remaining compliant with internal company standards and policies, there is great value and efficiency in inclusion. A longtime and trusted solutions partner sometimes adds value by introducing like-minded groups to one another— often within the same enterprise. Knowing all ducks must be in a row, it’s actually in the solutions provider’s best interests to do so well in advance, with the help of the IT team.

3. Understand all the capabilities a solutions provider can offer. Anyone who’s watched a Microsoft Excel wizard turn messy columns of data into a glorious pivot table has had the same thought: “I never knew Excel could do that!”

Just like how most of us only use 20 percent of an application’s capabilities, many longtime solutions providers have capabilities you may not be fully leveraging. When was the last time you asked what your solutions provider could do? It’s possible that your “Microsoft guy” also has the ability to become your “AWS guy,” and you didn’t even know it.

By keeping regularly scheduled business reviews and periodically asking questions like “What services or best practices are you providing to other customers like us?” you can up your chances of identifying untapped talent and resources that already exist in a trusted and approved solutions partner. Keep those QBRs on your calendar, share your pain points, and challenge your partners to identify ways to do more for you. Their answers and capabilities will almost certainly surprise you.

Help us help you

Service providers will do what they can to make your IT experience more efficient, but sometimes a little help from the other side can push that efficiency to another level. Don’t be afraid to ask how to make the process more efficient. Odds are, the answer won’t be that difficult—simply keep your IT data organized and your channels of communication open. The bigger the business, the more important it is to help us help you by optimizing the partnership with your service provider.

Tags:

SHI wins NASPO ValuePoint—Cloud Services master agreement, expands options for public sector

SHI is committed to bringing public sector organizations the best technology and services available. Now we’re able to offer even more.

SHI has been awarded a NASPO ValuePoint—Cloud Solutions master agreement, which allows state and local governments and other public sector organizations to skip the bid process and streamline cloud deployment and support through SHI. Those in the public sector can now breathe a little easier knowing that cloud solutions are more readily at hand. Continue Reading…

Tags: ,

6 tech trends that took over in 2016

Technology continues to become more and more integrated into our everyday lives—it’s hard to find a company that doesn’t use software to help run their business more smoothly. At SHI, we help organizations across a number of industries find the solutions they need, from printer security to healthy cubicle hacks and more. It gives us a great view of some of the trends that emerge each year, including what hit it big in 2016. Continue Reading…

Tags: , , , , , , ,

SHI’s revenue soars to $2 billion in Q3 on the back of strong legacy, emerging partnerships

Earnings-releaseSHI’s growth continues to accelerate in 2016. SHI reported $2 billion in revenue in Q3 — 14 percent year-over-year growth — and the company’s revenues for the first three quarters of 2016 totaled $5.3 billion. This surge puts SHI on pace for another record year. Continue Reading…

Tags: , , ,

SHI’s Austin office named one of city’s best places to work

awardsCheers to SHI’s office in Austin, Texas – you’ve just been named one of the capital city’s top workplaces!

That’s right: SHI’s local office was once again recognized as one of the city’s best large employers by the Austin American-Statesman. Our Austin office employs nearly 1,000 people, and serves as the epicenter of corporate and SMB sales. The Austin office is SHI’s second largest office, after our world headquarters in New Jersey.

The Austin American-Statesman’s Top Workplace designation is based on an anonymous employee survey – sent to employees by the Statesman – that measures workplace qualities such as company leadership and direction, employee engagement, career opportunities, working environment and training, communications, and compensation.

SHI employees highlighted the positive work environment, competitive pay and benefits, and strong local leadership in the survey. They also praised the opportunities for advancement, rewards for hard work, supportive and empowering team leaders, and SHI’s culture.

“SHI’s growth has always been fueled by an enthusiastic and dedicated workforce, and our Austin office is a vital cog in our sales and customer support machine. The office has grown considerably over the past few years, and the hard-working and experienced SHI employees in Austin consistently go above and beyond to fulfill our customers’ needs,” said Thai Lee, President and CEO of SHI International Corp.  “I am pleased to hear that our employees consider SHI one of the best places to work in Austin. Congratulations are in order to everyone in the office from top to bottom!”

2016 marks the fifth year SHI has been named a Top Workplace by the Austin American-Statesman — SHI was honored with the designation in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015.

Tags: , ,

How one retailer rolled out thousands of tablets to 600 stores across the nation

tablets-in-retailA small project for a large organization is often nothing of the sort. One recent example is a large national retailer’s plan to deploy 8,500 tablets to 600 stores.

As part of a mobility push, the retailer sought to equip thousands of store managers and other personnel with tablets. After working through a proof of concept with a number of options, the retailer chose a family of Microsoft Surface tablets (primarily Surface 3 devices) for their size, light weight, touch-screen capabilities, and ease of use in the store environment. The tablets allow managers to track inventory and monitor sales from anywhere – in the office, on the floor, or behind the register. Continue Reading…

Tags: , , ,

The SHI Summit: Cut the complexity out of mobile, security, and data center solutions

SHI Summit 2016 BannerWhy do we call it an IT ecosystem? Because everything is interconnected, and one weakness causes ripples up and down your IT environment.

Nothing that affects your network exists in a vacuum; for example, providing every member of the sales force with a tablet might cripple your network while confounding the network administrators and security architects maintaining a secure environment. Whether it’s adopting a mobile strategy, protecting the network from sophisticated security threats, or choosing the right data center solutions, any change will have repercussions throughout your entire environment. Continue Reading…

Tags: , , ,

SHI sets new revenue record while navigating changing IT landscape

Earnings-releaseIn the past 12 months, the IT landscape has been remapped in both technical and business terms. Cloud, on-prem data center, and hybrid infrastructure have presented customers with more IT options than ever before. Meanwhile mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures consolidate some vendors while creating others – often in the same marketplace. Still, SHI marches forward.

Driven by strong partner performances, SHI’s first half revenue came in at $3.3 billion – a 12 percent year-over-year increase. SHI recorded growth across its enterprise and commercial, public sector, and SMB sales divisions, and saw $400 million in revenue from emerging partners, many of which focus on cloud-based technologies that continue to challenge the traditional IT playing field. Continue Reading…

Tags: , ,

Staff picks for the week of May 30, 2016

Staff PicksIt was a short week following the Memorial Day holiday, but there’s plenty of tech news to highlight, from the escalating fight against ad blockers to a growing trend of cities accommodating “petextrians.” Catch up on these and more stories you might have missed with our staff picks!

Why you should delete the online accounts you don’t use anymore — right now (Read by Camillia S.)

Up until last Friday, your old social media account credentials weren’t worth anything, not even to you. You probably don’t remember the password anyway. But all of that changed when a data dump of over 33 gigabytes, consisting of 360 million MySpace usernames and passwords, was listed for sale. Hackers can use this information for phishing and to wreak other kinds of havoc. On Tuesday, MySpace announced that it has disabled all affected passwords so no one can gain access, so while you can’t go in and update your Top 8 right away, you should be able to change your password and delete your account for good. Unless you’re still into MySpace, in which case … no judgment. Continue Reading…

Tags: