By Mark Havens, VP, Sales & Marketing, SSCS
This metaphor is one of my favorites to help both IT procurement and data center executives better understand both the value of choosing the best hardware support provider, but also to prove a point about the myopic strategy of choosing the lowest cost provider.
Think about your home, your family and all your belongings – even family heirlooms shared across generations. Think about all you and yours have done to make your home safe, comfortable and inviting. Even think about the cost – physical and emotional – of having to replace anything in your home.
You’ve already thought about these things and probably do so nearly every day. Many readers, here, have also thought about the location of the nearest fire department, the expertise and responsiveness of its staff. You may have even thought about the cost of the equipment: from the firetruck, to the jaws-of-life, engine repairs – even the level of training available to the staff.
We see an incredible number of RFPs in a typical quarter. However, the quality of the questions surrounding parts and parts logistics do not always ensure that your standards for Service Quality will be met. Some of these questions create loopholes and gray areas, in which the sales solution manager can intentionally reduce service quality and become heroic to the client for having the lowest price. We would certainly like to help you end this kind of shell game.
- Would you ever want your fire department to be protecting you with sub-par equipment, poorly trained staff or not have an AED (defibrillator)?
- If your home were burning, how would you feel had you been the deciding vote at your city council to cut fire department funding?
- Wouldn’t you want as highly trained firemen and firewomen as your city could afford?
- Wouldn’t you want those firefighters to have the best gear possible and access to some of the latest training – even if it were determined by some to be expensive?
Have you ever stopped to think about how integral your company’s data center is to the health, prosperity and safety of your company? Why would you ever intentionally choose sub-par support expertise? Why would you ever want your expertise to be too hamstrung by incredibly tight budgets?
Hamstrung fire departments are quite like hamstrung data center hardware support providers. The quality of the service from each should be carefully measured against legitimate need and value of what is truly necessary. Catastrophic nightmares need not be a “when” or an “if.”
Mark Havens, VP, Sales & Marketing, SSCS
This year will be Mark’s 23rd year with SSCS Global IT Services. Beginning in sales, he was promoted to Vice President, Sales & Marketing, now responsible for all global sales activities, brand recognition, inbound/outbound marketing and primary messaging. In his previous employment in management with Ritz Carlton, Mark was highly influenced by their industry-leading customer service program, as influenced by the standards of the Malcolm Baldridge quality awards.
In his spare time, Mark is engaged is numerous activities with his daughter, plays the bass guitar and is a vocalist with a band and his church choir.