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Should I Use One Provider for all my Office Technology?

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

4 Considerations for your IT Procurement Strategy

In the rapidly evolving office technology landscape, IT leaders need to select the right balance between vendor consolidation and diversification. Your choice of one vendor (or many vendors) significantly impacts your IT strategy, information management, and hardware selection. There is no one size fits all approach: some organizations benefit from a diverse vendor pool whereas others prefer a single partnership. The best choice depends on your needs and objectives. Read on for more about the pros and cons of single vendor vs. multi-vendor IT procurement strategies.

Single Vendor: Streamlined Efficiency and Simplified Support

Streamlining your office technology with a single vendor can enhance efficiency and simplify support processes. When you have one single partner for your IT strategy, you should see a seamless integration of devices, software, and information management systems. This minimizes compatibility issues, optimizes workflows, and delivers a smoother user experience. Plus, coordinating support is easier with a single point of contact for all your hardware and software. That means simplified maintenance, efficient troubleshooting, and better coordination, saving time and resources for in-house IT departments.

Multiple Vendors: Diverse Options and Blended Solutions

A multi-vendor strategy brings you diverse options. Many vendors specialize in certain aspects of office technology like document imaging, computer systems, or audio/visual, for example. With multiple vendors, you can choose the best products and services from each, leveraging their distinct strengths and innovations. This flexibility can be particularly helpful for organizations with highly unique or specialized IT requirements, giving them many options from which to build a custom mix and match solution.

Single Vendor: Total Spend Management and Efficiencies

Consolidating your spend with a single vendor allows for greater cost efficiency and centralized purchasing. Solution bundles offer savings on total spend, and coordinating procurement through one vendor enables better budget oversight, allocation, and control. One comprehensive master agreement with a single vendor yields economies of scale, often opening discounted pricing across service categories. Moreover, centralized procurement reduces administrative burden on finance and purchasing teams, with fewer invoices, common payment terms, and a single relationship manager.

Multiple Vendors: Competitive Bid Pricing

While a single vendor strategy supports total cost management, you might leave money on the table on any one specific service category. Willingness to work with multiple vendors gives procurement teams flexibility to run competitive bids, review diverse proposals, and take the lowest price on each purchase.

How to Choose: Specific Needs and Compatibility

As you weigh the pros and cons, consider your organization's specific needs and compatibility requirements. How big and complex are your IT operations? How unique are your applications, and how much customization is required? How compatible are different vendors’ solutions? As always, keep in mind providers’ support capabilities and total cost of ownership. Striking the right balance between tailored solutions and seamless integration will drive optimal results.

Aztec is Here to Help

You don’t need to make the decision on your own. Aztec’s technology experts work with organizations of all sizes to define a coherent strategy for their office technology and bring that vision to life. We can help you choose the vendor model that is right for you. Whichever way you go, we are here to help. We have the breadth of capability to be your total managed technology solutions provider, but we also are also flexible to fit in alongside other vendors you work with.

How do you balance the single vendor and multi-vendor strategies in your IT procurement? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

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