A Technology Strategy That's as Easy As 1+1

Posted by Steve Knutson on July 11, 2013

The accelerated pace of technology is unprecedented. It’s near impossible to keep up with it all, let alone choose what is right for your organization.

As a technology provider, it’s our responsibility to “really know” what we sell. But a few years ago, we could not effectively train our staff to keep up with the constant developments in the multiple products we sold. We knew the pace would not slow anytime soon. So, we convened a steering committee to evaluate the technology we used and sold – piece by piece.

The result was what we call our One Plus One Strategy for our entire corporation. That means every office – no matter its location – only sells two options for voice, security and all of our other technology categories. Yes, we’re narrowing options. But it’s the right thing to do. 

A highly integrated system that allows all the pieces to communicate with one another is essential. That does not naturally happen if multiple manufacturers are used.

Simplifying Your System
Organizations would not use multiple accounting or lines of business software. The same should be true with equipment for backups, security, routing and other networking. 

The move to a simplified system may sound controversial because there are so many products in the marketplace and many of them are good choices. Their uses are similar, but the challenge is that they all do not play nice with one another. The phone systems may not talk to the CRM system or a complicated configuration needs to be concocted to connect varying backups, security and routing solutions together.

Why Standardization Works
The Wild Wild West nature of technology that I have spoken about in previous blogs demands all organizations to have the discipline to simplify their technology selection. Here’s a look at the results of implementing a standardized strategy:

  • Improved training of staff.
    Our staff is more knowledgeable because we have fewer solutions and the same would be true for your staff. They can stay up to speed and that saves us time and money.
  • Lowered costs of support.
    There will be fewer issues and breakdowns when fewer solutions are at play. That, combined with highly trained staff that can quickly fix issues even before they occur, significantly lowers the cost of support, which can be a far greater expense than the initial investment in the equipment.
  • Increased user satisfaction.
    Simplifying the solutions allows your technology to work more efficiently on the back end and that means staff make fewer calls to support. Even when they do, the issue often can be remedied more quickly.
  • Boosted productivity.
    Fewer network slowdowns and breakdowns mean employees can keep working on their tasks and not wait for the technology to allow them to do their job.

When implementing a simplified technology strategy or considering a change, it’s important to consider timing. If everything is working fine, you don’t need to make a change. Wait until the technology is ready for a refresh before evaluating and implementing new solutions. Then, if the timing is right, the partner has to be, too. 

Topics: Office Technology