Hardware standardization is a strategy some providers use to minimize overhead and future-proof their solutions. It involves deploying the same hardware components in all customer solutions, making replacements, patches and updates easier and more predictable. Moreover, it narrows the scope of all interoperability testing between devices, firmware and software.
By working with the same line of products, your team gains the advantage of technical familiarity. For example, the administrative portal for configuring the hardware will all use the same Graphical User Interface (GUI). Likewise, the naming structure for certain features and components will be consistent. The result is more than just a lesser learning curve, but also a deeper proficiency in the solution overall.
Traditionally, standardizing hardware lead to vendor lock-ins. To leverage buyer power with one vendor, providers would join partner programs. Unfortunately, single-vendor relationships are sometimes restrictive, especially if competitor products surface with greater advantages or if the vendor changes investment direction.
It’s important to note that a standardized hardware strategy does not necessarily mean single-vendor strategy. For example, perhaps you’ve identified one vendor as excellent in VoIP and another as superior in broadband. It’s the consistency in vendor choice per application that matters most, especially customer-to-customer.
Working with a distributor grants the flexibility to allow multi-vendor standardization strategies. It does so while providing all benefits of a vendor channel program:
Buying Power—the more you order through a distributor, the more buying power you unlock. The difference: you can diversify this buying power and lean it towards multiple vendors and/or services.
Training and Support—distributors must adhere to stringent sales and support training standards. The staff imparts this knowledge onto their customers.