In the healthcare IT industry, choosing the right partner for your next hardware rollout is no easy feat. Not only do you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal and stellar customer service, but it’s important that you trust your partner as well. Trust that your hardware partner is listening to your needs and pain points and is providing you with a variety of options guaranteed to fulfill business requirements. This is why vendor agnosticism is one of the most important factors that must be considered when choosing a hardware partner.

In this post we’re going to take a deep dive into what it means to be truly vendor agnostic, why most distributors out there are not, and what you stand to gain by working with a true partner, as opposed to a traditional reseller or distributor. Our goal is that by the end of this post you feel more confident in choosing a vendor agnostic Healthcare IT partner and will avoid falling victim when sourcing for your next technology rollout.

Defining vendor agnosticism

Simply put, when a company describes itself as vendor agnostic (also known as vendor neutral), this means that it isn’t contractually – or politically – bound to a specific set of manufacturers. In other words, the solutions presented and quoted to you are meant to satisfy your specific business, technology, and budget needs regardless of what that may mean for the distributor. Truly vendor agnostic distributors will provide you the very best solution, even if that means a slimmer profit margin. Partnering with a vendor agnostic company means more options, better communication, and an overall better customer service experience.

But aren’t all IT solutions partners agnostic?

In theory, all partners could be vendor agnostic, but they don’t have to be. IT solutions partners, aka reseller organizations, act as a middleman that partners with a variety of manufacturers and resells or redistributes those goods and services to businesses like yours. It is in a reseller’s best interest – and yours – to be vendor neutral, but most aren’t. The reasons run the gamut, but most of them boil down to money and how they (i.e., the distributor and the manufacturer) stand to make more of it, by any means necessary.

So what does that mean for you?

Working with vendors that aren’t truly vendor-agnostic only negatively impacts you, whether the effects are felt immediately or down the road. Perhaps you have an upcoming project that’s going to take months to implement, require several externally sourced solution architects, and perhaps require ongoing support after implementation. In other cases, you may need a short order of out-of-the-box barcode scanners to get a project off the ground. The variation of business objectives and technology requirements are directly tied to your immediate or long-term needs, which should affect the options presented to you by a distributor.

However, when a vendor isn’t truly agnostic, a lot of behind-the-scenes manipulation can occur to make their preferred manufacturer “fit” your needs. Instead of finding the very best solution based on customer requirements, distributors that aren’t vendor-neutral will quote manufacturers that they deem are “best in class” despite not satisfying your needs. This usually results in more money out of your pocket, more headaches when you don’t get what you paid for, and a breakdown in trust.

The perks of working with a vendor agnostic hardware partner

Healthcare IT is one with many regulatory restrictions and nuances to consider, which means partnering with a distributor that’s trustworthy, knowledgeable, and experienced is critical. The only way to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your time and money is to work with a vendor agnostic partner for all your hardware needs. Why? Well, if the previous information wasn’t enough, let’s get into the advantages of working with a vendor neutral partner.

1. Broad product knowledge, better solutions. Vendor agnostic partners generally are staffed with solution architects and technologists who spend their time getting familiar with the latest and greatest technology across all brands and manufacturers. They do this for you. That way you can rest assured that when you get a solution, it’s best for your needs and that they can support you before, during, and after implementation.

2. More options to choose from. Vendor agnostic partners don’t have contractual obligations to any one manufacturer or brand, so this means you have a lot more options to choose from.

3. Better customer service. One point of contact. This one is self-explanatory, but we’ll explain it anyway. Would you rather have to reach out to 5 or 6 different people to get an answer to a question or have one dedicated contact find the answer on your behalf? The less time you spend sending emails, the better. Speaking of time…

4. Less researching and more productivity. Having a vendor neutral partner in your corner means you can trust that they’re putting your needs/interests first and that they know what they’re doing. This means you spend less time researching, vetting, and comparing quotes, and more time doing what you do best. Speaking of trust…

5. Get the facts. No spin. Resellers that are getting several more points on the back end of the deal for offering a specific manufacturer can twist your words and disparage other competing manufacturers based on opinion alone. A truly vendor agnostic partner gives it to you straight so you can make a logical decision based on the truth.

6. Tailor-made solutions just for you. In most instances, especially when it comes to healthcare IT, a one-size-fits-all product offering just won’t do. Vendor agnostic distributors have the knowledge, resources, and relationships to mix, match, and customize a solution to fit your needs like a glove.

If you’ve ever felt like your needs were ignored when working with a reseller/distributor, were unsatisfied with the options presented, or maybe even ended up regretting making a hardware purchasing decision, it’s likely that your partner isn’t being transparent and wasn’t truly vendor agnostic. By partnering with a vendor neutral firm for your upcoming hardware rollouts, you’ll be setting your next project up for success and freeing up time to focus on more pertinent tasks at hand. Make it a priority for your next project launch. You’ll be glad you did!

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