Your network isn’t just important to you – it’s the lifeline of your business. That’s why it’s crucial to maintain control over its future. Yet, hardware manufacturers are increasingly attempting to dictate how companies procure, support, and manage their networks. Nevertheless, there are methods you can employ to identify these deceptive tactics and sidestep them. Here’s an overview of some of the foolhardy strategies many manufacturers employ to prioritize their sales agenda over your business requirements.

Short Hardware Life Cycles

Increasingly, manufacturers are accelerating product lifecycles and announcing the end of life for products to boost revenue. Engage with any manufacturer representative, and they’ll pitch the newest, top-of-the-line product, emphasizing how this year’s model surpasses the previous one in speed, quality, and, of course, price. However, the swifter the manufacturers roll out these cutting-edge products, the higher the cost for consumers.

Network managers facing budget constraints and CIOs mindful of costs are resisting manufacturers’ pressure. They’re no longer willing to simply shell out funds for frequent upgrades or pricey “migration paths” in pursuit of cutting-edge technology. Instead, companies seeking to maximize their IT budgets are extending the lifespan of their equipment and turning to vendors offering pre-owned and refurbished products to support systems beyond the manufacturer’s end-of-life date.

Don’t allow the manufacturers to fool you into believing that upgrading is mandatory once a product reaches its end of life. The focus should remain on your business requirements rather than adhering to the manufacturer’s product cycle. If a product aligns with your business needs, upgrading should be done at your discretion and pace.

Limited Options for Partners

Manufacturers not only try to fool you into purchasing their latest and greatest products but also attempt to dictate where you must buy them from. Many manufacturers implement “preferred” partner programs and “deal registrations” to maintain high product prices and limit competition among partners, which could otherwise lead to better prices for customers. Often, these programs aim to restrict customer options and incentivize partners to promote specific, pricier products, regardless of the customer’s actual business needs.

A workaround to this tactic: Embrace independence! Independent resellers aren’t bound by manufacturer directives or pricing constraints. They can provide solutions and alternatives tailored to your business requirements, rather than being influenced by the manufacturer’s agenda to push certain products. Typically, they offer improved lead times and may even offer trade-in programs for your old equipment. Many customers find it advantageous to have a blend of both partners and independent resellers to benefit from optimal support, cost-effectiveness, and availability.

“Must Have” Pricey Maintenance Programs

So, you’ve got this incredibly pricey hardware that often exceeds the network needs of your business. Now, the manufacturers insist that you MUST enroll in their approved maintenance plans to qualify for replacement products and any necessary updates to ensure your hardware functions as intended. This is a foolhardy tactic aimed at coercing you into purchasing their maintenance program, and it’s simply not true.

More and more forward-thinking companies are wise to the fallacy of “one size fits all” mandatory maintenance programs imposed by manufacturers. Many are liberating themselves from these costly maintenance plans by taking control of their network maintenance, either through onsite spare parts or by exploring third-party maintenance options. This approach not only reduces costs but also provides a more tailored and manageable solution, resulting in a superior customer service experience.

Bottom Line

It’s your network. You have the freedom to choose how you maintain it. Manufacturers have no right to dictate your hardware choices, purchasing sources, or maintenance procedures. This year has been daunting already—don’t let the manufacturer fool you into unnecessary fear!

Let us help you get the networking equipment you need at the quality and price your business deserves. Contact us today to get started. 

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