Midmarket companies prefer one-stop IT vendor

Such companies have a lower IT budget and do not need much customization to their IT infrastructure so they like to source from a single vendor, says Dell executive.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

SINGAPORE--Midmarket companies have a lower budget and do not need much customization to their IT infrastructure than their larger counterparts, so they like to purchase integrated IT systems from a single vendor, says a Dell executive.

In an interview with ZDNet Asia on the sidelines of a media briefing, Phil Davis, vice president of enterprise solutions at Dell Asia-Pacific and Japan, said midmarket companies prefer looking for integrated IT products from a one-stop vendor as it saves them money and time.

Dell defines midmarket an organization with 250 to 5,000 employees.

Davis noted that companies would save on upfront cost as they do not need to source different parts of the IT infrastructure separately. As the integrated system would come preconfigured, these companies can also save on time, he added.

In contrast, Davis noted that large companies such as the Global 500 often have specific IT needs as well as complex infrastructure with legacy systems. These large businesses would tend to prefer buying individual products and optimize them to suit their IT needs, he said.

Tan Fang Wai, Internet systems engineer at Singapore Web hosting company 8 to Infinity, said having a one-stop IT vendor is important as the company will only need a single point of contact if there are issues with the system. He was one of the Dell customers invited to the briefing.

He added a multi-vendor IT infrastructure would require the company to make sure that the network, storage and servers are able to interoperate smoothly which will take time to set up.

Currently, 8 to Infinity still has legacy systems from different vendors but it plans to phase out old servers and replace them with Dell servers, he said.

Liu Hai Hua, IT department manager at real estate and construction company CNQC (South Pacific) Holding, added that having a one-stop shop partnership would depend on how credible the vendor is.

While not giving names, Liu said there were IT vendors that claimed to be able to "take everything" but ended up not being able to handle parts of the system. Those parts would then need to be outsourced to another party in the end, he noted.

When CNQC was preparing to implement a new communication system, it approached about 14 vendors but chose Dell because of the company's talent as well as hardware and software capabilities, said Liu.

Ihab Al-Wazani, director of solutions and technology enablement at supply chain management company YCH Group, added that in a multi-vendor environment, IT vendors would sometimes blame the other for a fault in the system. Thus having one source to go to would save time, he said.

Ihad added that YCH Group has a complex IT system so having integrated systems would increase the IT department's responsiveness.

Enterprise tech giant Oracle has also been pushing for a single-vendor approach by providing its customers with hardware, software and cloud services in an all-Oracle environment.

That said, IT heads noted at a ZDNet Asia panel discussion last month that adopting a converged infrastructure provided by a single vendor will not suit every company. Companies will also need to be wary of vendor lock in.

Dell's Davis noted that the company is taking the open standard route instead of pushing proprietary systems. Customers that wished to adopt products from other vendors will have that choice, he said.

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