Owning Hardware Procurement

Technology is complicated.

Gone are the good old days where a business could rush down to the local Big Box Retailer and buy up twenty PCs, plug them into the wall, and everything just works. Times have changed and so have standards and regulatory obligations.

At Umbrella, we understand the growing cost center of technology. We work hard to drive down hardware and software expenses while maintaining the highest quality. For some clients, it is tempting to sidestep the issue by purchasing their own hardware, but this tactic often leads to more expenses down the line.

Leveraging your technology partner offers several benefits – all of which help lower the final price tag.

Factors to Consider
Aside from the overused “it will save you time” defense, there are several business-impacting reasons why a company should rely on its technology partner.

  • Hardware Discounts: Umbrella has partnerships with several hardware resellers, allowing us to procure the hardware quickly and at a discount.
  • Backorders: Did you know there was an international shortage of Intel processing chips? The shortage has caused several device manufacturers to place many devices on backorder. Umbrella has agreements with major resellers to ensure more than one avenue is active to purchase a device and get it shipped.
  • You Get What You Pay For: The thrill of finding a ‘deal’ may leave you with an underpowered or out-of-date device. Cheap hardware means cheap components, leaving you with poor performance, and parts that wear out more quickly. These cheap devices require you to spend money on adapters to connect to peripherals or monitors, upgraded software licenses, or expanded memory so the system will run correctly.Examples:
    • Selecting a Spinning Disk over a Solid-State Drives (SSDs) is a common price-reducing tactic. However, there is a significant impact to drive performance, especially on encrypted drives.
    • Incompatible software is another common issue. Cheaper devices often come packaged with older generation or limited versions of the operating system. This always requires additional time in security patching or complete upgrades.

Any future device reloads (example: new employee takes over an existing computer), the system reverts to the original software and requires Umbrella to repeat the full setup process. This delays the availability of workstations and may result in additional fees.

Leverage Umbrella
There are benefits to leveraging Umbrella for your hardware procurement, including:

  • An All-Inclusive Setup: Regardless of the setup process, when Umbrella acquires your hardware, we take responsibility for its configuration, setup, delivery, and install. From ordering to delivery and onsite installation, Umbrella charges a flat cost. You know upfront what you will pay.Important Note: Client-provided workstations, requiring new PC setup, are billed under Time and Materials. These devices do not qualify for the ITMS 3.0 Annual ‘Workstation Refresh’ program or the flat-fee New PC Setup option.
  • Handling the DOAs (Dead on Arrivals): This happens more frequently than you realize, especially when you are ordering cheap units. If Umbrella procures the device, we coordinate everything from the warranty repairs or replacements to navigating the vendor’s return process.All of this takes time. Umbrella often has another device on hand for the user, which drastically reduces the wait.
  • Track the Full Device Life-Cycle: When Umbrella procures a device, we track all configurations, updates, warranty claims, repairs, or replacements. Knowing a workstation’s history assists in the troubleshooting process and improves the chance of using a manufacturer’s warranty on poor-performing devices.

For most clients, the critical bit comes down to when your agreement covers the cost of the setup. Please reach out if you have any questions.

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Umbrella and IT Solutions Join Forces

We are pleased to announce a new partnership with IT Solutions Consulting, a managed services provider headquartered in Fort Washington, PA. IT Solutions has a robust reputation in the IT industry and is backed by 25+ years of experience. Together, we’ll continue to deliver top-tier service with our combined team of technology professionals under the IT Solutions name. Click here for more details.