As featured on Data Center Dynamics - Full article here.
Almost every day we see another company being acquired, or absorbed, by a much larger company, followed almost immediately by a press release listing numerous reasons why the newly combined firm will be better for everyone, especially the bottom line.
When it comes to your data center design providers, is bigger really better? The more engaged provider is a true partner to its customers: well-versed on the client’s requirements and able to tailor its solutions for each engagement. Some of the larger data center solution providers tend to focus on those end-users who can satisfy an ever-growing need for more top-line revenues or look to expand their services outside of their core expertise in the hopes of growing market share. In today's blog, we can share some insight into what customers should look for in a data center design and build partner.
Dedicated & Agile Team
Can a massive conglomerate know your business as deeply as a highly-engaged, dedicated group with in-house expertise? The benefits of a partner with goal-oriented individuals – able to share information quickly & effectively – often outweigh using a larger firm that won’t have the “tribal knowledge” or the accessibility for daily interactions.
Highest Quality Product
Leveraging their influence in the market, larger service providers typically seek discounts on material pricing and can be overly concerned with internal cost-saving measures. This does not necessarily translate into a better value to clients, when many times these practices can lead to inferior products, procured from a variety of sources, with varying levels of quality control. In addition, cost-saving measures can often lead to job turnover and a reduction of qualified staff at larger firms. Add that to shifting corporate priorities and ever-changing project teams, and customers can be left with eroded service quality. A true design & build partner will typically work harder to differentiate their offering, focus their attention on the quality the finished product, and work to retain talent by encouraging a culture of responsibility and ownership.
Responsiveness and Communication
The ability for a customer to directly contact the design & build point of contact can mean the critical difference between project success and project failure. Wouldn’t you prefer a committed resource, focused on your project – committed to ensuring success – rather than a revolving door of personnel, or a faceless number to call?
Real World Example
Recently during the installation phase of a major data center design & build project, a large manufacturer delivered a product that did not follow the agreed-upon design specifications. This major production oversight put the entire timeline of the project in jeopardy. By having an on-site person able to quickly get in touch with the manufacturer and interface with the key stakeholders assigned to the project, a field modification was applied and tested within hours – with an action plan put in place that allowed the project to continue.
Would the result have been the same, if a larger partner had been involved? It is more than likely that the various levels of management and business compartmentalization would have drastically reduced the larger company’s ability to react and respond in a timely manner and would have resulted in a significant delay to the project.
Is bigger actually better? Does more actually get you less when you need it most? Whatever your business needs are, it is important to consider the pros and cons of a dedicated, highly motivated team vs. a larger, potentially indifferent and overly hierarchical organization. You need a company, such as Align, that maintains experienced and highly engaged professionals, with an average experience of 15-20 years in the business, ready to assist you with your design, installation, migration and service management needs, all while supporting your business requirements and timelines.