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Integration Procrastination - Part 2

Should I wait before I integrate my boardroom? By Max Kopsho
"To wait or not to wait? That is the question. Are we in a buyers market when it comes to system integration? With the economic slowdown as an Integrated Systems prospective customer, the world is my oyster, right? Not necessarily.

Last week we looked at the first step to successful purchase. This week, we look at steps two and three.

Step 2: Shop, Test, And Negotiate

After looking at what youve determined as your needs, and maybe what some other helpful people have determined your needs are, its time to do some market research and find out whats out there that can meet your needs. In the car-purchasing scenario we determined what the transportation needs are and for this sake lets say we arrived at the need for a mini-van (With me getting older and my being happily married the cool factor was not a consideration for the needs analysis). Are we ready to buy? Not by a long shot, we still need to shop the competition, kick the tires, test drive, and the ever so fun parts... NEGOTIATE.

In the shopping part of step 2 we arent only looking for a brand and model of mini-van, but we are looking for the right dealer to buy it from. Again we can use the competitive information, information from our friends an family and just general research to find one, but if you have a particular manufacturer and model that you have narrowed it down to you can contact the manufacturer to find a dealer in your area.

The same holds true for System Integration solutions. You can find where to buy by using the same search criteria. I suggest using the Systems Integrator or Consultant, because they have the ability to show you many brands and models at the same time. The perfect opportunity is to have that Systems Integrator show you their past work at other clients sites (if nothing else at least they should carry a portfolio of their work). Another opportunity for you to kick the tires is at a tradeshow. If there isnt a trade show on the horizon youll find that most dealers, integrators, and consultants either host or participate in open houses or have demo rooms at their locations or disposal.

Let the negotiations begin. The art of negotiations is a tricky yet rewarding one. Like when you are buying a car, the key to success is your knowing whats available to you, its not all about pricing. Its about services, warrantees, and other things that the other side of the table has to bring to the table. In the system integration there are service and maintenance contracts, warrantees (beyond the individual product warrantees that manufacturers supply, which may or my not meet your needs in an integrated system), upgrade programs, and many, many other things that you as an avid negotiator can get what you need and the System Integrator can still live with.

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Related Keywords:System Integration, boardroom, AV

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