If you’re an IT leader, you know it’s tough to find network, server, or storage equipment right now due to information technology supply chain scarcity. 

Product on shelves is limited, and long lead times are the new normal due to the global supply chain crisis. That means you can pay more, wait longer, or explore your alternatives.

This post shares background on today’s IT supply chain challenges and outlines what supply chain alternatives are available to IT leaders who need network equipment now.

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Information Technology Supply Chain: What’s driving demand for network equipment?

When Cisco reported its earnings earlier this spring, CEO Chuck Robbins spoke of the company’s strong demand and confidence ahead. And it makes sense. Companies are raring to address their infrastructure after putting major IT projects on hold during the pandemic.  

In their article titled Cisco’s Strong Demand Faced Headwinds, eWeek characterizes it in this way:

“The network is the foundation for digital transformation. Businesses are implementing technologies such as IoT, mobility, video, edge computing, machine learning, and cloud – and these are all dependent on the network.”

 But where can IT leaders find network equipment right now? An independent sales channel may be your best option. 

What supply chain alternatives do IT leaders have?

Traditional sales channels

If you’re an IT leader, this is probably the route you’ve taken in the past. These channels are controlled by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) either selling direct or via brand-centric resellers

If you’re working through traditional sales channels right now, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Pros: you’re ordering the most recently developed products utilizing the latest innovations and components. 
  • Cons: you’re paying a premium price.
  • Availability: you’re reducing your options to one OEM (which is especially problematic with supply chain issues)

Independent sales channels

These sellers have no OEM affiliation, so they have no limits on what they can sell or keep on hand. Some independent sellers focus on just new or just refurbished IT equipment. Other independent sellers, like Summit 360, take a hybrid approach and offer both new and refurbished IT equipment for several OEMs including Cisco, HPE and Dell.

As you consider this channel, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Pros: you’re getting excellent products at a value price; you may have a warranty or service option
  • Cons: you’re using a new sales channel.
  • Availability: you’ll get products more quickly by not limiting yourself to one OEM.

When to work with an independent IT equipment seller

In our experience working with thousands of companies over the years, IT leaders usually start looking for alternative vendors when they can’t find what they need or have limited resources. Independent IT equipment sellers offer: 

  • Value/Price: Summit 360 is an independent reseller. That means we can keep our overhead low and prices fair because we’re not paying for brand-related fees like co-marketing dollars. It’s how we’ve operated for more than 25 years.
  • Reliability/Warranty: All of our refurbished equipment goes through a rigorous process and comes with a lifetime warranty, including advance replacement.  
  • Availability/Speed: Given today’s supply chain disruptions, product availability is probably your #1 obstacle. You need hardware as soon as possible but don’t want to pay an exorbitant price. In this environment, independent resellers have the most options.

When you need an independent seller you can trust

Most of us have never managed through a supply chain and product availability crisis like this. As 25-year veterans in this space, here’s our advice: don’t fall off track with your technology roadmap. It’s just too important to your business right now.

Instead, get the basics you need through whatever channel has options available so you can create some breathing room and let the supply chain work out its kinks.  

If we don’t have the IT equipment you need, we can source it through our network of trusted partners. Contact us today.