Several times a month technology acquisitions and mergers are major news. Brands come and go quickly – technologies birthed in celebration vanish without a whisper in the very same year. This flux in the industry is such that sometimes brands and technologies change before you finish learning about them. As such, Forefront does not hard-sell specific products and technologies to customers, as we’re of the opinion that’s a poor way to do business.
Instead of pushing a product or technology, Forefront endeavors to learn about the customer environment, preferences, needs and pain points. Nobody knows your environment better than you do, and frankly it doesn’t make sense for vendors to push any solution without knowing whether it’s a good fit or not. Our goal is to be more than just a vendor, but a true partner. The communication provided by this relationship allows us to cover all your IT needs under one roof – from hardware to the cloud.
Our consultative approach examines your overall business goals and objectives in order to provide technology solutions that are the best fit for your needs. This approach incorporates understanding customer preference, challenges and pain points along with both year-over-year and set period growth, potential future upgrades, and estimated budget to name a few.
Advanced technology solutions such as networking, security, virtualization, unified communications and storage necessitate design and architecture resources trained in multiple disciplines and technologies. This is where the Forefront Sales Engineering team comes in – the role of Forefront’s Sales Engineering Team is to work with the customer and sales teams to learn about the customer environment, preferences, needs and pain points and from there design solutions. The no-cost architecture and design consulting services offered by the Sales Engineering Team provide an outsider’s unbiased view of your environment.
Forefront’s broad product line provides a degree of agnosticism as well, where customer challenges can be met with multiple solutions with different feature sets, brands and price points. Utilizing a consultative approach, Forefront works with customers from a holistic perspective to recommend and provide solutions that will fit the environment as a whole, while providing investment protection and understanding how new technologies can help drive the bottom line.
Forefront enables our clients to achieve their organizational goals and objectives through strategic, simplified IT solutions.
Sample examples from our methodology:
Customer: We’re looking to replace the existing switches out with new models of the same size and capacity as they are going end of support.
FFT: I understand that your corporate year-over-year growth is 20%. Factoring that growth into our calculations, it would make sense for you to increase your port density in closets 3, 7, 11 & 14 where you would max out capacity quickly. In addition, stacking the switches would reduce management overhead. When you stack switches, they act as a single switch and are managed as one.
Customer: Our school is planning out a 1:1 initiative and aside from purchasing new access points, and frankly I’m a bit overwhelmed and I don’t know where to start.
FFT: 1:1 initiatives can certainly be daunting. Depending on the existing infrastructure, 1:1 initiatives can require significant augmentation to your existing network or replacement of existing equipment. In addition, 1:1 initiatives often require an increase in bandwidth, cable runs, and in certain cases, additional staff. To effectively scope any 1:1 initiative, we need to evaluate your existing equipment and ideally conduct an on-site assessment to collect additional information. Once sufficient information is collected both from the assessment(s) and discussions, we can work to build out a design.
Customer: We have an older Cisco Call Manager-based phone system and we need to upgrade it. I’m new to the role and don’t know how many users or even what version of software we’re using. In addition, I don’t think we’ve been paying SMARTnet for the last few years. Can you help?
FFT: Absolutely – one of our Sales Engineers can log into your environment, assess the version, total number of licenses, types of licenses and number of users to prepare for an upgrade. In terms of Cisco SMARTnet support, there are low-cost promotions that can be utilized to get you up to date with support to make an upgrade easier.
Data Center Scenario
Customer: We have 42 bare-metal servers and our CEO has been hesitant to virtualize. Once we were able to convince him of the efficiencies we would gain, he’s finally on board. What we don’t know is how to start the virtualization process. There are so many different solutions we could go with. Our CEO has heard a lot about hyper-converged solutions and may want to go that direction. Specifically he wanted to check out Cisco Hperflex. Is that the right solution for us? If so, which one would you recommend?
FFT: Virtualization will indeed provide a number of efficiencies; power and cooling, redundancy, security, and management simplicity are a few. In terms of what solution to go with? Let’s start with getting an understanding of your current server environment. A better understanding of your applications, workloads and data requirements will allow us to come up with a number of options that would work. You mentioned that your CEO wanted to look at Hyperflex. We can provide a Cisco design as one of the options. There are a few no-cost assessments that we can run to collect the data we need.
Touch base with us today to get started together!