Keeping your business moving during a global shortage

During the pandemic, several key manufacturing and distribution locations were closed, or severely disrupted, as various lockdowns were enforced worldwide. As a result, Open GI has been among many other software businesses that have faced unprecedented challenges in obtaining hardware to service our Core customers.

Covered caught up with Carl Mannion, Head of Professional Services at Open GI, to learn how his team overcame the challenges that came their way.

“Over the past year, we’ve had a hardware refresh”, Carl explains, which has lowered the age of the hardware we cover, and resulted in lots of new orders coming in.

“The shortages we’ve experienced mean we have been told to wait over six months on a lot of items, with a year-long delay in some instances. Prices also massively varied depending on demand, so those items which we found hard to get hold of were continually going up in price.

“We saw one piece of technology for example move from £400 to over £1,000 in just a few weeks. We realised we had to look at more cost-effective options.”

Another problem the team faced was the partial fulfilment of orders, where some items would arrive but there was then a wait for others to complete the requirement list. This affected the scheduling of jobs for our customers. In addition, some other items that arrived were different from how they were advertised.

Thinking outside the box

To overcome the challenges, Carl and his team had to think outside the box.

“To start with, we sourced new suppliers. We also got stockists on board, so rather than go to our normal purchasers and them try and source it, we would keep an eye on the market and order online at the right time. This also meant changing to payment upfront.”

The team also started to offer customers out-of-the-box cloud-managed alternatives when certain items have been impossible to source. For these customers, full virtualisation was undertaken, with growing demand from many others also now wishing for their backups to be undertaken via the cloud. This has been where the new NAS (Network-Attached Storage) solution has come in, where customers have benefitted from a four-terabyte physical drive in their office next to their server, which can then also be accessed remotely, to the cloud, via the business’s internet connection.

In addition, customers also looking for cloud-managed services are offered Sophos XG firewalls. These monitor and secure internet traffic, both inbound and outbound, for the customer’s network, looking out for threats like Trojan horses and web usage monitoring.

“A lot of the Core broker customers are benefitting from this”, Carl adds.

While it is an improving situation, the hardware purchasing market continues to feel the after-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns, so the Professional Services team is continuing to look at new ways to provide cost-effective solutions.

Looking ahead, there is further focus on business continuity for customers, where an interruption from an event like a flood or fire can be overcome with a range of solutions focused on recovery from the cloud.

If you’d like to find out more about what the

Professional Services can offer your business,

please contact your Account Manager.