Ashley Shaw is the Vice President of Customer Success at NFINIT, a LightEdge Company. NFINIT is a leading provider of hybrid cloud solutions, connectivity, and colocation and the top technology service provider for the furniture industry. In this article, Ashley discusses five important questions that furniture retailers and manufacturers should consider to ensure they get the most from their IT solutions & partners.
How secure is your IT infrastructure environment?
As cyberattacks continue to hit businesses nationwide, including some major breaches in the furniture industry, the importance of solid infrastructure security can’t be overstated. Furniture retailers and manufacturers need to ask themselves, what measures do we have in place to prevent a ransomware attack?
When new clients arrive at NFINIT seeking help safeguarding their systems, we start with a comprehensive analysis that holistically looks at their IT infrastructure. We take a deep dive through their entire IT system, from networking to cloud to end users, and ensure they have protection across the board. By working with furniture retailers many years, we understand their highest areas of vulnerability, such as endpoint security. We also know how to safeguard those risk points using firewalls, micro-segmentation, and other powerful tools. Our goal is to reduce vulnerabilities and mitigate risk for our clients throughout their full IT stack and help them avoid potential ransomware or other cyberattacks. Even further, we provide peace of mind that their mission-critical workloads are protected and can be swiftly recovered in the event of an intrusion.
Is your IT team stretched too thin with little time to focus on important new initiatives?
Many furniture retailers rely on small in-house IT teams that often find themselves juggling the workload of infrastructure maintenance and requests to implement new business tools, among many other priorities. This can leave IT teams swamped with day-to-day tasks with no time to work on new initiatives (many of them revenue-generating).
Clients in this situation lean on NFINIT’s deep bench of experts, including our NOC (Network Operations Center), engineers, and subject matter experts, to serve as an extension of their IT team – freeing up internal resources to focus on business-critical initiatives. We can oversee end-to-end IT operations in a way that is customized to each client’s unique needs.
Can you expand and contract your IT resources based on business needs?
IT budgets can easily run into the millions of dollars, and with so many priorities competing for in-house IT teams’ time, many of our customers have seen the benefits in shifting from a CapEx to an OpEx IT cost model. Instead of purchasing and maintaining IT infrastructure, as in a CapEx model, many clients pay a monthly fee to use NFINIT’s hardware and lean on our team to handle expansion and system maintenance. This approach allows for flexible spending so that clients can expand or reduce resources based on evolving business needs. Adjustments can be made at the flip of a switch accommodating for immediate requests in real time. Traditional IT capital expenditures become recurring operational expenses, rather than a company having to invest millions to purchase and own hardware when aging equipment finally calls it quits.
This model isn’t just for convenience, it, more importantly, delivers substantial savings. We’re typically able to save clients as much as 25 to 30 percent over the life of the contract, which is welcome news for our customers.
Does your IT service provider offer a personal touch and treat you like a partner rather than a number?
Customers often tell me that they choose NFINIT because of our quality people and our personal touch. NFINIT’s in-house knowledge and tight-knit team is one of our biggest differentiators. We use a consultative approach that involves working closely with clients like we’re part of their team. That means listening to their challenges, being nimble and quick to offer clearly defined solutions. It also involves exchanging ideas and talking often, so we make sure that clients can reach us easily and with no hassle. That’s why they have our direct phone numbers and email, not a phone sticker with an 800 number.
Does your IT provider help you plan for growth?
At NFINIT, a LightEdge Company, our IT recommendations are industry-specific and customized for each of our clients based on the business applications they use. We have been focused on supporting the furniture industry since 2004. We understand the nuances of the furniture business as well as the software packages that support the industry. In planning for growth, we help our customers complete proactive road-mapping and strategizing for their IT needs several years out. Our goal is to help them make the best decisions to keep their business on track. Our expertise also allows clients to scale with no constraint to their operating system or applications being used. We have experts in Solaris, AIX, iSeries, IBMi, Windows, and Linux ensuring that customers can host applications with a partner that knows their business. In addition, our capacity and resource planning let businesses add resources like CPU, Memory or Storage with just a phone call or email.
To learn more about NFINIT’s IT solutions, click here.