Industry Insights

“One Throat To Choke”: Single-Source Services Help Big Companies Manage Data Center Needs

Friday, April 22, 2016

Large companies that manage data centers spend a lot of time coordinating and scheduling services – often from multiple vendors. More and more, these large companies are simplifying this complicated process through “single-source” services that consolidate data center service requirements.


Why is the single-source model trending? For one thing, procurement directors at large companies want to limit the number of vendors they must qualify and deal with. Qualifying vendors is a time-consuming process, and multiple sources for shipping and other deal aspects are additional pain points. Quite simply, procurement prefers “one-stop shopping” to the multiple-vendor model.


Procurement also likes having a single source for accountability: if something goes wrong, it’s easier to get answers when there is only “one throat to choke” – as opposed to having to chase down multiple vendors and extract explanations every time something goes awry.


Data center managers are also increasingly embracing the single-source approach. Products from different vendors are rarely designed to work together. In the single-source model, data center managers know that when they take an array of products out of their boxes, they will work together. There is also a cost savings. It’s the opposite of price gouging. If a single-source vendor is getting more of the pie, for example, the profit margin can be smaller due to the larger overall volume of sales.


Who’s missing the boat on this movement? Discrete vendors who work autonomously. They’ll thump their chests and say: “But we’re specialists! We’re masters of this one specialized product!” Sorry, guys – that’s no longer good enough. Big companies don’t want to get everything from multiple vendors because it’s hard to integrate both products and services. If you’re not on the team, you’re missing out.  


Data center owners want a vendor that can build out a data center in its entirety – racks, cable management, fiber boxes, patch panels, basket tray – even containment. Procurement decision makers want a vendor who can do everything so the data center is ready for electronics to go in.


And if something goes wrong? There’s only one throat to choke!