The Same, But Better
By Andy Jonak
This month we are three months since Converge acquired Vicom, and what a three months it's been, and I mean that in the best possible way. We've gone from being part of a 100 person company to part of a 1000+ person, $1 billion global organization. It's opened up a new world of opportunities while allowing us to continue serving our customers as they've become accustomed to throughout the years. We continue to serve our customers, but now with all of the value and resources that Converge brings. It's an absolute win-win for our customers and prospective customers. Hence the name of my post this month, "The Same, But Better." Let's dive into what seems to be a bit of a contradiction in my title.
As most of you know, Vicom had an almost 40-year history of providing enterprise IT solutions and services to our customers. One of the significant differentiating factors that we were always proud to position to our customers is our strong sales relationships and our technical talent in our architects and delivery engineers. That's one of the main reasons firms have decided to work with us—and continue to—for so long.
Our value is not just the solutions we sell, though, of course, they are essential. The truth is many firms offer the same solutions and resources we do. As much as we'd love it to be the case, we aren't the only IT solution and services provider out there. For those that know me, I've been saying this for 15+ years: we all sell the same stuff at about the same price. That's not always true, but my point is the solutions and services we offer to our customers are priced about the same compared to other firms similar to us. Our customers know that, and that's generally how our industry works, which we all know.
In my presentations to customers and prospects, I've mentioned that more times than I can count over the years. And what's my message? Does it play down what we have to offer? No, not at all; in fact, it's the opposite. It plays up the differentiators we bring to the table for our customers in a competitive market with many IT providers providing similar services. It means you get the solutions at about the same pricing as others, plus you get all of the value and benefits that Vicom and now Converge has to offer above that. It means despite the fact that our pricing may be similar to others, they've chosen to work with us. That is a testament to our people and the resources and value we offer.
We all know firms continue to work with IT providers due to relationships, but those relationships must continue to show value. Relationships only last for so long, as firms must see value in what we bring. It's a cold, hard truth. We've seen this time and time again in the IT industry: IT firms work with customers for a long time and become complacent and let down their guard a bit. Then the value they provide to their customers begins to slip because they've been working with them for so long that they take their customer relationship for granted. The customer recognizes what is happening, and they begin to lose faith in the value they are receiving.
A customer's perceived value also doesn't stay constant. The value you provided to your customers last year might not be the value (and probably isn't) the value they need today. All firms need to up their value and continually redefine their special sauce. If you don't do that, you don't remain the same, and you get left behind. We all know that. That's why Vicom was continually working to up our game in terms of value, offerings, and people. Staying the same just wasn't an option. Customers saw this, and we continued to grow.
Fast forward to today. Now that we are part of Converge, not only do we continue to have the resources we've always had to differentiate us to our customers, we now have Converge's comprehensive resources on top of that. It means that our customers and prospective customers have access to around 10x the number and resources from a technical, presales, and overall perspective. And it's not just quantity as the scope, type, and quality of resources that Converge brings is well above anything that Vicom could've done on our own. That is value, and we are excited to bring this all to bear with our customers as we continue to work together.
So when what do I mean when I say "The Same, But Better"? It simply means our customers continue to get the best of what Vicom had to offer, but now with the enormous additional resources and value that Converge brings above and beyond that. That's a big deal.
The combination and Vicom and what Converge brings is vital to our customers, and we look forward to our customers and prospects seeing this in practice. It's only been three months since we were acquired, but it's incredible to look at where we are now. What a three months it's been, and I can't wait to see how this benefits our customers in the future.