“You need it when?” The desperate need for consolidation in the Global IT supply chain

Wonders of the world
I’ve worked in a CIO role in numerous major corporations in emerging markets across the Middle East and I’m constantly amazed at how difficult it can be to deploy even the simplest of technology solutions. Delivery can frequently be up to three months. The sort of responsiveness that growing companies depend on in competitive environments just isn’t there when they need it to be.

Companies are being held back partly because of complex regulations that often characterise immature markets but also, more frustratingly, by the apathy of local distributors and vendors when it comes to acquiring the equipment. There’s simply no agility in the supply chain serving many global locations.

I first became exposed to the problems when I was working in the Middle East, back in 2008, and must say that the situation in many territories persists even today. There are no real Data Centre or Hosting companies providing any level of services. Public Cloud with low latency is not generally available.  The only option for the mid-size enterprise is to build your infrastructure yourself; acquiring hardware from the vendors through local resellers.

The typical delivery cycle in those days from most resellers in Sub-continental Asia, Eastern and Mediterranean Europe, Africa and the Middle East was 10 to 12 weeks. This was an upside estimate hugely dependant on whether local customs would be in a cooperative mood when the kit came through. Try explaining to internal customers the vague timeline this interesting cultural nuance created.

They shall not pass
I did set out to do it myself on behalf of my internal customers; trying to make sure their capabilities didn’t fall behind those of the competition just because logistics were a challenge. I was surprised by the amount of detail and documentation you had to provide to bring IT equipment into many of these emerging markets.

Every single item had to be detailed and described. Instruction guides and booklets were required. Certification and conformity certificates were demanded. On top of all that you were often asked to explain in detail what the technology was being used for – just in case its functionality was on the “not allowed” list.

Then, as indeed now, much of the normal everyday IT equipment we take for granted in the UK, Europe, USA or Australia was and is banned or illegal in these countries. This is mainly because legislation is slow to adapt to the rapid pace of technology change; so if the regulations haven’t caught up, customs don’t allow the kit in, understandably.

The value of the global IT supply and logistics specialist
Working through all these complexities is testing enough if you’re a global freight expert or international delivery specialist. When your expertise is in technology, the challenges are far more daunting.

Trying to work it all out yourself is time consuming. Many companies just put up with the delays, but I couldn’t and wouldn’t; accepting that you can’t access a best in class technology solution because you’re blocked by worst-in-world bureaucracy is just absurd. So what do you do?

Through some of my team who had worked with a specialist global IT supply and logistics company in the UK introduced me to them. This was Viadex, who positioned themselves as the company to get equipment from A to B in almost any situation, and would do their best to remove any of the hassle of all those tasks above I mentioned and take care of it all for you.

Viadex were able to source the equipment from the vendor and ship it into the countries we needed. More than that, in most cases they could obtain the equipment at lower prices than the local vendors or resellers could. They passed on discounts facilitated by their own global economies of scale in purchasing. They could deliver in less than 6 weeks; easily half the time quoted by local suppliers.

Viadex became a trusted partner of mine. When I changed companies I brought them with me, and of course recommended them to all my peers when they had to deliver quickly.

It’s no surprise I ended up at Viadex. Their positive attitude and success rate in addressing the problems of global supply and logistics are second to none. This, backed by highly skilled resources with focus on Data Centre, Security and End User Workspace services is one big reason I joined them – bringing the same sense of support, insight, relief and confidence to our clients and partners worldwide that Viadex brought me.

To find out more about how Viadex solutions can change your company take a look at www.viadex.com