In the realm of cybersecurity, the concept of being "vendor-agnostic" has gained some attention in recent years. It suggests that an IT service provider (ITSP) can effectively cater to clients' needs without being tied to any specific technology vendor. However, upon closer examination, it becomes apparent that vendor-agnosticism is nothing more than a facade. In fact, it can be detrimental to both the ITSP and its clients. Let's explore why vendor-agnosticism is nothing but BS and why businesses should prioritize partnering with certified experts instead.

The Value of Manufacturer Relationships

When engaging with an ITSP, clients rightfully expect their service provider to possess a high level of competency in the technical solutions they offer. This is where the partnership between a certified ITSP and a manufacturer becomes crucial. A certified partner can leverage their relationship with the manufacturer to benefit the client in various ways. They have direct access to technical expertise, priority support, and the latest updates and patches for the technology they specialize in.

ITSPs that claim to be vendor-agnostic are essentially admitting that they lack the necessary relationships with manufacturers to effectively represent their clients' interests. They may be generalists without deep expertise in any specific technology. Consequently, these ITSPs fall short in providing the level of service and support that clients deserve.

The Complexity of MultiTechnology Environments

In today's interconnected world, many businesses rely on multiple technologies to drive their operations. From networking and security solutions to communication systems, the need for seamless integration and efficient management is paramount. It is unrealistic to expect any ITSP to be an expert in every technology. Therefore, working with an ITSP that has manufacturer partner levels and high-quality technical proficiencies in all the technologies a client uses is the most logical choice.

Consider the scenario where a client has five different technologies in their environment. Engaging an ITSP with expertise in each of these technologies, backed by strong partnerships with the respective manufacturers, ensures that the client receives comprehensive support and optimized solutions tailored to their specific needs. It simply makes no sense to engage an ITSP that excels in Meraki technology to manage a WatchGuard Firebox or to purchase Spectralink handsets from an NEC phone dealer. The key lies in selecting an ITSP with the necessary expertise and partnerships to address the client's unique requirements.

The Significance of Support and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

One crucial aspect often overlooked when evaluating ITSP options is the support structure behind the technology assets. When clients purchase equipment from a reseller or partner of a manufacturer, they establish a direct line of support with that partner. In contrast, if clients choose to procure equipment through a different channel, such as an NEC phone dealer for Spectralink handsets, the manufacturer views that dealer as the reseller of record and assigns support responsibility to them. This can have serious implications for the client's total cost of ownership (TCO).

Let's consider a real-life example. A business received a cheaper quote for Spectralink handsets from an NEC phone dealer compared to the quote provided by a qualified ITSP like QPC. However, the NEC dealer did not possess the engineering expertise to accurately architect the solution, leading to potential compatibility issues. Moreover, if the client were to purchase the phones from the NEC dealer, QPC, as the ITSP responsible for integrating all the client's technologies, would not receive support for those assets. Consequently, the cost of support for the client would increase, resulting in a higher TCO.

Furthermore, opting for the NEC dealer as the point of purchase would trigger a mandatory $30,000 wireless survey for the campus, whereas QPC's expertise in wireless infrastructure was already certified and met the requirements. This example highlights how choosing the right ITSP with strong manufacturer relationships can significantly impact support costs, TCO, and the overall success of the technology implementation.

Embracing a Strategic Approach: Quality over Price

In an era where competitive pricing often attracts businesses, it is essential to shift the focus from short-term gains to long-term benefits. Instead of solely considering the upfront costs, businesses should prioritize the overall quality, reliability, security, and TCO of their technology solutions. Partnering with an ITSP that possesses high levels of technical certifications, strong relationships with technology manufacturers, and a proven track record in delivering solid and secure solutions is the key to achieving these goals.

Vendor-agnosticism may sound appealing on the surface, but it is nothing more than a deceptive notion or an indication of an ITSP's lack of expertise. The ability to effectively support clients' needs across a range of technologies requires deep partnerships, ongoing training, and significant investments from the ITSP. Therefore, businesses must align their expectations with reality and seek out ITSPs that have the necessary technical certifications and manufacturer relationships to provide the reliable and secure technology outcomes they desire.


In conclusion, the concept of being vendor-agnostic in cybersecurity is, indeed, horse pucky. To achieve solid and reliable technology solutions with a low TCO, businesses must partner with ITSPs that possess high levels of technical certifications and strong relationships with the manufacturers of the implemented technology. By prioritizing quality over price, businesses can ensure they receive the comprehensive support and optimized solutions necessary to thrive in the ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape.