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Partner vs Vendor: A Partner Knows Your Environment

[fa icon="calendar"] January 25, 2018 - Written by: Justin Bera

Part Five Of a Five-Part Series

Driverless cars are going to be amazing - if we ever get there. One of the main points of debate is the level of interaction the operator should have, and when. One solution sounds an alarm when the car detects a possible accident situation and becomes confused about what evasive action it should take and turns control over to the operator. Unfortunately, studies show that it takes a human about five seconds to realize they should take control, assess the situation, and take evasive action. Much too long. We would never accept that level of risk to our health and welfare, so why should you with your technology? Working with a true partner means they already know and take responsibility for your environment like it’s their own, understand your history, and can ultimately save you from costly ramp-up time.



Making the right technology decision depends on thoroughly understanding the environment, and that takes time. Each time you engage a vendor it takes their time, and yours, to ensure that understanding. Working with a partner is different. An established partner already knows your environment because they’ve worked with and in your environment for years. They know your history, your goals, your technology architecture, your business processes, and your unique requirements. When you work with a partner it’s like working with members of your own internal team, and much like members of your team, your environment and needs are always in the back of their mind. This shortens or eliminates spin-up time for each new project, which helps you achieve results and resolve challenges much quicker.



If understanding your environment is the first of two bookends, the second is taking responsibility for your environment. Purchasing through a vendor is a point in time transaction and you’ll find little accountability once a purchase order is cut. No doubt you’ve experienced this. Working with a partner is a long-term relationship where the partner has a vested interest in ensuring your new technology meets your goals, functions as expected, and integrates smoothly into your environment. A partner wants to know if things aren’t going well, not just if they are.



One of the great benefits of a long-term relationship with a partner is history. Not only do you know your history, but a partner knows your history. They have been in the trenches with you, and if you allow them, they’ll bleed when you bleed. They know the challenges you’ve overcome and have a support history to reference when new issues arise. They have records of your maintenance contracts, your device inventory, and network diagrams. They know the personality of your organization. They know you. It’s not uncommon for partner employees to become some of your best friends. If you have turnover in your environment, they may even know you better than you know yourself. A partner is a persistent, steady, and reliable team member.


A partner’s understanding of your business, and their long-term involvement in it, works to improve your organization. It decreases the costs of spin-up time, improves the success of project implementation, and can provide long-term stability to your company. This is the final in a five-part series dedicated to helping companies identify true partners and understand the advantages of working with them. If you missed the first post in this series, you can read it here, Why Working with a Partner Beats Buying from a Vendor.

Other blogs in this series include: Top 3 Ways a Partner Understands Your Industry Better than a Vendor, 2 Ways to Know You’re Investing in the Right Partnership, and Partner vs Vendor: Who’s Looking Out for Your Investment?

Interested in learning more about how IE partners with their customers? Contact us or reach out to Justin directly.


About the Author
Justin Bera has worked in technology for over 15 years, and has experience working with security, redundancy, disaster recovery and policy compliance. He is currently the Manager of Solution Engineering for IE, spending his days working with IT folks to solve challenges in their environments and design solutions to support the changes in their networks and businesses.

Topics: Technology

Internetwork Engineering (IE) is a private technology consulting company that improves business outcomes with the expert selection, implementation and operation of information technology. Since 1996, our expert combination of people, partners and process have allowed us to become a strategic service provider for clients throughout the Southeast. With our Ideas to Execution (I2E) methodology, we deliver customized technology solutions that align with business goals to create a distinct competitive advantage.

To learn more about IE, visit