Part Four Of a Five-Part Series
We’ve been talking about the benefits of working with a partner versus a vendor for the past few months. Since then, we’ve discussed how a partner aligns their goals to your business’s needs, understands your industry, and invests time and trust in a way only a partner can. Here’s one other way a partner relationship beats working with a vendor, they’ll make sure you’re making the right investment. For instance, a few years ago I was working with a customer who wanted to add next-generation firewall services to their network. After investing months in the project, developing the design, documentation, and negotiating the best price from the manufacturer, the order was placed and engineers were due onsite within days. Everyone was excited; it was going to be a major improvement to their network. At the last-minute, word came down from the manufacturer, unofficially thru back-channels, that the product we had ordered was going to be discontinued in the next six months. What were we to do? What would a regular ole’ vendor do? I can tell you what a partner would do. They would put their customer’s needs first. So that’s what we did. We notified our customer, canceled the order, had our engineers stand down, and began to find the right solution once again. The replacement product had already been released, so once we verified it was stable, we redesigned the project from scratch, rewrote the documentation, and renegotiated with the manufacturer. Within a few weeks engineers were onsite and it went off without a hitch. From that experience, several benefits came to light.