Part Five Of a Five-Part Series
IE and industry related news, articles, announcements, and more.
Part Five Of a Five-Part Series
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.
Digitization. It’s a great buzzword. Over the past year it’s reached an all-time high in usage. Every hardware and software manufacturer has written article upon article about it. Many have dedicated entire marketing programs to it. Whoever coined the term should be given a marketing award because it’s a shiny new skin on something that has been around for a very long time. Something I even encountered seventeen years ago.
Part Three Of a Five-Part Series
“Invest” is an interesting word. It implies you’re putting something of value to wo
rk and you expect a return, in addition to the initial value. This perfectly describes a client-partner relationship that is a two-way street. A customer expects that their investment will return a stable and dependable IT environment that isn’t a burden to manage and works to achieve the business’s goals. A partner expects that their investment will return the opportunity to sell, install, and service technology that achieves your business’s goals. When both parties invest fully
it becomes the ultimate win/win with the principal investments from both parties being time and trust. In this post, I’ll explore two ways to know if you're investing in the right partnership. First, they’ll invest their time to achieve the desired returns for their customers and themselves, and second, they’ll be dedicated to building trust.
Part Two of a Five-Part Series
Some of the best years of my career were spent working for a non-profit student loan organization: a great company with great people. The problem with this type of company is that there is generally only one per state. Even though we didn’t compete, communication between companies was limited and there was no visibility into the industry from an IT perspective.
How were the other forty-nine student loan organizations organized? What were their priorities? What was working and what wasn’t? How were they adapting to new laws and regulations? I was isolated and on my own. You may feel that isolation from time to time, but remember you’re not as alone as you think. A good partner – one that’s well versed in your industry – can provide you with much of the direction you seek without violating anyone’s NDAs.
Being in the trenches day in and day out, you come to know your business better than some people know their own children. That rarely leaves time to follow industry trends, research emerging technologies and contemplate how they fulfill your mission. In my last post, I took the time to outline why working with a partner beats buying from a vendor, and now I’d like to share the top three ways partners understand your industry better than a vendor.