Finding a true enterprise partner in technology is often more difficult than you might think. Many key components of how a technology company can support your organization get overlooked throughout the sales process. The product itself should obviously be a main point of evaluation as you look to make a purchasing decision, but here are three other key areas you should be asking questions about to evaluate a successful partnership.
Not only does the technology need to fit the needs of your organization, you need to understand how that technology will fit into your overall technology ecosystem. An important item on the implementation docket is integration. Should this technology be integrated across other platforms your organization currently has in place? If so, should it be pulling data in, pushing data out, or both? Understanding if your technology partner can make this happen is integral to keeping internal processes working smoothly and not having them become disjointed.
Once the technology fits within your organization’s ecosystem, the next question is how to create successful implementation by training the users of the technology. You should be asking the questions through the sales process of what a training plan would look like for your organization and if the company have case studies, referrals, and other resources to substantiate their claims. A fast start and a good knowledge base through training will get the partnership off on the right foot.
A quality marketing team is often overlooked when seeking a technology partner. After the implementation process, it is critical to stay in front of new users with marketing materials to keep buy-in high for the technology. A typical way a marketing team can support an organization is to create case study videos, testimonials, and marketing collateral to ensure success.
Marketing can help drive success internally, but can also help an organization from a broader scope. They can help promote the business through press releases and brand awareness within the industry. This allows an organization to take something that may seem mundane like formulating a technology partnership into an opportunity to recruit more advisors, make positive noise in the industry, and heighten brand awareness. Do not overlook how a marketing department from a partner can help you grow internally with your own employees and also your entire corporate brand as well.
A common pitfall in technology partnerships can be the ongoing support and lack of adoption. What can an organization do to support your initiatives to handle change management not only through implementation but also “when the going gets tough?” The most dangerous phrase in business is “we have always done it this way.”
This is where having a dedicated adoption team can help move beyond that simplified line of thinking. A true technology partner will have a plan to not only keep supporting initial users of the software and create positive experiences to stop them from wanting to go back to the “old way,” but an adoption team will also help drive success with any new users, hires, teams, and more. An adoption team is integral in driving long term partnerships.
The product an organization is purchasing is likely to always be the main decision driver in choosing a technology partner. Just remember to dig a bit deeper on the organizations you are evaluating. If the technology is similar or can both solve your needs, the added benefits a true technology partner can provide can be the driver between long-term partnership and frustration.
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