Key Considerations in Selecting a Technology Partner
Important information when considering a Technology Partner
In terms of considering a technology partner, this article highlights some key questions in the following areas: where you are aiming to get to, what capabilities you need in your partner, how you might cope with future changes, using your in-house IT teams, what support you and your clients require, specifying analytics and integrating your partner into your organisation. Once read, you can be in a stronger, more informed and, ultimately, better starting position to find the right technology partner, first time.
WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GET TO?
What are your expectations and what type of relationship are you looking for? A one-time, warehouse style development or a longer-term, strategy based partnership? Don’t be afraid to set the bar high enough! The best technology providers should be able to help generate new income streams, improve your client retention, measure training ROI and, or, increase process adoption.
Is your partner able to make a financial commitment and share the investment? Do they have a business industry specific track record and relevant references and experience? If you are looking to integrate your IP into different CRM and LMS systems used by your clients, which partners can configure and implement across a variety of platforms? Do you need your Intellectual Property [IP] made available on different devices, e.g PC’s, MAC’s, smartphones and tablets?
COPING WITH CHANGES
Allowing for future expansion and changes in infrastructure, how flexible do you need to be over the next year, two years and five years? It’s important to find a partner with the scope to adapt as required. CRM providers regularly update software and release new versions. Will you require support introducing these new versions? Operating systems and browsers also change, so will you need help in ensuring your chosen technology continues to function? Will you require support in releasing and rolling-out your own IP updates and versions or assistance with data conversions and upgrade routines?
USING IN-HOUSE I.T.
To what extent can you utilise your own in-house technology experts to support your clients? What can and can’t they handle? Do they have the time and specialist knowledge to successfully install new software into client CRM systems? Are they able to complete client security reviews, i.e extensive documents for each client?
Do you and your clients need local, regional and or, global support and on what basis, 24/7/365? How will you log, track and respond promptly to client support requests? How will software bugs be fixed? If your IP will be running in ‘on demand’ CRM, will you be able to offer out of hours technical support?
Creating and building strong partnerships in the transformation and training industry is instrumental in maintaining a competitive edge. Healthy partnerships allow for greater, more in-depth knowledge sharing, collaboration and, most importantly, increased profit margins. When selecting and, ultimately, working with a technology partner in the production of transformation and training software, it’s no surprise that choosing the right team can be a challenge in itself.