The customer, vendor, and agency equilateral triangle
It’s all about relationships, trust, and open channels of communication. A collaborative approach between customer, vendor, and agency reaps huge benefits for all parties.
Enterprise software for building digital experiences is never a case of plug and play. Unlike other software where you can consider using most products almost out of the box (such as document management, HR management, CRM); digital touchpoints with customers almost always require a high level of customization and coding.
In all cases, the adoption of a new solution relies on being integrated into a company’s existing systems and networks. Typically, organizations rely on technology implementation partners to successfully deploy, implement and integrate these. The success of any project doesn’t only rely on the technology but the added value that the partner brings through its people and processes, as well as any bespoke development or complementary technologies they may add to the wider solution.
An implementation partner will have done it all before. Certified by the vendor, the partner will know the technology inside and out, its pros, its limitations and any likely pitfalls they could encounter – when and how to sidestep them. Having experienced experts in how to implement the technology along with clear-cut goals and timelines ensures you are in a better position to succeed in your digital transformation efforts.
However, you may perceive a downside in this scenario, that you are one step removed from the vendor. And that can sometimes lead to issues where the vendor and partner can apportion blame on each other when problems arise. Therefore, when you find your ideal implementation partner and they are working with you to achieve a successful deployment, it’s still highly beneficial for you keep a direct line open with the technology vendor.
Having an open line of communication gives you greater insight into future product development, the ability to contribute to roadmap discussions and influence decisions on where to prioritize development.
As the saying goes, ‘there’s no monopoly on good ideas’, as vendors benefit too, getting direct input on their solutions, knowing where their clients want updates or new functionality (including ideas they may not have even considered), not just what ‘might’ sell in future. Such a feedback loop helps vendors improve and enhance the products, develop new opportunities and create lasting relationships.
For partners, there’s no need to second-guess what the vendor will say or do when reporting back to the customers. In fact, they get to look good in their eyes as they trust the vendor to interact with you directly. Indeed, the rise of customer success roles at technology vendors over the past few years highlights vendors’ wish to see their customers achieve desired outcomes with tangible results, reaping the rewards of their technology investment. Once you are happy and feeling engaged, the greater the likelihood you may turn into brand advocates, not just for the vendor but your implementation partner too.
The relationship between vendors and partners becomes tighter too. Indeed, success breeds success and as partners’ depth of experience and knowledge grows about a vendor’s products so they are better placed to work with their customers leaving the vendor to do what it knows best, developing best-in-class technology.
The partner handles all aspects of the implementation, go-live and follow up training and support as well as offer bespoke services to tailor the solution as customers demand. Having the direct line open with the vendor can be invaluable to customers as they will learn if a new feature will be launched and weigh up if they can wait until the new version of the product is out or whether some customization by the partner is necessary now. Partners too can see where to focus their efforts in adding value to the product.
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