As a founder, the most critical decisions I’ve made was determining which technology partners I would leverage to take a product or service to market and the impact that technology would have on revenue long term. Stay with me as I shed light on what I look for in technology partners today and how I determine their true value.
With an abundance of technology partners out there to choose from, deciding between technology A, B, or C can be somewhat complex. As a “rule of thumb,” cost is never my deciding factor. We’ve all heard the saying, “you get what you pay for” and that saying couldn’t be more accurate. Below I’ve listed my top three “must haves” in a technology partner today.
For those technology partners that service more than one vertical, this “must have” is especially important to me. I need to know that the technology has been successfully deployed and supported for my specific vertical. For this requirement, I often lean on whitepapers, testimonials, reviews, and may request customized demos to ensure the technology provides the efficiency I am looking to implement within my business. If available, I may ask for a trial to further evaluate functionality within my environment and current infrastructure. The more flexible the technology partner is in the upfront sales process, the more willing I am to better understand their value proposition and relevance.
Once I have validated the technology, I work to determine whether or not the technology has the ability to scale with me as I grow the company. The functionality I need today may not be the same functionality I need tomorrow. So, it’s important for me to understand the scalability of the technology and what changes the technology partner has on their development roadmap that may positively or negatively impact the business. Determining whether or not the technology has the ability to integrate with existing and future infrastructure is critical. Scalability is also the foundation of ensuring my team and clients have a great experience.
As I weigh the benefits of implementing the technology, I equally weigh the negative impact the technology could have on that experience if it fails. I prefer technology partners that offer customized support based on critical operating hours. The type of support offered is equally as important. Does the technology partner offer a dedicated support person vs a call center queue? Can I speak to someone or do I have to send an email and wait for a response? Does the partnership require me to hire any internal resources to maintain the technology and support it?
The answers to these questions reveal my return on investment and quickly show me whether or not it’s worth the money. More importantly, I am clearly able to determine if the partnership will truly bring value to my business.
As you evaluate technology partners in 2019, take a moment to consider these “must haves.”
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