“Right off the bat, let me clear one thing…. this is for people looking for right partners to do Enterprise class IT i.e. Software or Product Development Works… because that is my business…
Having been in IT i.e. Software Development business since the late 1990′s my company is quite old for its industry and accordingly so, we do enjoy a very good team, infrastructure and people. Largely being technology driven than marketing, we attribute our success and sustenance to Great Partnerships that started off at very small scale and went about becoming a consistent stay with us for years and thus becoming naturalized Partnerships.As of today, we have delivered software solutions to giants in different industry and consistently honed our skills to remain relevant and efficient, got in to product development & delivered an awesome product that is rated among the top 20 BI products to emerge from India.
Therefore, I am summarizing my view on partners and hope this helps… anyone who is looking for partners in IT space or wants to become a successful IT vendor.
Partnerships are Economical
Often times I have noticed that IT shops run campaigns that are purely based on price, these type of campaigns are a great way to attract prospects, but when a partner is purely motivated by the low cost of your service and if you are operating at a very low price in comparison to standard market rates, there is no way growth sustainability exists. Right partners know this and avoid such cost factor based decisions, instead it is about RoI’s i.e. Return on Investments.
A great example of such partnerships today is with Magento partner programs. Magento focuses on the health of the end customer after absorption of service from their partners.
Why? because RoI is not just based on the $ earned, it goes a long way towards your brand recognition, trust build up and ensures that you quality and service value does not decrease.
Partnerships are Emotional
A good partnership appreciates the frustrations, values the business objectives of the customer and just does not limit itself to scope of work on defined terms. We aim for perfection, though a cliche for a statement, what we actually aim for is the applicability and productiveness of the work we deliver and check if the objectives are met to expectations.
In technical jargons, the words ‘Non Functional Requirements’ are often used to describe the scalability, security and other performance requirements. We also factor such things as Vision objectives of the client behind the software production spending and advise, articulate and deliver on what will be ideal a solution to the requirement.
This requires that we challenge the status quo of customer-service provider relationship and thus engage to protect and prosper along with the customer, resulting in long lasting partnerships.
Partnerships Drive Innovation and Growth
The prospect of driving growth that is innovative is not just idea based, we are actually looking at scenarios where in the technology architecture design and development led to several process optimizations, resulting cost reduction, improved systems efficiency, scalability, resource competency and much more from both operational and financial structure point of view.
As a partner, you deliver value or impact value, for us, we have been successful at being both the recipient and source of such innovation driven growth. But successful also came through deeper understanding and appreciation of customer needs, resulting in a relationship that governs our partnership today. Such innovation often happens while dealing customers from same industry, but domain expertise based innovation is also driven through new exposures to unique demands of different industries.
Luck is a definitive factor! in discovering such partnerships.
Partnerships are All About Stability
They have this very common problem of finding that the customers do not pay you because you could not deliver (happens a lot with Freelancers) and your sales team will be churning in customers just to keep up with the log of customers that are existing and struggling to maintain a level to compensate the regular financial influx needed. So, with every 10 customers leaving you, you are constantly hunting for new customers.
At times you are fully aware that both your prices and customer expectations on delivery will never materialize and yet you will take the project work…. if your intention is to stab the customer and potential partner in the back, then do realize that all your marketing spend will actually generate barely enough for you to sustain.You will be stuck in a zombie state i.e. neither growing or drowning and even if you manage to grow, eventually you will be exposed and your business will find itself collapsing faster than you can manage.
The right partners always recognize the value of relations and would prefer to say no, than to say yes and thus intentionally or otherwise end up stabbing the customer and would-be-partner in the back. We have sustained for so long and have grown because of our habit of looking at the long run, than the immediate need.
Partnership Makes Sense
The unique manner is the support you can expect from a close friend or a deep invested business relationship. Partners make great sense when providing you advise on areas that you need to improve on. Why else would they be partners if they cannot bring about small changes and deliver simple suggestions that transform your business? We have enjoyed this and continue to enjoy such small improvement suggestions and bright ideas so much so that, it is now a customary process of continues process improvement strategy.
Yes, a good partner drives your quality and well being. They make perfect sense, cause they understand you…
Partnerships are Endless Possibilities
A customer could be a one time customer, but a partner could be equal to several hundred customers depending on how long and to what degree you are able to build up your service assets value for the partners. Great partnerships focus on the team work, respect of each other time and effort and emphasize on conclusive engagements on every task mission undertaken.
Any assignment we execute for our customers or partners has a fixed timeline and clear objectives to complete the assignments. The objectives as stated above, will be about ensuring the vision, interests and objectives are met by way of the task execution. Partners work with us by helping shape their or their customer expectations and have us transform those expectations to very real results. Growth becomes obvious and results drive further business. Partnerships are endless business opportunities and hence very significant.
Through out the article, I had discussed about two aspects, those are how a customer becomes a partner and why a partner is more valued than a customer.I had also hinted at practices that fail to capitalize on business relationships, transform business requirements to strong relations and not just focus on revenues, while revenues become an automated result area.
From my point of view, partnerships are all about creating a stable win-win or no deal relationship, is objectively focused on delivering success and adheres to performance based engagements. The collaborative nature of the engagement creates great team work and brings results that far surpass a normal customer to service provider business growth objectives. So next time you are looking for partners, be sure to understand that true growth comes from lasting relationships with your customers and we are one such living example.