If you are thinking of investing in new software, a CRM system (Customer Relationship Management), a financial system or any kind of BPA (Business Process Automation), you might wonder if it’s best to go straight to the software vendor or engage with a technology partner. In other words, what are the benefits of buying solutions through a technology partner?
What is a Technology Partner?
A technology partner is there to help your organisation implement and optimise your technical systems and should have proven experience in helping their customers achieve their business goals by defining the right digital strategy.
A good technology partner should take the time to learn what your goals and challenges are, before innovating to find solutions that work for you. Once the solution is established, they should suggest ways to evolve your solution to keep up with your growing business needs.
They should also help you navigate your way through the sales-speak and marketing collateral of the software vendors themselves. They will help you look at the bigger picture and understand what solutions, both software and services, are available and best suit your business.
Big name vendors have so much to show and tell you about how their systems work to aid success, but they can come at a cost. This cost is not necessarily financial but, as vendors are often only focused on their own product, they also end up being biased. It becomes difficult to assess what the alternatives are. Additionally, vendors may also push you to change your business processes to suit their software.
Benefits of a Technology Partner
The benefits of a technology partner are numerous and they can cut through the marketing and promises that may be overwhelming in the first instance. A trusted partner will first take a good look at how your business processes work and then suggest configuration improvements or customisation to adapt the solution that works best for you.
A good technology partner can use their many years of experience with multiple customers from different industries on varying projects, with different solutions, to help guide you in the right direction. At Avrion, for example, we are interested in a long term relationship with our customers. We do not just sell software and then charge for every small change in the set-up as a system evolves. We are always looking one step ahead to see how we can help customers adapt and evolve their solution to benefit their company.
More than just software
What should you expect from a technology partner? Well, more than just software. You should have access to the software developers, the people who configure your systems, as well as the sales & marketing people and account managers. The relevant experts (not just account managers) should get involved in meetings – from scoping sessions to the onboarding, training, post-implementation and regular reviews. We firmly believe that honesty is the best policy – if your technology partner can’t help you, they should tell you. However, as your technology partner develops their relationship with you and gets to understand your business, they should find further improvements to streamline your processes and help you evolve over time.
No matter the size of your company, whether it’s five users or five hundred, your technology partner should be available to answer your questions – whether face-to-face (when allowed) or online, wherever you are and have regular account reviews with you too.
Alongside this proactive account management approach, you should also expect excellent technical support. Your queries and problems should be answered and solved thoroughly, preferably straight from the first call, but if not, then certainly swiftly after the issue was raised. Delays are costly and are often a result of bureaucracy – for example, having to fill in a support form or customer services request online. An excellent technology partner and their support team should easily and quickly be available to help you.
A Technology Partner will cater to your business needs
Your business is unique, so not all software and solutions will fit straight out of the box. A flexible technology partner should also be able to develop customised software and integrations that are not standard for software vendors or available in the marketplace.
Ask your technology partner if they have a catalogue of software customisations and integrations, as this can often reduce the development time and therefore costs. Make the most of their knowledge and experience. A good partnership will lead to setting up the best solution for your business and your processes, and even cut out some of the time and money involved in doing so.
Choosing software for your company is one thing; choosing a trusted partner that you are comfortable working with year after year is far more important. Avrion has a strong team, the core of which has been working together for almost 20 years. The technical, support and administrative teams have brilliant complementary skill-sets and are massively supportive of each other – and of course the customer. To hear what our customers say about working in partnership with us, you can have a read of our Google Reviews or look at our Case Studies. Give us a call so we can start getting to know you and understand your business.