When you’re running a business, selecting a new IT partner may rank high on your list of priorities but low in your desire to tackle the problem. Just clicking on a vendor’s website while researching cloud computing, Microsoft 365, modern workspaces, managed services, or hybrid IT can unleash a barrage of sales calls you don’t feel ready for.
Whether you’re migrating to the cloud, upgrading to Microsoft 365, or planning for a hybrid IT model, you’re probably like most and doing a little education and resource on your own first. Getting your arms around the modern workspace to understand what you need, what’s available, and what looks like a good decision for your business is a widely adopted best practice. You may even approach conversations with an expectation of being on the opposite sides of a bargaining table where you need to hold the line on expenses so you aren’t oversold.
A strong technology partner understands that you need clear information to satisfy your immediate technology needs, as well as plan for the future. MSPs like Compugen recognize that with the speed and frequency of technology advancements-modern workspace, cloud computing, cybersecurity threats, and technology incidents-it’s in our best interest to develop a trusting, long-term relationship with you, where you get value from our conversations, and our solutions.
With that in mind, here are our five key tips for finding the right technology business partner.
1. Respectful of Your Time
The right partner will be conscious of and respectful of your time. If you’re simply collecting information at this time, we’ll want to understand where you are in your selection process and when you think you might be ready for another conversation. We’ll likely want to know your communication preferences and ask you when you would like us to follow up. Typically, we’ll ask things like:
What brought you to us?
What are your needs, today, and in the future?
Why is now the right time for a conversation?
What’s the biggest hurdle your facing from a business, team, or department perspective.
We’ll provide you with helpful information so you can make informed decisions.
2. Interested in Your Business
The right partner will want to get to know your business. Sales reps can get information on your business aplenty by looking at your website and searching social media and the Internet. What we can’t necessarily get online, and what partners are looking for, are strategic plans, goals, growth forecasts, and information on specific problems you might be facing. Sharing as much information as you can give us the best chance at developing an accurate proposal based on your actual business needs and, ideally, paving the way for the next few years at least.
It’s important to be realistic and transparent about your internal resources and capabilities. While we can’t speak for all managed service providers, Compugen is prepared to handle all of your IT needs and accustomed to working with customers in hybrid IT environments. Overstating your internal capabilities for deployments or adoption of solutions may expand timelines and raise costs unexpectedly—something we like to avoid. We deliver the right solutions at the right time, ensuring the adoption, engagement, and customer experience are positive.
The right partner will want to know what problems you’re trying to solve before talking about products. At Compugen, Service is Our Craft. While you may already have an idea of what products, solutions, or services will work for your business; it’s best to talk first about the experience you’re currently having and, what a positive impact would look like in your world. We may recommend products or services you haven’t considered that are tailored to your business needs, and we’ll understand that you likely have legacy systems that need to be considered in a hybrid IT model.
Many employers are working toward more collaboration tools for a dispersed workforce. It’s your technology business partner’s job to think about not just the tools you’re looking to add, but how these changes will impact other lines of business, departments, technology, and tools. Look for a partner with broad experience in many technology platforms and offerings, but with specific expertise in the technology and tools, your business is using. Expect a valued partner to challenge your thinking at times and not just deliver what you’ve asked for.
4. Mission + Value-based
The right partner will demonstrate value and not just quote a price. If you’ve followed the previous tips, pricing should be fairly straightforward. Yet, pricing is very different from value. Hardware may be commoditized, and software licensing fees are fairly standard on a user basis. But managed services, responsiveness, and reliability may vary. Here is where Compugen excels.
As this Forbes article states, “While cost plays a significant role in every business transaction, choosing a partner is much more complex than simply taking the lowest bid. Costs a company considers when selecting a vendor include the cost of the service or product, cost savings to the bottom line, time savings, labor savings, the cost of not trusting the vendor and losing sleep over it, the cost of partnering with a company with a bad reputation.”
Now consider value—the value of a managed services partner who listens and engages with you to solve your communication, collaboration, and technology problems and helps you prepare for your future. Compugen is that valued partner.
5. Clear + Communicative
The right partner will speak plainly without the jargon that begs more questions and, most important, listens. After meeting with Compugen, the value we provide will be clear, and your technology roadmap and timelines will be relevant to your business and your desired transformation to modern IT. You will understand what is and isn’t included in pricing. And you’ll have a clear and accurate picture of your technology future.