Choosing a technology
partner for your business is an incredibly important decision that can either
help your business achieve better sales, or cause it to slow down from
technical errors. There are many technology partners to choose from, but there
are five things that you should consider before you finalize your decision. If
your partner does not have one of these five things, then maybe you are making
the wrong choice.
While there are some technology partners that have a good track record without any certifications, most good partners will be certified by an outside source. Most technology partners should have a Microsoft certification, but there are other certifications that exist.
If the potential partner is certified, then check the partner’s level. For example, elite businesses certified through Microsoft are given a gold ranking or higher. Look at the certification, and see what level the partner currently has.
Most technology partners will have references. These references show you how many people the company has worked for, and you can call the references to see how pleased they are with the technology partner.
If you find out that the system is very hard to use, then you may want to go with another partner. This will also help you see how dependable the partner is by getting a firsthand account of the partner’s previous work.
What type of support can you expect when you choose the technology partner? Most good partners will offer you support after they have installed the hardware and software. This can range from phone consultations to sending someone over to fix a problem. Support can also include training. If the technology is very new, then training will be necessary for your employees.
Good support also ensures that you will get help if anything unexpected happens. You should also ask about how long support takes to fix the problem. If one company takes 24 hours to fix a problem, and another takes 72 hours to fix most problems, then the first one obviously looks more responsible.
This covers two different areas. The first area is seeing if the technology partner is insured against physical damage. While it is uncommon, physical damage can happen while hardware or software is being installed. The second type is data insurance.
What happens if a server shorts out? Does the company insure the data by making an off-site backup? See what the company insures in the case of any problems. This will give you ease of mind, and it will protect your business against any problems.
Software and hardware compatibility is important, but that’s not the major concern. You need to make sure that the vendor’s project leaders work well with your business. If the vendor can get along with you and your employees, then this is a good sign. If there are arguments, then this may be a red flag.
You will usually work with the technology partner for a long time, so make sure that you can handle working with them for several months or years.
Choosing the right technology partner can be very difficult. This is made even harder because a bad choice can haunt your business for years. Check these five different areas to ensure that you are picking the right vendor. If there are any immediate problems, then talk with the vendor about your concerns to see if they can be corrected.
If not, then you should think about finding another partner to serve your needs. There are many vendors out there, so don't think that there is only one who can serve you.