8th January 2019 How partnerships can be good for business
We’re used to partnerships and building relationships in the IT industry. The channel is a perfect example of where business depends on it. The relationship between vendor, distributor, reseller and end customer is critical in bringing technology to market. But with technology moving so fast and organisations expecting and demanding solutions that bring efficiency and productivity in one complete solution, companies can ill-afford to work in isolation.Of course, choosing the right partner is key to a successful relationship but the old adage of “two heads are better than one” can mean the difference between gaining, retaining or losing business. A partnership can be long-term or project based depending on the reasons for the intended relationship. For it to work, there has to be clear benefits for both parties. Therefore, determining the objectives and metrics of success need to be addressed before formally committing to working together. This should ensure there are no surprises. Equally, it requires an understanding and appreciation of each other’s unique strengths and competitive advantages. Acknowledging that your partner can provide something that you can’t is usually a primary reason for wanting to enter into the relationship in the first place. Communication between parties is key with open and effective channels of communication to ensure you are on track, collaborating effectively and leveraging each other’s skills to fulfil your mutual objectives. Naturally, there are other considerations. Trust is important in any relationship. Sharing similar brand values and cultures will make it much easier to work together and, in some scenarios, physical location may be a factor.

So, what are some of the circumstances for entering into a partnership. As mentioned above, strategic partnerships can provide companies with access to additional business, resources and skills, not available by operating alone. This could be expanding into new territories, acquiring expertise in a particular technology or solution. It could be simply adding a number of skilled technicians or engineers to meet a particular deadline. On the other hand, it could be a way to diversify into new market areas and capture new customers. Whatever the reason, it is one way to grow and expand in a manner that would have been more difficult or even impossible without the establishment of a partnership.

Building a relationship between a vendor, reseller and distributor should by and large have no conflicts of interest. They will all share a mutual goal of providing a solution that meets the need of the customer. Indeed, it’s possible for each one to add value to the other. Whilst competition for business can be fierce amongst the reseller community, equally there are opportunities where it can make sense to have built a relationship with a business that offers complementary solutions. Indeed, for smaller resellers, this can be an effective way to compete for business against a larger competitor. Certainly, convergence in some technologies has made this need more likely. For instance, the rapid expansion of networked AV solutions that might also encompass a unified communications and security proposition require specialist expertise in each of those areas. For some, it could well be worth partnering with a company which has that missing expertise to provide the knowledge that isn’t currently in-house, in order to win or even retain the client.

Winning new business can also put a temporary strain on resource. A large project may require additional engineers or technicians to implement a solution. Resellers can look to Exertis in this scenario to provide that support using their professional services team. Our services can be white labelled and deployed as and when required, reducing the need for more costly investment. There are clear benefits for building strategic partnerships whether that’s strength in numbers or for new opportunities.

For further information on Exertis’ professional services, contact your account manager.