Last week on the blog, we argued that feature-driven choices of vendor and value-added reseller can be more than bad; they can keep companies from deriving the full, disruptive value from their software vendors. The moral of the story was: choose vendors and value-added resellers who have the potential to join your conference table and add strategic insight regarding the technologies they manage.
Great, but what about SaaS? Doesn’t that mean I can select based on features, and if the vendor turns out to give bad service, the worst case scenario is: I try again?
SaaS Is Better, but…
SaaS solutions only meet the problem halfway, at least in today’s business intelligence and communications market. If you look at upfront cost, taking into account all costs, both monetary AND the time it takes your workforce to try these tools, then you will still find a strong incentive to pursue deals with par or even subpar vendors.
The features list meets expectations, so it cannot be a big deal that the IT partner is a little difficult to work with, or if they do not have an acute business sense, right? And because the business does not have a full appreciation for the opportunity they are missing, there is not enough motivation to change the status quo. The end result is the same: a poor quality, low-value and potentially long-term business relationship.
Proviso: Out-of-the-Box Solutions
Out-of-the-box solutions do avoid the issue of vendor selection, it is true. If the software can be rented on a monthly basis, needs no customization, and requires no training to use fully, then there really is no commitment, upfront. There is also no reason for a business relationship.
IT PARTNERS: (n. pl.) Businesses who will implement, monitor, maintain, and upgrade the IT function – have the potential to change the way you do business. An IT partner is not an incremental asset, but rather a strategic asset to the firm. A partner understands the business and brings its deep understanding of tech to help find the most effective, groundbreaking IT strategies for the industry.
OK, so what’s the moral?
Don’t settle for first gear, when there are FIVE more.