[BE] Midmarket CIO Blog

Technology Partnerships: Who’s in Your Corner?


Every organization finds itself teetering between maintaining current tools and technology verses upgrading to new solutions. While staying abreast of new offerings and knowing which ones may be applicable to your organization, never discount the importance of the partner involved.

Jeff Young is Vice President, CIO at Haynes International.

When selecting a software solution, it’s crucial to remember the personnel behind the solution that will interface with your key users are far more critical than the solution itself. Software projects of any magnitude require a solid, flexible, and understanding team of analysts to launch the new solution.

No matter how well a technology solution may appear to fit an organization’s need, the most critical thing to consider is the implementation partner and their support framework. When help is needed on a Friday at midnight, providers willing to respond distinguish themselves as true partners for your business.

Contracts and agreements aside, the key is which partner will go the extra mile to support your company’s users in a time of need - and the most critical instances rarely occur between 8-5 Monday through Friday.

Hardware selection is no different than software. We all have maintenance agreements in place, but again the response time of the vendor, the availability of parts, and the local attention of the technician can be the difference between a 2-4 hour network outage and one of greater length. Unless you have a fully redundant solution in two disparate sites with solid communications, downtime is inevitable, and your partner contracted to address your needs becomes critical very quickly.

The bottom line is find hardware and software solutions that fit the needs of your organization. But, be sure to address the relationship with your partner and set clear expectations before you launch any solution.

Austin | October 18 — 20, 2015

Orlando | April 3 — 5, 2016

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  • Steve Brown

    Great point, Jeff. One also has to monitor their partnerships for decay — the partners themselves are in a very competitive market for talent, and the top people are often very mobile. We’ve had to change partners after a solution was implemented, because a vendor lost top talent to competitors and we were therefore no longer getting premier service.