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Thursday, August 27, 2020

3 Lessons Learned From Selecting the Wrong Microsoft Technology Partner

Posted by Armanino Dynamics Team

Selecting Microsoft Technology Partner

Digital transformation is a major undertaking for any organization, so choosing the right technology partner of record for your Microsoft solution is just as important as selecting the solution itself to enable your team. When clients switch to us as their partner, it’s often because their previous vendor was lacking in one of several key areas. Here are three of the biggest mistakes that companies tend to make when picking the wrong technology partner.

  1. Not Getting the Right Technical Skills

Picture this: you are mid-implementation with your Microsoft project and are discovering that your vendor does not have the right or up-to-date development or technical skills to get you to go-live. Perhaps they knew ERP systems in general, but not your selected product, and promised they could still get the job done. Now you’re finding that they have to band-aid every requested change or added element.

More likely, you made it through implementation, but the road was not as smooth as you had hoped. Maybe it took three times longer than you expected or required a much larger financial commitment to complete. In any case, the value in selecting a partner with the right technical skills for your project is peace of mind in knowing that they will provide quality services on time and on budget.

  1. Not Considering Long-Term Needs

One of the biggest misconceptions that businesses have about bringing on new technology systems is that they will reach a point where they are “done.” If this is your mindset when selecting your partner, you may get someone whose expertise ends at implementation. Many vendors service clients well up until delivery and then become slow to respond or provide limited engagement.

In reality, you will need to have a strategy in place for how you are going to maintain your system, as well as enhance and improve it. As you start to use the solution more often, you may develop a list of requests for things that can drive further efficiencies. Look for a partner that can provide a post-implementation managed services plan to enable continued support.

  1. Not Picking a Partner with Expertise in Your Industry and Market

In many cases, implementation goes well, and you are generally satisfied with the work of your vendor. For companies in very specialized industries and markets, however, there may come a point that your partner has exhausted their technical knowledge. Or they are too one- dimensional and you need a new perspective.

Clients often find themselves struggling to receive prescriptive advice around how to leverage their technologies. Often referred to as seeking “best practices,” you will certainly want to seek a provider who helps steer you toward the right or best decisions. If your partner does not have true domain expertise in your industry, you may find that they are unable to provide real recommendations and real insight from similar organizations.

You may start to observe that your provider is having to customize tools for you that are standard solutions for other organizations in your field. One big benefit of working with a partner with domain expertise is that they can function as a business advisor, clearly seeing around corners to identify what you will need to conduct business because they have already done so for other likeminded companies.

For more information about how to make the right choice for your organization, check out our Microsoft partner selection checklist.

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