Over the past five years, collaboration technology’s influence on business has exploded, and will continue to do so. Organizations have always had a hard time staying up to date with the newest versions of technology, oftentimes going straight for the latest applications and tools in lieu of mapping out a medium-/long-term strategy meant to address a company’s previously assessed needs. Part of the challenge is making sure that decision-makers are able to truly understand the diverse technology drivers from every part of their organizations before selecting a communication solution, and then going out and finding the provider best able to deliver against these prerequisites. This both minimizes internal disaccord and helps companies to select the best Service Provider (which is not necessarily always the most well-known provider).
We have talked on this blog numerous times about the importance of measuring and calculating end user needs as the basis of the larger strategy and success of enterprise technology. Without this input, organizations run the risk of having to constantly upgrade and update their solutions to retrospectively line up with internal requirements. It also affects user adoption and ultimately Return On Investment. This is frustrating and costly.
In addition to posing problems for internal teams, failing to develop an enterprise collaboration & communication strategy ahead of time can be a major challenge for a company’s consultants and account managers. External experts and Service Providers should be able to assist client/partners in investigating their current demands and how those needs may evolve over time. This crucial phase shouldn’t be skipped.
In order to do this, however, companies should look to take time and develop a working relationship with their Service Provider, who can then better propose products and services to actually fit within a broader strategy and help meet your goals. Quick sales and weak follow up are warning signs that a Service Provider – regardless of whether they are an incumbent are a complete unknown – is unable to satisfy your needs in the long term.
Not all Service Providers are created equal
Once a company has assessed their short-, medium- and long-term needs, and understands end user requirements, they can adequately scope the best Service Provider. Without this prerequisite analysis, organizations tend to make the mistake of heading directly for the biggest name brands, which may be industry-leading but, due to a number of factors, are unable to meet the unique needs of your company. Functionality, availability, local support, reporting and follow up are all critical to the success of a technology implementation.
A good Service Provider will work with clients to build confidence and determine the best possible strategic partnership between the two companies, whether a small business, corporate account or large enterprise.
And if, in the end, you decide to part ways with your Service Provider for another, don’t discount the value of an exit meeting, which can provide both companies with feedback essential to the development of your business.
Is your business ready for next-gen collaboration? Visit www.arkadin.com to learn how Arkadin can help