SDP makes a habit of marketing itself as a "partner" rather than a "vendor". To some extent, it might sound like a simple cliche or marketing gimmick. But I assure you, it is not. Let's take a look at just what makes SDP, or any "partner", such a valuable asset to you and your business and why those partners provide a level of service and expertise beyond the term "vendor". While this certainly relates to SDP's field of Information Technology and Software Development, it can be applied to almost any aspect of a business.
Vendors, in any sense, are outside companies that help perform tasks that your company either doesn't have the internal skills to do, or just doesn't have the time to do. Along with the term "vendor" often comes somewhat negative terms like "outsourcing" and "offshoring". We've gone into the advantages of outsourcing before, and why it should NOT be considered negative, but admittedly, there are reasons why these terms have become somewhat frowned upon in the business world. For one, your own employees may view outsourcing or vendors as a threat to their own jobs! It's also challenging to ensure that any outside entity does tasks the way your business would do them...in other words, does them RIGHT! If tasks are done incorrectly or not up to your standards, you're going to be left with frustration and likely will have to clean up or fix the job afterwards, thus defeating the purpose of hiring the outside company in the first place.
So what is a "partner" then? Is it just a buzzword term to try and remove the negative connotations that are associated with "vendor", "outsourcing" and "offshoring", or is it something more? It is most definitely something more! A partner is an extension of your team! A partner is another company, or people within another company, that you do business with on a regular, ongoing basis. That company or people within it are viewed almost as much a part of your organization as the actual employees. They're in the trenches solving the same set of problems and aiming for the same goals, but they bring the unique skillset that only the partner company can provide. A great example, of course, is software development. If you own a logistics company or financial institution, you may have some software developers on staff, but it's certainly not your core business, so why not bring in a partner whose core business IS software development to help with it, or do all of it?
There is always a high level of trust that the partner can do jobs (similar to a vendor) that your internal employees either do not have the skillset to do, or simply do not have the time to do, but unlike just another vendor, you already know that the task will be done right and will actually solve your problems instead of creating new ones (i.e. - cleaning up or fixing jobs after the task is done). Your team should be able to just FEEL and TRUST the value a partner is providing, rather than that feeling you get with a vendor relationship that does not provide the long-term reassurance and understanding of goals and budgets, it FEELS temporary. It seems like a bandage instead of a long-term solution. Partners are there for you, just as much as you are there for them!
Sometimes you need partners at the highest level of your business. That's where a "strategic partner" comes in. A strategic partner fits all of the criteria of a normal business partner, but assists in steering the fundamental strategy of your overall business plan, which often involves a lot of IT in today's world. Often times, an IT "strategic partner" assists in things like digital transformation, ERP selection and other high level aspects of strategic planning. You have to really trust someone to be letting them into all of the details of a company!
Don't trust your business's critical tasks to just any company willing to take them on. Find a reputable, dependable PARTNER that you know is going to create less work for your team rather than more. Once you establish that trusted relationship, you will be able to realize growth faster and easier than you ever thought possible. SDP prides itself on being the chosen partner of all of our clients! That's why they come to us, again and again. We help our partners realize their growth potential, both through strategic alliances and implementations of their IT needs!
Let SDP become an extension of your team and create a competitive edge for your business. Contact the experts at Software Design Partners.
Steve Danner is the Director of Technology at Software Design Partners. He specializes in software development implementations, but also manages the company network infrastructure, provides technology and application architecture direction for the development team, engages clients to provide technology solutions for their business challenges.