How you choose vendor partnerships can make or break your business. Terri Kershner of Haverstick Consulting shares her tips for success.
The break-neck speed of technology innovation today is far too fast for any single company to manage. The U.S. Patent Office awards tens of thousands of patents to IT companies each year. In 2002, more than 16,000 patents were awarded to the top ten IT companies alone. At this pace, one IT company can no longer be all things to all customers.
Enter the IT channel and the critical role solution providers, systems integrators and independent software vendors (ISVs) play in driving vendor solutions to market, specifically in the small and medium business (SMB) space. As buying patterns continue to shift from point IT products to comprehensive business solutions that encompass hardware, software, and services, our own business models are constantly evolving to meet new customer needs. Traditional hardware resellers are moving into systems integration. Systems integrators are delving more into custom application development. And ISVs are being asked to pick between two roads that will ultimately determine the fate of their business - proprietary vs. open standards.
In an industry driven by innovation, where change is a constant, there's one inevitable truth for the channel: How we choose vendor partnerships is the roadmap to success, or failure. What vendor partners are right to increase your competitiveness? Profitability? And who should you turn to on hotbed issues such as Linux vs. Windows? Here are five traits to look for in building long-term, successful vendor relationships: