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More than just a software purchase

Written by Emma Shackley

10 | 01 | 21

4 minute read

In this digital era, wise technology choices can provide businesses with significant advantage, but how do you decide? Often, companies look for more than a software purchase, preferring collaborative partnerships which they can embed into the heart of their operation.

With so many different technology choices on the market, getting the right advice is key. Your partner should be your trusted advisor, getting to know your business inside out and guiding you every step of the way on your journey. Getting the right partner who understands your business needs will make all the difference to the success of your project.

 

So what are the key things you should consider when selecting a partner?

 

  1. Do they understand my business? Check to ensure a partner has the experience in your industry and on top of this, that they understand your business model. Businesses within a given industry may have similarities but fundamentally, every business is unique. Is the partner going to understand your unique challenges?

     

  2. What knowledge and expertise do they have? Any partner should have a credible, highly skilled and qualified team that can bring the knowledge and experience they’ve gained over the years to best advise you.

     

  3. Could I meet their delivery team and the people we would be working with on a daily basis? A partner may present their best consultant and salesperson to you to sell their fantastic product or service to meet your business requirements. But are these actually the people who would be looking after your project and who you would be liaising with on a daily basis? By meeting the ‘people on the ground’, you’ll get a true feel for the organisation, and you’ll be able to ensure they’re a good fit for you and your business. You’ll be able to ensure they’re credible and that the people in your team could potentially have a good relationship with who is delivering on your implementation. If your project hit a snag, do you feel you could work together on a solution?

     

  4. Could they support my business in the long term? Going live with new software is only the beginning of your journey. Would a partner support you after implementation as your business grows, changes, expands into new territories, introduces a new product line or even onboards new staff? Would your partner be there to support you and your team and train them if necessary? Once go live is complete, some partners see this as project completion. Yet this couldn’t be further from the truth. With new software, a good partner will be there to support you after the software has gone live. Establishing the ongoing support procedures and account management services a potential partner offers really is crucial.

     

  5. What facilities does the partner have? Could they provide training facilities or meeting rooms for you to use? At FHL, we have dedicated client and training facilities, and training teams. We offer state of the art training labs, conference and meeting rooms to all of our clients plus access to the RSM network, with offices both nationally and globally.

     

  6. What is the size and scale of the organisation? Could they potentially help you with other services to ensure you’re dealing with only one organisation for multiple services? Do they have an international presence? If you expanded your operations into new countries, do they have people locally to support you? FHL are part of the RSM network with over 800 offices in over 100 countries. We’re large enough to cover the globe…yet have the people in place locally to you who will understand local compliance, the language, and even provide training and meeting facilities if required.

     

  7. Could I speak to their clients? Any software provider will tell you how good they are. But do they have a client who’s gone through this process and can tell you about their experience? Not only that, can they put you in touch with a client who has your specific type of requirement (eg ecommerce) or who is in a similar industry or geographical location?

     

  8. Does the software vendor seem happy with the partner? Speaking to a software vendor to verify this may prove tricky. But a good measure of this is in a partner’s awards and accolades, as this is how are they recognised by the software vendor. FHL are five times recipients of NetSuite’s 5 Star Partner award and has won EMEA Solution Provider Partner of the Year seven times - more than any other NetSuite partner.

     

  9. Has the partner achieved quality standards? This could be ISO accreditation but do they also have the proper processes in place, dedicated teams and a good structure?

 

Choosing the right technology to suit your business needs is crucial. But it is vital to do your research on a potential partner as a good partner should be able to provide far more than just a solution. The right partner will understand your business needs, will advise every step of the way, and will provide the service, the knowledge and the expertise right for your business.

 

FHL is the leading partner of NetSuite, the world’s most deployed cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution that simplifies and streamlines your processes. We work collaboratively with businesses whether small, mid-market or enterprise to deliver the right solution for their needs and to maximise the value from their investment. Find out why FHL has won EMEA Solution Provider Partner of the Year seven times - more than any other partner.

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