Are you an MSP? Are you thinking about selecting a technology partner for data protection services? How do you go about researching, testing and selecting the “right” technology partner for your managed service business? You need to solve your customer’s IT problem. Technology vendors have solutions for these problems. Seems pretty simple right?
Not so quick. There are many solutions out there, and every company does things just a little differently. Some companies are all about price, offering a lower price but excluding value-added services like support, live account management, etc. Others may have higher prices and offer higher quality solutions that include these value-added services. Some vendors focus on technology rather than price. Technology solutions range from cobbled together third-party offerings that are delivered as a “service”, to solutions that were developed from the ground up using in-house resources. That’s why selecting a technology partner is not a science, it’s an art.
I talk to dozens of MSP’s every week in my efforts to build a strong channel for Axcient. As we continue to grow our business we are looking for technology partners to help us provide the best level of service delivery. At Axcient we partner with providers of sales force automation, marketing automation, portal technology, enterprise social networks solutions and more. Over the last year we’ve created our criteria for selecting a technology partner, and believe it or not, it almost perfectly lines up with what managed service providers look for when they are choosing a technology partner.
Here’s the list of criteria we use at Axcient.
- Technology Partner Selection Checklist:
- Do they talk or do they listen?
- Do they need to have a crystal clear understanding of your business model?
- Are they flexible and open to making exceptions if necessary?
- Are they proactive or reactive?
- Does their service expand your service offering?
- Do they provide easy management tools?
- Can they generate consolidated, itemized billing?
- Are there incentive or spiff programs for your sales teams?
- Do they have US-based support?
- Do they have free tools and resources?
- Is there a “not-for-resale” program?
- Do they provide evaluation units?
Making the wrong choice can be costly. Do your research, test and trial. I highly recommend you listen to what other MSPs have to say. Be sure to ask for referrals. A good technology company has lots of fans, ask to speak to some of them.
Selecting a technology partner selection isn’t a simple process. Asking the right questions can make it a bit less overwhelming. Take a stab at creating your own list, or build on the one I started.