How Service Firms are Changing the Way You Should Purchase Software
Many cloud solution providers are proud VARs (Value Added Reseller) because they add value when they sell software – normally one or two product lines. Today, the more educated buyers are looking to work with a service firm that has at heart the customer’s best interest, over the quotas set by the software they are reselling.
Customers are looking for more than just a solution to solve a problem, they are looking for an elegant solution comprised of best-of-breed features from multiple platforms tailored to their business. Ideally, this customized solution should be delivered from one firm (or firms who work closely together) so there is accountability for the final result and true optimization in all departments – so that from finance to production, relations, promotion and the communication between them is seamless.
Note: For a visual representation of how information should flow in an organization and between systems, check out the Global Architecture of Business Systems (GAB’s Pyramid). We also offer workshops using GAB’s Pyramid to help map your current technology and the future to evolve with your growth and the ever-changing technology available in the market.
What do You Call It?
If we ask you what is the name of the software that runs your car radio, almost no person would have the answer. Anyone that does, likely knows the name because they are a specialist in the field (mechanic or manufacturer) or they have had a problem with the technology (like the radio breaking, being stolen or not being of the quality expected). When we meet a business operator and they don’t know all the names of the software they use we can easily deduce that the systems they don’t know – are likely working (or at least not causing any problems). Whereas any software (or tool) that is easily recalled by an operator, that doesn’t use the tool, is because there is a problem or a pain to fix. Employees tell their bosses the highlights and challenges from their everyday life – not the status quo.
Who Should You Trust? A Natural
In every home generally, there is one I.T. specialist. For my entire extended family (think 120+), any issue from the garage remote opening, TV setup, internet, alarm clock, landline (remember those) to the error on the fridge water dispenser quickly made its way to me. I remember when I finally convinced my father to purchase a computer for the family. I learned to read english by decoding the computer manually. I also discovered that to be in I.T. means to be a pioneer, educator, advisor, and supporter.
Like most people working in I.T., I fell into tech support when I was very young and no one in my family was surprised. In the professional I.T. field, I learned to master how to uncover needs while planning for the future (on behalf of someone who didn’t fully understand the problem and solutions available) and understand how these needs could change over time. More than 30 years and a couple of jobs later, I am proud to say that Big Bang is exactly what you would expect in a brother or uncle. Someone to turn to and ask questions who will take to heart the situation and advise you for the best solution today – growing into the long-term plan of tomorrow (and the following 3 to 5 years).
What surprised everyone, in my family, was that I wanted to start my own cloud consulting firm. But why? Why couldn’t I have been the helpful uncle at another firm?
So Many Options… But Most Integrators Only Have One or Few Options
The Definition of “One Size Fits All” Has Changed
Traditionally Cloud Solutions providers and VARs alike worked on and sold one product (cloud solution). The benefit is 100% of the focus, communication, investment and training is on that one product. However, it also means that every prospect is offered only one option. It’s like going to the podiatrist for your annual checkup – how are they supposed to know about your general health?
When I met a prospect while I worked at other Cloud Solution Firms, it was difficult to know if there was a fit with the customer, because our expertise was limited and we were biased to think it was always the right solution. Even when consultants knew the product wasn’t perfect, we had the choice to make if the product was not the perfect fit: tell the prospect and lose the sale OR sell them the software anyways and make a lot of adjustments and custom scripts to make the software “work”.
Now, rather than saying the product “fits all”, we know it is the expertise that fits all, and that our customers need to be accompanied on their cloud transformation… not led on the one path that we know.
Why One-Stop Makes Sense
and Cents Over Time
When you go shopping for a new suit, do you follow these steps:
1. Hire a stylist to tell you what to buy.
In tech: Hire a Consultant to Advise you.
2. Go to the stores and talk to a sales associate and buy the item at full price.
In tech: Use a third party to try and achieve what the consultant suggests. In our case, we purchase for many so we negotiate the best rates for our customers.
3. Try the item for the stylist.
In tech: Validate your second supplier with the original consultant
4. Take your items for tailoring based on the advice of the stylist
In tech: Negotiate and work with a third party
5. Go to the tailor and leave your items
In tech: Here you are responsible for all the work in managing multiple suppliers
6. Pick up the items and finally wear them
In tech: Since you are a small customer, you get treated like a small customer.
If you had to, I can assume your wardrobe would stop changing and you would give up shopping all together.
It makes little sense to have a company that cannot implement any solutions, create your Digital Transformation plan. Whoever makes the recommendation should:
- Have experience with the software or similar software
- Remove quotes and personal bias from the recommendation
- Be responsible for the plan they suggest
If you do not plan to have the firm actually do the work, how can they be accountable for the plan being successful? They can’t. Meaning you could be wasting your initial investment when things don’t go as planned, especially if they are planned without considering all external factors – something that only comes with experience.
Today, we want accountability and responsiveness, which is exactly why online shopping has been such a force to be reckoned with.
So the next time you are thinking about WHY trust Big Bang, know that it’s because like a good uncle, we will steer you in the right direction and be accountable to deliver what we promised.