Certain qualities make a difference in a lasting partnership.
Let’s clear two things up right from the start: This article is not about wood, and it’s definitely not about marriage. Instead, we’re diving deep into the world of office technology dealerships and their trusted technology partners, explicitly focusing on everything related to office imaging, communication, and the hardware, software, and services accompanying them.
In the ever-evolving landscape of office technology, finding a reliable partner can be akin to discovering a soulmate in the business world. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie in the field, the hunt for the perfect office technology partner is a quest filled with questions and considerations.
Questions to Help Identify a Positive Office Technology Partnership
Imagine you’re about to embark on a crucial first meeting with a potential office technology partner. As an office technology dealer, you would want to have a checklist of questions ready, ensuring you make an informed decision about entering into an office technology partnership with this company. Here are some questions you might consider:
__ Are they listening?
__ Are they hearing me? (Understanding matters!)
__ Does the breadth of their offering match the depth of their knowledge?
__ How seamlessly do hardware, software, and service integrate with their solutions?
__ Do they have a vision—for themselves, the industry, and their customers?
__ Can they connect the dots between digital transformation, IT services, and cybersecurity?
__ Are they capable of right-sizing their offerings to fit your needs?
__ Do they walk the talk?
__ Who are their partners?
__ Do they understand their competitors?
__ What possible ancillary offerings and services do they provide?
__ What’s their pricing strategy, including discounts, maintenance/services, and financing options?
__ How will they protect your assets and investments from underutilization?
__ Are they asking the right questions?
__How are they explaining their background (MPS, MSP, MIT)?
__ What qualifications do they possess (hardware, software, IT)?
__ How are they keeping up with the latest technology developments?
__ How are they staying in tune with the latest “customer journey” must-haves?
This list is just a starting point; your specific needs may lead to additional questions. However, these inquiries are designed to peel back the layers and reveal the core attributes of a trustworthy partner.
The Customer’s Dilemma
In technology partnerships, size isn’t just about the dealership; it’s also about the customer. Small businesses often find themselves in a dilemma. They require assistance, especially in software and security, but finding partners willing to help at a reasonable rate is challenging. While they might not be the biggest revenue generators, their needs are equally important.
Moreover, businesses with particular requirements, such as small dental practices, face similar challenges. They need partners who understand these needs and can effectively address them, including compliance with regulations like HIPAA. The struggle is real, and it’s not confined to one corner of the world—it spans oceans and continents.
Remedies for the Future
If we had a few wishes to spare, here’s what would be at the top of our list for finding a reliable technology partner:
- Reasonably priced a la carte services: We need partners who offer services tailored to our specific needs without attempting to upsell us on unnecessary solutions.
- Understanding of small business needs: A true partner would comprehend the intricacies and constraints of small businesses, recognizing that one size does not fit all.
- No attempts to over-sell: We appreciate honesty and transparency in our partners, and we’d love to see more of it in the industry.
Summing it up, the quest for reliable technology partners is an ongoing journey. Trust, understanding, and effective communication are paramount in any relationship. As technology continues to evolve, so will our expectations from our partners. Hopefully, we will find business relationships that meet these expectations and help us navigate the ever-changing landscape of office technology. Ultimately, the wood from which reliable partnerships are crafted truly matters.