What if, as a consultancy organisation or Systems Integrator (SI), you decide to take on a new partner’s technology? You decide that it will fill a product gap and make your offering that much more complete and attractive to buyers. Is it that simple?
You need to garner the knowledge necessary to promote yourself as an expert in their product. You need the implementation experience and the “battle scars” so many execs and salespeople like to talk about. And, above all, you need to understand the product to such a degree that you know where it “stops”, and where the customising process begins. Then, just to push it all over the edge, you need product knowledge to such a degree that you are in a position to design the optimal solution for the customer’s needs AND to offer best-practice recommendations.
For new products, where you are at the bleeding edge, I would settle for Relevant Experience, coupled with adequate training. Early Adopter clients, or “friendly customers” can make life a lot easier too, especially where everyone is venturing together into the unknown. The brave customer can benefit from a wallet-friendly implementation (knowing full well that everyone is on a steep learning curve) and the implementor can gain the much-needed experience in a safe environment, whilst the product company and SI get a valuable reference site. If you’re in the win-counting business, I make it three.
And then you have a new string to your bow.
Or the SI can invest a huge amount of time and money on education, prototyping, product testing, sales and marketing but all without the benefit of customer feedback, testimonials and real-world use cases. And don’t forget the most important thing – experience.