In this quick blog I wanted to highlight an unspoken truth but to set the scene let us start with a few rules that I keep to in my IT world.
First, I have a very simple approach when it comes to Partners, they should be there to assist and to further our solutions that inevitably rely on their products.
If those solutions don’t work, I look unprofessional and that is position I am not happy to be in. So I tend to choose partners like friends, very carefully!
Another simple rule of mine is it doesn’t matter how good the marketing, the partner has to be willing to put their product and their expertise in our firing line.
I never give much weight to datasheets, I want the products in the lab, in live testing and proof of concepts, and I want their expertise available to me through multiple mediums. Does this sound demanding? Maybe so, but I take the stance that as a customer it’s only what I would expect.
Also if their engineers are so busy they can’t do the support and testing I require, either they don’t have enough engineers or there are too many problems.
To make a few points I am going to call out one Vendor but the points can apply to them all.
10Zig (http://www.10zig.com) provide Thin Client devices and software used within Virtual Desktop Environments.
I recently was assisting in the deployment of 10Zig Thin Clients and we hit an issue. None of us had seen this error before, and it had the potential to scupper the deployment. We had a very limited time to develop a fix, so it was time to call on that Partner relationship.
A quick call to the Account Manager and a run through of my problem and I was assured that I would get a call back from an engineer ASAP. Can you guess what happened next? If you think the phone call never happened then you weren’t paying attention to my rules above.
I received a call from them with an explanation of the cause within 15 minutes (Now that is ASAP). Before I could ask what the work around was an email arrived in my inbox, and they just wanted to confirm receipt and if I required any further assistance. I was also assured, should it be needed, someone was available to connect remotely, in fact poised for my answer from the phone call.
15 minutes later I had applied the fix and the deployment plan was back on schedule.
The purpose of this blog post is not a great revelation of the fix (in fact I have taken great pains not to mention it) the point is to identify something we don’t do enough of, which is to showcase partners, that really deliver as partners.
The ones that treat you as extension of their business, but more importantly don’t lose sight of the customer once the sale is made.
We have all been schmoozed by Product Account Managers, shown the flash video, the perfectly set up demo lab, and the bulk discount. What we never really give enough credit for is when a partner really acts like a partner and treats your support issue as theirs, not separately to a done sales deal.
So as a customer ensure you challenge your supplier and their partners. In fact challenge their whole ecosystem and get it to work for you.
So with that covered, i would just like to say thanks to Gavin from 10Zig for the support. It really does not go unnoticed.