The Datamax Thinking Blog

Educating, collaborating, and sparking ideas for maximizing the technology that matters.


The Partnership Litmus Test: 8 Things That Influence a Higher Return on Technology Investment

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 Achieving a high return on technology investment can greatly be enhanced by finding a partner who is focused on a customer strategy that is “RELEVANT,” and that provides “VALUE” well beyond the transaction.

Whether it's Return on Investment (ROI) or more specifically Return on Technology Investment (ROTI), it’s ALL about results. Preferably ... "BIG" results. The results we’re looking for come in many shapes and forms, yet in the world of business technology, they all include the measurable improvement of an organization’s operational performance. Results have to make an organization more nimble and competitive than previously before, or what’s the point.  The kind of results our customers commonly envision include:

  • Making their business and business processes more efficient,
  • Boosting employee morale through workflow simplification,
  • Improving operation and management their IT infrastructure,
  • Reducing staff hours and associated costs,
  • Communicating better to enhance marketplace competitiveness,
  • Increasing their freedom to focus on their business,
  • And others.

At the end of the day, we believe that If results are going to be north of zero (well north), then "technology net returns" must be greater than "technology investment costs" ... and the value associated with such costs must be even greater than typically expected and delivered. Getting there takes a little different mindset and a little different motivation (+) a whole lot more value.

Relevant Value.

“Strategic planners typically ask their CEOs and/or management teams, “What’s your vision and mission?” They also frequently say, “Where do you want to be in one year, two years, and down the road?”  In my opinion, the better question is, “What do your customers want this year, next year, and beyond?” –  Janie L. Smith, Smart Advantage.  That's what a "relevant" partner asks.

Achieving a high return on technology investment can greatly be enhanced by finding a partner who is focused on a customer strategy that is “RELEVANT,” and that provides “VALUE” well beyond the transaction.  Relevant value is the cornerstone of any "true" partnership engagement and the hallmark of any raving fan experience.

Sound like your current partner?

The Partnership Litmus Test.

So, as you determine your ROTI expectations of your next business technology project, consider vetting your partner using our simple Partnership Litmus Test and see what you come up with.  You might be surprised, but certainly more informed.

So let's get started...

1. Experience — Does your gut tell you they don't know their stuff?

Do they (the technology partner) enthusiastically and actively engage their customers with the entirety of experience and know-how they’ve learned over time? ... Do they continue to exhaustively canvass the technology landscape to offer their customers the best-of-breed solutions, services, and best practices? ... Is the tenure of their management team a concern?

2. Training — In solving problems, do they tend to wing it?

Is there a discernible investment in advanced training, certifications, and resources designed to ensure their employees are equipped to help their customers fully succeed with technology? ... Are their employee’s subject-matter experts or simple-minded representatives?

3. Assessment — Are they presumptive with their solutions?

Do they take a cover-to-cover discovery approach, where the identification and assessment of your needs and the development of recommendations are fundamentally in alignment with the core business objectives of their customers? ... Do they have a reputation for maximizing their customer’s valuable technology budgets and technology results in the process?

4. Continuity — Do they continue to add value post sale?

Utilizing recurring Partnership Reviews (or QBRs), do they actively share best practices, thinking, and technology to ensure a level of operational continuity that protects and elevates their customer's businesses and business processes over time? ... In a pinch, can they be counted on to step up or step in?

5. Responsiveness — Do they respond the way you prefer?

Is the customer experience responsive and focused on you, or are they frustratingly preoccupied with their next sale? ... Do they back their performance up with quantitative analytics that are easy to understand and meaningful to their customers? (This continues to be a big deal, as the estimated cost of customers switching due to poor service in the United States for 2017 is $1.6 trillion. Source: Accenture)

6. Resolution — Are they equipped and ready to solve any issue?

Are they upfront, proactive and responsible for reporting all the details of any incident, situation, or challenge (or success)? ... Are they committed to resolving any issue on the very first call? Are they manufacturer-certified on the equipment they're actually working on? ... Do they have a clue?

7. Support — Can they get what you need in "ONE" attempt?

Can they overlay their customer's entire technology infrastructure, from IT to MFP’s, with a comprehensive and coordinated portfolio of support services? ... Regardless of hardware, application software, supplies, etc., are their support services centralized, localized and easily accessible in a variety of ways?

8. Accountability — Do they "OWN" your results?

Are they accountable for their solution recommendations and proposals — maintaining unwavering conviction to every commitment they make? ... And finally, can you count on them to care for your technology throughout the term of the lease? (Is the same company that you developed and acquired your technology solution from, the company that services and cares for it? Is that the same company that holds your lease and to whom payments are made? If not, accountability may at risk which often means headaches.)

Our Tag Line — Our Test.

At Datamax, our tag line starts with the word “RELEVANT” and ends with the word “RESULTS.”  These are a big deal to us, so they're branded on everything we publish — which puts our efforts right on performance line.  Unlike some, we like it that way!

If you are interested in learning more about how Datamax can enhance your Return on Technology Investment and some additional ideas for selecting your own Technology Partner, please download the following FREE eBook— 20 Crucial Questions to Ask Your Next Office Equipment Provider.

 

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Topics: Partnering Technology Support Creating Raving Fans