The first step is done – a Microsoft technology product has been selected – now it’s time to find the right partner that knows the ins and outs of Microsoft technology. A quick search shows hundreds of results, so in this congested arena, how do enterprises choose? Here are 10 questions that I think should form the basis of their decision-making process.
1. What does the partner have in terms of industry experience?
The first port of call is to find a Microsoft partner with vast experience operating within your industry and that understands the business processes, and pitfalls, within that space.
2. Does the partner have experience across the Microsoft stack?
One of the values of Microsoft is ecosystem cohesion. In your long-term vision, what technologies need to work together? Does your partner support that complete vision or just a part?
3. Does Microsoft trust them?
Microsoft has official designations for trusted partners, and they are based on expertise within certain products and workloads.
4. What’s their project management?
Find a Microsoft partner with a detailed and successful project methodology. Agile, Prosci and Scrum methodologies are some proven methodologies that some successful Microsoft partners operate with.
5. Where are their resources?
Identify if they have team members spread throughout the globe and think about possible time differences that determine operating hours, response times and costs.
6. What’s their plan for user adoption?
Even the best project is worthless if your team doesn’t adopt the solution. The right partners set an adoption plan with continued support even after implementation.
7. Do they have a successful track record?
A major predictor of future success is past performance. If you find a partner with deep experience, their consultants are more likely to listen to your goals to craft the best solution.
8. How do they keep your data secure?
A responsible partner goes to great lengths to ensure no security breaches or threats arise when dealing with, migrating, or organising business data.
9. How effectively do they communicate?
Find out partners average response times, how often they will have meetings with you, and through what avenues will they communicate.
10. Are their goals aligned with your business outcomes?
The best partners are business outcome focused. This means the partner is focused on business goals first, then the technology to get there.
Moriah Spainhower is a marketing communications specialist for JourneyTEAM