Don’t Underestimate How Valuable Vendor Relationships Are

ISVs need to cultivate their relationships with other software vendors.Any business relationship depends on value, meaning that both parties in the relationship need to feel that they are benefiting from the relationship. How do ISVs manage to get value from the vendors that they use to integrate products into their core applications? How do ISVs ensure that they realize all the benefits that a solution should offer to them?

What is Value?

The first step to cultivating a relationship is to take the time to define value. When you examine software vendors, several categories help define that value:

  • What functionality does the vendor’s software deliver?
  • How many and what features does the software deliver to the core application?
  • How many functions are impacted as a result of the project?
  • Was the product delivered on time and on budget to maximize the monetary value?
  • Does the software meet the expectations from user requirements?
  • Does it meet the user’s needs?

Strategic Partnerships

The ultimate goal of the relationship should be to develop a partnership. Software vendors have an expertise and insight into a particular area that is completely unique to that vendor. This means you leverage that knowledge to incorporate it into your own core application.

Having that expertise available to you returns value in several important ways. The partnership allows you to:

  • Maximize productivity
  • Optimize performance
  • Control costs
  • Reduce risks

You can gain each of these elements through your relationship with your software vendor. Your software vendor’s expertise can generate value for you in all of those categories and continue to do so through the lifecycle of your project.

Where to Strengthen your Relationships

Experts suggest a few areas that can be worked on with software vendors to help strengthen your relationships. These mainly focus on growth and market view.

When you have a strong relationship with a software vendor you are able to add their capabilities to your own set. By giving a software vendor a deeper look inside the organization you can enable them to identify ways to add value to your solutions and expand your application’s capabilities. Software vendors may have an outlook on the market that you don’t. They can look at it in specific ways related to their areas of expertise and leverage those to provide new opportunities for both partners.

Managing these relationships can be very important as this type of value can only be gained by having a close relationship that allows this type of collaboration. Focusing on relationships more than sales can ensure a lasting, productive partnership.

Explore Value of the Vendor Relationship

Look for tools that can help you determine what the value of working with another software vendor. A TCO calculator brings it down to a dollars and cents determination of value. Though licensing costs won’t be the only determinant, they are very important. Businesses routinely request POCs or answers to create their own. Case studies show ways in which other companies had success with vendors and may open up other avenues of questions that help you find understand a vendor’s capabilities.

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