I’m often asked, “What do you think?” re: new emerging technology products or ideas. In fact, I had 6 voice mails this morning on just this topic.
HOSTING does indeed have a technology roadmap, with an architecture and engineering team focused on the delivery of that roadmap. While we build many of our own tools, for both internal and external customers, we also partner with select technology firms when we bring new solutions to market.
As part of HOSTING’s product development process, we often do proof-of-concept work with three or more technology vendors that could provide the solution for our customer-identified problems. Over the years, great technology vendors have been available to bring new services to market, but the real key is to find a vendor that can also be a great partner. Now, you may be asking yourself, what makes a great partner? The answer will vary depending on your specific needs, but let’s start with Webster’s definition of a partnership:
“A relationship resembling a legal partnership and usually involving close cooperation between parties having specified and joint rights and responsibilities.”
This is relatively straight forward, right? Well, it is, but it’s equally important to be methodical and consistent throughout the evaluation process. You must balance the risk and reward the partner brings with the solution, and whether they can deliver on the key tenants of a partnership. If the vendor is simply selling you technology, don’t be fooled – this makes them a vendor, not a partner.
At HOSTING, we developed a decision matrix to evaluate and select our technology partners. To the left is a snippet.
Plain English advice: Don’t be fooled by beautiful demos about vision and amazing Powerpoint slides. You should ask to see their products and services. Then touch it – experience it for yourself. And then talk to the business leaders about why they think it’s great.
As the CTO of HOSTING, I personally spend a large portion of each day speaking with our customers and prospects about everything HOSTING can do for them. Your potential partner’s executives should, too!