What To Consider When Selecting a New Communications Tech Partner

Layna Shuppert 12/27/21 4:40 PM 5 min read

Selecting a tech vendor may be a daunting task, particularly when it’s technology that may or may not be familiar to you. Here, we’ve outlined several essential qualities to consider, whatever technology you’re in the market for.

Step 1: Define Your Goals

Having a clear understanding of your goals will aid the vetting process. Are you looking at what your peers are doing and how you can replicate their success? Do you have issues with your existing systems or processes you believe a technology partner can help solve?

Identifying gaps with your existing technology stack and defining your goals ahead of time will help you in the research and requirement-gathering process.

Step 2: Create a List of Potential Vendors

After you’ve defined your goals, begin your online search using some of the keywords you’ve outlined to come up with a list of potential vendors.

Step 3: Do Your Research

Once you’ve created a targeted list, start doing research. When we say research, you’ll want to go beyond simply browsing a potential vendor’s website. If possible, look at who their clients are and leverage your network by asking your peers about their experiences with those vendors.

In addition to “phoning a friend,” we recommend furthering your research using a number of peer-to-peer software and service review sites. Some of our favorites include Capterra and G2, where you can compare different solutions and hear feedback from actual users.

Step 4: Compile a Comprehensive List of Questions

Last but not least, based on your goals, compile a list of questions that are important to you, your company, your challenge, and/or your project vision. For example, here’s a list of questions you should consider when identifying a communications partner.

When putting these questions together, keep in mind to look for a partner who:

  • Understands the ins and outs of the utility industry, AS WELL AS your unique business challenges. While you want a partner that understands and executes best practices, you also want a partner who can problem-solve from your company’s vantage point. You want a vendor who understands your technical needs and the business processes you have in place. Don’t hesitate to ask how clients with similar challenges and goals are meeting their needs using their solution.
  • Builds partnerships of their own to ensure your existing solutions can integrate with potential new solutions.
  • Focuses on training, support, and change management. It will make your life much easier as you transition from project kickoff to an ongoing relationship. In addition to coming up with questions, we would encourage you to pay attention to how potential partners respond. Identify candidates that want to partner with you and your organization.

Here are a few signs to look for:

  • Gets curious and asks the right questions.
  • Listens – and we mean really They listen to the entirety of your challenge before offering their solution instead of parroting canned answers.
  • Believes in building a long-term relationship. Many vendors have a transactional relationship with their clients rather than a relationship built on commitment and trust.

Layna Shuppert

Marketing Communications Manager