Price, Cost, Partnership and Value – how partnering well gives the best margin and best customer service in the cloud
Building strong partnerships has been key to delivering the customer experience we’re aiming to achieve. I would cite a few partnerships (other than Microsoft!) that have been key in what we do and the customer experience we deliver: In my last blog I talked about www.sandler.com (our company depends on their training for our success in the cloud), but this month I want to focus more on distribution and the role it plays.
A little background: I was fortunate enough to spend time recently with some highly talented Microsoft cloud partners in Dubai, and one of the questions I was asked is why we stick to one distribution partner (in our case Ingram micro cloud), and why we don’t shop around with multiple distributors to make sure we get the best price. There is, of course, mileage in this approach, but in general I was a bit baffled. We are a partnership company, and about 30% of our time is spent with partners building better propositions and better processes, to build a better customer experience (part of which I concede is the price customers pay).
But there is more to it for us. I believe we are only as strong as our supply chain, and we make mutual investments with our supply partners. This in turn makes us stronger, better educated and more efficient. In our case we’ve invested in the relationship with Ingram because we share a vision and we work together to deliver that vision in partnership. Our relationship is strong from the transaction upwards, and gaining efficiencies at that level is super valuable for the customer. The Ingram* team is our team, we are integrated; Ingram has invested in the licensing, integration and architecture expertise so we don’t have to. That enables us to give the customer better value and overall a better buying experience.
We are always fully up to speed with the latest range of promotions, offers and rebates from Microsoft, ensuring that our customers are getting the very best deal.
But it’s not just about price – customers want a great experience, and having those strong pillars in the supply chain partnerships does make all the difference.
Providing the best cloud services is not about shopping for the lowest cost migration tool or gaining a few cents’ extra margin on licensing – it’s about giving the customer a great customer experience, and we do this by building strong, lasting supply partnerships that bring real, tangible value to the customer. This approach beats a pure price comparison every time.
The day we compete on price alone is the day I quit this business, and that is a promise. Good luck and partner well, it’s worth it.
*There are other distribution partners.
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