In the second blog in my VAR Support blog trilogy (click here to read my first) I’m going to explain why, sadly, what seemed like a partnership made in heaven three years ago has now become a little jaded and perhaps ‘too comfortable’ for your VAR Partner.
Moving on from your SAP VAR partner is a big decision. It involves a lot of stakeholders and, when not done correctly, can be messy, uncomfortable, and costly. Add to that the risk that your next partner might not be a better match for you. You’ll also likely be jaded from your first partner. But sometimes it is the right thing to do. So, how do you know when it is time to change your SAP VAR Support partner?
In my experience with more than 20 years of successful client engagements, there are usually a few telling signs that indicate it’s time to look for someone new.
As one of the first tests of your partnership, the ability for your SAP VAR partner to quickly connect with your team to draw out your organisation’s business needs and processes is critical. The team must be aligned on your key objectives and have the capabilities to support your business growth plans. Just as importantly they should also keep up to date with what’s happening not just in your organisation but in your wider industry.
Once you’re through the honeymoon period, you will have a sense for how important your business is to the SAP VAR partner. Do you have a dedicated Client Manager? Are they spending enough time communicating with you; helping you plan your future SAP landscape? Do you have easy access to SAP Consultants who are experts in your industry? Are you still receiving the resources, support, and commitment that you would expect from your VAR partner?
We are committed to helping your organisation succeed and grow. Our SAP accredited partner status allows us early access to the latest SAP innovations and developments where we can proactively evaluate the benefits to your business on your behalf. If you’re feeling a little neglected, it’s time to start asking whether there is a commitment issue from your VAR partner.
The success of any partnerships is based upon mutual respect and trust. Team dynamics are extremely important in your VAR partnership and you should have confidence in the team’s collective capabilities. If you have identified an issue with the expertise or capabilities of one of your Partner’s consultants, you should feel comfortable discussing this with your Client Manager straight away. If the issue is not properly addressed, mistrust ensues. Although all partnerships can have uncomfortable aspects, when trust is eroded, it’s more than uncomfortable – it’s detrimental to the smooth day-to-day running of your organisation.
Selecting a strong VAR Partner
The decision to switch partners comes with a lot of consequences and it is often a difficult decision to make for your organisation. But sometimes you just can’t avoid that difficult ‘It’s not me… it’s you!’ conversation.
If you do decide to switch VAR partners, I would suggest you look for these characteristics from your next support partner:
- Executive-level commitment.
- Experienced resources (especially during transition).
- Industry and business process expertise.
- Client satisfaction ratings and referral rates.
- What ‘Value Adds’ are they offering over and above your current supplier.
If you are ready to start down the path to a successful SAP VAR Partner relationship, or you have some questions that you would like to ask us, please get in touch for an informal chat with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mick Lewin, Head of Client Engagement Support, UK
I have worked in both support and consultancy roles before moving into service delivery and client management – clocking up over 20 years’ experience working in the world of SAP. I’m passionate about delivering the highest standard of customer satisfaction and fervently believe great interactions start with knowing your clients’ wants and needs.