Selecting the right Service Support Partner

Published: 16 January 2023

What is a Service Support Partner? 

A service support partner is an external company that provides services to your organisation in a way that aligns with your company objectives. The arrangement is beneficial to both businesses as each party provides their resources such as skills, products or services. Some well-known examples of  service support partners are Amazon and Microsoft. 

Why are they important? 

Service Support partners are important as they provide your business with access to additional resources and services. These additional services can range from Marketing to Technical Training.  Service Support Partners can also reduce your costs by carrying out specific tasks more efficiently than in house staff. The process of using a partner’s product or services is called a ‘Strategic Partnership’. These partnerships allow the transfer of skills and distribution of workloads to benefit both companies efficiency and profitability. Service partners allow you to achieve your full business potential. 

What to consider when choosing a Service Support Partner 

Migrating  to a Service Support Partner is not a simple procedure. There is so much data and numerous processes that need to be passed over properly to ensure all parties are on the right page, although it seems daunting the benefits of using a Service Support Partner are substantial. It is important to plan properly before taking the plunge in a partnership. 

  • Identify the technologies you currently use –  It is important that your organisation are experts in the systems you use. There is little benefit in taking on a new partnership as well as new technologies. Start off with systems you are familiar with and as the partnership develops you can start to implement new systems so that all parties are aligned. 
  • Identify your company headcount –  This will help your partner to determine how much support you are likely to need throughout the partnership and assess scalability options. Obviously the larger your workforce the more demand there will be on the partners services, but this is beneficial as it will help grow both businesses. As well as the number of staff an important thing to consider is to have the latest computer systems in place. If a partnership begins and one side has outdated computer systems, the expense of support will be greater. Updating systems early in the partnership so both sides are aligned will more than likely prove to be a cost-effective decision later down the line.
  • Location –  Obviously, in today’s world, technologies such as Microsoft Teams allow you to work from anywhere; but being located at least within physical distance of one of your partner’s bases is still important. Hardware issues cannot be fixed remotely and are usually significant. Before signing a deal with a new partner make sure to establish where they are located and how quickly they can get to you in case of emergencies.
  • Culture- does your company’s culture align with your partner’s culture? It is important to confirm this early in the relationship before signing a contract. This partner is going to be an extension of your team, do you think they represent your brand accurately? 

The Process of selecting a Service Support Partner

  • Step 1: Choose a partner that knows your business. 

Think of this partner as members of your own team. It is vital they know your business as well as your team does so that they can provide the level of service you do. Make time to onboard them properly, leave no stone unturned. It may take time, but for the long-term growth of your business it will be worth it! 

  • Step 2: Clearly set out and communicate what you need. 

Assess your day-to-day activities and identify any pain points and issues you need to address. It is important you know what your requirements are from the partnership because if you don’t know how will an external team? 

  • Step 3: Go into the partnership with realistic expectations on both sides. 

This is about working on the same team. A partnership is not one side of the relationship working FOR the other side, you are working together. Communication is key, take time to sit down and discuss realistic expectations that work for both parties. 

  • Step 4: Don’t just go for the cheapest option.

Now any business will want to keep their costs down, however when it comes to such an investment as a partnership; cheap isn’t always cheerful. Make sure to do your research into the potential partner, once you are happy they have the capability for the role and they will represent your brand well, look to make the next step. 

  • Step 5: Keep both sides of the coin pulling towards the same goal! 

Motivation is key to success, and this is no different with a Service Support Partnership. Treat your partner as if they were part of your team. Keep them motivated with constant communication. It is vital you are all on the same page for this to work. Listen to feedback that your partner has as well as guiding them if needs be. 

If you’d like to find out more about partnering with Xperience as your IT Support Service Partner, find out what our client Arthur Rank Hospice Charity had to say about us.

If this article has touched upon any issues you are facing, feel free to reach out to us today. 

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