Two companies, working in partnership – one a hardware, implementation and hosting provider the other a software solutions provider – had worked together for two years and in that time combined well to be very successful. The hardware partner was always keen they lead the engagement and provided equal access to the end client where both companies regularly attended joint meetings with clients
It would seem odd therefore to restructure the relationship if it worked so well. However, whilst it was a success it was also limiting.
The hardware/hosting partner was focused on one key vertical and their business with the software partner was in that sector. The software company was also focused on that vertical, but had multiple other divisions that the partner did not operate in. As their focus was hardware based – design, deploy, configure, support – they could equally serve multiple other clients in different sectors.
If we could flip the relationship and have the software company take the lead the opportunities were huge for the partnership. However, in bringing to them all this additional business there would need to be an adjustment to the way both parties worked and the commercial terms. The hardware/hosting partner would gain significantly more business but now would be beholden to the software company and would see their margins diminish slightly.
Two things had to be achieved in equal measure. The hardware/hosting partner had to accept they would not be the prime contractor and software company would have to add a new strategic partner that had only ever worked with one division with a specific vertical focus.
The process to turn this opportunity into a success took twelve months and required all sides to want to make the change. It was a resounding success and the hardware/hosting partner went on to see a 300% growth in their opportunities within the first full year. For our existing customers no changes were made and for future customers it all felt the same as for any previous engagement.
Thinking differently can open opportunities. But to be successful everyone needs to commit to the change and what at first may seem the wrong change can often lead to significant dividends.