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I truly believe that there is a right and a wrong IT Service Provider for every business. There could be many right Providers and many wrong Providers. It’s not to say that there’s just one right IT Provider for every one company. The tough part is in determining if an IT Service Provider, or as I like to call them, an IT Partner, is right for YOUR company.

IT is a Value Driver

IT-partnershipIn today’s business environment, there’s no denying that IT is a real value driver. We keep finding way too many companies that are still playing “catch up” rather than “getting ahead” of the game, because they are not leveraging technology, as they should be. What business owners don’t realize is that by relying on an IT partner (on the right partner of course!), they can go from just surviving to thriving, due to the benefits they will receive from efficient technologies and helpful IT services. Companies are growing at such a fast rate, industries are evolving and consumer demands are constantly changing. Using technology to solve business and technology-related challenges will provide employees with more time and money to concentrate on what really matters to ensure business growth and success.

Therefore, now that we know how important utilizing technology is to a company, it’s time to determine how a business owner can hire the right IT Provider for their company. This Provider should be a good fit for them in every aspect; their software offerings should be flexible, easy-to-use, customizable, within budget and able to integrate with other systems and their support team should be friendly, available, responsive and dependable. On top of this, their IT consultants and developers should be providing expert advice and opinions for the betterment of their customer’s company, NOT to simply make a sale. Many Providers will push customers to buy more systems or services before even solving the customer’s original challenge or issue. At that point, they are adding issue after issue, increasing internal problems for the customer. This is how companies get a real bad taste in their mouth for the IT industry and tend to stick to the wrong IT Provider with the idea that “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t”. It’s unfortunate because not all IT companies out there do this. Namtek Consulting Services opened its doors with the mission to solve business and technology-related challenges of Small & Mid-size companies and to ensure that the IT strategy its team defined for each unique customer supports that customer’s business strategy. The IT services and solutions provided are meant to help businesses find new avenues for growth and to save companies time and money in order to accomplish vital business goals.

So, here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for your next IT Partner;

  • Find out how available and dependable their after-sales Support team is (don’t determine this based on the responsiveness of their Sales team). Are they accessible via phone and/or email? Do they respond back to customers within a 24-hour window? Can you build a good relationship with this team, since they’ll be your “go-to” once you’ve implemented your software systems. It’s also important to know if they’ll also be around even if your company doesn’t experience issues; are they continuously trying to find new and better ways of enhancing your software systems and/or streamlining your business processes? As an IT partner, they should always be willing to do what they can to increase business efficiency for their customers. The relationship you build with your IT partner will be extremely important because together (IT experts + your company’s team), you’ll be able to truly solve all of your business and technology-related challenges.
  • An IT Partner that has developed solutions that can be integrated with other solutions and can work with other vendors. This helps to create a seamless customer experience. At the end of the day, we want what’s best for the customer. It’s tough when we keep seeing other Software Providers refuse to provide access to their customer’s database so they can integrate their system with another solution (like an eCommerce Store). This causes a lot of headaches for the customer and just makes their job that much harder.
  • The IT Partner has the ability to carefully listen to a customer’s challenges, assess their needs and then identify the desired experience for that customer. Every business is different; there may be similar processes and products sold, but every owner has different views for their business or has different expectations. We encounter all sorts of people from companies and each and every one of them has a different view of software solutions and different wants and needs. Therefore, if your IT Partner can identify the right experience that will fit well with your business, they’re a keeper!
  • The software solutions provided are flexible, scalable, user-friendly and affordable, as I mentioned earlier.
  • You can get a real sense that the IT team is honest, reliable and transparent in all of their dealings with you.
  • You feel like a real partner rather than just a sale to the IT Provider.
As a side note:

Unsuccessful and painful software implementations can still arise even if you have chose the right IT Partner for your business. How does this happen? As I have mentioned in many previous articles, a software implementation is a joint effort; between the IT Provider and the Customer. Having the right leadership within a business to bring a positive mindset out of the employees (or users of the new system) will allow these employees to accept the new system, accept all the changes that will be coming with this new system and move forward peacefully. Otherwise, employees will resist and refuse to help bring this implementation to a successful end. Common complaints that may be heard are “this system doesn’t work”, “I’m not used to doing it this way”, “I liked the old system better”… Any change is difficult but with the right encouragement and proper training, it can be done successfully.

Therefore, before you decide that you will stick with your current IT Provider, even though you know they aren’t a good fit for your company, contact us to see if our partnership will be right for you. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

business-IT-relationshipI am sure many of you, in the business space, have a smartphone, tablet and/or laptop, where you have already downloaded tons of the latest apps for your own personal use. It can be to manage and track your financial spending/expenses, to better communicate with relatives or friends from abroad, to manage your agenda and schedules, to take and edit photos, etc. There are so many applications out there that have made people’s lives that much easier. So then, I ask, why can’t companies also benefit from simple, affordable, easy-to-use, flexible software applications to manage their business operations? Why are there still too many complaints against business software systems and IT Providers?

Every time I speak with business managers about their company’s management system there is never anything good they have to say about it. How can this be? Why, in this day and age, where technology has advanced so much and where we can literally manage every aspect of our lives through apps, are businesses, large and small, still unhappy with their IT Providers and software solutions? Too many complaints are being shared out there by many business managers about their management systems, their IT Providers and the service they are provided.

Common Complaints

Below are a few common phrases I keep hearing from business managers. Let us know if you can relate to any of them;

  • My IT provider is never available when I need help or simply have a question.
  • My system is not flexible.
  • I am spending way too much money on this system and not seeing improvements.
  • My system implementation has cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars and has lasted over 2 years – how is this possible?
  • I do not feel I am getting innovative solutions to tackle our business challenges.
  • I do not have a relationship with my IT provider.
  • Our system has caused my entire team too many headaches.
  • Integrating my system with a third-party ecommerce site or another software system is a hassle; my IT provider is not making it easy to give me access to the company’s database for integration purposes.
  • Prior to the implementation, I was never told there would be all of these additional costs.
  • My employees hate using the system.
  • We have a full ERP system and yet we still need to extract our data into Excel spreadsheets to analyze our data.
  • My software issues aren’t being resolved in a timely fashion.
  • I am not happy with my system but I’ve already spent too much time and money to switch now.

Our team believes it’s about time that business people actually enjoy using their management system and have a positive, strong, close relationship with their IT Provider. This is exactly why we develop high-quality, flexible yet affordable software solutions and provide available support. We want to help businesses overcome their challenges through innovative solutions and accessible IT services. We aren’t here to make it MORE difficult for business people to complete tasks and manage their operations. I know that “IT” has had a bad rap and business owners associate it to more expenses and more headaches, but this isn’t the case with all IT providers. You just have to pick the right one that fits well with your business environment.

We make it a priority to treat each and every customer like a valued partner not as a sale, like most software providers. We strongly believe that when there’s a good partnership between the IT team and the Business team, a company can truly see real improvements and benefit from efficiencies throughout their entire organization. Many business owners don’t realize that this relationship is crucial for a positive software implementation and a positive IT partnership for years to come. Simply going with brand names or popular providers doesn’t necessarily mean that this is the best solution and fit for them.

Aside from concentrating on the software system itself, companies should also pay attention to the IT company. Who’s behind these systems and services? Who will be my main point of contact in the sales department as well as in the software support department? Am I simply given a form to fill out if I have an issue or can I email or call someone directly and get immediate assistance? Looking into the after-sales support service is extremely important because it is not enough to simply assume that the responsiveness of the support team will be the same as the sales team you dealt with prior to your software purchase. Many businesses have noticed that their post-implementation support was unavailable and unresponsive for weeks at a time. This is truly unacceptable. Companies rely heavily on their software systems to manage their operations and if there is an issue, it should be acknowledged by the IT provider and handled in a timely fashion.

This is how Namtek Consulting Services has differentiated itself from other IT providers. We’ve taken the time to listen to our customers and pay attention to their challenges so that we can be available and responsive to tackle their issues and provide helpful, innovative solutions for them. Customers can pick up the phone or email a support staff directly when needed. This makes for a better relationship and a happier software user. We continue to work hand in hand with our customers, even after any software implementation, since we understand that the business world is constantly evolving and technology is continuously advancing, so business and IT must work together to ensure company efficiency.

We are trying to change the perception that many business managers have of the IT industry where software providers charge high fees for inaccessible support and inflexible, complicated solutions. We treat our customers like a partner, rather than just another customer. Removing this love/hate relationship between IT and business is the goal. Technology in the business world is extremely valuable and everyone can benefit from implementing innovative, flexible, high-quality software systems that are a good fit for their business.

Therefore, to ensure that you and your team are happy with your IT provider and the software and services they offer, tick off the following:

  • The software solutions are flexible, scalable, easy-to-use and affordable
  • The support team can be reached by phone and/or email and you have a point of contact
  • The IT team is honest, reliable and transparent in all of their dealings
  • The IT team treats you like a valued partner and takes the time to listen to your business and IT needs
  • The IT provider is continuously offering valuable, innovative solutions to fit with your growing business to ensure continuous efficiency

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