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Our recent blog, 3 Essential Steps When Planning Your Path to the Cloud, highlighted the importance of choosing a technology partner to help navigate your journey to the cloud. Here are some additional insights about how to recognize the right technology partner for your business and the benefits of a good partner relationship:

Characteristics of a true technology partner

Many companies offer communications solutions for sale, but they lack the product expertise and experience necessary to recommend the right product or migration strategy for your business. They’re simply focused on making sales.

A true technology partner is focused on developing a long-term relationship with your business. They act as a trusted advisor— actively engaged in your mission, with an understanding of your goals, and fully dedicated to help you achieve them. True technology partners have deep knowledge of the solutions they offer, and experience-driven insights to help you make strategic and tactical decisions that reflect your unique requirements. 

The right balance:  a local partner with global backing

When you’re evaluating technology partners, proximity is important. Your ideal technology partner should be located near enough to your business that company representatives can get to your site, if needed, in a reasonable timeframe.

But size and stability are important, too. Choose a partner who is backed by a well-known, proven global organization with a robust, established partner program.

This combination will give you the peace of mind of knowing your partner is fully trained in the communications systems they offer, and you have fast, easy access to additional expertise and insight, when required. 


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Breadth depth of expertise and experience

You’re an expert in your area of business, but it’s your technology partner’s job to bring expertise in the communications strategies and solutions that are best to drive your business forward.

Look for a knowledgeable partner who can clearly explain each technology and solution, the difference between an update and an upgrade, the reasons you need both and the best way to approach the cloud migration process. 

Your technology partner should also be able to speak about the security risks of continuing to use outdated communications technologies, and the security benefits associated with keeping your system current. And they should be able to help you evaluate the different cloud deployment models available to ensure you choose the approach that best fits your business.

Many Mitel certified partners have more than 10 years of experience with our solutions, and some focus only on selling our solutions, so you should have no trouble finding the depth and breadth you need.

Flexible, and in it for the long-term

Be wary of technology companies that take a short-term “in and out” or “one size fits all” approach. If you feel their primary goal is to sell you on a particular strategy or solution — ‘move to the cloud today or go away’ — or simply to get you to sign on the dotted line, it’s time to look for another partner.

The ideal technology partner understands where you want to go but isn’t in a mad panic to get you there. They realize you need to migrate to the cloud at the pace that’s right for your business. They also understand there are as many different paths to the cloud as there are companies. As true partners, they take a consultative approach to meeting your requirements in the short term and the long term. Their goal is to get you from here to there in the way that best matches your business goals, budget and priorities.

Specialist in your industry and business size

Depending on the industry you work in, choosing a technology partner with specialized knowledge of industry requirements and a history of working in your industry can be extremely important. For example:

  • Businesses in the healthcare industry need communications systems that enable compliance with regulatory and privacy requirements, helping to streamline workflows and improve conversations between care providers and patients.
  • Businesses in the hospitality industry need communications systems that help them improve guest services, simplify complex workflows and integrate communications across locations and systems. 
  • Government organizations need communications systems that reduce operational costs, enhance service delivery and make it easy to support a hybrid local and remote workforce.


It’s also important to verify whether the technology partner has experience working with businesses your size. Some partners specialize in meeting the needs of smaller businesses, but don’t have the experience or resources to support a large, multinational corporation. Others have plenty of experience supporting large corporations but may not have time to work with smaller businesses. 

Best practice: Ask a lot of questions

It’s extremely important that you feel fully informed and comfortable with your choice of a technology partner. When evaluating potential partners, don’t hesitate to ask every question that comes to mind. Consider questions related to:

 
  • Technology options, where they’re installed and how they’re managed
  • Communications features and functions and how they’re accessed
  • Short-term and long-term IT efforts required on your side
  • Solution deployment and migration processes and timing
  • Payment options, schedules and processes 
  • Ongoing communications and notifications about updates and upgrades
  • After-sales service and support
 

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Talk to the partner’s other customers

The best technology partners will ask if you’d like to speak with other customers they’ve served. If they don’t proactively offer the opportunity to get in touch with their other customers — especially customers in your industry — ask for the opportunity. If they hesitate, or don’t want you to speak with other customers, it’s important to ask why that is. 

Making your true technology partner search easier

You can search for technology partners using standard web search engines or through the websites of companies with well-developed partner programs. You’ll find that Mitel Certified partners have extensive partner programs and extensive expertise.  Search for the Mitel Certified partners in your area on this webpage.


Learn more
For additional insight, read our blog “Why the Right Technology Partner Makes Upgrading Easier.

 

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