Your partner smiles and nods when you talk or make plans, but you know they are no longer listening.
Once upon a time, you were inseparable. You spoke frequently on the phone, shared the occasional meal and attended seminars together. You even laughed at each others’ jokes. But now… It’s hard to define. Sure, the partner is still there but it’s no longer the same. They aren’t as supportive as they used. They take longer to call you back. Occasionally you’ve wondered whether they are dodging your calls. And now you are wondering if they really do care.
Time takes its toll on the best of relationships. It requires work commitment to ongoing renewal if you want to maintain a healthy give-and-take partnership. If both parties aren’t willing to put in that effort, it’s easy for any company to slip into complacency and start taking their partnerships for granted.
When a business relationship falters, it can affect your company’s performance. When that relationship is with the supplier of the analytics software embedded deep within your own product, the impact of a poor relationship can be profound.
That’s why as soon as you realise there’s a problem, it’s important to act. You need to re-evaluate what you want from your partner, resolve any issues and, if they can’t be resolved, accept that it may be time to call it quits.
If that’s the way to go, you’re going to need a plan to replace the analytics platform. You can ask the development team to build it but the same reasons that led you to find a partner all those years ago remain: Do you really want your development team building and supporting an analytics capability that is best provided by an expert partner, or should the focus remain on improving the core platform?
The reasons for choosing to partner in 2018 are even more compelling than before. But before you consider a new long-term commitment, you’ll want to make sure they are the right match for you.
As you talk to prospective partners, think about:
- Is partnering part of their DNA? Maybe your old partner was acquired by a larger firm and lost focus?
- How will they stay close to you over the lifetime of the relationship to ensure your ongoing technical and commercial success?
- Are they a leader or rising star according to industry analysts?
- Can they meet your product needs now and into the foreseeable future? Are they innovators or followers?
- Can you white-label the platform so that your customers see even greater value from their investment?
- What will they do to fast-track the transition from your old platform to the new?
- How will they train and support your developers ongoing? Is there an active Community where you can interact with your peers and your partner to share experiences and learn?
- Do they have a flexible commercial model to help you in your sales to your customers?
- Will they actually care?
It’s never fun to call an end to a relationship but choosing a new analytics partner is an opportunity to improve your product and the customer experience by updating analytics capabilities and functionality. And who knows? With the right company, you might discover the sparkle is back in your analytics love affair.