The Best Alliances Grow from Collaboration and Communication
When I learned of the collaboration between Callaway Golf Company and Boeing to design an aerodynamic golf club, I had one word- brilliant. Sure, I am a passionate golfer, and the opportunity to improve my game with a new product is always exciting. But what captivated me more was this out-of-the-box alliance between a golf club manufacturer and the world’s largest aerospace company. It’s quite an unexpected pairing, until you consider their mutual value propositions. Callaway knows that golfers want to move a club through the air with the least amount of energy. Boeing shares a similar value proposition, except with a much larger object. It was a risky move for Callaway, because the processes for designing a commercial aircraft are radically different from designing a golf club, and the project could have been mired in semantics. But they pulled it off, elegantly. It’s a good lesson for all of us.
“Teaching our clients how to be successful is a primary step in the engagement process”
Partner for Collaboration
Of course, successful partnerships don’t have to be as dramatic as that. Our company, ITsavvy, was founded right out of the gate as a convergence of aptitude and experience. We relied heavily on each other as partners in those early days, and we continue to do so. I still count on the relationship-building and problem-solving strengths of Chris Kurpeikis, one of our founding team members and now our Executive Vice President, Business Development.
Yet, we’re in a competitive business, and I’ve seen people in the tech industry fall prey to a paranoia that can foster isolation. I didn’t want that. We knew ITsavvy would thrive through a culture of collaboration. To that end, we have a very flat hierarchy, which I think has contributed to our success as an organization. When someone on our team hits a critical challenge, any number of team members can quickly jump in without the barriers of silos. Of course, a flat hierarchy is tougher for the few people at the top, because we wear so many hats. But it has nurtured a culture of accessibility, spontaneity and innovation. We have the same communicative approach with our vendors.
Partner for Knowledge
Our open-door culture carries over to our clients, too. Partnerships can’t thrive amid secrecy or mistrust. We have a commitment to keeping clients informed at regular touch points during an engagement. We do this by assigning one Client Executive to each client. This significantly minimizes the errors that can occur during project milestones.
Since we believe that the knowledge hand-off is as important as the solution we prescribe, we regularly co-host webinars with our vendor-partners who are industry leaders like ShoreTel, EMC and Dell. This allows our clients to gain first-hand product knowledge from the engineers who developed their solutions. It offers them a high level of access they might not otherwise have. We want to serve as that conduit between the product engineers and the product users. Teaching our clients how to be more successful with their technology solutions is a primary step in the engagement process.
Partner for Longevity
By involving our clients so deeply in our work, we naturally form strong bonds. Many of our clients have been with us since our founding. We have all grown together. We truly are partners. This experience has taught us that tomorrow’s relationship is more important than today’s sale. To that end, we pay a lot of attention ahead of an engagement, often immersing ourselves in the client’s environment. We determine how existing technologies can be maximized to save costs. We identify mission-critical data and which applications are interrelated. We help them understand how IT can support their long-term business objectives. It’s this kind of due diligence that ensures the technology investment will become a strategic tool rather than a one-time cost. It is the reason we have so many long-term client relationships.
Partner for Strategy
Our success forging relationships has driven us to look for other ways to build strategic alliances. We understand the critical role that IT plays in an organization’s livelihood and growth, and we believe our greatest strength is our ability to think of technology strategically. To that end, we have begun to align ourselves with like-minded organizations that share our competitive spirit. Through the use of one-on-one networking as well as social media exposure, we believe these alliances will bring visibility of the ITsavvy brand to a broader community.
Partner for Intangible Benefits
Most importantly, though, we view partnerships as a business strategy that can bring intangible value beyond revenue. In one engagement we may reveal and prevent a business-critical event that would have gone unnoticed without our due diligence. In another engagement our managed desktop solution savvyDesktop may enable a cultural shift for a client’s users.
I realize the word ‘partner’ is often bantered about lightly as another word for client. Not so at ITsavvy. For us, a true partnership should bring mutual enlightenment. The best alliances grow from collaboration, communication and trust. How can we help our clients use technology to transform their organizations? We are eager to further share our successes, and we invite CIOs and IT professionals to discuss a partnership with ITsavvy. For more about ITsavvy, visit www.ITsavvy.com.