Are technology projects stressful? You bet. The mere thought of replacing legacy technology dampens the palms of seasoned small and medium business owners. We’ve all heard stories of botched installs, lengthy downtime, and employees struggling to learn ins and outs of new software. And that doesn’t cover the inevitable support calls. Is there a better way?

Yes! You don’t have to go it alone. Though the common step is to call a reseller and order products that leaves you doing the heavy lifting of installation and training. A better option is to contact a channel partner who can take on most of the project responsibilities and speed up your implementation. Basic resellers are like a department store. They buy product from vendors and resell it to you. They don’t offer consulting services, and their support ends at the returns counter. Their role is to move merchandise. No additional services included. They exemplify the word channel.

Compare that to your channel partner. While they do resell products from larger vendors, they also add significant value. From the time you make first contact, they go to work learning about who you are, what you do, and how they can best serve you through their skill sets. They exemplify the word partner. To illustrate partnership value, let’s consider a large project that affects mission critical software. Are you going to call the largest tech vendors and ask them to send over a team of engineers to look at your server closet, software versions, and desktop computers? Probably not. You’ll call a channel partner, who will follow some general steps.

On first contact, they schedule a consultation, and sometimes a walk-through of your facility. Expect a lot of questions. They want a full understanding of what you’re using and why. The history and context helps them develop a comprehensive quote, which may include hardware, software, installation services, and support contracts.

Partners work with numerous vendors. Having diversified resources allows them to customize your solution. Don’t worry about being forced to use a specific product. You’ll get the best solution for your budget.

Professional installation and training reduces your downtime. The length of this step varies with the project. Having the software ready and your staff educated saves you time and money when the new version goes live.

Support after the initial setup. You won’t have to spend an afternoon waiting on hold, jumping through hoops, or troubleshooting. Make a phone call to your partner and let them handle it. They have the full resources of the vendor behind them to help quickly rectify problems.

Remember, just because a partner has a close vendor relationship doesn’t mean you come second. In situations where you need advanced technical support, your channel partner is your advocate. They’ll stand by their work and do whatever is required to keep your technology running.

The bottom line is channel partners are businesses, like you. They understand your perspective on technology and what it means to a modern office. So the next time you look at starting a technology project, contact your channel partner. You’ll find eager, knowledgeable people whose mission is your success.

Clearly RAY ALLEN has worked as a channel partner for many customers and channels over the years. If you should have any questions or ideas on where and how we might work together for shared success, contact us!

-Todd @toddring

Todd Ringleman

Todd Ringleman

Founder, CEO at RAY • ALLEN INC
Todd Ringleman is Founder and CEO of RAY • ALLEN INC. Under Todd’s leadership, RAY • ALLEN INC has grown from a disruptive idea into a leading partner in the IT Asset Management and Recurring Revenue market.
Todd Ringleman