Success in midsize business: Five tips to find the right partner
Delaney Turner 270003RQ8K Delaney.Turner@ca.ibm.com | | Tags:  ibmsoftware cognosxp
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The third in a series of guest posts by Dan Potter, Product Marketing Lead, IBM Cognos Midmarket Business Unit
Most midsize companies have shifted their strategic focus and are looking for ways to improve profitability and drive growth. And many are viewing business analytics as their number one priority.
But what is the best way to get started with a business analytics solution? More than 95 percent of customers who have purchased IBM Cognos Express have done so through IBM Business Partners.
There are good reasons why. Our Business Partners have deep analytics and industry-specific expertise. They provide fast and personalized assistance in your region, and they offer value-added services that help you streamline implementation and achieve quick business results.
Thousands of IBM Business Partners worldwide specialize in midmarket solutions. (See the IBM Business Partner locator for a business partner near you.) So how do you find the one that’s right for you?
1. Identify your needs. Business Partners provide a wide range of services, including implementation, customization and training. Does your company need help with fast deployment? Business user training? Customized dashboards and reports? Be sure to match your needs to their strengths.
2. Look for industry expertise. Some partners have deep experience in specific industries such as healthcare, banking, or government. If your industry has unique requirements, find a partner who understands those needs. Check out IBM Cognos Express in Action for a collection of partner demos that showcase some of these industry-based solutions.
3. Get all your questions answered. It can take time to find the right partner who can deliver the most value to your business. Discuss your specific requirements in detail with different Business Partners before you make a final selection. Attend events such as the IBM Cognos Business Analytics Midsize Business Virtual Summit for easy access to a variety of partners.
4. Have them show you the value. Good partners have great references. Ask them to put you in touch with other midsize companies that they have helped. Look for quantifiable results such as time savings, costs savings, and revenue generation.
5. Set clear goals for success. One IBM Business Partner, Philadelphia-based ISA Consulting, recently saved Concept One Accessories, a midsize wholesale manufacturer of accessories, two weeks of time per quarter on time otherwise spent manually gathering data and developing reports. With IBM Cognos Express and consulting services from ISA, Concept One Accessories is now able to quickly tap into ongoing performance results then analyze sales and corresponding inventory figures and budgets before building quarterly forecasting. You should set similar goals that are specific and measurable so you and your partner stay focused on results.