In this blog article, Ben McCormack, Senior Vice President Client Services, Vermilion Software Inc. explains how trusting your vendor beyond the selection process can accelerate your deployment, ensure that the knowledge transfer process is complete and help you make decisions that are in line with your business strategy.
Buying client reporting software and services, especially for the first time, can be scary. There is clearly a knowledge imbalance between you and your software provider. They (hopefully) understand the effort required to successfully deploy the software in order to achieve your Target Operating Model, but perhaps you don’t. This may seem to put you at risk of being exploited, but there is another perspective.
The first stage in the relationship between the client and the vendor is knowledge. As part of your due diligence process, you need to find out if the vendor has a product and a team that can help you to achieve your Target Operating Model. Of course, you must ensure that the firm itself is financially strong, but you also need to ensure that the vendor is committed to your market, with a credible product roadmap. The vendor must understand your business, as well as the people you sell to. You need to ensure that the culture of the vendor suits your business and that the implementation resources are in place. This is all about knowing your vendor, but the story doesn’t end there.
Once you have gone through your due diligence and made your selection, there is an aspect of trusting your vendor to suggest the right approach for your deployment. This is the second stage in the client-vendor relationship – a relationship that has likely been strengthening throughout the sales process. Often, investment management firms believe that they know what their objectives are, but sometimes find it hard including someone from outside the firm in the decision-making process. It can, however, be very beneficial at the beginning of an implementation for the investment manager to trust their vendor. The vendor’s expertise in your space can accelerate your deployment, ensure that the knowledge transfer process is complete and help you make decisions that are in line with your business strategy when adopting a new technology.
Of course, a poor implementation only strengthens the case for the vendor’s competitors and can severely damage the vendor’s reputation in the market. Beyond competition and reputation, however, there is one other important reason why you should trust your vendor. In reality, the more rapidly that the software is shown to deliver economic value, the faster the client is able to adopt the next feature or pursue the next project. Continuing the relationship to the next project – and the project after that – is how vendors maximize their profit. It is therefore always in the vendors’ interest to deliver a successful implementation.
Trusting your vendor is often a big step, but the potential paybacks for your firm are significant.