Whether we like it or not the truth is we live in a multi-vendor world. Even in our home life we have separate providers for different services. Why? Because each vendor has a specialty and we want to get the best service that will properly support our needs. Imagine if your cable provider also supplied your gas and electric? I’d bet that the end result of that would be poor customer service and mediocre consumables. It’s the same concept in the IT world. As the number of technologies required to optimally maintain your IT landscape increases, so will the number of specialty vendors.

Effectively managing multiple partners continues to be a struggle for IT management. In fact, this increased responsibility has led to so much overhead that additional headcount, in the form of vendor relationship managers, is often required just to keep pace. This has led to the “one throat to choke” mentality amongst companies. Don’t get me wrong, that theory isn’t a bad one. There are vendors that provide select comparable services that make sense being serviced by a single entity. Today however, with continually evolving technologies, multiple vendors are inevitable. The outsourced service provider world needs to recognize that working together will provide a much more collaborative environment. This translates to an increased client experience and satisfaction. Having your trusted outsourced partner acknowledge this multi-vendor world is step one to achieving ultimate success.

Who can you trust?
Clients should be wary of partners that say they can “do it all”. Keep in mind, this is not to be confused with a partner that can find the right fit for a specific technology. In fact, a partner that is tied into the technology ecosystem is an invaluable asset to an organization. These partners have generally worked with their recommendations and have a similar work style as you. They know the “ins-and-outs” of your business and can determine if another firm is the right fit for you. This saves management time and money not having to go through the vetting process of several potential candidates. A trusted partner can narrow that down to a few very quickly. As a SAP® user you should embrace the fact that you have experts working on your mission critical systems at every level, and be sure to work with an outsourced partner that also embraces this collaborative multi-vendor concept and not run from it.

The silo effect
Don’t get stuck in the middle between vendors that are falling into a silo effect. This occurs when vendors do not properly acknowledge, communicate or work with other vendors for the benefit of the clients and overall health of the IT system. Even though a certain service is not in their wheelhouse each vendor needs to understand the bigger picture of how their part contributes to the overall project or system’s success. Be very wary of vendors that lack the business knowledge and acumen to properly work with other vendors. While it is key that each vendor stay in their lane and to their specialty, the boundaries of each must overlay. Communication is a critical factor to achieve this, by having all of your outsourced vendors communicating cohesively together.

In addition to multiple vendors, many times there are multiple departments that are required to work within your organization on your IT systems. Be open and honest with all vendors and resources involved so they can be organized and on the same page from the beginning, to avoid miscommunication, errors, system issues, and frustration. There is nothing worse than vendors or different departments pointing fingers when something goes wrong.

Complex not complicated
SAP is more than just an application and requires network gear, ongoing monitoring, project support, dedicated hosting and maintenance. While it may be complex, be sure to partner with an expert SAP managed service provider that knows how to work with other vendors to not make it overly complicated. In our multi-vendor world, outsourced vendors should have best practices built into the fabric of their business relationships, so they can get out of their swim lanes and work together in harmony.

The single solution experience
Managecore acknowledges all levels of expertise, and maintains open lines of communication with all vendors involved with our clients. We do this through managing other vendors and our clients in one single partner portal. We simplify the relationships for our clients, by providing them a collaborative environment while receiving the best service required for their IT systems. Clients get a unified experience from all vendors involved and no more frustration.

Contact Managecore’s solution engineer team today to get your multi-vendor relationships managed right!

Nick Miletich
About the Author:

Nick Miletich

Chief Technology Officer
As Chief Technology Officer Nick spearheads Managecore’s delivery teams, technical operations, cloud hosting solutions and the multiple technology platforms that are used to support Managecore’s SAP enterprise customers.  With over 15 years of experience, his sound background in SAP technologies and infrastructure services, paired with an intuitive business mindset makes him an ideal asset for our valued customers. Nick leverages his extensive experience from his previous operational executive management roles to be a true thought leader, working with clients of all sizes to effectively build custom solutions and deliver strategic technical support to fit their business needs. In this role, Nick is dedicated to customer success by providing complete end to end operational support including project management, and ongoing solution oversight. Nick stays abreast of cutting edge technology and leads Managecore's emerging technology efforts including an industry leading SAP HANA Cloud solution.