Firstly a disclaimer – I wrote this article a number of weeks ago and have delayed the publishing time to avoid any correlations or coincidences!
The case for System Integrators or Technical Agencies as they’re sometimes referred as has never been stronger.
There are more and more product vendors out there in the marketplace, and by way of some sweeping generalisations, 1. they don’t understand client issues, 2. they can’t talk in the client’s language and lastly, 3. they can’t sell well.
Due to our customer list, we are regularly pitched to (sometimes ‘at’) by vendors. Some are so bad that we ask for the pitch to stop, and we’ll just ask questions. Sometimes the product doesn’t actually exist (we’re good at spotting those). Most of the time though, the thought of these vendors going directly to our clients and trying to pitch their wares is just embarassing.
System Integrators need to understand our clients business because we’re usually brought in to understand the problem, then fix it.
Software vendors usually go in saying “here’s the latest widget, isn’t it brilliant?” Well, yes, it probably is, however what’s the ROI or business benefit for this client? The standard pitch won’t do.
Of course, there are some vendors who can do this well. From my experience though, sadly they are a rare breed.
Photo courtesy of Anthea Brown on Flickr.