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Partnering with a Technology Company
Companies begin to look at partnering with Technology services for many reasons. With what started as simply purchasing a product to streamline an internal process, has now expanded into multi-million dollar partnerships as synergies between corporations and tech emerge. With Strategic alliances, outcomes of partnerships are likely to evolve into rapid economic expansion, equity and mutual benefits.
In a transport setting, we see government bodies, corporations and institutions entering into Public, Private Partnerships (PPP’s) with technology companies in a bid to unearth innovation and agility. A large reported reason for failure in partnerships, were due to overly ambitious early interactions, only for the relationship to be broken down by having little support from their contracting partner once the contract has been signed. PPP’s are more favourable because of their lower risk and greater improved project scope
Differences Between Partnering and Building a Product
In competitive landscapes, companies and agencies can’t afford to fall behind in offerings. When building a new product, there are many more variables and risks, such as new hires for a build, not just engineers but researchers, and even marketers to promote or implement your new service. As experience is gained, many hours and resources can be wasted.
Financially, PPP’s are generally better value for money, with the PPPs experiencing average cost overruns of 4.3%, compared with 18% for the traditionally procured projects (PWC).
Partnering with a company that already understands its niche, benefits both organisations. Both partners synergise with wanting to see their product or project succeed. A tech provider does understand that not one size fits all, and has your best interest to help create a smooth implementation and ensure the best outcomes.
How? They’ve created and evolved the product, marketed the product, and understand how a product has performed in the past, in a way that will reflect your companies future.
But naturally, partnering does have its own risks, as it is generally not a “quick fix”.
According to “The Formation of Public-Private Partnerships: Lessons from Nine Transport Infrastructure Projects in the Netherlands”, over nine transport partnerships have concluded three main patterns for why partnerships fail.
- Ambitious proposals followed by a lack of support
- Lack of relationship development
- Lack of synergies between companies
Successfully Choosing the Right Partner
We’ve collated through our experience, our top three pieces of advice for picking a technology partner.
Filling the Capabilities Gap
Product and implementation experience is crucial. However, both parties understanding where their strengths lie, and how they can ultimately complement each other will create the most optimised solution possible. During the project exploration and implementation phase, your potential partner needs to have the adaptability and knowledge within specific niches of an industry. Sharing this knowledge is daunting, but as a partner, communicating and understanding one’s strengths is what will prove to create a successful project. Create synergies, for the most operational effectiveness.
One of the major success factors reported successful projects is the involvement of the private companies in the strategic planning process. This means building a relationship, involvement before and after project/product launch, hitting all goals and benchmarks that are set together. As mentioned above, red flags begin when a company has major involvement at the initial exploratory phase and then removes themselves during the implementation and success of the technology. PPP’s should both have critical success factors applied to make sure their goals align to achieve the best outcome, and this means having a structured approach for pre and post-implementation
APIs, SSO’s and all other acronyms, it can be all daunting, and a tad confusing, especially if you’re not in the tech world. A tech provider should be able to “hold your hand” through this process and guide you on how they can integrate seamlessly with your current products, take for example Liftango and Pay by Phones integration. With an API Liftango was able to integrate seamlessly with Pay By Phone, a parking product already used by Monash University. As a partner, tech companies should endeavour to make the integration as stress-free as possible. This means having specialists that maintain constant interactions to ensure everything goes to schedule - no surprise and deliveries are on time.
Partnering is ultimately there to develop your companies offering, create new relationships, and open new doors. By choosing the right partner, implementing a new project will be more seamless, and both companies can work fluidly together. The common theme we can see for successful partnerships boils down to communication. Having these open lines, and alignments will see both companies succeeding within their projects.