“Businesses once grew by one of two ways; grass roots up, or by acquisition… Today they grow through alliances — all kinds of dangerous alliances. Joint ventures and customer partnerings which, by the way, very few people understand.”
Peter F. Drucker
In today’s business environment, channel development is all the rage. Companies realize that it is not realistic to think they can get products to market faster, increase sales, and offer a greater variety of services by themselves. Trying to do more within, causes companies to take their focus off what they do well. When a company loses focus, they become vulnerable to competitors who are laser-focused in their efforts to win market share.
So how can companies become more valuable to their customers and prospects? By partnering, companies can remain focused on their core business while offering best-of-class products they can’t provide themselves. The Data Center business is no different. A good data center or colocation provider realizes this. Their core business is providing a robust, secure facility with highly reliable power and connectivity. Keeping customers’ applications up and running is their main business. But the rapid changes occurring within the IT industry are resulting in enterprise organizations looking for their data center providers to provide a more comprehensive solution comprised of multiple services, in addition to baseline space, power, and cooling infrastructure. This is where a company can either lose its focus or become more valuable to its customers, and there’s a very fine line between the two paths.
“If you do not seek out allies and helpers, then you will be isolated and weak.”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Partnering makes sense for most companies, by building a network of partnerships. They can offer those additional products and services to their customers with little or no investment. Data Center companies can vet these services and determine which are the best to meet the needs of their customers. This saves their customers valuable time and can help them get products to market faster. Customers, on the other hand, can offload those tasks that are mundane, administrative, or non-revenue-generating to full-service data center solution providers and their partners. Data Center Solution Providers must understand this and provide a complete list of services that complement their core data offering. I recently did a presentation for one of our prospects and realized that the number of quality partners we use has grown significantly, and for the better.
“Alliances have become an integral part of contemporary strategic thinking.”
Here is a partial list of additional services for which we’ve engaged partners that we believe help provide additional value for our customers. These services augment our core infrastructure offering into a full service data center solution.
- IT Managed Services
- Direct Cloud Connectivity
- Professional Services & Migration Consulting
- Network Optimization
- Managed Security
I have confidence in all valued partner companies to provide those services at the same high level of quality and customer service as the core Data Center services we provide. Our customers get vetted, best-of-class services from reputable companies. There is no value to us in selecting anything but the best at what they do. Instead, we want our customers and prospects to understand for themselves why we have the utmost confidence in these companies.
“The most beneficial type of partnering you can engage in is partnering with your customers. The benefits are compelling. You use it to gain customers, protect them from predation by competitors, and to protect your profit margins.”
Curtis E. Sahakian, Managing Director of the Corporate Partnering Institute
Ultimately, partnering with our customers is our primary goal and underscores everything we do. When we partner with our customers to achieve a common goal, it is a victory for all. Our customers win by being able to better serve their customers, our partners win by getting exposed to customers they may not have found on their own, and thus the relationship becomes symbiotic. Data Center providers win by understanding their customers’ needs and working with the universe of partners to compile the best solution. Bottom line: partnering in the Data Center environment helps everyone.
– Bob Kramlich, Director of Enterprise Solutions, T5 Data Centers.
For a list of suggested partners, email me at email@example.com.