5 Questions You Need to Ask Your Technology Partner

Finding the right information technology company is a critical business decision, and often a hard one to make. Once you've decided to get outside help, make sure the company you choose can answer these 5 questions.

What are three things you do uncommonly well that an average IT firm doesn't?
A company should be able to clearly articulate three reasons you should choose their firm. Companies that answer with fluff (like “we exceed client expectations” or “we’re a certified ___ partner”) are likely to deliver fluff or overly generic solutions used for other clients.
  • We understand the critical decisions that impact how your system needs to grow and expand with your changing business. Knowing the right questions to answer improves system design, and can save you ten times the project costs of making changes later.
  • We break up projects into intermediate deliverables to minimize risk, and increase satisfaction with the end product.
  • We make the process painless. We make sure that the technology, approach, and functionality best meets your short and long term goals.

How will your software or solution impact my business processes?
Watch for companies that promise to fundamentally change your business and the way your employees work. Some firms may explain how they will deliver a Mercedes, when what you need is a pick-up truck.
S&K Ventures understands that employee behavior is the hardest part of your operation to change. The best software works with your team, and with how your team works. Information management tools should only automate tasks that don’t require human decisions.

What are the most important success factors for a project like this?
This is your chance to hear if the vendor’s goals for the engagement match your business goals or theirs. Just like hiring an employee, you need to make sure that these are people you'll enjoy working with.
S&K Ventures approaches every project as if we were part of your internal staff. Our success is solely defined by providing a measurable return on investment for your established business goals. We work with business leaders to help define these strategic goals and project vision.

What kind of relationship do you have with your past clients?
Almost all vendors will explain how happy their clients were, and they may even have a stack of case studies to “prove it.” Look for a company that shares your goal for the relationship, which should be demonstrated by their past engagements.

S&K Ventures focuses on long term partnerships with companies that share our business philosophy. If you are looking for a short, one-time project you may be better served by another firm. We know we can consistently deliver the highest value for your investment.

We have a one call policy. If you’re ever unhappy, call us and we'll stop work immediately. We'll only bill for work completed to that point. How’s that for no risk?!

How much will this cost?

If a company has an answer, then one of three things is probably true:

  1. You did an excellent job writing an RFP with detailed system requirements.
  2. They have a canned solution they will try to fit your business into.
  3. They already decided how much they think they can get you to spend.
S&K Ventures uses a proven, incremental approach to help define scope, schedule, and cost. Once the high level goals are known, we provide a cost estimate. This allows us to adjust scope to match business constraints. We then work with you to define the functional requirements, and even use prototyping to help lock down what the system needs to do. Once the functional requirements have been defined, we can provide a solid estimate to implement the project. We've found that every hour of planning and requirements can save 4 hours of development.

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Team Tracks

How do you manage thousands of workers across the world, and make sure you get them the support they need for their relief efforts? S & K worked with our client to implement an enterprise portal, integrating project information with a clickable mapping system. Now team members can select any area of the world or search by criteria to make sure that help gets to those who need it.

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