You just signed the deal. The ink is barely dry; the e-signature was submitted seconds ago. Congratulations! You’ve reached the pinnacle of inflated expectations when purchasing enterprise tech. Capabilities, functionality, price, AI, operating efficiencies – you want everything to be perfect.
Unfortunately, though, nothing in life is perfect (especially cloud-based XaaS applications). There is an inevitable slide that starts at contract signature and ends somewhere in the middle of your technology implementation if expectations aren’t aligned. The outcomes and efforts required to get them? Somehow, it all seems out of reach. Why did you think the road to getting business value was all upside without some hard decisions or missed expectations?
We call this low point “the trough of disillusionment”:
This cycle is almost certainly inevitable. Salespeople succeed when your expectations exceed your doubt. Buying tech is like buying a car – the salesperson isn’t malicious, but they will do what they can to assuage your fears and focus on the upsides. (In this analogy, Tech Advisors like CXponent are something like Carfax, Kelly Blue Book, or your neighbor who’s a mechanic, but one that you trust).
But the truth is that no tech implementation is seamless. No matter how realistic the expectations, many people hit a point where realize they could use help from someone who does this as a full-time career. As they realize how daunting the implementation is, some leaders seek help in the form of an outside consulting firm, VAR, or implementation partner (this is the “slope of enlightenment” on the graph above).
Again, perfectly understandable. Hiring consultants transfers some risk, shores up weaknesses, and brings in resources to accelerate your implementation. Often, these consultants have technical expertise that helps you reframe your expectations and get the most out of your purchase.
However, the long-term incentives at this point are worth thinking about: What do you want to get out of your new implementation partner, and what do they want to get out of you? When a consultant is brought in after a decision is made, how tied are they to the decision, requirements, and nuance that drove the decision? When consultants have room to use the “it wasn’t my decision” excuse, can add further confusion, more complexity, and inflated cost. Don’t get us wrong – software customization can drive large benefits and doesn’t have to be endlessly complex. But most management consulting firms are looking for a path to 7 figures of consulting which isn’t achieved by leading with “out of the box”
Traditional consulting partners, VARs, and vendor platforms have an incentive to cultivate this codependency – the more customized and complex a system is, the “stickier” you are as a customer. For consultants and VARs, that means more scopes of work, higher revenue and margin, and an increased likelihood you need help managing it.
It’s not all hopeless, though – you have another option: the Technical Solutions Advisor.
Technical Solutions advisors like CXponent have expertise in both purchasing and implementing new technology. Since they’re supported by the indirect channel, they aren’t reliant on continual SOWs and cultivating codependence. Instead, technical advisors thrive when clients (like you) are independent, and able to purchase new technology as seamlessly as possible.
There are a number of powerful benefits to working with the indirect channel. You’re guaranteed an advocate on your side from beginning to end of a technology transformation. You get an implementation partner who knows the ins and outs of a product. And best of all, you get a partner that wants to see you successfully and independently manage your vendor relationships. If traditional consulting firms want to cultivate codependence, technology advisors aim to give you the capabilities to achieve independence.
When you have a technology advisor you trust, you have an expert you can call at any time. Curious about a new technology? Struggling to tell the difference between vendors? Wallowing in the trough of disillusionment on a new purchase and you need to escalate to an executive who will care? Technology advisors provide the services you actually need without locking you into a lengthy, ironclad SOW. The goal is to accelerate your purchase. When you see value from your purchase, we see value too. Technology advisors give you the capability to meet your expectations, no matter how sky-high they may be.