Building blocks for Strategic Engagements
The Strategic Client Engagement.
It’s a fancy name for a meeting; but it helps set the overall goals of what we are trying to achieve: an opportunity to talk with our clients about how technology can help drive their business to meet their current and future needs.
So what does the Strategic meeting look like and how do we make these a recurring part of our business? The first and most important step is to stop focusing on the technology! I know that seems odd for a Strategic Technology Engagement, but many times we spend too much effort discussing tickets that have already closed and invoices that have already been payed. We have to shift our focus to future technology needs and opportunities, and when we shift that focus it has to be directed on business drivers, the real benefits to their organizations.
The Technology Stack Assessment is a great place to start.
Now you may be wondering, I just said that we shouldn’t be focusing so much on technology but we are going to start with a technology assessment? The key is how we use it. We have 2 major goals in a technology stack assessment: 1) Align their stack with our standard stack of services and products and 2) Define how their Technology Stack helps their business. In both goals we are making technology decisions based on business needs.
Let’s discuss the 1st goal: Stack Alignment.
How is this a strategic benefit? At first most clients have a basic goal for their technology resources: it needs to work consistently and efficiently. You and your client could spend endless hours discussing and evaluating every product or service that is available, but the benefits for such customized specialization can be very minimal. What is most important is that the technology works.
By aligning your clients to your established technology stack you are able to eliminate all the time and effort of identifying a specific resource and go straight to getting the benefit of that resources. Additionally, your service team is going to be able to deliver services at greater efficiencies and higher quality if they are working within a standardized technology stack. This is a win-win for you and your clients.
Once we have established the technology stack we can begin working on positioning it to support the needs of the business. Is your client looking to open a new office in another geography? Are they testing the market and trying to minimize startup costs? Are they shifting their focus from retail based services to onsite interactions?
All of these scenarios have specific business needs that could be met with Remote and Virtual Services solutions. Our approach to these opportunities has to be centered on how the technology can meet the business need and not about the current feature sets available from Microsoft, VMware,Citrix, or Vendor X.
Too many times we try educating our clients on all of the available options and features and letting them decide which technology they should utilize. Are you their technology professor or their technology expert? We need to become educated on our clients business needs and help them align the technology that meets those needs.
By using a Technology Stack Assessment we have to opportunity to manage their current and future technology landscape and help build a stable platform that the client can use to grow their business. After your Strategic Client Engagement meeting, your clients should have a clear understanding of how their technology infrastructure supports and enhances the business.