Technology vendors are critical to achieving business objectives. This article, the first in a two-part series, explains how to best manage your relationships with them in the real world.
Technology vendors are critical to achieving business objectives. Vendor management is a term that gets bantered around every few months among technologists and management in buyer organizations. Everyone you meet in IT says “you have to have a good vendor management program” – however, no one is able to articulate what good vendor management is.
Is it a process or set of processes?
A list of contacts? A yearly free lunch?
The last one is just a bit of sarcasm and humor (and truth).
A former boss asked me to take care of “vendor management,” I Googled the term and read every article I could find. Nothing came close to what I believe vendor management is in the real world.
As a technologist (and buyer), here’s what I believe vendor management is:
Characterized logical sales cycles (Pre-Sales and Post-Sales).
Part I in this series is vendor management for pre-sales and part II is for post-sales. For the purposes of this discussion, we narrow the scope of “IT vendor” to on-premise software or hardware products; the broader context of vendors, including outsourced IT work and cloud computing is not directly addressed, but the same practices could easily be applied.
Mikhael Felker is an IT pro who has worked in Defense, Healthcare, High-Tech and Non-Profits. He teaches, writes, and speaks at numerous Southern California venues about technology.
See here to check out all his Tom's IT Pro articles.
(Shutterstock Image Credit - Business Hand Drawing)