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10 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Microsoft Partner

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

You’ve done it. You’ve decided to go with a Microsoft tech product. All you need now is the right partner who knows the ins and outs of Microsoft technology. A quick search shows hundreds of results, so how do you choose? Here are 10 questions to ask:

1. What’s their industry experience?

2. Do they have experience across the Microsoft Stack?

3. Does Microsoft trust them?

4. What’s their project management methodology?

5. What are their resources?

6. What is their plan for user adoption?

7. Do they have a successful track record?

8. How do they keep your data secure?

9. How effectively do they communicate?

10. Are their goals aligned with your business outcomes?

1. What’s Their Industry Experience?

Find a Microsoft Partner with vast experience helping clients within your specific industry. Microsoft Partners with deep industry experience know about common pitfalls and best practices. The right partner can help you identify the most effective implementation strategy for your organization.

2. Do They Have Experience Across the Microsoft Stack?

One of the values of Microsoft is how well their different solutions work together. As you think about your longer-term vision, what technologies need to work together? Does your partner support the full vision or just one portion of it? When selecting the right Microsoft Partner, ask: Do they have experience in all relevant Microsoft technologies?

The Microsoft ecosystem is constantly growing. A partner can help your business take full advantage of that growth to increase your efficiency. The right partner uses a combination of consulting and developing. Their implementation processes ensure you achieve your business outcomes. A partner with experience across multiple platforms knows how to integrate seamlessly with your current technology. They also know how to help you save costs with additional licensing.

3. Does Microsoft Trust Them?

How do you verify the trust of a Microsoft Partner? One way is to see if they have any Advanced Specializations and Solutions Partner Designations. Working with a partner with these designations ensures they have a higher level of expertise in specific areas. Microsoft partners will have badges supplied by Microsoft like the ones supplied to JourneyTEAM below.

4. What’s Their Project Management Methodology?

If a partner has done thousands of projects, they have likely developed a methodology that leads to successful digital transformations. Implementing a new technology successfully requires multiple steps across a specific timeline. How detailed is their project methodology? Does it include project scope, timeline, communication, collaboration, and benchmarks for a successful implementation? Or is it general and vague? The best approach is well planned out, while allowing the project team the flexibility needed to accomplish all key objectives.

5. Where are Their Resources?

When finding and selecting the right Microsoft Partner, it is important to know where their resources are operating from. Do they have team members spread throughout the globe? Are there possible time differences that determine operating hours? Delays in communication? Varying costs? Be aware of any regulatory requirements your organization might have that prevent you from using offshore resources.

6. What’s Their Plan for User Adoption?

An underrated factor for digital transformation is successful adoption. After all, even the best technology in the world fails if users do not adopt it. The best partners excel at change management. They offer guidance and support even after implementation. Find a partner with an adoption framework. Make sure that framework outlines training, resources, and abilities needed to ensure optimal success from the new technology.

7. Do They Have a Successful Track Record?

One of the best predictors of future success is past performance. Does your partner have deep expertise? Do their consultants have experience customizing solutions to meet business needs? Experienced partners know how to adapt to changing technology. They are likely not going anywhere anytime soon and will be there for ongoing support.

8. How Do They Keep Your Data Secure?

Top partners have security standards and procedures like Multi-Factor Authentication to ensure your business data is secure. Only certain team members within the Microsoft Partner’s organization can access it. They go to great lengths to prevent security threats when accessing, migrating, or organizing your business data.

9. How Effectively Do They Communicate?

What is the partners’ average response time? How often will they meet with you? What communication channels will you be using together? Having regularly scheduled meetings and clear communication with your Microsoft partner is crucial to your project's success.

10. Are Their Goals Aligned with Your Business Outcomes?

Lastly, find a Microsoft Partner that is business outcome-focused. Do they listen to your goals, problems, and desired outcomes? Do they craft a solution that aligns with your business processes, instead of pushing a specific product?

Ready to Find the Right Partner?

Use these questions as you evaluate partners. The best partners make a seemingly complicated implementation, simple.

To learn more about selecting partners, products, and solutions contact JourneyTEAM today.

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