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Do you suffer from service provider afterthought syndrome?

Do you suffer from SPA syndrome? No, it’s not an excessive number of visits to the spa (as if that were possible). It’s Service Provider Afterthought syndrome.

In a recent post, I outlined the five reasons every organization needs to work with a service provider on any CMS or CEM implementation. What is equally important is knowing this: It’s not just about working with a service provider. It’s about working with the right service provider at the right time. That’s why it’s crucial to think about selecting a service provider in tandem with any new technology or digital solution implementation. If you only think about engaging a systems integrator or digital agency after the process has begun, you, my friend, are very likely to suffer from Service Provider Afterthought syndrome.
What are some of the symptoms of SPA?

  • Project delays
  • Restarted implementations
  • Continual churn on by the service provider’s team because no one there is engaged strategically for long-term success
  • A meandering project course

What are some of the consequences?

Number one: risk of a failed implementation. The point of engaging a service provider, according to Connie Moore in her recent Insight paper entitled five crucial lessons learned in CMS selections, is to “lower overall risk during the implementation phase.” The right partner can help map out an implementation from the start, and help direct a course that will lead to a successful implementation – limiting the risk posed to your organization significantly.

Number two: running over time and over budget. During research for the Guide to Service Providers, I interviewed over 50 organizations who had recently gone through CMS implementation projects. Many lamented they had selected a technology system first, and then just chosen a partner to implement that technology based on who they already had affiliations with, or who they were already conveniently working with at the time. They didn’t take the time to properly vet their service provider for the CEM implementation, and as a result, they learned mid-way through the project that the implementation and its outcomes were not what they had expected. This caused the projects to run over-time and over-budget, and could have been avoided by simply choosing the best partner for them, at the beginning of the project rather than just choosing the most convenient one.

Number threebecoming a rescue project. As part of our coverage of the service provider landscape, I’ve seen a few trends emerge as of late. One is that many of the smaller service providers have a niche: picking up the pieces when enterprise organizations have failed to properly implement a new technology system with just in-house resources, or with another partner that didn’t have the proper expertise. We call these rescue projects, because when the enterprise organization realizes that they are in over their heads, they have to call in a new partner who can pick up the pieces and save an otherwise doomed technology project mid-way through the process. A mid-implementation partner switch is both costly (time- and money-wise) and complicated, and we see it time and time again. Avoid the need for a mid-implementation partner switch by first determining what kind of support you require in an implementation project, and then choosing a partner who can subsequently deliver on those needs. Add these two components together, and you can avoid becoming yet another rescue project.

Don’t suffer from common consequences of Service Provider Afterthought syndrome. Choose the right service provider, right from the beginning, and substantially increase your chances of success with any new technology implementation. Want to learn more? Read our latest insight paper: Five crucial lessons learned in Content Management System Selections or read my latest blog post on The Five Reasons to Hire a Service Provider.



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