BTerrell Group Blog

Celebrating the Secret to Successful Partnerships

Posted by Brian Terrell on Thu, Sep 19, 2019

Recently, I had supper with the CFO of a $100+ million dollar manufacturing company and their Sage Channel Partner. Our dinner party represents a partnership of three companies working together since 1999 on various automations to tailor Sage 300 ERP to the exact needs of the manufacturer. The group clearly has been successful together, and all parties benefit greatly by it. The manufacturer wins the most, because of the cumulative enduring value of many properly maintained automations. 

Both the Channel Partner and BTerrell Group spend the proceeds of each engagement on operating expenses shortly after receipt. This demonstrates the difference between investment and expense, and both service providers feel like winners, as well.

This successful partnership is built upon the same foundation as all successful relationships: honesty. Nothing happens without an honest business conversation in which all parties openly discuss the issue needing resolution and that issue’s impact on the client.

 

For instance, many companies struggle with a back-office accounting system and a line of business application that do not share data. Reposting general ledger transactions produced by the line of business application requires time, accuracy, and unnecessary process. Quantifying the impact of these inefficiencies to the company defines the automation opportunity. Usually, a real opportunity exists only if the solution costs the same or is less than the one-year quantified impact of the problem.

 

If any party postures or withholds information, the project lessens its chance of success. For example, when a client company doesn’t entirely reveal the scope and impact of a problem, the business analysts in charge of scoping a solution cannot appropriately match effort with opportunity. The design focus devolves into an unnecessary search for shortcuts to squeeze the real effort inside a false target. This leaves no room for error. The client, bound by a forced and inaccurate minimization of the problem’s impact, may constantly push the envelope for additional value after the critical design process completes. Every new change order can meet with frustration, second-guessing, and finger pointing. The Channel Partner considers cutting his margin to keep the project going, and finds himself in the uncomfortable position of being both the client advocate and the preserver of a valued supplier relationship. The software developer perpetuates a business relationship built on false pretenses by pricing a solution unprofitably.

 

All parties can wreck a project by failing to be authentic! Or, all parties can avoid a train wreck by accurately quantifying the impact of a problem in the beginning, scoping a solution that solves that problem, and accurately pricing that scope. Without all parties committing to an honest business conversation, a project sets up so that there are no winners.

 

To avoid marginal or risky engagements, I like to ask, “What will it mean to your company to solve this problem?” When none of the parties engages in an active conversation to quantify financially the answer to this question, the priority should shift to the development of trust prior to tackling the automation problem. Additionally, the software developer must agree to provide a price delivering fair compensation for the required effort. In this example, I appreciate both the manufacturer and the Channel Partner for giving me 14 years of confidence in these best practices. If you would like to solve a business problem by tailoring Intacct or Sage 300 ERP/Sage CRM, contact me to help you both define the problem and quantify the solution. Once we do that, we’ll know quickly if an opportunity exists to solve the problem through technology.

Tags: VAR

We Add Value to the Services VARs Sell -- So VARs Can Sell More Valuable Services!

Posted by Brian Terrell on Thu, Sep 19, 2019

By Brian Terrell; September 19, 2019

Recently, I spoke to a large group of Intacct value-added resellers gathered at the Intacct Business Building Conference. I introduced several products that BTerrell and our CodePartners division developed to help Intacct client companies automate key business processes in HR, treasury, invoicing, and salesforce compensation. The conference was hugely successful, and I enjoyed my time with the great folks who were there.

I ended my presentation by sharing how we help mid-market accounting and finance VARs win more deals. We do this by adding the “last mile of automation” to help fill any gaps between the client’s functionality needs and the out-of-the-box offerings of Intacct and Sage 300 ERP. No software publisher can dot every single “i” and cross every single “t”; so, we fill those gaps when it makes sense and thereby help VARs win deals they might otherwise not make.

Our processes include weekly status updates to VAR customers on the progress of our engagements. And we often speak and work directly with VAR clients, and we treat them like our own.  Check out this note from one of our VAR clients noting the value we place on honoring our VAR customer's relationship with their clients:

 

 

 

Finally, here’s another VAR expressing just how grateful he is that we stuck in there on a very difficult project.

We get a lot of demanding assignments for which an easy solution doesn’t exist -- otherwise, someone would’ve already done it. I like to tell our group of business analysts, project managers and software coders that we are in the business of creation. If what we do did not need to be created from scratch, then it could probably be bought off the shelf from some other supplier. Note the last sentence in this note in which the VAR reminds me of the challenge of the engagement and our part in making his whole project successful:

 

 

Needless to say, I love my job!

All of these emails have arrived in my inbox in the last 60 days, all are from VARs, and I have 3 or 4 more I could share from that same time frame -- but, you get the point. At BTerrell Group,we help business partners make deals they’d otherwise miss by delivering the last mile of automation. 

 

Contact me using the button at the top of this page to see how we can help you, too!

Tags: VAR