Because SaaS/PaaS implementation combines technical activities with procurement activities, IT organizations must evaluate potential SI partners for not only their technical skills, but also their vendor management expertise. For example, SIs who understand product licensing options can help the customer evaluate license types and purchase models to select the most cost-effective option based on the number and types of SaaS/PaaS users anticipated. Additionally, SIs who demonstrate strong relationships with vendors can potentially influence feature design, facilitate future feature planning by providing invaluable insight into new or updated service offerings, and expedite feature requests. By mediating between the customer and the vendor, strong SI partners help IT organizations to maximize SaaS/PaaS product value while optimizing performance costs, ensuring successful contract management and higher customer satisfaction.
Know the Products
To successfully implement a transformative, scalable architecture, a successful SI must keep their finger on the pulse of new customer direction, vision, and the ever-evolving landscape of SaaS/PaaS products and best practices. Given the frequency and regularity with which SaaS/PaaS vendors release new features, SIs should ensure their team members stay up-to-date with product trainings and certifications. Maintaining a knowledge base of available SaaS/PaaS products and features, policy changes, and industry best practices is also vital to maximizing integration and configuration of new features that support the customer’s existing and emerging business needs.