Strategic Partner Or Software Services Vendor: Which Is Best?

Going into battle isn’t for the lighthearted. Who would you choose to be at your side: a sage or an experienced blacksmith?

A strategic IT partner is like having a wise sage with blue magic gear at your disposal, guiding you on your never-ending business growth journey.

Software services vendor is like having an experienced blacksmith in your fiery red forgery, ready to make you all kinds of weapons (software solutions) that’ll carry you throughout the battle for new market shares and customers.

But which one should you choose?

Here’s the reality: Your business won’t succeed solely by going with just one option. Each one has its benefits which, when appropriately combined, boost your business to unimagined heights.

But let’s quickly go through the basics before I show you when one is better than the other and how to leverage them together for your business success.

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Strategic Partnership – Everything You Need To Know

Here’s a case: You’re a software startup with a brand new sexy solution that’ll change the web development or SaaS industry as we know it. You already have elite devs on your team, and the solution works flawlessly, but none of you know how to press the button to grow as a business and conquer the unknown.

Being new in the industry is the hardest, and without proper advice, the fear of failure can be paralyzing. It isn’t easy to go further from such a spot.

Having a strategic partner in the industry with unselfish advice or guidance breaks that fear and brings the wind to your back. It’s like being in a two-street relationship with value and respect. The more value you bring to the table, the more strategic the bond becomes.

Sounds like a perfect love story?

Well, though useful, a strategic partnership isn’t love at first sight. Solid partnerships are built on three cornerstones — goals, strategy, and culture. If you don’t establish those initially, you’re destined to go into the failure statistics.

Of course, you can choose from different types of strategic partnerships. But if we go into details, I’m afraid our editor will kill me.

Then who would guide you to success?

Jokes aside, horizontal partnerships are the best type of partnership for most SaaS startups. They are formed between two parties in the same industry with a shared goal: cement their market position. It strengthens the weaknesses with shared resources and knowledge while gaining a competitive advantage and market shares. A wise sage everyone needs in the software industry.

Software Services Vendor 101

Welcome to the forgery! Make your software pick and enjoy that sweet, sweet customer satisfaction. Well, at least I wish it was that easy.

Software vendor plays a key role in your business – providing tailored software solutions for your processes. But it’s a double-edged sword unless you precisely define what you want, what KPIs you want to measure, and how scalable the software vendor services are.

Choosing a software vendor revolves around three key aspects:

  • Skill sets the vendor’s dev team possesses
  • Their experience with creating software solutions you need
  • Their portfolio of completed projects

Filtering software vendors following those criteria sets you on the road to success, but most businesses ignore that process and end up suffering.

A use case: You’re a small massage studio that wants to create a scheduling app. You went with the first software vendor you stumbled upon. In the process, you failed to do your due diligence and sign an SLA contract with them. As soon as the app sees the light, it turns into a floating dumpster fire, causing substantial damage to your business.

The devil is in the details with software vendors. I’m not saying they are evil. But discussing these won’t hurt:

  1. What you want from the software development part, and how you want the feature to behave
  2. Which security measures are included
  3. How scalable is the solution they’re providing

The list goes on and on. At least now you know how to work with your blacksmith while they forge your future software of choice.

3,2,1 — Fight! The Ultimate Showdown

The question of million treasure chests is — Which one is the best?

To be frank, none.

Let me explain: It solely depends on your needs and where you are with your business growth and goals. Some startups yearn for that valuable compass strategic partnerships give; some already know their North Star but need sharp tools to carve their way.

Strategic partnerships are best when:

  • You need fresh ideas on how to reach new customers and bring more value to existing ones.
  • You’re hungry for advice on how to boost innovation with your current dev team.
  • You want to know how to establish more brand awareness for your newly born business.
  • You need a crisp look at your software perspective from a non-engineering or too-techy angle.

Software vendors are best when:

  • You want to create a solution that drives your business from A to B in growth, customer satisfaction, and convenience.
  • You want someone that brings an excellent and reliable piece of software as we at Code Power do without a headache.
  • You want to skip hiring and training new talent when you can otherwise have the complete software ecosystem in the palm of your hand.
  • You’re thinking about incorporating new technologies into your business but don’t have the know-how or the systems to support them.

Strategic Partner vs. Software Services Vendor – Battle Summary

Here’s the pitfall: Many businesses aren’t open-minded when it comes to partnerships or software vendors. Solving your problems with just one or the other and trying to compare them against each other isn’t the road to success.

It’s not a strategic partner against your vendor; it’s your partner and vendor against the problem your business tackles.

Creating a symbiosis between your partner and vendor where values, growth, and revenue break the charts is the best option for your business.

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