Companies have different ways of buying help from their suppliers. For example, it may be in the form of a roster card scheme, where the company buys consultancy services a few times per week or month. It can be in the form of a contract on a finished project, where the company leans back in the chair while the partner makes sure that all the pieces work together, from solution design over implementation to operation and support. Or it may be in the form of a more flexible agreement, where the company buys expert resources as needed.

I know examples where all three models have made sense. Depending on both internal and external factors, there will be specific tasks that are best solved using one of the above delivery models.

On the other hand, I also know of examples of companies who have had to choose the delivery model that the supplier happened to have on the shelf, even though the delivery model might not be the best one suited for the given project. Not all suppliers offer a combination of delivery models to their customers.

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Let me elaborate with an example:

A company must embark on a major Microsoft Dynamics 365 project and chooses to purchase the entire project from a Dynamics partner. The project proceeds as it should. The company assumes minimal risk along the way.

While the project is on, the internal project manager of the company will go deeper into Dynamics 365 technology. The project manager acquires practical experience and gets to know the functionality. And because there is access to the supplier’s system architect and developers, when challenges arise the project manager can ask questions continuously. In other words, the internal competencies of the company become smarter.

As the IT project is completed, the project manager wants to know more about the possibilities of other aspects of the Dynamics 365 platform that the person slowly starts to design the next project.

And here comes the dilemma. Because when the company starts the next project, they are not interested in buying or settling it on the same terms as last time. They would like to take on more responsibility and continue to develop their internal competencies. And who knows, perhaps in the future they will want to run an IT project alone without the help of a supplier.

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If you enter into an agreement that only supplies completed Dynamics 365 projects, this wish cannot be met and you are forced to purchase on the supplier´s terms.

The provider that offers vouchers and completed projects must (of course) provide flexible access to expert resources that can help and guide the company. The company that has previously purchased ad hoc expert resources must (of course) also be able to choose a voucher solution or a completed project, whichever suits the company best in the given case.

The flexibility that is so characteristic of Microsoft Dynamics 365 must be accompanied by supplier agreements that support that same flexibility. What’s the advantage of being on the market’s most flexible platform in Microsoft Dynamics 365 if your vendor’s delivery models and contractual contracts are rigid and set? Then it’s a case of nothing gained, but much lost.

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Sourcing and Service Director at AlfaPeople

Working with AlfaPeople since 2014 inspiring global organizations to discover opportunities and embrace today's technology.