April 27, 2021
By Dan Libonati, CPP Senior Solution Architect
Value Added Reseller (VAR), Solution Provider, Consulting Practice or Channel Partner. These are the nouns that are used to describe the business that CPP is in. But in our company, the word “Partner” has a dual meaning. There is a relationship that a Partner makes with a vendor (Hewlett Packard Enterprise, for example). The Partner enters into an agreement with the Vendor to sell their products or solutions, and, in some cases, co-market each other’s services. But is the other meaning that I want to spotlight.
One of CPP’s financial customers called about an issue with a product in their data center after placing a support call to the vendor. (I am being generic to protect the customer and vendor in this post.) It is when a customer is having an issue, that the true essence of “partnership” comes into focus. This means doing whatever it takes to get that customer back up and running as quickly as possible. CPP was not only an advocate for the customer, we owned the problem as if we were the customer. I was part of helping this customer for this particular issue. We worked from 8:30 pm till 5:15 am on a Zoom call with the customer and the vendor. CPP actually came up with a better way than the vendor to protect the customer’s data and mitigate any risks to the environment. This also showed to be less time consuming. In the end, the customer wrote an unsolicited post about CPP in a public forum.
In my 30 years of experience in IT, I have only witnessed a few VAR’s who knew how to truly partner with their customers. You need to have a level of caring about people and be completely committed to excellence in your field to be a good partner. In my short time at CPP, it is very apparent that the word “partner” is well practiced and respected.