Choosing a Technology Partner: The Client's Journey

Chris Strahl
#Phase2 | Posted

So you’re looking for a technology partner. Maybe your company has decided it needs a website overhaul, or perhaps you’re redeveloping your entire IT infrastructure. There are so many agencies to choose from and buzzwords bouncing around, it’s difficult to know where to begin. Never fear! Follow this client journey as she encounters the highlights and pitfalls of finding a technology partner...

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Your first shopping trip is to a creative agency. At first, this seems like the perfect fit. The agency is made up of the very best designers, and it shows. Not only do they understand your branding and company identity, but they’ve dreamed up some truly creative - dare you say visionary - ideas for how to turn what’s in your head into something on the web. With beautiful graphics daring typography, and stellar user experiences swimming before your eyes, you head for the check-out line, thinking to yourself, “Now, that was easy…”

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But not so fast! Take a moment to consider how such a design-heavy agency will be equipped to develop its dazzling layout. Ask them: “Does your team have the back-end chops to support a scalable infrastructure? Do you have the CMS expertise to build out a large, multi-site platform?” Unfortunately,  creative agencies may not have the technical ability to support their grand designs, and you’ll find the hard stuff handed off to yet another partner - or risk producing a lower-quality product. You put that option back on the shelf and continue browsing..

You think you’ve solved the technical disconnect with the next package: the Systems Integrator! These technology partners seem perfect if you’re undergoing a large-scale initiative. Comprised of hefty teams with very wide-reaching skill sets, they are a solid, low-risk option for consulting, integration, and outsourcing services. You begin to daydream about the infrastructure you’ll craft to align your development and production environments in the cloud.

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However, you soon realize this is no match made in heaven when you inquire about custom solutions. A partner as massive as the Systems Integrator runs its plays by the book, and although it delivers with skill and savvy, it’s not interested in discussing your specific needs unless you're operating at a gigantic scale. You realize that the Systems Integrator doesn't particularly care about reconstructing your website unless it's one piece of a multi-million dollar engagement. You want a partner invested in your unique challenges - one that won’t cost millions of dollars to prioritize your project. You move along.

.So you seek out a more flexible, personalized option: a small, highly specialized development shop. As partners, these folks are wonderful to work with. They’ll give your project the attention it deserves, and they know their expertise forward and backward. Moreover, they’re in the field because they love what they do. You’ll be hard put to find a more enthusiastic and hard-working group of people for a more affordable price.

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Regretfully, you realize that you’re going to need more manpower than a small dev shop can provide. Your project requires front-end experts, back-end experts, designers, and developers with an arsenal of tools in their toolbox. You’re going to need a hosting infrastructure and content strategists and experience analysts. At crunch time, the ability to scale is more important than specialization and a low price. As much as you love these guys for their zeal and expertise, you know you’re looking for a technology partner with the capacity to build a complex, multi-site platform with the infrastructure to scale and maintain it.

Now what? You feel defeated, exhausted, and hopeless. All of the agencies you’ve considered have elements you want, but none put everything together in a way that made them viable technology partners. And then you come across a different kind of technology partner...

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With Phase2, you’ve finally discovered a partner with the creative vision of a Creative Agency, the scalability of a Systems Integrator, and the expertise of a Specialist. Phase2 takes the best traits of all the different types of technology partners. We are the creative thinkers you want, combined with the technical team you need. By taking the time to understand our clients' goals on a personal level and seeing web development holistically, we fuse design, development, and analysis to deliver integrated and scalable solutions.

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It’s been quite a journey, but we’re so glad you found us!

Chris Strahl