5 Best Practices for Building a Successful Relationship with Your Systems Integrator

  • by Laura Casasanto, Former Managing Editor
  • October 22, 2010
Management
Your systems integrator (SI) is a key partner in your mission to build and maintain a successful SAP implementation. Your relationship with that SI must be cultivated and managed carefully in order to maximize your investment. Greg Brown of Black & Veatch shares five best practices for building a successful relationship with your SI.

Managing a large IT project with a systems integrator (SI) is like building a house with the help of a contractor. No matter how good the contractor is or how much research you’ve put into selecting the right one, constant communication is key to finding a common ground between your original plans, the materials available, and the adjustments you want to make as the project moves forward.

“As the house is getting built,” says Greg Brown, a manager with Black & Veatch, “you may say, ‘Wow I didn’t realize that the sun was that bad in those windows, or that color is going to be awful for that room.’” A good contractor can adjust the plans to tailor the house more to your liking.

Similarly, if you have a healthy relationship with your SI, you’ll be able to work together to adjust the contract and planning to allow for the new request while keeping the project going and tempers calm.

The more you connect with your SI from the beginning, Brown says, the greater the chance of success in your project. “Make sure you get to know your SI. Understand their culture, their motivation, their work ethics, everything — but first make sure you know yours,” he says.

Brown has been witness to both good and bad vendor relationships, and has amassed advice for companies looking to bring in an implementation partner. He shares five best practices for building a healthy relationship with your SI from day one. 

Laura Casasanto

Laura Casasanto is a technical editor who served as the managing editor of SCM Expert and Project Expert.

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