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What to Look for In a Potential Vendor’s Partnered Firms, and What It Means for Engagements

13th May 2024
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Suralink provides professional services firms with a single, secure platform to collaborate with clients, exchange documents at scale, and track the progress of engagements. 

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Everyone knows the importance of thoroughly evaluating a vendor. There was a time when all that meant was checking a company’s Better Business Bureau score, then written reviews, and now, especially in the age of technology, security and software certifications.

However, there’s another element to evaluating a potential partner that goes far beyond BBB, reviews, or certifications, and that’s seeing what kind of company that potential partner keeps, i.e., which firms they themselves have partnered with and which outside technology they leverage.

At first glance, this idea might seem a little extreme, especially since you probably won’t be working with your vendor’s partners in any sort of direct capacity. But when you consider that that vendor’s partners will be adjacent to the data you’re sharing, if not outright privy to it, checking those partnerships suddenly doesn’t seem so overkill.

With that in mind, here are three things that professional services firms like yours can bear in mind when evaluating not ‘just’ a potential vendor, but the companies and partners that those vendors also keep and use in their own processes.

 1.Vendor Partner Reputation

The partners that your potential vendor associates with are a reflection of the vendor themself, so why not take your review due diligence a step further and see what kind of reputation those partners have? Extending your customer review evaluation process to these third parties is a simple and expedient way to round out your perspective on a vendor. If you see any concerning reviews or other signs that the partner might not be on the level, you can arm yourself with questions about those signs when you’re negotiating a potential deal.

2.Vendor Partner Credentials

Data protection is of paramount importance to every professional service in this day and age. Now more than ever, everyone from large corporations to private persons is at risk of suffering some form of digital fraud. This threat becomes especially pronounced when you’re an accountant, an auditor, or other professional.

Because of that, it never hurts to look at your potential vendor’s partners to evaluate not ‘just’ user reviews and company structure, but also what kinds of security credentials they have. The reason this is important is because though you’re not dealing with these vendor partners directly, it’s logical to assume that they provide a function or feature that will result in them at least being peripheral to your sensitive data. You can confirm that function by visiting a potential vendor’s partner page, then evaluating the pertinent partners and seeing what kinds of security certifications they have. This will give you an idea of your vendor’s approach to partner security and, again, more questions and concerns you can broach when you meet with a vendor directly.

3.Vendor Partner Industry Presence

Finally, it’s worth taking some time to evaluate how vendor partners make their presence known (or not) in their given industry/speciality. Do they attend events? Do they make an effort to be an industry leader? Evaluating this element isn’t as imperative as the preceding two, but it can give you an idea of the approach these partners take to providing a meaningfully improved experience or how much they attempt to be the cutting edge of their field. And, of course, these impressions also help shape your view (and knowledge) of the actual vendor.

The importance of picking a good vendor cannot be understated, and that vendor’s partners should be deliberate in their system integrations and have a solid reputation for excellence. Suralink, the world leader in PBC request management and engagement software, is one such vendor. Click here to get in touch and learn more about our platform, our technology, and how our partners contribute their excellence to our own!

 

Author: The Suralink Team