It’s hard to imagine what the world would have been like during a pandemic 20 years ago without the technology we have today. When we take a closer look, going through lockdowns and setting up work-from-home environments, especially for this long, were really only made possible because of technology.
In fact, a recent McKinsey survey found that the COVID-19 pandemic significantly accelerated digital transformation and sped up changes in processes within businesses and enterprises.
One area, in particular, that was impacted was customer relations.
There’s been a dramatic shift towards digitized customer interactions, or what we call customer experience. Before the pandemic, digital transformation was not really a priority for many companies. However, the survey revealed huge jumps in digitization in industries such as healthcare, financial services, and professional services.
It’s safe to say that technology played, and still plays, a huge role in how the world is responding to the pandemic and major shifts in consumer behavior.
So, how can you leverage new technology to help your business strive in today’s environment, and prepare for unforeseen shifts in the future? The answer lies in technology partnerships.
Here we uncover what a technology partnership is, the benefits of this type of partnership, and the results you can expect after you decide to expand your solutions capabilities.
What is a technology partnership?
Technology partnerships are essentially two or more tech companies, each with their own core expertise, that come together with the same objectives and build a unique solution that solves a particular customer problem.
This new solution that they build extends the value or capabilities of each of their products, together.
What are the key benefits of having a technology partner?
Regardless of the pandemic, we are in a very competitive and rapidly changing technological landscape.
This means customer preferences and expectations continue to grow rapidly – making business innovation and digital transformation more important than ever.
Having a technology partner (or partners) can help your business in three ways:
- Partnering increases your capacity to scale and it accelerates your ability to quickly respond to this rapidly changing technological landscape. It’s very rare these days for one tech company to solve all customer pain points on its own.
- You can leverage the complementary specialization of other tech companies to fill gaps and solve customer pain points that exist in the market.
- By coming together and partnering, you expand your product capabilities and are able to deliver value to your customers – both old and new. This essentially translates into higher retention rates and customer lifetime value – meaning that you’ll grow your business and, ultimately, increase your revenue.
What criteria should you look for when choosing a partner?
Although the benefits of a technology partnership might seem appealing, it’s important to start with a plan. Before jumping at the first opportunity to build a solution with another provider, consider these three steps:
- Identify your main objective: You need to be able to identify a customer pain point that’s out there in the market that you want to solve. The partnership will then stem from that. Once you have a clear idea of a joint value proposition, then you will know the type of partner you need to look for.
- Identify the right business model: At the end of the day, you want to make sure that the partnership is beneficial. That’s why you need to understand how you will recognize revenue and what the benefits will be for both you and your partner.
- Have the right resources: Partnerships are all about relationships. You need to make sure you have a dedicated resource that can invest time to ensure you are in constant communication, have the same goals, and are always aligned with your partner.
Customer Spotlight: Mediclinic
The most important part of technology partnerships is the customer. Although there are great business benefits for the providers involved, the ultimate goal is to create a solution that solves a customer’s pain point.
A good example of how such a partnership can help businesses leverage technology for the greater good is our partnership with Microsoft.
Microsoft is a leader in cloud with Azure, and Infobip is a global leader in omnichannel communications. Together as partners, we built a suite of communication solutions and offerings. One of which is our WhatsApp Business solution that is hosted on Azure and is also available on Microsoft Bot Framework.
When the pandemic hit, we successfully helped our customer, Mediclinic – an international hospital group based in South Africa, to reduce bottlenecks during check-ins while simultaneously improving safety for their patients and staff.
Mediclinic used the WhatsApp Business on Microsoft Azure and Bot Framework solution that we built together to help South African citizens and hospital users gain access to healthcare facilities, safely, during COVID-19. Today, we’re proud to say that 60% of visitors that enter the Mediclinic facilities use the channel to gain access.
This is just one of the great examples of partners coming together, each with their own core specializations, to build a solution that creates positive outcomes and life-changing digital interactions in an industry that requires strict security, data protection, and data privacy.
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