There has been a lot of chatter lately on how the word “integration” is an over used buzz word that really means nothing. I tend to lean into this camp as well. Most companies tout this idea of an “integration” when in fact all they have is a slick (sometimes) SSO. So this has got me thinking, what does a true integration look like and what should we really be calling these fakegrations?
Being that my mindset is constantly around relationship management and partnerships it hurts my soul when companies approach with an idea of an “integration”. Come at me with buzz words and I shut down faster than a sorority girl that is asked why she would pay for friends. I’d like to note that I am a proud sorority girl so don’t @ me for the comparison. Instead open up conversations with the idea of collaborating on a project to better our space, or partner together on one common goal to take over the world. IF you must use the word call it what it is “My company would like the be able to connect to your company, can we make this happen?”
Collaboration to me is HUGE and goes so much farther. People get sick of me for saying it but team work makes the dream work and doing these half ass integrations isn’t getting our space to where it really needs to be. To make these partnerships work a few things need to happen:
- Create a common goal-When joining in a partnership consider it a marriage, you are now tied. Everyone wants a successful marriage, a partnership should be no different. Decide what is import and how can you tackle an issue.
- Agree on a path to be successful-There needs to be clean defined roles. There needs to be a clear path for on boarding, support, and billing. Each partner needs to know what they are responsible for and what the expectations are.
- Promote each other- Both parties need to look to see how they can make each other successful, remember you’re in this together. There are no winners and losers, their success now will only benefit you later.
- Show the value to the end customer- This seems like a duh! moment but companies should make sure that in the end the value is tangible to the end customer and not just be a cross promotion of product.
- Ask for feedback- A partnership is only as strong as the weakest link, and and the end client can point the weak link out in a heartbeat. One should never be afraid to ask for feedback. This is a great way to see if the partnership has valid overlap to succeed.
Let’s all do our space a favor and move away from this dull dead end integration space and start moving to strong collaborative partnerships. I know we can do it!