Leading from the future: Your software vendor’s tech partners can add tremendous value to your business

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By PJ Bishop, Vice-President: Services, Sage Africa and Middle East

There’s a good chance you will have seen the term ‘tech partner’ or ‘independent software vendor’ in the marketing material and on the websites of the main software vendors you use. These partners have become an important part of the digital network, enriching the value of your accounting, payroll and business management platforms. Let’s take a closer look at these tech partners, what they do, and how they add value to your business.

What is a tech partner?

A simple definition of a tech partner is a company that develops, markets, and sells its software applications on another vendor’s platform or solution. These tech partners offer functionality that meets customer needs but is not available in the standard software. This allows you to extend the functionality of your accounting, payroll or ERP system without extensive customisation or development.

Given that we operate in a complex and dynamic world, even the biggest software companies cannot independently create software that addresses the needs of businesses in every niche market or vertical sector. Working with tech partners enables your core software vendor to extend the functionality of its software by working with specialists in specific processes or industries.

For example, Sage champions the needs of SMBs by automating repetitive, low value activities and empowering customers with powerful analytic capabilities/AI and machine learning. We work with an extensive, trusted network of partners that meet customer needs with various solutions that add value to this core functionality in our software.

It is our ambition to be the trusted network for SMBs – creating an integrated experience of digital and human connections together with our tech and business partners. We see digital networks as the breakthrough architecture of the digital era. The digital architecture extends and enhances SaaS by

digitising business relationships.

Tech partners and their solutions will undergo a rigorous vendor certification process to ensure the software interoperates seamlessly. Examples of tech partner solutions for financial and ERP include bespoke applications for vertical industries, integrated payments and banking, e-commerce, data capture, budgeting and forecasting, project management, and document management solutions.

Why work with your vendor’s tech partners?

There was a time when companies would ask the reseller consulting partner to write custom apps or integrate their software with best-of-breed third-party solutions. But this approach is expensive and can slow down implementation. Custom-developed software and point-to-point integrations can also become a maintenance and integration nightmare. But today, you can instead purchase an affordable modular solution or add-on functionality that integrates seamlessly with the core software. Some tech partner solutions address the most niche and specialist needs developed by experts in their fields.

How are things changing in the cloud era?

With the move towards software-as-a-service and the cloud, leading software vendors offer access to tech partner solutions through app- and web-based marketplaces. Here, you can find a choice of cloud-native and cloud-connected apps that address your business needs. Such a marketplace adds value to your core vendor’s offering, enabling you to gain the visibility, flexibility, and efficiency to manage finances, operations, and people from a single platform.

A tech partner is there to help SMBs take meaningful action on the business societal issues that matter to them – including the climate crisis and employee wellbeing. A digital network spanning vendors and tech partners smooths out the frictions SMBs face as they run their business and gives them all the tools they need to achieve digital transformation, with the visibility, control and insight over data ownership that comes from working within a single platform or ecosystem.

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