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Product & Engineering

Don’t Settle for a Vendorship When You Can Have a Partnership

Every organization will face challenges at some point. Often, these challenges are the reason vendors exist. Their purpose is to sell you something that’s hopefully going to solve an issue or fulfill a need, so you can get back to what you do best. It’s sort of like buying a Band-Aid for a cut. I just need it to solve a particular issue now. Other than fixing the immediate issue I don’t have any long-term expectations.

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What’s a Vendorship?

Search online and you’ll find a lot of similar definitions for vendor. It’s typically something along the lines of “An individual or company that sells goods and services to businesses or consumers.”

The relationship we have with vendors tends to be more transactional in nature. It’s what I refer to as a “vendorship.” Honestly, vendorship isn’t even a real word, but it’s useful to illustrate a point. In a vendorship, I’m not looking for a long-term commitment with the seller. I just need a solution to address a particular challenge. It’s a summer romance. Once I have the solution in place, we probably don’t need to keep in touch unless there is a problem with the product or service. My expectations for a deeper relationship are low. A lot of the time this is sufficient for both parties.

Moving from Vendorship to Partnership

But what if I want more from my vendor? My organization may have greater needs that require a deeper, longer-term commitment from both sides. This can be especially true if my organization is investing a lot of time and money in a solution. I want to make sure I’m getting value for my investment. If you’re looking for any — or all — of the following from a vendor, then it’s time to move from a vendorship to a partnership.

  • Configuration and Deployment Resources — Does the vendor provide resources to help me properly configure the solution and deploy it into my architecture or to my users?

  • Future Product or Service Updates — I’m buying something today, but how is the vendor adding value to it tomorrow?

  • User Training — Does the vendor make training available so my users are prepared to engage with the product or service?

  • Opportunities to Preview Upcoming Releases and Provide Input — Before a new release is available, is there an opportunity to try it out and provide feedback?

  • Strong Customer Support — At some point my organization will need support, so how good is the vendor’s customer service?

  • Vested Interest in My Organization’s Success — Beyond the product or service, does the vendor have an interest in helping my organization succeed?

Depending on your need, a vendorship may suffice. However, if you’re looking for more than a summer fling, why settle for a vendorship? Consider taking that relationship to the next level with a vendor who is also interested in partnering for the long term. Yes, it requires investment from both parties, but your organization will benefit over time.

In it for the long term

In an earlier blog, I talked about how building a long-term partnership with a vendor enables customers to realize greater value for their investment. At Cisco Duo, we want to help our customers get the most out of their Duo subscription by engaging in a long-term partnership. That’s why we continually add new features to our Access Management offerings, provide opportunities to test drive new features before they’re launched, deliver hands-on workshops and webinars, help our customers grow their Duo knowledge and expertise through online training, and more.

And for customers who want an even deeper relationship from a trusted partner, there’s Duo Care, Duo’s premium support program. With Duo Care, you'll work together with a team of Duo experts who guide you through the life of your subscription so you maximize the value of your Duo investment as your organization and business needs evolve.

When it comes to vendor relationships, don’t settle for a vendorship when you can have a lasting partnership and reap the long-term benefits. Let Duo show you how. Speak with your local Duo sales rep or partner today to learn more.