Vox pop: Are enterprise contracts best left to the biggest suppliers?

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This article appeared in the November 2018 issue of CRN magazine.

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Vox pop: Are enterprise contracts best left to the biggest suppliers?

Victoria Kluth, chief executive, Araza

No way! The Australian government released project success rates last year and small and medium suppliers out-performed large organsations by a large percent.

Araza’s client list is well represented in the ASX50 and we have been extremely successful competing against the largest global suppliers.

We are able to work quickly and be more agile than the internationals. Expansive hierarchy does not help when key decisions need to be made for short project deadlines.

Australian organisations will sometimes have expertise that an international won’t have here. Lastly, because overheads are lower, there is an opportunity for very attractive prices for the same (or better) project outcomes.

Araza is only one of many amazing small and medium businesses here in Australia. The reason we are all doing well is because we are successfully delivering and enterprise decision makers see these results.

Gary Duffield, alliances director, DDLS

Absolutely not. In fact, perhaps more than ever, there is opportunity for the smaller supplier to “own” the contract.

The smaller niche providers can be nimbler, more agile and potentially bring more innovation quicker to market. DDLS works with huge global suppliers and smaller, potentially start-up sized suppliers, we don’t see the lack of a 25-year history or 2500 staff to hand as a barrier to entry.

Of course, it’s a case-by-case basis. A company with no track record of managing projects that includes, often competitive vendors, needs to be sure they want the business – and can deliver. A perfect union of sales and pre sales.

In a world of digital distraction, the partner with the skills is king, not the partner with a warehouse full of desktop PCs.

Vanessa Symons, head of innovation, capability and solutions, ASG Group

While enterprise contracts have traditionally been tier 1 territory, I believe customers want a change. Scale, capability and financial muscle are vitally important, but customers tell me they are tired of the cookie-cutter approach.

The largest suppliers are often steeped in red tape and process, unable to experiment with new ways of doing things, innovative partnerships and flexible commercial models. These are fundamental in an environment where digital disruption reigns.

For customers, relevance is key. They want to know that their provider deeply understands their business, that the executives are accessible and that they will bend over backwards to deliver the very best solution.

Customers want a partner, not just a supplier. We are witnessing a change in the enterprise space to providers that are not the biggest, but are right-sized, flexible and innovative.

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