A Partnership Paradigm

Why Being Responsible Is More Important Than Being Accountable

Partnerships underpin success in our technological world, their dynamics firmly rooted in mutual understanding, shared goals and common intentions. Pat Harkins, Vice President, Strategic Solutions, Teknicor, tells us why this is, “No single vendor can cover the full extent of a given solution if they are best-of-breed.” Specialization necessitates partnerships, but that is only the premise; it rests on the Chief Information Officer (CIO) to assess what kind of partners to work with and then navigate how to manage the distinct parties.

You should know the problem you are trying to solve and find those companies who are leaders in that jurisdiction because service is critical.

For Pat, “We should be thinking of partnerships as a single environment, where every player works together to create a mechanism that functions like clockwork; it then becomes a matter of finding those companies with corporate and IT goals that are aligned with yours.” When asked what you should look for in a partner, Pat says, “You should know the problem you are trying to solve and find those companies who are leaders in that jurisdiction because service is critical.”

The best solution is one where companies minimize the number of partnerships they have while still achieving their goals. More partners mean greater complexity, which leads to a greater difficulty coordinating and presenting a complete solution. A strategy is in order. Pat recognizes that, “Partners, as extensions of your company, need to be able to provide the best solutions and cover more of your priorities.” The coming together of companies is a quid pro quo of specialisations, whereby each brings something unique to make up the new best-of-breeds whole.

Prior to his position as Vice President at Teknicor, Pat worked as Chief Technology Officer for Informatics and Technology Services at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre. It was there that Pat saw Teknicor from the outside-in and realized how different it was compared to other companies. He explains that, “The difference is on the service level. Teknicor’s solutions are spread across a wider berth; Teknicor has strategic partners that complement their existing portfolio of services and helps reach their goals, and Teknicor understands the importance of trust, constantly exploring future partnerships and continuing to expand.”

Expansion is key, not simply for the sake of building numbers, but rather, strengthening the existing repertoire. For Pat, “If a partner is thoughtful and conscious of the customer’s needs and wants, going that extra mile to understand them, the technological aspect of it just falls into place.” Ability must be matched by willingness. Teknicor partners with those they believe to be the best in their respective fields and the most motivated. Emphasising his point, Pat poses the rhetorical, “Are they willing to come on-site? Are they ready to meet the team?” These are the kinds of action that demonstrate a desire and validate trust because ultimately, choosing who to partner with when most are industry-leaders, comes down to an instinct.

Are they willing to come on-site? Are they ready to meet the team?

Teknicor leads by example. Pat recalls a time when a prospect had a ransomware attack and Teknicor sent experts to help the company free of cost, getting them up and running within 48 hours. This is where responsibility and accountability enter; partnerships that run purely on accountability exist in a vacuum where plausible deniability and self-interest could appear, while those in which each party feels a responsibility to the other and the client are more collaborative, efficient and resilient. Taking responsibility of action beyond simple accountability is the cornerstone of mutual understanding, shared goals and common intentions – the paradigm established.