Let me tell you a secret that we’ve found out during the first years of our international business: our partners add incredible value to the service delivery and accelerate the success!
One of the most typical questions about Valo Intranet concerns our decision to distribute Valo to most customers through our extensive Valo Partner Network: Why don’t you deploy the solution yourself, “without the middleman”, as it’s (perceived to be) cheaper, faster, or just easier that way – both for us and the customer?
Here’s the 3 biggest reasons why we just love our extensive Valo Partner network.
Our partners know the culture and the business of the customers
At the time of writing, our team members are scattered in Canada, Belgium, Sweden, Norway and Finland. Most of Valo’s team is based in Finland – which makes sense, as the concept was first developed there. Even today a lot of the code is produced by the core development team located in two cities in Finland: beautiful Jyväskylä and buzzing Helsinki.
Valo has achieved tremendous success in the Finnish market, because our team knows the customers, customs, conventions and competitors there.
However, what works in Finland, might not work elsewhere. That was the first reason why we chose to license Valo out and involve regional and local partners in the business.
It’s the partners, who handle most of the actual work related to the sales, deployment, maintenance and of course, customizing the intranet.
Our partners know what’s up with their respective markets, and what to do. Our role as a software vendor is to help them any way we can – most importantly by developing the most extendible and simply the best intranet-in-a-box solution in the world!
Having a product like that in their arsenal is useful to our partners, since they don’t have to spend time building the same things over and over again.
Valo Partners offer extra value to the customers
Did I say Valo is extendible? Yeah, you heard right!
Valo has been built on the principle that it needs to be extendible by our partners and customers.
No pre-built product is going to be a 100% match for all the different requirements different customers in dozens of different countries might have. There’s often a need to tweak the product a bit, or even develop some extra functionality.
Quite a few of our partners have been involved in product development themselves. More often than not, they are capable of developing quite a few things by themselves.
With Valo team’s guidance, it’s possible to customize and build custom functionality on top of and alongside standard Valo. This way the customer gets roughly 80-90% of their use cases covered with the purchase of a well-standardized product, and the partner can implement the rest. This way both the partner and the customer save money and time.
And let’s not forget that it’s also less risky than custom development!
Partner network makes the purchase far less risky for the customer
I can say this from my personal experience, having worked in recruiting, onboarding and supporting our partners on five continents – our partners are AWESOME.
Getting to work with some of the brightest minds in the industry, solving the complex problems their customers or end-users might be having, has been an incredibly rewarding experience.
That said, it’s always a risk, if you’re in a vendor lock, like with so many in-a-box solutions. There’s always a chance that changes in laws, company structure, economic environment or something else make it impossible to continue working together with a company. That’s when it’s valuable to have such an extensive partner network!
It’s fairly straightforward to hand over the maintenance of a Valo environment from a Valo partner to another.
With Valo, you’re always the one in charge!
Even if Blue Meteorite (the parent company of Valo Intranet) decided to pivot in its business and start producing rubber boots instead of creating intranets, our partners still retain the capability of developing and maintaining Valo instances independently. Since we’ve created Valo according to Microsoft’s best practices, it respects the boundaries and quirks of standard SharePoint. And who else could help you better deal with all of the things Microsoft ends up throwing your way, than our partners – many of whom are also long-time Microsoft partners!
Bonus point: Valo Partners give a huge boost to our product development!
We constantly get new ideas from our partners, who get feedback directly from customers, for new features we could implement to Valo Intranet. Many times we do just that!
However, sometimes it doesn’t make sense for the core team to implement a very specific use case in such a widely used product. That’s when our partners usually do the development, either by themselves or sometimes collaborating on solutions.
But it’s not all roses and cool new features – after all, we are sending our dear product out there, for other people to install and customize. They tweak it, take it apart, and sometimes break it.
And let’s be honest here – our partners also spot and report a lot of bugs to us. Sometimes they are in Valo, sometimes somewhere else, and we do our best to patch them all. Because that’s what we are committed to!
All in all, Valo wouldn’t be an award-winning, stable but fresh product without the help of our international partner network. And on the flip side, we in Finland wouldn’t know how to deliver Valo in Chile or New Zealand.
So, to all of our partners out there – thanks for being awesome. We’re incredibly happy to have you on board! ♥
If you are interested joining our Awesome Valo Partner Network, or become one of the happy customers of Valo, book a demo with us!