It is common for multiple vendors to be engaged in the implementation and delivery of Salesforce solutions in an organisation. Instead of relying on a single vendor, an organisation divides the project into different parts and assigns them to various vendors, either based on their specialisation or simply for the sake of efficiency.
The multivendor approach adds another level of complexity to managing the Salesforce solutions implementation and it must be addressed correctly from the start to avoid any potential hiccups. In this article, we discuss how to do it most effectively, based on our experience.
How to best address a multivendor approach to Salesforce delivery?
To successfully manage Salesforce implementation and delivery when there are multiple vendors involved, it’s vital to implement processes and procedures regarding, for example, the communication channels. It will help us avoid vendor cling, which is a situation when vendors compete.
Usually, it’s the client’s responsibility to develop an effective cooperation processes, but all the vendors should also be involved in it. Processes like this include defining the scope of work and division of responsibilities between the vendors on two levels:
Project scoping on a contract level
The responsibilities and deliverables for each vendor should be clearly defined in the contract, in as much detail as possible.
Setting the rules for cooperation on an operational level
It’s important to set up the procedures regarding how vendors will cooperate with each other. One of the approaches is to designate a point of contact (POC) for each vendor, who will be responsible for coordinating the communication between other vendors and the client.
Another way to ensure smooth cooperation between vendors is a one-team approach, where all vendors work as if they were one team. Sometimes, each vendor has unique competencies in a specific area and that is their scope of work in the project.
This approach is more complex, as it requires the teams to be well prepared for this kind of cooperation. All vendors should agree on the tools they use, communication channels and work process. It’s worth noting that as the responsibilities in the project are diffused between various teams, some operational difficulties may arise and it’s important to compromise when resolving conflict.
To sum up
A multivendor approach to Salesforce delivery should be addressed on two levels:
- Contract level – the responsibilities and deliverables should be clearly defined in the contract before the project starts.
- Operational level – it’s important to determine the processes and procedures regarding vendors’ cooperation at an early stage.
When it comes to defining responsibilities, there are two approaches that we recommend based on our experience:
- The responsibilities of each vendor should be defined on a contract and operational level as early as possible.
- Diffused responsibility for the whole project when all vendors identify themselves as one team in order to achieve compromises without competing with each other.
A client’s task is to manage vendors properly so that the cooperation between them is smooth and there’s no competition. If it’s not possible to clearly define the responsibilities on a contract level, because some of them may be shared between various vendors, it’s key to establish a cooperation and communication process, so all vendors feel equal, without a situation when there’s an informal leading vendor.
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