The definition of a digital media convergence expert is, well, you’ll just know after talking to that person for an hour. Pose a question to them. Something difficult and relevant to one of your more pressing current business scenarios. See if they are able to answer with excited detail, rather than grand sweeping statements. There is nothing more frustrating in the vetting process than trying to talk specifics with a potential service provider, and getting nothing more than a lot of empty hot-air talk.
DETAILS, DETAILS, AND YES--MORE DETAILS
As with anything complex, it comes down to the details, right? And details (expert knowledge) of the technology and methodology are a natural outgrowth of a development environment where experimentation leads to innovation and solutions—time and time again. The inherent repetitive and refining processes build expertise that is deep and wide. Most any facet of digital media convergence solutions requires a solid understanding of how all those pieces work together in order to orchestrate a full-scale solution in a real business setting.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Companies that promote their prowess well, convincingly grab attention and more importantly, new clients and more business. You’re looking for a solution that’s targeted to your industry and business needs. And that service provider seems to have it; it’s right there on their website and it seems so right—a perfect fit for you. They have the talk, the swagger and the capabilities. Or so it seems.
So you're enticed to contact that service provider to begin a dialog. But it doesn’t take too long before the conversation takes on a shallow sales pitch. The marketing shine begins to dull a bit, and that's when the patina of reality sets in.
So now what do you do? You've looked at a myriad of providers, all providing similar service capabilities. How is it possible to discern and select the best provider to cover your organization’s business needs and requirements? The key is to find a provider whose service portfolio is as flexible and varied as the business applications it may handle—today and into the future.
More importantly, their digital media convergence portfolios should extend beyond today’s vision and offer a foundation for your future business strategy. Specifically, look for the following characteristics:
This is a charged word, so it’s important to understand exactly how your service provider defines it. To maximize the interoperability value of their digital media convergence services, select a provider that enables a solution to span multiple environments—integrating with your current platform systems and offering flexibility for managing your different business applications efficiently and securely.
Just as different solutions are suitable for different environments, they also require different configuration and delivery parameters. As such, your service provider should offer a menu or range of digital media convergence options related to performance and security, enabling your organization to select—and pay for—just the settings it requires for each business application that it needs.
You are entrusting your information assets to a third-party service provider. To earn that trust, the provider must take great steps to protect those assets. Look for a provider that makes security a priority. Choose an expert that thinks beyond the physical security of the facility or even firewalls. Ensure the provider builds its architecture for optimal protection and clear administrative access controls.
MEETS YOUR EXPECTATIONS
Be sure your provider offers the levels of customer service to which you are accustomed. For additional levels of support, find a provider that offers a range of managed and professional services to help you develop a digital media convergence strategy.