Why long-term relationships work … even in business
People need people. There’s no getting around it. In fact, if I had to generalise for a moment, I’d say it’s what makes us human … our need for caring, understanding, shared experiences, companionship and, yes, even growing old together. We need to feel we’re not walking this rocky road all by ourselves, there’s someone looking out for us. And we’re fooling ourselves if we think business relationships are any different. Organisations are run by people and, ultimately, people are in business for people: their families, their colleagues, their clients, and their communities.
These were the thoughts that struck me when I watched this great case study video of how we help Alexander Forbes change people’s lives through financial services. Dimension Data shares with this well-known financial services provider from South Africa a steadfast belief in the value of long-term partnerships.
Alexander Forbes has been in business for over 80 years now and has gone through some substantial changes in that time. Its evolution was mostly about an expanding focus and customer base. The organisation changed from being a risk-based insurance broker to becoming a fully-fledged financial services provider offering employee benefits and multimanager investments.
Its new focus is retail customers, in other words, individuals like you and me. And as you and I know all too well, when it comes to money matters, you have to play the long game. We need to think and plan for our financial future consistently and diligently and, for that, we need a long-term partnership with a financial services provider that is built on trust and stability. Risks are never absent in such a relationship, but they’re calculated and carefully measured so that, if something goes wrong, rapid recovery is ensured.
Dimension Data has been Alexander Forbes’s technology partner for more than a decade now. We’ve also changed significantly during that time. At first, we were simply helping the business procure and install its choice of technologies. How we’ve grown since then! A comprehensive outsourcing deal followed not too much later, which was renewed twice, for several more years. The most recent project was helping Alexander Forbes move to a new headquarters: a state-of-the-art smart building in the centre of Sandton that leads the country in terms of energy savings through data centre consolidation and sustainable technologies. Our partner is very proud of its new home.
We’ve walked a long road together; it had its ups and downs, just like any shared journey. But we’ve not reached the end yet. Our relationship with Alexander Forbes is built on mutual trust, understanding, and the deeply satisfying feeling of having been through it all together, as people.
Long-term business partnerships work – we’ve proven that with Alexander Forbes – and we’ll carry on pursuing such relationships with all of our other clients. Dimension Data is in it for the long run!