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Build A Genuine Partnership To Truly Benefit From Your Suppliers

Dave Lacey, CEO

March 24, 2021

Since 2015, WatServ has provided Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP hosting and managed services for Bartell Drugs. Serving the Pacific North-West and dating back to 1890, Bartell Drugs is the oldest family-owned drugstore brand in the United States.

We recently published an interesting case study focused on our experience working with Bartell Drugs. You can read the entire case study here, but I’d like to use this opportunity to draw out a few observations on this business partnership.

First, is this focus on the client relationship. Kari Escobedo, the former Senior Vice President of IT at Bartell Drugs said this: “At Bartell Drugs we are going through a large wave of digital transformation and I’m proud to say that WatServ is helping contribute to our success. From our first engagement with WatServ back in 2015, we’ve seen them as our technology partner, rather than simply our vendor because they consistently provide solutions that are tailored to our business and recommendations that lead to efficiencies and cost savings. We continue to partner closely with WatServ because they’re great to work with.”

I love hearing testimonials like this from our clients, but not just because it’s nice to hear a client saying how great your team is working. Take a look at the words Kari has chosen and think for a moment what that means. 

As my colleague Randy Mizzoni recently wrote, every company sits in a web of connections. We all have clients and suppliers. Some manufacture products and some sell services and expertise. If you manage a factory then your focus will be on how you are producing your products, how this process might be faster or more efficient, and how you can maintain a minimum level of quality.

WatServ sells expertise that leads to better business results and, as a result, we need to demonstrate our competence, but also something more: We need to evidence that we understand our client’s business and how the technology we recommend can really improve their outcomes.

If we did nothing more than configure a Microsoft cloud for a new client and then declared ‘job done, here’s our invoice.’, our business would not survive for long. Business-to-business partnerships are extremely important.

We listen and learn about the challenges our clients face. Where do they want their business to go in future? Are there trends and changes that may be forcing a digital transformation? How has the pandemic affected buyer behavior in this industry? We ask questions and suggest ideas and then we start defining the right technology to help the client improve their business.

Hiring IT expertise used to focus on the price exclusively. How much will an IT supplier charge for delivering the system that’s specified in the Request For Proposal (RFP) document? However, I believe that building a business partnership that focuses on the experience and expertise of the IT specialist to deliver lasting in the client business is far more powerful.

That is the exact sentiment expressed by Kari in her comments. There is a focus on how technology can deliver business value through advice, solutions, and a lasting partnership between buyer and provider.

That’s our culture at WatServ and I strongly believe that it makes our client relationships stronger. Clients don’t just get an IT supplier when they start working with our team, they get a trusted advisor and partner that is focused on developing and improving their business outcomes.

Let me know what you think by getting in touch directly via my LinkedIn profile. Follow the WatServ company page on LinkedIn to ensure you never miss our articles and commentary.

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.


WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps organizations digitally transform through cloud technologies and managed services.

Serving clients as a trusted advisor since 2006, WatServ provides experience-tested, strategic solutions across all stages of the digital transformation journey. Clients choose WatServ to migrate infrastructure and applications to the cloud, secure critical data, implement disaster recovery, deploy virtual desktop, enable data-readiness for productivity solutions and manage IT environments.

Our clients span a broad range of industries, and we’re a global supplier of IT services for many Brookfield Portfolio Companies. To help our mid-size clients, we provide scalable offerings that simplify cloud adoption and drive business optimization. For enterprise clients, we co-create cloud solutions that enable stability and efficiency for complex IT tools and processes.

With more than 15 years of experience, WatServ has a track record of delivering quantifiable business results and a superior client experience. Ranked as one of Canada’s Top 100 Solution Providers for the last three years in a row, WatServ is always on.

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