A large percentage of customers and partners decide to walk away from the relationship after the initial implementation vs staying the course. Given their complex, transformational and high stakes nature, these marriages are immediately put to the test. So what makes the customer-partner relationship succeed?  Certainly, the basics like good preparation and planning, clear expectations-setting and -management, quick decision-making, adequate resources and funding, good communication and role definition are key. But so are establishing mutual trust (character and competency) and credibility early, executive sponsorship throughout the project, agreement to constructively confront issues, a mutual commitment to scope and having a process to deal with the inevitable challenges that arise (“break glass in case of emergency”). This is not a “vendor relationship” and shouldn’t be treated as such.  In this session, we’ll hear from 3Wire and Xngage about their four-year journey and what has enabled them to not only last, but thrive. They’ll take you through the ground rules they established early on and how they continue to successfully collaborate. Hint: It’s pretty basic as long as there is trust, shared values and a mutual understanding of what is expected of each other.  

Key Takeaways

In this session you’ll learn:

  • How to determine if “this is the one”
  • Determining technical fit but also cultural/values/leadership alignment
  • Expectations management – macro project and day-to-day
  • Best practices and success factors
  • Lessons learned – the good, the bad and the ugly


Presenter: Joe Albrecht
Title: CEO
Company: Xngage

Bio: Joe has 20 years of experience in the software industry and served in various executive leadership roles assisting customers with digital initiatives. He spent nearly 10 years of his career working for one of the largest national digital consulting agencies and worked with fortune 500 clients in US and EMEA. Joe is Founder and Managing Partner of Xngage, a Digital Commerce Consulting & Services firm, located in Cleveland (OH). His passion for clients, technology and problem solving fuel his constant desire to innovate, integrate, and deploy the capabilities required to meet our clients' digital transformation challenges with excellent B2B e-commerce solution delivery. Joe holds an MBA from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and a Computer Science Master from the University of Ulm, Germany.

Presenter: Jennie Stenback
Title: VP Marketing & E-Commerce
Company: 3Wire

Bio: Jennie leads the marketing, eCommerce and Digital Strategy for 3Wire Group, Inc., a B2B Foodservice and Beverage Replacement Parts supply chain solution. 3Wire is a part of the Marmon / Berkshire Hathaway family of companies. In her role, Jennie authored the strategy and business case for 3Wire’s digital platform evolution, significantly upgrading their multiple B2B sites and transforming the User Experience. Launching in early 2017, the new 3Wire platform has shown immediate growth and customer engagement. Prior to 3Wire, Jennie held leadership roles in the Institutional Division of Ecolab, pioneering a new intranet portal for the 5,000+ direct sales and service associates that brought technology and efficiency upgrades to a sorely outdated system. Additionally, her background has included leading a national restaurant chain’s marketing and advertising efforts as well as multiple roles in agencies and consulting firms in the foodservice/hospitality space.