Managing effective relationships with IT suppliers is the core theme of a conference this spring organised by the Strategic Supplier Relationships Group (SSRG), a consortium of 11 user groups founded last year.
The conference, Identifying Strategic Suppliers and Managing Effective Relationships, takes place in central London on 11 May.
It will present effective practice in dealing with strategic supplier relationships from a variety of perspectives, and give the IT user community a focused opportunity for informal networking on this theme.
"Relationships with key suppliers have become more complex through changes in the supplier landscape, the increasing complexity of marketing plans and the rapid introduction of technology options," said Ray Titcombe, chairman of the SSRG, who also chairs the IBM Computer Users' Association.
"Some suppliers that provide key products and services to our organisations have become truly critical to our businesses."
The conference will explore how to identify these strategic suppliers. It will also determine the best-practice approaches to adopt when dealing with them, and which tools can help users work effectively with suppliers in the long term.
Speakers at the conference will include Titcombe, together with IT lawyer Rachel Burnett, who will address IT legal risk management.
Peter Monk, former head of IT procurement at insurance company CGNU, will examine and define how to identify a strategic supplier.
Don Page of PA Consulting will speak about best practice, and David Hawkins, director of operations at PSL, will explain how to run a strategic relationship.
How can the SSRG help you?
The Strategic Supplier Relationships Group (SSRG), set up last April and supported by Computer Weekly, is a user-led, not-for-profit consortium of 11 IT user groups, which aims to add value to the IT customer-supplier relationship.
The members are:
The British Computer Society Elite Group
The Institute for the Management of Information Systems
The Corporate IT Forum
The IBM Computer UsersÕ Association
The Charities Consortium IT DirectorsÕ Group
The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
The Society of Information Technology Management
The Computer Weekly 500 Club
The UK Oracle User Group
The Charity IT Resources Alliance
The IT Service Management Forum
The SSRG provides a frank, confidential and constructive environment for user groups and suppliers to engage on broad generic issues, such as supplier licensing policies or product quality.
By establishing better customer-to-supplier relationships, the group expects to nip any major problems in the bud, help suppliers recognise the true needs of the marketplace and maximise business value through the more effective use of IT.
Computer Weekly's long-running club for IT directors, the Computer Weekly 500 Club, formed in 1993, is a founder member of the group.
The SSRG operates at user group level, but all members of the 11 user groups who form the SSRG also have membership of the SSRG, and those who wish to participate do so through their respective chairmen.