ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Buy Enterprise Software (Without Getting Scr3w3d) - Blog #2 in Series of 4

Updated on April 12, 2013

Don't Get Scr3w3d


Introduction


In the previous blog, we discussed how businesses often buy overly complicated enterprise software, at excessive expense. The solution is to choose simpler enterprise software solutions that are adaptable, and to only buy what you actually need. We covered the concepts of Overkill, Don’t Just Go For The Big Names, An Ounce Of Preparation, and Ask Questions.


In this installment, we will discuss how to evaluate and choose the best enterprise software vendor for your company’s needs.



Avoid Unstable Startups


Startups have a sexy allure nowadays and people often forget that they are untested. While the media covers startup superstar companies that seem to race quickly to lucrative IPO’s, the fact is that many startups fail, despite the best of intentions.


Since you are making a large commitment in terms of money and time when buying enterprise software, you want to make sure you are choosing a company that will have longevity. If you need continued support or items down the road, you don’t want to discover that your once-hot vendor is now out of business.


In addition, whether they admit it or not, startups are usually still testing and continuously debugging their products long after they have gone to market. This is almost unavoidable due to the nature of developing software, but you don’t need this to become your problem.


The same goes for the company’s business processes and implementation issues. This stuff needs to be ironed-out before you come on board, or you are just a guinea pig for the vendor and subsidizing the vendor’s costs of development.


This issue is most critical if a vendor is only offering Software as a Service (SaaS). Be certain that you have the option to move the software in-house.


For the above reasons, it is critical to select a vendor that has been in existence for a long time and has demonstrated the value of its products.




Send Brief Requests For Proposals (RFP’s)


Don’t waste time initially sending out long, detailed RFP’s to lots of vendors you haven’t particularly vetted yet. Long RFP’s up front tax the sales representatives and, if the forms are too complex, the sales reps may not even get around to responding to you – they have other accounts that are easier to handle. Long RFP’s up front are not efficient, either, because you don’t need complex details from a lot of vendors who might not even be a close fit for your needs.


It is better to create a brief, concise RFP that lists the main issues you would like to address with the software. Your earlier list of most important goals for the software will inform you here. Your initial RFP should only take the sales rep about 30 minutes to complete.


Questions to ask the sales representative include:


1. What will the costs total over the next 5-10 years?


2. Will we need consulting to implement the system, and if so, how much?


3. Will any technical specialists be required to implement or run the software system?


4. Will the enterprise software cover all the needs my company outlined?


5. Can we see a demonstration of the product first?



Send In-Depth RFP’s To A Smaller List Of Targeted Vendors


Once you receive responses to your initial RFP’s, choose a target list of vendors who gave the best answers for your needs. Then you can send them longer RFP’s where you go into more detail about what you need and ask how long it will take to implement your system.


Let the vendors know they have made it to the second round in your selection process. That way they will be motivated to give you all the information you need as quickly as possible.



Conclusion


The above might seem like a lot of work, but it will pay off in saving you time, money, and a lot of headaches. In the next blog in this series we will discuss the importance of taking control of product demonstrations. We will also give more tips on how to research vendors.



Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)