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How To Buy Enterprise Software (Without Getting Scr3w3d) - Blog #1 in Series of 4
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Enterprise Software Buyers Beware
Companies seek software solutions to help them run efficiently and be cost-effective. However, implementing a software solution can be a big commitment in money, labor, and time – so you want to do it right the first time.
Beware. Many enterprise software vendors offer products that are too complex and frustrating to implement. Whether the business is small, medium, or even a giant international corporation, many have been duped into shelling out too much for a system that is ungainly and eventually fails. In the case of smaller businesses, often companies are talked into buying enterprise software that is overkill for their needs.
Don’t Just Go For The Big Names
Simpler solutions exist. However, many businesses overlook such solutions because they fall for the idea that it is safer to go with the most familiar, big-name vendors with the largest market shares. Enough disasters have been documented in the media by now for buyers to beware of this tactic. (Link to SAP/Oracle article)
Later in this blog series we will discuss potential smaller vendors that pack just as big, or even bigger, a punch in terms of value than the more famous-name vendors.
An Ounce Of Preparation
The first step a business should take once it has determined to invest in enterprise software is to prepare. Decide specifically what you want the software to accomplish. Go to each department in your company (if applicable) and have the managers write down the specifics of what solutions they need.
Software consultant Simon Gantley suggests having “everyone list what they hope to gain from the…system, and what they estimate those benefits to be worth, using hard numbers where possible” (Essential Steps to Selecting the Right Help Desk Software ).
Gantley goes on to suggest separating the stated goals for the enterprise software into two categories: essential and nonessential. Be specific. That way, you know what you need to ask vendors.
Once you know what your goals for your enterprise software implementation are, you can ask vendors much more specific questions about how their products can accomplish your company’s exact needs. The vendor will have much less opportunity to take over the conversation and snow you with a canned sales speech about his product’s virtues. Even if the product has great attributes, they may not be the ones your company requires. You only want to pay for what you need.
In the next blog, we will discuss how to evaluate and choose the best vendor for your company’s needs. Also we will share critical tips on how to keep from being scammed.
To Be Continued...
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