Software as a Service ideas

Whether you are looking to choose and implement an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), HR/Payroll, or any other software for your company, you should keep in mind the following tips to help make the software selection process more effective.

1.) Create a Long List- If a software package isn’t included in your Long List then it won’t be chosen! Include as many software products as possible in the initial stages of the process. It is recommended to include both general ERP software vendors along with those who are focused on your specific vertical industry. Vertical market DevOps metrics software tends to provide better functionality for a specific industry over the standard vendors. Many companies are caught in the trap of simply looking at a few of the well-known vendors without taking into consideration other ones that may not be as acknowledged, but are able to provide great products suitable for the specific situation.

2.) Focus Requirements on the differentiating Criteria While you might have hundreds as well as thousands of functionality requirements criteria that determine the difference between removal and choosing the software provider can typically be found on 2 to three pages. These are what we call “Differentiating Criteria.” Utilize these criteria to remove Software from your Long List quickly and objectively. This can save you a lot of time and help you focus on your most important needs.

3) Select the Value Added Reseller/Implementation Partner – Many of the major mid-market software vendors sell their software through local and national Value Added Reseller’s (VARs) including Microsoft, Sage, Infor, Epicor, and others. VARs can demo or sell and then implement the software. Since they are not tied to the software manufacturer it is possible to find many VARs in your geographic area which sell the same software. Each has qualities and flaws. The choice of the right VAR can determine the success or failure of your project.

Larger tier 1 and tier 2 vendors such as SAP, Oracle, and Lawson provide direct implementation services as well as independent implementation partners that are available to you. These partners could be more experienced in your industry and have lower rates for billing than the vendor’s implementation team. Be sure to consider every possible option to implement.

4.) Hold Scripted Demos If you’re able to get to a short list of just three software providers, you must use a scripted software demonstration procedure. The scripted demo will force either the vendor of software or the VAR their demo to demonstrate how they can address your particular business requirements. This also lets you assess the vendors on a par basis. Be sure to allow time for the vendor to display some bells and whistles they have that could be of interest.

5) Negotiate the Contract When you make your decision to purchase the software you will sign three contracts that you will sign with your vendor. Software License, Implementation Services and Maintenance. If you select a software product that utilizes an Software as a Service (SaaS) model, you will be required to sign a Service Level Agreement (SLA). It is important to bargain the price, but make sure to discuss the aspects of business in the contract as well. Software companies create contracts to protect their interests; you need to negotiate to protect your interests in the contract.

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