Software package ideas

When you’re trying to decide and implement an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), HR/Payrollor another program for your business be sure to keep in mind the following tips to make your selection process more efficient.

1.) Create a Long List- If a software package isn’t in your Long List then it won’t be chosen! Include as many possible software packages as you can at the start your process. You should include general ERP software providers along with those who focus on your particular vertical market. Vertical market software is likely to offer greater DevOps metrics functionality in a specific field than other vendors. Many companies get caught up in taking a look at just a few of the name brand vendors and not considering other vendors which aren’t as well popular, yet have excellent products suitable for the specific situation.

2) Focus Requirements on the differentiating Criteria Even though you might have hundreds or even thousands of functional requirements, the factors that make the difference between elimination and selection of the vendor of software can generally appear on two to three pages. We refer to these requirements as “Differentiating Criteria.” Use these criteria to eliminate applications from your Long List quickly and objectively. This can reduce the amount of time and allow you to focus on the most crucial 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, sell, and implement the software. Because they are independent of the software maker It is possible that there are many VARs within your region that sell the same product. Each has advantages and disadvantages. The choice of the correct VAR could determine the success or failure of your plan.

Larger tier 1 and tier 2 vendors such as SAP, Oracle, and Lawson provide direct implementation assistance, but also have independent implementation partners you can utilize. These partners could be more familiar with the field and can offer less expensive rates of billing than the vendor’s implementation team. Make sure that you consider every option for implementation.

4.) Hold Scripted Demos Once you have narrowed down to a limited list of just three software vendors, you should employ a scripted demo of your software process. The scripted demo forces either the vendor of software or the VAR to adjust their demo to show how they can address the specific business requirements of your company. Also, it allows you to assess the vendors on an equal basis. You should allow enough time for the vendor to demonstrate some of the bells and whistles which might be interesting.

5.) Negotiate the Contract If you decide to make your final decision on the software you want to use, you will sign three contracts that you will sign with your vendor. Software License, Implementation Services, and Maintenance. If you opt for a product that is based on the Software as a Service (SaaS) model you will have a Service Level Agreement (SLA). It is important to discuss the cost, but make sure to discuss the commercial aspects in the contract as well. The software companies write contracts to safeguard their interests You must bargain to protect your rights within the agreement.

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