12 Criteria for Software Vendor Selection July 14, 2014 prepared by: Brian Savoie Vice President HIGH PERFORMANCE CONCEPTS, INC. 151 Village Parkway • Building 6 • Marietta, GA 30067 Phone: 770-859-0161 • Fax: 770-859-0166 • www.hpcinc.com
12 Criteria for Software Vendor Selection • Business • Benefit Achievement • Cost and Terms • Enthusiasm of Key Personnel Implementation Ease of Implementation Implementation and Training Technology Functional Capabilities Technical Direction Ease of Integration Product & Vendor Risk Vendor Quality Assurance On-Going Support Vendor References and Reputation Vendor Financial Strength
Benefit Achievement • Can this software and vendor help you achieve the benefits you need? • In what percentage of the installed base has this vendor “delivered on” the benefits? • Is the vendor willing to put benefits in the contract? • Pay for performance • Schedule milestone achievement $ Make sure the customers of the software vendor have achieved real business benefits.
Cost and Terms • Cost is a major factor for most companies • Payment terms often play a major role • For multi-site, multi-license implementations, payment terms should reflect the use the company gets from the software • Buy as you implement • Pay as you buy • Some movement toward pay for performance Linking payment to major milestones will assure that the vendor is with you all the way.
Enthusiasm of Key Personnel • If a key leader has a strong preference among viable alternatives, then go with that vendor • Funding of the purchase will go more smoothly • Provisioning of resources will be made easier • Leader is more likely to get personally involved Follow a knowledgeable leader.
Functional Capabilities • Specified in requirements document • Weighted for importance • Focus on special, unusual and important functionality • Make vendor RFP answers contractual • Buy what exists, not “vaporware” • By process or module • General • Consider future upgrades and growth path • Consider near-term future functionality • A major benefit of vendor-developed software is the continuous functionality improvement via upgrades • Know the vendor history on software improvement and module expansion A weighted list of critical requirements provides a GO/NO GO tool for differentiating among vendors.
Technical Direction • Upgradability and growth path • Platform & operating system • Database management • Application development tools • Integration • Within the application • With other applications • With the Web • Network support • Data exchange • Networking • Security • Mobility • Scalability Make sure the vendor’s technical direction matches that of your company.
Ease of Integration • Integration with: • Other planned supply chain systems • Existing supply chain systems • Marketing, engineering and financial systems • Vendor resources to enable integration • Personnel • Integration tools • Automated Programming Interfaces (API) • Technical architecture • Openness • Alignment with your direction • Automated program interfaces • Application development tools Ease of integration can make or break your implementation.
Ease of Implementation • Never really easy, just degrees of difficulty • Technical and functional implementation • Implementation requires a lot of effort • Made more difficult by business realities • Limited time • Limited resources • Limited budget • Vendor resources/tools can make a difference • Include questions in reference checks: • How long to implement • How many company resources • Actual expenditures Ease of implementation may best be measured by the time and resources required vs. those which were expected.
Implementation and Training Resources, Plans and Methods • Vendor able to meet your schedule • Resources for implementation and training • Vendor • Internal • Project methodology and planning tools • Vendor personnel • Knowledge of the software • Knowledge of your business • Capabilities and special skills which you need • Capacity to get the job done • Availability to meet your schedule • Professionalism Both internal and external resources are critical to the success of your implementation.
Vendor Quality Assurance • System to run your business has to work • Learn about how the vendor manages: • Software package development • Interface and enhancement development • Software “fixes” and upgrades • Hiring of implementation consultants • Implementation projects OR Is this vendor a quality vendor? Will the system perform?
On-Going Support • Maintenance and Upgrades • Packaged software • Interfaces • Modifications • Help Desk support • Technical and user support • 24 * 7 • Geographic coverage • Unlimited use • Included in software maintenance fee Vendor support will be critical to keeping users happy and the system running smoothly.
Vendor References and Reputation • Get references • In your industry • In your geographic area • Some who had problems • Technical and user representatives • Check them -- go visit if possible • Know what you want to learn • Document Use the reference checks to make your decision and to improve your implementation plan.
ACME Systems Vendor Financial Strength and Long-Term Business Prospects • Has the vendor been profitable for the past 5 years? • Is the vendor growing? • What are the vendor’s future prospects? • How are they managing their growth? • Is there any chance they will be acquired? To consider the vendor as a business partner, assure that there will be a business with which to partner.
For More Information • Please contact: • Brian Savoie • Vice President • High Performance Concepts, Inc. • Cell: 404.909.9286 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.hpcinc.com