Sometimes buying new business software feels like a galactic task, and seeing as today is May 4th (“May The Fourth”), we’re turning to some of our favorite Star Wars quotes to provide some tips on your next implementation.
Do your research ahead of time and don’t be afraid to pass on products
Every software demo is going to look good, but it might not be the product you’re looking for. Focus on your requirements, not the flashy nice-to-haves (i.e. don’t get dazzled by vendor mind tricks). Additionally, talk to the vendor’s current customers (not just references provided by the vendor) and find out the limitations of the solution within their business.
Don’t accept excuses for bug fixes
During user acceptance testing, you may come across issues that software vendors claim are “impossible to fix” and provide workarounds instead. Trust us, they’re usually not impossible. What’s worse is that these “fixes” are inconveniences and start adding up to major inefficiencies. Chime in and fight for a real solution to be included in a patch, you can bet the code changes are much easier than bullseyeing womp rats in a T16.
Hold vendors accountable for RFP and demo promises
Don’t get bullied like Lando. Partway through an implementation, you may feel like you’re at the mercy of the vendor, given all of the time and money you’ve already spent. Don’t forget the requirements that led you to buying new software in the first place. If vendors or consultants show you functionality in a demo, make sure they fully understand your situation so you’re not written off as the one edge case they can’t handle.
Don’t drown yourself with all of the challenges ahead
While you definitely want to set contingency plans for future setbacks and obstacles, if you try to handle all of your implementation worries at once, you’ll go crazy. At times it may seem like the odds are against you, but you can make it through the asteroid field.
Take a good look at the support contract
Don’t get sucked into a trap. You may be too busy congratulating yourself on a implementation well done to notice the less than ideal support contract you just signed up for. Make sure you understand what your short-term (more involved) and long-term plan is for support, as well as what happens when new releases come out.