How to select enterprise software

$3.1 trillion — that’s the yearly cost of poor quality data in the US, according to Harvard Business Review1. Given this harsh reality, enterprise software should be an easy sell.

Here’s where it gets complicated. A recent survey indicates that “apathy seems to be the dominant feeling surrounding business software. 76% of those surveyed said they feel "meh" about the business software they have to use. As for the other 24%, the bulk of them (17%) downright hate it.2

In summary, you need enterprise software, but you hate it. Perhaps, the breakdown happens in the selection process. Maybe what we really need is a proven method to select and implement the RIGHT system.

In the Agiloft white paper Selecting Enterprise Software, CEO Colin Earl introduces bold and innovative steps to the selection process that most companies have never even considered.

“Standard demos are not that useful. Vendors highlight the parts of their system that work best and hide their weaknesses by simply omitting them from the demo. So, it’s critical to find out how easily the system can be configured and how much assistance the vendor can provide with process and automation design.” To this end, Earl recommends a two-part demo test:

  1. Select a business process that is either mission-critical or unique to your organization and give the vendor a limited amount of time to prepare a demo that illustrates it. By restricting the time, you can see how quickly the system can be customized to your needs. If the vendor can’t meet the deadline, skip Part 2 and move on. Do not accept excuses — you’re banking your reputation on choosing the right solution.
  2. During the demo, ask the vendor to modify the system in a specific way. Warn them in advance that you want them to configure the system in real-time, so they have the necessary technical resources available. Do not tell them the exact configuration change or they might just set it up in advance.

Earl also puts forth other steps that are vital to the selection process:

  • Base your ROI calculations on the estimates of senior executives or hard numbers, rather than beliefs.
  • Start your due diligence with business review sites such as Capterra, Trust Radius or G2 Crowd.
  • Make sure the price is within your budget — not just for the first year, but over the life of the system. Vendors may appear to offer a bargain, until you realize post-sale that you’ll be paying a huge premium for ongoing consulting, support, or upgrade costs.

    If the business community adopted a method for system selection as sophisticated as the processes they want to automate, then we might just find that achieving data integrity with engaged users isn’t so hard after all.

    Read the white paper for more best practices: https://www.agiloft.com/how-to-choose-enterprise-software.pdf