How often have you been told to be careful for what you wish for? This saying is probably something we should take more seriously because we all know that some gifts are too good to be true. You know, that cool new gadget that you bought that doesn’t work the way it was described or your software has gaps that you weren’t aware of when you signed on the dotted line. This supplier-buyer discrepancy is something that happens more than it should, especially in the world of aggressive end of year sales goals.

The best way to avoid getting the short end of the stick is to use it to your advantage. Knowledge is power and you have the upper hand in negotiating deals to get the best value. Do your due diligence and really question the validity of what the vendor is saying. Just because the vendor can talk well, doesn’t mean the product matches your business requirements. A great technology is only as great as the process and people empowered by the technology.   As your organization starts to evaluate options, consider these best practices so that you are able to avoid the common mistakes that are often made while selecting a SPM solution:

  1. What do I need? It’s not just about a technology or tool. Before or as you go into a vendor evaluation processes, ask yourselves, how is this solution going to be integrated into existing processes? Think about this question from a future state perspective because ultimately the solution is implemented to help you move from your current state into a thriving future state to help support areas, such as business growth. You want to be moving up the maturity curve from a state of operational to transformational. Most organizations on a scale of 1 to 5 are about a 1.5 before clearly executing on a mature future state vision. Inversely, companies with a 4 or 5 maturity score are typically in the top 1% of their markets.
  1. Selecting the Wrong Technology or Partner: Organizations are spending too much time focused on the “bells & whistles” of technology instead of the overall solution and partnership. Products may solve your problem, but you could dig yourself into a deeper hole if you select a vendor or service partner not aligned with your organizational goals. To help mitigate this, ask yourself these questions:

 

  • Does this solution solve our problem(s)?
  • Do I have a detailed list of all the items we want built in the technology solution? Just because you see it in a demo does not mean that it is in the services contract or “in scope”.
  • Will this vendor/service partner be able to support us after the implementation is over? Do I understand what it takes to own and operate the technology after the implementation is completed?
  • What are the roles and responsibilities required to cover with testing and change management? This is often the most frequently overlooked responsibility in any technology project.
  • Do I have complete understanding of what it takes to own and operated the system after the project is complete?

 

Not sure what to ask? Get a list of common requirements and questions to consider on your project. Just ask us.

  1. Poor Demo Preparation: Don’t ever leave a product demo confused and don’t be afraid to ask the hard, probing questions, especially because you need all that information as you make your final decision. Setup various demonstrations, whether it a general or custom demonstration. Consider the value of completing a proof of concept. Most importantly, explain what your struggles are so the vendor is able to relate their technology to your business requirements and bring in all departments that the change will effect – just because it solves your issue, the change might negatively impact others.

 

As a full service technology agnostic consulting partner, OpenSymmetry is your advocate from strategy to success. We have broad and extensive knowledge of all leading technologies, enabling us to have a 99% leading success rate for go-live projects, eclipsing the industry benchmark of just 30-50%. We value being non-biased toward the technology that your organization chooses. Success for OpenSymmetry is clients that achieve real results from their end-to-end solution including all aspects of people, process, tools and technology. Our goal is for every organization to choose the right solution for their business requirements.   We don’t just get in and get out. We want to make sure that the customer knows what they are getting in the end, are self-sufficient with the system, and are properly trained. We will make sure you are successful.

Interested in learning more? Download the full Six Common Mistakes of Selecting a SPM Solution white paper and understand other issues companies experience during the vendor evaluation process. Want to take advantage of amazing end of year pricing? Ask us to review your proposals to make sure you are covered. We can help guide you through possible pitfalls. If you have any questions about which vendor is best for your organization, schedule a meeting with one of our experts, so that you can truly turn your wishes into a reality!

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