Choosing the right Financial Management or Constituent Management solution is not just about the upfront costs of the solution. More importantly, it’s about the long-term partnership you will have with your software vendor.
With so many product and vendor choices available today making the right choice for your organization usually factors in product fit, overall cost, on-going annual costs and references. Are these criteria sufficient when investigating a software tool that will run your organization for years to come?
“The Client Life-Cycle” or long-term relationship and services you will receive as your needs change is one of the most important aspects of making an important technology decision. Your finance and constituent management software is critical to tracking data that helps you make business decisions and to helping you grow while also making organizational improvements. This is why the long-term relationship with your vendor – the care you will receive and how they ensure your solution continues to meet those needs during the life-cycle of your relationship – is very important.
Below are a few key long-term care considerations when you’re selecting a software vendor:
- Do they provide a dedicated Account Representative? Whose role is taking care of you, assisting you with key product decisions, budget planning, future/product road-map planning and so on.
- Do they provide a variety of options for Training? Ample online and classroom training opportunities, newsletters, blogs, webinars and training videos are crucial to successful use of your software.
- Do they have an Annual Conference? An information-filled conference that offers networking opportunities with similar organizations can help you learn tips and tricks for the software, as well as how other similar organizations are maximizing their software.
- Do they provide document Handovers? As you move through implementation, deployment, and to go-live, how are the transition periods handled? A proper document handover process ensures every one on the team is up to speed on your project.
- Do they provide Software Support? Dedicated ‘on the fly’ support for urgent issues minimizes software down time within your organization, improving overall efficiencies.
- Do they provide Road-mapping? A clear annual road-mapping and review process provides your organization with long-term goals and planning, ensuring your product is matching your needs and allows for long-term budgeting to take place.
- Do they have a You-ser Group strategy? The ability to meet with fellow users and network, share ideas and learn more about your solution in a You-ser Group environment provides a strong ongoing commitment to improving your solution and reporting efficiencies.
- Do they have a Client Satisfaction Strategy? This ensures proper long-term care and happiness with your organizations solution investment as well as an overall successful long-term “partnership” with your software vendor.
Stay tuned for more posts on each of these important considerations! Read part 2 of 3.