Altus Dynamics Blog

Looking for a Long-Term Relationship with Your Software Provider? (Part 3 of 3)

Posted by Diana Budreau on Nov 2, 2014 11:00:00 AM

Business_Relationship_718In the first post of this series I discussed some key considerations you should look at when selecting a new software vendor. Most importantly is a vendor that will care for you long-term – helping as your needs and industry changes. In the second post I discussed the first 4 considerations in detail.

Here, I will discuss the last 4 key considerations when selecting a software vendor.

Do they provide Software Support?

After implementation is complete, a vendor should provide a variety of support plan options. Support ensures you can maximize your productivity and efficiency with your software. A support plan should also come with open access to an extensive knowledge base, support newsletters, downloads, and a peer network. A versatile vendor will also offer you options to get support for customizations and other critical operational aspects of your system that are not covered under a typical support plan. Before selecting your vendor seek to understand their plans and coverage. Don’t be fooled by a vendor that says their best offer is 24 hours support - seriously in over 30 years of being in the business I can count on one hand how many times a client needed help in the middle of the night.

Do they provide Road-mapping?

A software vendor should provide an annual roadmap which will help you determine the direction you should take with your organizations software. A solution roadmap looks at key areas such as; business intelligence, financial management, risk management, specific organizational needs and upgrade potential. This service allows for organizations to do long-term budgeting for their software solutions.

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 where the vendor participates as well provides a strong ongoing commitment to improving your solution. A You-ser Group should also evolve – as industry needs change, as teams change and as technology changes. Look for a vendor that has a history of successful you-ser groups and seek to understand what the benefits are. They should include a dual commitment - the vendor and the users put effort into this and the results are of benefit to both sides. As an example, the users share product suggestions and improvements, the vendor listens and then plans to add these suggestions to the product.

Do they have a Client Satisfaction Strategy?

Vendors should believe in long-term client relationships, and in short if the client isn’t happy – the relationship won’t last very long! Your software vendor should have a dedicated Client Success team whose goal will be to gauge how they are living up to your expectations, monitor performance over time and take action if needed. Your client success team should monitor your implementation, project management, training, custom project work, and support – to ensure your satisfaction at each of these stages. They should be reachable and be empowered to solve your issue or get the right people involved.
 
In this series I discussed 8 key considerations you should consider when looking for a long-term software vendor. Click on the links throughout the blog series to see how Altus Dynamics offers these key features. Click here is you missed Part 1 or Part 2 of this series.

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This Post Was Written By Diana Budreau
Diana has spent her career ensuring that clients using Microsoft ERP and HRP solutions are using their systems to their fullest potential and satisfaction. She has been recognized by Microsoft for her knowledge and commitment to clients and in building strong client relationships. When she isn’t working, she spends her time planning fundraising events for her local Nova Vita Women's Shelter.
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