Altus Dynamics Blog

Evergreen: We'll get you excited (instead of fearful) about upgrades!

Posted by Dhebi Hay on Apr 26, 2016 10:30:00 AM

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At Altus Dynamics, we are constantly analyzing our customers' needs so that we can create better solutions that will truly benefit your organizations. One conversation that is always a difficult (and sometimes frustrating one) is when we talk to customers about upgrades.

 

Thankfully, our customers that are on our Cloud Subscription model are automatically updated to the latest versions as they come out. However, those that are on older on-premise versions have to regularly consider the option of upgrades, and figure out if and when it is the right time to do it.

 

"Our users don't have the time to learn something new."

"We're so far behind now, that an upgrade would be too disruptive."

"There's no way we can justisfy the cost."

"Are the benefits of the new version worth the effort?"

"The process of upgrading seems overwhelming."

 

These are just some of the things that come up in those conversations. That's what triggered us to decide we had to make the upgrade process something that organizations look forward to, instead of dread.

upgradecartoon.jpgWe realized that the biggest problem is that our clients were often waiting too long to upgrade their ERP solution, and this makes the upgrade process longer and much more complicated than it needs to be. We know that the longer clients wait to upgrade their solution, the harder change management is for their team, the more frustrating the older technology becomes (especially for newer employees), and the more features they miss out on.

The individual components of the upgrade process – including building a business case, gathering requirements, obtaining the necessary funding, getting board approvals, maybe doing an RFP, then purchasing, implementing, training, etc.  can all add up and make an upgrade a more frightening prospect than it needs to be.

Also, with hardware technology evolving every 2 years, software solutions need to keep up. Think about it like your phone – you need to buy a new one every couple years in order to get access to the features that make your life easier, and if there’s an app you really want and your phone can’t run it that can be very annoying. Your ERP system needs to be updated too, but we know it can be costly and unpredictable. The question of “should we upgrade” becomes more and more cumbersome over time, even when it’s really obvious the answer is yes, since we know early adopters fare better with software changes.

The solution? We took all the input we received from our customers on what would make an upgrade easier and we created our Evergreen Plan. The plans helps to minimize the risk and uncertainty related to upgrades, allowing our clients to focus on what’s most important to them – their missions, and the people they serve.

Eligible clients who opt into the program pay an annual fee and have their ERP solution upgraded every 2 years, keeping their solution cutting edge and helping them budget out the upgrades from the start (instead of going down the long and tedious business case path for every upgrade).

We’ve taken everything else into consideration too so that Evergreen upgrades can run as smoothly as possible. Included with the Evergreen plan is:

  • Project management for the duration of the project
  • Installation of both test and production (live) environments
  • Data migration to both test and production (live) environments
  • Testing assistance
  • Go-Live support
  • What's new training on the functional areas in use

We know that part of the reason upgrades get relegated to the back burner is how busy our clients can be, so we've designed this program to make sure the Evergreen upgrade is as convenient for our clients as possible. Evergreen upgrades aren’t done automatically – we fit them into your schedule when it is best for you, within a 12-month period.

With improved features, faster operation, and snazzier graphics, upgrades should be something your entire organization gets excited about - and we're committed to helping you feel that way about them again.

If you want to learn more about our Evergreen Plan, listen to our Director of Client Success, Diana Budreau, in our webcast, or send me an email at dhay@altusdynamics.com.

 

 

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This Post Was Written By Dhebi Hay
Dhebi Hay is a Client Success Representative here at Sparkrock, serving as a main point of contact for customers. Her education, NFP background, and passion for helping others put her in a unique position to understand customer’s experiences and help them get the most out of their solution.