Software Selection? Did You Think Of This?

Being in and around the industry all day, every day, you hear a lot of stories. Mainly war stories. How companies spend a lot of money going through selection projects is a topic that comes up a lot. Here is the issue. They hire a big consulting firm, go through a long and expensive process, and often end up selecting the vendor they first thought of. The implementation turns into a bit of a mess as it becomes apparent that said vendor oversold the product.

I’m not going to bash consulting firms, many of whom deliver excellent customer service, but I am going to explain a few home truths that are pretty much common knowledge I think. . Firstly, If they bring templates such as an RFP template to the table, it is highly likely that it is either a history of every project and requirement they ever did/met and/or it inadvertently may favor a particular vendor from the word go.  This can be an advantage in saving time building an RFP but it can also be a disadvantage if you don’t properly scrub it for things that are simply not a requirement for your needs.  Of course, many consulting firms will do the best they can to be unbiased, but they maybe biased without sometimes knowing it so if you use one – you should work to find that inadvertent bias and compensate for it. An example of this may well be just the skills they have internally are more around a particular set of vendors and products.

Now the sales pitch.

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There is an alternative. You can ask Commodity Technology Advisory to pull together a long list for you and/or audit the project from start to finish. Why might you do this? Well, we are vendor agnostic analysts. We have no bench nor template RFP. What we do have is an encyclopedic knowledge of the space – all of the vendors, (over 100) – even the small guys you never heard of, all their products, built up over 17-years of doing what we do. We have seen almost every solution on the market – had it demonstrated to us. We can see through the nonsense too and we have connections across the space globally who constantly talk to us about what they experience, see and hear. We are Experts with a capital E. We also have a methodology and templates but these are designed to rapidly take your high-level requirements and boil it down into a prioritized list of which vendor/product you should look at. It is cost effective and risk reducing. We reduce risk via having a holistic view of all vendors, being unbiased and having no vested interest in additional consulting revenues, and through accelerated time to identification of qualified vendors. However, we don’t replace the consulting firm – they still help with the overall process of selection of the software and, in some cases, the implementation of the chosen solution. We simply help speed up the process by identifying the likely candidates in the form of a long list and reduce risk by ensuring that all eligible vendors are considered – even the ones you may not have heard of. In essence, it is a complimentary service to what the consulting firm does.

It’s a strange thing but we don’t get asked to do this very often. Maybe 4-5 times per year. The clients we have done this for come back to us over and over again because they have seen the value, minimized their risks and got a good result. Invariably, we work in close partnership with the selection consultant and can offer some additional best practice views along the way. Like the idea? Hadn’t thought of it before? Give us a call…..

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