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How do I know which software is best for my organization?

You do this by stacking the deck.  Let me explain.  Software companies like to show their strengths when they are demonstrating their product to potential clients.  Only sometimes do these bells and whistles address the key activities within an organization.  Why take a chance?  Require a software vendor to demonstrate how their software addresses your biggest issues  (not all issues, but the top issues that govern everyday life)!  Here is an example:

Top Management decides:

  • Customer orders will be entered through a web based method that allows customers to ‘configure’ their order by selecting predefined features
  • Credit Cards will be the only payment method for web-based orders
  • Orders over $300 will be shipped for free
  • If customer orders cannot be shipped within 1 day of the target date shipping is free
  • Outside sales will be commission based with commission only paid after the full payment of the customer invoice

A simple RFP can now ask Vendors to demonstrate these features (although these are not the only requests within the RFP).  Vendors that cannot show these features are not viable candidates.  Vendors capable of demonstrating these features in their “STANDARD” offering are more likely to be the best fit for the organization.  Because the standard software addresses the core business requirements and because the software vendors have customers already using these features, the risk to implement the system is less that the risk of implementing software that does not include these features as “Standard”.  Performing this request helps stack the deck in favor of your organization.


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