CONTRIBUTION BY Michael R. Blumberg – Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and President & CEO of Blumberg Advisory Group
We’ve spoken to hundreds of companies to find out about their experiences when purchasing enterprise software for service (also known as Service Lifecycle Management (SLM) software). We’ve distilled the knowledge we gained into 6 tips to help you when you are in the market for enterprise service software.
You are likely doing research before you ever even engage a vendor, but when it’s time to start talking to software providers, what should you expect? First of all, most vendors will give some sort of brief, high level demonstration of the software during your initial call. This typically is just meant to give you an idea of how the software works. More detailed, customized demos will follow and at this time more thorough vendors will ask you to fill out a demo prep form so they can tailor the demonstration to your needs. You may also be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement so the vendor can freely share confidential information. Don’t expect more than a ballpark figure of the cost of the software on the first call; you’ll need to fully discuss your needs and expectations before getting more detailed pricing. This process also provides the opportunity for you and the software vendor to determine if you are the right fit for each other. Figure 1 shows the expectations of the software buyers we surveyed recently.