Key Questions When Choosing New Software

Selecting a software solution that’s right for you involves a process of framing your needs and gathering data from senior managers, colleagues, and providers. You’ll first want to establish solution objectives, such as streamlined workflow, global process integration, and improved efficiencies.

Next, you’ll need to consider the type of projects and staff the new solution will involve.  Finally, you should discuss the implementation with other stakeholders, and come to an agreement as to whether you’ll introduce the new solution in phases, via a pilot in one location, or via a simultaneous rollout across multiple locations, divisions, or business units.

Once you’ve gathered this information, it’s time to develop a short-list of providers and uncover answers to the following questions recommended by Taleo Software:

Vendor Profile

  • What is the track record of each vendor? Does each have quality references?
  • Is the vendor financially stable; will it be in business for ongoing support, maintenance, and upgrades?
  • Who is on the management team?

Functionality

  • What type of employee or team member is the software designed for?
  • Does a demo of the software and features align with your current or preferred business processes?
  • Is the solution scalable for future expansion?
  • Does it support global processes?
  • Does it provide reporting, benchmarks, and metrics?

Implementation

  • What is the implementation methodology and timeline?
  • Do they have a history of on time, on budget implementation?
  • What are the arrangements for training?

Support

  • Is support provided onsite, online, or by phone?
  • When is support available? 24x7x365?
  • What languages is support provided in?

IT Infrastructure

  • What technology does your company need to run this software?
  • What programming languages and databases underlie the software?
  • If the vendor is delivering an on demand Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, what is the expected uptime?
  • What data security, such as encryption, virus scanning, or backup procedures, and physical security is in place?

Integration

  • Can the software integrate with your organization’s existing systems?
  • What other companies have had integrations similar to what you will need?

Global Expertise

  • Does the vendor have operations around the world?
  • Can it accommodate several languages?
  • Can it modify its processes according to the geography?
  • Can it support you in all your locations around the world?

Reporting and Metrics

Pricing and ROI

  • What are the costs? Are they all-inclusive?
  • What are the maintenance and upgrades costs?
  • Is there a proven ROI case?

After collecting all of the data you can, select one or two finalist solutions based on the vendor’s ability to meet business and technical requirements, vendor service, support, and warranty, estimated investments, similar client installations, current client satisfaction, implementation plan, system performance, training capabilities, and contractual terms and conditions. The last step should be to design a service level agreement that details the implementation and utilization of your new tool!














Alexandra Levit

Alexandra Levit’s goal is to help people find meaningful jobs - quickly and simply - and to succeed beyond measure once they get there. Follow her @alevit.

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