When it comes to implementing new software, you not only have to choose which solution is right for your company, but you will also need to choose a supplier.
How should you choose them? What should you look for in a software partner and which are the criteria you should use to select the best company to work with?
Experience of your Preferred Software
One of your main considerations will be what experience the potential partner company has of the software you are considering. You should take into account the qualifications and expertise levels of their consultants and developers. Are they certified to the requisite levels in the software, for example?
Software vendors also certify their partners. Those partners with more experience and expertise are rated more highly. You’ll see partner programme designations such as Gold Partner or Tier 1 Partner and so on. If you’re looking at implementing NetSuite, for instance, then you will want to work with a 5-Star Partner. These certifications show an endorsement of that company by the originator of the solution. They let you know that the partner company is expert in working with the application, has a demonstrable level of ability and is a trusted partner of the software creator.
Case Studies, Testimonials and Reference Sites
Case studies show what kind of company the partner business has experience of. Check that the partner you are assessing has worked for companies like you. Have they completed projects of a similar size? And for those in your industry? Or have they solved issues that are comparable to yours? You will want to seek out a partner that has managed projects that are equivalent in scope and size to yours. Review the written and video case studies on their website and check out their testimonials to find out how suitable the company is as a partner.
Larger projects entail a sizeable budget, so it’s also worth investing some extra time during the research phase to speak to or visit your prospective software partner’s site references. A good partner will make the introductions and facilitate a meeting with a suitable business and will then give you the space to conduct a discussion or site visit on your own terms. This allows you control over the questions you want to pose and ensures you gain an honest opinion from the site reference about the partner company.
Even if you want to buy an off-the-shelf application, you will likely still need some tailoring of the software, integration with other systems, or some assistance with setting things up to suit your working practices.
And with more complex solutions such as ERP systems, you will need to have the package tailored to precisely fit your needs. Here, it is key that your chosen partner has knowledge and experience of integrating the software with your other software packages. Look for a partner that has significant experience of delivering bespoke development and customisation, so you can be sure that the solution will 100% fit your needs and will integrate seamlessly with your existing business software.
With the increasing globalisation of business, working with local companies is not as important as it used to be. Communications can be carried out via video call and entire implementations and configuration of software can often be done remotely.
Larger businesses with offices or outlets in many countries will want support across several locations. Here, you will want to find a more global operation, with offices in many regions across the world.
Training and Support
Check what provisions your prospective partner has in place for training and support of your new software. To take full advantage of your new solution, it’s vital that your staff understand how to use it. Here’s where training is important. Does your proposed partner offer an inclusive training programme? Or are there other options for you to buy training packages that’s suitable for your staff’s needs?
And once your software is up and running, you will want to ensure it is kept that way. Consider whether the software partner offers the levels of service you want. Do you want support that is available all the time that you are open, for example? Or are there other tiers of service level agreement (SLA) that work better for you?
Companies are not faceless organisations; they are staffed by people. So finally, your choice of partner will often come down to a less tangible feel that you get about the company. You will likely place some emphasis on how well your staff related to their consultants. The old adage here – that people buy from people – is as true as ever. If you get on in the initial meetings, then it stands to reason that you will work well together on the implementation project.
At NoBlue, we take care to provide solutions that closely meet your needs. We specialise in implementing a range of NetSuite managed services that provide you with a bespoke business solution. we are a 5-star certified NetSuite consultancy, with an in-house team of NetSuite certified consultants and developers that have been working with the software for more than a decade. For a free business consultation or a tailored quote, book an appointment to speak with us today.