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The demo process and the ROI

November 15, 2012

The demo process is a pivotal part of the purchase of a software solution. It is the time when not only the application is shown to the potential end user, but it is the time when the proposing consulting company understands many of the intricacies of the prospect’s business. One important recommendation during this process is not to withhold information provided to the potential consulting firm. If necessary, have a confidentiality agreement signed, if the concern is to share vital information for the business. We have encountered a number of times that things that do not seem too relevant develop into complete show stoppers during the implementation phase. And if a process is a vital process for a business, it should be fully demoed before the purchase. Therefore its disclosure is a central piece to the future success of the project.

I could not stress enough in this point again the importance of having the consulting team of the proposing company present during the demonstration process. We all know that, as in any industry, you can encounter sales representatives that are looking after the prospect’s benefit and others that are looking after meeting their quotas. Unfortunately we have seen more than one case when there are a lot of promises made that, when the implementation time comes, can not be delivered because the application does not have the functionality built within it. And then, for vital business processes, this turns into a separate project, which will take its own time, resources and cost. Not a good position to be in at all.

The return on investment (ROI) part of the buying process is an important consideration. In many instances, it can be easy to calculate. However be aware that in many others it will be a complicated process, mainly due to the inaccuracy of the parameters to be measured. How do you easily measure the availability of support on site easily? Or the familiarity of a specific firm with your industry?

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