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Getting References

December 6, 2012

One important task in selecting software that is often overlooked is requesting references.  As obvious as it seems to write, obtaining and reviewing reference must be done before the purchase.  Another important part of working with references is to follow-up with conversations with those that have used the software. Call or visit to discover pitfalls, how the software is being used, issues that were faced and how they were resolved.

It is important to request references within the same industry or that have at least the same type of operation.  Often in ERP applications for example, the software is generic enough that it can be configured to function a number vertical industries.  Select references that are closely related to discover what kinds of

Of course, the references that will be provided will be of successful implementations and customers that are happy with the services of a company. However, a good point to keep an eye on is the number of references and the time it takes to obtain them.

Another good source is to talk to the software publisher, if there is any. The publisher will not normally provide negative feedback to a prospective customer, however it may indicate that there are additional resources available or recommend other resources.

An additional source of references would contacts in your industry, Internet search engines and industry associations.

As the master cabinetmakers say, “Measure twice, cut once.”  It’s good advice for selecting software as well.

Next Time: Pricing; Haggle or Not??

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