Software demos are a tour of force through the very best the software has to offer by very persuasive sales people. Always use a software demo to confirm your decision, not to make it. After the demos are completed, make your provisional selection. To eliminate "over-optimistic" vendors, audit the RFI or RFP for the provisionally selected product to validate that the software truly does meet your requirements profile.
The final step is to check references supplied by the vendor. You can also identify other references, for example by looking for LinkedIn profiles that mention the software and reaching out to those people.
If the provisionally selected product passes these steps, the software selection decision is confirmed. You can purchase the software confident you know exactly how well it meets your particular needs.
Use evaluations to reduce implementation costs
Information gathered in the software evaluation should be passed over to the implementation team to be used for project estimating and planning. This reduces risks and helps keep the implementation project on budget and on time.
Following this process eliminates poor purchasing caused by things like slick sales, internal politics, strong personalities, bias, groupthink and so on. Use it to find the best-fit software for your organization’s particular needs using a data-driven and auditable decision-making process. Set expectations by knowing how well the software will work for your organization before the purchase. Use the information gathered in the selection process to reduce the risk of implementation delays and costs increases.
Above all, make the most of the opportunity afforded with new enterprise software to improve the organization. If this is business-critical enterprise software, selecting the best-fit product really can make a difference to the bottom line.
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