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May 21, 2007

Comments

Michael Krigsman

Brian,

Great article on a important issue that often determines the ultimate success of a complex project.

I have blogged about it here: http://projectfailures.com/blog/2007/5/22/software-selection-blues.html.

Michael Krigsman
http://projectfailures.com

Steve Epner

Software selection is fraught with problems. I agree that it is very difficult to use any automated selection process for anything but limiting the number of choices. At www.software4distributors.com, our goal is to do just that. Make it easy for a company looking fro software to focus in on three or four viable options. Then it is imperative to do the necessary research to find the best of the finalists for any given company.

The comment that “comparisons of functions are costly to accumulate and keep current” is defiantly the truth. We spend over a man year annually just working to update our lists. We do not review each of the 2000 questions each year, but do select about 300 points each year to check. Also, we do not review hundreds of packages, only about 25 key packages in the vertical market we serve. It is very focused and unbiased.

Still, the most important action a company can take is to develop a short list of applications to review. Then identify the 10 or 20 or even 50 critical issues that give you a competitive advantage. Assume that any of the major packages will do all of the basics (general ledger, invoicing, A/R, and A/P). Ask each of the vendors to prove that they can provide solutions to the features that matter.

As you point out, it is also a political decision. Most of the packages will solve the processing issues. BUT, if the staff is not behind the selection, the software implementation can easily fail. Allow everyone to put their thumb print on the decision so that it is theirs. Then they will work hardest to make it work.

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