There is a lot of information doing the rounds at the moment about how HR teams should be adopting a new approach, based on software systems, to enable them to be more efficient, more productive and to deliver a better service to employees. That is all well and good, but what happens if you have little experience of buying and implementing software – after all this is usually in the hands of the IT department isn’t it?
The simple fact is that the way software is being purchased is changing, yes your IT department may be involved in the process – but so should you, after all you are the ones who will be using it and it is important that whatever you invest in meets your needs.
With over 20 years’ experience in providing software solutions to B2B organisations, we understand a thing or two about how to pick the right software partner and we have pulled together our top tips for the things you should consider when making your selection.
Tip One: Identify exactly what your priorities are
It is important when looking for your perfect software partner, that you really understand what it is that you are trying to achieve and what your business requirements are. What factors will be looked at to determine whether your project has been a success? Then prioritise those requirements by ‘must have’ and ‘nice to have’. This will make it much easier during your selection process as you will understand the areas you can compromise one and the areas you can’t.
Tip Two: Make sure that they listen to your requirements
The perfect software partner does more than just sell you what they have to offer, the perfect partner will truly listen to what you are trying to achieve and will work with you to provide the solution that will really fit your requirements.
Tip Three: Ask yourself, do you trust them?
Is the company you are looking to partner with trustworthy? Are they prepared to say ‘no’ in order to retain their integrity i.e. will they tell you honestly if they can’t provide your ‘must haves’? A great software partner will be upfront and honest about what can or can’t be achieved, they won’t make false promises just to get the sell – can they provide evidence that the software can do what it is telling you it can do?
Tip Four: Make sure know who you will be working with
It is important that enjoy working with the people you will be dealing with throughout the project process. Understand who will be your key contacts and make sure you have the opportunity to meet with them, this includes what happens after you have handed over the PO. A strong partnership is about solid relationships, this is difficult to forge if you can’t bear speaking with your key contact!
Tip Five: Make sure you understand how they do business
It is important to look at the ethics and morals of how a business does business. Ultimately you are looking for a partner whose principles align with yours – check backgrounds on their corporate social responsibility policies. Although this may not seem important initially, think long-term, is this a company that you want to be associated with?
Tip Six: Look at the support they offer
Make sure that you consider after-care. It doesn’t really matter what support they offer, what matters is that the support they can offer suits what it is that you are looking for. After all, does it really matter if they can offer 24/7 support if you only need 9 – 5 support? But do consider long-term plans and factor this into how your support needs may change in the next 3-5 years.
Tip Seven: Get IT involved
When choosing software it is just as crucial to review the software, as it is the deployment options available. Often you will have the choice to implement the software both in your IT environment or in the elusive cloud but what does this really mean for you? If you are looking to implement the software in your IT environment, it is key to involve your IT team as they will need to support you and also review the impact on their IT infrastructure. If your business strategy is cloud, whereby the supplier will often take care of upgrades and IT infrastructure, you need to ensure they meet your security governance when dealing with sensitive HR data.
Tip Eight: Take the time you need to make your decision
Buying software is a big decision and the last thing you want is to be left with ‘buyer’s remorse’ if you find yourself making that decision to quickly or rashly you can easily find yourself having to defend your choice. Take your time, trust your instincts and be happy with the decision you finally make.
We hope that you find these tips helpful, please share any other tips you may have with us on Twitter using the hashtag #SunriseTopTips