Purchasing Enterprise Software: The Implementation Edition

Buying enterprise software is like falling asleep. You either fall into a beautiful dream of success and happiness, or you descend into a nightmare of bugs, loneliness, and empty promises. So how do you guarantee that your dreams come true?

The obvious tactic is enabling open communication between yourself, your vendor, and your team. However, I’ll tell you right now, that isn’t enough. What you need are three key strategies to ensure the success of your new business software. Here’s how:

Define Your Must-Haves and Focus On Them First

I wish that enterprise software worked like a toaster: you turn it on, put something in, and out comes something delicious and crispy. However, every company is different, and everyone has a different way they like their toast done.

From the moment you start your vendor selection process, all the way to the day you deploy your software the company, make sure you have a list of things the software must do. The 80/20 rule applies here. Your new software might not do everything, but the things it needs to do should be your focus. Make sure that within the first 30 days, you don’t get lost in the small problems, but instead focus on the big ones. There will be time to focus on the harder details later. For now, make sure the immediate business outcomes are taken care of.

Make Sure You Have An Education Roll Out Plan, and Share It With The Entire Company

If you are deploying software to your company, you know you have to teach the employees how to use it. So sit right there, and I’ll get back to you.

For those who are deploying software that only you or you and your co-worker will use, you still have to have an education roll out plan. Not just for you, but for your entire company! Even if they don’t use it, they should know how it affects the workflow of the company.

Now, I won’t bore you on how to build out an entire education roll out plan, but remember, you’ll want to roll it out over time, and across departments. And don’t forget to build out a playbook, and the detailed steps you plan to take to share it with your team and your company.

Study The Best Practices Of Other Companies

It’s very easy to just create your own systems within your new software. But if you want to take it to the next level, explore other companies that have deployed that same software. They will have been through the problems and successes that you may soon experience.

Have your vendor setup and introduction, or reach out separately. Ask them what they were successful with, and where they had struggles. Not asking these questions put you in the dark when you’re ready to deploy.

In Closing

When you purchase enterprise software, you are making an investment into your business. Make sure you get the most out of your purchase by making sure you’re ready to go live with a strategy in place.

Contributor: Taylor Sternberg