Resource Type: White Paper
Title: 6 things you need to know when purchasing Service Lifecycle Management software
About: Based on independent research Michael Blumberg provides critical information for anyone who is preparing to purchase Service Lifecycle Management (or Service Management) software.
Download: Download the white paper by clicking here.
As President of the Blumberg Advisory Group, Michael R Blumberg is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading consultants across field service, aftermarket services and reverse logistics. He is also a prolific commentator on industry and an accomplished author of many white papers. Field Service News is pleased to bring a selection of his white papers to you. The first of these is based on an exclusive research conducted by the Blumberg Advisory Group which was a yearlong market research study sponsored by the CSDP Corporation which looked at the experiences of hundreds of companies when purchasing Service Lifecycle Management (SLM) software.
As Jerry A Edinger, CEO of CSDP corporation comments “An ideal SLM solution puts terms and conditions of the contract at the heart of the system and builds on that system with solid experience in service delivery.” “There are many Niche players in the SLM space. Decades of experience and trusting your provider is key to everyone’s success. We treat all of our clients as a trusted partner. By doing this, it creates a Win-Win for everyone” In this white paper “6 things you need to know when purchasing Service Lifecycle Management software” Blumberg distils the knowledge found in this research into six key findings for organisations looking purchase enterprise standard service software. These are:
What to expect in the sales process?
Whilst you are almost certainly going to be doing a lot of research prior to even speaking with any software providers (like reading this feature and then downloading the white paper for further detail) when you do reach the point where you are contacting providers what can you expect? Well first of all most software provider’s will give you a top level demonstration of their software either during your initial call or soon after. Typically this is just meant to give you an idea of how the software works and a more detailed, a second demonstration, customised to your own specific company’s requirements will follow. Often the software provider will request that you fill out a demo prep form ahead of the next demonstration so they can tailor the demo to your needs.
What to look for in a Software Lifecycle Management software vendor?
The service management software market is a crowded niche, there are a number of software vendors available to you and understanding the different offerings can be a confusing if not overwhelming. In this section Blumberg looks at what were the common features that companies sought from software providers. The top three factors were software feature and functionality, technical competency of vendor, and vendor flexibility, with all of the respondents rating these factors as either the most important or second most important factor they considered when purchasing service software.
How important is price?
Interestingly price is far from the dominant factor when purchasing service software with only a quarter of companies indicating that price was the most important factor when purchasing SLM software. In fact over half of respondents selected a software solution that was somewhere in the middle in terms of cost.
How important is the role of discounts in the buying decision?
As in many industries discounting is reasonably standard and common place when pricing software so there is often room for negotiation in the purchasing process. Blumberg reveals that 83% of those who purchased an enterprise software solution in the past 24 months received a discount and 89% of those planning to purchase in the next 24 months expect a discount. However, remember to be wary of software providers who drop their price too much without concession. The lower price may just come to haunt you when it comes to implementation.
CRM, ERP or best of breed service software?
For service lifecycle management software there are often three choices; buy your service software form your CRM provider, buy from your ERP provider or choose a best of breed service software provider. Whilst it may be easier to go with the CRM or ERP providers who you already know, best of breed providers specialise in service and their products are designed to contain all the functional requirements to support the full service lifecycle management process in an organisation.
What happens after the sale?
Perhaps the most important aspect of the white paper, understanding what you can expect after you have purchased the software is of course an essential piece of insight that will shape your decision on choosing the right vendor. It is important to understand exactly what the vendor’s expectation are of you during the implementation as well as understand the level of resources the vendor will commit to you during the implementation and for post implementation support. In this final section of the white paper Blumberg provides some excellent guidance on getting this detail correct. Buying any kind of software can be a daunting, this is magnified when it is for business and when it comes to mission critical software such as Service Lifecycle Management software the stakes are even higher. Understanding the buying process is an important element of getting the right product, at the right price, with the right level of implementation support that your company needs. Drawing on the insight of hundreds who have been through the process this white paper is therefore a great resource for those considering SLM software.