Your company has decided it’s ready to take your policy or contract management system to the next level and look into compliance management software vendors. You’ve been tasked with researching and evaluating vendors and products.
Beyond comparing the actual features of the products and price, what else should you look for and ask about when choosing the right partner?
How long has the compliance management software vendor been in business? Will they be around for a long time to offer product updates and ongoing support as needed? You’ll want to ensure the vendor has a strong balance sheet so it can support your business in the long-term. After migrating to a new system, the last thing your company wants to do is to have to repeat the vendor search, implementation process and migration a year or two later because the vendor went out of business and you’re now working on outdated, unmaintained software.
Does the vendor offer continuing updates and new versions to its products? If so, how often? The best software vendors are ones that push themselves and are dedicated to innovation — to recognizing that they can always do better, they can always learn from their customers and own experiences, and they should always improve themselves to benefit their customers.
How many customers does the vendor currently serve, and in what industries? Learning the vendor’s customer base will help determine whether it has experience working with companies similar to yours (in size, scope or industry), and whether it understands your company’s and industry’s specific challenges and needs.
Does the vendor have any testimonials? Don’t be afraid to ask for customer references and client case studies. Not only do they offer an inside look at challenges the vendor helped solve, but they also help demonstrate the strength and closeness of the business relationship.
What’s the client retention rate? If customers have left, did they give reasons for leaving? Choose a vendor that wants to build a long-term partnership with you, but also upholds its own values and is not afraid to part ways with a customer that isn’t the right culture fit or doesn’t share the same values.
What kind of ongoing support does the vendor offer, if any? Will the vendor walk you through system configuration, data migration and training, or will it simply give you the software and then disappear? Does the vendor offer user guides, maintenance, training and support? Consider who from your team will be the point of contact and how much support your company will realistically need to implement and manage the software. Also consider how your team best communicates and learns — some teams need little help and prefer to work off written documentation, while others learn best by being walked through the software via phone conference. Ask how the vendor accommodates people’s different learning styles.
Does the vendor have the capabilities, resources and time to take on your project? Make sure the vendor is able to support you and its other customers, and knows how to balance all of its customers’ priorities and needs.
How many people will be allocated to your account? Who from the vendor’s team will be your point of contact? While some companies prefer one point of contact to eliminate confusion and miscommunication, other companies prefer to hear from the entire team working on their account, from the customer relationship manager to the IT specialists.
At ConvergePoint, we understand that the vendor selection process takes time — especially when you’re committed to building long-term partnerships like we are. Founded in 2002, we serve a wide range of customers in heavily regulated industries, and offer three products on Microsoft SharePoint: Policy Management Software,Contract Management Software and Health and Safety Training Software. With a dedicated team, we work with you through the implementation and training processes, and offer continual product updates and upgrades.