Choosing new software is always a challenge.  How do you account for the many needs of users in the organization?  What questions do you ask of software providers?

Start with some internal home work to find out your needs and the issues you are trying to address.

Make a list of the top five problems, bottlenecks, unproductive time spent areas.  Do this as individuals in a department. Think about how many times a day, week, month, and a year the above problems occur.  Meet as group to review, consistent issues get top ranking.

Inventory of your current software, hardware and backups.  Everything from who hosts email, website, versions of software to online software subscriptions.

Review of your current data.  Is it up to date?  Does it need to be cleaned up?  What is the size of data base/ or bases?  Discussion on importing old data to new system- if you are unsure about how good that data is then it should not be imported into the new system.

Once you done your homework and are starting to look at software share this information with the companies you are looking at so they can help you find solutions and satisfy the needs of your organization.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  If you are not sure what questions to ask see the below for some suggestions:

How many companies are using the software?

How long?

What are kind of companies are they?

Who are the companies?

Can we contact them?

Review of server and infrastructure requirements for new system.

Any additional server requirements?

Additional storage requirements?

Can it run as a virtual server?

Any additional PC requirements?

Additional equipment needs?

What implementation support to you provide?

Any recommendations on project team members (what has worked for other implementations)?

What kind of support (including on-site) will be provided/or what cost to get onsite support?

Resource Requirements that should plan for (this is good question and will help cut down on money surprises and it is also a good question for references)?

Training requirements.

Software runs your business.  It is just as important as the tanks, furnaces or other capital equipment your purchase.  Take time to do your homework and be open to new solutions.