Pros and cons of working with software consultant.
Let’s suppose your company is looking for a software product to solve a particular problem. It can be an ERP system, CRM or simply software to automate your payment processing. How do you find the product that best fits your business needs and solves the pain that you have?
There are two ways to go about this. It doesn’t matter if the business is large or small, has an IT department, multiple locations or not. In both cases you can take the end-user approach. One of the employees or a team of employees will be assigned to the project of finding and evaluating solutions available on the market. They will have to make multiple calls, see product demos, test solutions and find the product that best suits the organization. The next step will be implementing solution, making it seamlessly work with other software programs that organization utilizes and testing it.
If the company management doesn’t have resources or prefers to rely on a 3rd party expertize, they can contract an outside software consultant to assist in choosing solution for the company, implementing and testing it. When doing so, you need to find an IT consulting firm that specializes in the product that you are looking for. Many firms may present themselves as an expert and will start research from point zero instead of providing options from the get go.
Even with expert software consultant there are things to watch out and to make sure that you get what you pay for. We will review the possible potholes of working with software consultant.
1. Biased opinion of software consultant. Often IT firms work with preferred vendors and even getting commissions on the product they recommend. It may be the best and more profitable solution for them, however may be not the best option for your organization (client). You will have to do some work evaluating products that they present, weighting pros and cons as it will be important for your processes in the long run.
2. The fee that software consultant charges. Many IT firms may underbid to get the contract and then charge extra fee while changing the scope. “Most consulting firms know at the time they place their bid that the scope is too small for the results the clients want,” says Steve Bogner from Insight Consulting Partners. “But if they put in a bid to cover an expanded scope, they will lose.”
3. Taking extra time to present solution while charging high hourly rate. You should take charge of the project by sticking to the deadline and managing stages from selecting product to implementing and testing it.
4. Lack of knowledge when implementing selected software in client’s environment. It is a responsibility of the client to choose software consultant who knows the system, worked with similar integration and has a proven success record. Collect references, follow up with previous clients to avoid costly mistake of hiring incompetent contractor.
These are only some recommendations and things to watch out for when working with an outside software consultant. There are many other details that can get your project to succeed or to fail. It is critical to assign a member of your team to work with IT consultant in order to make process smooth and to collect necessary data to implement the software.
At Printech Global Secure Payment Solutions we offer CheckPlusCFO secure payment software and hardware that automate payment processing. It integrates with ERP or accounting package to streamline payment operations. We have worked with end-users as well as with IT consulting firms. There are pros and cons in both. However, a strong team that is designated to lead project is the key, whether it is company management or a 3rd party software consultant.
When programmers at Printech Global develop custom check printing software, they need to collect data from various departments. It is important to outline software requirements, so the client can get exactly what he needs to process payments efficiently. The end goal is to automate payment processing and make operations more efficient. It is a client’s choice to get there with software consultant or without. Printech technical team is always there to support implementation and help with integration of the product. When needed the technical representative may travel to the client’s location to assist with software, acting as software consultant.
If you are a software consultant, we would love to partner with you to bring secure payment solution to organizations in USA and internationally. We have worked with companies in 28 countries, including governments, insurance companies, banks and finance organizations, education institutions, service and manufacturing companies.