Read Parts Three, Four and Five
Read Parts One and Two
6. Reputation and Relationship with Software Manufacturer
Assuming that your chosen provider is not the software manufacturer, are they “in the trenches” with the manufacturer? Do they participate in alpha or beta testing of new product releases? Do they know the short and long term product roadmap? Find out the following:
Ask for representative examples to make sure the documentation will suffice and truly be a valuable resource when issues arise. Will the documentation that is provided at the end of the project detail your specific solution? When shown previous examples ask to be pointed to solution specific portions of the documentation. Watch out for “boiler-plate” style examples.
8. Good “fit” for your organization?
This is often unnecessarily overlooked. Are the people that you are talking to in a “pre-sales” capacity the same staff that will be assigned to your project? If not, ask to meet the project team. An area that is often overlooked is the culture compatibility with your own organization. This is very important if you desire to develop a long term, lasting partnership.
Outsourcing can be a wonderful alternative during times when maintaining budgets are more important than ever. If you select a competent partner, you will gain invaluable access to a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience on demand at a lower cost than it would typically cost for you to recruit, hire and train your own staff. Remember to seek a partner for the long term and good luck!