4 Tips for getting the most out of your enterprise software purchase
Author: Rebecca Taheri, Consultant, Open Windows
Enterprise Software can be a big investment and is often sold with the expectations of greater efficiency and effectiveness. However once initial training is complete, many organisations fail to invest in learning about further functionality within the software, and miss the opportunity to achieve even greater efficiency. To optimise your investment and take advantage of all benefits the software has to offer, we provide the following tips;
Buy the right software
This first tip seems obvious, but it is worth dedicating time to ensuring that you buy the right software for your business needs. Solutions that provide different levels of functionality and various deployment and licensing options offer greater flexibility. Modular products are a cost effective way to purchase just the features that you will actually use, with scope to expand as required.
Initial training may not cover all the functionality. Once you are comfortable using the system it may be worthwhile reviewing the user manual. A quick scan of the table of contents could reveal features that might be useful to you. Your software will change over time as new releases become available and it is likely that your own processes will change too. It can be beneficial to remain informed as the majority of new features included in software releases can be a result of feedback from other customers or due to industry changes and trends, all of which can improve your own processes at little or no additional cost to you. Many software providers will send out regular communications describing new updates and features and it is worth ensuring you are subscribed.
Get involved in user groups or forums
You can find a forum or user group for most systems, whether run independently or provided by the software supplier. These can be invaluable sources of information to discover answers to problems you are experiencing or to learn more efficient and new ways of using the system. Try searching the forums using key words and, if you can’t find an answer, post a message. If you are having a problem chances are that someone else has experienced it too. User groups and conferences are a great opportunity to discuss with others how they use the system, as well as engage directly with the software supplier.
Do you have a great idea for an improvement or something that does not fulfil your needs? Make sure you tell your software supplier. Many features that are included in releases have been suggested by people just like you. Most software providers genuinely want to ensure that their product meets the needs of their customers and will welcome your feedback.
When you implement a software solution, you become part of a community of users. Engaging with others in this community can help you solve problems and discover better ways of utilising your system. Your software will also continuously evolve and improve through feedback from this community as well as industry changes and trends. By remaining up to date with these changes and being involved with the user community and software provider, you can ensure that your system will continue to drive improvements in your business.