In this blog series, we will discuss what service organizations should expect when receiving different consulting services. We have discussed service assessments and business process re-engineering in previous posts. This third post reviews the technology selection process.
What is Technology Selection?
Seemingly self-explanatory, technology selection involves more than just looking at a couple technology options on paper, and pulling the trigger on one. Technology selection is the process by which an organization analyzes their current and future needs, their budget, and the vendor options available to them. In most cases, technology selection involves an RFP process, demonstrations, and contract negotiations.
Why Technology Selection?
The obvious reason for technology selection is to select new software or hardware solutions for your business. However, other reasons for technology selection include streamlining processes, gaining added visibility into your organization’s service operations, and improving efficiency and productivity. The better question is why might your organization want a consultant to help with technology selection? Consultants, particularly with experience in your industry, know many of the software and hardware technology vendors, their advantages and disadvantages, and how they work with your current and future business processes. Additionally, knowledgeable consultants will have experience with contract negotiations and the RFP process to help your organization easily navigate the selection process.
What to Expect
Expect a consulting firm to come to your organization’s headquarters. A consulting firm cannot adequately suggest technology solutions without understanding your current and future business processes as well as your existing infrastructure. After a consultant understands your potential needs, the consultant will work with your organization to identify, evaluate, and choose potential vendors.
After identifying those vendors, an RFP process can begin—which means asking for bids and demonstrations from the potential vendors. Demonstrations will include question and answer sessions as well as interface discussions. During the demonstrations, configuration and customization options can be explored. Finally, after the demonstrations, the consulting firm and your organization can discuss the pros and cons of each vendor. Once a vendor is chosen, a consultant can help an organization with contract negotiations (like Jolt Consulting Group did for the Center for Disability Services).
What Are the Benefits?
Benefits will differ depending on the selected vendor, but in general, expect:
• The right technology solution
• A well-negotiated contract
• A smooth selection process