How (NOT) To Buy Enterprise Software

Whether you’re in IT, or in a line of business (LOB), at some point in your career you’ll likely be given a budget with authority to acquire enterprise software or an integrated solution for your company.
You and your team will do an analysis, possibly have a “bakeoff” of some sort to eliminate a vendor or two, and ultimately make a selection of what you believe to be the right enterprise solution.
Maybe it’s a cloud-based black-box type of solution like Workday or Salesforce. Maybe it’s a platform product, like WebSphere Application Server or SharePoint, used to support other solutions. Maybe it’s none of the above. Regardless, the proposal will inevitably include a component to stand up and install supporting services, plus after-support.
Do yourself a favor: Spend the time during your internal evaluation to ask your team and your leadership if you truly have budget to extend beyond the basic enterprise software acquisition cost.
Here at TxMQ, we’ve noticed a trend the past few years, and it’s a challenging one. We see more and more companies slash budgets for services other than the bare license cost of the software. That usually means the company’s left with acquired software products they’re not necessarily able to stand up themselves, let alone support and integrate.
In many cases this isn’t so problematic. After all, some solutions are certainly straightforward enough. Yet even cloud-based tools like Salesforce are, in fact, extremely complex systems that require extensive pre-planning, integration and ongoing support. This role can be tough to manage internally, and is oftentimes better suited to a solutions provider like TxMQ.
TxMQ has helped countless companies fix bad or poorly planned installations of enterprise software – installations that went south because budget was restricted solely to the license. We’ve seen outages, lost revenue and actual firings due to poor planning – again, only because budget was cut to the bare minimum and only covered the software-license cost. And the corrective engagements are costly – for the demands on internal staff and dollars spent on consultants. In nearly all cases, these costs could have been avoided with upfront planning for the installation and deployment of the solution.
By planning, I mean understanding internal needs, skills, integration points, storage needs, security, networking and more.
It was Abraham Lincoln who was famously quoted as stating: “If I had 6 hours to cut down a tree, I’d spend the first 4 sharpening the axe.” If you’re being asked to acquire and install a solution – whether it’s enterprise software, hardware or hybrid – don’t just grab the axe and start swinging. You’ll hurt yourself, likely break the axe and end up with a very damaged tree.
Save a tree. Email TxMQ today.