CAROL: And that can cost more than the actual tool itself?
ELISABETH: It can. It depends on how much consulting. Frequently with tools, what you'll find is there is the training class that you can send your folks to, and that will be like a two or three day training class. And that's...that's compared to the price of the tool, you probably won't spend more on that than you spent getting the tool. However, if you need to bring in consultants to help customize what you're learning to your actual situation, you can end up spending up a lot more on those services than you did on the original licensing fees for the tool. And at the same time, it can be very worth it, because it saves you a huge amount of...if time is money in business, it saves you huge amounts of money in false starts and things becoming shelf-ware.
CAROL: I absolutely agree with that. We've got our step 1, we've defined our initial requirements, we've got a budget, we've got some ideas, and now we move to step 2, "Investigating Our Options." We will go through steps 2, 3, 4, and 5 when we get back with more of Elisabeth Hendrickson, talking about evaluating software tools. And if you're just joining us for this second half of show number seven, "Welcome to our listening audience." I have been speaking this week to Elisabeth Hendrickson, who is the founder and President of Quality Tree Software, Inc., and she also has a Web site called, the Quality Tree Web site, which is at www.qualitytree.com. I am Carol Dekkers. I am the President of Quality Plus Technologies and our web site, who many of you may be listening to the show through, is www.qualityplustech.com.
Elisabeth, welcome back to the show. We've been talking about evaluating software tools, and we've gone through all the requirements and spent a little bit of time talking about that. The next step, "Investigating Your Options." What can you tell us about investigating options?
ELISABETH: Well, so this is...you already know what you want the tool to do. And this is the point at which you get to go shopping. You get to go search the Web, ask your friends, ask other departments in the company if they have a solution for a similar problem. You get to go to conferences and hear both...see the vendor presentations and also hear about how other companies have implemented similar kinds of tools, what they chose, and what their selection process was. And from all of these activities, what you come up with is a list of potential suppliers who could give you what you want.
CAROL: Interesting. And...and, so you actually go to a vendor show, or you go and you search the Web, or you go to a conference, and you take your shopping list with you.
ELISABETH: That's right. And you also take your list of requirements with you. So, this is the other reason you don't want a fifty-page document for your requirements, because you are going to end up actually showing parts of it to the vendors to ask them, "Is your tool even in the ballpark of what I need to do?"
CAROL: And that's a really good point, because, otherwise, I've seen a lot of times people go to trade shows and the vendor runs the show. The vendor says, "Here's what you need and here's how I can solve it," and it may not be what you need at all.
ELISABETH: Well, yes, and with all due