In his CM: the Next Generation series, Joe Farah gives us a glimpse into the trends that CM experts will need to tackle and master based upon industry trends and future technology challenges.
Another approach might be to run a fixed price pilot. This puts everyone through the paces - not only cutover, but training, productivity, ease-of-use, etc. If it's a small project, this approach is really not a pilot. Instead, you're asking for a fixed price initial contract with options to extend the operation and acquire licenses at a pre-determined price.
Gone are the days when you buy the tool, or use up your budget, before knowing it's the right choice. This is a critical demonstration. If cutover is not easy, it's likely the total cost of operation won't be low. They'll want to throw in some customization tasks in the trial. If the solution is not replacing all of the tools, vendors will have to demonstrate integration with existing tools as well, as that will definitely be part of the cutover process. Ideally though, the 3G tool set will be an end-to-end set of tools so that there will be no need to do this integration and maintain the glue.
· How do I know that I won't be caught in requiring expensive and extensive consulting resources?
· How quickly can you customize the tools and process support to meet our needs?
· Expect to see 3 requirements up front from a consulting perspective. Customers will say, "First, I want to operate the tool and see that it requires almost no administration. We'll force a couple of outages to be sure, and throw in a multiple site operation as well. Next, I'll give you some time-constrained customizations and you do them on site. Finally, you'll train us and we'll do a second set of customizations on site. If you pass the time and dollar constraints, I'll believe you. Otherwise, it's too big a risk for us."