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We all know that choosing the right software to enhance your business process is a daunting, but crucial task. But with thousands of great tools available – how do you ensure that you are picking the right solution for your business?

Pick the right software with a trials process

You wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive first so why, in business, is there an expectation for customers to do so? These days, many software vendors do offer a trial period prior to purchasing and we would always recommend that you take the opportunity to test drive the product or service before you consider purchasing it.

These are some of the benefits of trialling before any potential purchase.

Does it have it all?

A trial allows you to test the product or service fully, to make sure that it has all of the functionality that you are searching for, as well as allowing you to find any limitations that it may have. Doing so, provides you with a better understanding of the software and allows you to more objectively make a purchasing decision.

Make sure that it fits.

As a business, you are already likely to have different types of software installed into your systems. One of the key benefits of taking part in a trial is that you can ensure that your potential new software can integrate seamlessly with your existing infrastructure. Trials make it possible to see if you can align the workflows from your existing systems with the potential software and will highlight the issues or process changes that would need to be made, should you choose that software.

Get others involved.

One of the main reasons why a business’s new software implementation may fail is that there was no buy-in from other colleagues and a misunderstanding as to what the potential software could have been used for. To combat this, some vendors provide you with the opportunity to expand your trial to other members of the business, ensuring that you would all have the same understanding of the software’s functionality, as well as its use within the business. Additionally, there would be an increased insight into all advantages and disadvantages the potential software would bring to all aspects of the business.

Examine the vendor.

Taking part in a trial will allow you to examine how the vendor manages any issues or questions that may arise whilst you are on the trial, providing you with a clear indication as to how the vendor would manage your business in the future. Key features to examine during the trial process include: the amount of knowledge that the vendor has on your business and processes and the speed and capability of the vendor to respond to queries and issues, helping you to build your confidence in the vendor and product/service.

Understanding the benefits that you can gain from a trial will help your business in the long run. Trials ensure that any product or service that is finally implemented into your business should work seamlessly and helps to better manage your processes, as the product or service that was chosen will have been rigorously tested during the trial stage.

Ben Banks

About Ben Banks