Friday, April 3, 2015

Questions to Ask Software Product Vendors at the HIMSS Conference

Visiting a vendors exhibit at the HIMSS Conference can be a good opportunity to learn specifics about a particular vendor's software product. Here are some questions to consider asking the vendor of any product you are considering implementing at your firm. I suggest tracking the vendor's response and comparing it to their response later on if you intend to move forward.

The Demonstration
1. Is this demo I’m watching the actual software or a special/scaled-down demo version?

Features & Functionality
2. What areas of the product are configurable? And who typically performs configuration changes after the product is implemented?

3. Is there a pending feature/functionality backlog? Can you share what major enhancements are planned for future versions of your product? Timeline?

4. Please tell me about the scalability of your software product and the key variables which impact performance?

Implementing the Product
5. How long is a typical implementation for your product?

6. What are the typical issues your customers can expect when implementing your product?

7. Would I be able to see a sample deployment project plan before making a decision?

8. What product modules, features and/or services are typically paid for a la carte vs. included in the purchase price?

9. What types of on-site services are included in the purchase?

10. What type of participation do you need from my staff when implementing your product?

11. Are there any 3rd party firms that specialize in the implementation and/or customization of your product? What is your company’s relationship with these firms?

Project Knowledge
12. What is the average length of experience for the people who will be working on my project? 

13. Would I be able to see the resumes of the staff who will be working on my implementation project before they start on the project?

14. What methodology, tools and approach does your staff use to manage and transfer product implementation and configuration settings and knowledge once the project is over?

15. How many major releases are planned for the next 2-3 years?

16. Tell me about your service level agreement for getting bugs fixed

17. Tell me about your support plan

18. Can you provide at least three references from companies similar to mine?

What Else?

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