How To Buy Landscape Business Management Software Part Four: Deployment

This is the fourth, in a five post series written to help landscape contractors buy landscape business management software.  You can see part one here , part two here and part three here.

Software Deployment Is Hard. The Goal Is To Make It Easier.

Deployment and software installation can either be a nightmare or just a hard slog.  There is no easy way to trade out one system for another without experiencing a learning curve.  The goal is to minimize the pain and duration of that curve.

What you need to know from the software vendor is the truth about this challenging but essential process.  What kind of deployment support and training will they provide and what does it cost…  and how will they manage your learning curve?

Questions you should ask during your selection process.

  • What are some of the changes we will have to make given how we used to do things?
  • How will it change the way I do business?  
  • What systems that now cost me money might go away?
  • Will we have to run systems in parallel?
  • Who will be our point person to guide us and answer questions?
  • How long – realistically – will this take?  Best case and worst case?
  • How much bandwidth will we need on our end – as our people are already busy?
  • How much of our existing data and history can you convert?
  • For that which is not converted, how will we handle it?
  • What are the key areas where in your experience the deployment can go wrong?
  • How much time will you spend training us?
  • How will that process work?
  • How will we set up our reporting to get the information the way we are accustomed?
  • What is follow-up training like after the deployment?
  • How do we/you train new people as they are hired?
  • What if we are not happy with the deployment?  What are our options?
  • How do we stay on time and avoid schedule slippage?

It's Important To Have A Clear Software Deployment Plan And Process

Deploying software is a huge business interruption…  so be sure you and your vendor have a plan to minimize that pain and lost productivity while making certain the software is set-up the way you want to look at reports.

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