Product Polyamory: The Virtues of Multiple Software Partners

This is 2017. There are thousands of potential partners just waiting for you to call, and you can have as many as you’d like. You can even be with two at the same time!

We’re talking about software partners, of course. (Although no judgment here.)

Software partners, or implementation services providers, are teams of dedicated professionals that can help unpack your expensive toys and get them up and running. As software grows increasingly complex, implementation services are becoming a crucial piece of the puzzle for thousands of organizations, big and small alike. They can help with installation, setup, training and support for some of the most popular enterprise software tools on the market — allowing you and your team to fast-forward right to the good parts.

There is a certain degree of pride in implementing a new platform using internal resources, much like assembling furniture single-handedly. It could also be cheaper, depending on the person-hours used up by the end of the undertaking. But for one reason or another, in-house software implementation often fails to launch in the ways a company would hope, resulting in backpedaling, delays or a complete change of plans. According to a study released in 2013, 50 percent of ERP implementations go over budget and 60 percent suffer from schedule overruns.

Hiring an implementation team can protect your investment and reduce stress at every level. And in our product-reliant world, the widespread availability of these providers should help you and your IT team sleep at night in the face of platform overhauls. For the larger software ecosystems (e.g. Microsoft, Salesforce, Oracle), G2 Crowd features unique categories — grouped together under “Implementation Services” — to help you browse, compare and review the many consultants that specialize in these areas. This is all part of G2’s recent expansion into the realm of B2B services.

READ: Clues Your Software Implementation Isn’t Working

You can find extensive data about implementation itself sprinkled throughout software category reports as well as Implementation Indexes for certain categories. Our Spring 2017 CRM Grid℠ Report revealed that, on average, 8 percent of businesses reviewing the featured CRM platforms used a third-party implementer when rolling out the product. That number was as high as 60 percent for individual products on the Grid℠. Data points like Go-live Time and Ease of Setup can provide insight as to which products might create a headache for your deployment team and warrant some outside assistance.

As with furniture assembly, changing tires and road trip navigation, a person’s pride can do far more harm than good when there’s any degree of uncertainty. There are times when the right move is to swallow your pride, choose your battles, not be a hero — you get the picture. When a big rollout looms, and your company’s productivity hangs in the balance, consider the plethora of partners at your disposal. SAP alone lists nearly 4,000 implementation partners on its website, along with hundreds of value-added resellers of its products.

There’s no shame in working with a partner for each major software transition, if you can find a provider that meets your needs. If juggling multiple transitions at once, don’t hesitate to enlist the services of several partners or inquire with a single provider about handling more than one. It’s also not unheard of to have multiple partners assist with a singular, massive enterprise implementation. Again, this is 2017 we’re talking about.  

It’s all fair game, and it’s a far larger crime to compromise your employees — and clients — with a shaky in-house implementation. When it comes to new software, don’t get caught with your collective pants around your ankles. Partner up.

B2B Services

Check out all B2B services available on G2 Crowd.