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iFidelity: Weighing the value proposition
Tue 19 May 2009, 08:02 AMTweet
by Ben Langhinrichs
This week, I plan to focus on a few of the reasons why a company might, or might not, buy our soon-to-be-released iFidelity for Lotus Notes/Domino. There are factors which go into any software purchase, and I'll do what I can to address each. I'd be happy to hear any feedback either on the factors themselves (have I missed any?) or on the way we address each. These factors go together to form the value proposition, although the weighting of each may differ for different companies.
- What business problems does the product solve? The elevator pitch, the feature checklist, the glossy brochure: all are simply ways to communicate what the product offers that will make your company run better, more efficiently or more competitively. If the product doesn't solve a problem you have, or provide an opportunity you don't have, you shouldn't buy it.
- How stable, scalable and reliable is the product? Do you have confidence in the product's ability to work under duress? If your company grows, will the product grow with you? If you decide to make strategic changes in your business, is the product likely to adapt to your changing needs?
- How stable and reliable is the vendor? Do you have confidence that the vendor will be around for the duration of the time you need the product? If you have issues with the product, either in terms of defects or in terms of changing business conditions, will the vendor provide assistance promptly and effectively?
- How much is it going to cost? What is the initial price? What are ongoing costs? How stable is the price structure (so I can anticipate future costs)?
- What competitive products are there, and how do they compare? If there is a better, cheaper, more reliable product, you should buy that instead.
If you can answer these questions to your satisfaction, you will have the basis for making your software purchase decision. In this series of posts, I hope to provide information to help you answer the questions. I can't answer them for you, as the answers may be different for each company, but I can offer information. In turn, you can offer questions and feedback and make sure you have the information you need to make an informed decision.
Stay tuned! I will add to the list of factors as the posts are made:
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