31 Jul 2017

Off-the-shelf Software

Let’s take you through a scenario which we see time and time again. 

Picture showing a management team of a Australian NFP

Katie is struggling to get payments done without A-LOT of effort.  

James has myriad of customer lists and doesn’t know where to use which list.  Trying to manage all of this madness is Alice.  She is stressed about funding issues and has all of these board driven performance indicators that she just can’t keep up with.

At a management meeting. James suggests that the solution to all of these daily stresses and struggles, is to move to a new system.  He had showed everyone a PowerPoint presentation sent to him by Acme consulting showing their latest cloud-based CRM (customer relationship management) offering. 

They all agreed. In order to move to the new system they get Acme consulting to help. Acme sends in Sally.

Sally's job is to identify gaps, review business processes and map out the future of our organisation through a new software system.  Sally consults with everyone and puts together a system road-map.

Sally will oversee and implement their off-the-shelf software and a sigh of relief is felt in the office.  FINALLY, the team feel as though they will be able to work on their business instead of constantly battling to complete the simplest of tasks. 

Now let’s fast forward 8 months..

The scope of the project has steadily increased and due to an accompanying increasing cost, Alice has to make decisions about what is in and what is out.  

James is using a couple of online marketing apps he discovered whilst he was waiting and Katie is using a cloud based accounting software as a temporary measure.

And then the highly awaited day comes, the system is finally ready, 13 months too late! 

A cursory look around the business and we find that Katie has left in frustration and James?  Well James, has been head-hunted.  To top it all off, Alice quickly realises that the system is not what they had hoped, as their business needs have changed and technology has advanced.

The promise of the silver bullet, just became a fallacy.

Alice has to now hire a team of people to help understand the initial needs and then work out how to move their information from their current systems to the newly customised one.  After circumventing the licensing issues with the new system.  The new team quickly realise it can’t be launched as it is clunky, difficult to use and further customisation is needed.  So they call in Sally...

This experience, or similar ones, are what many of our clients have been through when they come to us.  The initial ease of using off-the-shelf, attractive and cheap (to begin with) software, quickly wears off. 

If we told you that your business was exactly the same as every other one we’ve ever seen you probably wouldn’t like us.  So why use a software that's built for the generic business?

You’re cutting your organisational abilities short. 

Discover our next post and learn more about this world.  You'll discover, the solution for improvement isn't so confusing after all. 

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