Click to learn more about author Mathias Golombek.
When push comes to shove in choosing a technology solution, it’s important that you first consider the Three Ps: performance, price, and people.
Businesses are constantly bombarded with messaging from vendors about why they should buy their products or services. What’s more, dubious endorsements from third-party firms can leave potential buyers more confused rather than enlightened. This is particularly true for those in the BI and analytics space who are considering which solutions they need to help them answer their data challenges.
Despite an array of vendors touting their wares, advertising this feature and that, and notwithstanding questionable recommendations by self-appointed experts, it’s essential that you never lose sight of what really matters when it comes to deciding on and making an investment in one solution over another. A killer feature may look appealing, a brand name customer may impress, and polished sales talks may influence the decision-making process, but never forget the Three Ps.
First comes performance. Does the solution or service in question, in fact, do what it says it does? Will it perform – not just today but over time as data volumes grow? Here, a test drive or a proof-of-concept is imperative so you can see just whether the marketing promises ring true before you sign on the dotted line. What’s more, when you go through your testing phase, make sure you retain full autonomy in the process and are not coerced by the supplier into reviewing its product or service in a certain way. Just as you wouldn’t want to be limited in how you test drive a new car, so you shouldn’t be when it comes to a BI or analytic database. Technology.
Price is Relevant
Next is the price. It is often easy to be hoodwinked by the initial price for a product or service, but make sure you take the time to consider the cost of acquisition as well as ownership over a period of time. Ask other users of the product about their experience, understand how the licensing model operates, and determine the factors by which there could be a potential spike in costs later on. Read the fine print. It’s human nature to be attracted to low upfront pricing, but make sure you invest resources into discovering other potential costs.
Finally, there’s the human aspect. People buy from people, not companies. Therefore, it’s crucial that the company behind the product or service you’re considering purchasing gives you the confidence that its staff will support you – not just throughout the buying cycle but also as long as you are using the product or service. In the case of technology, make sure you talk to other users first about their experiences. Does technical support deliver? Do they feel looked after by the company’s staff? Do they enjoy engaging with their sales and support teams when it comes to further purchases or resolving issues? Or are they just left high and dry as the vendor seeks new business?
While many businesses have defined purchasing processes already in place, sometimes they can overlook the most basic questions that carry the most importance. So, before you explore reams of information about a certain product or solution, I invite you to keep in mind the 3 Ps. Start there, and you will have covered the essentials first.