How do technology implementations work? What are the best ways to get prepared for successful implementation and use?
So, you chose the Core Platform Vendor – Special One, from so many options!
It feels fantastic to be armed with the prized possession! You just have to wait for it to start working for you.
Not a big deal said the vendor, “We did it so many times. We have a great framework in place – all we need to do is to fill your business-specific details. And you are good to go”. It all sounds so simple and you take respite.
But, a lingering doubt – if it’s that simple, why so much noise around the implementation challenges and methods to do it right? Why are implementation costs almost thrice the licensing costs? Didn’t the Vendor say that they need about 19 team members and a 9-month time frame to roll-out One LOB, in one territory
That’s just about 1/5th of our total portfolio. Did we not come across an article that talked about –Business model first and technology next approach? What’s that about? (Take a look at it here)
You are absolutely right – behind every discovery, there is a why, that wouldn’t let you sleep until you find your answer – discover it or Learn it
Let’s start with just two key expectations from the Core Platform and walk through the Implementation Way and see where one can end or end up 😊
- A Solution that can Drive customer-centricity – Customizable Offerings, Easy Access, Status Updates, Unified Experience, etc.
- An easily repeatable solution – for our extensions and expansions (with minimum dependency on Vendor).
With these and the chosen vendor platform in place, Companies generally end up in the back seat, with Vendors almost always driving the effort – right from data to the plans for Day 1 to Day n. Day 1 generally focusing on the most obvious deficits in the current system and roll-out the new one, starting with that product that contributes maximum to the business.
What happens when you take a back seat? You are leaving IT to the Vendor and their methodology to work as Magic for you. A supposedly collaborative effort becoming a one-sided effort – Focus shifts from Outcomes to Outputs!
In our experience, we have seen the Companies succeed by not leaving the IT to their Vendors entirely.
They understood (intrinsically or from others) that it’s a big change, appreciating the need to be clear on what they are getting into. They understood that it’s the journey of commitment, collaboration, buy-in, and actively participated in the journey – with prior preparation and continuous validation of the journey & results – against the key expectations, with that openness in place for the unknown-unknowns.
They also consistently focused on:
- Understanding that there is a need for business architecture – especially around identifying what is common and what is different – for Products, Processes, Business Rules, Calculations, Communication, Workflows, Hierarchy, Documents etc – across segments, functions, territories and distribution channels. This preparation is the FOUNDATION for maximizing the re-usability of the Vendor Platform from Day 1.
- Ensuring that the actual business users are part of the implementation – with a realization that you cannot expect their full-attention, without redefining their current responsibilities.
- Evaluating what is needed to make this Implementation happen – in terms their resources, in addition to Vendors’.
- Understanding & ensuring that there is a need for right governance structure, there is no room for assumptions, with re-emphasis on continuous validation around key expectations.
- Understanding that the implementation is much more than the standard capabilities of the Platform – including migration, integration, infra/hosting, training just to name a few – and planning accordingly.
- Understanding that the maximum use of Out of Box Capabilities is in Organisations’ best interest and mastering the Vendor Tools & Techniques (accelerators, product builder kits, configuration modules) is key to self-sufficiency long-term with minimum dependency on vendors.
And finally, they believed that right empowered team, is the ultimate key card to success. A team, that could ask the right questions, see the big picture, look at everything holistically, that always keeps in mind what’s best for us & why and, most importantly that understands the best of both worlds (Business & Technology). They did not care whether it is internal one or outsourced – the focus was more on right liaison and loyalty for right results.
There is so much more to the topic beyond what we have covered here, including a big success story of one of our Customers – please reach out to us for specific insights and we are more than happy to cover them for you.
“The essence of leadership is to see the obvious before others see it, and then to make it happen”
Biz Tech Insights Team Manomay
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