Marketing Myth 3 – How Not To Buy Software

October 7, 2008

Marketing Fail

Marketing Fail

Over at Julien’s,  he takes exception to what he defines as basically slanderous software vendor advertising. He takes exception to a quote by Synygy on GlobeNewsWire;

Project implementations can stretch to more than a year and come in significantly over budget.
Implementations are typically riddled with custom code, which causes subsequent changes to be expensive and time consuming.
Unmet promises have led to undesired outcomes.
Ongoing IT and other costs associated are higher than expected.
Business users are unable to make changes to data, plans, and reports-exacerbating the problems of inflexibility and excessive costs.

I am not familiar with the vendor(s) in that software space and want to make this a little more general for managers in the small business / medium business space.

Published reports differ, but I have read articles that state that up to 80 + per-cent of software development or implementation projects fail.

So do you take the above quote at its word?

Not recommended, because The causal factors are not included in those statements.

Self Inflicted Wounds

Every one of the pieces in that quote have led to software implementation failure. However no vendor can fix those problems.

Because the problem is you!

Why Do Causal Factors Matter?

The failure rate of software development or implementation project is usually self inflicted.

Lack of Executive Commitment? Check

No definition of scope and scope creep? Yep, got that

Lack of User input; throw it over the wall and hope something sticks? Got that too

No education or change management planning ? Uh huh

Before Signing The Dotted Line

Planning to purchase line-of-business or enterprise software is expensive.

If you as a SME business manager fail at any of the above, your software implementation will most likely fail.

Because that software vendor cannot control you.

They cannot control your errors or omissions.

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2 Responses to “Marketing Myth 3 – How Not To Buy Software”

  1. elliotross Says:


    Thanks for dropping by!

    Unmet promises CAN exist.

    However in most cases I would state that a good portion of that is due to poor due diligence.

    In many cases, I would also assume that it is a case of a customer trying to force fit a solution to a broken process. Rather than taking the opportunity to fix the process

  2. Elliot,

    I’m with you 100%. I just wanted to add my 2 cents with 2 additional factors leading to failure:

    1) It IS possible that “unmet promises have led to undesired outcomes”, whether this was intentional by the vendor or not. This is why it is often a good idea to ask for help in the vendor selection process to have people with the domain expertise with whatever system being considered, to ensure a good fit.

    2) Enterprise software are rarely (never) a turnkey solution. Selecting the “right” implementation partner is as important as selecting the solution itself.


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