By Paula Fredericksen, Founder, Veras Partners
Let’s say you’ve made a significant investment in a sophisticated software application for your company. Based on the salesperson’s recommendations, you chose the version that’s fully loaded with all the bells and whistles to help your business grow and make your operations run more efficiently. The software is installed, your team was trained on how to use it, and your salesperson moved on to other prospects.
And then something goes wrong.
Maybe a feature isn’t working the way you expected it to. Perhaps using one of the more advanced features is a bit more complicated than you anticipated. Maybe the report you just generated isn’t providing the data you need. Now what? Fumble with the operating manual? Good old fashioned (and time consuming) trial and error? Call the customer service hotline? You settle on the latter and find that the person on the other end of the call is clearly reading from a script and walking you through a step-by-step troubleshooting process. Unfortunately, it also becomes apparent they don’t have actual hands-on experience using the software.
Meanwhile the clock is ticking and your team is left standing idle until the situation is fully resolved. Time is money and right now there’s a lot of both being wasted while you’re waiting for everything to start working again – including your team.
Whether the situation described above happens the day after the software is implemented, or weeks or even years later, the cost to your business can be substantial. Fortunately, there are time and cost-saving options available to help you avoid these scenarios from day one.
The option we recommend, of course, is choosing an Application Management Outsourcing (AMO) provider ready to support your team with any and all issues connected to the application. Doing so will allow you to:
- Gain access to experts with hands-on experience using and troubleshooting the software – a good AMO will be staffed with experts who’ve used the software on a daily basis and know all the ins and outs of using it intimately. They won’t be reading off a script when you call. Chances are good they’ll have experience resolving and troubleshooting your issue and will get you back up and running much faster than you could on your own.
- Keep your team focused on strategic initiatives and core business priorities – troubleshooting issues, creating and updating reports and monitoring the software application can be extremely time consuming. Delegating those tasks to an AMO provider is a big time saver.
- Free up internal resources that can be put to better use working on other projects – your staff can avoid time consuming administrative functions and focus more on strategic business initiatives. And if you’re a small shop, you may only have one person managing all of your software needs. Outsourcing can help you gain access to the same economies of scale, efficiency, and expertise that large companies enjoy.
- Avoid the cost of adding an in-house full-time employee – hiring someone full-time is an expensive proposition when you factor in recruiting, salary, benefits, onboarding and training costs. All of those expenses can be easily avoided. By the way, outsourcing can also make your firm more attractive to investors, since you’re able to invest more capital directly into revenue-producing activities rather than overhead costs.
- Choose from flexible pricing options that can be tailored to your needs – why pay for more support or time than you need? Outsourcing allows you to choose a service plan that’s perfect for your budget.
Application Management Outsourcing is not a new concept. In fact, we see everyday activities are outsourced all the time – like getting the oil changed in your car or having a maid service. Most people have determined that it is a better use of their time and money to have a professional take care of their car/house. The concept is the same for your business. Let the experts with hands-on experience and expertise help. It will save you a lot of time and money.
Paula Fredericksen is the founder of Veras Partners, an application management outsourcing company. She has more than 20 years of experience in the software industry.