Unfortunately, despite the best intentions at the starting line, not every outsourcing project crosses the finish line as a success. IMP and TSAM asked survey respondents what they would do differently if they could do it over again. Not surprisingly, most responses had one key theme in common: firms would conduct a more thorough requirements analysis of their own needs; in conjunction with conducting a more in-depth validation of the vendor’s capabilities, including the vendor’s resources and qualifications.
Most notably, 50% of respondents said that they would conduct a Proof-of-Concept (POC) before signing the contract.
Conducting a POC can seem like a waste of time and money; but in reality, a POC can save time and money by ensuring that the firm is entering into a key vendor relationship with their eyes wide open. Many times, vendors will promise expertise across multiple areas in order to make the sale. Implementing SaaS products generally include a bigger team of specialists than the one or two implementation specialists for a system that you are installing and hosting internally. For example, when implementing a hosted trade order management system there will be data, architecture, interfaces, compliance, trading & portfolio management workflow specialists, and more assigned to the team.
It’s rare to have a dedicated team assigned long term to an installation. Thus, it becomes critical, and noted loudly and clearly by survey respondents, to interview each and every member of the team. Ask them about their background and qualifications. Review their profile and ask if they have implemented similar clients. Explore how they think through problems and develop solutions.
As one respondent noted in an open-ended response to vendors, “Be transparent and upfront on capabilities and skillsets…don’t promise the moon.”