Avoiding the Hidden Costs of Implementation

blog-implementation-costs-lgYou adopt new technologies because you believe they can provide value and a significant positive return on the problem you’re trying to solve. However, the return of this investment may quickly diminish. We’ve all been sold something that promises to make our lives easier but ends up becoming a time-suck.

On the first day, integrating a new product or solution, the value of that offering is at 100%. But as time goes on, that value begins to disintegrate. Sometimes you need weeks of effort to create infrastructure to support the technology. Then you need to train your company on how to use it which has associated costs so you whittle away at the value of purchase even further. The idea of minimal input for maximum output begins to fade. And remember that problem you were trying to solve? Of course not, that was months ago.

That cycle of frustration and tears is no fun for you, the customer. All you want is to increase revenue, get more leads, or simply maximize profit and efficiency but instead, integrating a new product can often shift your focus. You have to add a variety of resources to complete a project that was intended to cut costs in the first place.

On the first day, integrating a new product or solution, the value of that offering is at 100%. But as time goes on, that value begins to disintegrate.

Not only is this an unfortunate outcome for you, it’s also not a good way for the vendor to build quality long-term customer relationships. It’s in the interest of both parties to make the transition as smooth as possible. As someone who has supported many product implementations, I understand that a seamless integration that has little overhead on your resources isn’t just a “nice-to-have” but a “must-have.” A difficult implementation hinders your ability to meet your goals.

So how do you know if you’re facing a difficult implementation or an easy one? Here are a few important questions to ask:

  1. What new training or skills are involved for my team?
  2. How many people/departments will be impacted?
  3. How many hours will the training require?
  4. Does this new product integrate with other solutions I’m currently using?
  5. Does this new product require additional infrastructure to function?
  6. Is this vendor available and willing to guide us through the process?

For example, at Demandbase, our technology integrates with your current tools for analytics, CMS, MAS and even advertising, therefore it requires no additional product training or infrastructure. Demandbase connectors plug into your existing systems with either a setup-wizard that walks you through the installation or a small Javascript code snippet that can be deployed in a few minutes. It’s as easy as uploading a file. This means more time is spent on understanding your business requirements, setting important goals, creating specific target segments and less time is spent worrying about integrating new technology. There is no need to train anyone on a new product – just the ones you’ve already been using.

When you spend more time on strategy and less time on integration, you retain the original value of the product you purchased. And whenever you’re evaluating a new product, remember to factor in the cost of implementation.