From the August 2009 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

Ask These Questions

Selecting a technology vendor is a key decision in the buying process. Make sure you talk to a potential vendor's customers--ideally ones you've found on your own or through a technology consultant instead of referrals provided by the vendor--and ask them these 10 questions that will elicit important details:

1. What were your expectations for the technology, and what expectations have--and have not--been met?

2. Were the promised benefits and functionalities delivered?

3. How long did implementation take?

4. Did the entire initiative come in at or under budget?

5. How long before you felt the technology was generat - ing a significant return on investment?

6. How much down time have you had with the product during the past month?

7. What is your experience with the company's support? How often do your issues get resolved with one call?

8. Did you incur any unexpected expenses during the implementation?

9. How well does the system integrate with your other technology?

10. Did you have any specific difficulties during the imple- mentation process or once the technology went live?

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