Are you itching to “break-up” with an existing technology provider? Although sometimes this is an easy decision, frequently it is not.
There are many variables and details that need to be considered in making the final decision, especially with setting the goal of ensuring that any change or transition is as smooth as possible. Realizing this critical objective starts with ample preparation before you ultimately say goodbye.
Start by evaluating all areas where the program or solution “touches” your business and systems. This is a deep dive to understand how your business would operate if the product were gone. For example, perhaps you are planning on replacing your CRM. You should conduct a feature comparison, a usability review, and other user case scenarios versus the potential replacement solution.
As each of the items are evaluated, remember that not all features and interfaces necessarily provide the same level of functionality. For example, if you import data from outside sources into your CRM, find out if the same data points are exchanged with the various third-party interfaces currently used by your firm. Just knowing that there is an interface available by itself is not enough. This is often an area where it is easy to discover surprises, both positive and negative
Any product or solution that ultimately interacts with your clients (either directly or indirectly) requires an extra level of evaluation. Clearly, there is the risk that your clients might not like the replacement solution. Or even the transition process from one product to the next could potentially be challenging for your clients. Sometimes, the reasons why you want to replace an existing solution may have little to do with what your clients actually see or experience. If this is case, the bar is raised even higher to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.
You also should consider notifying your current provider early in the process that you are planning to leave. They might be willing to help you make the transition. Of course, there are variables to consider with this strategy, like the terms of your existing contract, a potential decline in service, and even hard feelings depending on your relationship with the provider.