The software implementation partner you choose to work with should have a considerable amount of knowledge about the products they are representing. Still, they should also have the right amount of knowledge about how businesses are run. While each is unique, an experienced partner will have seen many different organizations and how they operate, so they should bring with them great ideas and suggestions based on what they have seen work well with other companies.
Your implementation partner should also be looking to gain a significant amount of knowledge about your business; you are the expert in how your organization runs, and they should ask questions and be able to recommend a solution for you.
The implementation partner should have experience with the software they are promoting, and they should have experience implementing ERP and accounting software for many companies. They will learn from their software implementation successes and failures from other organizations and can bring that experience to the implementation of your new ERP software.
How will you get support once the system is up and running?
Does the Partner provide support, or are you expected to contact the developer?
Does the Implementation partner offer or require a support plan, or do they provide support on a case by case basis?
Many VAR's (Value Added Resellers) will work the way you want to work, but it is important to gain an understanding of how their ongoing support program works.
The VAR should be doing everything to gain your confidence. Many times an owner or high-level consultant is going to be present during the software evaluation process. This shows that they are invested in a successful software implementation. Beware if you are not given access to a consultant during the evaluation process. While there are great salespeople out there who know the products they represent very well, it is almost impossible to be able to design a solution for a potential client unless they have had experience implementing the software.
An Implementation partner that sends a consultant to assist with discovery, solution development, and solution presentation, is showing you that they are invested in the outcome of the implementation.
A great solution partner is going to be happy and proud to share their references with you. Talking to a their clients about their experience with the software and with the partner will give you peace of mind that you are moving in the right direction. Many VAR’s are also willing to schedule a site visit with one of their customers. If a VAR is hesitant to give you access to their customers or only will offer you one name, they may not be confident in what their customers will say, which could be a potential red flag.