In the final chapter of our three-part blog series on digital transformation, we pilot you through the process of selecting the right consulting partner and technology provider
In our series of blog posts on the implementation of a Digital Experience Platform (DXP), we have so far considered the steps necessary to plan the project. We looked at the disciplines of good project management for digital projects. The strategy was mapped out in workshops, while on the project side we took the agile approach by defining specifications for a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), giving us a comprehensive understanding of how we want to implement the project. What is still missing is the right technology and service provider.
In this our final post of the series we first turn to the question of what to consider in choosing the right technology supplier:
- How do I proceed with the technology selection? What must I take into account?
- How do I design a comparative selection procedure?
- What are my focal points? How do I introduce weightings?
- How do I design a beauty contest for suppliers and select the right ones?
- Renowned technology providers vs. ambitious young service providers: what are my focal points?
What about the consulting partner? Ideally, a good service provider comes into contact with the customer at an initial stage – best of all, during the strategy workshops and as a support resource during the MVP phase. Such a scenario gives the consulting partner the best possible insight and overview of the customer’s objectives and digital requirements, the technological status quo, and – last but certainly not least – of the type, scope and characteristics of business and customer data. Furthermore, there will be a common understanding of the project scope. This understanding centers around the following questions:
- Is the project most likely to be about customer satisfaction?
- Or is it about promoting customer loyalty?
- Is the focus on user experience?
- Or is it more about optimizing performance?
- Have there always been friction points on the process side – for example, at certain stages of the ordering process?
Consulting experience has taught us to appreciate the importance of a thorough understanding of the customer, the digital maturity of the business, and its culture and approach in tackling new projects. A scope-based selection process is decisive for the outcome of the project, both strategically and technologically.
Digital transformation can only be accomplished if the technological focus is firmly on the use of flexible, agile software systems. This revolves around questions of configurability, implementation and scalability. The ability to react quickly to changes in the market depends on remaining as flexible as possible and implementing IT projects in such a way that the solutions created remain adaptable and agile. It is the role of the chosen technology partner to ensure that the agility of the offered solution is future-proof.
CX projects: who are the suitable service providers?
The following points should be considered when selecting a provider:
The provider offers standard solutions and/or individual programming. In many situations, the service provider should not only be able to implement a ready-made standard solution, but also have the capabilities to customize a creative approach to your requirements with the right industry knowledge and a high level of developer know-how to back this up.
Sector know-how. Suitable references and comparable ‘hands-on’ project histories are of course a distinct advantage. You should give a higher weighting to providers with a portfolio of successfully implemented projects in your industry than to vendors lacking in specific sector experience.
Price versus quality. Of course, every business pays attention to costs – and so they should, but with the following caveat: no amount of wishful thinking can make the (supposedly) cheapest provider deliver the most outstanding quality. Pay attention to important details in the submitted offers – from the type and scope of support, to the project approach, to the definition of deliveries and change requests. In the end, a project can become much more expensive and/or take a lot longer if the bid neglects aspects of that all-important mix of technical expertise and a shared, concerted project approach.
The quality of the migration is everything. How does your service provider want to proceed on the project side? What are decisive project milestones and when will they be reached? What is the shared understanding about the project approach? Scrutinize the processes, workflows and collaboration protocols of the statement of work. This will give you a great insight into whether project success can be achieved with this provider, and in what way.
Do not neglect the ‘people factor’. Projects are made by people. Take a look at the team on the provider side: can you see it ‘gelling’ with you and your colleagues? Do you get the impression that competence and culture come together in the right way for your business? Or are you not meeting the key players on the provider side until later on in the process, after the completion of Step 1?
Key Considerations when Implementing a DXP
The key idea throughout has been to plan for the implementation of a Digital Experience Platform. Successful project planning and management are the decisive factors for the success – or otherwise – of any digitalization project.
With every new project, you embark on a journey, both within the business and with your service provider – and ideally you should know not just your destination, but also the key milestones of your transformative trajectory. The team of consultants that pilots you through the project can also be a valuable resource in keeping an eye on the overall digital strategy and in making sure that those decisive details are not overlooked in the many complexities of the implementation.
At the end of the day, project management is a job of trust, and only crowned with success when human and technical factors work in unison to take you down that road to digital transformation.
What questions do you have when you think of your customer experience projects? What is of burning interest to you in this context?
The conversation starts here.
Would you like to learn more about Ibexa’s DXP and how ARITHNEA’s consulting services can help you to implement your project in the best possible way? Arrange your demo and consulting appointment now.