Getting the most out of procurement software demos

Back in the olden days, when dragons roamed the countryside and I was a CPO, software selection was pretty easy.  SAP or Oracle?  Or build something yourself in Basic?  Then eProcurement was invented and since then, matters have got increasingly complicated as the software gets smarter. Now...where do you start with serious players?  Ariba, Intenda, Iasta, BravoSolution, Emptoris, ProcServe, Spikes Cavell, Rosslyn, Trading Partners, iValue, ibx,  Zycus, ..the list appears to be endless and growing by the day.

Personally, I'm working hard to get myself into a more 'expert' place on these options.  So I found the Spend Matters series of posts last week on demonstrations really useful  – that's software demos, not standing outside offices with a placard. The role of demonstrations in the overall sourcing process was discussed in the first post here; then the merits of using scenarios to assess the product (as opposed to just allowing the vendor to show you the features) in the second installment here.  Finally, post three gave an example of the sort of scenario that might be suitable.

Jason Busch of Spend Matters worked previously for Freemarkets and Ariba, and these posts are further examples of how he uses that experience to bring real insight to his posts.  If you're interested in technology and software the posts are well worth reading – and perhaps saving for the next time you are in software selection mode.  I'd also suggest you read on down to the 'comments' below the posts; there is real value in many of them and some good arguments back and forth on a couple of key issues.

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