By R. Christopher Haines, Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer

Right This Way

Wouldn’t your software implementation benefit from a tour guide?

Think about it: When you’re traveling in unknown territory, it’s a great benefit to have a tour guide. Someone who knows the lay of the land. Someone to make sure you see everything you want to see and don’t end up somewhere you shouldn’t be. Someone who speaks the local language and makes sure no one takes advantage of you.

For many insurance companies, it would have been great to have a tour guide for their new systems after their implementations failed or took much longer than intended. Wouldn’t it have been a lot safer to get some help rather than to be late getting their new systems up — or to head out to search for a new system again?

The right system-implementation partner can be like a tour guide for your replacement project or for adding new states or lines of business to your current system. Maybe you just want to integrate one of the ever-growing number of third-party applications, tools, or data sources.

Many companies are staffed with great people. Given the time, they can learn anything. But what’s the benefit of slowing down your project to learn from scratch, by trial and error? What if there are people who’ve been through this before, who could do it in a fraction of the time, who could help you ensure a successful project? We dare say they might almost be like tour guides.

Yet a lot of companies are resistant to go outside for help. More often than not, start-ups will use outside system implementation support, generally because they don’t have the staff to do it themselves. What if that were the model for all successful implementations? Maybe there’s something to be learned here.

But don’t just jump on the wagon with the first support provider that comes along. This needs to be a partnership. Your partner needs to understand your company, your values, what’s important to you, your objectives, and how you would like the project to go. Your partner needs to respect your organization, to understand you’re still in charge.

Do your due diligence, look around and find the implementation-support partner that lines up best with you. Once you find them, chances are your tour will be safely guided, and you’ll never look back.