When investing in a new piece of software, you might spend weeks carefully choosing a vendor based on their offering, their estimate, and expected time to value, plus hours drafting a budget proposal for the big boss that promises your desired benefits within a specific amount of time.
There is nothing more frustrating than then having to go back to the big boss and ask for more time or money (or worse: to explain why you can’t deliver the solution you promised) because of a misunderstanding with regards to what the vendor actually does as part of the quoted price, and what costs extra time and money.
Most pricing software marketing would have you believe that it’s a one-and-done deal; that you simply plug in for immediate uplifts in margins and ROI.
That’s why we want to share exactly what software services we provide before and during implementation and how much work we’ll require from your side in order to set you on the path to success.
So in this article, we want to lay bare exactly what support you can expect from us once we decide to work together.
Standard Pricefx Pre-Implementation Support
When you purchase from us, it’s important to understand that you are paying for access to our software and the right to use it, not for a fully-functioning out-of-the-box pricing solution.
As every company is unique in the way it prices, a one-size-fits-all solution simply wouldn’t cut it in the cut-throat world of pricing. So what we provide is a sophisticated framework that enables the building of your own unique pricing solution. This means, that, out of the box, our software is blank inside—much like Microsoft Word would be.
So, the first thing you need to decide is: Do you want to configure your pricing solution in-house or have someone configure it for you?
For simple cases, it is possible to input data yourself and make valuable use of it. But, in all honesty, barely 1% of our customers choose this option.
99% choose to have someone who knows Pricefx software build it for them. Many ask us to build it. If you do choose for us to configure your pricing solution, then we become your software consultants and our time is billable. So, let’s have a look at what that process would entail.
First things first; we need to work out what we’re dealing with in two steps;
1. Defining The Scope
The first step is the most important. It is essential that we both understand the scope of your project, what your solution should be able to do, and how much configuration is required to achieve it. This is also where you need to determine whether we will be meeting your expectations.
For this step, we assign a solution sales specialist, who listens carefully to your requirements and details everything that would be required from your side. You see, this is not a traditional customer-vendor relationship. You are becoming part of the team and will need to be heavily involved at this stage, delivering your dependencies along with the rest of us. The team depends on you to come to the table well prepared as we dive deep into all the A-Zs of your requirements and work out priorities together.
A lack of preparation on your part here could cause delays. Delays mean more time, more money, and a very uncomfortable meeting with your big boss.
Step two involves us putting the scope of the project down on paper and preparing a “statement of work estimated”. This estimate is entirely based on everything explored in step one and reflects how long we expect it will take us to configure your solution to the discussed specifications. It is not a guarantee and anything not discussed in step one is not accounted for in this estimate.
We are happy to accommodate any changes made on the fly but they will come out of the time we’ve estimated. This can mean something at a later stage might not get done without more money and time. We can’t state strongly enough how important it is to have some budget in reserve.
Pricefx SaaS Support During Implementation
Okay. Let’s say you’ve acceptedour estimate and we get to work.Remember, the foundations of everything we do at this stage will have been covered in step one.
1. Implementation Support
We highly suggest that you remain part of the team through this step, closely managing the project and steering us according to your priorities so you can be sure the time you have paid for is going to best use to meet your goals.
We will also assign a project manager who will constantly monitor our progress, as well as a solution architect whose responsibility it is to ensure what we are building has a long life value for you.
To ensure maximum efficiency on our part, we offer a range of excellent accelerators which can dramatically speed things up. However, they are similar to templates (offering limited functionality), so tweaks and customizations to these are also usually required.
If a deviation from the planned roadmap does come up, our project manager will quickly and clearly explain the situation to you and propose ways of mitigating it. We will then wait for a decision from you as to how to move forward. Remember, any unexpected deviations will have repercussions on timeframe and cost.
2. Smooth Integration
When it comes to integration, we manage things on our side, you manage them on yours. We can’t touch anything on your side, so we’ll need to work closely with someone on your team who is able to connect our system to yours to ensure bilateral data flow. We’ll support the process and will teach the appropriate skills.
3. Quality Testing
Once we’ve got something up and running, we bring in our Quality Assurance specialist (QA) to start testing. They will spend as much time testing as you request or as much as the allocated budget allows. Their job is to find problems. They know what to look for and how to uncover issues, however there is no sure-fire way of ensuring a problem-free solution. Again, the more you are involved with the process, the smoother it will go.
4. Issues and Fixes
If a problem is found during production, it should be sent to our support team for fixing. Problems with configuration will be passed to our active team (or a newly created one) to fix the issue. As with deviations, time spend working on fixes will either come out of the existing budget (which could descope some desired functionality down the road) or from supplementary resources.
Additional SaaS Support From Pricefx
One of our main goals with our software is to enable complete self-sufficiency and to empower you to grow your own skills to get even more out of it.
Our software consultancy services are available at any time during your build to guide, answer questions, offer solutions, suggest ideas, and share expertise around how our software is able to fulfill your requirements.
You might also benefit from the help of a skilled integration engineer were you to, for example, want to migrate a portion of our solution from one system (e.g. Salesforce) into a new one. This requires analysis to calculate impact on the currently running solution and may not always be viable, so you might like the expertise of someone who can determine these things.
If you’re handling your own configuration, it’s probably not worth you bringing your own solution architect on board—better to train one of your own people up.
That’s why offer training for configuration engineers and project managers, and are preparing a self-sufficiency module. These courses can be accessed at any time (before, during, or after implementation) and will certify your staff in the skills that will ensure complete self-sufficiency. We can even offer feedback on the strength of the candidates you put forward.
Giving you the skill sets to manage your solution entirely yourself and to be able to fix your own issues should save you money in the long run.
What If I Use a Partner to Implement My Software?
At some point in learning more about how we work, you’ve probably heard us talk about our use of Partners. If you decide to use a System Integrator (SI) partner to implement our software, then they may have a slightly different approach to how they support you after implementation. It differs from partner to partner, however, we work with our partners to maintain a similar approach in both implementation as well as maintenance and support.
In order to ensure that a pricing project implementation is plain sailing, we must first make time for some support plain talking.
Misunderstandings around level of support can lead to projects that run late, come in over budget, or don’t deliver. We don’t believe in ambiguity, we believe in transparency, so we wanted to spell out exactly how things work with us as clearly and honestly as possible. Of course, if you have any further questions, do get in touch.