Project Description

Case Study: Selecting the Best Software Vendor

A client wanted to replace dated technology used for a key information processing system. There was a limited market of commercial products available for this niche environment. I was asked by the client to help them procure a solution.

The Method

  • Document functional and technical requirements
  • Multiple integrators for a considered software were assessed with a formal Vendor Qualification (VQM)
  • Issue Request for Information (RFI) to the qualified, software vendors
  • Evaluate the responses using a comprehensive evaluation ‘matrix’
  • Entertain demonstrations from short-listed vendors using a scripted presentation defined by the client
  • Select a preferred vendor
  • Enter into contract negotiations

The Result

  • For a cost equal to less than 10% of the software and implementation, the best vendor was chosen
  • Involvement of end-users in the evaluation process helped to solidify buy-in into the final decision and acceptance of the new product
  • Having detailed requirements and a better understanding of the level of ‘fit’, gave the vendor a ‘head-start’ in configuration and customization of the system that reduced overall implementation costs


  • Formal vendor selections make sense for larger, comprehensive software systems
  • Formal vendor selections make sense when replacing old technology and knowledge of the market offering is poor
  • Vendor selections reduce vendors’ time and offers them the opportunity to present their solution in greater detail and exactly how the client expects to receive it