Can These Vendors Really Do What They Say? Bang Bang Maybe.

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As communications coordinator for TEC’s selection services group, dealing with IT decision makers has helped me understand the complex decision-making behind a radical software change. You need to devote yourself to careful research and evaluation before making that no-going-back software selection.

Getting the evidence you need to back up that selection can be a real challenge when you’re basing it on marketing brochures, sales hype, paid search engine results, and technical jargon.

You need to see for yourself if the vendor claims live up to their expectations with demonstration presentations. Of course, with each vendor only bringing their best to show and tell, it’s hard to have a comparison you can rely on.

Held June 16 and 17 2010 in San Diego, the ERP Vendor Shootout aims (pun intended, sorry) to help you compare apples to apples, with side-by-side scripted demonstrations from Cincom, Epicor, International Business Systems (IBS), Infor, Microsoft, and SAP, conducted over two days.

Each presentation gives you an overview of how the software solution measures up to benchmarked requirements. If you want to learn more, you can schedule private meetings with the vendors you’re interested in. 

Full disclosure: TEC moderates the ERP Vendor Shootout. However, in our role as impartial evaluators of enterprise software, we have no vested interest in seeing any one software solution come out as the “winner” of the Shootout event. On the contrary—there is no such thing as a “best vendor”: each business has different software needs, which is why we kick off the event with a crash course on our best-practices methodology for software selection, giving you guidelines to score the featured solutions and compare them to your own requirements.

The presenting vendor lineup features a mix of different software packages suited to various types of company sizes and project budgets in the manufacturing and distribution industry. Companies with dated legacy systems can gain some valuable insight from standardized demo scripts and learn about new functionality to better assess their software needs. Previewing these solutions through successive, scripted presentations, with no sales pressure, is an interesting way to meet some major players in the ERP space, and to see how their latest features play out, outside the confines of their marketing cages.

The ERP Vendor Shootout is meant to fast-track your software selection and bring you closer to an informed decision, whether you are currently going through the arduous requirement-gathering stages, or comparing one of the presenting vendors.
Quick links:
ERP Vendor Shootout Web site

Demo Script
Attendee feedback
TEC Blog post: ERP Vendor Shootout – Redefining the “Shootout” Stereotype

Your turn:

Do you see any value in attending an event such as the ERP Vendor Shootout?  What are your experiences comparing vendors side-by-side?

Leave your comments below!
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