How many of you have purchased software to help manage CPE or other assets from a vendor whose expertise was not software? Although the price may seem right at first, chances are it will cost you far more in the long run simply because writing and maintaining software is not their core competency.
Knowing what the core competencies are for your vendors is critical to sustain long term growth and relationships. Senior management has to have trust in a product, the people behind the product and the company that is supplying them with the expertise needed.
Utilizing a vendor for needs outside their core competency will lead to a variety of time consuming problems. As a result, every moment spent dealing with a vendor on issues outside their core competency is less time spent on developing your own businesses core competencies.
To better understand why this issue is so important it is easiest to see the benefits that comes with the purchase of CPE management software from a company that has software development as a core competency.
8 Benefits of Selecting a CPE Management Software Vendor with a Core Competency in Software Development
“To succeed in an emerging global market it is more important and required to build core competencies rather than vertical integration.”
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when choosing a software vendor is to realize that quality software takes time to develop and represents a commitment from the CPE Management vendor to be there as you grow and change. The benefits of this include but are not limited to:
- Vendor stability:Good software takes times to develop. Choosing a CPE management software vendor that is an established innovator for CPE management means that your software is not going to be obsolete in 18 months and the vendor is in it for the long-term.
- Minimal downtime: Quality cable software is tested over and over in a real world environment to minimize the number of issues/bugs that occur. Quality Assurance is much greater when a vendor’s core competency is software for the cable industry.
- Support Staff: Support comes in several forms including implementation, training and online/telephone help. For example, cable warehouse staffs as well as management need to receive adequate training to effectively utilize CPE warehouse management software.Other forms of support are also continuous. Ongoing support is not limited to troubleshooting technical issues. Support also encompasses electronic mechanisms for refresher trainings and best practices.
- Ability to update: Although this may seem minor, a good CPE warehouse management software vendor will offer the capability to get updates either via the web when both upgrades and fixes are available.
- Professional staff development team: As technology evolves so should your software. When software development is one of your vendors your core competencies your cable operations will be able to help sustain a competitive edge. It can also lessen administrative worries such as staying in compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.Just as important is that dedicated software professionals stay on top of their game which enables more agile software development for quicker response to changing needs.
- Scalability: Good CPE management software should be able to grow with your company or be useable whether you have one or one hundred cable warehouses. The software should also be useable for any operational model such as a hub and spoke distribution system or decentralized operations.
- Industry Knowledge: When software development is a vendor core competency, the industry the software is customized for is normally created with substantial industry knowledge. Your software vendor should not only have sales and support people dedicated to your company, there should be industry experts that communicate the direction of the company and act as your liaison or advocate.
- Communication:When software is one of your core competencies, communication between cable MSOs and the software vendor becomes critical. Information should flow freely between client and vendor so make sure your vendor has alternative forms of communication that goes beyond traditional emails and telephone calls such as a cable blog for the latest updates or support forums.
In a nutshell, when software development is one of your vendor’s core competencies, your cable operations should be receiving the best help possible from a vendor with a vested interest in your success. If not, then it is time to look for a new CPE warehouse management software vendor.
Lastly, choosing an established software vendor helps enable cable MSO senior management to focus their attention on their own core competencies thus allowing them to enter new markets more quickly or adapt to technology changes and consumer demands. In order to do this, cable warehouse management needs to be as worry free and profitable as possible.