Once systems requirements have been documented, the next stage in the selection process is to identify potential software and vendors - and create a long list of potential relevant solutions. NB: if you need to quickly document your requirements - checkout our RFI/RFP Templates. Many websites have lists of software, however, your overriding objectives are: 1. to create your own list of potentially suitable software / vendors 2. which is relevant to your needs Once you have a long list, it can then be reduced to a more manageable 10 – 20 of the most suitable potential solutions, by weeding out the least suitable. This process is applicable whether you’re searching for Accounting, CRM, HR, Payroll or any major business software solution. Useful sources and tips to identify a long list of potential software solutions include:

SEARCH ENGINES

Search engines provide large amounts of information, but care is needed to pick out those vendors and solutions that are relevant to your needs. Advantages of using search engines include: popular first place to look large numbers of results free and anonymous to use relatively quick to use Disadvantages include: too many results, possible confusion results possibly not relevant need to refine / revise the search term to improve relevance of results Tips to improve relevance: use local country variants, if you are looking for a local vendor use multiple word search terms to refine your search eg 3, 4 or more words include your business sector in the search terms to narrow results use negative words to remove results you don’t want to see eg input ‘free’ as a negative word to remove results offering ‘free’ software use advanced search settings, filters, exact words or phrases to improve search results make slight changes to the search term to obtain different / improved results look at both the organic results and the paid for results (adverts/sponsored links) search only paid for results – if vendors pay to advertise, it is likely that they will only do so where they can sell and support their software SOFTWARE DIRECTORIES Software directories come in many shapes and sizes - they may comprise only paid listings, free listings or a mix of both. Some simply list software and vendors, whilst others provide considerable detail. Most categorise the software / vendors and have a ‘search’ facility to assist users. Some are free to use (anonymously), whilst others require registration and may even charge. The more dependable / reliable software directories tend to be well known names or, part of a reputable organisation. To find a relevant software directory – search for [software required eg accounting] + [software directory]

WEBSITES FOR EXHIBITIONS, EXPOS, ROAD SHOWS AND CONFERENCES

Traditional exhibitions, expos, road shows ie events which you can physically visit, meet vendors and discuss your requirements – all have their own websites, specific to the event. On these, they list the exhibitors, with details of their software, services and links back to the vendor websites. Some websites are free to use, others require registration. Some events are free to attend, others are chargeable. Not all vendors are listed (as not all may wish to exhibit at that time or location and it is expensive to do so). But a quick look at the exhibitors could identify some potential software vendors. To find a relevant trade exhibition – search for [software required eg accounting software] + [exhibition].

ONLINE SOFTWARE RESOURCES

Other website resources also list software vendors. Details and quality may vary – from quite comprehensive to simple lists and again, not all vendors may be included. Most are free to use, but some may require registration. You may still achieve reasonable results. However, you will need to be careful with ‘lower grade’ websites, as you will have to avoid the non- relevant listings and large numbers of adverts. To find relevant software resources – search for [software required eg accounting software] + [lists] or [top lists]. You may also get these websites popping up in other searches – they are easy to spot with their formulaic layout, adverts and few if any contact details.

WEBSITES FOR PUBLISHED DIRECTORIES

Offline or printed directories are becoming rarer these days. They may be published annually or at regular intervals throughout the year and may be chargeable to the user. The results are likely to be of a high quality as they are validated each year – but are likely to date a little some time after publishing, particularly if the publication is annual. Some vendor listings are free – usually the most basic listing, the remainder are chargeable (to the vendor) – so the amount of details may vary from vendor to vendor. Many of the publications have associated websites, and if the publications are chargeable, so too will be access to the online version of the printed directory.

WEBSITES FOR PROFESSIONAL JOURNALS AND TRADE MAGAZINES

Professional journal and trade magazine websites may require registration, or even subscription to access all parts of the website. They may contain lists or details of software vendors, but more likely, software vendors are to be found mentioned in articles, covered in reviews or comparisons, editorials or in adverts. Not all software vendors will be listed. And unless there is a good search function, it may be slow to identify software vendors using solely this method. Most of the above sources will only list some of your potential software vendors, so use a combination of sources to quickly create your long list of software vendors. For more information about selecting software vendors visit: How to quickly create a long list of software vendors and solutions, Software vendor selection process, Vendor selection check sheet, Vendor evaluation questions, Software quality checklist
How to quickly create a long list of Software Vendors and Solutions Sources and tips to identify relevant potential software solutions

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Once systems requirements have been documented, the next stage in the selection process is to identify potential software and vendors - and create a long list of potential relevant solutions. NB: if you need to quickly document your requirements - checkout our RFI/RFP Templates. Many websites have lists of software, however, your overriding objectives are: 1. to create your own list of potentially suitable software / vendors 2. which is relevant to your needs Once you have a long list, it can then be reduced to a more manageable 10 – 20 of the most suitable potential solutions, by weeding out the least suitable. This process is applicable whether you’re searching for Accounting, CRM, HR, Payroll or any major business software solution. Useful sources and tips to identify a long list of potential software solutions include:

SEARCH ENGINES

Search engines provide large amounts of information, but care is needed to pick out those vendors and solutions that are relevant to your needs. Advantages of using search engines include: popular first place to look large numbers of results free and anonymous to use relatively quick to use Disadvantages include: too many results, possible confusion results possibly not relevant need to refine / revise the search term to improve relevance of results Tips to improve relevance: use local country variants, if you are looking for a local vendor use multiple word search terms to refine your search eg 3, 4 or more words include your business sector in the search terms to narrow results use negative words to remove results you don’t want to see eg input ‘free’ as a negative word to remove results offering ‘free’ software use advanced search settings, filters, exact words or phrases to improve search results make slight changes to the search term to obtain different / improved results look at both the organic results and the paid for results (adverts/sponsored links) search only paid for results – if vendors pay to advertise, it is likely that they will only do so where they can sell and support their software SOFTWARE DIRECTORIES Software directories come in many shapes and sizes - they may comprise only paid listings, free listings or a mix of both. Some simply list software and vendors, whilst others provide considerable detail. Most categorise the software / vendors and have a ‘search’ facility to assist users. Some are free to use (anonymously), whilst others require registration and may even charge. The more dependable / reliable software directories tend to be well known names or, part of a reputable organisation. To find a relevant software directory – search for [software required eg accounting] + [software directory]

WEBSITES FOR EXHIBITIONS, EXPOS,

ROAD SHOWS AND CONFERENCES

Traditional exhibitions, expos, road shows ie events which you can physically visit, meet vendors and discuss your requirements – all have their own websites, specific to the event. On these, they list the exhibitors, with details of their software, services and links back to the vendor websites. Some websites are free to use, others require registration. Some events are free to attend, others are chargeable. Not all vendors are listed (as not all may wish to exhibit at that time or location and it is expensive to do so). But a quick look at the exhibitors could identify some potential software vendors. To find a relevant trade exhibition – search for [software required eg accounting software] + [exhibition].

ONLINE SOFTWARE RESOURCES

Other website resources also list software vendors. Details and quality may vary – from quite comprehensive to simple lists and again, not all vendors may be included. Most are free to use, but some may require registration. You may still achieve reasonable results. However, you will need to be careful with ‘lower grade’ websites, as you will have to avoid the non-relevant listings and large numbers of adverts. To find relevant software resources – search for [software required eg accounting software] + [lists] or [top lists]. You may also get these websites popping up in other searches – they are easy to spot with their formulaic layout, adverts and few if any contact details.

WEBSITES FOR PUBLISHED

DIRECTORIES

Offline or printed directories are becoming rarer these days. They may be published annually or at regular intervals throughout the year and may be chargeable to the user. The results are likely to be of a high quality as they are validated each year – but are likely to date a little some time after publishing, particularly if the publication is annual. Some vendor listings are free – usually the most basic listing, the remainder are chargeable (to the vendor) – so the amount of details may vary from vendor to vendor. Many of the publications have associated websites, and if the publications are chargeable, so too will be access to the online version of the printed directory.

WEBSITES FOR PROFESSIONAL

JOURNALS AND TRADE MAGAZINES

Professional journal and trade magazine websites may require registration, or even subscription to access all parts of the website. They may contain lists or details of software vendors, but more likely, software vendors are to be found mentioned in articles, covered in reviews or comparisons, editorials or in adverts. Not all software vendors will be listed. And unless there is a good search function, it may be slow to identify software vendors using solely this method. Most of the above sources will only list some of your potential software vendors, so use a combination of sources to quickly create your long list of software vendors. For more information about selecting software vendors visit: How to quickly create a long list of software vendors and solutions, Software vendor selection process, Vendor selection check sheet, Vendor evaluation questions, Software quality checklist
How to quickly create a long list of Software Vendors and Solutions Sources and tips to identify relevant potential software solutions
© 2020 Axia Consulting Ltd
All rights reserved. Contact Us

Axia Consulting