I have been implementing Commission software for around 16 years now, and seen a fair amount of implementations with different software packages. There are some general things that happen, regardless of the space-time continuum in these projects.
- You have to know what you’re calculating.
- What you want to show people.
- And how to get the raw information into the system.
In laymen’s term, this can be viewed as data integration, calculations and reporting, the three effective pillars of a commission system. Over the years these implementations would be owned in large part by the software or consulting company that helped install the software. This gave the customer a good idea of what the true cost of the software was.
Now we fast-forward several years, and life on the cloud is born. This is supposed to make things easier, change the world. It does remove the need for installation time, but technically that is still done by provisioning an instance of software. No, really the same timelines exist. So how is it now that so many implementation plans seem to have been cut in half? Is it that people are that much smarter, the software is that much better. Or is it really the same time, but we are hiding it in different places.
Lets take a look at how these proposals have changed.
The first thing that has shifted is responsibility for identifying and loading data from source systems to commission systems. This is a shift of the “data integration” to the customer. By doing this, you reduce the perceived cost of the implementation by upwards of 30% or more. Many customers aren’t ready to handle these duties, but they are shifted to them regardless.
The next item shifted is the concept of reporting. Many commission systems state that reporting is out of the box. This is true, kind of. Most customers will require some assistance or will desire changes. This again, will reduce the bid, but increase stress when you find out things aren’t quite what you want. Lets say this decreases the cost 15%. Then we are left with the plans. How in the world would the plans be reduced or changed?
Well, frankly most will suggest that they are “similar” and reduce the amount of plans to implement. Lets say that reduces it another 20% or more. So now you see a reduction of almost 70% in implementation costs. But the honest truth is that those costs are still there. They don’t go away; they are just absorbed in other places. If you want to understand the costs, you will want to first start from the end and go backwards. Develop the plan matrix to understand what is truly reusable. That means most systems allow for similar calculation methods, with only variable values such as rates and amounts.
If you are looking for more information, we will be publishing a guide for you to take and determine if your costs are in line with your expectations.
- On January 26, 2016