I regularly talk about the relationship between my clients and Synetec, as being one of the most critical two-way partnerships their business will ever enter into. My clients IT systems are so integral to the day-to-day operation of their businesses that they simply couldn’t exist without them. That degree of trust and reliance makes Synetec arguably even more ingrained in their business than for instance, their lawyer or accountant.
So, what happens after you cut the ribbon on your new software system?
It goes without saying that even after testing and handover, any new system needs a level of ongoing training and support. I always recommend that when you negotiate the initial scope of work with your developer, you should always insist on at least a 90 day support package. This will help you and your staff get to grips with the system at your own speed; comfortable in the knowledge that support is only a phone call, email or a face-to-face meeting (if locally-based) away.
Manage change and reduce risk
While post-launch support is important, longer-term relationships can create real lasting value. These types of support packages are tailored to the individual clients needs and provide both peace of mind and on-call expertise. At Synetec we regularly work with clients where a previous outsourced-developer has gone ‘AWOL’ or where a key member of the client’s in-house team has left after years- leaving a significant knowledge gap in the business. Having an existing relationship with a reputable developer like Synetec means that you both minimise disruption and reduce risk.
Ongoing upgrades and training for bespoke and off-the-shelf systems
Regardless of whether your software product is bought off-the-shelf and installed by you or is a bespoke system, it is inevitable that it will require upgrading from time to time. A strong customer support programme is important, not only to ensure that you receive immediate assistance when those glitches occur (often at the most inconvenient time) but that potential problems can also be proactively mapped and managed.
An important piece of advice is to remember to also take into account the number and nature of users in your company and your in-house HR or training resources. Is your IT system simple enough that it only requires basic user training? Do you have in-house training expertise? If not, your support contract should contain provision for an on-demand training programme for staff (whether new starters or existing staff) being trained on the latest upgrade.
Reduce pressure on your in-house team
Another, often overlooked benefit, is that having a support contract in place can significantly reduce pressure on your internal resources. Synetec’s bespoke support services are developed to help your business to streamline processes, reduce costs, improve performance, and remain both flexible and up-to-date. This type of support relationship reduces pressure on your in-house IT team, meaning they can focus on immediate or strategy-based projects. If like most businesses you’re trying to balance efficiency while remaining at the leading edge of your industry- engaging with specialists like Synetec could produce financial and performance benefits.