Before your law department licenses software, ten questions to ask the vendor

Here is a double handful of questions that ought to be covered during a demonstration or presentation on software (See my post of Nov. 5, 2007: get more from software demos; Jan. 19, 2008: scripts for presentations by law firms; and April 27, 2006: five ways to improve demonstrations.).

  1. What is the user base and how has the number changed in the past few years?
  2. What can a user configure as compared to what requires customized code or pre-installation modifications?
  3. How will you convert our existing data into your system?
  4. What reports come with the system (“canned reports”)?
  5. What will it cost for us to license the software, all in, and what modules come with that fee?
  6. How many full-time equivalent people provide support and training for the package?
  7. Is there a user group, and who leads it?
  8. What is a plausible implementation schedule for our law department?
  9. What improvements do you anticipate providing in your next release, and when is it due?
  10. How can you assure us about the financial stability of your company?

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