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More tips on vendor demonstrations of software

The worst thing to do is to allow a vendor to show you its prepared set of capabilities and examples. Get away from the canned brilliance and forage in reality.

Give the vendor a short script of exactly what you would like to see in the order you would like to see it. Ideally, give them some of your scrubbed data so that what they show you looks realistic. For example, with a matter-management system ask for a walk-through from the creation of a matter to its close. During a demo of a document management system, look at how easy it is to create a new version of a document.

Additionally, take advantage of webinar demonstrations, which save money and time and therefore allow you to have more users get a sense of the software’s ease of use. If possible, take advantage of a trial period to test the software’s capabilities on your own. Earlier, I offered five additional tips (See my post of April 27, 2006.). Immediately after the demo ends, while impressions are fresh in your colleagues’ minds, have them complete an evaluation form

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