Businesses increasingly rely on ERP software solutions to drive growth, streamline operations, and foster innovation—making software vendors a critical part of this ecosystem. Organizations trust vendors with the foundation of their business operations—their ERP or financial management application. A recent lawsuit concerning a major software provider underscores businesses’ need to select vendors that prioritize open and transparent business practices. With all the functionality to consider during the ERP selection process, how can a business make sure they’re getting the relationship, too? Below, we outline the 5 factors we highly recommended companies look for in an ERP partner or vendor in order to be happy with their new solution.
What the Lawsuit Alleges
A mid-size building material supplier recently filed a complaint against Oracle alleging deceptive sales practices related to its NetSuite SuiteSuccess Cloud software.
The complaint emphasizes that many customers are unaware of Oracle’s Subscription Services Agreement because it’s concealed in a disguised hyperlink. The claim suggests that Oracle doesn’t require (or make it easy) for customers to view this information before signing the binding contract.
The complaint further accuses Oracle of the “unfair business practice of promising customers an ERP solution that does not exist, and then bidding the project low and then trying to inflate the contract price through change orders has been practiced on many Oracle/NetSuite customers.”
Beyond contract and pricing disputes, the company felt Oracle’s delivery was different from what was initially presented by the sales team. They claim Oracle didn’t meet industry standards in service, and its professional services team seemed ill-equipped and unfamiliar with the technology. The team also allegedly had a high turnover rate, with key members leaving during critical project stages. Yikes.
It’s important to understand that lawsuit allegations are just that—allegations. Oracle and NetSuite are industry giant names with long-standing reputations, and it’s essential to remember the importance of due process. However, the case does raise a broader concern about the potential pitfalls that can arise when navigating the world of enterprise software.
This brings us to the important question. What can you do to ensure your organization chooses the best business partner?
5 Steps to Making the Right Choice
Without honesty and transparency, any partnership is doomed to fail. There is undeniable value in a long-term collaboration with a software provider rooted in ethical, transparent practices. BT Partners’ ethos is built upon transparent and ethical business practices. We believe in building partnerships that stand the test of time. Of course, there are other reputable software partners & vendors out there too, so let’s help you find them.
Here’s what we’d encourage you to prioritize or look for when choosing a partner, in addition to the solution functionality, during the ERP selection process:
- Open Communication
Always make sure that the channels of communication with your provider are not only open, but comfortable – on ERP pricing and everything else. Ask questions, seek clarity, and be sure you’re not left in the dark. For example, transparency is built into our business model as we’re constant communicators.
- Read Testimonials and Reviews
Customer feedback is invaluable. It provides insights into how a software provider treats its clients and can highlight any potential red flags. Make sure the testimonials and case studies talk about more than just the product, but look for the impact the partner had.
- Seek Referrals
Word of mouth is powerful. Talk to peers in the industry and get recommendations based on their experiences. Any reputable partner should have a long list of clients ready to share their experiences (we do).
- Ask About Continuity
Many software vendors send in a sales team to close the deal and a separate implementation team to deploy the software. Often, promises made by the sales team get forgotten, leading to confusion and disappointment—or worse. The most successful projects are those where the vendor includes the delivery and support teams from the start—that’s how we operate.
- Prioritize Post-Sales Support & Strategy
A software provider’s commitment shouldn’t be just about making the sale. The relationship should focus just as much on the ongoing support, updates, and the continual drive to add value. For example, the average length of BT Partners’ client relationships is over ten years, and we have a 97% repeat customer/project rate, so we’re doing something right.
You’ve Got the Power
While the recent allegations surrounding Oracle NetSuite serve as a reminder, they also stress the importance of performing your own due diligence. Remember, the ERP selection process is actually not just about purchasing software. It’s about investing in a partnership. It’s disheartening to think that simply saying what you’re going to do and then delivering on that might be rare among vendors.
Choose partners who share your values, are transparent in their dealings, and prioritize long-term relationships over short-term gains. At the end of the day, the onus is on you to ensure you align yourself with partners who champion transparency, honesty, and ethical business practices. We’re that kind of partner and would love to speak with you about your next ERP project.