This article: AVI Systems, Inc.
The emotional angst that comes with purchasing new technology for personal use is something most individuals have experienced at one time or another. Imagine, then, the stress and difficulty of making similar investment decisions for an entire company.
The process represents a significant investment in both time and capital for both small to medium-sized businesses and corporate giants. It is a complex process, navigating the research, acquisition, transition and success tracking phases of a smart technology investment.
Several area companies have travelled the path successfully and bring unique perspectives for making it work for others in all industries.
AVI Systems, Inc.
“We’re kind of an ‘eat your dog food’ kind of business when it comes to investments in technology, because we help clients do this with audio/visual and interactive video decisions,” AVI Systems, Inc. Project Developer Joe Athon says.
Partnering with an advisor who is “in the know,” Athon says, is a good first step in new technology procurement. Start by identifying “a partner vs. a gadget.” Athon says companies forget to look at the overarching objectives. There’s also a reason you’re talking about this technology, he says.
What is that reason? Sometimes, as Athon recently wrote on NextTalk, KCnext’s blog, “the problem with bad technology procurement strategies is that you probably don’t even know you have a problem.” Athon tells his clients to be honest about having a “buying problem,” surrender to the process and engage a team in the decision and have faith that there’s a better way and an army of experts ready to advise.
Then it’s a matter of finding a provider and price. Unfortunately, the professionals charged with the task of identifying a partner have been thrust into this role for the first time, Athon says, so businesses should allow more time in the decision-making process. Those organizations that invest in the extra time on the front end will reap the benefits on the back end, he says.
Don’t be afraid to speak directly with the manufacturer, as well, Athon advises. While realizing that the manufacturer’s goal is to sell its own product, the discussion can prove valuable, including referrals to dealers. Ultimately, Athon recommends companies attempt to keep the acquisition and long term support to one provider.
“I always suggest the ‘one throat to choke’ approach vs. having multiple partners for brainstorming, design, implementation and system support,” he says. “Without that, everyone is pointing the finger at one another when something goes wrong. The search and acquisition is the easy part.”
Finally, when tracking the success of your new technology procurement, Athon says simply put it to the employee test. It must be intuitive and easy to use. If people don’t know how to use it, then the ROI is useless. “Is it easy to use when it’s in human hands? If the first use doesn’t inspire a second use, then your ROI is lost,” Athon says.