Tips for a Smooth(er) Software Upgrade

     

A few months ago, we upgraded our accounting and database management (DBMS) software in the administration department. While this experience was not a lovely walk in the park (what software upgrade is?), it was a lot smoother than I had expected. The reason was that the company we went with had a professional services team that rocked!

After we purchased our new software, we were contacted by the conversion team to get the ball rolling. We knew exactly what their expectations were of us—to provide information to them in a timely manner—and what we could expect from them, all presented to us in a well-documented format. 

As we began the process, I couldn’t help but see similarities in their professional services and those that we provide for our eForms and eSignature customers. While the products we purchased were totally different from ours, the goal for the implementation was the same: make it a success and exceed the customer’s expectations.

Here is how they achieved that:

  • Lots of communication, scheduled and unscheduled. We had biweekly phone conversations to address any issues, go over future tasks and get an idea if timeline goals were being met. Anytime a question arose, they were very quick to return my phone call or email between the scheduled meetings.
  • Well-documented plan of action. There was never a time that we didn’t know exactly where we were in the conversion. The timeline was laid out in advance, and if it had to be pushed forward, it was updated between both parties.
  • Knowledgeable employees that had been through many conversions. These folks knew their stuff and it wasn’t their first rodeo. There wasn’t a concern or problem that we threw at them that they had not already encountered—and they always had a solution for it.
  • Met their deadlines. They knew what it took to get the job done and how long it would take.
  • A great support staff to take over after the conversion. Not everything could be covered during the implementation process. Sometimes it takes processing the tasks in a live environment to work out the kinks. The support personnel were (and are) just an email or call away, and they are a wonderful team.

OK, so which of these boxes does our professional services team check? ALL of them, because they’re the ones who did our upgrade! In the Access administration department, we also use many of our own products to complement these other systems and are fortunate to interact with the professional services and support staff not only on a team basis, but as their customer.

We’ve experienced firsthand the quality of knowledge, dedication and expertise they possess. So, take it from someone who has been through a software conversion, and as the grail knight from Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade says, “Choose wisely.” Choose Access! We’re glad we did.

About The Author - Beth Adams

In the tradition of John and Sam Adams, Beth is a founding mother of Access—helping to build the company from the ground up on day one. Now director of Administrative Services, she oversees all administrative functions for the company, including AR, AP, HR and much more. Just as importantly, Beth is a Sunday school secretary, mother of three and grandmother of six.

Feel free to email me here.