In a post-pandemic world that frowns upon unnecessary risk-taking, the question all firms should be asking is: Can an RFP ever be enough?
Most financial services firms begin the selection process of enterprise software selection in a traditional manner that involves a Request For Proposal (RFP). There are calls put out, requirements and business goals listed, and a wait for responses that can take weeks. After this comes demos from shortlisted vendors, the reading of infosheets and brochures, and a host of meetings. The goal is always difficult, because it means the management of conflicting requirements, competing stakeholder expectations as well as the balancing of budget considerations.
How Do You Choose Your CRM?
There are all kinds of reasons why RFPs are essential, starting with the fact that they are often required as part of corporate policy. There isn’t anything intrinsically wrong with relying on them either, provided firms acknowledge that they can also be time-consuming. They can prolong the process of selection by introducing bureaucratic hurdles. Worse, they may produce undesirable outcomes by not being engineered for new delivery models.
This is why NexJ believes the most critical step in any evaluation is a well-run Proof of Concept. We say this based on our experience with successful financial services firms and satisfied users in over 60 countries.
Navigating A Crowded Marketplace
Firms select solutions that best support their CRM strategy while navigating a market that evolves constantly. The possibilities can seem endless, especially when firms have specific requirements based upon the industry they are in. This is why NexJ’s product capabilities and features are always targeted towards specific users, job requirements, and departments within an organization.
The rise of deep vertical CRM vendors has also coincided with a need for solutions suited to specific ecosystems. In such a scenario, while traditional RFPs can help narrow down options, it is only Proof Of Concept trials that can help firms find the right solutions.
The Advantages of a POC
A POC answers four important questions. It allows firms to test vendor claims, validate assumptions and conclusions, and go beyond demos, brochures, and meetings with team members. These questions simply cannot be addressed by an RFP:
- What can this product do?
- What will our users think?
- How can we evaluate this vendor’s capabilities more effectively?
- How well can the product integrate with our infrastructure?
When an application or solution being evaluated isn’t created for specific software ecosystems, it is a POC that can help firms identify potential problems and narrow down options that display reasonable levels of efficiency.
Understanding The NexJ Approach
Not so long ago, one of our clients realized its systems were struggling to handle complex relationships well. They couldn’t handle workflows required to meet compliance regulations and were not flexible enough to meet changing customer demographics and regulations. What they needed was a financial services-specific CRM with robust integration capabilities to connect their systems, handle compliance workflows, and obtain a complete view of each customer.
We delivered a 4-week long POC to validate our technology and functional capabilities as part of an integrated solution. The aim was to show how our platform would be a suitable replacement for the existing Customer Data Management and CRM solutions, both of which were internal builds. Our POC featured distinct workstreams that covered our business modeling capabilities and flexibility, business processes, integration capabilities, and a migration prototype that converted data from the legacy client data master and relationship management platforms to the target model implemented in NexJ.
To find out more about our approach to a Proof of Concept, and why we believe this helps our customers understand our products better, get in touch with us today.