You've found the perfect HR software application. You've negotiated a great price and a good support contract. But don't sign the contract until you can answer these 10 vital questions.
Is the price you agree fixed? How will changes be charged? This can be very expensive if you are rolling out a large HR software package that may require lots of changes over time.
Is the software licence one-sided, limiting the customer's rights, or does it spell out the vendor's obligations, too? For US-based software companies, it's very common to see extremely tough contracts known as 'shrink wrap' licences.
Who will actually implement the software? It's vital to know that the people who are actually turning up to install your software have solid experience with your sort of company. You don't want to find out later on that all the supplier's best people are working on another site.
4. Project management
What methods will be used for project management, development and testing? Different approaches are needed in different sizes and kinds of organisation – make sure the ones proposed are right for your business.
5. Sales support
Do they have a dedicated post-sales support team? If so, can they commit to guaranteed bug-handling fix times – so, all repairs to be addressed within 48 hours, for example?
If problems can't be easily resolved, what is the escalation procedure?
7. Ongoing charges
Are there ongoing charges for things like renewing contracts, account management visits and technical support? It's important to nail down these costs now to avoid costly surprises later.
Can you fix support and upgrade prices now? How much free support is included in the upfront price?
Is there a guarantee on the project – for example, are there penalties if the supplier doesn't deliver on time? Is there a warranty on the software?
Is there a suitable clause for terminating the contract? Is the notice period suitable? Too short or too long could create a lot of problems for both parties.
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