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Vendor evaluation criteria and guidelines

SearchCIO-Midmarket.com Staff

When embarking on your vendor evaluation process, understanding what you want and what your organization needs is not always a simple task. And with the vendor market as competitive as ever, it's crucial to find the best match in terms of vendor relationship and product choice.

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Taking advantage of established (and sometimes free) vendor evaluation scorecards and vendor assessment templates can serve as a starting point for your process. The next steps should be to evaluate specific technology tools and offerings and consider user reviews.

Get resources here to help you make informed business and technology decisions when it comes to the technology-specific vendor evaluation process.

Getting started with sample vendor scorecards


Scorecards can be useful tools to aid in the vendor evaluation process. Important for both assessing vendors and comparing software options, scorecards offer an organized way to keep requirements, necessary capabilities and important criteria all in one place. The scorecard development process is also an opportunity to make note of your organization's requirements and needs to ensure that you're making the best decision when selecting a vendor or product.

Sample vendor evaluation templates are helpful for managing current vendors, too. They can keep track of how well vendors are meeting the terms of their contracts, monitor and manage their performance and keep an eye on effectiveness. Use these sample evaluation templates to get started on an overall vendor lifecycle management strategy.

Technology-specific vendor evaluation guidelines

Business intelligence vendor comparisons: Business intelligence and corporate performance management (CPM) are top priorities for organizations, with the latest data from Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc. showing that the investments in these areas are growing at a rate of 19% this year. Already a $6 billion market, this is no small chunk of change and vendor heavyweights such as Oracle Corp., IBM, SAP AG and Microsoft are working to capture and retain customers. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each contender? Gartner ranked the four vendors against each other across the following categories:

  • Business intelligence
  • Corporate performance management
  • Packaged applications
  • Data integration
  • Content management
  • Modeling/metadata
  • Business activity monitoring
  • Content analytics

Read Gartner's findings and learn what other users care about in their BI tools in "Business intelligence vendor comparison: Gartner analyzes the big four."

Evaluating and selecting a master data management (MDM) vendor: Choosing the right MDM vendor can be difficult -- from understanding your organization's data management needs to selecting one of the many MDM vendors in the market today. But careful preparation and asking the right questions can make the process more successful. Considering a new MDM vendor? Learn common mistakes companies make when evaluating MDM vendors, tips on creating requests for proposals, the most important evaluation areas to focus on (beyond functionality) and more.

SaaS CRM software evaluation: As traditional CRM vendors move into on-demand, many organizations are evaluating their Software as a Service (SaaS) and on-demand options. What do you need to know if you decide to deploy SaaS CRM? What are the pros and cons of on-demand and on-premise? There is a lot to consider, and this SaaS CRM software evaluation tutorial covers what you need to know -- from software evaluation criteria to a SaaS and CRM on-demand vendor guide.


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