Part Two: Doing your research -- How do I find the right technology solution?

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Planning: Strategy & Workforce

 

In the first blog of this series, we took a look at how to get your organization off on the right foot when it comes to your technology search. Today, we will start looking at the tangible steps you can take to ensure you find the right tools for your organization.

Jump on Demos

Demos are an important part of the research process. It’s the best way to see the technology up close and personal – and used with best practices. This is where you can truly see the potential of the product to help you get the most out of it.

Jumping on the phone with a vendor can really support your decision-making process. It also gives you an opportunity to ask questions that come up naturally. Just always keep in mind YOUR workflow. Be sure to constantly remind the vendor of how YOU will be using the tool.

Demos offer you a peek into the inner workings of the tool – even more than a trial. So look for a demo and try it out!

Don’t Be Afraid to Say “No” and Move On

After you’ve done your due diligence and research, it’s time to pick up the phone and start talking to these technology companies. Spoiler alert – they will all tell you that their solution is the best. So don’t let that sway you. Stick to your guns, and be strict about the solution you are seeking and the parameters you’ve set.

If you find that a certain technology solution doesn’t fit your organization– move on. Thank them for their time, and maybe even subscribe to their newsletter for updates and future discounts. But keep moving. Your time is precious!

Like we said, there are PLENTY of tech solutions out there. And you would be doing your organization a disservice if you didn’t take the time to find the right one.

Make Sure You Feel Supported

It doesn’t matter what the technology is – a projector, a phone system, or software – sometimes you need support using it. That’s why it’s important to note that you’re not only evaluating the technology. You’re also evaluating the company, the people, and the customer service.

In the not-for-profit sector, we see a difference being made through the relationships that we form. We’re here to make an impact – technology is just a small part of the process. But that’s why you a human connection with people is important.

Some great questions to ask your potential technology vendor would be:

  • What does your support structure look like?
  • It’s 2AM on the morning of an event, and I can’t get into the system – what options do I have?
  • Does it cost money to get support?
  • Will I be talking to a person, or speaking to a robot?
  • Do you have help articles for me to find my own solution?

Once again, take a look at your own team and how they would like to engage with support workers.

Make your decisions based on what your team needs – not based on what others have said is great.

Following these steps will support you with finding a great fit for your organization. But that’s just the beginning. In part three we’ll be looking at how you can convince your team to purchase the technology.

About the Author

​Phil is the Head of Marketing and Communications at Keela. He has worked as a communications professional within the sector at many levels: grassroots, local, regional and national. Now, he spends his time telling powerful stories of impact and is devoted to helping nonprofits do good, better.

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