Page 5 - BCM Software
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it would help during the evaluation to have samples of the data that the application stores to compare with the BCM software’s database. Will this be a manual process and if so, how many hours will this require? Are there APIs already available from the BCM software vendor to access the applica- tions, or will custom programming be required? And if the latter, can you get firm costs for this work?
This author frankly laments the day Microsoft decided to make Word into a program that can do everything under the sun...don’t need it. As you look through a long list of features available, will they really help you? And while they might be nice to have, are you set up to create the inputs and maintain the data necessary? It all takes time. Thus it may serve you to look through the feature sets and prioritize those that would have the most impact on your
program. Then evaluate the ease of use for those features and from that derive the effort (time and money) required to implement those. This will undoubt- edly be an iterative process requiring input from others on your team, and probably a number of Q&A sessions with vendors. From this process, a list of Must Have’s and Really Want’s will help narrow your selection, and your likely cost for the program.
Who will be using the software, where will they be, and on what device? Your company’s security requirements may limit some of your choices here. But if remote hosting or SaaS is an option, what security and backup will be provided by your vendor? Many companies were surprised during Sandy when backup locations, too close to the primary office, were impacted by a regional event and unavailable when needed most. What level of redundancy do you consider sufficient,
and how can you verify the claims? Are third-party audits being done and are those available for review?
During a critical incident, focusing on the critical issues is essential. Given the varied and complex pieces that will be managed during an event, is it pos- sible to get the display or dashboard that YOU want? Can you customize the display of information for the software or will this require vendor programming? What about on-the-fly changes that might be required for unusual incidents...can reporting be adjusted easily? What level of training will be required of users to achieve these capabilities?
Be sure and compare options by get- ting total cost of ownership of each software package, including not only the software but also the initial process of inputting data, training, and annual
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