Avoid the Low Rate of Software Adoption and the High Cost of Shelfware
Purchasing software can be analogous to hiring the right employee. After a trial period and evaluation, the decision is made to bring the software or new talent in house. Then what? What if the implementation strategy and a plan for adoption of the new system are not considered? If a company does not have a plan, then the software can be left unused and the investment is for naught. Of course most companies, when introducing new employees to the workplace, provide orientation, training and a place to hang their hats. Yet few companies plan well for a successful software introduction and that can lead to an adoption issue.
This is not a unique problem. In fact, nation-wide, the number of software licenses that are unused is at a record high: Up to 62% of software that companies buy is unused or under-utilized. Once the software is purchased, the purchasing company often feels abandoned by the vendor. And without an adoption strategy as part of the implementation plan, new customers leave the software on the shelf, so to speak. In fact, the term for unused software, Shelfware, is a real problem for any quality department, which looked for a software solution to support their quality initiatives . But if no one uses the solution, then the ROI cannot be appreciated. And the decision makers may feel they made a wrong purchasing decision, all of which is costly.
“Shelfware rate for the top ten online analytical processing software packages averages 39 percent—and runs as high as 62 percent.” – Gartner, Inc.
The reasons for not adopting a software solution can be varied and subjective. Employees are sometimes reluctant to adopt a new technology and can feel threatened by the software’s ability to reduce their workload and they are fearful, as a result, of losing their positions. Personnel also may be technology shy without the necessary software skills. And quite simply, some company veterans may be reluctant to try something new. But this is not entirely their fault. In fact, a software company can be complicit in this adoption nightmare: If the vendor simply throws the products “over the wall” without a post-sales support in place, then potential users probably lack the core knowledge to effectively use the software.
Adoption is not only critical for customer satisfaction, but is also a valuable asset for any company in terms of future sales and referrals. The best software companies have a robust post-sale strategy that engages the decision makers and includes the affected employees.
Look for Strong Post-Sale Support
DISCUS Software has a reputation for this vital post-sale support– from a skilled support team, online videos, free training to an experienced customer success team. These resources ensure that the software is installed and used and the employees are onboard. In addition to offering training for purchased licenses, DISCUS provides complimentary online training every month for all customers and has done so from the onset. As a matter of fact, the adoption rate of DISCUS is much higher than the national average as the support and training team work with the purchaser to ensure the employees are trained, their fears mitigated. By offering tutorials and online support, chat and blogs, new users can access assistance 24/7 at their own pace with mentoring assistance.
By supporting a customer’s adoption strategy, the DISCUS support staff guides new users to become more confident and competent while learning skills that make them even more valuable to their employer. Not only are companies realizing immediate ROI from the software, but are also appreciating a skilled staff in software technology. This is a quality solution in a win/win scenario, a fact not lost on most companies. From the first download, through evaluation and beyond, DISCUS support staff will train prior to the purchase and facilitate users’ understanding of the features and functions for a success-driven implementation.
“The DISCUS support team has always responded quickly to requests and the on-line training webinars have been very helpful. Even as long-term users, we normally attend at least one of the training courses after a major upgrade to ensure we are getting the maximum use of new features. The support team has been granting us access to evaluate both the DISCUS 3D and DISCUS CMM add-ons as well before we purchase them to ensure they fulfill our needs.” – Kris Watson, Quality Engineer, Weaver Manufacturing
DISCUS software has a plan to help companies with their software adoption from the onset of the sale, through the purchase and beyond. Eliminate the problem of Shelfware and realize immediate ROI for a quality solution day in and day out.