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Evaluating Software Vendors: Key Factors to Consider for Optimal Business Performance


The process of software selection is a complex one, with multiple criteria to account for. With so many vendors out there, having a predefined methodology for vendor evaluation can save businesses time and resources while ensuring the chosen software is the right fit. This blog dives into the important factors to consider when evaluating software vendors and how to identify the perfect technology partner for optimal business performance.

Do you feel your business is missing out on potential growth opportunities due to inefficient and outdated software systems? Over 79% of tech leaders report their companies’ hefty reliance on SaaS (Software-as-a-service) applications, according to Productiv. That said, over 84% of small and medium businesses face some kind of issue while using new software applications.

With so many options to choose from, finding the right software vendor can be an arduous task. Building a software vendor selection process becomes crucial for companies. This blog will take you through the comprehensive process of vendor evaluation and the key factors that drive supplier selection. So let’s dive in.

The Burgeoning Need for a Thorough Vendor Evaluation

Perhaps you’re considering switching to a new software platform and want to compare vendors. Maybe you’re unhappy with your current platform and are looking for a new one. Or, maybe, you’re simply interested in staying up to date on the latest trends and developments in the software industry. Choosing the right software vendor remains a critical decision for any business.

With SaaS applications comprising 70% of the total company software use, the wrong vendor can lead to frustration, wasted time and resources, and inefficient business processes. Vendor evaluation is especially important for growing companies. Consider this: companies with over 1000 employees use over 150+ software applications.

As your company grows, you will likely need to purchase more software products and deploy them. As you do this, vetting your potential software vendors carefully becomes increasingly important. A thorough software vendor selection process will help ensure that you work with a reputable, reliable company that meets your needs.

The Vendor Evaluation Process

If you’re wondering how to select a software that meets your specific business and performance needs, building a vendor evaluation scorecard can be a tremendous help.

A vendor evaluation scorecard allows you to compare different software vendors against one another. To get started, identify the key decision-makers in your organization who will be responsible for evaluating the software. Once you have a list of stakeholders, determine the most important criteria for each individual.

Here are some of the pivotal criteria you shouldn’t miss while sizing up a software vendor:


To ensure that the software will meet your needs, you must first understand what functions are important to your business and then identify which software vendors offer those functions. There are two types of functionalities to consider: general and specific.

General functionality is the basic set of features that all software vendors should offer. This includes things like user interface, data entry, reports, and security. When evaluating general functionality, be sure to consider how easy the software is to use and how well it meets your basic needs.

Specific functionality is the unique set of features that are specific to your industry or business. For example, if you run a clothing store, you may need software that can track inventory levels and generate purchase orders. When evaluating specific functionality, be sure to identify which software vendor offers the best solution for your needs.

Evaluating both general and specific functionality is essential to choosing the right software for your business. Be sure to take the time to understand your needs and compare them against the features offered by various vendors before making a final decision.

It is important to consider your industry and business’ specific needs to identify the right software solution.

Implementation, Deployment, and Training

When considering implementation, you’ll want to think about how easy it will be to get the software up and running within your organization. Will you need help from the vendor or can your team handle it on their own? What kind of support does the vendor offer during implementation? Is there a robust community of users who can offer guidance and advice?

Similarly, when you’re looking at deployment, you’ll want to consider how the vendor can help you get the most out of their product. What kind of documentation and resources are available? Does the software vendor offer on-site training or webinars? Are there user groups or forums where you can go for advice?

Finally, think about training. Does the vendor provide comprehensive training materials (online tutorials, manuals, etc.) to help you and your team get up to speed on using the software? Do they offer certification programs or hands-on workshops? Is there customer support available if you have questions down the road?

Customer Support

A vendor’s level of customer support can be a make-or-break factor in your decision. The ideal vendor’s customer support should be robust and comprehensive. It should offer multiple channels of support, including phone, email, and live chat. The customer support team should be knowledgeable and responsive. Consider the kind of support the vendor offers. Do they have 24/7 phone support? Email support? Live chat? Make sure they offer a method of support that works for you and your team.

Next, consider the quality of support. Have you ever reached out to customer support with a question or issue and had it resolved quickly and easily? Or have you been left on hold for hours only to be told that your problem can’t be solved? It’s important to get a sense of the level of service you can expect from a vendor before signing on the dotted line.


When evaluating a software vendor, it’s important to consider how well they scale. Scalability is the ability of a system to handle increased loads without experiencing degradation in performance. There are a few key things to look for when evaluating a vendor’s scalability:

  • Platform agnosticism: Does the vendor’s solution work with multiple platforms? Can it be easily integrated into your existing infrastructure? A platform-agnostic solution will be more flexible and easier to scale than a platform-specific one.
  • Modular design: Is the vendor’s solution designed in modules that can be added or removed as needed? A modular design makes it easier to scale the solution up or down as your needs change.
  • Flexible licensing: Does the vendor offer flexible licensing options that allow you to pay for only what you need? Scalability is often constrained by budget, so it’s important to ensure you’re not overpaying for features you don’t need. A flexible licensing model from the vendor will give you the ability to scale the solution as your needs change.
  • Support for growth: Does the vendor have a track record of supporting customers as they grow? Do they have resources in place to help you expand their use of the software? A software vendor that has a history of successfully supporting growing companies is more likely to be able to help you successfully scale their solution.

Keeping this information handy will facilitate your software vendor selection process while planning for sustained growth.

Working with a vendor that offers scalability translates into a future-proof software solution.

Mobility and Compatibility

The modern digital landscape is dominated by superior mobility. With the explosive rise of BYOD workspaces, mobile devices and IoT, connectivity and compatibility reign supreme. Therefore, It’s more important than ever for software vendors to provide products that are compatible with a wide range of hardware devices and platforms.

What types of devices does the software work with? Can it be installed on-premise or in the cloud? Is it compatible with popular mobile platforms such as iOS and Android? Is there an app available for use on mobile devices?

These are all important considerations when choosing a software vendor.


Cost remains a crucial aspect of vendor evaluation, especially if you are a growing business. Here’s a look at a few of the most common pricing models:

  • Pay-As-You-Go: With this pricing model, you only pay for the software when you actually use it. This can be beneficial if you don’t use the software often, as you won’t have to pay for it when you’re not using it. However, the costs can add up quickly if you use the software frequently.
  • Monthly/Yearly Subscription: With this pricing model, you pay a set monthly or yearly fee for access to the software. This can be beneficial if you use the software frequently, as it will likely be cheaper than paying for individual usage. However, if you don’t use the software often, you may end up paying more than you would with a pay-as-you-go model.
  • One-Time License Fee: With this pricing model, you pay a one-time fee for access to the software. This can be beneficial if you plan on using the software frequently over a long period of time, as it will likely be cheaper than other options in the long run. However, if you only need occasional access to the software, this may not be the best option.

The Bottom Line

Vendor evaluation is an essential driver for efficient business processes, and its importance shouldn’t be underestimated. One way to evaluate potential software vendors is by using supplier selection software. Supplier selection software considers various factors when assessing suppliers, including cost, quality, delivery, and capability. This data-driven approach ensures that you select the best vendor for your needs and avoid any potential problems down the road. Vendor evaluation tools such as TYASuite and OneTrust facilitate the process of supplier selection for businesses.


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