We’ve been discussing some critical questions to help vet your BPM vendor candidates. And we’ve reached Final Jeopardy with Question #5: “How much experience do you have with similar customer implementations?”

While there may be a number of products or platforms that could potentially deliver the right BPM solution for your business, the vendor company you choose to work with is also an important consideration too. You’ll want to find a vendor who not only has a great product, but who also has a solid track record of successful client implementations. Look for case studies, whitepapers, or press releases that sound similar to your planned implementation when evaluating potential vendors. And, if you’re able, try to setup reference calls with current clients. Vendors that have a long list of similar client successes and a high rate of client retention (renewals) should be on your short list.

Beyond a history of previous client successes, you’ll also want to find a vendor who’s good to work with – ideally, someone who’s demonstrated a true sense of partnership with their customers on previous projects. Ultimately, you’ll want to work with a vendor who’s genuinely invested in the success of your implementation project, not just looking to sign a new license deal. You may even run across some BPM vendors who prefer to outsource the actual implementation consulting services to 3rd party partners. While this model isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, you’ll probably want to dig a little deeper into the details if a vendor proposes this model to understand why. Do they not have resources available in-house to do the work because their backlog is too big, or because the product is too complicated to work with? In either of those cases, your delivery timeframe could definitely be impacted.

We hope this blog series has been helpful as you launch into a very important initiative. Ultimately, be sure to look for BPM vendors who can demonstrate a depth of experience in collaborating with their clients on all aspects of a BPM implementation project, including requirements definition, solution design, iterative development, testing, launch, and ongoing support. And focus in on those vendors who have a solid reputation as good partners – those who’ll work with you to tackle the inevitable challenges that arise along the way. Most importantly, select a BPM vendor who you feel comfortable forging a relationship with, and who instills confidence in your project team.