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“Finally, we can say ‘farewell’ to our legacy system,” you exclaim.
Your supervisors seated around the conference table smile and nod.
Today’s a big day for your team.
You’ve been using the same systems on your property since its opening in 2007.
Every piece of technology used for your property’s operation is a legacy system.
From your maintenance software to the spreadsheet used for managing operational incidents.
You knew it was time to advance your operation.
But, your biggest fear was being replaced.
You’ve been running this property since it opened, and if nothing changed – you were next in line for ‘replacement.’
You want to create an ever-lasting legacy, not depart as a legacy leader known for complacency and out-of-date methods.
Nowadays, there are a plethora of progressive software solutions available.
Many surpass the functionality of your current “solutions.”
To compete in this landscape, they must fulfill the needs of your property.
You know this more than ever now.
But, as you started your implementation process did you stop to review one critical characteristic of your solutions provider, that you might’ve missed?
We’re sure it met all your internal needs.
But, did you ever review the track record of your solutions provider?
We’re not talking about credibility nor are we referring to their customer listing.
While these are essential qualities, we’re referring to long-term innovation.
Yes, they’re not a legacy system now.
The question is, where will your new solution be in two years, five years, or ten years?
Did you just select your next out-of-date software solution?!
How innovative is your solutions provider?
It’s interesting to us.
We hear about new technology solutions all the time.
We conduct research often to keep our solutions as front-line choices.
There are many high-tech solutions in the marketplace.
Most have that one unique feature that catches the attention of property operations.
The solution does something no one else’s does – for that moment.
Then, when the competition catches up to their solution, the provider fades away.
The competitive landscape shifts and the truly innovative solutions provider prevails.
Because they have a more robust ‘solution’ to offer, and they can quickly adapt to the needs of customers.
Of course, it’s essential to implement a progressive solution.
But, you don’t want to blind yourself by that one cool feature.
You must see the big picture.
Doing so is a part of your role.
Does your solutions provider continue to innovate their solutions, now and into the future?
This is a crucial question that you must always ask.
Approaching a solutions provider for a long-term relationship is a critical task.
The decision you make will affect your operation for – at least – the next two to three years.
If the solution does not work to your advantage, you must then make a shift to another solution.
That’s not a process you want to go through again, that quickly, right?
That’s why you must work with a genuinely innovative solutions provider.
We’re going to share several characteristics of these types of vendors, so you know what sets them apart.
Each step of their process helps you create an operational foundation that can adapt to and take advantage of their cutting-edge software.
We categorized the characteristics into three areas of focus.
Take notice of how long-term innovation plays to your advantage in number three.
This stage is critical to your success.
It’s the start of building your solution’s foundation.
Your provider’s onboarding, implementation, and user training involve as much care as their software.
Once this stage is completed, you’ll know you have a foundation conducive to efficient internal execution.
Remember, innovation must advance from a starting point.
The stronger your starting point is, the better your operation will adapt to innovation.
You will expand your wants and needs as you use your new system.
You need the resources that allow you to do that.
You also want a great support team to support your efforts.
Your solutions provider must provide a Customer Success department to take your team from users to power users.
The chances are, your solutions provider is advancing their software even while you’re implementing the new solution.
You’ll eventually have to catch up to the rest of the world’s greatest properties.
This department will move you to a level playing field.
Your provider will have plenty of experience working with similar customers.
This quality pays off for new customers because it offers access to various use cases and experience.
The bottom line is that your innovative solutions provider is only as successful as the sum of all its customers.
Innovation starts with the solution but ends with the customer.
You know that you’ve found yourself an innovative solutions provider when they’re always asking: “OK, what’s next?”
Customer feedback is essential to a preferred solutions provider.
This stage is where developing innovation starts.
Continuously asking for feedback is a characteristic that will set your provider apart from the other “innovative” solutions providers.
You’re contributing to the innovation.
The solution is improving based on your needs as a user.
You directly influence which way the needle of innovation moves.
Proactive operations employ world-leading technology to maximize their performance. But, to maintain this status, they require the help of innovative solutions providers.
Evaluate the solutions provider you use for your property with the intention of long-term advancement. You need a vendor partner that will never stop innovating for and with you.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and freshness.