CRM systems often find themselves precariously close to the bleeding edge of technology. One of the reasons is that technically oriented people are motivated to work with bleeding edge technology because of the 1) Resume Factor, and 2) the Fun Factor.
The Resume Factor, usually subconscious and denied, comes to play when the person choosing the technology considers how the choice will have a positive impact on their resume. The Fun Factor causes them to want to work with technology that is new to them, because boredom is the anathema of the technologist.
But being the shrewd businessperson that you are, you know how to overcome these factors and staunch the bleeding before it happens. You follow these tips:
- Find the bleeding edge and step back nine to 18 months. The larger the system, the more you should step back.
- Never use a product with a release level lower than "2.1". A "1" in the first digit is very bad, as is a "0" in the second digit, regardless of the first digit.
- Plan to pay 10-15% more on the infrastructure than you "have to" for the sake of stability. You are in the business of delivering stable solutions, not in the business of testing your supplier's newest products. You will probably save all that money in services, anyway.
- Ask your architects: "Have you used these components together before? With this size of a solution?" If the answer is "no," then insist that they find someone
- who has.
If you can't find someone for the team who has "Been There and Done That," then may I suggest a new pair of running shoes!
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This was first published in January 2002