We are working with a client that is going through an ERP software evaluation. While they are looking at moving to a new ERP solution, they are also considering an upgrade to the latest version of their current solution. As such, they not only conducted a scripted software demo of the potential new solutions, but also asked their current vendor to provide a demo of the most recent version.
As we went through the demo process with the current vendor, the client was very interested in seeing the capabilities of the system – some of which they are not currently using. After the demo they commented on the fact that there was a lot that they could do to improve the use of the current system if they decide to upgrade to the newest version. In fact, there was functionality that they thought the system could not do, that was actually available in their current version! They came away with a list of short term improvements that could be made in their current implementation whether or not they move to a new system.
As strange as it may sound, you may want to consider requesting a software demo from your current software provider every few years – even if you are happy with the product. Conducting a software demo with your current vendor will enable you to re-focus your vision of the capabilities of the software, develop a plan to implement additional functionality, and more effectively utilize your software investment.