Choose the Right Vendor for System Rollout Services

Vic Liu - 2019.01.31

Choose the Right Vendor for System Rollout Services

Oracle-xstore

History has taught us numerous times that companies who fail to embrace advancement in technology are lagging to their competitors, so nowadays most companies and organizations understand the need to continually upgrade their systems and solutions for better providing services/products to their customers.

Are you considering updating your internal system for your company? If yes, then you should know that solely selecting a new system is far away from truly improving your company’s working efficiency because “when can you actually start operating the new system” is also a crucial factor!

A reliable system rollout service is a key to a smooth transition and successful implementation of the new system, so you should pay seriously more attention to this part when you’re purchasing a new system or software.

It would be totally meaningless if you could not actually apply the system that you had already paid for. We’ve seen lots of companies, especially those big ones, are consistently costing their valuable time in vain for waiting just because of the terrible rollout services.

 


 

4 Main Aspects you need to consider for a System Rollout Service

When you search for the vendor, it’s no wonder the task of picking out a right system rollout service may seem overwhelming. With thousands of rollout services to choose from, how can you be sure the reliable one?

Don’t worry, we’re going to present you, according to our own experience, 4 main aspects that you need to consider for a system rollout service, helping you identify the best option.

 

1. Project management aspect

Project-management-aspect

 

So many people think that the system rollout simply means “to install a system and leave”. But it’s not really like that!

Please keep in mind that a professional system rollout is not equivalent to the system installation, rather it’s more about launching a completed system implementation project which involves various aspects, such as communication, documentation, and coordination.

Therefore, we think whether to have strong project management ability is a highly crucial aspect. The better project management team and feasible plan you get, the clearer perspective you have, facilitating whole system rollout so you can apply the new system as soon as possible.

To deliver a successful rollout project efficiently, the qualified vendor should enable to provide you with:

 

  • Unique talents understanding the system in detail

Rolling out a brand-new system for a company could be a very technical activity. A comprehensive understanding of the new system is a must, which will not only make the whole rollout process smoother but also be able to calmly solve various emergency situations regarding the system during the process.

  • Detailed manpower arrangement

Normally, a solid project team should be included 4 main types of position, which are the project manager as the team leader, the business analysis for duly acquiring your needs, the quality assurance for quality control, and the system developer for the technical aspect, such as system integration, data transition, system testing, and so on.

  • Highly customized rollout method

Only the vendor actively adapts your actual situation (the scale of system rollout, the involved regions, the expected delivery time) and then customized the approach specifically for you, could the rollout be considered highly feasible.

  • Specific timeline of the overall rollout progress

A new system rollout could be either a long-term project or a short-term project. A precise timeline could be very helpful for you to supervise the rollout progress step by step.

For example, rolling out a POS system for retail stores of a famous luxury brand like KERING group (Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, etc.) could take a long period of time because they are possessing hundreds of brick-and-mortar stores. A clear timeline could largely help KERING group catch up the rollout process, being easier to make some necessary adjustments.

 

2. Communication aspect

communication-aspect

 

The level of communication can be the key to make, or break, a project’s success. How well do the team members interacting with each other and how well do the vendor understand your requirement are playing a critical role in the outcome of the project.

Sometimes, a large-scale system rollout can involve various areas, even various countries, so frequent interactions with different languages and cultures might be inevitable. To ensure the rollout project can be proceeding smoothly, skillful communication capacity is a must for the system rollout service. Therefore, when you’re doing the research, you should consider:

 

  • Does the vendor operate in the same time zone as you?

By knowing this information can help you better organize your contact schedule, avoiding unnecessary confliction.

  • What types of language does the vendor use?

Usually, it should be English. But if you’re an English-speaking company plan to roll out a system in Asia area, it’s important to look for a vendor possessing bilingual capacity.

  • Does the company enable to adapt different cultural environment?

Again, when you’re are considering rolling out a system in different areas, or countries, finding a vendor that has more cultural experience could make the whole communication progress much smoother.

  • Is the vendor available on communication channels you want?

Although e-mail, phone, VOIP are the standards, still, if the vendor can adapt to the communicating way you want, it could be another large improvement for the communication process.

(people prefer using “Wechat” in China, people prefer using “Line” in Thailand, people use “Kakaotalk” in Korea)

  • Does the vendor understand the business that you’re conducting?

This is also another important aspect you need to consider. Because the better understanding about your business, the less misunderstanding occurs. Also, it’s easier for the vendor to customize the approach and plan for you.

 

3. Experience aspect

experience-aspect

 

Possessing rich rollout experience could be a guarantee. Just go find out if the vendor’s experience of delivering rollout services is similar to the one you plan to look for and then evaluate it by following aspects:

 

  • Number of projects executed

We are not saying that the amounts of projects executed are certainly equivalent to the service quality, but, at least, it’s showing the vendor has been trusted by customers many times, which means it’s probably doing the right thing.

  • Types of clients worked

This is very important because clients from different industries may respectively have their own unique requirement. For example, if you’re doing luxury business, you certainly would hope the vendor is able to understand the luxury industry, having the right attitude, dress code, etc., which will be easier to have a productive conversation, building an effective rollout process.

  •  Types of system rollout executed

There are various rollout services, but some of them are specifically for certain types of system. Like some companies are providing rollout service for ERP system, some are providing retail-focus IT system like POS and OMS. Find out a rollout specialist for the certain system you need would be greatly helpful.

  • Expertise for knowledge-intensive tasks

By knowing the company’s experience in intensive tasks could be a smart way to acquire its true rollout ability and response capacity.

 

All the above could be indicated from the company’s section like case-study, qualification, customer feedback, and so on. But you could also directly go in contact with them and ask for these kinds of documents and materials to make sure that their experiences are really matching to your expectation and the rollout service you’re expecting.

Another effective way to know more about the work of the company is to seek client references, obtaining opinions from 3rd party’s perspective to better understand the company’s job scope, services quality, customer support etc.

 

4. Support aspect

support aspect

 

Even though you’ve successfully installed the new system which is operating finely, there are still a few things you need to keep in mind.

First of all, your staffs won’t know how to use the new system naturally. Second, even if the new system has been operating finely after the installation, you can’t guarantee that there won’t be any issues later on. Once you encounter some issues regarding the new system during the work, we’re sure you will expect timely support.

What we’re trying to express is that “support service” is also the part that could not be ignored when you’re searching for a system rollout service. Good rollout services have to include this item and have to be able to provide you with:

 

  • Tailored support package

If the company can offer you a tailored support package, it will greatly improve the support quality and reduce the time consuming because normally you won’t need support for all aspects but just some certain parts that will bother you the most.

  • New system training

Usually, rollout services will be included in the system training part, but the quality varies a lot from companies. A qualified training service involves a great deal of communication skill and professionality, which will largely affect the success of system application in the early stage.

  • Support on a nationwide and global basis

If you are managing a regional, or worldwide, business, then you definitely need to think about this aspect, to see if the company can deliver the support by different languages and if it has offices in regionally for timely support.

  • Certified support team

The degree of the professionality that the support teams define the quality and workflow of the support service. Just go ask for some certification related documents and materials when you’re screening out the vendors.

 


 

Main types of Rollout Methods

System-rollout-methods

 

After selecting the right vendor providing high-quality rollout service, the rollout method is the other thing you need to consider.

We know that most good rollout services will include the method selecting for you, but we still want you to have the basic concepts of some popular and effective rollout methods nowadays in the market because it will make you not only have a rational expectation from the vendor but also further understand if the vendor is giving you the best solution, avoiding to be kept in the dark.

 

Big Bang Rollout

It’s a large-scale system migration to your organization that’s rolled out all at once and immediately get rid of the old system, eliminating the issues that can appear when users are working with the different system. Also, it is the least expensive and fastest method to roll out a new system.

However, the downside of this method is obvious as well. Since the system is being rolled out so fast that there is no much time to do the testing regarding compatibility aspect and functionality aspect. The chance of crashing down could be relatively higher.

Some people will think it’s a bad idea because of its high risk, but it’s not entirely correct. According to our experience, we’ve helped some of our customers to roll out the new system by applying this method and all the systems are working just fine.

This method requires a comprehensive evaluation of the actual situation for the customers and then could decide if the big bang rollout is proper for them.

 

Phased Rollout

This is the much more stable one because it doesn’t ask you to roll out all at once. You don’t have to face all the implementation issues at the same time, giving you the most flexibility to calmly deal with different problems.

Furthermore, by dividing into several manageable phases, you can continue to absorb the information occurred from the early implementation stage and then guide the rest of the process, so there are fewer problems as the rollout proceeding.

On the other hand, unlike the big bang rollout method, the phased rollout will make users deal with two different systems simultaneously during the process, which will make users confuse more easily. Often, that will lead to some data quality issue if you can’t manage every phase properly, especially regarding the human aspect.

 

Parallel Rollout

Parallel rollout method involves using the existing and new systems simultaneously until the implementation is confirmed to be ready. During the transition, you need to work with both systems as you gradually learn the new one.

Sometimes, the process would be somewhat inconvenience because, for example, the data you’re managing must be entered in both systems, which may cause data quality issues, and you need to do every operation twice to ensure both systems are compatible, leading to very slow learning progress.

Even though the parallel rollout seems money- consuming and inefficient for a general rollout project, it still has its moment. For example, the parallel rollout is the most option for a system testing project. When you’re doing testing of the new system against the old one, you just need to focus on the data comparison and make sure the functional aspect. It’s a great exercise to do before system go-live.

 

Pilot Rollout

Choosing a test group as the pilot, you can consistently receive the feedback from the group and gradually improve the system’s functionality.

The feedback is the crucial part of the pilot rollout method since you are giving the chosen test group full authority to experience and judge the system’s pros and cons. The accurate feedback information is the key for this method so carefully selecting a test group and giving them a proper guidance are very important.

In the early stage of pilot rollout method, you need to devote most of your time to evaluate your company’s group and the system you’re going to roll out, deciding the best option for the pilot. During the process, the feedback you gain from the test group should be well orchestrated, including every detailed information regarding the new system and insight opinions from testers.

Once the test group has approved the system, it can be rolled out across the organization. Also, the testers can help train other employees for the new system later on.

 


 

Case study: Oracle Xstore POS rollout for KERING group

(Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, and Sergio Rossi)

See how RCI Global Services help KERING group to roll out a new POS system for their 189 stores in 9 different countries in APAC.

 

Background

KERING group found challenges in efficiently managing their retail stores with their old Point-of-Sales (POS) system which was lacking both user-friendly operation and various powerful features compared to the modern one.

KERING-Case-study-background

 

A truly powerful Point-of-sales (POS) system is extremely crucial for a retail business. Not only because it can really improve your overall retail operation by providing an all-in-one solution to multiple issues from day to day (e.g. inventories issues, sales recording issues, human errors, time-wasting issues). But also because the POS system is the very integral part of achieving a successful omnichannel retailing strategy, which will totally lead your retail business growth to the next level.

 

Oracle Xstore POS system

oracle-xstore-POS-system

 

For above reasons, KERING group decided to commit a major improvement for their store working efficiency, replacing their old POS system with Oracle Xstore which is one of the most powerful POS systems in the current market with various advanced features including:

 

  • Real-time stock inventory across all stores
  • One single customer view across all stores
  • Ability to integrate with various new payment methods
  • Powerful reporting tools to analyze daily sales, stock, customer
  • Ability to be fully integrated with an external CRM system
  • Full automation POS with the warehouse to improve Order to Buy (OTB)
  • Omnichannel capability for online and offline store

 

KERING group had a strong faith in this POS system and strongly believed it was the one that can help them step into the next level.

 

Challenge Appearing

Normally, deploying a POS system will involve various aspects that could affect the outcome, but KERING group case is a bit different.

We are not saying it’s going to be easier, but ten-times harder than the regular one. Because KERING group, at the time, was planning to deploy the Oracle Xstore for all 189 stores of their 5 major luxury brands in APAC, brands.

Also, the project was involving 9 different APAC countries. (China, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong / Macau, Singapore, Guam, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand)

 

Kering-189-stores-in-APAC

 

It was an incredibly huge rollout project. There would be a lot of cultural interactions between different people and coordination work to do. For deploying the system for 189 stores, a precise timeline was a must.

What KERING group really worried about was if they could find out the right partner that enabled to carry out the whole project with quality and efficiency because they definitely hope the new POS system, Oracle Xstore, could go live as soon as possible.

 

Solution from RCI Global Services

Solution-from-RCI-Global-Services

RCI Global Services were providing one of the most reliable system rollout services for companies, being famous for various factors:

 

  • Experience of serving famous Luxury brands
  • Having manpower across APAC
  • Trust, Reliable and Professional partner
  • Experience in managing international projects
  • Strong technical and expertise on POS
  • Offer one-stop services across APAC
  • Delivery high-quality services
  • Focus on OTIFAC mindset (On Time, In Full, At Cost)

 

In a certain way, RCI were not totally strange to KERING group because, in 2012, they had helped GUCCI, one of the brands owned by KERING group, successfully deploy the Oracle Xstore POS system to their stores in APAC and the result was satisfying. KERING group valued their experience on the system rollout for GUCCI in APAC and soon decided to come on board.

After a comprehensive evaluation for KERING group situation, RCI Global Services was committing to help KERING group complete the system rollout for all 189 stores within 6 months, which was totally beyond the expectation of KERING group.

There are reasons for RCI to make this kind of crazy promise.

 

  • For one thing, RCI Global Services have dealt with this type of case many times before, so they certainly know how much time these types of the project would exactly cost, and they always want to provide the most time cost-effective way for their customers.
  • For another, RCI Global Services possess a strong project team and management ability, giving them strong confidence to provide a completed series of rollout service for any project scale, even the huge project like KERING group’s one.
  • Last but not least, RCI Global Services is the specialist of Oracle Xstore POS system, spending years to learn about the system and help retailers successfully apply it.

 

By launching a kick-off meeting RCI offered KERING group a detailed rollout timeline and manpower arrangement, including 1 partner in China, 1 partner in Korea, and a Flying Team from Hong Kong. During the on-going project, they kept having a meeting with their customer every week to ensure the progress and acquire more insight needs from their customer.

For better rollout service, RCI also offered onsite preparation of the Oracle Xstore POS system at KERING’s office and onsite installation to each store, ensuring the software’s functionality and compatibility.

For timely following up issues regarding the new system, their staffs would remain standby for onsite support, so all the stores could run the system without any worries behind.

 

Satisfied Result

The Oracle Xstore rollout project for KERING group in APAC is successfully completed within 6 months (from Feb to July 2014), just as what RCI Global Services have always promised to their customers.

 

KPI-of-KERING-case-study

 

All 189 stores in 9 countries are currently running the advanced POS system that is functioning smoothly and perfectly, which is an extraordinary accomplishment for both organizations.

KERING group are thrilling to see all their stores in APAC have applied the new system in such a short period of time, which is an unexpected step for their business growth, and deeply realize the significance of having a reliable rollout service for implementing a new system.

 


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