How to Effectively Evaluate a Process Automation Provider

Buyers of process automation software today have a variety of vendors to choose from – that’s the good news. But evaluating these vendors can be challenging.

While the underlying technologies and process automation solutions from vendors are often appealing and full of promise, vendor pricing and contracting can be very confusing and often misleading.

Most businesses simply do not have the luxury of spending precious time trying to unravel convoluted pricing models, arcane clauses tied to add-on costs and usage anomalies, and contracts that are far more complex and frustrating than is necessary.

As a CEO of a major software company, I believe in the free market and that great outcomes for customers are a result of unbridled competition.

But I also recognize that when business customers are ready to hand over their hard-earned money for technologies designed to accelerate digital transformation and automate the enterprise, those customers have every right to expect a crystal-clear breakdown of what they are getting in return, with no “gotcha!”s lurking in the fine print.

Before purchasing and deploying process automation solutions, buyers should demand clear and unambiguous pricing information from every software vendor.

Which is why a “bill of rights” for process automation buyers was created to give decision makers like you the perspectives and direction you will need to make the very best buying decision for your organizations.

Because the future is coming at us very fast, businesses in every region of the world that are looking to move into their digital futures need to be able to fulfill their process automation plans quickly and confidently.

The bill of rights for process automation software buyers

I believe that every customer has the right to know a lot of detail in advance from every process automation software vendor, including:

  1. The specific, complete, and final price for what they are purchasing.
  2. The nature and cost of any unspecified charges, fees, penalties, upgrade requirements, etc.
  3. If the provider charges more for automating additional processes.
  4. If the provider offers volumes discounts.
  5. If the provider offers unlimited usage.
  6. If the provider charges by user, what are the exact details of that escalation?
  7. If the provider charges for connectors to the customer’s main line-of-business (LOB) systems. And if so, on what basis? And what are the related prices?
  8. Since many process automation deals involve multiple components, what are the exact pricing breakdowns for each component: for robotic process automation (RPA), for machine learning (ML), for artificial intelligence (AI), process mapping, etc.?
  9. Does the provider charge for data storage? If so, how much?
  10. Does the provider have a run-time maximum? If so, are the details clearly spelled out around what that maximum involves, and what the prices are for going beyond the maximum?
  11. If the customer purchases a cloud solution, and later wants to extend that solution to become a hybrid solution, what are the pricing ramifications?
  12. Does the provider offer a customer loyalty program? What are the benefits?

Every organization seeking to digitally transform and improve the way people work should insist on greater levels of clarity and transparency from automation vendors.

You deserve to know exactly what you are buying today and tomorrow.

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is CEO of Nintex and a proven SaaS executive with more than two decades of financial and operational experience at mid- and large-sized software companies. From 2014-2018 Eric served as Nintex CFO where he was key in driving the company’s move to the cloud and subscription pricing. Prior to that, Eric served as vice president of finance for Jive Software, where he helped lead the company through its IPO process, and before that, as vice president of worldwide sales operations at Serena Software. He has also held financial and operational leadership positions at Merant, InFocus Corporation and IBM (formerly Sequent).