Do You Know What to Look for in a Business Technology Vendor?

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Choosing a business technology vendor is a big decision. When making a large technology purchase, it’s obvious you need to dig deep into the tools’ functionality to be sure they meet your business needs. But what about the vendor themselves? Do you know what to look for in a business technology vendor? This is a key part of the technology buying decision that sometimes gets overlooked. Whether you’re shopping for software, like ERP or CRM to help manage your day-to-day business operations, networking tools, or something else, most of these purchases have one thing in common. They’re all substantial purchases with fairly high barriers to switching. So, before signing on the dotted line, you should feel confident a vendor is someone you can see yourself working with for the long haul.

That said, differentiating good vendors from toxic ones is not always easy. It takes more than a few cursory conversations with their sales or management teams to understand what a vendor is like to work with. But there are some telltale warning signs of a bad one.


What to look for in a Business Technology Vendor: Beware of These Warning Signs

  1. The vendor is very secretive about pricing information. You usually can’t get it until after the vendor has made your short list. Sometimes they may even require you to sign an NDA before granting access to it.
  2. Their pricing changes frequently or increases aggressively every year. Pro tip: Be especially weary of increases that exceed the current inflation rate.
  3. The vendor obsessively watches each of its customers’ usage statistics and up sells them immediately on a larger, more expensive package. They make no allowances for seasonal shifts in your business.
  4. Their contract is very difficult to understand without a law degree and drags on for close to 100 pages (or more sometimes).
  5. The terms of the contract change frequently and without warning. And because they change so often, the vendor does not include all the terms in the contract itself. Instead the contract is littered with hyperlinks sending you to a variety of webpages, each of which you must visit individually to piece together the entire story.


While these are some of the most important warning signs to look out for when choosing a business technology vendor, they only scratch the surface. If you want to dig into this subject further, we have a must-read white paper for you. It includes more warning signs, discusses the cost of choosing a bed vendor, and offers a checklist to help you compare the vendors on your short list side-by-side. Get your copy now.

If you’re in the market for ERP software specifically and wondering what you should to look for in your implementation partner, we can help with that too. Watch this brief video.

By: Laura Schomaker, Intelligent Technologies Inc., a South Carolina Microsoft partner.

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