PSPs are not in the business of due diligence or evaluations. Most are small to middle regional players who are being forced into technologies to retain their client base. This makes them vulnerable to the slick willy salespeople who frequent their establishments. With proper due diligence done by an unbiased consultant or outsider, Most PSPs will find out in short order just how involved a real system is to deploy and the numerous components required to make it work. If you’re a PSP and you’re not used to hiring outside consultants, don’t dismay. It’s really not that difficult to take a first pass yourself and save yourself twenty or thirty thousand dollars of wasted investment to find out the same results.
Employee evaluation is clean and simple. Start with your most technical person. Do they understand the following disciplines:
- Wide Area Networking (buzz word “cloud”)
- Programming Languages including XML, Perl, PHP
- Database Experience in one or more of the following: SQL, MySQL, Oracle/SAP
- The various VDP tools used in the marketplace (PageFlex, XMPie, PTI)
In 99.9 of traditional print concerns, you’ll get a glazed look and your technical person won’t have a clue. That’s your litmus test. If they do know what these things mean, congratulations, you’re in the 1 percentile.
Just in case you’re not in the 1 percentile of technically savvy print concerns, then you have to look outside. As you look, remember never to take advice from:
- Iron salespeople
- Consumables salespeople
- W2P salespeople
- Other printers who don’t have serious W2P clients and investments
- Digital Press salespeople
- Paper salespeople
All of these players fit into the “credence goods” category and have something to gain from telling you what makes them money, not necessarily what is best for you. See this previous post. Remember you start with finding the right clients, not buying stuff in hope of finding clients.