Considering SaaS to Replace Your Legacy Amdocs/Clarify Deployment?
On-Prem to SaaS
Over the last 15 years or so as legacy Amdocs/Clarify deployments gradually began to be replaced by other on premise CRM providers such as SAP and Siebel (two we used to see often), companies somewhat knew what they were getting into. They had experience implementing a fairly similar CRM at least once by that point. They knew it was going to be a relatively timely, resource intensive and costly upfront expense to rip and replace.
However, as SaaS and various other hosted CRM offerings came along, the enticement of a less costly upfront expenditure, combined with more out-of-the-box configurability from the user and admin standpoint showed promised.
Whether it’s an on premise or SaaS solution being considered for rip-and-replace to legacy Clarify deployment, they both have serious challenges that require extremely careful forethought to help ensure success and/or long-term value. At the very least, our 20 years of experience with all things Clarify/Amdocs has shown us just that. Today though, we’re going to focus on specifics to strongly take into account if considering a SaaS offering to replace Clarify.
Is SaaS Right for your Clarify Replacement?
First off, SaaS solutions are somewhat rare for major Clarify replacements for a number of reasons. They tend to be less “customizable” (by design/SaaS-power of one) and organizations with somewhat rigid change tolerances, coupled with highly customized legacy CRM applications, don’t particularly mesh well with SaaS offerings in this type of scenario. If you’re an organization with this type of environment, be particularly mindful.
Some SaaS solutions are actually quite “customizable” though. When organizations want to perform some true “customizing” (not configuring) they may need to hire new developers skilled in that SaaS offering. If they want to bring them in as full-time employees, they can also be difficult to find. If they choose to use in-house tech talent, they’ll need to be trained for new skills, which take both significant time and financial resources. Since source code is very rarely, if ever, shared with SaaS offerings, the amount of integration and customizing is typically limited to on premise solutions that allow for such.
Costs to Consider
On the surface, SaaS applications can seem less expensive upfront and sometimes they truly are in a vanilla Clarify legacy environment which is OK with significant change, but there are different types of costs to consider that greatly affect long term value.
SaaS typically offers “named users”. If you have 100 users, you need 100 licenses (not the case with concurrent licenses). You have to manage users far more carefully, as well (add a user, new license, new unaccounted for cost) (team shrinks, users need to be immediately cancelled to avoid wasteful spending). If you have sporadic users, perhaps managers that only monitor hotspots here and there or executives that review high-level numbers once a week, those users still require the same costly named-license as a full-time user. More expensive Admin user licenses are common, too. SaaS subscriptions can exceed one-time perpetual license deployments in only three years. Five years is typically the absolute max. And that’s before considering a data migration and customization costs to mimic imperative existing workflows that may be too rigid to be forced into out of box SaaS functionality as addressed previously.
There are important data security implications to note in a SaaS offering when hosting in the cloud, outside of one’s protected internal firewalls. From a vendor vetting standpoint, it is far more work for your security team to review that the vendor is taking the proper precautions to ensure the safety of the data that’s being hosted. Contractually, it involves more legal resources as well. Those pieces are typically short lived, but they do not come without a certain level of effort from multiple internal resources. Government and financial institutions for example are exceedingly stringent with their data security requirements. The amount of internal resources to vet and contract with SaaS vendors is no small effort.
The final consideration is the tolerance your user base has to change. For as long as reasons why the success or failure of application implementations have been studied, the number one reason that stands firmly alone the top for success or failure is user acceptance. Will your user population be able to and/or willing to adapt to the point that the implementation can be labeled successful? Do you have a technically savvy bunch? Do you have a not-so-technically savvy bunch? Combination of the two perhaps? Pushing rigid change all at once with a total data migration to a new system can be shocking to those in their comfort zone and they may never really get back up to the level of efficiency they enjoyed with the old system. Weigh this carefully from a user and technical culture standpoint. It could not be more important.
Dovetail’s Unique Solution
Dovetail offers by far the most unique solution on the market to all of the issues listed above. We offer zero data migration, a level of comfort enjoyed by those users less apt to change since Dovetail mimics many Clarify workflows and verbiage. We also offer efficient, value oriented concurrent user licensing, source code for developers based on a common .NET platform, and probably the most important thing; the ability to roll user groups on to Dovetail at different times since we tie directly into the back-end database and no data migration is needed. That means customers can strongly mitigate risk and disruption to the business by allowing some groups to faze on to the system while others continue using the legacy Clarify client. All the data works together and interacts the same, even in a hybrid environment. It may feel like software magic to those who have experienced a big, painful cut over, but it’s just Dovetail’s very unique offering that has made for some extremely happy customers over the years. This type of scenario could not be better tailored to Dovetail.
Please consider reaching out to us to learn more if this is of interest. Cheers and best to you in your efforts to maximize your legacy Clarify investment!