Skip to content

Software Selection

Select the right enterprise software with the Xtentio-method


Software selection is about making the right decision about new enterprise software for an organization. Software markets are polypolistic, meaning that companies can choose from a large number of vendors depending on the software category. The challenge for organizations is to select the most appropriate software vendor for their needs from the large number of vendors available. 

By using a software selection methodology, organizations systematically move through the process of requirements gathering, evaluation, comparison of proposals, and decision making.

From a business perspective, software selection describes the process of deciding on a suitable software vendor based on the company’s own requirements.

A structured software selection process makes sure that the organization’s core requirements for the new software are defined and documented explicitly. This lays the foundation for subsequent parts of the software selection process like the software vendor comparisons.

The software selection process is critical because the decision to implement new enterprise software is associated with high implementation and operational costs. A structured software selection process can help avoid costly mistakes and follow-up costs.

Benefits of the Xtentio-method of software selection

We are 100% independent of software vendors, service providers and integrators. We are not subject to any partnership obligations and do not have to meet any distribution quotas.

In a nutshell, we are not interested in which supplier ultimately wins the contract. Our only interest is your business – your very specific functional and business requirements for the new enterprise software must be met in the best possible way. This is what we strive for.

This unique selling point allows us to be truly neutral and to serve only one partner in the entire selection process: Your company.

In most cases, business software will be used across departments. Therefore, it is critical to involve all relevant stakeholders in the software selection process to ensure that all relevant requirements are addressed.

In addition to the purely functional requirements, there are also IT-related, commercial and strategic requirements (e.g., operating model of the new enterprise software, data protection requirements, usability requirements, country of origin and server location of the provider, implementation model). Xtentio’s software selection method also ensures that all relevant decision makers are involved at an early stage to avoid later delays in the software selection process.

The creation of core criteria, including a comprehensive catalog of user stories, forms the basis for the longlist-to-shortlist process.

After defining the core criteria and identifying the relevant software market, we provide you with a multi-stage negative selection.

  • In the first stage of the negative selection, we eliminate vendors that are not relevant for further analysis based on non-functional criteria. The result is a longlist of vendors.

  • In stage two, we present a provider longlist based on detailed provider profiles. You will receive relevant information about the software vendor and their product or service.

    Here, in particular, we incorporate our expertise in the form of market insights. From our years of consulting experience and implemented projects, we can share insights that you will not find on any vendor website.

    At the end of this second stage, it will become apparent which of these vendors will make it onto the vendor shortlist based on your functional, business and strategic requirements.

  • The third step is to identify a shortlist of vendors – typically three to five vendors with whom you could potentially work on a project based on your requirements. Shortlisted vendors will be invited to a vendor workshop for a targeted product presentation based solely on your very specific storybook.

Our collaborative software selection platform, corate, lets you make software selection decisions without Excel chaos.

In advance to the vendor workshops, we have already completely mapped all criteria and user stories of your story book in corate. The participants of the vendor workshop can follow the vendor pitch in a very convenient and transparent way while adding ratings for the individual criteria.

At the end of the workshops, the entire group of decision-makers will have complete, functional vendor evalutations that can be directly compared.

Computer screen with open software for software vendor selection PIM

Based on your storybook and the workshops, the vendors will now provide an estimate of the project effort and a quote for the project implementation, including the required licenses.

Here, too, we make use of our market insights based on years of consulting experience. We analyze all incoming quotes and effort estimates for you and highlight any noticeable anomalies.

This way, you can quickly see where suppliers differ in detail, which costs are realistically estimated (and which may have been artificially “underestimated” in advance), and ultimately where there is room for negotiation for the purchasing department.

Contracts are negotiated with at least two vendors and progressed until contract readiness. Since things can happen on the home stretch, we recommend that you always have a fallback.

Based on your functional, commercial and strategic requirements, as well as the negotiated contracts, all facts are now transparently on the table. Your decision-making group is now empowered to make the right decision about new enterprise software.

Your path to selecting new enterprise software

Software selection-as-a-service: We support you from requirements gathering to the final decision

We begin by working together in identifying the relevant stakeholders for the planned software selection and by clarifying important project parameters (e.g. planned implementation or replacement time, budget, requirements for the internal decision-making process).

We then work with the decision-making group to capture all functional and non-functional requirements in detail, taking into account business and strategic aspects, and create a catalog of criteria.

Using Xtentio’s proven software selection methodology, we generate a shortlist of vendors and have them present their respective solutions in vendor workshops based on a pre-defined storybook.

In the final phase of software selection, we help your team compare vendors, analyze commercial proposals, and highlight key negotiation opportunities. Your team is now empowered to make the right decision about new business software.

Do-it-yourself with our software selection platform corate

Want to use our proven selection tool corate for your own software selection? We are happy to provide our software selection tool corate for your project.

With the help of corate, multiple decision makers from your organization can work on the criteria catalog from the beginning. Upon request, we can provide you with a pre-packaged set of best practice criteria for each software market.

For vendor comparisons and vendor pitches, your team can use corate as an evaluation platform to store and compare live evaltuations. A facilitation feature also helps your internal project manager keep track of the agenda and participant evaluations during vendor workshops.