Navigating Implementation Challenges: Key Learnings, Takeaways and Solutions

20 Mar 2024

By Samarth Mehta, GM, India & Head of MDM Solutions, ThoughtSpark

Hello everyone,

I was recently a part of an esteemed panel at the Syndigo Partner Kick Off 2024 in Chicago, where we delved into achieving success with Syndigo at customers. During the discussion, some very interesting questions were raised that I believe are important for all of us to address. Here's my take on those questions.

What are the factors contributing to Success and Future Business Opportunities?
There are quite a lot of factors involved in winning a deal, but one of the fundamental keys is gaining the trust and confidence of the customer. To achieve this, three key areas that a System Integrator (SI) should focus on are Industry expertise, Domain knowledge (MDM), and Product expertise.

To do these, I think the entire sales process needs to be Consultative, ensuring that you’re talking about the Problems and the Solutions for the customer rather than filling them with MDM fluff goes a long way. It's important to talk about their industry and vertical, provide relevant examples and talk about how the business would benefit from the overall solution.

Additionally, demonstrating expertise in the product plays a significant role. Leveraging customer data, understanding their unique needs, and customizing a product demo accordingly helps a lot.

Finally, a very basic but crucial thing, being responsive and providing clear, timely communication throughout the sales process, is very important. Syndigo has templates for Scoping & Estimations that can highly standardize proposal building. I believe it is important to respond on time, with clarity & providing the right context.

Why Syndigo? How did Syndigo solve your customer’s business issues?
Flexibility & Rapid Time-to-Value: Syndigo's standout strength, according to me, is the flexibility & the rapid time-to-value of the Solution which allows businesses to derive tangible benefits without long implementation periods.

Out of the box solutions: With PIM Standard and Professional, Syndigo offers a range of out-of-the-box solutions. These solutions come with various industry-specific capabilities built-in, making them ideal accelerators for large enterprises while also seamlessly fitting smaller enterprises in their current operational state.

Business Rule & Workflow Engine: The powerful Business Rules & Workflow engines help enterprises in configuring process & rules. This capability ensures that businesses can align the system with their unique operational workflows and requirements.

App Development: Enterprises often face unique challenges that require additional UIs or configurations to be built on top of the product. Syndigo's App Development framework empowers businesses to build end-to-end customer solutions, addressing these specific needs.

In conclusion, Syndigo stands out due to its flexibility, out-of-the-box solutions, robust business rule & workflow engines, and comprehensive app development framework.

How do you handle scenarios when a customer has a requirement or use case that does not confirm or align with the known best practices or patterns?

It is important to understand the customer's mindset. The customer or their IT team may come from a background of custom software and therefore they believe in certain specific implementation methods.

When the use-cases do not align, the following are my suggestions:

  • Propose Alternative Solutions: Explain objectively how a different solution can address the problem.
  • Educate the Customer: Present the pros and cons of the solution to help the customer make an informed decision. I often use the Harvey Ball comparison for clarity.
  • Include the Syndigo Team: Keeping the Syndigo team informed about the use case and proposed solutions is essential for alignment and collaboration.

What challenges did you face during your implementation journey and how did you help overcome them?

Below is the list of challenges in the order in which I think they are:

Scoping the Project:
I've been involved in numerous implementations over the last decade, and I believe many major initiatives succeed or fail before the project even begins. One of the biggest risks lies in the gap between the customer expectations and the defined scope outlined in the Statement of Work (SoW). The best approach is to ensure that project objectives, milestones, and deliverables are clearly defined and communicated right from the project kickoff.

Customer Readiness:
I've observed that customers often underestimate the level of commitment required from their end to execute an implementation project successfully. Involvement from both the Business and the IT teams is crucial right from the very start. Sometimes, business stakeholders already have a packed schedule, leading to less productive workshops and communication gaps. I believe it's the System Integrator's responsibility to set the right expectations regarding time, deliverables, and other requirements.

Initial Load & Integrations:
This is an area where I commonly see challenges among most customers. As one of my favorite talk show hosts used to say, "How Hard Can It Be?"—right before a disaster strikes. This is exactly the approach I've seen IT teams take when loading data into the system and building integrations between different systems. My recommendation is always to engage in serious conversations about these topics early on. The only way to mitigate the risk is to start addressing these challenges as soon as possible.

These are my thoughts on the questions we had discussed during the panel discussion at the KickOff, and I'm glad we had the chance to tackle some of the key challenges and opportunities in the current MDM landscape.

Samarth Mehta

Samarth Mehta is the General Manager for India and Head of MDM Solutions at ThoughtSpark. Backed by a long-standing Syndigo experience, Product has always been his primary focus and he has been implementing Syndigo projects since 2014. Samarth thoroughly enjoys solving customer problems, constantly sharing and expanding on product expertise and delivering impeccable product demos!

About ThoughtSpark

ThoughtSpark is your go-to enabler in the Syndigo ecosystem, committed to enabling partner-centric sales and go to market strategies, in addition to implementation services. ThoughtSpark walks hand in hand, sharing insights, knowledge, and expertise to fuel its partner's journey. Our ultimate mission is to enable the growth and unparalleled success of System Integrators across the Syndigo ecosystem.