Finding the Right Software: Solution Explorers

Last year I realized the need for project management software for The Outsource Resource. I started looking for solutions only to quickly realize the sheer number of options out there and my lack of time to research them. I hired two separate people to help me and allotted a handful of hours to each for the task—the reports I got back just weren’t very helpful. I was clear that having project management software would help The Outsource Resource but knew it wasn’t the best use of my time to locate it. Do you have a software need but don’t know where to go and don’t have the time to deal with it?

keith german

Keith German, Chief Navigator of Solution Explorers

That’s when I met Keith German, the “Chief Navigator” of Solution Explorers. After ten years selling software, Keith started Solution Explorers with the goal to transform the software buying experience, recognizing that identifying new software is time-consuming, overwhelming and often confusing. In talking to him I realized that the reason I hadn’t gotten useful information was that the task was much bigger and more complicated than I had imagined. Many tasks outside our usual realm are like this—it’s important for us to recognize when this is the case and be sure to always maintain focus on our most important tasks—and delegate or outsource the rest.

I felt like I struck gold when I met Keith. He had the background, the expertise, and the systems to take on the task. We worked together for several months—yes, it takes that long—and the experience has been a giant WOW.

For one thing, I got to keep working on my business, focusing on my three most important functions, which I wrote about in last week’s newsletter (client care, sales & marketing, and staff care). While I grew my business, Keith was behind the scenes “exploring solutions.” This is huge! Finding the right software can easily take 30–50 hours—and that’s time I don’t have.

Keith and I had regular touch points along the way to make sure he knew exactly what my needs were, to report on progress and then to schedule demos with the top three choices. From hundreds and hundreds of software options, I only had to consider three! Amazing! One of those choices ended up being the right one and I’m about to get started with it. (Vertabase) I know it’s going to increase quality and efficiency within The Outsource Resource, something my clients and staff can look forward to. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Do you have software needs but don’t know what to choose? Don’t have time to figure it out? Frankly, if you’re a small business owner and you bill hourly or are responsible for sales, making time to find the right software is most likely not a good use of your time—both because it takes you away from sales but also because it’s probably not your expertise. With Solution Explorers, you’ll save yourself time, frustration and heartache. You probably didn’t know such a service existed—but now you do!

5 Responses to “Finding the Right Software: Solution Explorers”

  1. Keith German says:

    Abigail, saying Thank You seems insufficient regarding your kind words. This post-project reflection is spot on though as it pertains to and illustrates the key value I plan to deliver through Solution Explorers. Finding the right software for unique business needs is hard work, takes a LOT of time, and requires focus and skill. Those free online questionnaire and software search sites are just not comprehensive, often member-subscription biased, and just leave too much room for overlooking the comprehensive solution options available through today’s market. Your particular project proved this in so many ways, especially since none of these sites or Top Ten lists referenced Vertabase. Also, using internal resources often results in pulling folks off billable work and/or customer care services.

    This was a collaborative effort though, one that started positively because you were willing to answer questions candidly and then assist in documenting details of your specific needs BEFORE the “exploration” began. This is a key step than many buyers overlook and why many purchases result in post-purchase disappointment. Because of your commitment to be engaged in this project and take the time to think things through we experienced a rewarding project.

    So, with that, Thank You! I now look forward to witnessing the business process and customer services value Vertabase brings to The Outsource Resource.

  2. Abigail,

    Thanks for posting about Solution Explorers – what a great service they offer! Their site’s definitely going in my “Resources” folder.

    Hope to see you soon at a Network in Austin event.

    Best,
    Julie

    ……………………………………………
    Julie Wickert
    True Story Communication
    http://www.truestorycommunication.com
    (ofc/hm) 512-459-3262
    (cell) 512-914-6882

    Story-based marketing writing.
    Proposal consulting.

  3. admin says:

    Keith – the pleasure is all mine. I never knew such a resource existed until I met you. It’s a sorely needed one, so I’m happy to help get the word out.

  4. admin says:

    Thanks for your comment, Julie. Yes, isn’t it great to know about them?!?

  5. Brad Closson says:

    Abigail,
    Great article on Keith and Solution Explorers. Keith is absolutely a wonderful resource to have for any company. On top of being a first class professional, Keith is an outstanding networking asset as well. Thanks for sharing his information with The Outsource Resource community.

    Brad Closson
    Paragon Business Group

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