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If you have ever been intimately involved with the acquisition of new distribution software, you know what it’s like to experience the thrill of purchasing and implementing the new software package. It’s both exciting and confusing all at the same time.

While the day of go-live may be a huge step in a long battle, it is by no means a final step. It seems that many project teams use the go-live date as their single milestone and key measurement of success. This is a mistake, because going live is just one piece of the distribution software puzzle.

While a solid project plan and good end-user training schedule can mitigate many of the risks that organizations face at the time of cutover, there must be additional reinforcement after the distribution software is in use. An example of this is the “superuser”.

The superuser should be leveraged to provide general support and answer process and system related questions. Immediately after go-live, about 80% of user issues are related to lack of understanding, so a superuser should be the first level of support. Utilizing an organization’s superuser will help limit frustration and increase initial project success.

The need for superusers does not disappear once the organization passes through the initial post go-live period. Employees change roles and turnover occurs, therefore, new employees and reassigned employees will need training. The superuser is a perfect candidate for these ongoing training needs.

Finally, understand that functional use at go-live is only a start to obtaining full ROI. Once the team is comfortable with the new distribution software, it is time to further investigate functional usage and training. Whether you continue to train your superuser or the entire team on more in-depth functionality, ongoing training is a must. Ongoing training and increased functionality usage will go a long way in making sure your organization obtains the maximum benefits from your purchase.

By clearly defining your go-live and on-going support processes as part of your overall distribution software project, you will better leverage your software technology to realize the full scope of business benefits and ROI.

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