In woodworking, veneer refers to thin slices of wood that are designed to make inexpensive furniture look more expensive and solidly built. In the software industry, veneer is software that’s been configured or quickly coded to meet customers’ critical business requirements, but in reality is thinly disguised panels or user interface demo screens. Vendors typically take this manufactured approach when they lack true industry-specific software. So when you are evaluating industry-specific software, how can you tell if it’s real or just veneer? Consider asking the following questions:
- If I license the software, will I receive what was demoed?
- Does the demoed software exist as a SKU on the vendor’s price list?
- Will the demoed software continue to be improved in the future with industry-centric features?
When you are looking at true industry-specific software, you’ll know it because the software will be available as a SKU and what you see in the demo is what you’ll get. Furthermore, what you get will be documented, designed and engineered to address the key business drivers of your industry. So the next time you evaluate an industry-specific solution, beware of software veneer. Stay tuned for Part 2 - How to Choose the Best Industry Cloud Platform. Skip Roncal is Director of Solutions Consulting at Vlocity, and has 20+ years experience in enterprise software and industry-specific CRM applications.