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GIS For Dummies® by Michael N. DeMers

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Chapter 22

Ten Questions to Ask Potential Vendors

In This Chapter

Identifying the right vendor for your needs

Understanding the products and services that vendors provide

Finding a vendor that meets — and even exceeds — your needs is critical to ensuring your success when working with GIS. In order to find that vendor, you need to know what questions to ask. This chapter provides a good starting point for your decision-making process. Whatever you do, don’t rush your decision.

What Services Do You Offer?

Your first questions for a vendor should be based on your needs. Figure out what you require for output (called Spatial Information Products). Your output requirements give you an idea of the software capabilities, data structures (for example, raster or vector), and analytical capabilities that you need. Also, determine what, beyond the software, you’ll need from the company. Do you need consulting, implementation and setup, training, complete solutions, individualized services, or data?

Tip.eps Ask yourself what you currently use the GIS for in your organization so you can be sure the software meets those immediate needs.

Can You Show How Your Product Will Meet My Needs?

Among the most powerful methods of evaluating the utility, quality, and reliability of a vendor is to view examples of products and services that it provided to other clients. Reputable companies provide examples from ...

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