Board portals are now used by a large number of organisations. Their benefits are well-documented: more professional board packs; more efficient processes; lower costs.
But what happens if your requirements change and you want to move provider? How easy is it to switch from one solution to another?
The good news is that changing portals can be painless. You just need to prepare well and choose a new provider that can handle the transition smoothly.
Here we share our 6 tips for successfully transitioning portal provider.
1. Think about timing
The timing of any switch is important. You need to make sure that your meetings aren’t disrupted by any change in provider.
Whoever compiles your papers needs time to get used to using the new system. And your directors need time to familiarise themselves with the results. Make sure the solution you choose is as user-friendly as possible and you will make this easier.
When it comes to being ready in time for your next meeting, in part this comes down to the planning you and your new vendor will do together. Work together to identify the best point in your meeting cycle for the switchover.
A large element of success here, though, is down to your new provider. How quickly can they make the transition? Ask about timescales when you’re making your selection.
And ask about the support on offer – professional, available customer service can make all the difference when it comes to quickly bedding in your new portal. Make sure the quality of the vendor’s service matches the quality of their software.
2. Clarify the administration process for the transition?
Find out how historical information is transferred from your old solution to the new one. Does the new provider offer this service?
Data transfer should be seamless, so you can easily access all the information you need on previous meetings, policies and decisions.
Make sure you’re clear on any costs you will be incurring – are there additional fees for this data transition?
If you have organisation-specific requirements, can they be met? What are the potential costs for this?
3. Check the vendor’s experience
If you’re moving from one solution to another, the process will differ from someone introducing a portal for the first time.
Does your preferred provider have experience in transitioning clients from one portal to another, or is their experience mostly in onboarding clients without an existing portal? Expertise in moving from an old solution to a new one is essential.
Make sure, too, that the vendor isn’t over-complicating the process. With the right provider, switching portal can be as simple as switching bank account – and should only take a couple of days.
4. Communicate clearly
Success depends on clear communication on both sides – from client and vendor.
Your provider can only know what you need from a portal if you clearly articulate your needs and expectations.
The vendor needs share their plans for the transitioning process.
You also need to find out how the process will be managed. Will you have a dedicated account manager to handle your transition? If so, how involved will they be? Will they attend your first meeting post-transition to ensure everything’s gone smoothly? This is something you can expect from some of the best vendors, but not all. It’s worth asking.
5. Ensure your directors back the change
Your board members need to be behind your move to a new portal. They are your end users, so their input is invaluable – your solution needs to deliver what they need.
Work with them to identify what your new solution needs to have and do. They need to be closely involved in reviewing the proposed portal.
A good solution will address the needs of your administrators and end users. It needs to be easy to use and navigate if you want everyone to benefit from board technology.
6. Get clarity on pricing
Portals come with a wide variety of pricing models. Make the right choice and you could free up budget to use elsewhere in the business.
Make sure you ask about the licence agreement for your chosen solution. Some are more flexible than others. Will yours allow you to expand your requirements if need be? What if you want to extend the portal’s use in future – are the costs prohibitive?
Free tip sheet on transitioning board portal provider
Changing portal provider might seem like a daunting task.
But make the right choice of solution and vendor, and you will find a provider that can support you through the entire process, making it seamless and painless.
Our 6 tips for successfully transitioning board portal provider look in more depth at some of the issues you need to consider, and have invaluable advice to make your transition faultless. You can download a copy of the free tip sheet here.