Choosing the correct Business Software provider is one of the most important decisions you will make on behalf of your business. Changing your software is a challenge, I don’t care what anyone says or how prepared they purport to be. There is always going to be features you have not discussed, you probably thought you had everything covered in the due diligence phase but on the day or in the few days following the changeover you’re going to remember all the quirks of the old business software that you took for granted. I have personally converted over 100 small business sites and not one didn’t have a quirk that the business owner or one of their staff realised they needed after the fact. So it’s important that you have sized up the Software provider properly. Imagine you are dealing with an agent and not the software company itself? You may find that it takes days or weeks to make small changes to the application and so making the new software very uncomfortable. That’s if changes can be made at all. So be clear on the position and influence the person you are dealing with has when changes are required. You’re not going to get all your requests through though and some you may find you don’t need. Often I find clients following practices in their business which will not be necessary in the new software because of improvements. So ask yourself why you do something a certain way, not how you can duplicate the action in the new business software. Also don’t think you can bully the Software Company into making changes, they probably have hundreds if not thousands of other clients who are using the same application and have to consider how your wish list of changes will affect all the existing clients.
Onto the act of choosing the Software.1st how long has the company been around and how many clients do they have. How is their business structured? If the company has not got a steady income stream from licensing then how long will they be in business? Work out if they need new business to stay in business or if their support is funded from licensing. If their support team if funded from new sales then in slow times you’ll find that they shrink their support staff which won’t help you at all. The performance of the Software is only half the game, the quality and consistency of the support team is so important. What turnover of staff do they have, are their dedicated support staff and how many. Our Ration is 1/100 one Support person for each 100 clients. Seems lean but also shows how stable our product is.