What to Consider When Making a Final Software Decision

134 views

Published on

Once a company has determined that it needs to update its software and has drafted a list of potential
vendors, it will have to go through the process of cutting down the list of suppliers to a few contenders
and make the final decision.
While this host of options can seem overwhelming, construction companies can manage the process
by creating a system for narrowing down the field of potential vendors. As Sourcing Innovation
acknowledges, buying software for your enterprise is not a light undertaking, since every part
of the process holds the potential to become “a virtual minefield.”3 Some of the key aspects of the
software selection process include acquiring documentation for pricing, services and schedules,
and identifying all the functions and solutions you hope to achieve from the new application.


Learn more at the http://na.sage.com/sage-construction-and-real-estate

0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
134
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
1
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

What to Consider When Making a Final Software Decision

  1. 1. What to Consider When Making aFinal Software Decision
  2. 2. IntroductionOnce a company has determined that it needs to update its software and has drafted a list of potentialvendors, it will have to go through the process of cutting down the list of suppliers to a few contendersand make the final decision.While this host of options can seem overwhelming, construction companies can manage the processby creating a system for narrowing down the field of potential vendors. As Sourcing Innovationacknowledges, buying software for your enterprise is not a light undertaking, since every partof the process holds the potential to become “a virtual minefield.”3 Some of the key aspects of thesoftware selection process include acquiring documentation for pricing, services and schedules,and identifying all the functions and solutions you hope to achieve from the new application.Draft a model of costs—including initial investment and maintenance fees—and develop a teamof employees from across the enterprise. When assembling the team, include those who arestakeholders in the purchase as well as the people who will be managing the implementation andfuture use of the software.3These staff members will be invaluable when it comes to spotlighting individual departments’ needsand calling up problems with older software in order to avoid making the same mistakes again.Getting a team involved will also ease the transition phase when it’s time to train the rest of theemployees and get them on board with a new system.7In the meetings where you discuss your software options, decide what is most important to you asa company in your next purchase. Brainstorm with the team members to identify key needs andobstacles with your current software, and identify what current situations you want to overcome withnew software.Next, set your budget for the software and narrow down your options to those that fall within yourprice scale.Questions to Ask Before BuyingSoftware cost is just one aspect of the final decision. Determine what other expenses would benecessary for integrating the software with your current suite of programs and whether employeeswill require additional training to get up to speed.Selecting software for your construction company “can feel a little like grocery shopping on anempty stomach,” Liz Eversoll of Small Business Computing writes.6 “Everything you pass looksappetizing, and it’s hard to resist placing items in your cart. Even with the best intentions and adetailed shopping list, you usually end up with more than you need and come in over budget.”Since new software is a significant investment of money and time, and will hopefully last you foryears to come, it’s vital to be thorough as you shop for and test applications. 2What to Consider When Making a Final Software Decision
  3. 3. One question to ask potential vendors is what cost components will make up the total price. Somevendors charge per seat—or how many seats will be using the software at any time—while otherscharge by how many processors will be running the software. Still others price the software perconcurrent user, which allows installations on a number of devices but limits how many people canaccess the software at one time.5When shopping for a particular kind of application, such as estimating software, it’s also importantto determine whether you will be able to access real-time information on materials and have theflexibility to respond to changes in labor, project scope and other variables.4Existing hardware and operating systems are also important aspects of the decision process.2Question vendors about memory, OS, and storage requirements, and find out how much it wouldcost to prepare your technology infrastructure for the new software.2When doing the budget calculations, include what you could save in terms of labor, resources, andtime with better software that allows for more efficiency. Also consider what opportunities you willgain, such as being able to devote more time and energy to revenue-generating activities ratherthan overhead processes.7Other costs to keep in mind include extra licenses and necessary system and hardware upgrades,plus the actual cost of the software, support, and service fees. Unnecessary features and automaticrenewals are just a few of the extra expenses for which you should be on the lookout.7Another Consideration:Vendor Relationship, ReputationVendor relationships matter. This does not mean just software functionality, but involves the businessor vendor. Since you’re investing in a software that will hopefully stay and grow with your company foryears, it’s important to be sure you are able to work with your main point of contact, the vendor.8Ask potential vendors about the technical support their company provides. If you have questions,who will be available to answer your inquiry? How robust is the support they offer? Is it offered byphone? Online? Sage Construction and Real Estate offers a support network for its clients to helpthem optimize their use of the software and get the highest possible return on their investment.Users can access the knowledgebase online 24/7 and can get support through phone conversationsand online chat.9Potential buyers should also ask about how long a vendor has been in business and inquire aboutthe company’s stability, as you need to know they will be around as long as you will in order tocontinue providing support and updates. Additionally, if you need to customize the system orintegrate it with other software in your company, what resources are available to you? How manyyears of experience do they have with companies similar to yours? Are they available locally?Request references from people who use the software in their business today, particularly localcompanies that have a size and technological demands similar to yours. 3What to Consider When Making a Final Software Decision
  4. 4. Ask about training. If you need to have users trained, does the vendor offer a program? How manyoptions are available—online? Live? On what topics? Sage offers online training programs to helpclients become even more familiar with the software.9ConclusionWhen considering price, functionality, installation, training, and customer support, picking a vendoris no small undertaking. A vast array of factors play into the final selection, and knowing exactlywhat you need and how much you can pay will make the decision a little easier.Sources1. http://www.businessknowhow.com/manage/software.htm2. http://www.suite101.com/content/20-things-to-know-a170233. http://www.slideshare.net/sourcingdoctor/enterprise-software-buying-guide4. http://www.lowesforpros.com/5-questions-to-ask-before-buying-estimating-software5. http://www.rlrouse.com/buying-software.html6. ttp://www.smallbusinesscomputing.com/buyersguide/article.php/3921016/4-Tips-How-to-Buy-Small-Business-Software.htm h7. http://www.aboutsoftwareforbusiness.com/8. http://blogs.cio.com/thomas_wailgum/why_you_shouldnt_sue_software_vendors_even_if_they_deserve_it9. http://www.sagecre.com/Support-and-TrainingSage15195 NW Greenbrier PkwyBeaverton, OR 97006-5701800-628-6583www.SageCRE.com 4©2012 Sage Software, Inc. All rights reserved. Sage, the Sage logos, and the Sage product and servicenames mentioned herein are registered trademarks or trademarks of Sage Software, Inc., or its affiliatedentities. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 12-02029 07/12

×