For businessmen and founders of companies. How to choose software for business

Автор:   Кравченко Андрей,

This article directed above all, entrepreneurs, founders of companies that are interested in using high-quality and reliable software to account for their activities. We have tried to outline the criteria which in our opinion, distinguish good programs from mediocre programs. Let this little reminder will serve those who are facing a dilemma with what software to link their fate - the fate of their business, and thus the fate of their own.

At the stage of selection of the software are clearly visible are several factors which receive priority attention. This, above all, a set of features. Whether the system can solve the required tasks taking into account? An important issue - the ease of learning and use. These issues are considered during selection of software, and their answers can be obtained quickly enough. But there is one important factor, which appears only in a time when the accounting system is put into operation, and is an integral part of running the business. This factor is directly related to the reliability of the system - the cost of operation.

It's no secret that some well-known accounting systems require constant maintenance. Is it really necessary? Is it possible to create a system that does not require a constant effort to maintain its health? Are there any accounting system, working with whom, do not have to pay for their use of a service company, or the incoming specialist?

Our experience of many years of work on the creation of accounting systems shows that the situation with the need to pay for ongoing support and maintenance of artificially formed. Interested in this program as the producers and the companies that implement the software.

Ask ourselves some simple questions. How much we pay for the service using Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel, or service Windows? We apply the term "service" to these programs? The answer is simple. Maintenance of such systems is automatic or built-in programs themselves, or by released updates. On this argument, we foresee an objection - it is impossible to compare the program for general use and specialized software. But what is the difference between them? Obviously, the number of users. Among the mass of programs (word processors, browsers, graphic editors) is very strong competition, which spurs the manufacturers of the software to continuously improve the quality of products and quality service. For accounting systems, especially in the former Soviet Union the situation is quite different. In the absence of a competitive environment, accounting systems of the road, their quality leaves much to be desired. But most importantly - high cost of maintenance. Multiple contacts with the implementers companies (companies a lot, and the software from one vendor) allows us to trace a single policy.

You can identify the main provisions of this policy:

The potential buyer to arrange "presentation" accounting system. In this case highlights the "strong" party software, and silenced the weak. Uncomfortable questions-standard answer - "You will never need it," "Nobody does," etc. As a very strong argument are examples of implementations in the well-known companies. In this case there is no way to get direct feedback from these companies, as the quality of the product and the quality of service. At best, you will be shown on review schmaltzy WEB-page company implementers.

How to confront? Ask for phone numbers and e-mail as much as possible the number of employees well-known company whose product is installed. It is best to get contact with the owner of the business and the middle link. If a business owner has a vague idea of ​​the system he uses, and gave this issue at the mercy of the top managers, there is no sense interested in the opinion of top managers. Either they are from this system does not work (it works the lower link), or the introduction were "rolled back", and possibly a combination of both. The highest quality information can be obtained from the business owner, who himself participated in the implementation. This is the most valuable experience. In this case, you can get feedback as positive aspects of the product and the negative.

As a rule, on the sites of companies, implementers You will not see the possibility to download and test the product on the actual data itself. Most likely, there will be even screenshots. In conversations with representatives of the companies be as specific as possible, do not miss the details, ask awkward questions. The author of this article has worked as an independent consultant. In his remark that it is wrong to bind tightly to the vehicle route of delivery, because this route on different days may leave different cars (depending on the volume of cargo and the availability of free transport), a reply was received, struck by its simplicity: "I do not you rent the system, and this issue with you, I do not intend to discuss".

The company likes to paint vnedrenets detailed work plan with short and tight deadlines. Do not worry, these deadlines are not respected. The contract to stipulate the introduction of penalties for late payment for some work. You will see how much time will be shifted. But most likely, your offer to penalties do not want to even consider.

From you will be required from 25 to 50 percent advance payment. Do not pay anything until you put all the work, and commissioned on time. If the company will not start implementation without prepayment, goodbye, do not hesitate and do not spare. You have just saved my money and got rid of the weight problems.

One of the basic principles at the "implementers" briefly and succinctly, "The main thing - Go." They may agree to any terms of implementation, but to take her "to maintain." Software to account for a very important feature. Its relatively easy to implement, but it hard to leave. Switching to another accounting system is conjugate to the dysfunction of the entire business. The phase of development is heavy, may be errors in the calculations, stop work, etc. Afraid not only damages, but also loss of reputation. Decide to switch from one accounting system to another hard, sometimes impossible. This extensive use of company-implementers. If the product is weak, then all the necessary improvements you'll pay out of pocket. If the product is unreliable, then all the costs you incur as out of pocket. And here there is a paradoxical situation. The worse the software, it is advantageous to the company-implementers. The more money they are from you deflate. How to resist. Suppose you try to explain what works for you must make regular payments. Most likely, you will answer as standard, for a certain number of hours of guaranteed service. Please specify what kinds of work should be carried out at this time. I think you will understand everything.

Paid training. Another way for you to earn money. Have you ever thought about why most accounting systems interfaces are hard to understand, it is not considered and inconvenient? Oddly enough, but it probably was not intentional. To achieve such a result, developers simply do not particularly tense. It turned out that it is cheaper to train using the program for the money than to work out a quality interface. The flip side of the same problem is documentation. You will be prompted with a box of books that describe the standard "configuration" of the product. But if the company introduced "Append" code, developed their own "modules", the quality of the documentation on these changes you do not get. More profitable to sell this information for a fee, you can enable the delivery documentation.

Which solution to this situation? One solution - choose high-quality software.

You can identify quality criteria in this case, we can identify.

Quality interface. To assess the usability of the program can be quite fast. High-quality interface is simple and easy to understand, it is close to our natural actions. For they love the company's products Apple? For the interface. You can think of other factors, but it is the interface of Apple products led the company to success. If the product is good and easy to use interface, that means "inside" the product is implemented accurately. This suggests that engineers love their product and put in it all his strength, knowledge and skills. In the end, the product you should just like, like like a really good cars, furniture, pictures or movies. That is what distinguishes a work of art feeling of just "products".

Good site with a simple and thoughtful interface. It is very important in several things at once. Check the website of that company to the effect of "backyard." Go to the site "deep." Look, if all texts are written qualitatively, whether the pages of "in development". Are there any explicit "blunders" and error.

Public company. Again the site. Can I download and test the software without registering? What is the duration of the trial period? Is there support for unregistered users? Is it possible to leave messages? Is there a user forum? If so - read and form opinions. This is a truly priceless information without advertising husks and flavorings. If you as a user on this site have no place to speak, you should know before you usual advertising online business card. Company offering a truly successful product, is very interested in publishing real, not biased opinions.

Transparent pricing policy. posted on the site if the price of food, can you estimate the cost of buying the program? If yes, then great. If you are offered the traditional "call, please write to" know a company is interested in only one - of your money. If the company openly publish the price, it is obliged to sell the same product at the same price and the owner of "Mercedes" and the owner of "Zaporozhets". In addition, no question about rollbacks can not go, as the owner of the acquiring company can easily check your top manager to be responsible for purchasing. And if the price on the site is below the manufacturer's software, you can always, looking in his eyes, to ask - "why?"

Easy to install. downloaded, installed, started up. If your site has no direct links to download and install before you are offered first to "presentation", you know you want to "go."

Supporting documentation. High-quality detailed information in electronic form directly from the F1 program. The site with the accompanying articles. Forum where the answer quickly, efficiently and effectively. Box with 5 kg of paper documents - is an anachronism, the last century. And has only one desire - to emphasize the "status" of the product. That is, they say, what we are "cool." And the fact that for five of these boxes had been destroyed a healthy living tree that gave breath to you and your children, this modestly silent. This is barbaric.

Free technical support. poor quality products will continue to divert significant (time and financial) resources to support the developer of the system in good working order. In this case, the cost of such support, the developer will inevitably try to pass on to the shoulders of the user. For a company that produces a quality product, the proportion of support costs low. Customers rarely call for support, they all work flawlessly for months and years. Such a company can afford to provide technical support free of charge.

Should also be noted that there are no perfect products and systems. Each system has its advantages as well as disadvantages. But in a good system dignity are always outnumbered . Good programs always evolve in the direction of increasing the advantages and disadvantages of reduction.

Note: This article was obtained through a machine translation. We would appreciate any comments.

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