If you’re in the market for a business software solution, whether that’s ERP, CRM, a cloud accounting solution, or something else, you’ve probably done your research on what to look for in a business software vendor or partner. But have you thought about the opposite: what to avoid? Let’s go over three of the biggest red flags of business software companies so you know when something just isn’t right.
Big discounts, low introductory rates—and then a sudden price hike! If you recognize this pattern from some cable or television companies, you might be surprised to learn that it happens in business software, too. As always, if the software price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Read the fine print on your contract (before you sign it!) and ask detailed questions. What factors affect the price you’re paying? Is your rate guaranteed?
Another “bait and switch” tactic is when a software company promises that their product can seamlessly integrate with your existing systems—but that simply isn’t the case. After all, even if it takes months of custom programming and fixes to integrate one software with another, a company can still claim that the two software packages can be integrated. Do some research online to find out other companies’ experiences with integrating the two software packages.
We know that reading the terms and conditions is a pain, but when it comes to business software, it’s essential! One area to pay close attention to is data ownership. Read through your end-user license agreement (EULA) carefully to determine who owns what data. Many EULAs stipulate that the data in your new system will belong to the vendor, not the client! Making a bad situation worse, if you choose to leave the vendor, they may hold your files hostage or provide them in a basic format that takes days to reassemble and import into a different system.
Another note: before you read the EULA in depth, be sure that it’s provided as a document, not a webpage. That allows you to download and save a copy of the EULA for future reference. If the EULA is on a website, it creates the possibility that the vendor can make changes to the EULA without your knowledge.
Unfortunately, this red flag may appear after you’ve already committed time and money to a software vendor. An implementation that feels like an accident waiting to happen instead of a smooth transition can signal more problems to come. If your implementation involves missed deadlines, product or process errors, sudden additional costs, or other surprises, you may want to reconsider your decision.
A messy implementation red flag is harder to deal with than the other two we’ve mentioned, since you’ve already gone through the entire selection process and perhaps even signed a contract already. If you find this red flag, you’ll need to consult closely with your company’s executive team to determine the best way forward.
Although you can’t predict for certain how the software implementation will go, there are steps you can take to mitigate this risk. Contact previous customers who implemented the software you’re considering from your chosen vendor. One disgruntled customer may be an outlier, but if several describe similar problems, you’ll probably experience those same difficulties.
Here at ASI, we’re committed to transparency and integrity. We’ve been working to provide the best business software solutions to our clients since 1986. If you’re looking for a trustworthy partner to select, implement, integrate, or customize a business software solution, we’re here to help. Contact us or schedule a free consultation with our experts today to get started.