How (NOT) to upgrade your business software

Software is a tool — Implementation is a talent

Software is a commodity. There. I said it plainly. Microsoft and Sage won't like it. Wah! Sound of world's smallest violin playing sad music, fading into the land of a fairly sarcastic, but unfortunately this is a common tale...

You bought QuickBooks or Peachtree at OfficeDepot or BestBuy — wherever you buy office supplies — when you started the company. It's served you well for a couple of years, but you're up to ten users and the transaction volume has sales reports taking 15 minutes to run and you're opening another branch in another city, and ...fill in your particular growing pains here...

So, as you did a couple of years ago when you started, you go online and check out some accounting applications. Your accountant recommends one company, and you find five different packages on their website. You also heard that your OS provider has been buying up accounting packages and giving them all the same name. They all claim to do the same things, and there really isn't that much difference in their interfaces. Frustrated, you fill out some contact forms, and ask for a price quote and a demo. Somebody says he can't do that until he meets with you and does a "needs analysis." You don't have time for that.

So you look over the quotes and answer emails through some demos that all look alike.

A week's worth of training? You don't need that! It's just QuickBooks on steroids, isn't it? How hard could it be to install? At these prices it ought to install itself and import all your QuickBooks data with one click, right?

Let me ask you:  If your doctor said you need to see a cardiologist, would you do a Google search for the cheapest one, or would you ask your doctor who he or she recommends?  If that cardiologist said he needed to run some tests first to make sure you got the right treatment, would you say "Just open me up now.  This should only take an hour."?

The decision you need to make is not "which software package should I buy," it's "who can I get to help me implement a software system that will make my company more efficient, better positioned for growth, and therefore more profitable?"

Photo credit: FastJack on Flickr

Phil McIntosh

President, Friendly Systems

A long-standing xTuple partner, Phil is a great sales and implementation resource due to his deep industry knowledge and credibility. Phil is a Solution Provider in the xTuple VAR Channel and was awarded Elite Partner status in 2014.