Have you ever thought about the few basic though very important considerations businesses need to keep in mind while buying a Business management Software? The list is not exhaustive and hence it will all depend on particular requirements and situations of your business which should be considered you invest in an application.
Web Based or Not?
The major advantage of a web based software is that you can access the software from any computer at anytime with an internet connection. No need to install any particular software client. But there are a few downsides too. A web based software interface can be a bit mouse friendly more than keyboard friendly and hence it may not be friendly to quick data entry environments and call centres. Recently we met one of our perspective client from Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector. They receive a large number of orders in a day and hence they needed an interface which is keyboard friendly and allows users to enter the order quickly using keyboard shortcuts to cut down on time.
The traditional software, where employees use to save data on their laptops, USB drives, or portable hard drives is not as safe as it sounds. Laptops are stolen, computers are rarely backed up properly, and it’s not important that everyone’s machines are up to date with the latest secure certificates. But when companies use web-based software, their data is stored on secure, fully up to date, fully backed up, enterprise class servers in highly-secure data centres (assuming you are using one of the well known cloud server providers ;)). Having said that you still have to make sure that the data in your cloud provider’s server is fully secure as well.
Access Control in any CRM is a basic feature which should be there. Generally any number of users can log into the same centralized application, with a single database and hence everything in one place. No more worrying about who has the latest information. But the system should still maintain access control so that if you don’t want the support team to not to see the sales information then the system can facilitate it.
It is not actually a feature of the system but a feature of your application provider. Make sure that your CRM/ERP Partner has the experience and a team of experts to understand the business and provide the best solution; not just selling the software. Also they must provide the training so that you can use the system to its highest capabilities. There should be ample support available with on-line video training and user manuals.
This is the biggest challenge with the cloud based application providers. Once you start using a particular cloud based CRM/ERP application you get tied in to the software and can not change the vendor without changing the software. If you want your software customised you have limited options and support.
Consider some or all of the above things before making a decision for your next business management application, be it a Customer Relationship Manager or an Enterprise Resource Planner or a Enterprise Content Management System and if you are still in doubt feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +353 1 886 5684 for an advice.