A computer set up with the words, "questions to ask before buying business software." By Sunny Lowe on October 4th, 2020 in Resources

Investing in new software for your business can feel like an overwhelming task. Not only do you need to worry about cost, but software and data maintenance also needs to be taken into consideration. Here are some questions you need to ask your software vendor before investing to make sure you are getting the best deal:

What Is Determining the Price of the Software?

Most software pricing is determined by Per Seat or Per Concurrent User. Here is a closer look at these two terms:

Per seat refers to how many employees (seats) will be using the software at any given time.

Per concurrent user has a pre-set amount of users that can access the software at any given time. For example, if the software has a per concurrent user setting of 5 users, then only five users can be on that program at any given time even if it is installed on 20 different devices.

Typically, larger software applications will have pricing based around a per concurrent user model instead of per seat. Going about pricing this way lets you know exactly how many users will use the software you are investing in and how much you can expect to pay.

Are On-Site Services Included in the Cost?

Usually, high-end programs will have their support services included in the cost. Having these services available will allow your employees to seek timely help and repairs if the program encounters a few bugs. Make sure to ask if the program you are considering offers on-site services. Some companies make their money on having separate support services, so if they aren’t included in the contract, it could mean that their support will cost your business a pretty penny when you go to seek it out later.

Support and development services can include any of the following:

  • Training classes
  • Customization of the program to fit your business needs
  • Aid with installation issues
  • Fixing bugs as they come up in the program

Is There a Satisfaction Guarantee and Refund Policy?

Not every piece of software will be able to meet your specific needs. This means that there’s a chance you may be unsatisfied with the program you have purchased. If this is the case, you may expect a refund. However, not all developers include a satisfaction and refund guarantee in their contract. Always thoroughly read the contract and ask about whether the developers stand behind their product. If they do, they should have a return and refund policy that will outline how long you have to try out the program and how much of it they will refund should it not work out. If you do not read the contract, you may find your business being shortchanged with a program that is not helpful, leaving you to go through the searching process all over again.

How Long Does It Take to Fix Bugs in the Program?

No program is without its bugs as new updates tend to happen frequently for both the program and the operating system of your business’s devices. Make sure you ask about how efficient your developer is at tackling bugs that may arise, as some companies only make patches every so often. You want to ensure that your developer handles these problems quickly so that you are not left searching for other solutions. Try looking for developers who fix bugs when you find them or who release updates monthly. This will ensure that your developer is constantly looking to improve the program you have invested in.

Can The Program Grow With Your Business?

You want your business’s software to be able to grow alongside your business. This means you are looking for scalable software. Scalable software helps keep costs low as the program can be changed to meet user customizations, current database structure, and connect to other databases your business may have. This is especially important for small, growing businesses that may potentially outgrow their software and be left looking for a replacement.

Your Trusted Outsourced IT Team Can Help You Get What You Need

When it comes to managing your business’s IT, it can feel like a lot. Thankfully, Blue Jean Network’s team of highly-trained IT specialists can help you find the software that meets your business’s needs. Our team offers many solutions and can help your business save money by creating an IT strategy that is unique to your business and will grow with it. Contact our team today for more information on our managed IT services!