10 Questions You Need to Ask Your Software Provider

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Procurify is a cloud based e-Procurement software solution provider. As an e-Procurement software, we are easy to use, user friendly and quick to implement. These are subjective qualities, of course, and what we consider simple might not be the right fit for every organization. As a software provider, we have conversations with numerous companies, large and small. We’ve compiled a list of important, frequently asked questions, questions we help guide all our potential clients through – and we want to share them with you.

1) What are the system requirements?

Your search, unfortunately, might begin and end at system requirements. If a solution isn’t compatible with the browser, operating system or devices you use, then you won’t be able to use the software unless you want to overhaul your current system. Do you want a web or cloud based solution, or do you need an on premise solution? Both have advantages and disadvantages, pick the solution that fits best with your organization.

If you require or want software that is compatible with mobile devices, make sure to learn which mobile platforms have an app developed for the software you are testing.

2) What does it cost to implement the software?

Just as with banks, credit cards, phone bills and relationships, there are usually hidden costs not immediately reflected in the sticker price. Before you invest your time and money into a particular software solution, make sure to ask if there is a cost for implementation. Companies know (all too well) that if they can hook you with an attractive price tag and then slowly leech you with hidden fees and additional costs or, you are much more likely to agree to use the service or product. An “affordable” sticker price – hidden costs notwithstanding – can be very persuasive. (Note: At Procurify, implementation is free and built into our service).

3) Can you provide estimate on how much training will cost?

Software is supposed to make things easier. And people are generally resistant to change. If the solution is difficult to use or training isn’t provided, adoption of the software will be a challenge. For example: we model our user experience after consumer applications. This means that our software should feel familiar to your staff – and be intuitively easy to use. Procurify strongly believes that the path to success is paved with a good user experience.

4) Does the software require custom integration? How much will that cost?

Some software is designed as a standalone solution and doesn’t require integration. Other software, however, integrate with third party solutions to make a more seamless connection possible. Often, there is a cost to integrate with other applications. By determining the cost of a custom integration, you can make a more informed decision on whether or not the software in question is a good fit or if you need to keep looking.

5) How often will the software be upgraded? Will the upgrades cost more money?

As behind-the-scenes developers work continuously at adding new features, fixing bugs and improving the user experience, software will improve over time. If staying up to date on the latest version of a solution is important, make sure you ask how you will be able to update your software and if there is a cost to upgrade. Being cloud based means that all of Procurify‘s updates are not only free – but require no “updating” or new installations on your end. Just log into the app and presto! You’re updated.

 

6) Can the software be customized?

Customizable software might not always be an option but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Organizations often choose a solution that fits most of their criteria and move on. If a solution can be customized to provide a better fit, it makes sense to explore the costs of customization.

7) Does the software have a user limit?

You’re probably looking for software because your organization is going through some changes. Let’s pretend the change is positive and your company is growing. It might be a good idea to make sure that the software you choose can scale with your organization’s growth. You don’t want to pick software that is the right fit today but will be quickly outgrown.

8) What is the security behind the software?

Most software companies won’t go and sell your information – but it’s still a good idea to know what kind of security measures are used to protect your data. Security breaches and accidents happen all the time. Make sure you pick a provider that you feel comfortable working with.

9) If I need help, what kind of support can I expect?

Chances are you will encounter problems. Hopefully, you are dealing with an account manager that you trust and like working with because that relationship usually a good indicator of what the customer support will be like moving forward. Ask about what kind of options and hours are available to you to receive support. Choose a company like us – one that puts customers first, has an easily reachable and available customer success team, and one that doesn’t just pay lip service – but that really truly loves their customers.

10) Are there any discounts available?

This one won’t always work but you might as well ask. At the very least, there should be a free trial period so you can determine whether or not the software you’re interested in would be a good fit in your organization.

 

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About Author

Matt Lim has spent the majority of his life between British Columbia and California, where he graduated from U.C. Irvine with a degree in Economics. Matt is currently writing about business operations, best purchasing practices, and optimizing the individual & workplace.

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