Two words. Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware).
You’re in the market for a system that will support your entire business lifecycle. You need a robust system that can handle your financials, accounting, budgeting & planning, timesheets, expenses, project management, resource management, real-time reporting and more—all in one place. So, it’s time to research the market and find the best business software at the best value. Simple, right? Well, yes and no. Proceed with caution, ask the right questions, and you can figure out which system is the best fit for your business.
Here are some questions to ask as you evaluate the myriad options for business software:
1. Are all of the products on one database?
Unfortunately, many of the business software systems on the market are essentially a conglomerate of smaller products that have been acquired over the years, patched up to look similar, but running on different databases (this is the case with Deltek). This means that you are really dealing with multiple products, each with a different schema, different technology stack, and different security model. These disparate products interface through a system of importing and exporting, each time introducing an opportunity for error. What you want here is one unified application – one user interface, one database, one security model. Anything else is just a mess of leftovers served up in a single bucket.
2. Are project and resource dashboards, KPIs, and analytics reported in “Real-Time”?
Another consequence of using business software that is a conglomeration of smaller products is that users will need to learn multiple products and go to multiple places to get the information they need. Because data is stored in numerous places and requires transfer and synchronization, their information is not truly “real-time”. With Deltek’s disparate systems, data needs to be combined to produce reports, and reports will show different output in different systems. Unanet, however, provides managers and project managers with real-time, “live” reports – instead of having to wait for weeks or even months to receive a report from an accounting system.
3. How can I ensure that only authorized employees have access to sensitive information?
You will need to make sure your business software includes roles-based access for all members of the company. Unanet ensures security of information by providing real-time access to management without having to give them access to the backend financial system.
4. Is the software made in U.S.A.?
Many companies save money by outsourcing the design and development of their software to offshore developers. Unanet is 100% designed and developed in the United States.
5. Will I have the customer support I need and want?
Ah, the controversial question of where to base customer support. Again, it is cheaper to outsource customer support overseas, but this frequently results in customers complaining about high turnover, that they never talk to the same person twice, the rep can never answer questions, etc. Don’t get me wrong, it can be done well, but that’s rarely the case. Unanet believes that customer satisfaction and responsiveness are the highest priorities, and we have the customer feedback to prove it. We have an experienced, US-based team of dedicated, knowledgeable, responsive, and just plain nice people who will make sure you get an answer to your question and will support you through every step of implementation. As a self-funded company, we don’t answer to private equity or venture capital firms, so we are not forced to outsource our customer service. After all, a system that meets your desired outcomes is more than just technology. You need expert assistance in order to accomplish true business transformation.
6. What is the total cost of ownership?
Yep, the million dollar question (well, let’s hope not – that’s a lot to pay for business software!). Ultimately, many decisions about purchasing new software for your business will come down to price. What do you get for your money? Be sure to compare not only the functionality of the software systems, but also the implementation costs, consulting costs, subscription/license fees, and, of course, the human resources you need to operate the software. Unanet’s intuitive, easy to use, easy to operate interface enables our customers’ finance teams to focus on transforming the business rather than running monotonous transactions. We feel confident that you will discover that Unanet offers the best “bang for your buck” when it comes to selecting high-value, low total cost of ownership software to manage your projects, people, and financials.
Still struggling over your ERP software decision? Learn why One-Third of Unanet’s Customers Made the Switch From a Competitor.
by Kim Koster
May 13, 2019