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Software Purchasing Advice

How to buy business software you won’t regret later

Save MoneyIt’s a sinking feeling. You realize that you’ve lost countless hours. Thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of dollars are simply gone. Everyone blames you.

Business software purchasing mistakes are expensive (and embarrassing) lessons. Especially if you’re the one making the decision. For you, it’s more than a software purchase. You stake your pride and reputation to that purchase. If the software doesn’t meet expectations, it’s on you.

What makes a software purchase go south? The reasons vary. Maybe the software didn’t live up to the hype. Maybe it became prohibitively expensive over time. Maybe it couldn’t meet your company’s future needs. I could go on. Whatever the reason, it’s always an expensive, embarrassing lesson.

The question: How can you avoid these mistakes?

If you’re in charge of software purchasing, I’d like to help. While every business and situation is different, there are a few areas every business must consider before purchasing business software. To help you identify those areas, I’ve solicited input from experts on the subject and compiled their advice below. Here are 10 tips that will help you purchase software that you won’t later regret.

5 ways software vendors try to trick you

EducationWhile speaking with one of our customers a few years back, he remarked that our software didn’t have any “gotchas”–bad surprises that spring up after the purchase. In dealing with software vendors for many years, he told me that he had come to expect “gotchas” in all software purchases.

In other words, he actually expected that software vendors were trying to trick him. I don’t know about you, but that makes me sad. Should a customer be surprised when software does what it’s supposed to do, and costs what they expect it to cost? Of course not!

Perhaps a better question: How did it get to this point?

I think much of it starts with pricing. Business software licensing models aren’t exactly straightforward. In fact, they’re downright confusing. I’ve been in this industry for over 30 years, and I still run across licensing structures that confuse me.

The problem is, many of the licensing structures are confusing by design. Vendors lure buyers in with cheap price tags, only to sneak in a few “gotchas” when it’s time to buy, or after the purchase.

I’d like to help you avoid these unpleasant surprises. I’ve listed below 5 common vendor tricks to watch out for when buying business software:

4 reasons why software purchases fail

Save MoneyHave you ever been in a “blame” meeting? It’s one of those meetings called when numbers are down or after a project or purchase failed miserably. As you might guess, there’s a lot of finger pointing and blame spreading. Not only are these meetings painful, they are completely unproductive. Since everyone is too busy deflecting blame, no one learns from their mistakes.

I’d like to help you avoid these meetings. Obviously, I can’t write a definitive guide on how to avoid failure, as every business and situation is different. However, I can help you avoid failure in one area that applies to most companies: Software purchases. In my experience, software purchases usually fail for one of four reasons. I’d like to explain those reasons and then tell you how to avoid them. …

How much does free really cost?

Save MoneyThe web is changing perceptions about what should be free. Companies are giving away software for seemingly nothing. Some of it actually looks like good, quality software. But…is it really free? What does “free” actually cost? Answer: A lot more than you might think. Let me explain.

While “free” products may not cost money upfront, you typically end up paying in one of these three forms: …