Features and benefits. Functionality and usability. Innovation and ability to execute. It’s so easy to look at software, company financial statements, and analyst reports to answer a variety of questions. These reports are out there to help you understand whether a vendor can provide what you need, whether or not the vendor is financially solvent enough to be in business for the years you will use the product, and whether they have skills to deliver on promised innovations.
One of the less frequently discussed considerations, however, is what happens after you make the purchase. How well does a vendor stand up to their promise? Are their promises locked in, or are you only doomed to spend your years getting yanked around playing end-user license agreement (EULA) games?
Luckily, Acumatica has you covered. In two recent blogs, the company reinforced its commitment to clients, not only sending a shot across the bow to discuss some of their complaints in the ERP market and offer a customer bill of rights—an unalienable set of things a customer should expect from their vendor.
Avoiding the Traps Vendors Lay: Six Common Practices You Need to Avoid
In the first blog on the topic, titled How to Protect Your Company Against Unscrupulous Cloud Business Application Vendor Practices & EULA Games, Acumatica CEO Jon Roskill discussed some of the things he hates seeing in the ERP world.
- The Bait and Switch: For years, businesses have lured customers in with grandiose promises and special deals and then pounced with the fine print. Software vendors are no different when they offer large discounts or low introductory rates which disappear in year two or three of the renewal agreement.
- The promise of a Fast and Easy Implementation: Implementation is always a challenge. We should know. We’ve had a few successful ones in our decades in this business. However, there are two oft-asked questions which are rarely answered honestly. How long will it take, and will it disrupt my business? Every business is different and has different requirements, and the process is incredibly dynamic.
- Compliance Bullying: Compliance is necessary, but don’t get bullied into buying unnecessary licensing in the name of it. The SaaS end-user license agreement is often a multi-page document that is intentionally complex. Vendors then contact the users well after the sale to ensure they’re adhering to the EULA, and users are scared they’re not because the EULA isn’t clear, or they can’t prove that they’re in compliance even if they are. To alleviate this fear, the customer then overbuys more licenses. In this, it’s vital to know your rights as determined in the user rights section of the EULA.
- Data Ownership? The caveat of EULAs is that they do not protect the consumer, only the copyright owner. Consumers must never assume that their rights are protected by signing a EULA. Many vendors will hold your data hostage, leaving you forced to pay or sue. Ensure that your data is yours and that no one has access to it.
- Fake Deployments, Sad!: For some industries, the cloud just isn’t an option. For some, it’s a necessity. For example, if you’re in the Healthcare Industry, you must adhere to HIPPA compliance requirements. Unfortunately, they’re vague and they change. When these changes occur, you may, for instance, find that you need to deploy in a private cloud solution rather than a public cloud deployment. The problem is, your vendor and their ever-changing EULA may not allow it
- Milking Revenue or Delivering on Promises? What happens when a company goes into “milk mode”? Myopia. There are many vendors who have gotten complacent, letting their products stagnate. Why should they improve; they already have your money. There is a lack of investment in enhancing their solution and a failing to utilize emerging technology. It seems “improvement” has become a four-letter word. The problem is, we live in a dynamic world, one that is experiencing constant technological advances. Improvement is a necessity, and your ERP vendor needs to stay ahead of the curve.
So how does Acumatica avoid letting potential customers fall into this EULA trap? The Acumatica Bill of Rights.
The Acumatica Bill of Rights: Promises Delivered.
The Bill of Rights was drafted to protect the people from the government. Drafted as a set of negative rights (i.e. something the overarching power can’t take away), the US Bill of Rights is one of the most powerful and necessary documents to exist in the world. Acumatica also has their own bill of rights.
While worded as positive rights, their guarantee is set in stone, as they promise the following to those who use the product:
- A readily comprehensible and unchanging SaaS end-user license agreement (the right of the user to be bound by the same contract, whether it’s day 1 or day 1000)
- A flexible, open platform for rapid integrations (the right of the user to connect Acumatica with any product they see fit.)
- Consumption-based licensing that does not inhibit business growth (the right of the user to receive the same pricing model they agreed to)
- Sustainable pricing with annual increases of no more than 3% when needed (the right of the user to receive software without unexpected or exorbitant changes in price)
- ERP implementations without hidden fees (the right of the user to see what price they are paying before choosing to implement)
- Deployment flexibility (the right of the user to store data using the medium they choose)
- Access to THEIR data, anytime (the right of the user to take their data with them)
- Consistent, 24/7 customer service (the right of the user to find information when they need it)
- Local channel expertise (freedom to work with someone in their neighborhood)
- 99.5% uptime (the right of the user to access software at an absolute minimum of 726 hours per month)
These are rights of the customer, something the vendor can never take away.
Acumatica Delivers on Their Promises
While some may feel some Bills of Rights can be modified, Acumatica’s interpretations are straightforward. They stick to the initial interpretations of their Customer Bill of Rights and promise that the EULA you sign is the EULA they keep. Get to know more about Acumatica and contact us for a free consultation.