It’s the end of October, and Halloween is right around the corner, we like to break out the horror movies, tell ghost stories, and dress up in scary costumes. However, we find this enjoyable because we know it’s not real. But for many businesses, there are some very real horror stories that occur when they select, implement, and use ERP solutions.
Like any episode of Scooby Doo, there’s a menacing being who wreaks havoc on the process. Blame gets passed from person to person as everyone tries to find out how to stop the monster. Similarly, as with any episode of Scooby Doo, the person behind the monster is someone you don’t expect, but whom you’ve known all along.
Scary Sales and Support Tactics Used by Unscrupulous Vendors
In this case, when you pull off the mask, you learn the scariest reality of all: It was an unscrupulous vendor who would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for those meddling companies who care about honesty. So today, we’d like to celebrate Halloween by discussing some of these tactics and how to protect yourself.
The Tale of the Were-ware (Bait and Switch)
In folklore, a werewolf is often a human who is cursed to transform into a wolf on nights where there’s a full moon. In this, the everything is completely normal until the transformation. The same thing happens in the software industry, resulting in were-ware. Imagine, hearing about how cheap a product is, only for the scary truth to appear when you least expect it.
The bait and switch is a common tactic and is by no means limited to the software industry. Imagine getting promised this amazing product with affordable service and incredible benefits, only for the harsh reality to appear.
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. They don’t discuss price increases, and why would they? If they told you to expect a 20-to-50% increase per year, you’d be running for the door.
Lost in the Implementation Woods
Getting from decision to implementation to ongoing operation should be exciting. While often a challenging time, if well-prepared for the challenges and well informed of the benefits, this process can go smoothly.
Unfortunately, to close a sale, vendors often promise more than they can deliver or skirt the two most important questions: How long will it take, and will it disrupt my business?
ERP can be easy. But if a vendor throws out unrealistic timelines or glosses over the costs, you can easily get lost in the implementation woods. Missed dates, unexpected training costs, and you start realizing that you’ve gotten lost in the implementation woods.
However, with a partner who is honest and upfront about the costs, timelines, and potential challenges unique to your specific project, you can get through the woods with ease.
Locked in a Data Ownership Dungeon
No one likes to feel trapped. It’s what makes dungeons so scary. Unfortunately for many companies considering ERP software, they don’t think about an exit strategy. ERP is supposed to last for a decade or so, and many are more worried about the potential disruption that happens up front, not on the way out.
Sadly, one of the biggest and most overlooked issues that unscrupulous ERP vendors use to make money is to gloss over just who owns the data. Spoiler: In many cases, it’s not the customer. This could leave you locked in a data ownership dungeon, left to fight your way out or pay the gatekeeper.
Does this concern you? It should. And so should the fact that you may have a fight on your hands if you want to leave your software vendor for whatever reason. You may have to sue to get your data back, and it may take years. If/when you do get your data back, it often arrives in a horrendous file format of 30+ flat files requiring reassembly.
ERP Doesn’t Have to be Scary: Acumatica and Crestwood Can Help
There are times when reality could be scarier than the ghost stories and horror movies that we enjoy this time of year. This is surprisingly common in the business software world. Failed implementations, data breaches, and more are all some of the scariest things that can affect your firm and your people.
However, with the right help from the right partner and vendor, you can tread confidently into an implementation project and reap the benefits for years. As a leading provider of Acumatica Cloud ERP, Crestwood has helped companies just like yours to overcome ERP implementation fears, successfully put their solution into action, and leverage this product as they grow. Get to know more about our work and contact us for more information.