At FuseIT we create niche enterprise software products so we need to recover our costs by charging a fee.
With our integration product for Sitecore and Salesforce, S4S, we have a number of competing products including free and open source offerings. A potential customer is often not aware of the differences between these products and frequently query us to find out. Small to medium-sized businesses tend to ask one set of questions, often pragmatic and focused on value for money:
- What are the product features?
- What is the difference between your product features and the others?
Larger enterprises ask questions like:
- How long has the product been around?
- Who are your clients?
- Will it handle large traffic volumes?
In a way, these are less important than the following questions, which are hardly ever asked:
- How will the product benefit my organization?
- What product support is available?
And perhaps the most introspective and open-ended question:
- What do I need to know about your product that I don’t even know to ask?
This brings me back to why we should pay for software – simply put, we get a better service. Ask a highly technical question in an unsupported, online forum and you might get an answer, you might get hearsay, and you might get silence.
When a company stands behind a product, you are much more likely to have your needs taken seriously, get answers and ultimately solutions that meet your needs.
Product revenues allow FuseIT the time and resources to listen and help customers get the best value from purchased products. Learning from our experience, time savings and efficiency of implementation may easily result in real dollar returns that surpass the cost of the product. Acquiring a free product without the support and knowledge to utilize it effectively can lead to a disappointing experience, not to mention the ongoing costs to “make it right”.
Product support is all about access to expertise when you need it – and you will. Software is complex and expert level knowledge is learned over a long time. For example, what would happen if your key development resources moved to another organization? Recently this happened to one of our customers and we become the “glue” that bridged their implementation to the new team. We view our staff as an adjunct to our customers own technical resources.
So why pay for software? When you knock on the support door you want someone to answer and say, “How can I help?”
To learn more about how S4S can add value to your business please contact us for more information.