My husband recently decided to take a look at a new car after coming to the conclusion that the money he’d put out for repairs was better spent on a new car. The very next day we took a trip to the Toyota dealer and test drove a brand new Corolla Ascent. It was a very nice ride, but it didn’t quite “do it” for my husband. I could tell that he wanted a little…more. A few minutes later we were going ‘round the block in an extremely nice Corolla SX.
The SX is the sporty version of the Ascent. It comes with navigation, keyless entry and all the bells and whistles. After they agreed on the price, including trade-in, my husband was made aware that there were various, highly-desirable upgrades available – plastics to protect the finish, tinted windows, and a bounty of extras designed to enhance and protect our purchase. The price of those extras, although certainly not negligible, seemed reasonable. Their function, while not absolutely necessary, will increase his driving comfort and enjoyment, and extend the life of the automobile. My husband decided he wanted it all and is now the very proud owner of a sporty new car. As for me, I’m extremely pleased that he got what he wanted, and I’m convinced that every penny was well spent. After all – when you want the bells and whistles, you have to pay for the bells and whistles.
Most ERP Software Comes with Extras – the “Bells and Whistles”
At this point, you may be wondering what all this has to do with the price of your ERP. Here’s the thing. Like our new SX, ERP software comes with extras – the bells and whistles. One of those bells (I prefer not to be compared to a whistle, thank you) is support. When customers grumble about the cost of ERP support services (yes, it occasionally happens), it’s hard not to feel a tiny bit under-appreciated.
SYSPRO charges an annual license fee which covers port and version updates but doesn’t, cover a consultant’s time to perform those updates. Support is also not included in the annual license fee. Often SYSPRO customers will call and inquire about a new module and these carry additional fees for the software and also increase the annual license fee. Those modules need to be set up to meet customer requirements, and staff needs to be trained on how to use the software. All of that, naturally, is chargeable.
Support Adds Value to Your ERP
Support adds value to your ERP purchase, and value does not come for free. If the difference between downtime and up-time is an hour or two of talking to me on the phone, I hope you’ll consider it money well spent. User training, likewise, is critical in the fight against application erosion, and for getting the most out of your software. In the final analysis, support and training aren’t really “bells and whistles” at all – they’re part of a realistic approach to running a business, and can be critical to realizing the promise of your ERP software. Are there companies that use SYSPRO but don’t use support? Probably. But you can bet that they’re big enough, or lucky enough, to have an experienced, on-premise IT department. And that carries a much heftier price tag than SYSPRO’s friendly and expert support personnel.
So if you want to drive from A to B you can do that without the extras. But if you really want to enjoy the journey, get the best fuel efficiency possible, and extend the life and usefulness of your purchase, then stop worrying and do what you need to do. The money spent on the bells and whistles will more than pay for itself in the years to come.