Are you evaluating time and expense software vendors? There are several features to look for, but also key questions to ask. In this episode, Curt reveals the 3 questions to ask any timesheet software vendor you’re evaluating.
Hi! How do you pick the right timesheet software vendor, or cloud vendor.
Number one…there’s only two things that I’ve got here. Number one: People have rigged demos. Timesheet software vendors and timesheet cloud vendors are particularly adept at this, how do you deal with that? So what you say is, “I want you to absolutely, positively, beyond a shadow of a doubt, prove to me, with my data, my project, my users, my color scheme, my company’s stuff…show me that your product will solve my business problem.” What that really means, typically, is “I want to see it integrated with the accounting system that we use, and I want to see the reports out of it that we need in order to define success for this project.” What does that mean? “I want you, Mr. Vendor, you better show up and give me a precise definition using my projects, my users, my data and show me a demo that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that your software will solve the business problem. And I want to see the mobile stuff really looking cool, and I want to see it integrated with the accounting system, and all the reports are pretty and they do the right thing.” That’s all number one.
Number two: do you want to go local or in the cloud? And does this vendor do either or both? Both is better, because they can actually help each other. So let’s say that you want a local install, but you don’t want to pay for backup servers and high availability capability in case the server blows up. You can just relocate it to the cloud. You have a backup…oh, the computer blew up, send the backup to the cloud guy and he’ll install it and boom, you’re in the cloud. Vice versa, let’s say that we use their cloud thing and we get a backup out of it every day and we stick it in a place somewhere and the whole internet blows up. The backbone is attacked by terrorists and we can’t do anything anymore. Good news! You got the backup, you fire it up on a local machine and everybody who’s in the office, at least can still track their time and you can still get payroll done and get your bills out. It’s useful if a company, a timesheet software vendor is available both in the cloud and on-premise at the same time, because you can switch back and forth so you can have some departments here and some there and maybe there’s reasons to do that. It’s a dangerous world out there, it’s nice to have some flexibility.
So those are the two things that I would look for in a timesheet software vendor. Oh, I guess the third thing is really check references. Find somebody who’s using that company’s software and talk to them and see if you can get some honest answers out of them about what it’s like working with the company.
Number one, look on LinkedIn to find out where their company is really based. Number two, make sure they prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their software does solve your business problem. And number three, are they in the cloud or are they on-premise? So those are the three things. Have a great day, see you next Tuesday!