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 Mon, 31st Jan, 2022

Here are the questions to ask…

Are you now at the point where you need to find the best possible solution to automate or scale your business through your website or application?

And you need to integrate your current software programmes for e.g. your stock management software, order management software, finance software, or your general enterprise resource platform?

And ideally using one company or as few as possible to manage the solution? With limited risks, and disruption to your team and operations? And can’t find a solution to bring it all together and make it work in a way that suits your own business needs and resources?

If you’ve answered mostly yes so far, please read on…

The first thing we establish with people at this stage is there really is no one-size-fits-all solution. This is because not every business is built the same and each one requires different solutions for different targets and workflows, and not all software platforms are designed to integrate seamlessly with other platforms. Of course, this can make things more challenging and daunting, which is why we’ve put together the following list of questions to help you arrive at the right decision for progressing your website development.

Finding the right potential software integration companies…for your company:

  • Ask around. Perhaps other businesses in your network have found a solution and could recommend their agency or company for you to consider. How about your suppliers? Who do their other customers use? What about your current software packages…could your account manager at that company suggest an integration partner?
  • Do a search online - use keywords such as software integration company, software development company and include the name of the software for e.g. ECi, M1, Agility, Navision. When you find suitable companies ask them for references you can speak to directly.
  • Ask for recommendations on your online networks such as Linkedin or professional or networking groups on WhatsApp. Give as much information as possible about the situation you’re in and your desired situation.

Industry knowledge:

  • Does the company know the industry and market in which yours is in?
  • Who else has it worked with in the industry?
  • What software packages can it integrate?
  • What software packages has it integrated with before now and what is the success?

Capability and ambition:

  • It is crucial the company you choose is firmly established or the team’s experience behind it is, and the company is solid. Ask or research the following:
  • How long has the company been around?
  • Is it financially solid? Look up their accounts online.
  • Is there investment behind them or Government support such as Enterprise Ireland?
  • Did it exist under a different name but under the same directors? If so, why did it change its name?
  • What has the company done or developed in this time/where has it evolved from?
  • Where is the company going? Is it evident they have growth plans? What does the company ambition look like? Are they actively advertising or seeking new business and media coverage?

The working partnership:
This is often underestimated and we believe it is the most crucial component to the success of the roll-out and management of your project. Ask:

  • Who is your point of contact or contacts.
  • What is their role and availability and how is it structured?? Are they flexible and if so are there any limitations in this regard?
  • How is the support team structured? How is it made up/how many people are there/what are the in house skills/collective experience/is there line of sight of support in case of redundancy for e.g. if your account manager was to leave? Who will you be dealing with directly?
  • Is training and support included and if so how does it work and how will it be delivered?
  • How are expectations managed for e.g. through a project management system and if so how often will you receive updates?
  • What is their expectation of your role? When will you meet, and who in your company will be appointed to the project.

The terms and conditions:

  • Ask for these and go through them thoroughly, in particular information pertaining to the intellectual property of the software. Be clear on succession plans (in particular under pay monthly pricing models) should their company or yours close or merge or be acquired?
  • Are there any additional costs which may be incurred at any stage?
  • What are the details of the payments plan and can they be realised? What happens if they can’t?

The content management system or central platform:

  • What it can do for you and include, and what are its limitations, if any?
  • Does it include components others don’t have? Make a list of ideal requirements and weigh each company up for what theirs includes for eg.
    • A product management database
    • Quotation/ordering/shopping cart management
    • Online transactions and order management
    • Ability to change content and images
    • Ability to link to social media channels
    • Is it user friendly and what training or support materials are in place or promised?
    • Is there a demo available to view it?
  • SEO capabilities - is this included for example can you tag your content and images and videos? If so, how robust is it? Are there any limitations to it?
  • Mobile responsiveness - does the system allow for this for e.g. if you make a change does it automatically adapts accordingly on all mobile and tablet devices?

Payment Gateways and Secure transactions

  • What payment gateways can be used and research their effectiveness in your market and country (note some local payment gateways exist for some regions)?
  • How secure these payment gateways are for e.g. their history, reviews, performance rates?

Date storage and compliance

  • How is information stored? Is it in the cloud or through a traditional storage system?
  • Does the system adhere to GDPR requirements and if so how does it work?

Once you have these questions answered, score the companies against each other using the headings above. This will give you a good indication on who to progress with.

To explore your project with Dotser, call us on 05793 23262 or email Loughnan at sales@dotser.ie or on Linkedin for a no obligation exploratory discussion.

About Dotser:
Dotser is an award winning website development and performance software company, specialising in ecommerce and cloud based business solutions, software development and software integration solutions specific to client’s requirements.

Established in 2000, we have established a proven track record in our core markets (eCommerce, Hardware & Tools, Machinery & Parts, Resource Management and Event Management). Today the company is backed by Enterprise Ireland to grow our solutions in both Ireland and Internationally.

Speak To Us Today - Call Us On 0579323262.

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