software Lisa F. Richman Ballance 04 Jun 1998 07:30 EST


I don't know if we know one another or not, but let me give the following
"glib" "toungue-in-cheek" comment:

I wouldn't buy a car without a testdrive.
I wouldn't buy a house without an inspection.
I wouldn't hire a person without an interview and reference check.

ALL suppliers have references - or if the product is too new, the supplier
allows for a free trial period or some sort of money-back guarentee.  Stick
with your intuition.

Now, in defense of the software industry within ERA...   These companies
are small and they have very new products on the market with new buyers who
may or may not have even figured out how to use these complex systems.
Those who have boldly purchased may not have taken the time to properly
install (figuring they could do it on their own)...  they may not have
contracted for training (which most software companies offer).  So, there
may not be as many reliable referencees out there as one would hope.  In
this case, I can understand why a company would want the potential buyer to
express a true interest, prior to the company releasing names and phone

Personally, I think that it would be a great idea to have ERA system panels
or roundtables at the upcoming SRA/NCURA meeting.

It would be great to go to a session and have 4 people who use "XYZ" talk
about how they made the decision to go with that product, what modules they
purchased and why, what major steps were necessary for implementation, how
long implementation takes, did they integrate it with legacy systems (how
did that go)... etc.

Comments anyone?


Lisa R. Ballance, Director
Corporate and Foundation Relations
101 Maryland Hall
University of Richmond
University of Richmond, VA 23173

(804) 289-8445
(804) 289-8943