Top 54 Cloud BI Software (Jan 2023)

2023's Best 55 Cloud BI Systems

Shlomi LaviShlomi Lavi / Jan 03, 2023

We publish unbiased reviews. Our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payments from advertisers. This content is reader-supported, which means if you leave your details with us we may earn a commission. Learn why ITQlick is free .

1. Domo

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $175 per user/month
  • Oct 31, 2022
Compare Domo Vs. Domo

Domo is a business intelligence and executive management software solution for your business. The software was designed by Domo Technologies headquartered in Utah, United States. It provides creative solutions for better data management and also offers CRM and reporting services. 


2. Revel iPad POS

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $99 per terminal/month
  • Mar 09, 2022
Compare Revel iPad POS Vs. Domo

Revel iPad POS software is a point-of-sale solution that is designed to transform businesses. The solution has a number of features that include a gift card tool that increases sales, earn new ones by offering gift cards and retain old customers.


3. Qlik Sense

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $30 per user/month
  • Dec 26, 2022
Compare Qlik Sense Vs. Domo

QlikView is cloud-based data management & analytics system that is built to help users transform their entire business. The software offers four integrated modules namely; BI & Analytics platform, Embedded Analytics, Enterprise data management, and Developer resources.


4. Sisense

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $83 per employee/month
  • Mar 09, 2022
Compare Sisense Vs. Domo

Sisense is a business analytics software used for business intelligence. Main functions include information collection, analysis, organization and producing reports. The users of this software have the benefit of selecting the data that they would want to analyze. You dont have to be an IT guru to u...


5. IBM Cognos Business Intelligence

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $10 per user/month
  • Mar 12, 2022
Compare IBM Cognos Business Intelligence Vs. Domo

IBM Cognos Business Intelligence is a growing cloud-based BI software, it is designed to support medium and large size business. IBM Cognos Business Intelligence received a rating of 4.1 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (3.8/5) when compared to other solutions in their c...


6. Birst

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $30,000 per 20 users/year
  • Jan 03, 2023
Compare Birst Vs. Domo

Birst is a Business Intelligence and analytics platform for medium to large businesses. Its key features include ad hoc reporting, charting, data import and export, visual analytics, customer service analytics, and more.


7. Microsoft SharePoint

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $5 per user/month
  • Mar 12, 2022
Compare Microsoft SharePoint Vs. Domo

SharePoint makes it easy to store, sync and share all your important content. A new simplified user experience helps you streamline common tasks and create sites to keep teams in sync. New work management capabilities help you organize all your tasks from across SharePoint, Project and Outlook with ...


8. Grow

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $1,500 per month
  • Mar 20, 2022
Compare Grow Vs. Domo

Grow is a cloud-hosted business intelligence (BI) software built to help businesses to become more data-driven and hasten their growth through inspiring strategic decisions and aligning the team objectives.


9. Zoho Analytics

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $24 per 2 users/month
  • Mar 18, 2022
Compare Zoho Analytics Vs. Domo

Zoho Analytics is a business intelligence reporting software that does the market intelligence tracking for you. Through the use of algorithms that target only the most relevant information, your company will be able to figure out those new trends. Then it will create feasible plans and will help yo...


10. Crystal Reports

  • Best for: Start up, Small business
  • Price: starts at $495 per license
  • Mar 31, 2022
Compare Crystal Reports Vs. Domo

Crystal Reports is an on-premise querying and reporting software that is installed on the Windows platform. This solution enables the user to write customized reports from various data sources, display KPIs, and other metrics, as well as visualize data in scorecards and dashboards.


Pricing Guide - Cloud BI Software:

Business Intelligence Tools Price Range

For business intelligence software, the price sits around $3,000 per year for a user. However, it is worth noting that this price range is associated with the medium offering or package from each software vendor; in essence, it is suitable for small & medium-sized businesses. More robust offerings have volatile pricings that are adjusted to suit large businesses.

Users are expected to pay between $10 to $75 for a single user account, depending on the offering level. Examples are Prisync pricing is priced at $60 per month, ClearView InFocus, which costs $25 monthly, and SEMRush pricing sit around $100 monthly. However, SAP Business Objects costs $14,000 per year but includes 10 user accounts.

Additionally, business intelligence software can be targeted at SMBs or large-sized businesses. However, there are others that are meant for any business size. The software that is apt for each business size and their prices are as follows:

  • Small Businesses can expect to pay between $10–$50 monthly for a single account business intelligence software. For BI software that includes multiple accounts, they can expect to pay between $300–$500 per month. However, some other vendors like Britix24, Manage Engine Analytics Plus, and BI360 offer their low-end package free for small businesses, although with limited features. Some BI software for small businesses are Competitors App, which costs around $7 per month, KlipFolio $50 monthly, and AnswerDock $20 per month.
  • Medium Businesses can expect to pay between $50–$500 for a business intelligence software, depending on the number of accounts on each offering. For instance, Tableau pricing costs $70 for a single account, while Funnel and CYS cost around $500 and $300 respectively for pre-set multiple accounts.
  • Large Businesses can expect to pay $500–$10,000 for BI software packages that include a large workforce and around $60 for a single account. For instance, Prisync ultimate package costs around $300 monthly per user but allows only a minimum of 10 accounts, which amount to $3,000. Also, ArcGIS costs $1,500, and IBI is priced around $150 per month.

The price range for BI best of breed are as follows:

  • Reporting Software This subcategory of BI software has a price that ranges from $10 and $45, depending on the offering level. For example, Agent360 Marketing Reporting pricing starts from $80 per month for 5 users, Syncfusion Bold Reports costs $200 per month for 5 users, Germain APM cost up to $30 per day based on APM unit.
  • Data Visualization Software The price for software in this category ranges from $10 to $50 per user monthly. On the other hand, some others are completely free to use. Google Charts, for example, comes at no fee. However, software like Qlik Sense costs $15 per month per user, while Power BI costs more than $10 monthly per user.
  • Dashboard Software Dashboard software pricing is usually divided into three tiers, which range from $9 to $12, $12 to $27, and above $30, respectively; the price is usually set based on the number of dashboards made available in a month. Some dashboard software with this similar price are Cluvio, which costs $280 for 50 dashboards monthly, Microsoft Dynamics 365, which costs $190 monthly per user for a number of dashboards. Others are iClassPro = $130 and ThortSpace = around $10 monthly per user.
  • Risk Management Software Many products in this category are priced on a yearly basis, which, in many cases, may be per user. They can also be divided into three categories, of which the lowest offering range from $70 to $400, medium offering from $400 to $10,000, and the ultimate package from $10,000 upwards. Some products have monthly pricing regardless; for example, Goat Risk, which costs $15 per user, and OneSoft Connect, which costs around $6 per user. An example of a product with yearly pricing is Analytic Solver, which costs $250 per user. Lastly, some risk management software have one-time fees, like IsoMetrix, which costs $34,000 for a buyout.
  • Embedded Analytics Software The pricing for embedded analytics software is often divided into three tiers, usually to suit small businesses, medium businesses, and large businesses. The price ranges from $10 to $15, $15 to $325, and above $325 for each respective tire. Stratifyd is an embedded analytics software with yearly pricing of $1,000 per user. Others are GoodData, which costs $2,400 per year, INFRAGISTIC Reveal, which costs around $10 per user per month.

11. Qlik Sense

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $30 per user/month
  • Jul 16, 2022
Compare Qlik Sense Vs. Domo

Qlik Sense is a cloud-base3d as well as an on-premise statistical analysis software solution that enables the user to create interactive and graphical reports. In addition, the software also gives the ability to create dashboards with great visualization and in turn, simplifies the data analysis pro...


12. Microsoft Power BI

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $9.99 per user/month
  • Aug 31, 2022
Compare Microsoft Power BI Vs. Domo

Power BI is a web-based data visualization and business analytics that is designed for businesses of all sizes. Microsoft Power BI tracks the vital organizational data. The solution offers tools that quickly analyze, visualize, transform and share reports. Some of its core features include SQL Analy...


13. Adaptive Discovery

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $15,000 per license
  • Oct 03, 2022
Compare Adaptive Discovery Vs. Domo

The Adaptive Discoveryis a business intelligence/BI software offering users with corporate performance in terms of data management with their data analytics, reporting and dashboards


14. Tagetik 4-0

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $50,000 per feature
  • Nov 22, 2022
Compare Tagetik 4-0 Vs. Domo

Tagetik is a trusted provider of Corporate Performance Management and Business Intelligence software for budgeting, forecasting, financial consolidation, close, reporting, disclosure and more. Tagetik is one of the fastest growing global software companies in the Performance Management software indu...


15. SAS Visual Analytics

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $8,000 per year
  • May 15, 2022
Compare SAS Visual Analytics Vs. Domo

SAS Visual Analytics is a seamless business intelligence/BI software that facilitates visual exploration of data and its analytics that are vital to the growth of the company.


16. BIME Analytics

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $490 per month
  • Nov 11, 2022
Compare BIME Analytics Vs. Domo

BIME delivers a simple-to-use yet powerful data analysis and dashboarding cloud platform accessible everywhere that enables modern organizations to explore, understand and communicate data with style.


17. Dundas BI

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $4738.70 per month
  • May 21, 2022
Compare Dundas BI Vs. Domo

Dundas BI is a cloud-based data visualization and business intelligence solution designed for all company sizes across multiple industry verticals. The core features including reporting, self-service analytics, integrated dashboards and more.


18. Skookum Digital Works

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • May 16, 2022
Compare Skookum Digital Works Vs. Domo

Skookum Digital Works (SDW) is a business intelligence software solution for businesses of all sizes. Its capabilities include process automation, BI integrations, compliance management, and others. The software was designed and launched by Skookum Inc headquartered in North Carolina, United States....


19. Scout - Business Intelligence

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 10, 2022
Compare Scout - Business Intelligence Vs. Domo

The Scout - Business Intelligence is a BI and data analytics software that works to leverage the claims data enabling. It also assists users in the development and execution of informed growth initiatives.


20. MammothDB

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $2,400 per license
  • Jun 10, 2022
Compare MammothDB Vs. Domo

The MammothDB offers users with business friendly tool in the management, preparation and analysis of the relevant of the data.


21. Cyclr

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $899 per month
  • Jun 10, 2022
Compare Cyclr Vs. Domo

Cyclr is a cloud-based platform that works to transform applications (that are cloud-based also) into connected workflows without the need for codes. Users can connect other business applications into a unified workflow for simple and easier access.


22. IntelliFront BI

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $46 per user/month
  • Jan 30, 2022
Compare IntelliFront BI Vs. Domo

The Intellifront BI is a business intelligence/BI software designed to help users in automating, streamlining, analyzing and predicting data and insights in line with the development of the business.


23. Chartio

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $40 per user/month
  • Jun 16, 2022
Compare Chartio Vs. Domo

Chartio is a web based business intelligence solution for businesses of all sizes. Its capabilities include profit analysis, financial forecasting, graphical benchmark tools, and others. The software was designed and launched by Chartio headquartered in California, United States.


24. Splunk

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $65 per host/month
  • Jun 23, 2022
Compare Splunk Vs. Domo

Splunk is a business intelligence software solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers such services as fault management, performance management, configuration management, and others. The software was designed and launched by Splunk Inc headquartered in California, United States.


25. GoodData

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $2,400 per year
  • Jun 23, 2022
Compare GoodData Vs. Domo

GoodData is a cloud-based BI software that allows businesses to easily read through their data and quickly answer critical questions by offering visual analysis tools that support data sharing and interpretation for deriving strategical insights. GoodData is developed by a company of the same na...


26. RESULTS.com

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $995 per month
  • Jun 27, 2022
Compare RESULTS.com Vs. Domo

Results.com is a cloud-based business performance management software that helps executives handle communication channels throughout hierarchy and import data for KPI building.


27. Instant Answers

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Dec 18, 2022
Compare Instant Answers Vs. Domo

DataRPM is a business intelligence and analytics solution for small and medium businesses. It offers customized reporting and dashboards along with in-depth analytics management. The software was designed and launched by DataRPM Corporation headquartered in Virginia, United States.


28. InsightSquared Enterprise

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $65 per license
  • Jul 05, 2022
Compare InsightSquared Enterprise Vs. Domo

InsightSquared Enterprise is a web based business intelligence solution for small and medium businesses. Its capabilities include pipeline management, sales analytics, trend management, and others. The software was designed and launched by InsightSquared headquartered in Massachusetts, ...


29. Geckoboard

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $39 per month
  • Jul 13, 2022
Compare Geckoboard Vs. Domo

Geckoboard is a cloud-based software offering users with a dashboard tool displaying key business metrics in real time.


30. Stratum

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jul 05, 2022
Compare Stratum Vs. Domo

Stratum offers Business Intelligence (BI) solutions for manufacturers & distributors. The software is designed to provide greater insight to customers’ businesses through analytics and reporting software that is low risk, quick to install, easy to use and provides a fast Return on Investment (ROI). ...


31. Agile Data Suite (ADS)

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jul 04, 2022
Compare Agile Data Suite (ADS) Vs. Domo

Agile Data Suite is a business intelligence and data storage solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers application management, data integration, customizable reporting, and other services. The software was designed and launched by Datric Inc headquartered in North Carolina, United ...


32. Cyfe

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $19 per user/month
  • Jul 15, 2022
Compare Cyfe Vs. Domo

Cyfe is a web based business intelligence and analytics solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers such services as marketing campaign management, social media integration, reporting, and others. The software was designed and launched by Cyfe Inc headquartered in Massachusetts, United States. ...


33. Analance Business Intelligence Suite

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jul 18, 2022
Compare Analance Business Intelligence Suite Vs. Domo

Analance Business Intelligence Suite is a cloud-based as well as on-premise hybrid business-intelligence software that helps businesses in all fields. It helps the users in collaboration activities and data analysis tasks to integrate the data captured for assessment.


34. Service Lifecycle Management

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jul 23, 2022
Compare Service Lifecycle Management Vs. Domo

Service Lifecycle Management is a supply chain software that increases teams value and competitiveness by improving accessibility to data. It also helps teams manage asset maintenance schedules and warranties by maximizing visibility over their operational performance.


35. Dynamics Business Intelligence

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $50 per user/month
  • Jul 18, 2022
Compare Dynamics Business Intelligence Vs. Domo

Dynamics Business Intelligence is a business intelligence solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers such services as financial performance reports, inventory reports, productivity management, and others. The software was designed and launched by I.B.I.S Inc headquartered in Georgia,...


36. Style Intelligence

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $2,800 per year
  • Jul 15, 2022
Compare Style Intelligence Vs. Domo

Style Intelligence is a business intelligence and decision support solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers such services as application development, performance metrics, version control, and others. The software was designed and launched by InetSoft Technology Corporation headqua...


37. MicroStrategy Business Intelligence

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $600 per license
  • Jul 14, 2022
Compare MicroStrategy Business Intelligence Vs. Domo

MicroStrategy Business Intelligence is a program that is designed to take up all of your customer information, analyze it, and clean it up for better presentation. One of the key features is its ability to present all the information you input on a clean dashboard with an intuitive user interface. ...


38. WebFOCUS

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $28,000 per license
  • Jul 15, 2022
Compare WebFOCUS Vs. Domo

WebFOCUS, the industry’s most comprehensive BI platform, offers easy-to-use BI, business analytics, and performance management capabilities to promote a proactive business culture that helps organizations gain a competitive edge.


39. TIBCO Spotfire S+

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $650 per user/year
  • Jul 25, 2022
Compare TIBCO Spotfire S+ Vs. Domo

TIBCO Spotfire S+ is a software developed to help users unlock the information hidden in their data and compete in the fierce market environment that the world has turned into. It is the application that will allow businesses to gain fast insights and make agile, competitive decisions for the overal...


40. Bilbeo BI Dashboard Software

  • Best for: Medium business
  • Price: starts at $39 per 2 users/month
  • Feb 21, 2022
Compare Bilbeo BI Dashboard Software Vs. Domo

Bilbeo BI Dashboard Software is an analytics and KPI software that helps businesses automatically locate weak points by providing intelligent dashboards using generated metrics.


41. Looker

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $3,000 per month
  • Aug 25, 2022
Compare Looker Vs. Domo

Looker software is a cloud-hosted business intelligence and data analytics software that allows businesses to explore and assess data, as well as get a 360° view of their customers. Data captured from multiple sources is analyzed to help the users to make informed and data-based decisions.


42. Datawatch Desktop

  • Best for: Medium business
  • Price: starts at $849 per license
  • Aug 04, 2022
Compare Datawatch Desktop Vs. Domo

Datawatch Desktop is a business intelligence software solution for businesses of all sizes. Its capabilities include data visualization, live data streaming, reporting, and others. The software was developed and launched by Datawatch Corporation headquartered in Massachusetts, United Sta...


43. Informer

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Aug 05, 2022
Compare Informer Vs. Domo

Informer is a query & report writer software that extends data analytics across organizations. With the software, businesses can access, discover, and analyze insights buried inside big data.


44. StarBI

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business, Large business, Private use
  • Price:
  • Sep 05, 2022
Compare StarBI Vs. Domo

StarBI is a business intelligence software with a ton of tools designed to help business owners drive productivity, stay alert, and stand out amongst competitions.


45. BOARD Business Intelligence

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Aug 23, 2022
Compare BOARD Business Intelligence Vs. Domo

BOARD Management Intelligence Toolkit is a business intelligence and corporate performance management suite that offers programming-free functions needed to build any business intelligence software or CPM solution.  This software can help users to build BI and CPM applications, customization and ...


46. Envision

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $125 per month
  • Jul 31, 2022
Compare Envision Vs. Domo

Carriots Analytics software is a cloud-based and on-premise business intelligence solution. The solution offers a number of features that include a real-time collaboration tool that helps users to work together in real-time.


47. eazyBI

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $20 per month
  • Aug 16, 2022
Compare eazyBI Vs. Domo

The eazyBI, as cloud-based business intelligence software, gives users the right tools in data analytics and visualization, analysis and reporting. This software can be integrated into various business apps.


48. ClicData

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $73 per month
  • Aug 03, 2022
Compare ClicData Vs. Domo

ClicData is cloud-based and an on-premise business intelligence software that is suitable for use in a small and medium-sized business. ClicData provides users with several functionalities, such as providing financial and accounting information to the users.


49. Halo BI

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Apr 07, 2022
Compare Halo BI Vs. Domo

Halo BI is a cloud-based business intelligence suite that is designed to provide end-to-end supply chain management solutions as well. The software successfully uses business data from various sources within the business environment to form a cumulative view of the entire business information


50. Infor BI

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $30,000 per 20 users/year
  • Sep 23, 2022
Compare Infor BI Vs. Domo

Infor BI is a cloud-based business intelligence and analytics software that is designed to connect insights from various teams as well as assist in decision making.


51. Information Value Management

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Apr 14, 2022
Compare Information Value Management Vs. Domo

The Information Value Management is the one and only digital transformation accelerator as of today. This software comes with robust data management providing users with proven path of automating the business that leads to improve efficiency, decision-making and compliance.


52. AnyChart

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $49 per provider
  • Oct 11, 2022
Compare AnyChart Vs. Domo

AnyChart is a fast growing cloud-based BI software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. AnyChart received a rating of 3.5 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1.9/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


53. PeopleInsight Workforce Analytics

  • Best for: Medium business
  • Price: starts at $1,000 per month
  • Oct 05, 2022
Compare PeopleInsight Workforce Analytics Vs. Domo

PeopleInsight Workforce Analytics is a web based business intelligence and analytics solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers such capabilities as talent analytics, reporting, dashboards, and others. The software was designed and launched by QuIRC headquartered in Ottawa, Canada. For us, it...


54. Analyzer

  • Best for: Medium business
  • Price: starts at $150 per user/month
  • Oct 18, 2022
Compare Analyzer Vs. Domo

Analyzer is a growing cloud-based BI software, it is designed to support small and medium size business. Analyzer received a rating of 4 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (2.1/5) when compared to alternative solutions.



A Buyer's Guide to Business Software Solutions

How to Evaluate and Buy Business Software
 
If you’re somehow puzzled if this article is only for a specific size of business, no, it’s not. This is for you SMEs, MNEs and start-ups software buyers. Also, we’re not talking about a specific software solution here. Whether the software solution that you’re planning to buy is for Accounting, Business Intelligence, ERP, CRM, Help Desk, Maintenance Management or other types of application, one thing is for sure; with the help of this article, you will be able to know the right process in evaluating and buying a business software solution.
 
We’ve been into the software business for years and we’re seeing a lot of nitty-gritty things that often bring confusions and hesitations to many companies looking for better software solutions. Some companies can’t afford to let go their legacy systems while a few is encountering technological snags once the new system is in place. While this is the underlying truth behind software acquisition and implementation, what’s exciting about buying a business software solution is that there is a clear and obvious proof that thousands of companies and corporations today are happy with the benefits this technology is bringing into their respective businesses.  There is a significant increase in their revenue and the growth is on-going. And it’s easy to say; many from the Fortune 500 companies are making a lot of money because of their smartly-acquired business software.
 
So, let’s get straight to the point. What should you do in order to acquire that business software that could make your organization achieve its goals? The answer to this is pretty straightforward: evaluate and buy that right business software. Yes, that’s what you need to do and here’s the best manual from ITQlick.com that could certainly help you in doing that strategically.
 
Consider the Needs of Your Organization
Let’s assume that at this point, the entire management team agreed that you are ready to invest on a certain software application. The budget has been compromised and the key persons who will be involved in the acquisition process were already identified. Therefore, it’s time to approach things the project management way.
 
Define the Project
Every business software solution is categorized base on application type, features, deployment model, market size and pricing model. Remember that our objective here is to evaluate and buy a business software product that will fit into the size and present needs of your business. So what the project management team should try to deal with first is to define the real requirements of your business exactly base on the categories set by the software industry. Moreover, by doing this activity, you are already narrowing down your search for the right solution. Now, consider bringing this list of FAQs to the project management and aim to come up with clear-cut answers.
 
  1. What type of software is needed? Is it Integrated-Suite, Best-of-Breed or Industry-Specific? Ask your CEO’s main agenda and find the perfect match from these available options.
  2. What are the core and secondary features? Are you looking for basic, advanced or hi-end features? List down the specific features per category and allow the department managers and supervisors to give their insights on this list.
  3. How are you going to deploy the system? Would it be on-premise, cloud-based, hosted, or mobile-based? Weigh these options with the help of your CIO.
  4. Are you going for Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 vendors? Their offered solutions are base on the size of their target market - SMEs, MNEs or start-ups. Seek your CFO’s advice as it is important to match your financial capacity against the cost of the solution that the providers have for you.
  5. Are you willing to pay for the perpetuity software license or a subscription-based solution is way better? How many users are there and what would be their roles in using the system? Solicit feedbacks from future end users for they know better what challenges and risks might possibly come along their way when they’re using the system.
 
Finalize the BOM or List of Requirements
After providing definite answers on the above questions, we can say that the project has already been defined. Your procurement team is now ready to do their role in the acquisition process of this solution. However, in order for them to execute their job properly, they must have the complete list of requirements - features, specifications, hardware, and the software product. In other words, the Bill-of-Materials (BOM) that is final, complete and well-prepared must be handed over to the procurement director. Needless to say, it is very important that everybody is following the company purchasing and procurement protocols at all times.  
 
Request for Proposal (RFP)
The RFP process will bring everything into formality. Since you’re more likely in a line of business that doesn’t regularly buy software products, it is of critical importance that your RFP is well-structured before you send it to your prospect solution providers.
 
Draft the RFP
An RFP that contains all the relevant information as discussed during the project management meetings will enable the providers to return back to you their proposal that is complete and substantial. Therefore, your RFP should basically contain the following:
 
Brief Introduction
  • Company Name
  • Mission and Goals
  • Purpose of the RFP (or the need for software solution)
Business Background
  • Organizational Structure
  • Current Situation (IT infrastructure, system currently in-use, system issues and desired solutions, etc.)
  • Major Objectives of the Software Purchase
Request for Specific Requirements
  • Solution Functionality
  • System Specifications
  • Vendor Company Information
  • Price Model, Service Plans, Package Options
Other Important Inquiries (if necessary)
 
Send the RFP
Well-structured RFP will bring a lot of advantages especially when the proposals from various providers are received and then subjected for review and analysis. Send your RFP to at least three to five providers (or prospects which you have already shortlisted during the project definition phase). Depending on the complexity of the solution, most vendors will send their proposal in a matter of time, which could be around 4 to 6 weeks for Integrated-Suite solution.
 
Why still send RFP?
Is there really a need for RFP if your preferred solution (like cloud-based) and the service plans or packages are already displayed on the vendor’s website? Well, yes, you still need to undergo the RFP process. For most sales people, they certainly know that those figures appearing in the vendor’s website are usually the “list price” and not the “actual price”. More importantly, the vendor’s proposal (response to RFP) will serve as your main basis for the negotiation. Therefore, sending an RFP is a strict requirement.
 
Follow up questions relevant to RFP
More often than not, questions and concerns will be raised by the vendors to whom you send the RFP. You have to entertain them with utmost professionalism. Solution providers who are seeking further clarifications relevant to the RFP are consisting of professional software experts who wants to help your organization as much as they can. Entertain them but at the same time, always be cautious when providing additional information which you know is confidential or proprietary.
 
Evaluate the Proposals
Always refer to your finalized BOM when tabulating the contents of each proposal. Part of this process is to check the features that are available from this certain vendor and to cross out those that are not. While using spreadsheet aids the tabulation process, laying down the document proposals on the table and allowing your project management team to review them one by one should always be conducted. Evaluating the proposals in full force can help strengthen your decision-making process. Have another round of brain-storming session and come with the name of your preferred solution provider.
 
When selecting the final vendor, always promote the best interest of your organization. Consider answering these questions with full sincerity.
 
  1. Which vendor can provide the long-term benefits to your organization?
  2. Which vendor can provide the best and honest service from acquisition to full implementation?
  3. Which vendor is willing to devote most of its time in better serving its client?
 
Contact this solution provider and in your own strategic approach, try to get the answers to those three important questions above. In most cases, vendor who really wants to prove its craft will offer product demos on a higher level. Others will even invite you to check their already deployed and working systems. Feel free to connect with this type of vendor. Conduct simulation and testing, be it a cloud-based or on-premise solution. Examine all aspects and angles especially those that your project management team want to really know in-depth. For as long as it could help you arrive at a better decision, consider doing all the options available – for the interest of the organization.
 
Enter the Negotiation Process
Most solutions providers can be flexible in terms of pricing. Although the final say is oftentimes on the mouth of the sales person from the vendor’s side, a good negotiation process can always deliver a win-win situation to both parties involve. While negotiation sometimes cannot be settled in one sitting session, always be honest with your intentions whenever negotiating with your provider. If it’s about your budget, justify it with clarity. If it’s about their service plans, tell them what’s lacking or missing on their solution. At the end of the day, the most important event that should happen is that both of you are shaking hands because of a well done negotiation process.
 
Seal the Contract
So what are you going to do on a contract that involves a significant amount of investment? There are three project management approaches for this.
 
  1. Pass the ball to you legal team. They know what to do and more or less they will tell you if there is something wrong with the contract. Give them enough time to review before they affix their signature and then finally seal the contract.
  2. Hire a consultant base on the technical aspect that you want to clarify in the contract. If it’s the Scope of Work (SOW), a software implementation expert is the right person. If it is related to complex legal terms and conditions, a lawyer can help. If it has something to do with money, invite an accountant to conduct a thorough review and computation if necessary.
  3. Always consider consulting your project management team. Remember that the CIO, CFO and CEO are all team members. They will be the signatories and they know what’s best for the interest of the company when signing a contract agreement.
 
From evaluation to buying stage, it is important that the project manager must take full responsibility of monitoring all the works identified and distributed among team members. This is why delegating the right project manager is also an important consideration when buying a business software solution. And again, ITQlick.com wants to emphasize that whatever the size of your company is, using the project management approach will always lead you into a better outcome – that is getting what you paid for the right business software solution. 

Finding the right business software for your business
Proper business software selections are the precursor to successful deployment and business growth. Finding the right solutions doesnít have to be complicated, and it doesnít have to take days or weeks of your time.

After researching over 5,000 systems, we can identify the best solution for companies of all shapes and sizes. ITQlick.com is 100% free for software buyers.



Recent Cloud BI Articles

25 May

Cloud BI – Benefits and Potential Issues (cloud vs on premis...

Are you wondering whether to maintain your data warehouse in a privately controlled data center as an on-premise solution or deploy it in the cloud? There are advantages and disadvantages with both options. However, there are some cloud BI benefits that make it an affordable option for enterprises. ......


Auditor - Shlomi Lavi

Website Linkedin profile Facebook Twitter

Shlomi Lavi is an entrepreneur and founder of ITQlick.com. He holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Information Systems Engineering from Ben Gurion University in Israel. Shlomi brings 17 years of global IT and IS management experience as a consultant and implementation expert for small, medium and large-sized (global) companies. Shlomi’s goal is to share the best knowledge and news about information systems so you can make smarter buying decisions for your business.