Top 54 Visual Analytics Software (Feb 2023)

2023's Best 55 Visual Analytics Systems

Shlomi LaviShlomi Lavi / Feb 01, 2023

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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. Qlik Sense

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $30 per user/month
  • Dec 26, 2022
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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.


3. Sisense

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


4. 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...


5. Birst

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


6. Balanced Scorecard

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $125 per user/month
  • Mar 12, 2022
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Balanced Scorecard is a cloud-based and on-premise strategic planning & management system tailored for small size and medium businesses. The software helps organizations to communicate their goals, align their daily work with strategy, prioritize products, projects, and services, as well as measure ...


7. Grow

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


8. Medical Imaging Solution

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Mar 13, 2022
Compare Medical Imaging Solution Vs. Domo

For thirty years, ViTel Net pioneered the development of configurable telehealth software solutions and technologies. With a proven history of innovation and success in the exciting and evolving field of telemedicine, we are uniquely positioned to maximize the value you derive from ongoing technolog...


9. CHILI

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Apr 08, 2022
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CHILI grows with each challenge. The young, creative and highly motivated team in the field of medical informatics is the basis for the success of CHILI GmbH. The company strategy is oriented towards the development of innovative medical software and the cooperation with scientific institutions (e.g...


10. Studycast

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 27, 2022
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Streamlined image and data management Seamless integration with your RIS and EMR The flexibility to view and finalize studies from anywhere with an Internet connection Enterprise-level functionality in an affordable, scalable package.


Pricing Guide - Visual Analytics 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. 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.


12. 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...


13. 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...


14. 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.


15. Rapid Insight

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $4,000 per year
  • Apr 27, 2022
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Rapid Insight software is an on-premise Business Intelligence and data analysis suite that help companies to identify relationships in their data and create predictive models. The software suite incorporates three distinctive product modules namely; VEERA Construct, VEERA Predict, and VEERA Bridge.


16. Centerprise Data Integrator

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $1,200 per year
  • May 15, 2022
Compare Centerprise Data Integrator Vs. Domo

Centerprise Data Integrator is a scalable, powerful, affordable and high-performance integration platform developed to easy utilization by the BI experts. It is made to be robust to so that it can overcome complex data integration challenges.


17. FusionCharts

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $499 per user/year
  • May 21, 2022
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FusionCharts is a cloud-based Data Visualization software that allows managers to represent mobile and web projects with dashboards and add interactive elements to data charts.


18. 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.


19. eRAD PACS Evolution

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Mar 28, 2022
Compare eRAD PACS Evolution Vs. Domo

Multi-site productivity, real-time analytics, native speech recognition, resource optimization and more. eRAD delivers certified technology to enable high-quality patient care in a dynamic healthcare environment.


20. Cyclr

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


21. Commander BI

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $36 per user/year
  • Jun 10, 2022
Compare Commander BI Vs. Domo

Commander BI of AgilQuest is a software that provides users with business intelligence for their workplace. It has the full capability of summarizing, analyzing and reporting data from desks and meeting rooms.


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. cvi42

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • May 16, 2022
Compare cvi42 Vs. Domo

Physicians deliver the best care when they have the most powerful and intuitive solutions. Work more effectively with the best-in-class cardiovascular imaging solution.


25. Toucan Toco

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Mar 12, 2022
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Toucan Toco is a data storytelling software that provides actionable information from all data sources. The software manages workforce planning optimization, optimizes call schedules, accelerates decision making, and improves performance.


26. Unsupervised

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Mar 30, 2022
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Unsupervised is an automated data analysis software that enables businesses to manage large complex data and generate comprehensive insights that aids decision making.


27. Geckoboard

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $39 per month
  • Jul 13, 2022
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Geckoboard is a cloud-based software offering users with a dashboard tool displaying key business metrics in real time.


28. Intellexer Summarizer NE

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $24.95 per license
  • Jul 13, 2022
Compare Intellexer Summarizer NE Vs. Domo

Intellexer Summarizer NE is a business intelligence software offering users with semantic solution for easy analysis of the document, extracting of its main ideas and putting them into a gist or creating annotation.


29. 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. ...


30. TIBCO Spotfire

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $25 per month
  • Jul 23, 2022
Compare TIBCO Spotfire Vs. Domo

TIBCO Spotfire is a cloud-based business intelligence software that allows administrators to explore their company data using AI-powered recommendations and search functions, as well as managing static and streaming data resources for the purpose of contextual analysis.


31. 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...


32. Numetric

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Aug 23, 2022
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Numetric is a business intelligence software designed to reduce traffic casualties on the highways by enabling businesses to maximize their safety ROI by turning data into resource investments.


33. 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.


34. Nexus DR

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jan 13, 2022
Compare Nexus DR Vs. Domo

Varex Imaging Corporation is a leading innovator, developer, and manufacturer of X-ray imaging component solutions, which includes X-ray tubes, digital flat panel detectors, software, and other key components of X-ray imaging systems. With a 65+ year history of successful innovation, you will find o...


35. BOARD Business Intelligence

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Aug 23, 2022
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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 ...


36. 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.


37. 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.


38. 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


39. 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.


40. 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.


41. CXO

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Oct 19, 2022
Compare CXO Vs. Domo

CXO is a business intelligence tool designed to help organizations take control of input and processing, using a toolset that consists of an intuitive dashboard, financial reports, and data-driven analytics.


42. 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.


43. XLReporting

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $240 per month
  • Jan 26, 2023
Compare XLReporting Vs. Domo

XLReporting is a web-based software offering users with functionalities such as budgeting, reporting solutions, and financial consolidation that can be integrated with Excel. It is also possible to link this tool to several cloud storage and accounting systems.


44. Exago

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Oct 01, 2022
Compare Exago Vs. Domo

Exago is a business intelligence solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers such services as ad hoc reporting and analysis, customizable dashboards, data management, and others. The software was designed and launched by Exago Inc headquartered in Connecticut, United States.


45. Yellowfin Business Intelligence

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $30 per user/month
  • Feb 01, 2023
Compare Yellowfin Business Intelligence Vs. Domo

Yellowfin is a business intelligence software developed by a company of the same name. It allows data analysis and reporting from relational databases and multi-dimensional cubes. Yellowfin offers its users a number of personalized & interactive dashboards that can help improve performance at all le...


46. ADVIZOR Analyst

  • Best for: Large business
  • Price:
  • Jan 25, 2022
Compare ADVIZOR Analyst Vs. Domo

ADVIZOR Analyst, as BI/business intelligence software, enables the users to visually analyze desktop and enterprise data, creating and publishing dashboards sharable with other users and exporting data.


47. Databox

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $72 per month
  • Jan 28, 2022
Compare Databox Vs. Domo

Databox is a cloud-based business analytics tool that comes with KPI dashboard. It collects all the users’ metrics in single site and helps the users to deliver the crucial KPIs across multiple devices.


48. BI360 Suite

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $312 per user/month
  • Jan 15, 2022
Compare BI360 Suite Vs. Domo

Bi360 Suite is a corporate performance management software solution the serves business entities of all sizes. The software can be installed both as Cloud-based and through on-premise platforms. Bi360 Suite is a product of Solver, a company that founded in 1996 in the United States.


49. iCharts for NetSuite

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $10,000 per installation
  • Feb 14, 2022
Compare iCharts for NetSuite Vs. Domo

The iCharts for NetSuite is a reporting and analytics tool providing users with business intelligence solution as they work around with NetSuite data in real-time minus exporting data.


50. Funnel Dashboards & Reports

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $399 per month
  • Feb 12, 2022
Compare Funnel Dashboards & Reports Vs. Domo

Funnel Dashboards-Reports is a growing cloud-based BI software, it is designed to support small and medium size business. Funnel Dashboards-Reports received a rating of 4.7 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1.2/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


51. Forms On Fire

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $20 per user/month
  • Feb 17, 2022
Compare Forms On Fire Vs. Domo

Forms On Fire is a growing cloud-based eCommerce software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Forms On Fire received a rating of 4.7 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


52. FreeSight

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $295 per year
  • Feb 17, 2022
Compare FreeSight Vs. Domo

FreeSight is a business intelligence type of software offering users with data integration, cleansing and reporting quick and easy.


53. ProActive Inventory Manager

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $49 per month
  • Feb 18, 2022
Compare ProActive Inventory Manager Vs. Domo

ProActive Inventory Manager is a trending cloud-based Inventory Management software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. ProActive Inventory Manager received a rating of 2.5 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (2/5) when compared to alternative...


54. Silhouette

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Feb 17, 2022
Compare Silhouette Vs. Domo

Silhouette enables users to easily and quickly gather consistent images of the skin/soft tissue or wound. 3D measurements captured by SilhouetteStar are automatically calculated in SilhouetteCentral software for analysis and reporting. The automatic wound boundary detection tool reduces the time spe...



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. 

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Auditor - Shlomi Lavi

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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.