Licence to give users best of both worlds
ADVANCES in technology will move further in the next two years than they have in the last five - and that is one of the reasons Brilliant Business Systems's licence division manager, David Nagle, says a software licensing model, rather than outright sale, makes sense.
"We work for our user base and the licence fee covers research and development, program enhancements and support. There are no surprises for us or the customer either - they pay a standard R1 800 for a year's use of the software. We can budget more accurately, too."
Free accounting software for all customers signing a year's software and services agreement is now being offered by BBS. The packages, Brilliant Accounting and Brilliant Payroll, are being given away at the Software Connection, Incredible Connection and Businessland retail outlets for a limited period.
BBS says this is in line with overseas trends, where higher-end financial accounting software packages are introducing compulsory support agreements.
The company develops and supplies software products in the financial, business solutions and accounting categories, and provides service and support to the end user.
Says Nagle: "People need to ask themselves key questions such as 'do all suppliers have a software and service agreement?' and 'why am I being charged for software which will be outdated within nine months?'.
"All packages have service and support agreements, although some are optional. In addition, if customers are paying for service and support, we believe they shouldn't be expected to buy the software. The software and services agreement entitles customers to receive unlimited support and any upgrades which may be introduced during the year.
"We are committed to investing in research and development. The revenue generated from the service and support agreements is reinvested in upgrading the products and ensuring that the products remain at the forefront of technology. The Softline Group has R & D teams Australia, the US, UK and South Africa. These consult with local business partners on improvements and upgrades, and are able to access and transfer technology, ideas and development.
"It's time for consumers to realise that when they buy financial accounting software they are buying software that is critical to their business, and that the package forms the backbone of their operations. Why take a chance on optional support?"