The decision to implement a computerised SME Accounting system or replace an existing solution is fraught with decisions. These include:
Source the solution direct or indirect?
Focal Point supplies its resources and commitments directly to our clients. We will install the MAJIK Enterprise software, train you on how to use it and then provide a support facility to meet your requirements and budget. We are therefore fully accountable and supply our solution to an agreed fixed price and within an agreed time-frame and are disciplined to subsequently only implement one site at a time. Locally developed applications that are supplied direct are also typically far less expensive.
On the other hand, indirect solutions sourced via Resellers are generally not supplied to a time and fixed price commitment since the Resellers are not as expert in their application knowledge or in control of the end user pricing. Typically they also represent several products from several suppliers and they are therefore reliant on other supplier commitments and associated personnel resources and they are generally involved in several installations at the same time. They are also more expensive since a client pays more to cover the middle men margins - the developers head office, the local office(s) and the Reseller, who typically needs to come back for a second bite!
Source a Modular or Packaged application?
MAJIK Enterprise comprises of over 30 integrated modules that can be implemented in stages as and when a client is ready. Larger software vendors typically package an "industry template" which comprises of an integrated package of which many components are unlikely to be used at all or for some considerable time thus making the investment less than economic as a client pays for parts they may not need. A modular approach also provides for the efficient utilisation of staff and working capital which tends to ensure that the implementation progresses according to defined times and far more smoothly.
Source an open system?
Focal Point Technology promotes a mid-range application that is platform independent and interoperable. Users of global Accounting applications that are typically not "open" such as Microsoft Axapta, Great Plains and Navision, or Oracle, Sage or SAP etc. are typically handcuffed to a platform, database or operating system and they also face disruptions and uncertainty as ERP providers merge. However, whatever database or operating topology our clients select does not really concern either Focal Point Technology or our clients since the MAJIK Enterprise tool set is equally at home running on Microsoft SQL, Oracle or Pervasive as it is on Oracle or DB2 on Unix or the IBM System i5 platform.
Buy an "off the shelf" or tailored solution?
MAJIK Enterprise is an application that uniquely fits both camps. It comes “off the shelf” but is developed locally in Australia and is designed to be easily tailored to a client’s specific needs. Other “off the shelf” products are typically developed overseas in the USA or Europe and they are not designed to be so adaptable locally. The former means that a solution can be adapted to suit your unique needs whilst the later means you will need to adapt your company to the product! Also, beware those Resellers that offer Application Program Interfaces (API's) as this invariably means they will need to re-engineer changes with each upgrade which can be very costly.
Whilst a one size fits all mentality is fine, in today's competitive market, will this give you the competitive edge you require? Further, if a higher price can be justified, beware of also being "handcuffed" to an expensive maintenance and support program where you typically pay for the software again every four or five years!
Global players excel at this practice and also charge excessively for each upgrade.
Buy an Australian or global product?
Intrinsic to everything the global players do is the concept of ownership. If you own your market, you own your customers and you can subsequently "handcuff" them to expensive maintenance and service contracts. One way to do this is to produce a product that is loaded with features over and above what your clients need or your competition can offer. Microsoft Office is a good example of this. Another way is to leverage your reputation and customer base and to undercut your competitor offerings. Software history has shown that it is much easier to scale an application up than it is to scale an application down, hence, for example, SAP's decision to promote its "acquired" solutions in the SME space and Oracle and Microsoft's decision to acquire similar applications into their portfolio's
Focal Point Technology is Australian based and owned and we promote an open system solution so our clients are able to influence development, choose whom they obtain support from or indeed take their maintenance "in house" by exercising an option to acquire the MAJIK Enterprise source code.
The dollars spent with us also stay in Australia!