“The PCA crew is leagues above
the competition” - Pepsico
"a prior vendor failed to develop
the application, which (Practical) delivered." - Franklin Park
"the application (is) easier to use, with a
much simpler, more intuitive use interface" - Royal Administration Services
"Sometimes it's the things you don't ask for
that are important" - Royal Administration Services
"PCA turned our raw data and algorithms into easy to use
and understand features and reports." - CareScout
"The quality and professionalism ... has been
so outstanding that we want to send you a letter of thanks." - USALCO
"PCA people and applications stand out by
far exceeding our expectations." - USALCO
"The resulting application greatly increas(ed)...
our business effectiveness and efficiency." - The Advest Group
"PCA completes projects
efficiently and effectively" - Pepsico
Why Not Packaged Software?
At Practical Computer Applications (PCA) we find that one of the first questions asked by most clients is “Why Not Use Packaged Software?” The truth is that if you have a truly industry standard operation and that you can find a software package that offers everything you need, buy it. The fact that you are researching alternatives means that you are already unsure of that answer.
In making this determination, some of the key issues that you want to explore include:
- Functional Fit — Does the software package offer the core capabilities that you need? Are you paying for a lot of features that don’t need?
- Customization — What is the additional cost to configure or customize the package to suit your specific data management needs?
- Robustness — Is it a commercial-grade offering built on a real database (e.g., Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle), or is it simply a user interface built atop MS Access or something else?
- Integration — What is the additional cost to integrate the software with your existing business applications (accounting, manufacturing, inventory, etc)?
- Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) — What is the actual cost to own and use the system over time, taking into account all the factors, including licensing, training, data conversion, configuration, integration, annual maintenance, and support?
|Application “Fit”||80 / 20 Rule||100%|
|Licensing Fees||Per User/Server||None|
|Service Fees||2-3x Licensing||As Needed|
|Maintenance & Support||20% Annual M&S Fee||20% Project Fee (1st Year only)|
|Time-to-Market||3-4 Months||6-12 Months|
|Risk||High cost-to-switch||Open (Microsoft)|
When you take into consideration the software licensing costs, the professional service fees necessary to customize and integrate the software, and the annual maintenance and support fees, our clients often discover that it is far more cost-effective to build a custom solution from scratch. The results are far superior (and more relevant) to your business needs.
A typical outcome of licensing: 1) you pay a lot more than you originally anticipate to “fit” the software to your specific business needs; 2) you are saddled with ongoing licensing, subscription, maintenance and support fees (fees which grow in proportion to your use); and 3) you are locked into with a single Vendor solution, with a significant cost-to-switch.
PCA believes there is a better way. Smart Clients provide an ASP-like approach to centralized, repeatable application deployment and security, with ZERO ongoing licensing fees. End-users get a highly-functional, high performance, easy-to-use and reliable application powered by industry standard MS SQL Servers.
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