How to Choose Commercial Software Vendors: Everything You Need to Know

Most software engineers will be at a company for about 2 or 3 years. So all businesses need management tools that can grow with the company and be easily handled by new staff. It’s important to get your decision right the first time because it will save you money in the long run by making record-keeping easier.

Here’s how to choose commercial software vendors with reliable technology that’ll help your business thrive

Ask for References

You may be tempted to skip this step, but it’s important to get a sense of how the company has performed in the past before you start working with them. If they’re unwilling to give you references, that should raise some red flags.

Comparing Software Costs

Be clear on what your budget is. This will help you narrow down your options.

Once you know how much money you’re willing to spend, it’s time to look at each vendor’s pricing structure. Some companies offer free options; others charge a monthly fee based on the number of users and devices.

For example, Microsoft Office 365 is an online version of Microsoft’s popular suite of applications that starts at $6 per month per person. The plans allow you to buy as many licenses as needed at one time. However, it doesn’t lock your business into a long-term contract.

Support Options for Software Vendors

As with any business, it’s important to choose a vendor that offers great customer service. Being able to reach a representative in a few hours is a must, and the company should be able to resolve issues quickly.

Training courses should also be available.

Some companies offer on-site training for their software. Intuit Inc., for example, hosts certification classes for workers to become more adept with their products. Other vendors simply provide documentation or video tutorials online.

Either way, make sure that the training options suit the learning styles of your team.

Find Your Go-to Person

When you’re buying software, it’s important to know who will be the person you call when you need help. Do they have a support team? Are there any other people who can help with your project?

Get a name for your main contact for questions, complaints, or feedback.

Regular Software Updates

Updates are important because they fix bugs. They also add new commercial software features that improve your business’ protection from hackers. Software vendors should be transparent about how often they update their products, so you know how long your system will be vulnerable when the IoT makes an upgrade.

Not all software vendors charge for updates, but many do. Those charges can get expensive. If your chosen vendor plans on charging for updates, make sure those fees match the security of the new software.

Some updates are mandatory. If that’s the case, get a schedule of when the updates will be pushed out and make sure you’re happy with it.


Integration with other systems is important because it can save you time.

Let’s say you have an accounting software package that doesn’t integrate with your CRM system. Every time there’s a new sale, it will have to be entered by hand into both programs. This means two data entries instead of one.

Integrating programs makes it easier for employees. They can see and edit everything from one screen rather than having many windows open on their monitors at once. You’ll decrease mistakes and reduce stress by keeping your staff’s workload to a minimum.

Reading Online Reviews

Online reviews can be misleading. The reviewer may have had a bad experience with the company and aired their grievances online. You might start giving the company a side-eye, forgetting that this is just one review.

Take all the reviews into consideration when making your decision. Five good reviews and one bad one still mean you should give the company a shot. The vendor may have made an honest mistake or had some other issue unrelated to the business itself.

Talk to Other Organizations

Talk to other organizations that use the software you’re considering and ask about their experience. Note terms like “easy to use” and “friendly service.” Having real conversations with other CEOs and managers is a much better way to evaluate software than just reading reviews.


When it comes to choosing commercial software, don’t be shallow. Look beyond the bells and whistles and consider how well the tool can adapt to your evolving organization.
 Imagine your business decides to change its offerings or adopt a brand new identity three years down the road. If you’re using an inflexible system, this could cause significant headaches for your team.

Tools like field service management software BuildOps are designed to be robust and flexible enough to handle changes like these without compromising your business. You can explore your options and see how they compare. It would be best for your company to find a tool with different pricing tiers so you can adjust the features you pay for.

Choose Commercial Software Vendors With Growth in Mind

When you’re trying to choose commercial software vendors, take your time. Don’t get swayed by fancy marketing campaigns or flashy websites. Focus on the stability and longevity of the software.

Think about how much maintenance will cost over time. Ask about updates. And, most importantly, talk about integrations.

You’ll have different software vendors for different things, so it’s essential for your programs to be able to talk to each other. Read the articles in our apps and software sections for inspiration on other tools that your business is going to need.

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