The business software market is larger than ever and growing. 2020 showed us how much we rely on cloud-based software solutions to keep our businesses operational. It was a record year for business software sales by many metrics, and that meant a record number of buyers had to answer a straightforward question: Can I trust you with my business?
This is a big part of business and even more so with business software. You as a customer need to absolutely trust your software vendor to be providing the level of service they promise while keeping you secure and operational. So what kind of assurances do you have as the customer? Service Level Agreements, or, SLAs, have long been the standard baseline of services you can expect from a tech vendor. I'm no lawyer so I won't get into the nitty-gritty here, but SLAs provide baseline expectations for uptime, availability, etc. that a customer is owed and these are often legally actionable if they are not provided by the vendor.
But maybe you aren't looking to buy software with the expectation of ending the relationship in legal disputes. Beyond contractual promises, what assurances do you as a buyer have? The leading cloud ERP provider we represent has an answer: the Customer Bill of Rights. Acumatica has thrown down the gauntlet in the mid-market ERP industry with this list of rights they provide to all of their customers. You can (and should) read the entire list here, but here are some of the most significant "rights" they outline:
- Price Increase no more than 3% annually.
- Deployment Flexibility (public cloud, private cloud, etc.).
- Data Ownership to the customer, always.
What this does for our customers (and us as their partner) is provide a clear list of expectations that they detail more finely in their contract. This serves the customer by letting them know in no uncertain language exactly the kind of partner and solution Acumatica provides. As we are evaluating more software tools, functionality, and partners in this increasingly technological world you can expect more of this degree of transparency in the industry. We are always very careful in vetting the solutions we represent and support and look forward to seeing more Customer Bill of Rights across the industry.