Does the Location of a Software Partner Matter? Is Local Better?

Providing software solutions can often be a global business. Equally, the idea of a faceless publicly listed businesses isn’t always everyone’s idea of a partnership even when there is a local reseller.

We explore whether having a local software partner should be a high priority for growing businesses reviewing the market.

What is local?

 

The word local is very often paired with small. A “small local provider” of any product often promotes a warm fuzzy feeling whether its buying free range farm eggs or best of breed warehouse management software.

In reality, in software terms, local tends to mean within 100 miles but most organisations Clarus have engaged with in recent years have tended to start looking for partners within the UK (at very least!) before looking overseas.

Modern internet technologies have changed the way software is deployed and used.

Major software providers such as Salesforce.com, Netsuite, SAP and Microsoft operate on global scale with their regional presence varying.

These big brand software businesses have usually gained market share and presence with a central, overseas development team feeding a reseller network who then sell, implement and support locally.

These reseller businesses themselves can often be very small organisations, situated locally to their partners.

Niche, point solution providers, such as warehouse management software suppliers may actually have larger teams working specifically on their main product than many well known big brand names! This is all down to focus but should you apply any weight to them being on your doorstep when reviewing partners?

Cloud software Vs On Premise

Modern internet technologies have changed the way software is deployed and used.

Historically, as people needed to install software onto PC’s and Laptops it could be argued that having someone locally to help with all this IT hardware is an absolute must.

With cloud based technology, this need for a local, on the doorstep response to fix hardware problems simply goes away.

Cloud is still seen as a new disruptive technology which many understand is the future of software however some legacy thinking assumes it can’t be as secure. The reality is, it is significantly more secure than the vast majority of internal data centres or internal server rooms with a much higher level of redundancy and disaster planning built in as standard.

The Reseller

Buying into a big, well known brand such as Sage or SAP is often a starting place for SME’s reviewing software partners.

They can speak to a number of local resellers for the same product (e.g. SAP) and decide who best suits their needs. However, is a reseller ever fully in control of the product destiny or roadmap? Should you simply go for the reseller closest to your own business?

Cloud is significantly more secure than the vast majority of internal datacentres

Resellers typically don’t own any IP (intellectual property) and simply resell a 3rd party product. The reseller market can also mean that two identical purchases of the same product can receive a very different experience during implementation, go-live and on-going support.

A positive of buying into a big brand via a reseller is that, in theory, you can move to a new reseller providing your software remains standard should you need to. You are also likely to be able to find contractors available for work who understand the product although both moving and hiring contractors can be a very expensive exercise, it can reassuring to know the skills are readily available if needed.

The big software provider

Being a customer of a large, multi product software businesses can be quite a laborious experience with associated long timescales and frustrations. Are you joining the back of a very long queue for any bespoke requests you make regardless if one of their 15 offices is close by? Are the team you’ll be dealing with even based there?!

Experience has shown that when dealing with large multi product businesses, the headline figures are often attractive to prospective clients. Big turnover and good profits offer comfort and longevity for prospective buyers.

What may be less well publicised by these big providers is the size of the teams working on each specific product. In reality, big business tends to employ more sales and account managers than delivery people adding value to businesses which is great for winning new business but where does that leave the customer base?

In summary

 

Clarus’ opinion is that location should be a factor but certainly not the deciding factor.

Software partners should be reviewed on experience, product functionality and the tangible value they can deliver to a business.

Businesses like Clarus which own their own IP supply to warehouses all over the UK with ease due to their cloud deployment model.

Resellers should be judged on their experience in your sector and not their location.

It could be argued that being local to your clients allows easier drop ins which could result in better working relationships but providing your partner has national coverage and clients, this shouldn’t be an issue.

About us

 

Speak to one of our team to understand how ClarusWMS’ simple cloud subscription platform can cost effectively support new revenue streams, better customer service, better results and efficient working for a range of warehouse operations with pay per month options and no IT infrastructure needed.

Our platform can scale from a one user, small depot system to a 100’s of user distribution centre operation. The ClarusWMS platform will cost effectively scale with your business based on demand.

ClarusWMS is a UK based supplier of cloud warehouse management solutions with a wealth of industry experience in third party logistics, wholesale / retail distribution and manufacturing.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest