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Customized or Standard?

By MC_User ·
My company is looking to purchase a new database application that will manage bookings and reservations for our facilities. We are a convetion center and this is a major component of our operations.

Upper management is sold on one application that will be highly customized to our buisness. The problem is that the company we would be buying from is pretty much a one man shop. The product looks solid and had several major installations to their credit.

Upper management loves the idea of having the company president at beck and call to fix or customize the application.

I don't like this at all. Other applications may cost more and be a little less flexable but they have large organized support staffs behind them.

What would bea reasonable way to evaluate the different applications? Is my bias justified? Opinions please. Thank you.

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by generalist In reply to Customized or Standard?

While I'm not against one man shops, I have had experience with some that have put their clients in a bind. In fact, there was one where the clients had to use legal means to get the source code just in case the programmer died.

You may want to see what level of risk your management is willing to accept if they go with this customized package. Run a scenario by them what assumes that the one man shop decides to close down because they won the lottery. Then look at how this would affect your company over time, looking at such things as changes in operating systems, change in government requirements, changes in business practices and other attributes.

If you can show that the company would be up the creek without a paddle, you mightbe able to justify going an alternative direction. But if your company could limp along at half speed, surviving but not comfortable, you may have problems steering away from the customized setup.

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