A software package developed by software companies provides business solutions to a range of organizations for a range of facilities usually required in common business applications such as accounts and payroll
With the agreement of software specification by the Management, activities which are required to put the planned business software package into effect can commence.
Business application software packages such as QuickBooks Accounting Software, must be considered and thoroughly evaluated based on specifications before they can be used for business transactions processing or information system.
The evaluation criteria should be the functions provided by the proposed software package, which include; user-friendliness, hardware and software resources, flexibility, file characteristics and cost.
Functions vary by application, however, certain functions are fundamental. Detailed list of questions are usually submitted to vendors to determine if the vendor’s product meet the specification requirements of the Management. The following evaluation questions and checklist of points are necessary and should be considered when choosing or selecting a suitable software package;
- Whether the software package fits clients’ requirements such as report production, volume of data required, validations and other specifications;
- Whether the package comes with useful add-ons facilities such as report generation of any kind
- Availability of full and clear documentation of the software package;
- Processing and response tine fast enough;
- Cost effectiveness of the software package;
- Provisions for supplier/dealer demonstration of the software package;
- Support and maintenance services to be provided by the software provider;
- Ease of use (user friendliness) of the package, in terms of availability of concise menus, on-screen prompts and help supports;
- Adequacy of controls available such as passwords, data validation checks, accounting controls, reconciliation and audit trail facilities;
- Software database/file design support the client’s processing and retrieval requirements, in error detection?
- Compatibility with existing hardware;
- Provision of updating or amending or modification of the software package;
- Market growth or survey of other users of the same software package for additional information about the package.
It is normal to encounter problems at the implementation stage of software package, however, proper planning and control considering above stated points can help an organization prevent these problems.
In conclusion, training is the key part of implementation of a new software package. For an organization to get the best out of the new package, training on the software package and other computer literacy must be spread throughout all the prospective users of the package, so that success can be achieved in the adoption of the selected software package.
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