This article provides guidelines for evaluating software suppliers and the software itself. Suppliers can best be evaluated by looking at sales, support and service. Are the supplier's sales people helpful and knowledgeable? Do they understand a customer's needs, or do they just want to sell you something? Software support should include: training manuals, and classes, telephone hot-lines to qualified people at convenient hours, demonstration systems available for use before purchase, practice systems available for use after purchase and before installation, and a regular newsletter on how to use the software. Software service should include: fixing software problems quickly and accurately, upgrading software to keep up with advances in computer technology; notification of problems and upgrades through letters or newsletters; and clearly describing how to easily intergrate fixes and news releases into the existing software. The software itself should be evaluated by input requirements (should be well defined and easily understood), computation methods (should be standard for one's discipline and complete), user procedures (should be complete and easy to follow), outputs (should be easily understood, list input dates and show intermediate calculations), and price (should reflect the complexity and quality of the programs, manuals, support reliability and marketing and should be less than the cost of fully developing the software oneself.

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  • Accession Number: 00454327
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 27 2004 10:00PM