Internet Makeovers: Reality and Unreality

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The Web page for CBiz Technologies, an arm of Century Business Solutions, proudly proclaims, "Great Plains Siebel Solution Now Available From CBiz Technologies." The only problem from a marketing point of view is that Great Plains dropped that product line in 2003, in what was one of Great Plains less successful product alliances.

CBiz may feel it's being unfairly singled out. And perhaps that's true. But it's an example of the kind of out-of-date information that is way too easy to find on Web sites. And if you think it's embarrassing to have the press point this out, just what does it do to a company's image if customers call up and find out that the product doesn't exist? That's a great image builder.

A significant number of accounting software resellers still advertise the availability of Great Plains Dynamics and eEnterprise, which is not only out of date-it's two years and two name changes off. Dynamics and eEnterprise were combined into the Great Plains Edition in 2003 and expanded into Great Plains Professional and Great Plains Standard.

Partner Insights

Firms That Say Niche

It's been said many times, but it's still true, going vertical is a way to profits. and it keeps a business from looking like all the others who are selling the same product or service.

In "Serving a Niche Market," associate editor Carly Lombardo shares experiences from accounting and reselling firms that have profited by going vertical.

One market that has been growing is the human resource software market. It's hard to talk about payroll any more without discussing HR. Associate editor Riccardo Davis examines the trends in "Self-Service Takes Off." Davis also reports on the growing demand for software packages that can handle more than one language in "Parlez-Vous Software?"

Looking for write-up software? It looked for a while like Creative Solutions would buy up everything. But in the last two years, more products have come to market as vendors try to give firms a one-stop shop, and that includes the venerable application.

Product names are hardly the only sins to be found. How on-the-ball does a company look when it has a press release section and posts either no press releases, or hasn't issued any in three years? (And on a separate topic, how impressive is it when a CPA firm gives personal addresses for partners, but the technology contact is infoourfirm.com?)

Don't have the resources to keep your Web site up to date? Then you don't have the resources to be an effective business organization. Or maybe you can provide a list of the things that you feel are more important than your company's image in the eyes of its customers and potential customers.

I suppose there are enough candidates in the accounting and reselling firm arena that we could have a series of new reality shows to help out those operations that can't seem to keep up by themselves.

Trading Ledgers? Extreme Software Makeover? Queer Eye for the Accounting Guy? It might work.

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