[IMGCAP(1)]Returning from a long holiday weekend has not yielded much in the news department, so I would like to take the time to give my take on the use of so-called ERP review sites versus shared, real-life experiences.

Some of you may have seen recent news touting white papers and software comparisons to the likes of QuickBooks vs. Peach(oops, Sage 50), NetSuite vs Intacct, Oracle vs SAP and other such works claiming to compare and contrast "popular" ERP software under the notion that buyers may be more well informed before making a purchase.

The reality is, some of these "software review" sites are anonymous or aren't very clear on who they are, what their background is and -- in some cases -- what the whole purpose is about.

For example, this week in news a group called Softwarefit who claim to be technology consultants issued their latest free whitepaper on how to identify the right ERP software for your business. The group has a website and an 800 number to call for more information and easy links to their white papers on CRM and ERP selection. They also have a list of products they've reviewed and there are some notable omissions (or maybe they just haven't gotten around to them yet). Specifically, in their ERP list there is no NetSuite, Infor, Open Systems, Epicor, Deltek, or even Intacct. This to me is just the glaring omission pile, there's more out there obviously.

The point being is where "services" like this really start to dilute the waters over, say -- I don't know -- the viewpoints of a VAR who actually works with and implements the software. Take for example our recently published article from Mark Goodman, president of Dynamics, Sage and NetSuite partner BCG Systems.

Goodman wrote a how-to selection piece of his own, specifically on how to go about selecting a cloud vendor partnership -- something an increasing number of traditional VARs and accounting firm technology consultancies are doing these days. His piece doesn't get too fancy, and doesn't name any particular products(even though, you can pretty much figure out who is talking about). The point is it's a very useful, relevant, yet simple list of criteria that one may use when considering expanding your product offernigs to include a cloud vendor. This is something that, I think, is sorely needed. More exchange from colleagues and competitors...nay, like-minded individuals and firms with a similar purpose -- serving your clients and customers to the best of your ability and offering them what "you" feel is the best fit for their business. Is this such a novel idea? I think not.

Next week I'm certain we'll have more on the news front, I'll also be giving a lead in to the upcoming AICPA Tech & Practitioners Symposium.

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