ERP systems are crucial pieces of software for most companies, from small businesses to large corporations. Although ERP systems have a lot of features, most companies look to Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to fulfill additional needs for their specific industries and fill the gaps in missing functionality. ISVs are companies who specialize in making and selling software and are often categorized as add-ons to ERP systems.
When looking for ISVs to use, not only is it important to review functionality, ease of use, and pricing, but it is also crucial to choose ISVs who regularly update their software. Software needs to be updated on a recurring basis to provide customers with new features and prevent any malfunctions within the system.
Here are the main reasons why you should only work with ISVs who regularly update their software.
Compatibility with the ERP System
Most ERP systems have regularly scheduled updates, usually annually or bi-annually. If an ISV solution is integrated into an ERP, they should also be providing regularly scheduled updates to align with the latest ERP version. Otherwise, companies may run into issues if they want to update to the latest ERP version but the ISV solutions that they have invested in are not compatible. According to a recent survey, most companies using an ERP have between 3 and 10 ISV add-ons, so an ERP upgrade can turn into a very tedious task if any of their ISV plug-ins do not maintain compatibility.
Casey Calame from Express Information Systems, a Microsoft Dynamics and Sage VAR, mentioned that ERP version support is one of his top concerns when partnering with ISVs:
“Before referring a customer to an ISV, I always check to make sure the ISV is staying up to date with the latest version of the ERP system.”
ISVs should be listening to their customers and taking in their feedback for future enhancements. When ISVs are regularly updating their software, they can provide customers with more features to continue improving their overall business efficiency.
In addition to adding new features, software companies should also continually monitor vulnerabilities and provide security updates to their customers. Cyberattacks are becoming more prevalent every day, so software systems, especially those in the cloud, need to keep the security of their customers top of mind.
As more customers use a particular software, there are often chances that a software bug or issue may be found. ISVs should review these issues and provide immediate or scheduled bug fixes depending on the severity of the issue.
Things to Keep in Mind
When researching which ISVs to use, you should consider how often they provide scheduled updates and what is being included in those updates. You want to make sure that the ISV is not only fixing problems or vulnerabilities but that they are also providing feature enhancements. If you cannot find information on the ISV’s website or product guides, make sure to ask your sales representative about the latest updates and for any insight about when the next enhancements will be provided. This could help you get the most out of your investment in the ISV while reducing costs and resources.