Yes. Our references are perhaps our greatest asset and we are happy to share them with a prospective client before any documents are signed. However, we respect our existing clients’ time and believe that reference checks should be used as a way of confirming one’s decision, not as a way of making it. Therefore, we provide references after we have come to an agreement with a prospective client regarding the product’s fit, the budget and timeline. Before that, you can see what our clients are saying by reading our reviews on Capterra, our client success stories, and the testimonials posted throughout the site.
We won't do business with any company that contacts our clients without our permission — and if you become our client, you can rest assured that we will protect your time just as vigilantly. For more information, see Final Proposal & References in our Purchase and Implementation Process.
Your business management software is one of the most consequential decisions you can make for your business, and your chosen software provider will become one of your closest partners. It is hard to overstate the importance of choosing the right solution. Unfortunately, the market for ERP software can be bewildering and many prospective customers do not know where to begin, what to look for, or what to expect.
Searching For Business Management Software
1) Familiarize yourself with the market. Business-Software.com is a good source of information on the ERP market. You can find white papers on costs and benefits, risks, questions to ask your vendor, and more. Invest the time necessary to equip yourself for the process. Most ERP vendors appreciate an educated client.
2) Use a free match-making service. At SoftwareConnect.com they will interview you, ask all the right questions, help you set expectations, and match your business with a list of five or more software solutions. After reviewing a handful of packages you will find yourself gravitating to certain ones more than others. This process will help you identify what software features are important to you. Be sure to specifically request aACE 5 to be included in your list of results.
3) Expand your search. With a better understanding of the market and a few options in your back pocket, expand your search to include other options. Match-making services are neither comprehensive nor unbiased. If you prefer additional assistance, companies such as Panorama Consulting can help you with the process and even negotiate the deal on your behalf.
Read more about selecting business software: Selecting the Right ERP System – A Four Step Process.
Purchasing and implementing aACE Software is a 7-step process designed to mitigate the risks associated with ERP implementations. Your commitments are tied directly to our deliverables, thereby increasing your confidence in tandem with your financial and business exposure.
The 7 steps in our software purchase and implementation process:
1. Introductory Call:
Our first goal is to evaluate whether or not your business will benefit from aACE Software. We schedule an introductory call to discuss your needs and requirements. Together, we decide if it is appropriate to move to the next step. If so, we schedule a software demonstration.
2. Software Demonstration:
Although at this point we have only a basic understanding of your business, it is typically enough to review the key areas of interest. We configure aACE according to the information gathered in our introductory call. Then we demonstrate the software according to your workflows. If you like what you see, we move to the Preliminary Proposal.
3. Preliminary Proposal:
The purpose of this proposal is to establish a small ballpark estimate for your software implementation. This proposal outlines the cost of the standard system based on your user count and the cost of the needs assessment. It also provides a preliminary estimate for required service based on our introductory conversations and demos. If you choose to move forward, we enter the Discovery phase.
During the Discovery phase, we train you on the software while you train us on your business. Together, we examine each of your workflows to identify issues and determine what customization, if any, is required to meet your needs. The outcome is a Needs Assessment and/or a Development Plan.
Needs Assessment – This document outlines your business’ workflow requirements and can be used to evaluate the fit of any business solution. Not every project requires a Needs Assessment.
Development Plan – This document details the specific software customization needed in order for aACE to meet your requirements. The Development Plan allows us to issue a very accurate cost estimate for the service component of the implementation.
5. Final Proposal:
The Final Proposal is based on the Development Plan we create collaboratively during Discovery. It includes a very accurate cost estimate and timeline for the entire project. If you accept the terms of this proposal, we can give you references to speak with prior to signing your contract. These references are clients who have similar needs and priorities.
6. Implementation Service:
Upon your acceptance of the Final Proposal, we pre-bill for service blocks in 10-, 25-, or 50-hour increments. During each service block we perform the necessary work to complete the project’s requirements as outlined in the Development Plan. You have the opportunity to exit the entire agreement at the conclusion of each service block if you are not satisfied with our progress.
7. Licensing Fees & Go-Live:
Licensing fees typically account for 50% or more of the total costs. We do not bill you for these fees until you approve and accept the system, which usually occurs upon completion of the requirements outlined in the Development Plan. Once you have approved the system and submitted the final fees, we prepare to take your aACE Software system live. The Go-Live date is the day when you begin using aACE for daily transactions. At Go-Live, we enter a state of stand-by support in order to promptly assist you with any issues that may arise.
Our reasoning for this is simple: aACE is an advanced ERP solution and behaves very differently depending on how it’s configured and the data it’s been populated with. A trial without accompanying training would not give prospective buyers a clear understanding of how aACE would work for their business. We’ve found that prospective clients left to explore the software on their own invariably begin asking questions, which leads to piecemeal training. For this reason our policy is to equip prospective users with the training they need to make the most of their trial period from the outset.
There is a small fee associated with the Discovery phase to cover the cost of this training. Additionally, we create a system for you on your very own dedicated server and host it free of charge for 4-8 weeks. You are under no obligation to purchase the software until you are fully satisfied that it will meet your needs.
The typical length of the process from start to finish is between three and six months. The discovery process is usually completed within a month of the start date. Customization, configuration, and implementation team training can usually be completed in one to two months depending on the work required. The Go-Live process includes data migration, end-user training, IT installation (if applicable), and the Go-Live itself, followed by several weeks of high availability on our part. For more details, read about our Purchase and Implementation Process.
We typically need at least 4-6 weeks between the time when we sign an agreement with a client and the time when work begins. This is because we dedicate large blocks of time to software implementations in the early stages in order to ensure a fast, strong start. However, the period between November and January is our busiest time of the year given the number of clients wishing to Go-Live on or around January 1. After November 1 we typically will not schedule new projects with a start date prior to February 1 the following year.
Many people wish to Go-Live with aACE when their fiscal year begins. Very few clients, though, adopt a “shuttle launch” approach to going live (i.e. having a clean break between old and new systems) and will instead phase the software in to some extent. This will result in some level of overlap between your current system and aACE, which makes no one date particularly better than another from an accounting perspective. The best time to Go-Live with the software, therefore, is during your slowest time of the year when your staff will be able to spend the most time testing, training, and helping to ensure the overall success of the project.
Together with our clients, we structure a training agenda and schedule web-based training classes based on specific needs. In most cases, a pre-determined focus group is trained first. The focus group then trains other users within the company while we stand by for support. We find a top down approach works best and is most affordable.
We are more than happy to perform work onsite with our clients when doing so makes sense, but most work is performed remotely.
Yes. If you are a certified FileMaker® developer you can customize aACE for yourself or your clients through the aACE Resale and Customization Program. More information about developing with aACE can be found in the aACE Developer Center.
When companies change their business management software they often consider updating their IT infrastructure as well. For more and more small and mid-size businesses this means contemplating a switch from Windows to Mac. Apple has made strides to facilitate business management on Mac OS X and because aACE is a cross-platform business management software for Mac and PC, we can advise most clients that yes, it is possible to switch to Mac. We can also recommend Apple Authorized Service Providers that provide exceptional IT services for Mac-based businesses. Read more about switching to Mac.
We do not offer in-house IT services, but we do offer a pre-configured aACE Appliance Mac Mini Server available through Haddock Corp. The total setup is typically less than $2,000.