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.
The right ERP solution can save your company hours in duplicate data entry, help prevent costly mistakes due to human error, and enable you to scale your business exponentially. But the wrong one can cost your business a small fortune, only to create headaches and bottlenecks as you contort your workflows to fit the software. And to make matters more complex, the same solution might be a dream for one company but a nightmare for another.
How do you find the best fit for your business?
We’ve created an easy-to-follow guide to help instruct business owners on the vital decision to invest in an ERP solution. With over 15 years in the industry, aACE Software has collected valuable insights that can make the difference between selecting the right solution for your business or throwing away time and money on the wrong choice. If you're the kind of business owner that likes to get things done right, this white paper is for you.
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 your aACE partner's deliverables, thereby increasing your confidence in tandem with your financial and business exposure.
The 7 steps to purchase and implement aACE:
1. Introductory Call:
The first goal is to evaluate whether or not your business will benefit from aACE Software via an introductory call to discuss your needs and requirements. The outcome of this call will determine whether it is appropriate to move to the next step.
2. Software Demonstration:
At this point you will have the chance to see the software in action during a live webinar with one of our partners. If you like what you see, you can schedule a one-on-one follow-up meeting with your aACE partner to explore your key areas of interest in demo tailored to your workflows.
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.
During the Discovery phase, you learn the software while your aACE partner learns your business. Together, you and your aACE partner will 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. It is only applicable to the aACE Enterprise Edition, as the Complete Edition is out-of-the-box subscription software. The Development Plan will form the basis of a cost estimate for the service component of the implementation.
5. Final Proposal:
The Final Proposal is based on the Needs Assessment and/or Development Plan that you and your aACE partner create collaboratively during the Discovery phase. It includes a very accurate cost estimate and timeline for the entire project. If you accept the terms of this proposal, you may be given references upon request to speak with prior to signing your contract. These references are aACE clients who have similar needs and priorities.
6. Implementation Service:
Upon your acceptance of the Final Proposal, you will be pre-billed for service blocks in 10-, 25-, or 50-hour increments. During each service block your aACE partner performs the necessary work to complete the project’s requirements as outlined in the Final Proposal. You have the opportunity to exit the entire agreement at the conclusion of each service block if you are not satisfied with the progress of your aACE implementation.
7. Licensing Fees & Go-Live:
Licensing typically accounts for 50% or more of the total costs. You will not be billed for the license until you are ready to go live, which usually occurs upon completion of the requirements outlined in the Development Plan. The go-live date is scheduled once you pay the license fee.
We strive to keep our pricing transparent and easy to understand. Our pricing is listed on our Pricing page, and depends on whether you would be going with the Complete or Enterprise Edition of aACE. Let’s look at the pricing of each version for a 10-user sample company to see how they compare. Please note that aACE user licenses are for named users, not for concurrent users.
There are three major components to the cost:
- aACE Software
- FileMaker Software
Excluding hosting, the cost of the two editions is roughly the same after three years. Which edition is right for you depends largely on whether you require customization or whether you prefer the benefits of the software-as-a-service model.
With the Enterprise Edition you are buying a license to the software. This gives you the ability to tailor the solution to your precise workflow requirements and host it according to your preferences. You will also need to purchase the requisite FileMaker Software.* The cost for the Enterprise Edition license would be a one-time purchase price of $22,500 for 10 users. Maintenance is 20% of the aACE license fee and is required for 3 years from the go-live date. It is included in the purchase price for the first year. For our 10-user sample company, the total cost of licenses, Maintenance, and FileMaker Software for the Enterprise Edition after three years is $36,540. You are responsible for the cost of hosting.
|aACE Enterprise Edition (10 Named Users)|
|Licensing & Maintenance||FileMaker*||Hosting|
With the Complete Edition you are subscribing to the software as a service. This gives you a comprehensive out-of-the-box solution hosted in the cloud at a lower up-front cost. At $99 per user per month, a company with 10 users would pay $990 per month for user licenses plus a $199 monthly hosting fee. The cost of FileMaker Software is included with the subscription. The hosting fee covers the cost of a dedicated server; you wouldn't be sharing space with other customers. For our 10-user sample company, the total cost of the Complete Edition subscriptions after three years is $35,640. The hosting fee is an additional $7,164.
|aACE Complete Edition (10 Named Users)|
Estimating Service Costs
There are a variety of service activities required for a successful ERP implementation, the principle ones being:
- Needs Assessment / Discovery
- Data Migration
- End-User Training
- IT Setup/Configuration
- Project Management
When estimating service costs, it is important to consider expenses that are largely a function of the proposed solution separately from those that are not. The cost of customization, for example, is entirely dependent on the specific software package, whereas end-user training may entail a comparatively similar cost regardless of which solution is chosen. Other work, such as data migration, may be principally a function of the system you are leaving. Do your best to compare apples-to-apples when evaluating the service requirements of alternatives.
For companies requiring customization, the rule of thumb in the industry is that development should cost less than the first year purchase price of the software. Therefore, for our 10-user sample company, the cost of customization should be no more than $22,500. If the cost of development is greater than that number, you should ask yourself whether there might be a package that meets more of your requirements out-of-the-box.
*FileMaker Software for 10 users billed annually as of 11/22/2018. Up-to-date pricing for FileMaker can be found at their website.
However, we are currently working with select clients in the EU, U.K., and Canada to flesh out the required features. We plan to expand support to these areas in the near future and to other locales after that. Check back with us soon!
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 dedicated system for your team 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.