I have to admit, when I look for new software for my own personal use, I am fixated on the cost and the features that are offered. While my mind races through all of the possibilities of what I can do with this software, thoughts of tech support are usually a distant afterthought.
We all are focused on what our purchases can do, rather than what happens when those purchases stop working. Be honest: how many times do you ever bother to check the warranty or tech support of most of your electronics before you buy them?
I don’t until there’s a problem, personally.
When you are making impactful tech decisions, such as buying school administration software, taking support features into consideration are an important part of the software purchasing process. If support is typically an afterthought for you, this piece is for you!
These are the three reasons you need to test the tech support of your school software before buying!
There is no way around it: purchasing major software is generally expensive (unless you opt for free school administration software options). When dealing with a costly investment, make it a one-time deal.
Just how much does school administration software cost?
Like most software options, costs are broken up either by users/students, monthly, or through a one-time flat rate purchase.
- Per student: $5.94
- Monthly: $256.28
- One-time: $3,566.67
Cool features are only useful so long as they are working. If the support for your software is not adequate or is non-existent, this will only mean more money drained out of your school budget in order to find a replacement.
U.S. schools spend $10,658 on average per student per year, and that number isn’t shrinking. Unless you are Walter White with some extra money coming in from your “car wash,” making several software transitions is not something U.S.districts can afford.
Adequate tech support also saves money by removing the burden of a large IT team at your school. The lowest average IT salary in the United States is roughly $67,000 a year, whereas the cost of tech support is often included in the cost of the software.
The more outside help that is available means less expensive staff hires in the future.
Searching, demoing, and implementing software takes time. In fact, McKinsey & Company found that out of all different types of IT projects, software-related projects had the highest average schedule and cost overrun.
via McKinsey & Company
The only thing worse than risking one scheduling and cost overrun due to software choice and implementation is having to do it twice.
Kinda like two giant paint bubbles!
If you don’t take the time to test the tech support of your software choices, you will end up wasting more time in the long run revisiting this problem. This is time that would be far better served working on other issues facing your school(s).
Limits to your IT Team
Sure, IT teams have knowledge concerning the hardware that you use, such as your laptops, projectors, and sound systems, but they can’t possibly know all of the ins-and-outs of your software.
When something goes wrong with your school administration software, it is comforting to know that there is help available.
Some tech support teams will be better than others. It is best to test their aptitude for fixing problems during demonstrations or trial periods so that you will have a better idea of what to expect when something goes wrong. The day will come when there is a problem (I.E. Murphy’s Law) and if you have done your due diligence, the problem will be easily resolved by your tech support team.
It is always better to get something right the first time. When you are putting your money and precious time on the line to bring new software on board at your school, it is best to have all bases covered before making the leap.
Have you ever had to switch your school administration software? What made you switch? Have you ever had an incredibly positive or negative experience with SAS IT support? Let us know in the comments below!