“It’s really some choice. I mean, no single package seems to have everything we want. Some of them come darn close, though,” says Roman, an advertising executive for Empire Magazine with whom you have been working on a systems project. Recently, the two of you have decided that packaged software would probably suit the advertising department’s needs and stem its general decline.
“The last guy’s demo we saw—you know, the one who worked for Data Coliseum—really had a well-rounded pitch. And I like their brochure. Full-color printing, on card stock. Classic,” Roman asserts. “And what about those people from Vesta Systems? They’re really fired up. And their package was easy to use with a minimum of ceremony. Besides, they said they would train all 12 of us, on-site, at no charge. But look at their advertising. They just take things off their printers.”
Roman fiddles in his chair as he continues his ad hoc review of software and software vendors. “That one package from Mars, Inc., really sold me all on its own, though. I mean, it had a builtin calendar. And I like the way the menus for the screen displays could all be chosen by Roman numerals. It was easy to follow. And the vendor isn’t going to be hard to move on price. I think they’re already in a price war.”
“Do you want to know my favorite, though?” Roman asks archly. “It’s the one put out by Jupiter, Unlimited. I mean, it has everything, doesn’t it? It costs a little extra coin, but it does what we need it to do, and the documentation is heavenly. They don’t do any training, of course. They think they’re above it.”
You are already plotting that to answer Roman’s burning questions by your March 15 deadline, you need to evaluate the software as well as the vendors, systematically, and then render a decision. Evaluate each vendor and package based on what Roman has said so far. (Assume that you can trust his opinions.) What are Roman’s apparent biases when evaluating software and vendors? What further information do you need about each company and its software before you can make a selection? Set up a table to evaluate each vendor. Answer each response in a separate paragraph.