[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Clear competitive advantage


> Although I understand you're asking these questions, it'd be extremely
> interesting to know why people choosing other solutions did *not*
> choose LederSMB: after all, maybe their choices are based on missing
> bits in our image / communication. The answers you're going to get
> from this list are probably going to re-inforce the current
> communication.

I can answer this question, at least as it pertains to my customer base
and geographic area.  I have tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to sell this
accounting system for a long time, and where I have succeeded, everybody
has moved away from it afterwards.  The base reason shows right here in
this thread - none of the answers about why we use lsmb contain a
"because it is simple and easy to use".  

In my area, Sage Simply Accounting is probably in use by about 90% of
the businesses (yes, 90%), of the remaining 10%, probably about half use
quickbooks or other Intuit software, and the rest use industry-specific
or mac-oriented software.  Probably the biggest single reason for that
is the accountants in this area; many of them won't look at your data if
you don't give it to them in such a way they can drop it into simply
accounting.  If an accountant will take it, often you have to pay them
to convert it, which usually means paying them to manually re-enter all
the data into Simply - needlessly expensive.  

In addition to that, Simply Accounting just looks after so many things
where in lsmb the workflow is complex.  1 example of many; charging
interest on overdue accounts.  in lsmb that is a prohibitively complex
chore, in Simply Accounting it is ticking a box.  Simply Accounting also
won't let you make an obvious mistake.  If you try to do something
stupid, it will stop you.  As I am sure we have all dismayed at one
moment or another, lsmb happily lets you do whatever stupid thing occurs
to you at the moment.  Several times in a row if you insist ;)

I use lsmb for two reasons: 1. I am militantly open source - no
proprietary software on my network.  2. ~5 years ago a customer needed a
POS system, and lsmb was the best option at the time so I learned it
well enough to deploy it, and now I am sticking with what I know - I
haven't looked around or investigated changing in a long long time.
Neither one of these reasons is valid to so much as one of my customers.

My customers won't use lsmb for three reasons: 1.  Why spend money and
time learning to change when there is already a working system that just
about anybody you hire is going to know because everybody around here
uses it.  2.  Their accountants will refuse them service or charge them
unreasonable amounts of money if they don't use simply accounting.  3.
Simply Accounting is to dummy-proof and feature-rich not to use when
compared to lsmb.  

For your average business owner around here, it is just easier and
cheaper to use Simply Accounting.  They take the path of least
resistance, and lsmb doesn't provide that.  If lsmb did provide that,
there would be incentive to change, and I think people would find other
accountants, or pay their accountants the extra money to convert it, or
the accountants themselves would start to take lsmb more seriously and
support it.

This said, I have been in this industry long enough and followed enough
projects to know that software development is actually a very long-term
process.  Software usually requires a great deal of maturity before it
becomes mainstream, sometimes it takes more than a decade before it can
float to the top, and lsmb isn't there yet.  Over the years I have seen
lsmb gaining that maturity, for example this thread is contributing to
it now.  I have every confidence that over the next years, after the
core is restructured how Chris and the other developers want it, lsmb
will be middle-aged, and those features the end-customers require for
adoption to be considered will rapidly start to surface.  So I wait
patiently and confident that one day lsmb will be an easy (or at least
easier) sell to my market...

Get your SQL database under version control now!
Version control is standard for application code, but databases havent 
caught up. So what steps can you take to put your SQL databases under 
version control? Why should you start doing it? Read more to find out.
Ledger-smb-users mailing list