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TGI’s Stance On Software Development and Support Outsourcing

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A rising trend in the ERP software industry is the outsourcing of development and support services to third-party companies overseas. In the last two years, virtually every prospect I have spoken to during the selection process has inquired as to who is responsible for support services and, more importantly, where such support staff is located. There seems to be a common concern among business owners, senior management, and IT directors across the United States that should they ever require software support and/or assistance that they will be directed to somebody who is not a full-time employee of the software company and that this person will not be able to communicate an adequate diagnosis and solution with customer staff effectively.

ERP vendors’ justification for third-party development and support outsourcing is fairly simple – third-party outsourcing to other companies (and countries) can provide significant cost savings for software vendors. The cost to educate, train, and staff full-time software developers in the U.S. is significantly greater than for staff in many regions internationally. Average wages for software developers and support staff are substantially lower outside the United States, and by outsourcing to other companies, software vendors are able to eliminate costs such as employee benefits and retirement contributions.

While such development and support outsourcing is quickly becoming the rule rather than the exception in the ERP software industry, TGI believes that a key to providing effective, exceptional customer service lies in the quality and knowledge of the support staff the software vendor employs. TGI has remained committed to providing direct developer support for each of its clients; when calls are placed to TGI’s customer support line, calls are answered directly by TGI software developers with an average tenure of over ten years. We believe this philosophy provides our customers with an opportunity to interact with their software developer (TGI) in a truly unique way, which in turn leads to better business relations and lasting partnerships. This philosophy also places an added pressure (and opportunity) exclusively on TGI to routinely deliver effective solutions and responses to customer requirements. It is our job to respond to and meet these customer demands on a daily basis.

When selecting an ERP software solution and provider, software functionality is certainly of the utmost importance in the selection process; however, software selection teams should also conduct a thorough analysis of the software company and the support staff that will be charged with the task of meeting customer requirements on an on-going basis.

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