Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Small business Buying Behavior: Evaluating the Total Cost of Ownership vs ROI

Expanding on the insights garnered from our target customers at the expos earlier this month, I learned that total cost of ownership (TCO) could be the differentiating factor when small businesses consider Bimotics alongside other analytics software, especially among business owners.  TCO is a financial estimate intended to help determine the direct and indirect costs of a product or system.  For analytical solutions, cost to a business often includes software, hardware, and the IT resources need to implement and maintain them.  For a typical business intelligence system, the TCO can run easily in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Bimotics understands that TCO is actually a barrier to adoption for small business.  That is why we are focused on an affordable subscription model where we take on the cost of IT resources and the maintenance of it, and offer our package at a substantially lower cost.  Our TCO as well as purchase price is considerably lower compared to enterprise level technology providers while providing the essential analytics that businesses demand.  In the future, we are looking to run several experiments in order to further characterize price sensitivity.  

We recognize that measuring TCO is a very important conversation to have since analytics software in general is faced with a return on investment (ROI) dilemma, i.e. “is the software we are purchasing worth the cost?”. You see, the benefits of analytics, metrics, charts and business intelligence are not always easily measurable.  Indeed, agreement regarding the dollars saved can be disputed and debated depending on who is doing the measuring.  

For those stuck in the middle of an ROI debate, price, operational efficiency, and TCO play a critical role in the decision making process.  Affordable solutions like Bimotics virtually end this debate.  We firmly believe that the long-touted value of business analytics is nearly indisputable, with proven benefits and insights which can in turn improve everything from revenue growth to sales force development, from marketing to supply chain.  Finding an analytics package that does grow your business with minimal TCO is a key to success.

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