Switching to cloud-based software? Here are five questions you’ll always want to ask before signing on the dotted line.
1. Where is your data hosted?
One of the big advantages of switching to the cloud is data security and accessibility. When your data is stored in your office or directly on a computer, you run the risk of hardware failure, theft or outright destruction. With a reputable cloud-based software, your data is hosted in one or more secure data centers that offer unparalleled protection from hardware failure, theft and destruction. They’re like Fort Knox for your data.
At LiveRez, we host our partners' data in a super secure data center with a five 9s reputation (that means their data is up and running 99.99999% of the time).
2. What browsers does the software work on?
Because your software and your data are hosted online with cloud-based software, you’ll access it via a web browser. Most people are familiar with traditional software, where the biggest issues are whether or not that software is compatible with Macs or PCs, and whether or not your system has enough power to run the software. With cloud-based software, your main concerns are what browsers does the software run on and how fast of an Internet connection does it require.
Special Note for Mac Users: Finding out what browsers the software works on is especially important for Mac users, since some cloud-based software only works on Internet Explorer, a browser that was discontinued for Macs back in 2005.
At LiveRez, our software works across all popular browsers, including Safari (for all your Mac users out there).
3. Can the software be accessed via mobile devices?
Another big advantage of switching to the cloud is accessibility. Cloud software can be accessed 24/7, anywhere you have an Internet connection. This free you up from having to work on specific computer where the software is installed, and having to manage networks to get everything working together.
But, if you’re switching to the cloud, you want to get the most utility out of this increased accessibility. Being able to access your software on a tablet or a smart phone can really increase your efficiency. At LiveRez, our software works great on tablets and can even work on a smart phone in a pinch.
4. How often does the provider update the software?
This is a big one. When you switch to cloud-based software, you also switch to a new method of delivery and payment. Instead of owning the software outright, you’re really renting it from the provider. And, there are some major benefits to that. First, you’ll never have to install an update to your software. And, second, you’ll always have the most updated version of your software. That means, new features will come to you automatically.
So, when you buy cloud-based software, you’re really buying the software for what it is right now and for what it will be down the road. Therefore, a provider that continuously updates and improves its software is going to be more valuable than one that doesn't.
At LiveRez, our software is updated weekly. We push these updates behind the scenes late at night while the majority of our partners are sound asleep in their beds. And, we notify our partners with documentation on these new changes as soon as they come out.
5. How fast can you make the migration from your current software to your new cloud-based software?
Perhaps the biggest hang-up in switching to cloud-based software is the implementation process, just because there is so much data to move. The good news is that cloud-based software should make the process that much quicker. You see, with cloud-based software, there’s no on-site installation of the software, no hardware to set up, no updates to install, no wires to lay, etc. Once you pay for the software, you should have generally have access to it by the next business day.
Once you have access to the software, the process of implementation begins. This involves initial training, data migration and getting any third-party integrations set up. Make sure you ask upfront how much of the data migration the software company can handle and how much your team will need to complete. Also make sure to ask about their training resources, how you access them and how often you’ll get live training and support. Some providers put a cap on live training and support, and then make you pay more once you hit that threshold, so make sure you ask about that up front.
Quite likely, the best place to learn about the implementation process is to speak with another manager of similar size that just went through it. Implementation times in the vacation rental industry range from a few days for some motivated smaller companies to more than a year (with some providers, at least).
At LiveRez, we’ve gotten managers live in a matter of days, and most new partners can be live in less than 30 days, depending on how much time they can dedicate to the training and data migration process.
Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the fastest growing vacation rental software provider for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation management, trust accounting and online marketing, with high-ranking, high-conversion dynamic websites and an extensive affiliate marketing program. The company is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).
Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:
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