Buyers gain the upper hand in software market: exhibitors at last month's 2002 Softworld Accountancy & Finance show have been finding it hard to win new clients.

Author:Hayward, Cathy
Position:Technology
 
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The number of new customers for financial software packages has declined significantly over the past six months, but exhibitors at March's Softworld Accounting & Finance event say they are making up the shortfall by selling more add-on products to their existing customers.

Because new orders are now so hard to come by, it's becoming crucial for the software manufacturers to hang on to the clients they do have, according to Gary Waylett, managing director of Eclipse Computing. "The next six months will be pretty tough too. Software companies are focusing on customer service, since that is where they can be really competitive," he told Financial Management. "It's easy for our customers to find alternatives, so looking after them is key."

Richard Pierce, managing director of PS Financials, which has just been sold off by Rebus HR, agreed. "There are no longer people out there with 2 million [pounds sterling] to burn on a new software system. Big-ticket sales are now a struggle," he said.

Ole Hansen, sales and marketing director at Navision, said it was natural to sell more systems to existing customers, especially if the manufacturer had extended its product line. Navision, for example, had recently added a customer relationship management module to its finance package.

He also pointed out that the attitude of delegates at the event had changed. "The finance and IT people attending have already made up their...

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