What are the Add-On reviews and comparisons going to look like?
With the creation of Whichaddon.com, one of the key complaints or feedback we garnered from meeting with partners was a real, non-sales review of add-ons. Although it would be subjective, it will be built around a set of criteria that provides an objective view that could be used to compare and gain deep insights into the add-on.
A Closer look at the add-on Criteria
Below are ten criteria that we think are critical to making an amazing add-on. They are in no particular order of importance. However, depending on whether you are an end user, a business professional or an actual add-on, each criterion will have more weight with who you are.
A very important aspect of an add-on is the interface, and how user-friendly it is. How the workflow is set up and how logically by design it can be used. You can have an outstanding idea, but the really poor design and functionality can kill the add-on before it even gets to market. In essence design and functionality in an interface is how you communicate your great idea to the ecosystem.
How future-proof is the add-on? Are the team behind the add-on constantly looking to innovate and bring about a better user experience? Or are they satisfied and complacent in the place they are with their add-on? We will explore in detail the add-ons12-month roadmap and try to give you an objective and realistic appraisal of the add-ons development roadmap. A good add-on will listen to all their stakeholders and develop a roadmap that incorporates the relevant needs of the collective space.
An often neglected area, but some might argue the most important area, is how well an add-on supports the end user and all the other stakeholders. Does the add-on provide a responsive support and training program? What resources have they dedicated to meeting the training requirements of their end users? The better trained and supported a customer base, the higher the take-up of the software.
Reporting is such an important criterion and if you cannot extract relevant information, or it isn’t easy to customise and access, it can be a major difference between an average piece of software and an amazing solution. How relevant and useful is the internal reporting of the add-on? Can the reports be customisable using filters, sorts, or more advanced reporting/wildcard searches?
As accountants and business users, we need features that are actually useful, rather than have gimmicky and wow effects, some developers tend to lean towards this “wow” effect and miss the entire purpose of creating software, which is to meet a need and solve it in an easy and complete manner. As we look at the add-on we will highlight the features that the add-on comes with, and also examine what the category really needs.
This criterion is sometimes overlooked, but is still relevant, as the market perception of what they are willing to pay for something vs doing it manually in a haphazard manner. We will highlight the pricing structure and how much value for money the end user is receiving by benchmarking similar software in the same space.
What different add-ons does the software integrate with and if there are any known issues, and the ease with which they work with other add-ons? How well the add-on works with Xero as well as other key relevant integrations in the add-ons space.
It is important to understand this aspect as it gives end users the confidence that the add-on is here for the long term, as well as getting an understanding of the management philosophy and vision in assisting you in making critical decisions for your own organisation or one of your clients. The history of the actual add-on developer/company and how long they have been in business. This is important in making a decision if you believe the long-term viability of the add-on is questionable.
Best Suited industry
A critical area that will assist you in making an educated choice for the best add-on solution that fits your organisation’s needs. We will endeavour to suggest which industry and classification suit the add-on, as well as the insights of the add-on developers and how and where they see their best fit. Also how the add-on fulfils the objectives it was created for in the real-world application. This is where the rubber meets the road.
We will discuss the partner programs offered by the add-ons and the benefits offered to potential partners. This is geared at the professional bodies that implement these great ideas/add-ons and how well the add-on works alongside and in supporting their partners.
As we travel on this journey together to provide you with as much help and information as possible, we are always open to receive feedback from you, and looking to constantly tailor whichaddon.com to meeting your needs. So please feel free to give us your feedback and we look forward to humbly serving and educating you.