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How To Expertly Navigate Your Next Software Purchase

Know exactly what you're getting before you commit.

What to Ask When Purchasing

Jessica Gould, senior communications manager for Corel Corp., which offers CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X8 digitizing software, suggests asking these questions when purchasing digitizing software.

1. Does the software give shops a variety of design options? “Most businesses are multi-faceted,” says Gould, “so you’ll need creative freedom for your clients’ different projects.”

2. What kind of capabilities does it offer? “Make sure it comes with an ample assortment of design assets for your use and creative inspiration,” she says.

3. How flexible is the software? “Does it allow you to use assets from any source?” Gould says. “Find out if it supports a wide variety of file formats.”

Financing Your Software Purchase

Scott Allen, president of InkSoft, which offers InkSoft Professional software for business management, online design and web stores, says purchasers can choose from the following ways to buy software:

1. Monthly: “Most software is now cloud-based or soon will be, due to the benefits to both the user and the software developer,” Allen explains. “Cloud-based software requires web servers, storage, bandwidth, data center space, licensing and personnel, so providers charge a monthly fee to offset costs and monetize their solutions.”

2. One-time fee: Allen says the traditional local computer/network pricing model usually requires a one-time fee for software installed locally. “Pricing is based on usage,” he explains. “You pay more per user in this model.”

3. Financing: “It’s also possible to finance certain software products,” Allen says. “Commonly, software costs are bundled into hardware and equipment leases.”