How much does our system cost?

Toby MacLachlan, 11 May 2016

You’re going to ask it eventually.  It is a fair question.  Some people are polite and leave it to the end of the first meeting.  Others are adamant about knowing the price before ‘proceeding any further’.   We try not to be evasive but it is honestly a difficult question to answer.  

Just for fun, let’s take a journey down a metaphor…

You go into an estate agents and say: “I’m stuck renting a shabby 90s property that never gets updated [that’s your old software system in this metaphor by the way]. I’d like something new and I want you to decorate it for me”.  

The sales guy (this is Richie, a nice guy, not too pushy [that’s us by the way]) says “Of course sir/madam, please, sit down, what are you after?”

You’ve seen this sort of smooth sales patter before so you refuse the chair and counter with: “I’d like to know the price before proceeding any further”

This stumps Richie a little, but he ploughs on: “Well, we’ve got a range of properties here…”

You judge Richie to be a bit of a politician so you cut him off: “stop avoiding the question, how much are we talking?”

“Well sir/madam”, says Richie, flustered now, “how much are you looking to spend?”

“Ha!” you cry, “if I tell you that, you’ll just sell me something based on my budget not my requirements!” 

“Not at all sir/madam” says Richie, trying his best, “if we know your budget we can talk sensibly about whether you want a bedsit or a mansion.  I don’t know anything about what you need so I can’t tell you the price.  How many bedrooms do you need?  Are you interested in what it looks like?  Etc…” 

You sigh and think: I just want what I’ve got, but better and modern and reliable and with a few bells and whistles that I expect but don’t really know what they are yet.  Do I have to go into all the detail?

You see where I’m going.

Back to the system.  Yes, we’re not an NGO, we’re trying to turn a profit.  But play fair.  If you want a price, tell us what you want to buy. 

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