If you want a sign of how quickly the business software market moves, look no further than the 2012 Software Satisfaction Awards (SSA12).
The Software Satisfaction Awards are the UK’s largest exercise in independent business opinion research. Last year, 10,289 people took part in the 2011 survey of software users in 21 different categories ranging from finance to HR, CRM and business intelligence.
Now open for 2012 nominations, the awards have tracked the rapid evolution of Cloud computing from internet novelty item to mainstream business use.
The first accounting software prizes in 2006 were contested by Sage, QuickBooks, MYOB, TAS and Mamut. Only two respondents out of the 800 users who took part said they used a Cloud application (NetSuite). Five years later in 2011, the brand name small business applications were being taken on and beaten for customer satisfaction ratings by Cloud accounting systems including KashFlow, FreeAgent Central and Xero.
To prove that this is no flash in the pan, Cloud ERP provider NetSuite triumphed over Pegasus Opera 3, Advanced Business Solutions and PS Financials in the Enterprise financials category. When it comes to supporting happy users, the industry’s great giants, SAP, Oracle and Microsoft, all struggled to match smaller, specialist providers in this marketplace.
To reflect this level of acceptance, Cloud applications are no longer assessed as a distinct category. It’s all software. There’s a level playing field where the winners will be decided by the people who actually use the software.
Run by AccountingWEB publisher Sift Media in association with the industry body Intellect, the 2012 Software Satisfaction Awards feature new categories including social and collaboration, marketing automation and geographical information systems.
To reflect the importance of the suppliers who serve AccountingWEB’s membership, the financial software categories have been expanded to cover:
- Accounting & finance management
- Accounts production
- Practice management
- Paperless office & document management
- Business intelligence and analytics
- IT Security software
- Reseller of the Year
“You can use SSA12 as a platform to encourage direct, first-hand, honest feedback from your customers,” Sift Media managing director Tom Dunkerley told the suppliers who will be competing for the awards. “After all, win or lose, your customers are the most important judges of what you do.”
Details about how to enter are available from www.softwaresatisfaction.co.uk.