Partnership story | North America partner Harwood Consulting
This year we met our Partner Mike Ferragamo from Harwood Consulting at the Directions North America event.
It was very pleasant to chat about our partnership, solutions, and his journey working with SOFT4.
Read our quick interview with Mike and learn more about our friendship and how we work together.
How did you learn about the SOFT4?
I heard about SOFT4 at the Directions North America event more than a few years ago. I came by your booth because we have property management companies and wrote modifications. I said – oh, look! And I think either in the first or the second year, I brought Troy, our master development guy. You explained the software, explained the ad, and explained every other thing, and it was more than a few years before the opportunity came up.
So we’ve been working for several years now. How do you find the solution and support team?
Yeah, everything about the support is great. Well, there was actually a piece before support. It’s how well the code is written. Is it clean? Are there other errors? Does it make sense? These are usually the first things I check for in software.
So it’s well-written and the documentation is good. There are two pieces to that, so if it’s poorly written but you have the documentation, you can modify it. If it’s well written and you have to do documentation, it’s really quick and easy to implement.
So how would you evaluate SOFT4RealEstate solution? Does it do what it promises? Is it useful for the customers? What do the customers say about it?
They like it. So there are two types of customers that we usually have. Somebody who already previously used the Business Central or like the newer ones over the West Coast. And then there are the ones that are brand new to both Business Central, and the product. And quite frankly, most of the customers, once they learn Business Central, adding the lease or understanding dimensions, property dimension is very easy for them. I never re-demoed the company on West Coast. She saw it once and she knew that. She actually had some questions about Business Central and I answered them. What I would call some imperatives, there’s an expectation that will look and feel the same way and behaves the same, so it looks like it was a module that was designed from day one. Which, as you know, is a claim to fame for individual needs. The deal is having it extended, which we’ve done.
So if there were other partners who worked with the ISVs, what would be your advice? What is important when working with the ISVs, with the vertical solutions?
Make sure they understand the vertical. They will develop something, say from a developer’s perspective but not from the user. So then the second half of that is, can they translate that into an app that is easy for the user to understand and easy for the partner to implement? Some add-ons have a lot of settings. But then they’ve created a wizard that walks you through the settings.
The ongoing scenario is actually pretty straightforward because of that. The thing we’ve had to manage would be the time difference. So you have to pay attention. You can’t expect to get an immediate response if you put a support call at four o’clock in the afternoon, East Coast time. But we don’t sell it or design it. We don’t design our support model for direct support to any VIPs or Microsoft for that matter. It’s always through us first. We figure out the issue and most times we fix it ourselves. We’ve had very few Microsoft support incidents directly. Four or five in the last year, three maybe, in total, in all of last year. If the deal is strong with the product, if it’s essential then you need less support.
Do you have anything to add from your side?
Well, all the people from SOFT4, every person that I’ve talked to from marketing to email and everything, are very nice and knowledgeable. I made some suggestions that some other ISVs that offer similar services said do not make sense and that I don’t want to do that. And it makes it more difficult to sell. So I made some suggestions and you instituted some of those edits, which makes it easier to sell, and easier for the customer to understand or the prospect to understand in sales.
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