Earlier in my career, there was a time when a software release announcement by one of our competitors would have sent me into a panic. Well, not a panic exactly, but I would have been concerned. Surely, I thought, a corporate giant with that kind of annual revenue would have the most functional, sophisticated, user-friendly technology available on the market and outstanding technical support to boot.
High Cost does not always equal High Value
How naïve I was then. I have learned over the years that a big company will give you some value, but a lot of empty bluster as well. Tantalizing functionality is promised, “hawked” at trade shows and webinars even, but somehow never appears when the release date rolls around. The product is expensive and on-going subscription costs are equally pricey. An expensive product like this really should buy you state-of-the-art technology with features that save you time and effort. So often the opposite is true. The functionality is far from earth-shattering and sadly often requires additional inputs as well as extra data manipulation to get to the outcome you expect.
The New “Shell” Game
These big companies often like to peddle “unmatched” technical support as a selling point. Yet in practice, the technical support often amounts to a kind of modern “shell” game with the software client in search of the perpetually elusive technical support agent. I couldn’t imagine anything more frustrating than this. There is quite possibly no greater waste of time than that spent waiting on the phone for technical support. When you do manage to reach someone, often the feedback is so generalized it is essentially useless. Clearly software users need different kinds of support and some companies are good at delivering the basics. But how many companies do you know that will actually help you manage the specific details of your individual engineering project?
An Extension of your Engineering Department
It would be easy for me to exaggerate and stretch the truth here, but I won’t. The fact is that at our company, we get a variety of questions and we are willing to answer them all. Some users may have AutoCAD drawings or other data and are unclear on how to get started using it in a project. Others may not know how certain parameters work and need assistance to get further along with their project. Still others may be experts with HEC-RAS but have trouble getting the results that they expect. My point is that all of the technical support engineers at CivilGEO have numerous years of HEC-RAS modeling experience and we are committed to sharing that expertise. The easy questions are welcome and the multipart and complex ones are too. We will help you figure out what is wrong with your project, help you move the analysis along, and then hand it back for you to finish. You might even want to think of us as an extension to your engineering department—providing you the expertise to get your project completed in the most efficient manner. I think that all software companies should be willing to put forth this extra effort; if not, the end user comes out the loser.
We are a small software company, and the cost of our software is far less when compared to the bloated prices charged by our larger software neighbors. We may have less resources to work with in some respects, but this doesn’t affect our drive or our high standards. We are dedicated to providing a product with superior capabilities and real value, and the support we offer is specific and tailored to your project. This isn’t empty bluster; it is the plain truth.