There’s a number of questions new client’s tend to as in their first demo, and I’ve summerised a few for those looking for new software options.

Isn’t self hosting cheaper?

When meeting new clients, I’m often asked if Self hosting would be a cheaper option. If you’re used to managing small apps as part of your Studnet Managment process, moving to a full SMS system like onCourse can seem a bit daunting. Sometimes providers are looking for a ‘cheap’ options and think self hosting could be it.

I can see why it would seem that way, but the reality is that hosting a database ends up being the most expensive option. There are a number of costs to support the database, including staff, hardware and servicing, each of which is essential to maintaining and securing your data.

Ticketing Systems vs Student Management Systems

Another question I get asked is why the cost of onCourse is different to ticketing software like SeatAdvisor. When you start researching software options, it’s important to consider all the features, so that you’re comparing ‘apples to apples’.

There’s a lot of different types of software, and a lot of the services offerned overlap. Figuring out where each one fits in your organisation’s overall proceses can be tricky.

Services like SeatAdvisor or Eventbrite offer low cost online booking methods. But they tend to rely on your organisation having other software to do the rest all your other busines processes - a website to post the class information, a database to record the client relationship management etc. which can up your costs substantially.

The type of services and features available in a SMS have a different value proposition than with ‘ticketing’ and events software like SeatAdvisor. Ticketing software tends to do the online booking/payment collections and limited communications and are priced accoridingly. onCourse will automate your processes and reduce your admin burden so your operativing costs go down while quality goes up.

For training providers, this type of ticketing software can be tricky to manage becuase you’re constantly having to update the information on courses and classes, and will need to go back and forth between systems to add new class informaiton, and withdraw enrolment information.

If you manage this with an API, they become vulneable to changes from one service provider impacting the other.

It can seem like a big jump when you move to a full system solution, and sometimes it helps to how much this admin burden is costing you.

Then there’s the payments. Often the ticketing systems need to have their payments reconsilded to you other systems.

If you have one accountant doing this reconciliation for two days a week, then your overall cost of servicing the ‘cheaper’ system is at mimimum of $29,096.08 (based on the median wages for an Accountant AU according to Payscale If eliminate the need to do this reconciliation, then you’ll be saving over 25K pre year.