1. Support. I know most people would probably put price at number one but it really isn’t the most important thing. I don’t know how many times I have come across situations where people bought software cause it was the cheapest only to realise it’s hard to use or there is no support etc… It is so important that whomever you buy software off offer a great level of training and support. It is no use spending money on something that you either won’t get any training on or if you forget how to do something that you can’t pick up the phone and speak to somebody.
2. Ease of Use. You don’t need to be a techie to know how to use video analysis put it is important that the software is designed to help you as much as possible. It is no use having the best software in the world if nobody can find what they are looking for. Don’t be afraid to ask the supplier how hard it is to use, and don’t just take their word for it get examples of the types of people that are using it day in day out. Ask can you contact some of their customers. Most people are only too happy to help.
3. Price. Ahhh Finally I hear you say. I am well aware price is important I just don’t think it is the most important. Remember if you buy cheap you will buy twice (and if you buy expensive your boss will never forgive you). The important thing to consider when finding out about the price is get the balance right. You want to make sure you get everything you need without overpaying. Everyone should ask 3 questions along with the price.
1. Does the price include training or is that extra?
2. Do I need any other equipment to make video analysis work (camera, laptop etc..?)
3. Do I have to pay an annual charge or not?
4. Different Versions. I know for most people once you start putting version numbers after products people can get lost. Most people will get lost deciding between version 4.5.3 and 6.7. Don’t worry about it too much, just make sure you are getting the right version. If you heard that team X have a certain version make sure that’s the one you are enquiring about. Also ask about upgrades, you might want product x now but someday you would like to upgrade.
5. Potential to Develop. A lot of people will ring me up and say I want the software just for 1 or 2 simple things. It’s like buying a car, when you are 17 and getting your first car you are delighted if it goes forward and hell if it has windows, never mind electric windows, you’re delighted. However the more you drive the more you realise you would like some ‘extras’ “Wouldn’t it be great if the car had Air Con or a CD player or a sunroof”. Video analysis is a bit the same, what you think you need at the start will not be what you need in a few months. So make sure to enquire about how far you might take it. What could you use video analysis for in the future? If the software is good enough it should meet your requirements for years to come.