1) How is the price structured?

Pricing is favorite question and an important one. We’re not trying to be purposely vague, but it truly depends on what you want to do and how much time it will take to get done. Call us. We’ll give you an idea on your project’s price range once we know that your project entails.

Bright Software gives all formal pricing in a proposal that includes the objectives, cost, specifications and technologies that will be used. Unless you change your mind and requirements, the price is firm. There are no hidden “surprise costs” that appear without your knowledge.

Overall, as you’d expect, Bright Software offers flexible pricing to best accommodate your project. Since every project is unique, we make recommendations based on either a hourly, fixed price, or retainer basis. The ranges below help you get a general idea of project pricing. A “project,” as defined below, can include anything a business needs for a year, including custom software development, testing, purchasing computer hardware and software upgrades, and supporting users.

  • Small Projects: $10,000 – $25,000/ per year
  • Larger Projects: $85,000 – $1,000,000/ per year
  • Average Projects: $45,000/ per year

You can also visit our Case Studies page. There may be a project there similar to your needs, as we list the cost and ROI on some projects there.

2) What factors affect cost?

As you can imagine, it depends on what you want to do. Below are just a few examples of what could affect a project’s cost:

  • Quality of existing software code: Before Bright Software determines the cost of any job that requires using existing software code, we review the existing code’s quality. How the software code is structured can greatly affect labor time. We’ve had jobs where the software code was so poorly written that it was actually more cost effective to rebuild the system from scratch.
  • Hardware or software purchases: If your systems are old, sometimes it is necessary to purchase new hardware and/or updated versions of third party software to ensure a systems’ performance (speed) or security. There have been cases where clients didn’t have the proper security in place to protect their networks, whether it be back-ups, or secure remote access, or proper user permissions.
  • Your Technical Savvy: You may be able to do the implementation and/or training yourself if you are technically astute.

3) Is it better to go hourly or fixed price?

It depends. If you have clearly defined specifications that are not subject to changes in scope, a fixed cost is possible. We find most companies are not at that point and their needs evolve as the project progresses.

4) If I hire you at an hourly rate, what assurances do I have that you won’t go over your estimate?

In our hourly proposals, we only bill for hours used against the estimate. Once we start digging into a project, any changes in scope that we didn’t think of initially come up quickly.

If we’re working with an existing database, and you want greater assurance that nothing go over the estimated time, we can get a copy of your database and spend 4 to 6 hours going over it thoroughly to be certain of the time estimates. In which case, I can likely give you a fixed cost. The down side is that this does add time and cost to the overall project.

We focus very hard on customer retention. Our goal with any customer is to make sure that they are happy with our work and feel that it is worth the money that you paid. If for some reason, a project does go over budget, we will work with you to make sure that you feel you’re being treated fairly. We’ve built our reputation upon customer satisfaction.

5) Can the price be divided over time?

Absolutely. What usually happens is we make a list of priority items and we break it down into phases.

6) Access Project Costs: If starting a new system “from scratch,” what’s the starting cost for a Microsoft Access project?

If the project is new development (doesn’t involve an existing system) the average starting cost for an Access project is about $8,000, where Access is used as a front end to a SQL database. This Access application is different from stand-alone file-based Access databases, which only offer limited performance and flexibility.

Microsoft Access is a rapid application development (RAD) platform for databases. For many small to medium sized organizations, Access is the right choice. Bright Software has experience in enhancing underused Access applications.

Access can be used as a standalone database, or as a front end to a larger database, such as Microsoft SQL Server. “Microsoft Access Projects” communicate directly to Microsoft SQL Server. This is an efficient and secure means of storing data; it is much more efficient that trying to use a file-based Access database by itself. Plus, since Microsoft SQL 2008 Express is free, why not take advantage of it? We have built applications that support more than 40 simultaneous users that connect to a server with Access, SQL, Exchange, file sharing, print sharing, and Active Directory installed on the same server. There are no performance problems. Many developers just do not fully understand its power and capabilities.

7) .NET or Java Project Costs: If starting a new system “from scratch,” what’s the starting cost for a Microsoft .NET or Java project?

If the project is new, the entry point for a .NET or Java application runs approximately $14K. This cost would be for a small .NET or Java application. Know that we repair and enhance existing .NET and Java systems too—but those costs would vary based on the scale of your needs and the quality of your existing software code (See Question #3.)

Call us at (908) 212-3000 for more information.

8) I will need to justify the cost to management, what’s the normal payback on your service?

It’s completely different for every project and we can discuss it together. For the majority of projects we do, it would pay itself off in half a year because it saves time, saves money or increases your revenues.

Sometimes, projects are easy to quantitatively justify. For instance, a new application allows you to eliminate the vendor. This is what happened at Meyer-Chatfield. Meyer-Chatfield was able to drop an outside service that was manually compiling Excel spreadsheet reports for them for tens of thousands of dollars a month. Visit our Case Study area for more information on Meyer-Chatfield

Sometimes a project will allow your employees to accomplish more tasks each day. This can improve output, eliminate overtime, or reduce the need to hire new employees.

Other times, in the instance of a project management application, the new application can shorten the design and production schedule. This allows you to get products to market, faster—producing more revenue, faster.