Thursday, 2 April 2009

EX V/s Tally

About 10 -12 years back, at Vital Link Outsourcing, when we started BPO operations, we had to make a choice of choosing our accounting software. We had a choice of EX a accounting package from Tata Consultancy Services ( TCS ) from the House of Tata’s, India’s leading business house. The other alternative was Tally from a small no name business outfit in Calcutta.

The launch of EX was preceded by a slick advertising campaign, that many old timers from India will recollect. Naturally the strong ad campaign and the big house name behind the product made our decision veer in their favor.

Starting 1st April, 2009 we mark the end of our decade long tryst with a software that caused us more pain and anguish that we had bargained for. ( But aren’t all software like that you might ask :-) ) We made the decision and moved to Tally. If ever there was a most damning statement against the House of Tata’s this is one of them.

Why did we do that?

EX was never supported. Bug fixes were paid version releases. Usability issues were never fixed. User base of accountants / CAs was rather restricted and getting more limited by the day. Dealers were not interested in the product any longer and support was sporadic and patchy, at best.
TALLY on the other hand had acquired a large user base of folks who knew its intricacies. With the release of the VAT regime in India, Tally was all over the place with its VAT compliant upgrade. The folks at EX were sleeping on the job. In short Tally was the pre-dominant market leader in its category. And did we have a choice?

Why this had to happen? The simple fact is that for TCS, EX was a small division too miniscule to merit top management attention. For the Tally guys, it was their livelihood. It was Tally or bust for them. Naturally the Tally guys had the fire in their stomach, that the guys who ran the EX division of TCS sorely lacked, sitting on their fat behinds.

No one gets fired for buying IBM they say. So it would be, we thought, with TCS. But IBM just kind of closed the division, it looks like.
What does all this ranting of changing accounting packages, have to do with running a BPO unit in India, you might as well ask.

The question is whether your BPO vendor is solely focused on serving you or not. Or is he a current ‘must have’ BPO division of a large multi focused conglomerate?

At Vital Link Outsourcing we are seeing a lot of large names not satisfying their large name customers. Giving BPO a bad name in general on both sides.
All due to a strong lack of focus on the part of the service provider.


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