As an alternative to a straight purchase of RIMS, Sun Ridge Systems offers a lease-purchase option by which you can finance the system’s purchase over a given number of years with a fixed annual cost. The key to this plan is that, unlike a straight lease, at the end of the lease-purchase, you will own a permanent license to the software and may continue to use it as long as you like. At the end of the lease, you will likely want to contract for ongoing support and updates (a much lower cost), but there are no other ongoing costs.

Some CAD/RMS vendors “sell” their products only as something called “Software as a Service” or SAAS.  This model, invented by the software industry in this century to increase profits, is essentially just another word for a multi-year lease.  However, because it is really just a lease rather than a lease-purchase, at the end of the term you must negotiate a new “lease” or cease using the software — you never gain a permanent license for the software.  Lastly, ensure that the lease does not begin until your new system is online and accepted by you, not the day you sign the contract.

In terms of long-term cost,  during the first five or seven years (as examples) of the initial term, the costs for the lease-purchase vs. SAAS will be roughly comparable, but subsequently, the lease-purchase quickly becomes a much better deal.  Also, carefully examine a SAAS proposal to make sure it does not include a large upfront payment along with the first-year payment, as is common in, for example, the auto industry.  In one recent software-as-a-service agreement with another vendor, the upfront payment was more than $1,000,000.  Our upfront payment is $0.