Now that we’ve covered the kind of features and support that you need, its time to dive into the finer technical details of what an ideal golf management software should have. If these kinds of details make your head swim, have someone else at your course read this chapter for you, and then tell you what you need to know.
Ten years ago, a business could get by on a server-based system. In fact, it was much more reliable and safe to use than an internet-based system. But these days, web services are so powerful and secure that it really doesn’t make sense to do anything but choose cloud-based systems.
Not only is it much easier to install and configure, (it literally takes opening a web browser and logging in,) you can use it from any location in the world that has an internet connection, including your phone.
Our advice: If it’s not cloud-based, don’t do it.
2. PCI Compliant
PCI is the industry standard for encryption of credit card transactions. Make sure that the software’s credit card processor is PCI compliant. All major merchant processors are, but it nevers hurts to be too safe and double-check.
3. Status Page, Outages, and the Post-Mortem
A status page is a web page where you can get immediate updates on problems in the system. The status page should give you an overview of what’s working, what’s not working, and a history of past incidents.
- Payment processor malfunctions.
- Database slow down.
- Partial outages.
Here’s what foreUP’s status page looks like: http://foreup.statuspage.io/.
Outages & Post-Mortem
Service outages are an inevitable part of even the best cloud-based software, but how the company responds makes a huge difference the magnitude of their repercussions is the important part.
A post-mortem is a summary of a software outage, and it should describe:
- What went wrong.
- How it was fixed.
- What changed to stop the same mistake from happening again.
A few additional questions to consider are:
Did the downtime affect all customers or just a few?
Was it just for a few minutes, or for a few hours, or even a few days?
These questions should give you insight into how they handle the worse case scenario.
While you’re considering a golf management software, ask the company for their latest post-mortem and look through it. If you’re confused by the programming lingo, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification and address any specific questions you have.
The sales rep you’re talking to can’t give you the status page web address.
In a software company, everyone should know where to find the status page or at least know how to find it. If the rep you’re talking to doesn’t know, they probably don’t have a status page or hardly ever use it.
They’ve never had an outage.
This is impossible. No internet-based company has never had an outage. If they claim they’ve never had an outage, they haven’t paid attention (or have had too many to count.)
They don’t have a post mortem.
This is a huge red flag; that means that they know about outages and aren’t doing anything about it. If they can’t be up front and honest about their shortcomings, then they’ll likely hide other issues as well.
What should you consider when choosing a golf course management software? Here’s a quick review:
- Tee Sheet and POS
- Online Booking
- Tee Time Barter
- Integrated w/POS
- Use It On Any Device
- High-Quality and Fast Support
- Detailed Training and Installation
- Dedicated Account Manager
Useful (But Not Necessary) Features
- Mobile App
- Open API
- Pace of Play Tech
- PCI Compliant
- Status Page, Outages, and Post-Mortem
Following these suggestions will not only help you to avoid getting stuck with software you hate, but it will let you be a more powerful consumer and customer of whatever product you choose.
Whichever golf course management software you decide to use, we hope it gives you everything you need to run your business efficiently, effectively, and enjoyably.