FAQs Sales

Use our FAQs (frequently asked questions) below to quickly find the answers to many of your sales and support questions before you try to contact us.

 

The following sales related questions are often asked about our Book-It membership management and event booking software regarding product sales, pricing, ordering, networks, compatibility etc. Click on a question to access the answer or see our FAQ menu for other FAQs.

 

Can you give me some information about the software?

Why can I not download Book-It?

How much does Book-It cost?

Will you come to demonstrate Book-It?

Can I try Book-It before I buy it?

What version of Windows do I need?

Evaluation software will not install properly

Does Book-It support international dates and currencies?

Can Book-It be used on a network?

Can I connect to Book-It from a remote office?

Is support available for Book-It?

Can Book-It be customised?

Will upgrades be made available?

What kind of organisations currently use Book-It?

Can I Export Data from Book-It to other applications?

Do we supply data import software?

How much will data conversion cost?

Can I convert my own data?

Does Book-It integrate with an accounts package?

Is there a Macintosh version of Book-It?

Can Book-It be used to book on-line?

Does Book-It include a postcode feature for address finding?

 

Can you give me some information about the software?

 

We are often asked if we can send potential customers some literature about our software. Unfortunately we do not stock hard copy information sheets about the software. The simple reason for this is to minimise marketing costs which in turn helps to keep our product costs extremely competitive. We do, however, publish lots of information about our products and services on our website at www.instinctive.co.uk. Unlike many of our competitors we not only publish information detailing product outlines (www.instinctive.co.uk/bookit.asp) and feature lists (www.instinctive.co.uk/editions.asp), we also publish our complete pricing structure (www.instinctive.co.uk/pricing.asp), we have a very detailed 1.5 hour on-line demonstration (the 'Tour' found at www.instinctive.co.uk ) of the software and we even let you download a full working version of the software in order to try it before you buy it. If customers have any specific questions they require answering or simply need directing to the relevant areas of our website then they should contact us and we will be pleased to help. As a lot of our sales are distant sales and the majority of customers come to us through our website, this works very well for us and the reaction we get back from customers seems a very positive one too.

 

Why can I not download Book-It?

 

Our own site links to SimTel to provide easy download of a fully working evaluation version of our Book-It software. We use SimTel because SimTel has a large network with a huge available bandwidth and mirror sites all over the world making it possible to obtain a reasonably fast download wherever you are based. Should you experience problems on your first attempt downloading from SimTel you can visit the download page again without having to fill in the form on our web site by going to http://www.simtel.net/pub/dl/58404.shtml.

 

We have experienced few problems with the SimTel network, however, one to watch out for occasionally is that if you have tried to connect to several different mirror sites and the download does not appear to start from any of them then there may be a conflict with your firewall. Try disabling your firewall and then connecting again to isolate if this is the problem and if the download then works fine consult your firewall documentation for ways to reconfigure it to allow downloads from SimTel. If you are still experiencing difficulties then an alternate download is available from http://www.instinctive.co.uk/downloads/bkit30.exe. This download is directly from our own site rather than a SimTel site and should not be affected by any problems you may be experiencing on SimTel. [Top]

 

How much does Book-It cost?

 

Book-It is available in a number of editions to suit individuals to large companies. Each edition contains the same core feature set but the Lite, Pro and Enterprise editions contain a number of advanced features more likely to be required by the more demanding commercial organisations. Pricing depends on a number of factors including the edition which suits you, the number of network licenses required, installation, training and support services required etc.Once you know what you require see our pricing area for detailed price information. [Top]

 

Will you come to demonstrate Book-It?

 

In addition to our major goal of producing sophisticated software that is still very easy to use, one of our other main aims is to deliver that software at a very affordable price. If you look at our competitors' software I am sure you will agree that we have successfully achieved that aim. One of the ways that we achieve this is not by compromising on software quality, but instead having a policy of operating with minimum overheads and removing most of the margins in the software that competitors introduce to cover costs such as free pre sales visits, price negotiation, large scale discounting and so on. We do not, therefore, normally arrange FREE visits to demonstrate the software, produce expensive glossy sales materials etc. We hope that by making best use of the internet and allowing you to download the software that it is able to demonstrate itself at your convenience. We are happy to spend as much time on the telephone with you before you purchase the software. We do, however, appreciate that some clients will still wish to meet us to discuss the software in person, particularly if buying software at the higher end of the range. We are very happy to arrange this at our daily consultancy rate plus expenses. Please contact us for further details. [Top]

 

Can I try Book-It before I buy it?

 

Unlike many other commercial software systems, we are more than happy for you to try our software before you purchase it in order to ensure that it is suited to your requirements. We provide a full working evaluation version of the software which can be freely downloaded by clicking on the download button on our web site. This software provides all the features currently available in all editions of Book-It, however, it is restricted to only allow entry of a limited number of records. This limit should be sufficiently high for most organisations to thoroughly test the system over a number of weeks. The evaluation version can be supplied by post, however, a small administration charge may be made. [Top]

 

What version of Windows do I need?

 

Earlier versions of Book-It were written for Windows 3.1, however, from Book-It 3.0 onwards a 32 bit platform is required such as Windows 95, 98, NT, ME, 2000 or XP.[Top]

 

Evaluation Software Will Not Install Properly

 

Book-It runs on most Microsoft 32 bit Windows platforms. It installs files by default to c:\bookit3 and a number of subdirectories, however, it also installs some required runtime files to your Windows directory. A common problem with Windows NT Workstation and other operating systems where multiple users share the same PC and security has been switched on is that individual users may not have sufficient rights to add files to the Windows directory. It will therefore be necessary to log on as Administrator or as a user with full administration rights before installing the software. [Top]

 

Does Book-It support international date and currencies?

 

Since Book-It 2.5, a number of international date and currency formats have been supported. The system details screen under the Set-up menu can be used to change the date and currency formats. If your format is not listed please contact us with details and we will try to include your format. [Top]

 

Can Book-It be used on a Network?

 

Yes - The Enterprise, Pro and Lite commercial editions of Book-It are network compatible. Note - the Shareware edition is not network compatible. [Top]

 

Can I connect to Book-It from a remote office?

 

Yes you can connect to Book-It from a remote office. There are a number of ways to connect with price tags to suit all budgets. At the top of the range, many corporate organisations tend to use products such as Microsoft Windows Terminal Server and Citrix Winframe. These products cost thousands of pounds to deploy but are extremely effective at connecting large numbers of remote offices and branches to your main office LAN and its applications over relatively slow bandwidth connections. You should consult a local networking specialist for further advice on these products.

 

In the middle of the spectrum we have a number of customers connecting remotely using Remote Windows Desktop software. This software is built into more recent editions of Windows. Using the software users can connect remotely across the internet to a distant fileserver and then open a workstation session on the fileserver. You will therefore need a fileserver to apply this system, it should be sufficiently powerful enough to run the local area network as well as serve one or more remote sessions and may incur additional licensing and support costs to set up but can provide a very effective and robust solution.

 

At the lower end of the spectrum there are remote control systems such as Laplink Gold (www.laplink.com) and PCAnywhere (www.sysmantec.com/pcanywhere). Both of these products require a host PC connected directly to your LAN and remote software needs to be installed on your PCs which wish to connect remotely. Ideally the remote PCs should be connected to a broadband connection for best performance. Normally with this budget end remote software one PC in the office needs to be dedicated to each remote PC and it cannot be used while the remote PC is controlling it, however, the latest material on the PCAnywhere site suggests that a single host PC can now support multiple remote PCs. All the systems above achieve fast performance over links much slower than your office LAN by simply sending screen refreshes and keyboard presses across the link rather than data although facilities are available for remote printing and file transfer. Laplink Gold retails for around £80 and PCAnywhere retails for around £170 single user. Another option is VNC software which is free in its basic edition or low cost for the more secure edition. Our experience is that this can be temperamental to set up and may need expert IT knowledge to allow it through firewalls etc but once working can be a very effective way to control a PC remotely.

 

All the solutions above require software installing at both ends of the link. This is not always convenient and sometimes it is much easier to connect to the office from a customer's PC or an internet cafe if you are travelling for example. The people from Citrix have another product suitable for this called GoToMyPC (www.gotomypc.com). This product requires installation of host software on a PC connected to your LAN then once installed you can connect remotely from any PC connected to the internet through a web browser with a simple user name and password with no software to install. This service requires a monthly rental of around £10 per month. Another very similar product is available call LogMeIn (www.logmein.com). LogMeIn provide a subscription based service like GoToMyPC but also produce a FREE version which will be fine for many purposes.

 

A further method of remote working can be achieved using Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology. This technology enables the setting up of remote network drives as if they were on the same local area network. Once a shared drive has been created Windows will take care of filesharing regardless of whether the drive is being shared locally or across a wide area network. VPNs can be created using software (for example using Windows XP and Windows 2003 Server) or through hardware (using routers such as those available from www.draytek.co.uk ). Our experience shows, however, that VPN technology can still be a little temperamental to set up and you would be best advised to get a local networking expert to do this for you. We have also found that as all data must be transmitted across the broadband link (unlike Laplink, PC Anywhere, GotoMyPC, LogMeIn and similar technology where only keystrokes and screen refreshes are sent) a fast broadband link is recommended - ideally 8mbs at least. On unstable internet connections VPN can also be more prone to errors and will not recover as well as when links are broken using other systems. With larger databases, frequent access and broadband connections that are susceptible to breaks in service Windows Remote Desktop or similar remote control software would be advised.

 

Is support available for Book-It?

 

Email and web site support is available free of charge to all our customers. There are, however, no guarantees with this support as to how quickly we will be able to respond to your support request and priority will always be given to customers who are paying for support services. We would strongly recommend that commercial customers consider purchasing one of our support agreements to ensure that they receive a timely response to their support requests. Full details of support available can be found in our support section. [Top]

 

Can Book-It be customised?

 

We have enhanced Book-It on a number of occasions to cater for specific customer's needs. These enhancements can often be rushed through if they are paid for or they may be slipped into our long term development plan for inclusion in later releases of the software. Please contact us with details of your specific requirements and we will provide you with an idea of the likely costs and then a firm quote if required. This service is generally only available to our larger commercial organisations due to the cost of software development although we are always happy to hear from any Book-It user about features that they would like to see in later Book-It releases. [Top]

 

Will upgrades be made available?

 

Since Book-It was released in 1995, we have seen a number of major and minor releases in the form of Book-It 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 2.5 and 3.0. We are continually striving to improve the product and you should expect to see a major upgrade to the product available approximately every two years with a number of minor enhancements and maintenance releases issued in between. All users will be notified each time a major release is available. Email users will be notified by email each time any new release is available. Special discounts are available to existing Book-It users on all major upgrades. [Top]

 

What kind of organisations currently use Book-It?

 

Book-It is used by a wide range of individuals and organisations see our Who Should Use Book-It section and the links section on our web site. [Top]

 

Can I Export Data from Book-It to other applications?

 

Yes, you can export Book-It data from all editions of Book-It. [Top]

 

Do we supply data import software?

 

We do not currently supply automated software which will allow new Book-It users to import data into Book-It from other applications, all data conversion is performed by us on receipt of your data files. We can, however, provide a number of semi-automated import services which vary in price depending on how much work you do yourself and how much we have to do for you. There are a number of reasons that we convert data ourselves :-

 

There are many data file formats available. We are currently reviewing which data files should be supported. Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, DBF database format and TXT comma delimited files will be supported, but a number of other formats are still to be reviewed.

 

Data import requires a one to one field relationship between your old data and Book-It. Several fields within Book-It must always contain values, even though those fields may not have been available in your old data. Furthermore certain fields must always contain unique values. If your imported data does not meet all the import criteria then Book-It may malfunction for example - some systems might have 3 digit membership numbers, others will have 8 digit, while some will be all numbers or letters or a combination of both letters and numbers. Generally converting data most formats is relatively easy, the difficulty comes in converting data so that there is a one to one relationship between your old data and Book-It data.

 

These and many other issues mean that data conversion involves far more than most users initially consider. Data conversion is not a simple process and every data conversion performed by us to date has been different. Once we have converted your data we will guarantee that Book-It will work with it.

 

If you require data import you should contact us about our very affordable in-house data conversion service. [Top]

 

How much will data conversion cost?

 

The cost of data conversion will vary depending on the volume and complexity of your data. The cost will also vary depending on how closely your current data format matches the required Book-It format. Typically a member file conversion of 500 names and addresses from a DBF or comma delimited format with the same file structure as Book-It file could cost as little as £300 pounds sterling (approx $510 US dollars). More complex member file conversions could cost up to £750 pounds sterling ($1275 US dollars). We can also provide an Excel spreadsheet template for you. If you manipulate your data yourself into this spreadsheet as per the supplied documentation we will convert your data from this for a fixed price (currently £200 + VAT).

 

In order to obtain an estimate for data conversion please send us details of the files structures you wish to convert or electronic examples of the files or download our 'do-it-yourself' data conversion files. [Top]

 

Can I convert my own data?

 

Some users will have sufficient technical knowledge to appear to convert their own data without assistance from us or any data conversion software. Unfortunately such action will invalidate any support or software licenses. Although it is possible to convert data to the extent that it appears to function in Book-It, only the Instinctive Systems database programmers have sufficient knowledge of the internal workings of Book-It to ensure that all data files are set up correctly. In order to minimise support costs incurred by other Book-It users we are strict in enforcing our data import policy.

 

Our fixed price data conversion described above is the nearest thing to converting data yourself. Using that process you will be responsible for most of the data manipulation work and we will simply be responsible for checking your work and ensuring that data integrity is maintained as the data is imported. By keeping our involvement to a minimum we can keep the price to a minimum but at the same time guarantee your data import. [Top]

 

Does Book-It integrate with an accounts package?

 

We are often asked this question by new customers looking at the system for the first time. We do not currently integrate with any of the mainstream accounts systems. Obviously there are many systems around and if we started supporting one it is likely we would need to support others and crucial development resources would be diverted from our mainstream product development. This is not, however, the main reason for integrating, the main reason is that our 'existing' customers do not consider it a priority compared with other software developments that they would like to see. This is because we record most payments in and out of the organisation within the Book-It software and have many financial reports under the 'reports', 'payments' menu available for examining this information. Most customers prefer not to duplicate detailed financial information both in their Book-It system and accounts system but to use Book-It to record the detailed information and then once per week or once per month run a payment summary report in Book-It to summarise payments in and out for the period and then manually key a dozen or less summarised figures into their accounts system. Financial reports are available in a number of formats and can be filtered on many different fields to extract the information in the format required and accountants really like the ability to be able to export information from all the reports to Excel spreadsheets, for example, in order to perform further analysis themselves if required. [Top]

 

Is there a Macintosh version of Book-It?

 

No we do not currently supply a Mac edition of Book-It and we have no plans develop a Mac edition at present. [Top]

 

Can Book-It Be Used To Book On-Line?

 

On-line booking is currently available for event and activity booking. On-line booking for resources is currently in development and should be available in autumn 2006. [Top]

 

Does Book-It Include a Post Code Feature For Address Finding?

 

Book-It does not include a postcode address finding feature. Postcode features are easy to implement, however, they are expensive to license. You would expect to pay £50-£75 pa per workstation to a 3rd party to license the software in addition to our own costs. Most customers find this prohibitive and hence we have not developed this feature so far. If you are happy to pay these licensing costs we could easily add features to our software for a small development cost. [Top]