Service CEO - Office Edition - Exit or add on strategy - Technical long read

Tonight i have read as many posts as i can and can’t find the answers i am looking for so i will give this a shot. I know many of us here are using the SCEO office addition and dealing with many of the same problems it seems like. SCEO clan have us all by the short ones and as business owners we do not like not having options available to us. I will give you a summary of my setup so you know where i am coming from.

I host two raid 5 boxes running Windows Server 2003 from my home and a backup or test box(server) at another remote location. Every day an automatic backup runs and then a copy of the backup file is saved via backup software to another remote location. So we have copies of the database uploaded and saved everyday in three locations automatically.

In our area we have Verizon Fios which offers Fiber to the house so i am getting over 50mb/50mb down. To host these from our office and provide a pipe to the internet in a business environmental would be ridiculously expensive for this speed if it was even available. I have looked in to Colo facilities which are also very expensive. My excessive redundancy i feel makes up for this. I have remote access to all the severs through Logmein. In the event of a failure of the current sever i would restore the saved local copy to the adjacent sever and point each users vpn to the ip address of the new sever. If the internet connect at the house goes down then i would restore the remote back up from the night before to the remote backup server and point all the users to the new VPN ip address.

My company has several branch office locations that connect to this single server and they all connect to it with a VPN that is offered by called Hamachi. I personally use a Lenovo workstation in the field with a broadband card and mobile printer. I can do everything in my truck as i can in the office.

So i just paid my annual TAX to SCEO and feel like i am not getting any satisfaction out of the money spent. They are simply playing off the fear of the failure of your database to get me to renew now. Awesome. Don’t mobsters do this???

Here is my email to Andrew -

Once again I cross this bridge and a decision making opportunity in my business. I have looked at the discussion forms and the lack of recent posts. From what I can see SCEO staff has yet to answer the elusive question of when the next release is scheduled and what it might include. When I first purchased the software I was promised there would always be an annual update with new features added. We have passed on the 7.0 update because it was heavy on the inventory side for the update which does not help us since we do not keep inventory. So I am still stuck with the 6.2 version patiently waiting for a new release with new functionality that will help my business advance with my competition.

The ONLY reason I continued in the past with my renewal was based off of fear of losing my database access. With the addition of redundant backups locally and remotely and a tested backup server up and running I am not seeing the need for support as much as I have in the past. I missed seeing you guys at the IWCA convention where I was reluctant in recommending your software more than in the past because of these reasons. Robust cloud based solutions are currently available significantly cheaper and implementing new technologies much fast than SCEO.

Please convince me that renewing my annual member ship is worth my hard earned money and time. I am convinced that the SCEO membership fees are being used to develop your new cloud based platform and not being spent where it should be on the functionally of the old SQL users that got you where you are at today.


Robb Hueston
Window Wizards
Office: 214-559-8787 | Office: 972-788-9021
Mobile 469-682-4777 | E-Fax : 866-870-3844 |

9450 Skillman St. #104 Dallas, Texas 75243

Here is his Response

Hello Robb,

Thank you for replying to my email and I appreciate the feedback.

We highly recommend that you upgrade to version 7.0. We did revamp the Inventory module but we also added other features and made improvements. It’s important to stay up-to-date with our software since it ensures that ServiceCEO is compatible with new programs and Operating Systems, such as with QuickBooks 2012, MapPoint 2012, Windows 7, and 64 bit machines. Last year, our Development Team released four “builds” of 7.0 so the current version is 7.0.282. We will be releasing one more build in the next couple of weeks before we work on our next major upgrade, which will be released later this year.

Development also worked on a few new license offerings, such as a Marketing Services integration (to help your customers find your company online), a new GPS Vehicle Tracking solution, and our new Service Bridge Mobile License (that works specifically on iPhones, iPads, and Android devices). Only our current version of ServiceCEO will integrate with these new licenses.

Your company logged seven support tickets in the last year so please keep in mind that Tech Support is only available if you renew. In addition, you will need to renew your membership in order for the Google Maps License to continue working.

Please let me know if you will be ready to renew your membership this week and I will honor the 10% early renewal discount.

Best regards,

Andrew Ryding
Customer Success Team Manager
ServiceCEO Software
(857) 207-3435
(800) 471-4200 ext. 7303
Fax: (617) 812-2698

I am not upgrading our version from 6.2 to 7.0, because 6.2 runs and works with no problems. New releases for SCEO are always riddled with problems and issues. I may consider it after their third update to 7.0 is done and that is suppose to be released shortly. Maybe by then they will have the problems figured out. I will be so happy to get the new Inventory feature because we will use that a whole lot with all the inventory that Window Cleaners keep ;-(

Is anyone using any third party cloud based apps with the office version like HighRise or Salesforce.
I am also using FormStack on my website which will integrate with HighRise or Salesforce.

Service CEO is spending our annual TAX payments on the Web Edition and leaving the office users in the dark ages. How are we going to move for and kick the crap out of our competition if we don’t have a solid advancing software foundation to do it?

Where do we go from Here???

They are trying to keep the support available to keep your database up and running. Old tech gets more expensive than new tech. Any time you avoid upgrades you risk spending even more money trying ‘buy’ back into the package.

Also, your money does not appear to be going into the web edition.

I have lots of experience with Salsforce and CRM Implementations. what kind of questions do you have?

Robb what a great post…Its almost like you work in our office. Our thoughts and feelings mirror yours exactly.

I have had enough though, we wont be renewing or upgrading.

I am avoiding upgrades so that i do not have to deal with all the headaches from running a new version that should not be released yet by SCEO. It takes them several releases to get the obvious bugs worked out. I continue to pay my Taxes at this time and have updates available to me, but i chose not to update for the reasons i have already disclosed. They are going to continue to support and promote the office version because they are talking about the next release in the email above unless this was just a carrot put out there to sucker me into paying my renewal.

I am not sure what you mean by " Buying back into the package" unless i let my support lapse this wouldn’t happen…

“Also, your money does not appear to be going into the web edition.” Do you work there?.. how could you possibly know this?
I have been using Service CEO for over 7 years and before the Cloud version was even a twinkle in there eye and all their attention was into improving SCEO office addition.
Where do you think the money came from to get the Cloud version up and running… ?

The problem with the upgrade is every time you upgrade something else is guaranteed to break. SO its a a big gamble, the upgrade may fix something but something is going to break. I refuse to upgrade we havent in 6 years maybe…

Robb, sounds like you have an impressive network setup. I wish we had your level of redundancy!

I honestly think all of this scheduling software is tremendously overpriced for what is does. Especially when you look at a program like Quickbooks and all of the functionality you get from it for a much lower price.

Just wondering if you guys have any solid leads on alternate software?

We just started using the office edition of Service CEO this past year. We spent a lot of time trying different software and researching pretty much every scheduling program on the net. Definitely not something I was thrilled about doing, but it was costing us money not having an effective program in place.

Service CEO does do what we need it to do, but I am not 100% committed to it. I would like to keep up to date with these types of software so if we ever decide to make a change in the future, I do not have to spend a large amount of time doing research.

We’re very happy with ServiceTask so far.

Im convinced i need to build a custom CRM system for my business in order for everything to run smoothly. All those programs are just general systems for an average business, they are not custom tailored to YOUR business/ operating procedures.

When i get around to doing this, my business will be paperless. everything will be done through the system. crew leaders will have Iphones, to access checklists, clock in/out. The sales process will be streamlined with automated emails being sent when a prospect is added into the system, follow up alerts for the sales rep that entered them in, as well as appointment reminders, and invoices being automatically sent.

It will be so fool proof, the receptionist(s) and sales reps wont even have to do their job because the system will be doing it for them…

ambitious undertaking Trevor!

May end up being your full time job for awhile getting that up and running!

Always better sooner than later before getting mired in a large dbase that will be too time intensive to migrate

Keep us posted, you could probably make many sales of the finished product while your at it

So customer factor isn’t worth it?
I thought you liked it Trevor.

Ok so today i got a Salesforce Rep to call me back and he was pre-screening me to see if I was going to be worth their time to send me to a real SalesRep… Mr. Wong… he supose to call me tomorrow. Say tuned this should be interesting. They don’t call me the Telephone tough guy for nothing. I see where i can get these guys down to.

The lowest cost version of Salesforce which has the Syncing of data with SCEO through the API code seems pretty expensive in my opinion if you compare it to Service CEO annual maintenance cost. Service CEO costs me $250 per year per concurrent user to renew my support membership.
Salesforce on the other hand wants to charge me $125 per /user per /month. So a cool $1,500 per user per year. I would want to start off with a minimum of 4 so I am looking at $6,000 per year… Wow… i had to look around to make sure no one was punking me…

I am looking into Highrise right now and they are very veg on what is exactly offered. Certainly no Syncing with Service Ceo at this point that i can see so they are out.

I need something that has the abilities of Salesforce on the front end … SCEO in the middle and Quickbooks at the end of transaction. Something that is able to added on to, scaleable and take my business into the next decade.

I find it very frustrating that we have to use multiple types software of software just to manage businesses like ours. Too bad the people at Intuit/Quickbooks could not make something that does it all!