In medieval times, knights wore a kind of armor called “plate mail,” which was made from plates of metal and fashioned by blacksmiths who specialized in metal armor. Each suit was custom made for the knight, an expensive and time consuming process.
Quite often, software systems need to be customized—tailored, if you will—to the client’s specific needs. There are different approaches to tailoring.
The “cookie cutter” approach. Cookie cutter systems can be tailored by purchasing additional components or features. Sometimes, that means multiple versions with varying features (Microsoft® is really good at this model). Sometimes it means providing a basic system, and then charging for each add-on feature. The cost of extra components often forces the client to accept the most basic, inexpensive system. Even with additional features, this approach is often difficult for the client because it requires users adapt to the system’s inflexible workflow.
The one of a kind system approach. In this scenario, clients can opt to use the software “as is” or pay to have it customized to their environment or needs. This can be an advantage for the client because the software does what is required. There is one big disadvantage: every system is different. Any system upgrades can be a major undertaking because trying to keep the custom programming can sometimes cause a lot of trouble. When this happens, the development team has to get involved to get the system running again.
The flexible IAT approach. We design the software to be flexible “off the shelf.” While this requires more complex software, the result is a dialer that can work in lots of different ways without any customization. IAT’s dialer doesn’t require custom code to be written for every installation. Instead features are enabled or disabled according to the client’s work method preferences. This is true whether it is running on site or in the cloud.
Making flexible plate mail sounds like a pretty crazy and impractical idea, but not for software. It works very well for IAT because our clients get a dialer tailored to the way they do business, and IAT is able to upgrade, support and maintain it without lots of headaches. System operational changes are quick and easy—no hammering or extra blacksmiths required. Let our smiths craft a flexible system for you.
This article was written by Dave S