Determining Features

Part of developing software is determining the right feature mix for the broadest customer base. The features are there to make it easier for the users, the internal support team or sales to generate new business. Finding the right feature that drives adoption and delights the end customer is a hard task indeed. This is more difficult when you have a smaller customer base as you now need to make sure that you can accurately cost the feature as well. Any small company needs to determine if the cost of developing and supporting the feature will be paid for within their sales and support base. As you can imagine there are a ton of features that never bear any return on investment.

BITtelligent tries its best to determine the right mix for Dynalink, Erplink and our next generation Sync platform. Unfortunately time from time a Feature does not get into the product because the cost of the feature is to high for our team to implement and current M&S/Sales will not pay for the development effort. It’s the reality of business that software development works this way and as a product vendor its difficult continue to build if there ultimately no financial reason to do this.

These decisions ultimately effect customers that may have certain business cases, or extensibility needs that could benefit with the addition of these one-off features. I have been thinking for a while how to address these needs while ensuring that we (BITtelligent) can justify the development costs. To that end I believe we are going to introduce the ‘Integration’ customization program where we can offer custom builds of our integration products allowing businesses to build off of the base functionality and where it makes most sense extending into their custom business domain. I have yet to work out the details however I believe a 2 tier method depending on if the customizations are owned by the customer or BITtelligent where the second choice would be a discount to the project rate.

Ultimately we would like to be as flexible as possible while being fair to all parties.

What do you think?

Saleslogix Conference Wrap up

As I prepare to leave the hotel to head home I am writing this. This week I attended the first Swiftpage run Saleslogix conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. I love the state, and the location always is a easy choice to host our group of Saleslogix partners, developers and Swiftpage employees.

For many of us in the community this was the first time to interact with the upper management, and hear the story behind the acquisition. The conference crossed a 2 1/2 day period and covered a myriad of topics. I was able to provide a talk on ‘.net extensions and SData’ . Although the time of my session was compressed as the earlier session ran on, I believe it was received positively. I hope to blog on the subject in the future.

I was happy to see a lot of old faces from the Saleslogix community past, and the story’s were abound by the fire pit over drinks. A lot of laughs were had, new friends made and the goal of networking succeeded.

The fact that Swiftpage had the conference with the  amount of work that each and every swifty has was incredible and should be commended. The primary importance this year was not content, or entertainment or any other indicator. The only importance here was for us, the most loyal of partners and those who invest their livelihood on the success of the platforms was  to meet the team who is running the company and understand how this story that began in May will play out. I feel in that respect I am more enlightened and can start to steer my company in the right direction.

I am hoping that there is a conference next year, and we can all sit by the fire and talk about how successful we and Swiftpage have become as partners in this journey together.

I raise a beer to the Swiftpage nation