Our technology offers extreme flexibility that allows our clients to specify solutions fully customized to their business needs at reasonable cost.
Typical engagement process
1 Initial meeting
2 Goals for demo
3 Demo & review
4 Detailed needs
The initial meeting is a chance to answer your questions about our background, our technology and our approach. We like to learn about your business, the challenges you face, and what kind of solutions you are looking for.
We are often asked for a technology demonstration at this point. We can provide a generic one, but we believe a demonstration specific to your firm is more interesting. Therefore we seek an agreement to share enough information in order for us to produce a limited scope demo / proof-of-concept.
Goals for demonstration
We meet with relevant stakeholders in your firm to deepen our knowledge of the specifics of your business and your goals, sufficient to enable us to construct a custom demonstration system. We typically allocate a day to this, and we ask you to give us sufficient time with each person.
Limits of scope
Low implementation costs usually justify us offering you a customized demonstration if you would like to see one. We are only able to offer you a limited amount of free consulting time to prepare a business-specific demonstration, so we have to use our judgement to satisfy as many of these goals as possible. Nevertheless, if there is any particular area you would like to see addressed, please let us know. If the scope is beyond the time limit we're normally able to offer, we will return to you with a costed proposal for building a more complete proof-of-concept, or try to find a way to cut the scope.
Demonstration / proof-of-concept
Once we have completed a prototype for demonstration purposes, we will meet or videoconference with you to review it. It's helpful to ensure the relevant stakeholders and decision-makers are able to attend.
The goals of the demonstration are:
- show what our technology can do;
- give you confidence that we can provide comprehensive solutions to your business needs;
- indicate the breadth of your business that could be covered by a custom technology solution;
- show the benefits of bringing disparate business functions and associated data onto a universal platform.
The demonstration usually generates further discussion and questions, and clients often find this broadens their ideas. The greatest benefits are achieved by bringing disparate data from across the firm onto a universal system. This enables cleaner, faster, simpler workflows between different roles in the firm, a clear global picture of what's happening and places the business on a firm footing to cope with future change.
If you need time to consider your goals, we will arrange another discussion to establish your requirements in sufficient detail to allow us to prepare a proposal. If not, we can move directly on to discuss your needs in detail.
Establish detailed needs
We then work to establish your needs in sufficient detail to prepare a proposal. This may require one or more additional discussions / calls / emails. We aim for sufficient information to establish the scope of work, rather than exhaustive detail. Access to relevant expertise across your business is important at this stage.
Where there are areas of uncertainty or complexity, we try to structure our proposal into stages so it's possible to defer discussion of future, complex or uncertain goals until preceding stages have been delivered.
Next we prepare a proposal which lays out our understanding of your business and your needs, our solution to your needs, expected timescales, costs, any risks we foresee, and anything we are likely to need from you.
We prefer to tackle medium-sized and larger projects in stages, and we also use this approach where there is interest but not commitment to particular goals on your side. Something to be aware of is that integrating with other systems is often a significant driver of project cost, duration and risk. We structure projects around integration carefully. "Medium-sized" means to us several weeks to a couple of months. Our experience is that a series of shorter, focused projects delivers superior results with much lower risks than years-long projects with a single "big bang" deliverable.
Which stages you commit to and when is open to discussion. Once you're comfortable to proceed, we move to implementation.
We then implement the proposal as agreed after any revisions. We follow the implementation process and details laid out in the proposal. Typically we share and review with the relevant business expert particular components of the work as we go. If we feel changes or new information significantly expands the scope of the work outside our original proposal we discuss this with you, as it may be necessary to revise the proposal.
Customization finishes with a demonstration and review. When all is satisfactory, we move to a live operational state and ensure your staff have everything they need to use the system. It's not uncommon to find areas you would like to tweak once the reality of using the system becomes clearer. If substantive changes are needed, we can prepare another proposal, but for small changes it is usually simpler for us to make the changes immediately.
Our proposals include details of the post-go-live support we will provide. The details depend on what you want, but we are able to provide full management and support services. These include providing server and network infrastructure, obtaining all required licenses and cryptographic certificates, installing and maintaining operating systems, installing our software, systems monitoring, making and retaining regular backups, coping with hardware failures, providing disaster recovery and responding to requests to scale up or down your hardware resources. We also provide user support as detailed in the proposal, and a well-defined route to request and implement changes and improvements to the system.