One Size Does Not Fit All

Posted by Romeo Elias on Wed, Nov 09, 2005 @ 05:22 PM

There is a noticeable shift in the software industry over the past few years in the way businesses look at software. According to a study by McKinsey & Company and Sand Hill Group in 2005, customers have developed strong attitudes and preferences in how they want their software applications to function. In fact, companies have increased their spending on internal development projects relative to packaged purchases over the past 5 years. They want more control over their applications.

At Interneer, we have seen this shift materialize in our daily interactions with new customers. They are usually asking questions or for requirements that diverge from what one would expect of typical project management inquiries. We are usually presented with unique needs in the application process flow, user interface, forms, business rules, workflow or access control of the application. Often times, these customers have developed a proprietary business process, best practice or methodology for project management that is providing them a competitive edge and they are seeking to maintain it.

Business users want to control their applications' capabilities, evolution and lifecycle. This cannot be achieved with custom internal software development by IT or by outsourcing, since the business user will lose control. In addition, there is an enormous loss of knowledge when it is communicated by a business user domain expert to a developer technical expert. The industry journals are full of reports of horror stories of failed custom development projects, delivering a solution much later than promised, and not fitting the business users' needs since the requirements were misunderstood. Desktop tools are being used heavily today by business users because they have full control over them and they don't require IT's intervention. Unfortunately, they end up causing a lot more problems than solving them (more on this in a later post).

Interneer Intellect was developed to address precisely these problems and to fill the business user's need for control. It is an Instant Application Framework designed to empower the business user to generate applications instantly, to solve their needs without programming. Just like Dell pioneered PC sales by providing mass customization by the end user, Interneer has brought this capability to the software space. Some developers refer to this concept as the "Holy Grail" of software development: placing the power of the developer in the fingertips of the business user.

When customers discover the level of flexibility that our system provides for the basic business user, and with no programming, they are amazed. When they see the demonstration of the product, and understand how easy and quick it is for them to customize and tailor the entire application to fit their unique business processes, they realize they can "have their cake and eat it too". They don't have to adapt to the application. Intellect adapts entirely to their process. We hear comments like "I have been waiting years for something like this" or "This is exactly what I have been looking for."

Customer self-service, online shopping and self-checkout at retail stores are just a few examples of the many innovations developed to empower the customer. As customers, we hate being dependent on others like busy IT departments or outsourced developers. Intellect enables each business user with a unique software need to be independent, empowered and productive. This wave is growing and Interneer is riding it.