K-Tech Software's engineers and solution architects have many of years of experience and project successes under our belts. There's a reason that other software professionals call us for advice, ideas, and suggestions and that our corporate clients rely on us for our technology wisdom and guidance. We've delivered key solutions and technologies that our customers rely on and provide a boost to they're bottom line.
In our travels, we've also witnessed plenty of failed projects, bad decisions, and under-qualified "software professionals" create some real messes. Software can be an expensive endeavor if things are not done right. So regardless of whether you choose KTech Software or not, we feel a responsibility to help educate our visitors on some things to think about and be aware of when choosing a software development partner.
Here are 7 Questions you Should Consider Before Selecting a Software Solutions Provider:
Does your software developer truly want to help you solve your problems and challenges or do they just want to sell you software?
- Is your provider willing to take the time needed to work with you and your team?
- Can you communicate with your developer and do they "actually" listen to you?
- Can your developer think "outside-the-box"?
- Do you get the source code for the solution? Do you "own" the solution?
- Does your provider consider business growth when developing your software solution?
- Do you trust your provider?
2. Is your provider willing to take the time needed to work with you and your team?
At KTech Software the answer is "Yes!"....
1. Does your software developer truly want to help you solve your problems and challenges or do they just want to sell you software?
Even small doses of software and technology applied correctly can work wonders for businesses. At the same time, its not always the case. As a result when we work with a client:
- We take a holistic approach to analyzing your challenges. Software is not always the answer.
- We don't reinvent the wheel. We prefer to find existing solutions and customize them to fit your business needs.
- If appropriate, we'll refer you to other professionals who will better serve your needs. We care more about providing a useful service to you in an honest manner, even if it means losing a sale, rather than trying to sell you a less than optimal solution.
Absolutely! We view ourselves as part of your team and strive to be a natural extension to your team. We feel its our responsibility to:
3. Can you communicate with your developer and do they "actually" listen to you?
- Understand your business, its processes, your challenges, and your goals as it relates to the solution we develop for you.
- Present you with multiple options where possible and recommend a course of action.
- Provide solutions offering your business room to grow to maximize the usefulness of your solution.
- Help you perform return-on-investment (ROI) analysis for the solution.
Have you ever worked with a technical person and felt like they were talking straight over your head? Well "We Don't Speak Geek" (unless you ask for it). Sometimes it happens the other way around. You try to explain something in business terms, and your developer just doesn't understand you. Communication is crucial in software development and without good communication, your project is doomed to fail.
When we say "We Don't Speak Geek", its because our past customers have told us:
- We take technical topics and communicate them to you in a way that's easy to understand.
- We understand that some customers don't care about all the details, they just want it "to work".
- Because of our diverse industry experience we are able to quickly learn about you, your business and your industry as we have for many in the past.
4. Can your developer think "outside-the-box"?
Ask anybody this question and they'll probably say yes. Ask them how they think "outside the box", you'll get some interesting responses if you get a response at all. At KTech Software the way we do it is:
- Draw from ideas and technologies used in other industries. The great thing about writing software is that the skills and process is similar enough you can jump from industry to industry. One month we may be work with a manufacturing customer, the next a broadcasting company, and then someone in the telecommunications industry. Sometimes the best ideas are those borrowed from other industries/disciplines and apply it to yours
- We ask ourselves if there are low-tech solutions that work as well or better than a high-tech solution
- We question if process change will work just as well if not better than software. A good, solid business process will usually work regardless of technology. Technology usually just makes it run better.
5. Do you get the source code for the solution? Do you "own" the solution?
This is one of those things you usually don't consider until you get burned by it. Source code is power and freedom. But what does that really mean? Consider this, you can always find a new solution provider to work with if any of the following happen to your original provider:
We can tell you a true story for each of those bullet points above. We've seen customers burned by it and it's just wrong. As a result we do the following for you when we provide a solution:
- they go out of business due to bankruptcy, death, etc.
- they decide to stop developing/maintaining the software going forward
- they get bought out by a bigger company who decides to drop the product
- they refuse to update the software to run on newer operating systems and computers
- they try to raise their rates on you when you need a critical change
1 Software licensing can be a tricky issue at times depending on what you want to do with your software. Our goal is to give you maximum ownership of the solution we deliver to you. Our portion is yours to do what you want with it. However, if due to a legal/licensing issue a library or module we use limits this goal in any way, we communicate it to you in advance.
- give you the full source code and ownership1 for any custom software we write for you
- give you the details and documentation that you would need to maintain your software
- stick to open source systems, software, and libraries when picking 3rd party components
6. Does your provider consider business growth when developing your software solution?
This is another question where its easy for somebody to just go and say "Yes!". You need to find out how they actually do it. Before we move forward we do the following to make sure it's a success:
- We ask a lot of "What if..." questions up front and use that information in the overall system design. This is a specialty of ours. A good design keeps your system running for years to come.
- We have experienced system engineers who review all proposals, designs, and the development of your system. With that experience we avoid "typical" bottleneck problems that before they occur and avoid novice mistakes.
- Test the solution before delivery in an environment similar to how you will use it. We simulate the number of users and transactions prior to delivery to help ensure that it meets and exceeds your needs for the foreseeable future.
7. Can you trust your provider?
Our philosophy that actions always speak louder than words. We could tell you "Yes!" but we'd rather be judged by what we do. Some food for thought:
- Consider the list of questions above. We provide that to help empower you to make an educated decision, not just to tell you about KTech Software. We've seen people get hurt by software developers who have fallen down on one or more of the above. Sometimes its a minor annoyance but other times it gets downright ugly. You should ask everyone you interview these questions. If they say "No", you now know KTech will say "Yes".
- In software, the expression "Right Tool for the Job" is thrown about often. We believe in this statement but we take it to the next level. We look at it with respect to ourselves as well. If we lack the skills we believe a client needs or think they'd be better served by another professional, we're not ashamed of telling them.
- In the end, you really need to talk to your software provider, ask lots of questions, feel comfortable with them, and trust your gut. Give us a call or contact us today so we can learn about you, your business, and your needs and let you learn more about us.