Ayoka Application Development Services Blog


Ayoka Offers Custom Enterprise Software

Many companies are utilizing legacy systems and out-of-the-box solutions that quickly become out-dated and fragile, and are inflexible compared to ever-changing business models as a result. Preserving legacy systems and working with out-of-the-box solutions are tedious and can prove ineffective for your company’s changing needs. To continue growth and accessibility in this changing world, it’s important to build systems that are scalable and offer the best way for your users to access information. The top reasons cited for leaning toward custom software solutions included the efficiency of that type of software, the purpose-built design, and the ability of the company to make updates and enhancements with continuous delivery.

customAs a business, you’re ready to see your development goals actualized. You want to get your brand off the ground, and you have high expectations. Some development companies gladly bite off more than they can chew in hopes of gaining experience, portfolio exposure and expansion, and the check at the end of the long project ahead. Your own custom software applications can be branded and maintained as long as your company needs it, while licensed business software is susceptible to updates and discontinuation at the licensing entity’s discretion. To maximize your company’s productivity, your end users need to be adept in utilization of your software capabilities. Most out-of-the-box solutions drop productivity levels and end users report that they cannot effectively complete their work as they experience continuous errors. Custom applications can fit perfectly with your company’s existing and future business methodologies. Building a customized application can prove to be more scalable, as our developers can project your company’s growth while maintaining program usability and security. External threats are always pressing, and out-of-the-box solutions make it easy for malicious users to anticipate and exploit your off-the-shelf software’s security flaws. If your company has already implemented an out-of-the-box software solution, custom software can be seamlessly integrated to meet your company’s itemized needs.

Software incompatibility can encompass software components or entire systems that cannot work satisfactorily together on the same computer or across the network of systems. “Lack of standardization and governance can adversely affect the performance and cost efficiency of your IT architecture.” Building a custom solution to help your company combine the desired functionalities of multiple incompatible systems will ensure that your company is working at its maximum potential efficiency while taking the necessary steps toward mitigating risk and loss. Implementing a new software system will ultimately prove to minimize cost and mitigate risk, rather than risking the loss of legacy functionalities as the code itself becomes obsolete. Re-engineered software systems will help to enhance your business’ value by reimplementing critical business logic and retaining the relevant data, and since your new software systems will be based on your most important and relevant business logic, it will continue to be of great use to your company in the future while maintaining new scalability to anticipate your company’s evolution and growth. Continuous development will bring out the best practices of both software development and management to allow quick reaction to client feedback and developer updates, reduce risk through controlled deployments to staging and testing servers, exposing of inefficiencies and unnecessary costs through a streamlined use of tools, and a flexible release option to cater to your clients’ and users’ needs. It’s well known that virtually every human being in the Western world interacts with a database management system of some kind on a daily basis—often without using a personal computer at any time throughout the day. The industries that stand to gain the most from custom software integration are the finance, manufacturing, healthcare, and telecommunications. Enterprises do see the benefits of switching to a more modern, cloud-based, application platform since the time and cost required to build, deploy, and maintain custom software solutions proves to cost less than working against out-of-the-box solutions. These same IT decision-makers revealed that their companies are in the process of moving to a cloud-based application development platform with 26% saying their company had already made the move and another 15% saying the transition would happen within the next five years.

At Ayoka, we understand that your pain points need to be addressed. Our development services emphasize local, hands-on interaction with team members that visit your organization, meet in person, and talk to your end-users. This level of customer service is the foundation of Ayoka’s custom application development services. Ayoka takes time to help your company design a scalable, secure, and functional solution for your custom business needs. Building a comprehensive strategy coupled with incremental testing is imperative. It’s important to be a part of the process through interactivity and communication. We will take the time to listen to you, meeting with you and your employees in-person to elicit requirements and perform analysis. We prefer to work closely and collaboratively with our customers – and we provide experience with open-source or other innovative applications that are powerful enough to generate business intelligence for small business. At Ayoka, client satisfaction is our number one priority.

Enterprise Finds Custom Software Solutions Optimal

The custom software development industry is going through a growth spurt. Enterprises that realize out-of-the-box solutions do not meet their needs through acquisition and implementation save themselves more time and money in the long run. TheStreet wrote an article that details the “major shift taking place in enterprise-level software development as companies are looking toward using custom software instead of the prepackaged variety, according to a recent survey.”

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 10.35.36 AMIt’s projected that $335 billion will be spent in 2015 on Information Technology spending alone; with $107 billion of that being spent on application development and support, according to Gartner’s ITWorldwide IT Spending ForecastThe top reasons cited for leaning toward custom software solutions included the efficiency of that type of software, the purpose-built design, and the ability of the company to make updates and enhancements with continuous delivery. CEO and president of AppianMatt Calkins, notes that “72% of IT professionals acknowledge that traditional solutions are too slow, and this prevents them from infusing their companies with digital business innovation.”

IT decision-makers in the Spending Forecast in the enterprise do have some concerns toward custom-developed software solutions, stating that they have had difficulties when building, implementing and maintaining custom software solutions from legacy technology providers, with costs and security compliance as the top challenges.

The industries that stand to gain the most from custom software integration are the finance, manufacturing, healthcare, and telecommunications. Enterprises do see the benefits of switching to a more modern, cloud-based, application platform since the time and cost required to build, deploy, and maintain custom software solutions is less than working against out-of-the-box solutions.These same IT decision-makers revealed that their companies are in the process of moving to a cloud-based application development platform with 26% saying their company had already made the move and another 15% saying the transition would happen within the next five years.

Ayoka Provides Solutions to Maximize Productivity

In order to grow and thrive in this changing economy, your company needs to be able to perform Business Process Management to maintain Inventory control and manage product planning, perform Customer Relationship Management to retain customers and increase satisfaction, and implement business intelligence findings to provide comprehensive insights into factors that affect a company’s business.

It’s 2015 now, and 2014’s fad of out-of-the-box application solutions like Salesforce have evolved since companies have realized that there are functionalities left unused and often functionalities that are desired by a company for utilization simply don’t exist, impeding on a company’s business model and goals. An interview between The Wall Street Journal and Facebook Chief Information Officer, Timothy Campos, details the fact that companies ”can’t go buy the off-the-shelf solution that everyone else has and expect we’re going to have a better outcome. That doesn’t work for different objectives—and there are many—like building out our workforce.”

Working against poor performance in your software systems creates a bottleneck for productivity in your entire business-hindering growth. Reevaluating and implementing performance objectives like process automation and custom software will help your business to meet your performance requisites and goals, providing a structured approach. Your own custom software applications can be maintained as long as your company needs it, while licensed business software is susceptible to updates and discontinuation at the licensing entity’s discretion. To maximize your company’s productivity, your end users need to be adept in utilization of your software’s capabilities and your software needs to anticipate the needs of your business. If your company has already implemented an out-of-the-box software solution, Ayoka’s custom software solutions can be seamlessly integrated to meet your company’s unique needs. Our aid in the creation of a customized solution that is tailored by our in-house developers, based on your company’s needs, and understanding what your end users expect will improve your application’s quality while cutting costs by utilizing open source frameworks like Java, .NET, SSIS, and others! We can meet with your staff and your end users to define software development processes to ensure that your custom solution is just what you need. Building customized applications can prove to be more scalable, as our developers can project your company’s growth while maintaining program usability and security. External threats are always pressing, and out-of-the-box solutions make it easy for malicious users to anticipate and exploit your off-the-shelf software’s security flaws.

Ayoka’s software maintenance services allow clients to enhance their existing applications while maintaining control over their intellectual property. Once performance has been optimized, your company will be ready to start implementation of enhancements like creating and monitoring reports, moving your applications to new platforms, or start to build a mobile application!

Facebook’s Secret of Success

ciocampos-tim-304Timothy Campos, Chief Information Officer at Facebook, helps each of the company’s 5,000-plus employees generate $1.36 million in annual revenue. In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Campos offered a detailed look at how technology, corporate culture and performance come together at the company.

Efficiency and maximizing productivity, Campos explains, “is something that my staff and I live, breathe and think about, how IT can enable the efficiency and effectiveness of the company.” He believes that automation testing coupled with software tools that are tailored to the company’s unique needs has been paramount in the success of Facebook over similar, popular, companies like Google and LinkedIn.

While out-of-the-box software solutions prove to be inexpensive to purchase, it usually takes a company’s acquisition of software and implementation of the software for a company to finally realize that there is a lot of functionality that is left out that is desired, which could cost your company more money in the long run-but companies “can’t go buy the off-the-shelf solution that everyone else has and expect we’re going to have a better outcome. That doesn’t work for different objectives—and there are many—like building out our workforce.”  Purpose-built, custom software that is centric on current and anticipated business objectives instead of out-of-the-box solutions can help to make your processes “better, more efficient, faster.” From the hiring process, to hardware/server maintenance, to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and internal time management, Facebook covers its most important bases and is able to provide intuitive guidance.

get-free-facebook-likesAs CIO, Campos understands the importance of not confining productivity to “some target or cut costs to the lowest possible level.” When working with the ability to see his employees’ work ethics, he can see that they are “knowledge workers, and it is more valuable for us to make our software engineers 5% more productive than they were last year than it is for us to save a couple hundred bucks by not giving them a new laptop and making them use the same laptop for five years.”

Facebook is able to identify their most-used and most-needed processes for automation, which maximizes productivity-without confining it strictly to cost in lieu of the apparent return on investment.

Ayoka’s Approach to ICD-10 Integration

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is requesting that healthcare organizations adopt ICD-10 code set standards and operating rules as early as, requiring documentation proving that healthcare organizations are compliant and that they have completed end-to-end testing with their partners.

At Ayoka, you can count on your ICD-10 implementations being both compliant and fully functional without having to worry about reimbursement issues or Internal integration involves identifying and merging the individual processes of ICD-10 to seamlessly integrate it into your existing processes. Comprehensive implementation timelines that address your needs will help along with open communication between us so that we can seamlessly integrate the new ICD-10 code set standards. We will help to optimize the flow of processes by helping you identify, add, or remove any steps for review and approval before validating the test region to make sure all of the required processes have been integrated correctly. Making changes and testing those changes in the internal systems before testing new implementations with external partners, ensuring continuous delivery, will prove paramount in the migration from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Testing on the external servers should consist of both small and large clients with a wide array of different submission and data input-both manual and automated testing is beneficial. It is important to establish the confidence that both historical transaction data and new incoming data will be passed successfully. High-volume procedures, diagnoses, DRGs, and payers should be the first priority.interruptions to workflow with payer-to-payer testing validations. Integration with large payers, like Medicare and Medicaid, ensures that data received is properly transmitted to the payer receiving them. It will provide increased visibility and validation to the entire testing process. With healthcare as an evolving industry, web based applications provide the greatest flexibility toward future changes in HIPAA, as well as mergers or acquisitions among your healthcare customers.

Coordination of the internal transition plan with product implementation along with addressing potentially necessary system upgrades/replacements that will be necessary to accommodate ICD-10 will prove necessary for seamless integration with existing ICD-9 standards. Addressing the costs involved and determining when upgrades or new systems will be available for testing and implementation for the new code set standards, along with offering customer support and training can all be addressed in-house at Ayoka! Ayoka’s highly collaborative approach to custom application development services emphasize local, hands-on interaction with team members that visit your organization, meet in person, and talk to your end-users. This level of customer service is the foundation of Ayoka’s custom application development services.

We will accommodate both ICD-9 and ICD-10 as your customers and clients work with services offered both before and after the transition to the new ICD-10 code sets. The CMS website has official resources for ICD-10 and will continue to add new tools and information to the site throughout the course of the transition.

ICD-10 Integration. Are You Ready?

The International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) is a revision of the ICD-9-CM system currently in place. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is requesting that healthcare organizations adopt ICD-10 code set standards and operating rules soon, requiring documentation proving that healthcare organizations are compliant and that they have completed end-to-end testing with their partners.

Internal integration involves identifying and merging the individual processes of ICD-10 to seamlessly integrate it into existing processes. Optimize the flow of processes by identifying and adding/removing any steps for review and approval before validating the test region to make sure all of the required processes have been integrated correctly. After internal integration, internal end-to-end testing is performed to ensure that all of the processes and systems are moved to the test server. Making changes and testing those changes in the internal systems before testing new implementations with external partners, ensuring continuous delivery, will prove paramount in the migration from ICD-9 to ICD-10. The goal of internal integration is to validate that the entire system is functioning efficiently with no major issues and validating all internal/external reports by encouraging the end users to test, then validate, the ICD-10 data outputs. If ICD-10 implementation has properly integrated on the test server, then we’re ready to push code to the external servers for partner testing.

Testing on the external server should consist of both small and large clients with a wide array of different submission and data input-both manual and automated testing is beneficial here. It is important to establish the confidence that both historical transaction data and new incoming data will be passed successfully. High-volume procedures, diagnoses, DRGs, and payers should be first priority. If the payer organization implements a certification process for partners passing this phase of testing, then it will be easy to recognize the client’s ability to accept ICD-10 standards with the new implementation. Trading partner testing on external servers ensure that trading partner transactions are validated against the implementation guides. If you integrate a single clearinghouse to submit all of your claims then external testing will be greatly simplified while facilities that directly submit claims, including government claims, should test with every partner. Most of the time and effort for testing ICD-10 integration should be spent executing this phase since it’s one of the most important phases that will prove ICD-10 readiness.

The stages of ICD-10 implementation readiness will make or break the ability for you to engage with qualified partners and vendors who successfully implement it. One of the best practices successfully implemented by partners, is to involve multiple vendors responsible for each phase of testing. Payer-to-payer testing can validate future integration with large payers like Medicare and Medicaid and ensures that data received is properly transmitted to the payer receiving them. It will provide increased visibility and validation to the entire testing process. With healthcare as an evolving industry, web based applications provide the greatest flexibility toward future changes in HIPAA, as well as mergers or acquisitions among your healthcare customers.

Ayoka Brings Evidence to Enterprise

Evidence-based management takes cues from ‘evidence’ that properly illustrate the impact that the software is having on the market it’s being released in, keeping its users and its competitors in scope, and reflecting the value the software brings to the company. With evidence at hand, revision and optimization of a company’s practices will positively influence any company’s value. From initial creation through dissemination and archiving, Ayoka provides integrated, enterprise-wide evidence-based management services that identify and diagnose organizational compatibility with proposed implementations and updates by analyzing current processes and the value of implementation with consideration of opportunity costs.

After requirements have been gathered for the business intelligence application, we draft a Detailed Design Document that shows the client how the application will look and behave. At this point, we obtain feedback to determine whether we have satisfied the business goals – and if we haven’t, we go back to the drawing board until we have. At Ayoka, client satisfaction is our number one priority. Once our client has accepted the detailed design document, we begin construction of the business intelligence application. If desired, we can schedule interim releases and demonstrations so that the client may view our progress and actually begin using the application.

Consultation and analysis of legacy assets and architectureWe offer a broad spectrum of services that we tailor to your exact needs including:

By enhancing the decision making process with better information accumulated through evidence-based management, small businesses are more likely to improve customer service, increase their profits and thus have room to expand. Ayoka’s evidence-based management services have helped our clients across many diverse industries, from manufacturing to health care, to develop a range of evidence-based business analytics solutions tailored to their business. In many cases, supplying data for evidence-based management does not require any hardware or expensive upgrades-data can be collected through applications that operate in-line with business operations, such as hardware integration or PLC integration. The New York Times points out that “the growing pile of studies on the human and financial costs of employee disengagement, management distrust, poor group dynamics, faulty incentive schemes and other preventable damage suggests a need for an evidence-based management movement.”

Today’s enterprises need to sort through numerous choices, make decisions quickly and accurately, and act decisively. Ayoka is ready to help by offering our unique application development approach that involves hands-on, in-person collaboration, combined with application development and experience developing evidence-based solutions to help transition our clients’ businesses into more effective enterprises. Ayoka’s evidence-based management solutions can ensure that your company is making the right moves, at the right times, for the right reasons.

Evidence-based Management for an Optimized Work Environment

Evidence-based management (EBMgt or EBM) is an emerging movement to explicitly use the current, best evidence in management and decision-making. Its roots are in empiricism and have become widely practiced in the medical field and in policy-making. These are quality movements aimed at applying the scientific method to evaluating practices with the goal of optimization instead of relying on what Gunther Verheyen, a pioneer in Evidence-based management, describes as “guesses, assumptions, hierarchy, gut feel, seniority, and other opaque and subjective factors.”

Evidence-based management takes cues from ‘evidence’ that properly illustrate the impact that the software is having on the market it’s being released in, keeping its users and its competitors in scope, and reflecting the value the software brings to the company. Evidence of the value of software is collected on the outcome of development. The growth and survival of companies that sell software as a service depend on the quality of the software that they deliver with their services. With evidence at hand, revision and optimization of a company’s practices will positively influence any company’s value. Verheyen states that “managerial decisions over the creation of the software, the selected process and practices, can then be made against the assumption of improving the value. Assumptions obviously need to be frequently validated, hence the need for regular updates of evidence, the detection of patterns, and the correlation with the adoption of process and practices as reflected in secondary evidence.”

There are many methodologies and approaches to implement evidence-based management, and they all share these characteristics:

  • identify and diagnose organizational compatibility with the proposed update by analyzing current processes and the value of implementation
  • discuss and test a theory that will prove that the proposed update will be effective, then identify the impacts of the update if it is implemented
  • the conscious creation and inclusion of a counter-fact: what would have occurred if the update had not been implemented?
  • measure organizational value by outlining and quantifying current value of process and software, opportunity cost of implementation and its effects
  • if the proposition seems optimal and beneficial, beginning iterations of implementation of the proposed update
  • examination of both direct and indirect effects that occur because of the update
  • identification of the uncertainties and controls for other influences outside of the update that may have an effect on the outcome of implementation
  • testing and implementation in other projects, where necessary

Evidence-based implementations should flow in a cost-benefit framework created to estimate a payoff if the update was to be implemented. Since there is a difficulty in quantifying some effects and outcomes of the update, it is mostly focused on whether or not benefits will outweigh costs of implementation, like time allocation. Verheyen states that, “Software development delivers products that are often critical, to society, and for the survival of its producing organizations.” It’s important to employ evidence-based management in software development in order to mitigate risk of loss of important capital, data, and even lives. Verheyen does not oust the importance of using intuition and experience in software development, but rather calls for use of evidence-based management to compliment it. He points out that, “unfortunately most organizations are overly focused on how the software is being produced, not on the outcome. In terms of value of software, such evidence is of secondary importance. It serves internal organizational purposes only, with little meaning over the outcome.”

With the right mindset, evidence-based management can ensure that your company is making the right moves, at the right times, for the right reasons.

Continuous Delivery Keeps on Giving!

Software application’s growing complexity coupled with the need for constant updates make it difficult for companies that were once ahead to keep up without moving beyond the Agile methodology and embracing continuous delivery (CD) to meet the ever-changing needs of clients. CD represents a process or project pipeline that consistently pushes enhancements and bug fixes for the client to review and give feedback.

Continuous delivery is in action in notable companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook. It’s quickly being adopted by companies that offer Software as a Service (SaaS) along with non-SaaS companies like boxed/on-premise software, hardware/embedded components, industrial goods and services, and consumer goods and services.

Ayoka practices the useful technique of developing code in each developer’s local environment through code branching to leave the environment unchanged until a bug or new implementation has been completed before making a push. We take care not to run multiple code branches at once and make frequent code pulls to optimize our individual efforts. On the client side, we focus on meeting our clients’ needs through pragmatic improvements to the way software is developed and taken into production. We examine open source alternatives to lower your cost of ownership while offering scalability to accommodate growth and facilitate emerging technologies. Our end-to-end build and deployment models give insight with overarching visibility, traceability, orchestration and access control for the entire continuous delivery stream. Ayoka designs custom enterprise software solutions and deploys business process management solutions that utilize proprietary and open source software capable of replacing or integrating with legacy software systems.

Creation of a customized solution that is tailored and maintained by our in-house developers that is based on your company’s needs while understanding what your end users expect will improve your application’s quality while offering us the opportunity to adapt your software to your ever-changing needs! We can meet with your staff and your end users to define software development processes to ensure that your unique company can grow through continuous delivery of scalable, robust, and reliable software.

Continuous Delivery in the Enterprise

The growing need for dynamic and scalable software calls for the use of techniques like automated testing and continuous integration to develop easily packaged and testable software to be deployed to testing or staging servers, resulting in the ability to quickly and reliably push enhancements and bug fixes to clients on demand at low risk and with less effort and stress-while retaining the quality. Continuous delivery aims to improve on that software delivery process, and increasing numbers of software development companies are adopting it to meet the ever-changing needs of clients.

Continuous delivery is in action in notable companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook. It’s quickly being adopted by companies that offer Software as a Service (SaaS) along with non-SaaS companies like boxed/on-premise software, hardware/embedded components, industrial goods and services, and consumer goods and services.

Continuous delivery can be utilized with ASP.NET, and NoSQL can eliminate the step of data migrations and schema changes, which are often manual steps in a continuous delivery environment. Other useful techniques for developing code in isolation, such as code branching, play a big part of the continuous delivery environment, but must be adapted to fit the principles of continuous delivery. Practices like running multiple code branches at once can be unnecessarily problematic and impractical since the code needs to be properly managed and releasable code must be built early in the process from a single code branch if it is to successfully pass through all phases of the pipeline.

In the end, continuous development calls for the best practices of software development and management to allow quick reaction to client feedback and developer updates, reduce risk through controlled deployments to staging and testing servers, exposing of inefficiencies and unnecessary costs through a streamlined use of tools, and a flexible release option to cater to your clients’ and users’ needs.