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Face-to-Face Interviews are Critical for Custom Software Development

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Custom software development brings a higher level of efficiency to businesses’ willing to invest in this unique service. When software is specially developed for a specific user or organization, it will serve to precisely address their needs. Since custom software development will only work for one particular company, choose a local development company to bring the best results. The development company you choose to hire should take the time to understand your business. They should strive to translate your needs into design and specifications that work to fulfill the goals of your business.

A quality custom software development company should know the ins and outs of a particular business. Custom software development companies that offer face-to-face interviews deliver a critical part in attaining the best version of custom software. Custom software development is tricky. Choose a company that is readily available throughout the entire process. Your company will benefit from a smooth implementation and meet its project objectives with accuracy.

Custom Software Development is All About Communication

The most important part of the project is communication. The process involves continuous collaboration, clarifying goals and objectives, refining ideas, and creating a solution that works for you. The first face-to-face interview conducted by your software development company is the most versatile form of primary research. During this meeting, your programmer will learn about you and what you want to get from your custom software development. They will ask detailed questions about the scope of your project, your priorities, and your budget. It is during the initial meeting that the most information is released.

The interview process with a development company will involve many questions and answers from both sides. Ask how their tools for the software project can match your needs. See how their previous experience working for other companies can benefit your project. Talk openly about your opinions and wants. If you take the time to invest in a relationship with a custom software development company, it will help both sides smooth out bumps down the road.

Since software is an intangible product, the final design is a direct reflection of what is communicated between your company and the developer. Lack of communication causes the biggest risk for error. Meeting with someone face-to-face allows the programmer to benefit from more in-depth data collection and a more comprehensive understanding of your project.

Trust and Accountability

Another benefit of hiring a company that will meet face-to-face is that it heightens the sense of trust. During the process, you will get acquainted with one another. Your programmer will also get to know other people within your company. This will give them an increased understanding of the culture of your business. Trust is an important part of this business exchange because implementing new software is a complicated process. It will increase your satisfaction as a customer if you know there is a real person on the other end of the phone when you call with questions.

Face-to-face interviews during the custom software development process also increases accountability on the side of the programmer. In the beginning of the process, you may experience longer meetings that call for a greater commitment to participate when they are conducted face-to-face. You also know that you have your programmer’s full attention. This leaves less room for distraction and lowers the risk of error in designing your software. They will need to speak with you directly when you have questions. And, you know you have hired someone who is reachable. This is particularly important during the implementation process.

Higher Quality of Service

Custom software development is tailor-made to your specifications to best serve your business. Top notch customer service will increase the efficiency of your new software. The implementation process involves several steps. During this process, it is not uncommon that something goes wrong. While you might never experience a major issue, minor glitches in the software can occur. Having a company that works with you, face-to-face, will ensure a smooth implementation and transition of your software.

An expert that can be onsite during the final process will allow for the safest testing and final implementation. This will reduce any associated risk for your company, and can save your business money in the long run. The process is a collaborative effort and involves excellent teamwork to be successful. Your final design should increase your business’ level of productivity. The cost of custom software development is offset by increased efficiency.

It is critical to the process to work with a company that is local and provides an onsite expert because of the need for ongoing support. Your software will be scalable and grow with your business. The money you invest in custom software development will create a solution for unique problems and eliminate unnecessary work. Therefore, additional support will be needed for your investment as time goes on.

Custom software development relies heavily on effectively communicating the details of your desired program. On the other end, your programmer should be probing you for extensive information relevant to getting the job done. Hire a local company that offers face-to-face interviews to gain the proper insight needed to attain your goals and create a product that delivers the best results to better your business.

What You Should Expect from Custom Software Development Services

July 27, 2017
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handshake-1513228_960_720Whether you’re ordering a dress or a piece of software, custom orders can be confusing. Since there is such fierce international competition for custom software development services, it’s especially difficult for businesses to choose wisely from all the available options. A few key services, however, will help you identify superior developers. Here is a short list of services you should expect from a custom software developer.

Commitment to Your Custom Needs


First of all, a custom software development company should be serious about the actual customization of their product. Unfortunately, there are still businesses who seek to take advantage of clients by modifying a handful of code to transform a regular product into a “customized” version. While customers do sometimes need popular programs to be customized through additional programming, these services are unique to the client.

Your developer’s primary concern should be your business needs. This is represented not only through the finished product, but through the steps the developer takes to make the commissioned software. Custom software development services should address your specific needs by asking questions and digging deeper than a checklist of features.

Face to Face Interviews


Part of accomplishing the goals in the previous section requires at least one face to face interview. Local companies are better at this than remote contractors. In order to make the best product possible, your developers need to actively seek out the elements that make your business special. These will inform their software development work.

While a phone interview has its uses, nothing beats face to face discussions. This allows for better communication, and it also gives developers a chance to see how your business works. What kind of work culture do you promote? What is your established workflow like? Are there secondary concerns that may influence the software you need? It’s easier to find these answers and develop further questions onsite.

Availability


The best custom software is a result of close collaboration between developers and clients. Although a face to face interview is an important place to start, that meeting should not represent the beginning and the end of your discussion. Clients will inevitably have questions, and their needs may shift slightly throughout the development process. A developer needs to be available in order to make sure the finished product still fits a business’s needs. Another face to face meeting may be in order, or the question may be resolved through a phone call. Either way, custom software development services that keep their developers in-office can address these concerns far more easily than a service that uses remote contractors.

If you need to speak to your developer during regular business hours, you should be able to reach them easily. Although many software development companies use separate customer service representatives, they are not as well versed in the project as the actual developer. They also slow down communication by adding an unnecessary intermediary between developer and client. If your developer isn’t available to communicate, then how can you collaborate successfully?

Additional Services


Developing a piece of custom software is different from installing it. Developing custom software is also very different from offering technical and emergency support later in the product’s life. However, even though these are separate services, the best custom software developers offer them. Ideally, custom software development services will care for your custom product from its inception to the day you upgrade. This means you should have access to the services listed above in addition to other common technical services.

The reason why is pretty simple. Your developer knows your software better than anyone. If the developer does the research needed to make a good product, they will also know the rest of your system reasonably well. This puts them in a unique position to deliver expedited tech support when things go wrong. A regular IT specialist would have to take time to study your custom software before pursuing the problem simply to avoid exacerbating it. Your software designer doesn’t face this obstacle.

A Fantastic Piece of Software


The most important thing you should expect from your custom software design services is, of course, a great piece of custom software. It should not only perform its designated function well, but it should support your ultimate company goals and blend in with your existing framework. Custom software should address a range of needs. These include immediate workflow problems and extend to future growth and expansions. Ultimately, you and your developer will decide which features your software needs. Keep in mind that one of the greatest advantages of a custom product is the opportunity for additions and expansions down the road.

Excellent custom software begins with excellent customer service. Demand at least one face to face meeting, and make sure the developer doesn’t just nod and accept your criteria. Custom software should be custom, and that requires a clear interest in how your business works and where the product will fit in. In the end, you should expect a truly fantastic piece of custom software.

 

The Importance of Customer Service in Custom Software Development

July 20, 2017
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handshake-2056023_960_720Good customer service is always pleasant, but when you’re seeking a custom product, it’s vital. Custom software development relies on engaging developers who investigate the motives and goals driving your custom software order. To make the best possible product, developers also need to spend significant time discussing and exploring the relevant elements of your business, such as workflow and culture. The best customer service is always face to face. If you have questions, you should be able to speak to your developer rather than just sending emails.

Custom Software Development Should Begin with an Interview


At the very beginning of your professional relationship, your custom software development firm should arrange for an interview with a developer or a team of developers. This is more than just superior customer service. This interview will give the developers the keys they need to make the ideal product for your business. Unlike a hiring interview, the developers should ask just as many, if not more, questions than you do. Developers have to do more than just say ‘yes’ your list of criteria. This initial conversation is critical to the development of your final product. Although you’ll have plenty of time to present your needs, it’s the developers’ responsibility to dig deeper.

First and foremost, developers need to know what questions to ask. If you say you need software to optimize HR’s workflow, the developers need to delve into more than just the technical concerns. Great developers should look into the goals, business priorities, and unique cultures that are driving your needs. Developers should demonstrate a clear interest in helping you reach your goals and not just selling a piece of software.

Developers Should See the Whole Picture


The best custom software development companies send developers to visit your business in person. While the initial interview helps map out an initial plan, developers need further research in order to create a truly tailored product. This means speaking with you in person and seeing your business with their own eyes. Even a simple office meeting reveals a lot about a business. What motivational materials do you use? How large is your operation, and how densely populated are your workstations? Are your company’s goals and policies displayed? A good developer will notice these things.

Visiting in person is especially important for certain types of software. A developer visiting your production area may see an opportunity for increased efficiency you haven’t noticed. They may also be able to suggest new or innovative tools that would work especially well with your unique workflow. These visits also give developers a chance to ask more questions. Seeing how you do business turns abstract ideas into concrete processes. There’s a huge difference between knowing what an assembly line is and seeing how a specific assembly line is arranged and staffed.

If possible, developers should also interview your employees, or have access to employee notes about problems with the existing system. These encourage further discussion and may trigger new questions developers hadn’t thought to ask during the initial interview. In short, developers should stay engaged and communicative throughout the custom software development process.

Your Developer Should Be Available


Not all custom software development companies use traditional staffing methods. Some employ long distance developers who receive their assignments and send in their work remotely. While there are many types of business that can benefit from this arrangement, custom software developers lose efficiency and quality under these circumstances. The best employees come into an office where they focus on work. This is not only more secure, but it’s better for customer service. After all, if your developer is supposed to keep in touch with you throughout the development process, they should be reachable. Good developers should speak to clients from their office, where they can look up answers quickly and turn to other professionals if they need additional input or suggestions.

Traditional offices promote vastly more efficient communication. This means your messages are far less likely to get lost in the shuffle. You should be able to speak with the developer assigned to your project during regular business hours. An office makes this possible. Employees tend to follow procedures more responsibly when they share a roof with their bosses, too, so traditionally staffed development companies typically provide better products overall.

The best way to build superior custom software is to ask a lot of questions. Every business and every need are slightly different, so the best developers must have advanced customer service skills. After all, custom software development isn’t about selling a product. It’s about building one to suit you and your business. The more the developer understands your business, the better they can do their job. Customer service and custom software development go hand in hand.

 

Is Custom Software Affordable

July 13, 2017
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1280px-Dollar_symbolWhenever custom software comes into a conversation, the first concern is that it’s simply too expensive for the average business. The truth is that custom software may be more affordable than you thought. Even if it costs more in the short term, its long term value exceeds any off-the-shelf product.

Custom Software Range

Unlike off-the-shelf solutions, custom software can be as large or small as you need. Whether you’re looking for a refined answer to a specific problem or a whole new workflow, custom software developers can create what you need. This means that prices are hugely varied. The larger and more complex the software program, the more expensive it will be. However, you may be able to pay significantly less for a small piece of custom work that you would have to pay for a full off-the-shelf program. Even larger programs may be more affordable than comparable off-the-shelf options. By cutting out a few unnecessary features that come with off-the-shelf programs, custom software can offer a tailor made and tailor priced solution.

What Are You Really Paying For?

If you’re buying software off the shelf, you’re buying generic solutions slightly tailored for your general industry. While there may be one or two unique features that give the software designers the right to slap your industry’s name on the cover, the software still caters to very few specialized needs. It certainly won’t address the unique problems your business faces. After all, businesses aren’t built on industry standards alone. They’re also built by their very specific clientele, their individual employees, and the natural workflow established by unique cultural and geographical influences. You cannot buy a perfect pre-made software solution.

What you’re really paying for is a handful of moderately useful features and a lot of branding. An established brand will stick with what has sold well in the past. Although they might customize software to allow specific industries to account for commission work, they aren’t interested in reinventing the wheel. It profits them to change little and sink more money into marketing. You are paying as much for the brand name as you supposedly are for the industry specific software.

Short Term vs. Long Term Costs

Even if the custom software development you’re considering would be more expensive than simply buying a program off the shelf, you may end up paying more. Short term and long term expenses for custom software and off-the-shelf products are extremely different. This stems from the fact that while custom software developers are happy to have your return business, they don’t base their business model on disposable products you will have to entirely replace in the future.

If your business is doing well, it will inevitably grow. This may mean you have a wider customer base, additional services, or even a new location. In any of these situations, you’ll need software that can keep up with increased demand. Unfortunately, off-the-shelf solutions do not stretch well. Once you reach storage, user number, or feature limits, you cannot bypass them. You will, typically, have to buy entirely new software. This means you will have to make the investment you made earlier all over again. This gives the software less time to earn back its value and reduces your overall profit.

Custom software doesn’t have the same limitations. When you start working with developers, it’s easy to explain that you want your software to grow with you. Developers can easily add routes for potential expansion to your custom software. You don’t have to pay for features and storage you don’t need when you first buy your custom software, and you won’t have to pay for an entirely new system down the line, either. All you’ll need to pay for are the additions, the doors to which developers have already embedded in your software.

Estimated Returns

An important point to consider when you examine custom software is its potential to generate profit. Custom software helps employees do their jobs better and more efficiently than off-the-shelf solutions. This represents immediate savings and an enhanced likelihood of profit. After all, if a single employee can finish more work, they have time to tackle new projects, which is key for expansion. Buying software off the shelf usually allows you to continue operating at your existing speed. It isn’t made to necessarily make your job easier, only to make your job possible. This limits off-the-shelf software’s ability to give you a return on your investment.

No one wants to pay more for a product today than they have to, but if you buy a lesser product today, you’ll be paying for it again and again in the future. Custom software gives you the tools to only buy what you need now, spend less for future developments, and improve your business. When you examine the cost of custom software, you should really be asking if it’s the competition that’s affordable.

 

Why Your Business Needs Custom Software

June 29, 2017
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puzzle-1721465_960_720It’s always wise to second guess and thoroughly scrutinize a potential investment. Some don’t hold up to the examination, but custom software becomes more valuable the more you investigate. These custom products are among the best investments your business can make. Not only are they superior to the competition, but they enable you to take advantage of your business’s unique opportunities while protecting your most vulnerable points.

Off-The-Shelf Inefficiencies

The first reason your business needs custom software is because custom products are innately superior to off-the-shelf solutions. For instance, custom software developers build products based on the client’s needs from start to finish. Conversely, mass produced software only provides general solutions to simplified problems. Custom software considers an individual business and off-the-shelf solutions use a single product to address an entire industry. These generic solutions do not actually solve many problems. In fact, they may create stumbling blocks in your day to day workflow.

Good custom software comes as the result of detailed study of your business and your associated business needs. Developers not only listen to your input, but they actively observe how you do business. This gives them an opportunity to bring up inefficiencies they could potentially fix. Many of these come from off-the-shelf solutions. No single program will allow your employees to do their jobs. A single task may require application hopping, which drains time and resources. You may also have software that loses data when it updates, or software with updates that interfere with other programs.

Expansion complicates these issues. Most off-the-shelf software is built with pre-existing limitations. If your business needs more storage space, additional users, or even integrated solutions for a new location, off-the-shelf solutions will either fail or demand a hefty new fee. Usually, off-the-shelf developers design their products to force expanding companies to buy all new products to meet their expanding needs. On the other hand, custom software comes with built-in backdoors for future expansion, which cuts down on future cost and frustration.

Security Concerns

If you run off-the-shelf solutions, you face the threat of every hacker with access to that software. You also make yourself a more profitable target. After all, if a hacker manages to break through a popular off-the-shelf system’s security, then every business that runs that software is vulnerable. If you use custom software, hacking you won’t necessarily help the criminal hack any other business. It’s a matter of time investment and potential reward.

If you know of especially vulnerable points in your system, such as remote points of sale and wireless networks, then you can give custom software developers advanced notice. With this information, they then build special layers of protection for any software that comes into contact with these vulnerable points. Every business has slightly different weaknesses. Even the most expensive off-the-shelf software can’t address your specific risks as well as custom software developers.

Missed Opportunities

The best businesses are capable of taking rapid action. They also streamline interior workings to make it easier to turn a profit quickly. If you are wasting time and money on inefficient, vulnerable software, you are also wasting opportunities. Custom software offers more advantages than just waste prevention, however.

Athletes use tailored gear to enhance their performance. Artisans and craftspeople do, too. These tools help them do their work at not only a faster speed, but also with improved quality. If you have software that can combine everything you need for associates to handle a customer complaint on a single screen, how much better will your customer satisfaction score become? If your software allows employees to multitask or combine processes, won’t you be better prepared for new initiatives? Custom software gives you the ability to make your own opportunities. You can also use the development process to take advantage of new ideas and technology that will help you meet major goals.

Example of Industry Leaders

One of the best ways to tell if a particular product or tool is really worthwhile is to see how it works for industry leaders. Every industry can benefit from custom software, and the range of companies to benefit from such products reflects that. One of the world’s biggest aerospace and defense companies, Boeing, uses custom software solutions. Medical care company ADX and medical technology leaders like Drager and Siemens also benefit from custom software. Even RAM Products has custom software in use.

If you want your business to grow and expand, custom software development is an essential investment. It won’t hold you back or make you reinvest all over again for better storage space. Custom software keeps you safe, and it allows you to grow in unique directions. If the potential benefits don’t win you over, you just have to look at all the industry leading companies who have already received concrete benefits from their investment.

 

Bridging the Gap with E-Commerce through Custom Software

June 22, 2017
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ecommerce-1992280_960_720Launching an e-commerce platform is an exciting challenge, but the challenge part grows exponentially as the Internet expands. Competition increases daily. Customers expect bigger, better, and more uniform shopping experiences. Worst of all, your security is never guaranteed. Custom software can bring the excitement back to e-commerce. With unique solutions and integrative options, custom solutions can do things off the shelf options simply can’t match. Custom software is the best option for customer satisfaction, ease of use, multi-channel selling, and security concerns.

Improving the Multi-channel Experience


Multi-channel customers are the best customers. They spend more, pay close attention to your promotions and mailers, and they’re most likely to discuss your business with friends and family in a positive light. It takes a lot of work to win these customers, though, and a lot rides on the software behind your website. Multi-channel shoppers expect the same experience, whether they’re shopping through your web app or your brick and mortar storefront.

Custom software gives you a lot of advantages right out of the gate. First of all, you don’t have to try twisting an off the shelf solution to provide the kind of options customers would have in the store. Whatever you give your customers in the store, you can offer online. Do you provide free samples in the store? Offer them in connection with a mailer full of future discounts through your web app. This ties in nicely with newsletters. The right custom software can fill the void left by helpful sales associates, too.

Your software can help you with the details behind the scenes that impact customer experience, too. For example, if your software provides real-time updates on available merchandise, and you link that with your in-store manifests. Then online shoppers won’t suffer the frustration of selecting an item only to discover it’s out of stock at checkout. What shoppers see on the shelves, whether they’re physical or digital, is what’s actually available. This builds the kind of long-term trust multi-channel shoppers need.

Going Mobile


Mobile shoppers are an entirely different demographic than multi-channel shoppers, but custom software can still help you reach them. Custom software developers help you build a mobile app that offers everything your store and web app provide. They even back it up with integrative software solutions. The same connections that are so vital for online, multi-channel shoppers turn mobile shoppers into customers. Keep in mind mobile sites are technically just another channel for buyers. Since prefabricated mobile site formats are just as static as their web equivalents, choosing a custom approach is the only way to ensure uniformity.

Mobile sales are all about speed, and many shoppers make same day purchases. Mobile shoppers have the fastest average conversion times, so streamlining that funnel is imperative. Custom software creates the fastest shopper funnels and the best buyer experiences.

Connecting Revenue Streams


No one likes to talk about accounting, bookkeeping, and the wonderful world of business number games. Unfortunately, e-commerce makes that chore all the more important. It also makes it vastly more complicated. Custom software offers solutions that extremely few off the shelf products can match. For example, by linking revenue streams to flow into the same bookkeeping program, you’d save a lot of costly labor time. By addressing shopping cart application design, you can save a lot of steps down the road. You can also ensure the system matches your established accounting and bookkeeping workflow instead of complicating it.

Making Transactions Secure


Security is a greater concern than it’s ever been before, especially for businesses involved in e-commerce. Getting hacked is no longer a risk; it’s a guarantee. In order to protect your business and your customers, you have to plan ahead and take a proactive approach to your web apps’ security. This involves a lot of simple tasks, like changing passwords and using secure connections. It also takes a new approach to security, and that’s where custom software development comes in.

The harder hackers have to work to get into your system, the less likely they are to finish the job. It becomes a matter of profit. Also, hacking a unique security system that differs from every other e-commerce websites’ makes you a less appealing target. After all, what’s the point of forcing your way into a single business when you could spend the same amount of time securing the keys to dozens of others in one go?

Custom software offers solutions to every e-commerce frustration from bookkeeping complications to security. It’s the best choice for customers as well. Not only does it make multichannel selling vastly less complicated, but it provides the kinds of options and services you need to grow your customer base. When you decide to go mobile, the same developers will have your back. It’s the smart way to move into e-commerce.

 

Five Reasons Distributors Need Custom Software Development

June 15, 2017
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distribution-center-1136510_960_720Distributors keep the modern world of commerce moving, and they need software that can keep up. While many programs seek to address the major concerns of the industry, nothing works as well as custom software. Custom software development addresses the individual business rather than industry principles, making it an invaluable tool.

Time Efficiency


Distributors are always busy. While time is of the essence for any business, distributors face unique pressures due to the nature of their services. Moving product in and shipping it back out again is the backbone of the distribution industry, and that backbone relies on efficiency to stay strong. Losing even ten seconds per order quickly builds up. If employees only handled a single order per work day, the loss would still be reasonable. However, distribution employees typically handle hundreds of orders per shift. Within a month, you’re looking at a loss of hours, or even days’ worth of labor. That lost time represents unfulfilled orders. At the least, your inefficiencies are costing you profit. In the worst case, however, you could be disappointing contracted clients and customers.

Custom software development addresses the exact causes of those precious ten second lapses in efficiency. While off the shelf solutions try to provide a blanket solution that may shave the time loss down to six or seven seconds, you deserve better. Custom software addresses individual issues directly.

Cost Efficiency


First, custom software saves you money through time efficiency. If you aren’t paying for wasted hours, then that money becomes profit. If you aren’t wasting time, you also have the chance to handle more clients, which also boosts profit. At the very least, you aren’t paying for wasted time.

Custom software development also gives distributors a better return on their investment. If you pay for off the shelf software solutions, you’re paying for the time and research that went into making a product that answers problems you don’t have. You pay for partial solutions to your own issues. Off the shelf software also inevitably comes with entire features that simply aren’t very useful in your particular niche of the industry. Blanket solutions come with blanket costs. Meanwhile, custom software gives you exactly what you need without extra bells and whistles to drain your resources. You pay for exactly what you need. This is better than handing over your investment in exchange for developments and insights that help your competition as much as they help you.

Security


Cyber security is a rising concern for consumers, producers, and every other entity in today’s market. Criminals with the right tools and experience can hack just about anything, or so it seems. The sad reality is that the more common a program is, the more likely it is to be hacked. Widely used software solutions give hackers a greater return for their crimes. By breaking past a popular software system’s firewall, they have the opportunity to attack multiple businesses and customers from within. Custom software offers custom security measures. No two pieces of custom software are exactly the same, and if you want to keep your business safe, custom solutions are often your best bet.

Support


If something goes wrong, you need support you can rely on. Again, wasted time is wasted money, and if a distributor fails to deliver, they lose critical customer confidence. Distributors rely on the support behind their software, which is something off the shelf products fail to provide. Most off the shelf software developers only offer limited customer service hours. There is no way to guarantee the quality of the service you will receive.

Conversely, custom software development teams usually train their own customer service representatives, or double as repair personnel themselves. Rather than trusting a stranger with a script, you can trust the best custom software development services to stand behind their products. Custom developers have more to lose and more to gain by providing good customer service. Their superior insight into what exactly makes your software tick also makes them the best for the job. They know what other programs you run, how your business is conducted, and can find solutions faster.

Room to Expand


Custom software development doesn’t give you a cookie-cutter program. When you discuss your needs with developers, it’s very easy to ask them to give you room to expand. Developers then build in spaces for potential add-ons. This scalability is an incredibly valuable asset to any new, developing, or expanding distributor. You can pay for what you need now and rest easy knowing you can pay for additions rather than entirely new programs down the road.

Custom software development is vital for distributors looking to get ahead of the competition. Your business is unique, and you deserve software to match. Custom software solutions save time and money, keep your business secure and running, and leave room for growth.

 

Custom Software Development: The Software Investment You Need

May 30, 2017
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money-18554_960_720

software investment

As a business owner, you always look for ways to boost your bottom line and guarantee a successful return on your software investment. Everyone knows that custom software development often requires a significant investment, and waiting for the long-term results can be stressful. However, with the right custom software, you can boost your bottom line in both the short term and long term. Advantages that cross industry lines make your business appeal to a broader range of customers. Uniquely specific benefits of this type of software investment help you meet your specific goals and plans. In the end, each of these aspects help to boost your revenue.

Custom Software Development Wins Customers


There are a number of reasons your business benefits from a software investment in custom software. One reason is that commissioning custom tools demonstrates a business’s positions. It shows a good, steady income along with reserves. This leaves customers feeling more secure when they invest money in the company’s products and services. In the mind of most consumers, steady businesses build reliable products. At the very least, they view a steady business as more trustworthy. To most customers, a firm, settled business is less likely to lie in order to move a product.

More importantly, custom software development is known for offering better security. As cyber crimes rise and more consumers have to deal with problems like the identity theft, security is a greater and greater consideration. When major retail chains are vulnerable to cyber crimes, consumers know everyone is at risk. By not only using but publicizing custom software, businesses can maximize the return on their investment. Such software boosts a business’s reputation, which attracts more customers, which in turn boosts income. The fact that it also limits your risk is a further advantage. Cyber attacks worry customers, but they cost businesses much more.

Addressing Specific Issues


In the business world, there’s always room for improvement. Shifts could be tightened up, office supplies used more sparingly, and teams made more productive. While custom software development can’t solve all of these issues, it can make a world of difference in problems related to workflow. It also helps solve various IT struggles and helps to improve customer service.

It’s almost impossible to find off-the-shelf software that will answer every need your business develops. Most businesses have to use a patchwork of systems in order to perform regular functions, and this inevitably slows productivity. These ungainly systems boost error rates and make employees dread booting up the computer.

Not only do employees lose precious minutes and hours flipping between screens and sources, but these convoluted systems put a high demand on your hardware. IT teams will lose a lot of time handling crashed computers when that time could be better invested elsewhere. It’s wasted opportunity. Since your IT team offers some of the most valuable innovations and developments, spending extra time on unnecessary repairs and patches is even more costly.

Moreover, custom software development helps your customers, even if the software isn’t a part of your front of house services. When an employee juggles multiple systems while trying to provide information to customers over the phone, delays and frustration are inevitable. In these cases, customers feel they haven’t been treated well, even if your associates are doing their best. Good customer service is a key to customer retention. It’s also a vital part of boosting your bottom line.

Aiming for Opportunities


Although all businesses aim to grow and advance, those changes look different for every storefront, office, or fabricator. Not only is there dramatic differences in goals between industries, but each unique business has different opportunities that best suit their goals and plans. For this reason, a software investment is vital, and custom software development is the best way to support those goals.

You need to focus on customer service to build a stronger local reputation. The best custom software gives you advanced options designed for your particular services. For instance, restaurants need software aimed to support new, third party delivery services. However, they may plan on developing their own delivery options. Since customers often prefer to order in advance for pick-up, each restaurant needs highly customized ordering software that allows for customization. After all, customers expect the same service online that they get in person.

In other industries, manufacturers face unique technical programming challenges. Moreover, stock advisors need software that allows for maximum customer profile customization, while simultaneously delivering real-time stock numbers. Opportunities for integration and ease of use pave the way for any type of business to meet specific goals faster.

The Bottom Line of a Software Investment

Make a software investment in custom software development. It helps to boost your bottom line in both the near and distant future. It’s a high set of expectations. However, working with the right custom software development team helps you build your ideal tools. In turn, these help you with everything from winning new customers to cultivating their continued loyalty. Custom software is safer and more efficient.  These systems address immediate concerns and goals by tailoring a program to match your existing workflow. All of these benefits combine to make a powerful software investment that boosts your revenue. Custom software not only brings in returns but supports how you do business.

 

How to Maximize Employee Performance through Custom Software

May 18, 2017
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maximize employee performance

Employees are some of your most valuable assets, but handling a diverse workforce leads to inevitable wastes of time and funds. Outdated or needlessly complex software causes much of this waste, especially in office environments. Custom software development, however, has your solution. This article shows you how custom software development helps you maximize employee performance.

Custom Software Development Offers the Ultimate Intuitive Controls


You want to maximize employee performance, and intuitive controls are one way to do just that. Intuitive controls have become a bit of a fad phase in marketing, and just about every piece of software on the market claims to have them. In reality, intuitive controls are best when they are customized. The more specific the customization, the better they will function. A general intuitive design helps users figure out how to enter and exit software efficiently. Alternatively, most software utilizes complex features that cannot be so easily displayed.

Custom software development designs intuitive controls based on your business’s unique work and pace. You may need specialized controls for handling clients, for example. Dashboards and tabs could divide client-oriented work into more specific work tracks. This would shave off time digging through layers of organization to find a specific function. Designs that follow the day to day patterns of your business mean you can spend less time training your employees, and you can waste fewer labor hours.

Embrace the Dashboard Experience


Embracing the dashboard is another way to maximize employee performance. One of the best advances in the world of software development has been the popularizing of dashboard controls. With dashboards, you can easily collect various functions onto a communal screen. This makes it easy to work through an entire process without flipping between various programs. Everything you need is in one place. This technology offers advantages for essentially any industry, and rudimentary versions are commonplace in most leading software.

However, while most off-the-shelf software features some form of dashboards, they aren’t always customizable. Even if they are, your customization options are limited by the developer’s ideas about the industry’s needs at large. While a few of the available options may work well for your individual business, custom software development would provide dashboards that addressed your workflow and primary needs directly. Since dashboards are meant to save time, it’s important for them to adhere to your specific requirements. Unfortunately, basic customization options only take you so far because the original designer’s expectations control their limits.

Wield Employee Input


Custom software development offers the chance to maximize some of your greatest assets, your employees. When employees struggle with their tools at work, they have to drain time and resources from IT. If this happens often enough, even if the employee is otherwise doing excellent work, the employee could easily become frustrated. Such employees often feel underappreciated and underutilized at work. This leads to low workplace satisfaction for your top performers. That, in turn, often leads them to seek a new position. There’s a way to harness this frustration for the advancement of the company, however.

If you ask your employees what aspects of your company’s existing software holds them back, they’ll be quick to answer. Careful analysis of the most commonly reported stumbling blocks will give you the raw data you need to make a superior system. Of course, that feedback won’t help you if you’re simply buying off-the-shelf software. However, custom software developers work with you from the beginning and are eager for your input. Offering employee feedback gives them priceless insight into your goals and struggles. With the aid of software that helps rather than hinders their daily workflows, employees are able to achieve higher standards and production volumes. As an added bonus, those frustrated, high performing employees receive the acknowledgment they need. By taking employee input into consideration, you reinforce your employees’ value and encourage long-term loyalty from your top performers.

Track Progress for Rewards


No one likes to feel like Big Brother is watching over their shoulders, even at work, but in order to get the data you need to efficiently run your business, you need access to detailed reports about employee activity. Many businesses use complex, multi-step logins that waste time and start employees’ work days with frustration.

There are better ways to track and reward progress. By including such functions in custom software development from the onset of production, you save your employees stress. You also get more accurate data. After all, managers get to waste even more time under the familiar multi-login system. Whenever an employee forgets one of their logins, they have to make an official report. The manager must then use their report to correct multiple systems. These include hour tracking, employee time cards, etc.

Daily workflow is a complex system of minor and major functions. The right software can turn it from a chore into a productive cycle. Custom software development gives you the keys to solve existing issues, minimize time losses, and encourage loyalty from your best workers. It’s a lot to expect from a single investment, but custom software development should always be exceptional.

 

Five Key Traits of Excellent Custom Software Developers

April 25, 2017
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To get the best custom software, you need the best custom software development services. It sounds simple, but with such a broad market, many potential clients have trouble finding the services that will actually provide what they need. Excellent developers have several key traits that set them apart. These superior options will demonstrate exceptional communication habits and provide a variety of services to diverse clients. Developers should prove their reliability through engagement and a record of success. Most importantly, they will provide genuine custom software development services.

Communication


In order to provide superior custom software, developers need to have excellent communication skills. They should, at the very least, respond rapidly to email and text messages, maintain a regular correspondence with clients, and handle their phones professionally. Excellent custom software developers should surpass these basic skills, though. They need the practical ability to interact frequently and directly with their clients. Ideally, developers meet with clients in person. This is why many of the best custom software developers are local. Having an office in the client’s region allows developers to arrange face-to-face meetings from the beginning of their working relationship through the conclusion of the custom software project. Without the advantage of proximity, collaboration and cooperation become vastly more challenging and expensive. This is why local custom software development services always provide superior communication.

Service Variety


Not all developers offer integration. The best custom software development services go beyond basic development, however. They even go beyond integration for their own products. Excellent developers offer a number of different services that ought to cover development, maintenance, and integration. Integration has obvious uses, and no one will understand how potential acquisitions will work with your system better than the people who built it. Maintenance is important for the same reasons. Having a knowledgeable, local source of support is invaluable in times of crisis.

Variety goes beyond types of service. An excellent developer should have experience working with many different industries. This flexibility is an essential criterion for determining a developer’s ability to understand new systems, work environments, and goals. Custom software development services revolve around the client, and working with diverse clients proves developers are not limited to a single trick or system.

Reliability


When you need help, or you want an update, your developer should answer the call. Reliability goes beyond following laws and meeting deadlines. Custom software development is an intensely collaborative project, or at least it should be. That requires easy communication and a great deal of trust. The best developers demonstrate their reliability through engagement.

Custom software developers shouldn’t just sit back and wait for your list of needs. The best developers look for areas that could be improved, ask questions, and use your ideas to spark more involved conversations. Since the best developers also follow collaborative practices, clients know what’s being done at each stage of development. However, by asking questions and looking for new opportunities, developers can take the project in surprising and improved directions.

Record of Success


The best developers present the record of their success up front. It should appear on their promotional material, and it should include at least a few client names. This allows potential clients to do their own research before committing to a new developer. The names also provide concrete evidence of several of the qualities listed above. A variety of customers and services should be immediately clear. If possible, ask for the approximate dates of when developers worked with clients. You can often judge how well developers have maintained their skills over time, based on the number and prestige of recent and current clients.

True Custom Software Development Services


The best custom software is truly custom. From time to time, a developer will resell solutions created for a previous client that only loosely fit the needs of the current client. Even if these products do a better job than off the shelf options, they could still do better. If developers sell these products, they should clarify the difference between customized software and custom built software. Only one of these is unique to your business. While there is certainly nothing wrong with selling or buying customized software, it isn’t exactly the same product, and it may cost less than custom software development services.

The best developers communicate directly, demonstrate their reliability, provide a range of services to diverse clients, and have the records to prove it. Custom software development services don’t usually come cheap, and they’re an investment that requires a lot of pre-screening. Developers balance technical talent with interpersonal skill. The best developers will give your business a boost to the next stage of growth, and they’ll be waiting in the wings should you need their services again. It’s a hard mix to find, but the results are always well worth the effort.

 

We Get in Your Business

February 28, 2017
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Custom software development is all about building new software around an existing business. This is a challenge for the majority of developers, who usually create software for companies they’ve never even seen. Ayoka takes a different approach. From the first day, they use customer service and open communication to build the foundation of each new project. Ayoka believes they have to understand your business before they can make your ideal custom software or application. This means in-person visits and face to face discussions, and that’s just the beginning.

Ayoka’s Process

Whenever you contract custom software development services, you can expect a phone call or a series of emails. The difference between Ayoka and many other developers, however, is that phone call or email is simply a means to set up a real face to face meeting. From the beginning of your working relationship, Ayoka takes your business not only seriously, but personally.

During and after your in-person meeting, Ayoka systems experts will learn about your business. Ayoka doesn’t just want your name and an address to which they can bill their invoices. Ayoka wants to understand your business. After all, the best way to design the most intuitive custom software for your business is to get inside your business and see how it ticks.

Communication is key for Ayoka’s development teams, and you can expect collaborative measures throughout the entire process. By working with rather than for you, Ayoka systems developers can ensure they’re delivering the best possible product. Everything is tailored for your business, and collaboration helps streamline the fit.

Ayoka’s Range of Services

In addition to application development, Ayoka offers a tremendous range of other support and development services. These include:

  • Application integration services
    • Data integration
    • Enterprise integration
    • System integration
    • Software integration
  • Application management services
    • Software maintenance
    • IT infrastructure and data recovery
    • Application modernization services
    • Monitoring and reporting
    • Co-sourcing application services
    • Design-build-manage services
  • Technology due diligence services
    • Mergers and acquisitions
    • IT infrastructure
    • Software quality

The important thing to remember is that Ayoka’s customer service and collaboration standards aren’t limited to their custom software development services. Your business can trust Ayoka’s staff to bring the same high quality standards to every project, large or small. By providing so many different kinds of software services, Ayoka also makes future projects and maintenance easier for your business.

It’s always easier for a software program’s original developer to diagnose and correct flaws in the system. Since Ayoka knows not only their own products, but your business’s original systems very well, they are uniquely qualified to handle any further maintenance on the system. Whether you are starting something new, adapting something old, or simply joining two different systems, Ayoka can help make the finished system sound and easy for your business to use. Most importantly, Ayoka’s track record proves their work and products are secure.

The Trouble with Overseas Developers

Naturally, Ayoka faces plenty of competition. The primary source of that competition offers drastically different services at a higher level of inconvenience. This is because the vast majority of Ayoka’s competition has headquarters on the other side of an ocean.

A custom software development team on the other side of an ocean cannot visit your business in person even once without hiking their prices to accommodate travel expenses. Follow up visits and in-person collaboration are off the table altogether. The primary advantage of contracting overseas is the price of the final product. However, in order to keep those prices low, even the best overseas developers have to cut a few corners, and the best way to do that is to limit customer service. Without regular communication, they cannot create the perfectly-fitted products Ayoka offers. All of this goes without mentioning the frustrations of phone and email communication, the likelihood of misunderstandings, and potential language barriers.

Even if the final product is satisfactory, there’s no way a development team on the other side of an ocean can provide reliable, hands-on support for your new software and applications. Ayoka can offer the range of services it does because it is a local business. When there is a problem that requires a technician on the scene, they can provide one. Paying for a technician to fly in from another part of the world is costly and unreasonable.

Ayoka’s custom software development services stand look very different from the competition. Their other services are made possible due in large part to those differences. Ayoka comes to your business in-person to learn, discuss, and collaborate. Your finished product will suit your business because it was designed with your business in mind, not just your industry or a short paragraph about your business goals. Working with a local developer provides many advantages, but the best by far is the personal touch and ease of communication.

Improving the Efficiency of the Transportation Infrastructure

February 2, 2017
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Custom software development can make traffic easier to manage, routes easier to plan, and buses safer to ride. Transportation infrastructure depends on a host of different systems along with advanced data management, which can lead to crippling errors and lost information. Custom software makes it easier to manage transportation infrastructure, and the benefits range from safety to cleaner air. Monitoring generates endless data that can easily transform into actionable data, and custom programs can work around your unique systems. Web and mobile applications can turn commuters into traffic management allies while simultaneously encouraging efficient public transportation options.

Monitoring

Maintaining a reliable network of cameras is great for security, but effective monitoring goes beyond preventing burglaries and helping police track suspects. Cameras collect data, and analyzing that data may yield surprising results. Rather than trusting opinion polls, you have the opportunity to actually watch traffic patterns and see how and when people move around the city. If a bus stop only has one or two regular users, you may find you can cut down on a little city smog and tighten your budget by eliminating the stop. If you see people turning away from overly crowded bus stops during rush hour, you might consider adding buses to certain routes during peak traffic hours to encourage the use of public transportation. If your city uses ride share lanes, you can see exactly how many cars use them, and when the most drivers take advantage of the opportunity.

Monitoring is all about maximizing efficiency by recognizing patterns. This can help other departments, of course, but it has many uses for transportation management alone. You can minimize air pollution, find the best opportunities for cutbacks, and even predict where traffic will be forced during construction.

Unique Transportation Needs Custom Software

No two cities are the same. Even though most major cities in the U.S. use the block system to design their downtown business districts, most have regions that do not follow the pattern. Above ground transportation needs custom software to handle mapping, including changing features like detoured routes, construction, and temporary stops.

City transportation almost always involves more than one vendor. This confuses the basic software, and without custom software, it’s essentially impossible to develop intelligent transportation management solutions. Legacy systems also need a place in your software, and few new programs are prepared to handle a variety of older programs. In order to continue developing new solutions without compromising established systems, you need custom software.

Citizen Engagement

While transportation infrastructure manages traffic flow patterns, available routes, and a variety of options, each commuter ultimately decides his or her own course. It makes sense, then, to allocate some resources to educating these commuters. While you can try to influence bus and individual vehicle ratios, you can’t make the decision for the citizens of your city. By giving these citizens real-time facts, however, you can make sure they help rather than hinder your efforts.

Custom software development extends into the world of apps and online portals. Interactive maps, real-time updates, and warnings about recent accidents or congested thoroughfares can help minimize the impact these events have on traffic as a whole. Plenty of cities use digital screens to inform drivers of delays, wrecks, and safety hazards, but drivers rarely have the chance to really change their course once they see those signs. Giving drivers the power to see what the traffic is like before they leave home is paramount.

The same technology can go into increasing the number of regular bus fares. Retailers and restaurants have already demonstrated the power of the app as a sales aid. Even a small reward for being a regular passenger can convince more people to take the bus, subway, or a streetcar during their daily commute. Apps make it easy to launch campaigns for tourists, too. Tourists look for easily-accessible public transportation, and they are more likely to stay longer in cities with simple transportation systems. Nothing darkens a tourist’s mood faster than a traffic jam or a convoluted subway schedule. An app can clarify even a complicated system by using basic to and from searches rather than, or in addition to, regular time tables. In the end, this data comes back to you, making it even easier to establish patterns and look for areas to improve.

Custom software development is a surprising but incredible effective solution for transportation infrastructure. It can help you manage your assets more effectively while gathering and using more data. The innate diversity of custom software also enables clients to create exactly what they need, regardless of whether it’s a monitoring tool for employees or an app for commuters. By building an intelligent transportation management system, you may even be able to cut back on dangerous smog and fatal collisions. The right custom software can help essentially any problem in transportation infrastructure.

 

The Value of Local Programmers

January 17, 2017
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Financially speaking, outsourcing a custom programming company overseas is typically the less expensive choice.  However, the cliché, “You get what you pay for,” is true in more ways than one in this scenario.  The value of local programmers is immeasurable in terms of reach, agility, communication, and more. Read about the ways your business benefits from choosing a local programming company

The Challenges

Every business faces various challenges. However, American businesses that outsource custom software programs from overseas often face significantly greater challenges. Communication is usually the first obstacle to overcome, when choosing an overseas programming company.  If a language barrier exists and a client’s software needs are misunderstood from the beginning, the outcome desired is not going to be achieved. This results in starting over with the same company and possibly ending up with the same result. Even worse, you end up hiring another company, thereby doubling your expenses.

Secondly, time zone differences play a major part in successful project management and correspondence needs. When you are half a day behind your programming company, communication lags, slowing down the project.  Last, but certainly not least, is the issue of protecting intellectual property rights. When software is produced outside of the United States, protecting property rights proves to be a real predicament. Obviously, not all countries have the same legal requirements when it comes to proprietorship. Working with a local company, in the United States, ensures your property rights are guaranteed and protected.

Hiring local programmers for your business’s custom software development needs, means effective communication. This ensures there is no misunderstanding of the exact outcome expected.  Differing time zones are no longer an issue, as well. You are no more than three hours different than your programmer.  Keep in mind though, that most American programmers are available 24/7.

Your Target Audience

You understand your target audience, but does your programmer? A local custom programming company knows your target audience. If you need a website developed or software that caters to your local community, a local programmer is familiar with the community and the people in it. This familiarity of your target audience, means your company receives a high-quality software program. More than that, you can be certain that it will reach the precise people it was intended for.

Local Programming Is Worth the Money

Maybe your small business is on a limited budget, and it’s for this reason you’re considering an offshore software company. However, this could end up a huge mistake. Offshore companies commonly hire under educated developers who deliver low-quality programs.  Alternatively, by investing a little more money for your custom programming needs, you receive a return on your investment quicker. What’s the reason for this? Local programmers understand your language and know your target audience. Moreover, they possess the knowledge to provide a very high-quality software program, website, or any other custom software programs your business needs.

There’s Room to Grow

At Ayoka, our programmers build applications with future expansion in mind.  Your business may be small today, a large company tomorrow, and an enterprise in the next two years.  Having the capability to expand your software as the company grows is invaluable.

Team Collaboration

Custom programming involves more than just a series of phone calls.  The very best communication is done in person. A local custom software developer takes the time to know your company thoroughly. They know the people, the process, the software users, and more.  Collaborating with you rather than just working for you, ensures you are involved in the process of developing your business software.

Stimulating Local Economy

Local programmers care about your business not only surviving but also thriving in the local economy.  Custom programming geared towards your target audience in your community helps everyone.  Local programmers are right around the corner so to speak if you need advice regarding your local market, information pertaining to the market, and/or software changes or expansions.

The Best Option

Collaborating with a Texas-based custom software development company like Ayoka avoids common stumbling blocks and provides the following, guaranteed benefits:

  • Clients are fully involved in the process and own their software.
  • The problem is clearly defined before a solution is proposed, ensuring the desired outcome.
  • Applications are built with future expansion in mind.
  • Costs are managed with Agile development that focuses on doing the right thing instead of trying to do everything at once.
  • Ongoing support is available on an as-needed basis.

As you can see, the value of a local custom programming company is incalculable.  Outsourcing your programming needs offshore may seem like a deal at the time, but stretching your budget a little further and making a sound investment in a local programming company will ensure the best end result for your business.

At Ayoka, we learn your business from top to bottom.  We meet you in person and work with you to ensure you are getting the very best custom software available.  Our one clear objective is to deliver the very best in customer service.  We are near you and we will be here for all your software needs, even when the project is finished.  Call us today at 817-210-4042 for all your local custom programming needs, or fill out the quick contact form and we respond promptly.

 

 

 

Open Source and Custom Software Development

January 11, 2017
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Open Source Software

Technology has advanced faster than many of us ever expected.  Two decades ago, Google, Swift, Firefox, the iPhone, and Android were non-existent. Today, you are likely reading this article from one of those platforms.  Custom software development companies and open source software made this possible.

What is open source software?  In common terminology, open source refers to any program whose source code is made available to the general public for use and/or modification.  While there are thousands of open source projects and products, some well-known examples are Apache, WordPress, Java, MySQL, HTML, and PHP.  Meant to be a collaborative effort, programmers improve the source code and share the changes.

Open Source and Custom Software Development for Businesses

For businesses to maintain a competitive edge, it is vital to keep up with technology and its changes.  Collaborating with a custom software development company to create open source software, businesses stand to reap many benefits.  Some of these benefits are as follows:

  • Execute innovative ideas in a practical, feasible way to nurture growth, efficiency, and development.
  • Gain technical superiority by working with custom software developers to create solutions that are unique to their business requirements.
  • High-quality software, security, and support. Additionally, working with a custom software developer in the United States for a business in the United States offers a wide support platform after the software has been developed.
  • Open source software does not require many resources to operate smoothly. Choosing to upgrade your custom software is completely up to you and the vendor.
  • If business requirements change, open source software adjustments can be made accordingly by the custom software developer.
  • Open source customer relationship management provides improved customer relationships because it offers many different options to meet customer requirements based on your preferences. This results in improved efficiency, which equals happier, more satisfied customers.

Ayoka, a Texas-based custom software development company, is always on top of the latest technology to help ensure your business stands above the rest with open source software.

Why Open Source Software is Favored 

Proprietary or “closed source” software is a type of software with a source code that can only be modified by the person, team, or organization that created it.  Proprietary software can only be legally copied, inspected, and altered by the original authors.  Additionally, when using proprietary software, users must agree that they will not modify, change, or do anything with the software that the authors have not expressly allowed.  Some examples of proprietary software are Adobe Flash Player, iTunes, and Google Earth.

Open Source software allows authors to make the source code available to anyone who would like to see the code, copy the code, alter it, learn from it, and share it.  This is one reason people prefer open source software.  Some other reasons open source is favored are:

  1. Open source software allows programmers to evaluate the source code to ensure it is performing like they want it to.  They can change any part of the code they do not like. Those who are not programmers benefit because they can use the software for any purpose they like and not only the ways others think they should.
  2. To put it simply, open source software helps programmers become better programmers.  Students benefit since open source code is publicly accessible. They also study how to make better software. Furthermore, they can share what they have learned as they develop their skills and custom software developers can comment, critique, and help the students.
  3. For some people, open source software is considered more secure than proprietary software.  Since anyone can view and modify open source software, someone who sees an error or an omission that may have been overlooked by the authors can correct it.  With many people being permitted to work on open source software without permission from the original authors, they can update, fix, and upgrade open source software quicker than proprietary software.
  4. Programmers publicly distribute the source code for open source software; therefore, users who are relying on the software for critical tasks are assured their mechanisms remain if the original creators stop working on them.

Making Open Source Custom Software Development Together 

At Ayoka, we have one clear objective and that is to deliver the very best customer service to all of our clients.  When developing open source software, we don’t just work for you, we work with you.  Using open source software such as Python, Swift, Twitter Bootstrap, and many other programming languages, Ayoka continuously expands our custom software development knowledge and experience to bring you the very best of open source software that you can understand and utilize proficiently.  For all of your custom software development needs, call us today at 817-210-2042, or fill out the short contact form and we will respond promptly.

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Software Integration Services to Boost Efficiency

January 3, 2017
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In the hyper-connected world we live in, software integration services are imperative. These services assist organizations in ensuring all information technology (IT) systems communicate with each other, flawlessly and efficiently.  Existing apps that do not communicate with each other and old technology that needs updated will hinder your organization from running effectively and efficiently.  Software integration links software applications and different computing systems together to act as a coordinated aggregate.

Connecting and automating data processes are developed to boost efficiency and increase innovation, both of which are needed to improve competitiveness.  Integrating software eliminates unnecessary work and gives the user the exact information needed when they need it, thereby further boosting efficiency.

Combining the Old and the New

When organizations select new software or new IT systems, software integration with their other systems is typically one of the first necessities.  Quite often, integration needs to occur immediately, especially if a new system is replacing the existing one.  Software integration services help boost efficiency by allowing the business processes to continue running smoothly between systems during the integration.

There are also situations where off-the-shelf software provides the features you like and need, but it does not work well with your organization’s technology.  Software integration services can assist to provide what you need and want in your organization’s technology.

Improving Data Utilization

Imagine you are an orthopedist and your medical practice has its own Practice Management System (PMS).  Your office is also using Electronic Health Records (EHR) software which allows you access to patient histories with the simple touch of a button or two. Have you considered integrating your PMS with EHR to improve patient care and aid in office workflow?  By integrating your EHR system with your PMS and any other ancillary software, you can avoid duplication and eliminate extra steps.

For example, John Doe fractured his wrist in three different places while at work.  At every office visit, his wrist degrees of rotation are written down in the PMS, information from recent x-rays is noted and filed, and Workers’ Compensation papers are copied and filed. Some of this same information is in the EHR software.  With software integration, you can eliminate multiple filing systems and avoid duplication, which causes a lot of confusion and inefficiency.  Again, every piece of software should be integrated.  If you choose not to integrate a piece of software, you are creating a bottleneck in the workflow because anything that is not integrated needs a separate filing system.

Big data increases the size and complexity of stored data; therefore, it is crucial to develop better ways of managing and utilizing these resources.  At Ayoka, we have the knowledge and expertise to integrate multiple data sources with business software to achieve the following:

  • Easier access to valuable data across platforms
  • Deeper insight into vital data resulting in better decisions
  • Reduction or elimination of double-entry and other redundant tasks
  • Better synchronization of data across business applications and for all users
  • More effective collaboration with partners, customers, vendors, and business divisions

Software integration also adds value to the larger system. Interaction with the newly integrated software systems allows innovative, more complex, and efficient capabilities to the system.

The Right Approach to Software Integration

Software integration services help organizations and businesses reap more benefits from their software assets. The ever-increasing growth of technology has created amazing new opportunities; however, having so many options has also generated a great deal of inefficiency as software is added to an organization’s portfolio with no overall strategy.

Ayoka performs a thorough assessment of your organization’s software assets to determine if apps need to be retired, replaced, or integrated with newer solutions.  We have the unique capability to capture data from other software applications as well as the ability to capture control systems data directly from machines, instruments, microprocessors, Radio-frequency identification (RFID), and programmable logic controllers (PLC).

Using an intelligent integration strategy delivers a variety of benefits to organizations that want to save on costs, experience greater ROI, and boost efficiency from their existing assets.  The right approach to software integration services is Ayoka.  We are a Texas-based custom software development company with one clear objective – to deliver the best customer service.

Our mission is to develop enterprise applications in the USA that exceed the expectations of our clients while maintaining competitive pricing. We have successfully built everything from complex enterprise business software to completely innovative new mobile apps for startup companies.

By learning your business inside and out – in person – we can focus on the purpose, needs, and expectations of your organization so that we can deliver a robust, innovative, and very efficient software integration system.  Call Ayoka today at 817-210-4042 or fill out the contact form and one of our software integration experts will get back in touch with you promptly.

 

Preparing for the New Year with Custom Software

December 19, 2016
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As 2017 rapidly approaches, your business has made the decision to invest in custom software or enhance existing software.  More and more businesses are doing so as the investment in flexibility promises large gains in terms of productivity as well as competitive advantages. Custom software is designed to meet your business’ exact needs which simplifies your business processes and enhances your ROI.

With today’s mobile workforce substantially increasing, the ‘off the shelf” software programs lack the adaptability that is demanded by those who work off-site.  Additionally, the typical user’s profile is rapidly changing as businesses needs change and cloud-based platforms lessen the time and cost necessary to build custom solutions.

The Benefits

In preparation for your custom software, some of the key benefits you can look forward to are:

  • Innovation – Custom software enables businesses to enhance existing software to improve their current processes. Furthermore, it creates the intelligence to execute new tasks that are more appropriately aligned to decisive goals.
  • Efficacy – Custom software reduces the amount of time wasted while increasing agility and swiftness of response by conforming to the user demands exactly.
  • Cost Enhancement – Customization of software unlocks its maximum value, thereby minimizing risks and maximizing ROI.

The result is an innovative, more productive, and profitable business.

What to Look for in a Custom Software Developer

Integrating new custom software or enhancing existing software requires exceptional communication between you and the software developer.  A customer service-driven software developer focuses on providing a software solution that fits your needs and, at Ayoka Systems, we have one clear objective – delivering the very best in customer service.

From medical software development to manufacturing software development, Ayoka System’s mission is to exceed client expectations while maintaining competitive pricing.  By establishing a united approach with clients, we look beyond the technology and focus on the main objective of your software and how it aligns with your business. We love learning as much about your business as possible to formulate or integrate the custom software that is perfect for you.

Beyond the Desk

You probably do not go anywhere today where you do not see people working with mobile devices.  Some industries such as energy services require remote monitoring.  Remote and rural locations often lack internet connectivity.  Ayoka System designs mobile apps that incorporate a “store and forward” capability.  This means they are preloaded with data, operate without being connected to the internet, and allow the users to sync the data when internet connectivity is available.  A custom software program designed with this capability saves time, money, and a lot of work.

Communication 

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, the most advantageous benefit of custom software development is communication.  The very core of customer service is exceptional communication.  The internet and mobile apps give customers what they want and expect through interactive software.  If your business is experiencing steady growth, or has difficulty keeping up with the customer base, a custom app helps to solve this problem.  Ayoka System’s custom software development services create apps for business that can handle anything and everything.

More Powerful and Profitable 

If your business already has software that you want to make more powerful and profitable in 2017, you need a roadmap of exactly what you want to integrate.  Some of the things you need to consider are as follows:

  • Are there features and functions that need to be added? This can be anything from changing the way users interact when they log in or visit to changing items so they appear only in certain places on your site or app.  No matter what features you add, it is imperative that they are user-friendly.  These additions should be prioritized by business impact and the amount of time and effort required to implement them.
  • Do you need or want to make upgrades? Some upgrades require more precise planning than others.  For example, adding reporting abilities to a dashboard or web app requires more planning than adding eCommerce to your website.
  • Evaluate your website and web app performance. Do they need to work better or faster on mobile devices?  Do you need to add an Android or iOS app?  These integrations will require more time, but it is very important to include them in your custom software plan.

Make a Commitment 

Take your time and evaluate trusted custom software developers before you decide on one.  Changing developers midstream can be very costly.  You should choose a software development firm that works with you to establish a long-term relationship and someone you can rely on to make things right when things go wrong.

At Ayoka Systems, we are dedicated to serving you.  If you are not happy, we are not happy.  Prepare for the New Year with custom software by being ready before the New Year.  Contact us today and we will help you and your business with a plan for custom software for 2017 and beyond.

Point of Sale Solutions and Customer Service

November 22, 2016
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What do you think of when someone mentions customer service? Do you think of a separate desk where employees handle returns and rain checks? Do you think of a hotline for customer complaints and requests? These are only the final steps in a customer’s customer service journey. That journey begins the moment they walk into the store, and the quest’s tipping point stands at the cash register. When you think of customer service, you probably don’t think of point of sale (POS) software. However, to surpass expectations and win return sales, you need to rethink the role of your cashiers.

Developing Front of House Customer Service


Of all your employees, your cashiers interact with customers the most. Customers usually go straight to the register when they have questions, and every customer who makes a purchase ends their time in your establishment at the checkout. Employees don’t have to be part of the customer service department to play a vital role in customer appreciation. They are the front line of customer service. They provide answers, services, and suggestions. As well trained as your cashiers may be, however, they can still leave customers with unpleasant impressions of your business if employees do not have the tools they need. Nothing ruins a great customer experience like a long line or point of sale errors. Your customers may like your cashier, but your point of sale system represents your business just as much as your employee. If the point of sale system is down, cannot accept the customer’s preferred payment method, or simply takes too long, it will make your entire business appear unprofessional.

Even the smallest business with a traditional storefront has a cashier. That cashier may multitask, which makes it even more important to give your front of house employees the tools they need. By the time a customer goes to a separate desk or sends a comment to customer service, chances are you’ve already lost the customer’s trust.

Businesses without traditional storefronts need superior point of sale software even more. If a customer never meets your employees, and only uses your online store, their online experience will invariably determine their impression of your business. POS software for online storefronts needs to fulfill the roles of the cashier and the cash register at the same time. In order to find a POS system that meets these demands, businesses should invest in custom software development services. This is the only way to ensure your POS system meets the same customer service standards you hold your employees to.

Improving Your POS


To deliver great customer service, a POS system needs to assist human employees as much as possible. Include your POS system in any planned systems integration updates. A point of sale system that can communicate with bookkeeping and merchandise software cuts back on time and limits errors. This helps your business behind the scenes, but it also allows cashiers to focus on the customer rather than juggling multiple systems.

Consider your POS’s current abilities. Can it accept multiple payment types? If the system crashes, or a key piece of hardware, like a card scanner, malfunctions, can you still accept credit and debit payments? Your technical troubles should never interfere with a customer’s experience. When you hire custom software development services, you can augment existing systems with features you need or build a new POS system from the ground up. Every business will have slightly different needs, but creating a smooth interaction at your point of sale is critical for future business and repeat customers.

Make sure your POS allows cashiers to fulfill multiple functions. Customers will ask questions, especially as the holidays approach. Cashiers have to answer questions about sales, layaway options, return policies, and gift receipts. Customers face extra stress, and your point of sale needs to run faster and more efficiently than ever. By implementing software that keeps merchandise information, policies, customer records, and more, you preempt the worst of the holiday rush. Cashiers do more than finalize sales, but without the necessary tools, they can’t do their jobs at the pace your customers demand.

Custom software development services can streamline and improve any part of your business. While the most popular custom software updates often serve your back of house needs, these products can help any aspect of your business. Even if you have a separate customer service department, you must recognize that customer service begins even before a buyer walks into your shop. Cashiers hold a place of authority, and since they are the easiest employees to find, they must answer the majority of customer questions. The right software allows cashiers to fulfill the roles customers expect of them. An online business faces even greater customer service challenges, since no human employee can interact with the customer during the sale. Custom software development services allow you to pack everything you need into a POS system while simultaneously streamlining the flow of information to your back of house. Take care of your customers by giving them what they need where they expect to find it.

 

Benefits of Integrated E-Commerce Applications

November 15, 2016
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Integrated e-commerce applications link your online store to your physical store, your customer database, your shipping software, and more. Just as system integration allows your business to operate more efficiently by improving access and control, an integrated e-commerce application helps you take control of your points of sale. Selling in one store and one online marketplace is difficult enough. As your business expands to multiple online points of sale and additional storefronts, you face further problems. It becomes all too easy to ship the same product twice, mislabel bookkeeping entries, and even lose orders through inefficient system management. A custom e-commerce application can solve all these woes and more.

Minimize App Juggling


Say you sell from three different points of sale. You have a small boutique storefront, a shopping cart function on your website, and a shop on Amazon’s marketplace. Without an integrated e-commerce application, you’re looking at three different points of sale that come with three different kinds of POS software. Amazon uses its own system, your pre-made shopping cart software uses a different system, and your physical point of sale may or may not communicate with either of them. Hopefully, none of them pull from the same inventory, though small businesses with handmade goods or unique pieces of art have no choice but to post the same item both online and in the shop.

Juggling so many different apps eats time. Since time is money, you are sacrificing revenue to app juggling. Rather than trying to watch three different apps and then trying to channel them into bookkeeping or shipping separately, you can tie them into a single bundle. With custom software development, you can take all of your points of sale and have each one send information to and receive orders from the same app.

Reduce Errors


The sad truth of app juggling is that sometimes you drop an order. It’s easy to confuse information from two different points of sale, especially if two different customers have the same name, a similar address, or simply purchased similar products. Pulling information from so many different sources isn’t just exhausting. It’s confusing. Imagine an app that automatically updates all points of sale when a customer buys an item. All inventories would automatically show the change in available items, and you need to never again, awkwardly explain to a customer that you are sold out, even though the website says you still have two items in stock. Integrated e-commerce applications can combine customer, product, and shipping information into one powerful system that not only provides rapid results, but also provides the right results.

Save POS Management Time


Until now, every business has had to upload every image, description, and price into every different point of sale manually. If you opened an Amazon marketplace account, you would need to add all information manually. If you launched your own website with a shopping cart, you would need to add information manually. Every new point of sale demanded the same meaningless legwork. An integrated e-commerce system does the legwork for you.

Reduce Overhead


If you don’t already run some form of integrated e-commerce application, you’re throwing away profit. An integrated app allows you to control every step of fulfillment, from the order to the moment the package arrives, within a single system. Jumping between apps allows product to fall through the gaps, information to become confused, and endless labor hours to slip away. E-commerce is so popular because it gives customers instant satisfaction, and sellers profit without overhead. By choosing custom software development to design an integrated e-commerce app, you trim the overhead even further back.

The Benefits of a Custom App


Your business is unlike any other, so no pre-made app can suit your exact needs. Many only work with specific e-commerce websites and software. By choosing a custom app, you ensure all points of sale can communicate, all systems are accepted, and the software has all the features you need. A shop selling any kind of food will need to integrate somewhat different systems than an antiques dealer. The only way to ensure all points of sale, customer registers, and shipping software work together is to build the system around them.

Many businesses only use a single physical storefront, but that doesn’t mean they only have one point of sale. E-commerce demands expediency, accuracy, and organization. Juggling apps or hoping that a pre-made app can support all of your different systems is an invitation for lost time, revenue, and even customer loyalty. Your customers should never have to wonder about how their orders are processed. Usually, they only ask questions when things go wrong. Integrated e-commerce apps connect the dots from order to delivery, allowing you to conduct a fluid transaction. E-commerce represents the future of shopping. Investing in an integrated e-commerce app allows you to keep pace with the new market.

 

Web Developers and Web Design

November 8, 2016
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When you think of your favorite web apps, you probably think of something with a bright, clean design. The images help you understand key features, and you always know what you’re doing. Whether the app works as a game, an ordering system, or even an appraisal tool, the design helps it serve you better. The best part is, the better the app works, the less you notice the design. When the design fails, however, it reflects badly on the company as a whole. It may even discourage you from buying services from that company again.

By using a software development service that also provides web design services, you can begin your project with proof of your developer’s aesthetic skill. This critical element to app design comes with several key benefits for your software and your business

Complimentary Features


First and foremost, you must consider how your web design compliments your software. Most websites use linked or incorporated web apps to create a seamless experience for users. If your app has an entirely different designer than your website, however, it’s nearly impossible to keep a perfectly uniform theme. Even if you use the same branded banners and logos, different developers, like different artists, create slightly different work. Customers expect a seamless transition between services. Most customers perceive websites and web apps as the same thing, so if there is a disconnect in the style between your website and various apps, it will confuse potential buyers.

Pairing development and design, helps the app itself, too. You want an app with a clean design as well as smooth function. By hiring custom software development services that also provide web design services, you choose the best of both worlds. Companies with web design services know how to unite excellent graphics and design with clever, useful app features. Since customers rely on an app’s layout and imagery to understand it, appearances matter even more than usual when developing new software. Great customer software development also offers web design services, because an unattractive app is like a decrepit storefront.

Fewer Glitches


Glitches and errors are inevitable, but advance planning limits their numbers. While browsing software and your customer’s computer upgrades are beyond your control, you can make sure the design of your website or app isn’t interfering with function. Even convoluted screensaver software will crash a computer if the programming proves incompatible. Imagine the frustration of your beautiful, expensive new design crashing the app your clients most often use to place orders.

Package Rates


While custom software development is an excellent investment, every business operates on a budget. You must save money where you can. Custom products usually cost more than pre-made services, but customers can expect better results. A tailored suit fits better than one off the rack. Just like the pieces of a suit, however, development and design services may cost less when bought together. Whether you avoid paying upfront consultation fees a second time, or the company offers a package rebate, buying more than one product from a single business almost always costs less than buying services from separate providers. Custom software development and web design services often go together, and you may be surprised how much you can save now and in the future by securing both services from a single developer.

Future Support


Future savings come from future tech support. While custom software may serve longer and better than software off the shelf, one of its greatest benefits comes from developer support. Some developers offer a period of free support. Once that time has expired, however, you still save. No one knows your software better than the people who developed it. Custom software developers can fix issues at greater speed with greater accuracy than generic support from a major provider thanks to that pre-existing knowledge.

Any program you link to custom software makes the developer’s job more difficult. Foreign code confuses the root of the problem, and there’s no guarantee your developer has worked with your web designer’s work before. Graphics and design often cause issues, and it’s possible for the developer’s fix to actually scramble part of your design. When you hire custom software development and web design services from the same provider, you ensure your chief problem-solvers don’t lose their advantage.

Pairing development and design, provides important benefits from the inception of your project onward. Choosing both software development and web design from the same provider not only saves you money, but creates a superior product. Customers move easily between informational web pages and web app content. The various functions and features of your web presence operate together with fewer glitches, and since your developer understands essentially everything about your app and website, every problem is easier to fix. Hiring web design services isn’t the same as hiring a company to design banners and posters for events. Web design plays an important part in an app’s function. For the best results, trust a developer with proven design experience to create your custom software.

Winning Customers with Custom Software

November 1, 2016
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Everyone struggles to win customers, and marketing campaigns become very expensive very quickly. You may think of custom software development as a back of house upgrade, but customers often discover your business through your web presence. This means your web or mobile apps will make that critical first impression. Simply making a pretty website leaves vast opportunities for marketing and sales untapped. By making the most of your custom software, you turn your app into a lure for customers. Make apps that can speak for you through user-friendly interfaces and options. Build safe websites and mention your custom security in ads and sales pitches. A well designed app can make the sale for you, from beginning to end. First, however, you must understand what your customers are looking for.

User-Friendly Apps


The best part of custom software development is design. Work with the developers from the beginning to achieve your goals, and you’ll be amazed what you can achieve. Although it’s important to consider what you want your software to do, it’s just as important to consider what you don’t want your software to do. Think of every user interface that has ever given you a headache, or every system that just can’t seem to get along with your operating system.

You don’t want your digital storefront, your web and mobile apps, to fall prey to these same flaws. Tricky or confusing software deters buyers and creates additional work. Think of your customers when you design your apps. What do customers like about your store or previous website? What complaints do customers share? Use this feedback as a roadmap to the ultimate user-friendly app.

All apps interact with the user, but the best engage users. A fun app draws more return customers than a boring one. Utilizing graphics, previews, and other features compatible with both traditional and touch screen interfaces adds an element of muscle memory to the impression your app leaves in the customer’s mind.

Selling Safety


Online security is a bigger issue than ever. When major browser and search engines like Google announce plans to remove unsecured websites from their results, customers take notice. To win customers, you must not only run secure apps, but also let customers know about your security through marketing. Custom software development provides the best, most secure software on the market. Not only is it tailored to suit your needs, but its unique design deters hackers and limits your vulnerability to attack. Since hackers use and share the same tricks and backdoors over and over again, they are less likely to attack unique software without familiar entry points. Even custom versions of existing software offer superior protection to off the shelf software, since developers use the latest, most secure additions with security updates and improvements.

Using Sales in Software


You already teach your employees how to sell product. They suggest additional purchases, compare benefits of different products when customers cannot decide, push credit and layaway options, and generally do their best to provide information and close the sale. Software isn’t as intuitive as a human yet, but it’s come a long way from the days of static text and pixilated images.

Today, custom software development offers web and mobile apps that can do much of your work for you, including a great deal of your sales. Using discrete suggestions and presenting a range of logical options helps connect customers to the right products. Your web and mobile apps should serve as an active guide for customers rather than a passive catalogue of your inventory. While you can provide chat options for customers who would like help or suggestions, by and large, your shoppers will go through your app alone. Think of your app as both a destination and an employee. It fills both these roles for potential customers.

Once upon a time, websites served as digital billboards. They had more information, but they served the same purpose. Customers needed to contact the seller, find a shop, or email an appointment request. Today, a huge number of transactions take place solely online. While it’s still important to provide information in case customers need to reach you, most prefer to do their own shopping. They interact with your app to make purchases, examine options, and even preview customizations. Your app must be user-friendly in order to make a sale, and it must use creative sales techniques to push additional merchandise. Customers care about ease and security. Use your custom software’s innate security as a sales point and allow the app to walk customers through a sale. Custom software wins customers, especially when it’s paired with careful marketing. There are always customers online, but they only want to shop with the best companies. Make sure your company represents itself well online. Remember, custom software development allows you to showcase the very best your business has to offer.