The Proposal Process
Prior to beginning planning and development on a custom solution, we first talk with you to gain an understanding of your unique needs. This process typically takes place by phone and email. Once we have a fair understanding of your needs, then we prepare a proposal document for you.
Typically, a proposal document will contain a rough overview of the proposed project, along with an estimated budget and timeline for planning, development, testing, and integration. Our solution terms and licensing information are also included, as well as a proposal acceptance agreement, to be signed and faxed back to us as your approval to proceed. Once we receive this agreement, we will add your project to our schedule.
The Development Process
Typically, custom development is broken into four primary phases. However, the actual phases of development for any project may vary depending on the complexity of the solution required. The following phases are generally included in the development of any custom solution.
A planning phase is the first stage of our development process. During this phase, we plan out the design and functionality of your custom solution. To ensure that we fully understand all aspects of the process we will automate, we sometimes request to come to your office and/or conduct several conference calls to discuss the process and ask questions.
For less complex projects, we will usually create a brief development outline of the project after all questions have been answered. Pending your approval of this outline, development will begin. For certain projects, the initial proposal document will serve as the development outline.
For extremely complex projects, the result of the planning phase will be a detailed document, outlining all of the rules, features, and functions of your solution. This document will provide an understanding of what will be developed, along with the ability to dictate any required changes or enhancements before actual development begins.
Once you have approved the project plan, we will begin development on your actual solution. During this phase, we will write the code, create the interfaces (if required), and perform any other required development.
As development nears completion, we will begin to conduct rigorous testing of your solution. At this time, we will begin making adjustments and changes as needed, based on our testing.
Once the solution has been developed and tested by us, it will be delivered to you for testing. This will give you time to try out the solution and make sure that it interacts as it should with your own workflow. Should any changes be required, we will make the changes and deliver an updated solution to you for additional testing.
Once all testing issues have been ironed out with your solution, the integration phase begins. During this phase, we will deliver a complete solution to you. At this time, we will help you to integrate the solution into your workflow and configure it for "live" usage. In most cases, delivery takes place via email or remote access, and written integration instructions are provided. Complex solutions may require an onsite visit for delivery and integration.
While our solutions are generally solid and reliable once they are delivered, additional support is sometimes necessary. Support may be required for a variety of reasons such as scenarios that weren't anticipated during planning and testing, changes to your workflow, hardware or software upgrades, etc.
During the support phase, we will work with you to ensure that your solution continues to run as it should. Extended support and maintenance contracts are available on request.