Standard product or customized software: Make the right choice
Choose a standard solution, an off-the-shelf product, and making adaptations to meet your individual requirements and preferences is usually only possible to a limited degree. In contrast, with customized software the solution is developed for you and perfectly tailored for your area of use. However, you also pay for the entire development, do not profit from the accumulated market knowledge, from the experience of other customers or from the innovative strength of the supplier. Yet there is another path that leads between these two extremes. Find the right one for your business.
Off-the-rack or tailor-made?
Even for large, integrated business applications it is best to remain as close to a standard product as possible in order to benefit from new software updates, product developments, documentation and training. Therefore, modern products offer the option of extensively customizing by means of configuration. However, there are cases for which parameterization simply does not suffice, for which specific adaptations are necessary and also explicitly desired.
We offer comprehensive software suites with our products BSI CRM, BSI Contact Center, BSI Insurance, BSI PoS and BSI CTMS, even to meet complex requirements. The standard is continuously further developed and functionally upgraded with a release each year. And with BSI you receive not only the product, but full service. We integrate the software in your system landscape, understand your business cases and supply the specific processes and workflows needed, add customized functions so that your customer relationship does not end at the system boundaries and thereby fits precisely. In other words: like tailor-made.
If a standard product is used, we parameterize and/or upgrade it. And if necessary, we also develop a new “piece” of software.
The fastest path: configuration
Elements, processes, logic for document templates, permissions, fields or even entire masks: a great deal can be implemented with a simple adaptation of the BSI standard product – without programming. The code is not changed, so the software remains 100% release-capable. That feels almost like a tailored suit – at an attractive off-the-rack price.
The worthwhile detour: further development
If good ideas arise during projects, then we gladly build them into the standard product or an existing industry solution – of course, in close coordination with the customer and with guaranteed business secrecy. This benefits everyone. We can improve our product and the customer can simply use these improvements. The customer need only pay for the integration – the development costs are covered by BSI.
The nearby private path: plug-ins
Naturally, there are cases in which neither configuration nor further development are enough. This can occur with interfaces, specific business rules, complex reports with large external data volumes and elements that are foreign to the CRM. We build these software components in separate, customized plug-ins. The core of the product however is not affected – it remains read-only. In this way, the elements remain transparent and are easily portable with new releases. They belong to the customer.
This enables BSI to offer a stable and nevertheless flexible product that can grow over time as requirements change for the customer. The core remains release-capable, is documented and is supported. During an update, only the customized plug-ins need be transferred and tested. This provides operational security and enables a sustainable high return on investment (ROI).
The entirely new path: Internal development
If a situation is so individual and unique that we cannot fall back on the BSI standard product, then we work with the customer to develop completely new software.
When to customize?
Standard software is just right for standard requirements. This is where you can accept compromises. There, where no competitive advantage is to be gained by doing it differently to the competition.
Customized solutions make sense if they are crucial for the company. So for each modification ask yourself whether a real, and above all, a quantifiable benefit is being created:
- Through which functions do I differentiate myself from the competition?
- Through which interfaces do I receive data in my system so that I get a more comprehensive, better view of my customers? And how can I use it to differentiate myself from the competition?
- Through which specific processes can I truly offer individual service?
Examples of this include lead management, interface, processes, 360° views, reports and customer segmenting. Break your processes down into the basics and identify those that are of prime importance to you. We will be happy to assist you in the process of identifying and specifying them accordingly.
Specify and release
When choosing the right path for you it is essential to properly specify. Trust your provider. Through their many years of experience, they often know very precisely whether the standard will suffice or if adaptations make sense. We undertake this with comprehensive workshops and provide clear information about recommended and not recommended change requests and show the (even the long-term) implications of a customized modification. The deviations from the standard you choose should be documented and approved by your management. In this way, the consequences are consciously communicated to the decision-makers and unwelcome future surprises are prevented. Sustainable solutions are created through purposeful customization.