The BoXeD solution packaged software

By Brandon Roach August 10, 2012

Boxed Software Solution

Nothing else

Boxed software solution

After you have a website built to current standards the fun really begins. Now you can supercharge your internet strategy with professional systems that are currently in the market. Your hub should be your website where you can link out to all business critical areas. Whether it is a storefront, intranet, or targeted web pages.

(But Brandon this whole time you have been against buying your own software, I can’t take this don’t do it, do it. What do you want from me.) I never said that you should never not buy software, I just don’t think your website as a whole should be a boxed or template solution. It should be a fluid piece that other parts are easily adapted to.

There are many examples of when to use a boxed solution effectively, one of our biggest software purchases that has helped us the most is our ticket system. There are many common needs that I would recommend a boxed solution for. Once a solid foundation for your website is in place it is easy to add and add exponentially to it.

Software that is looking to be integrated should adhere to all of the usual principles of accessibility and web standards. I always look for packages that offer as much customization as possible. Hopefully you have a good relationship set up with developers and you can customize the look and feel as closely as possible to existing style guides. Easily add branding for the finishing touches that let your users know where they are at.

Key ingredients on which system to buy

  1. Does is currently fit into my infrastructure.
  2. Is it scalable, can I build on to it. (If I do build on to it when it is upgraded do I have to rewrite my code.)
  3. Do I own it or is it hosted (Depends on the use, but I am not sold either way)
  4. How easy are upgrades.
  5. Test that full customer support and make sure the real cost of support. (If you were referred to the product chances are the support is very good, that’s how customers are kept.)

On whether or not to buy software or possible develop your own

  1. Do I have any overlapping technology that will be duplicating efforts by my team. If so which is the better technology and will I still be able to keep a smooth workflow with my efforts.
  2. Let’s develop a five year process time line, does this software fit into that, will I be able to extend my efforts forward and retain momentum that has currently been created.
  3. Is my team responsible for upgrading or will it be seamless as part of the transition, if they are upgrading and hosting are they giving me enough access via APIs to accomplish future tasks. If I am hosting what is the upgrade cost will all my customization be overwritten.
  4. Will I get the help (customer support) when I need it, hands down if it is critical price usually isn’t the issue, fulfillment on helping is. Can this company handle that. If they are bought out will things go on as they have been. YouTube was a pretty seamless transition vs. my Yahoo music to Napster a pain in my butt.

For success of a system to be integrated into your business a key element is rolling it out to the individuals that will be using it. This takes as much effort as the decision on which one to buy. A system is only as good as the people using it. This is one of my favorite parts of consulting is seeing how people interact within an operation. Every business is different and the people within accomplish the same tasks as other business’ but in entirely different ways.

A Better Web,
Brandon Roach