Your way…

Does the tail wag the dog? If software makes you do things their way to make it work you just lost what makes your comapny unique. Software should not make you the same as your competitors it should accellerate you beyond your competitiors.

Your business process is what makes you unique

Your operation has gained it’s current success due to the excellent business practices and processes you have in place. It’s common for software to be unable to bend to fit your practice and so you have to alter and adapt. The software is too inflexible and it will cost you money.

Why is flexibility important?

Every month, our customers come to us with new requirements, new dictates from a client, new needs. A world-class case management software product will handle these 95% of the time with a simple configuration change. You know you are in a bad situation when the software vendor starts talking about ‘modifications’ and ‘specifications’. Here is a simple example:

You are asked to record the days that a certain event happens for a certain client on a certain type of case for that client. You would love to embed that into the running sheet and have it available during the data entry process. You meet blank stares from your ‘software guy’. Then the whiteboard is pulled out and you hear mutterings about ‘TCP/IP, Database changes, Deltas, and all sorts of things that interest you.. not. You are on the way to a whole load of pain if you try to alter the code to adapt to this need. Your alternative? Office documents such as Excel/Word, you start capturing the data in a spreadsheet and now indicate to the staff (hopefully only in one office) that you need them to access document ABC.doc from the N: drive whenever customer X calls with a type Y job. Then you need to modify the ‘templates’ and burn/send CDs to the investigators, then you.. you get the picture. A world-class system would make this a simple change to two places and you would be running as soon as you where ready.

Configuration over software modification

A COTS (Customizable Off The Shelf) application provides all the functionality, features and framework you need for an industry leading investigation management application are build and included at purchase. Your time to ROI is as little as a month. Compare this to a system you get ‘the software guy’ to write for you. Your ROI would start within a year perhaps? Most large business is moving towards COTS solutions and it’s something you should really consider. What does a COTS solution do for investigation management?

You get to make the software work with:

  • Your business process
  • Your documents
  • Your reports

The software can be configured to cover:

  • Your clients SLAs
  • Your business KPIs
  • Your staff KPIs
  • Staff management

The software will adapt to:

  • What makes your business unique
  • What makes your business better

About the Author
Stuart Guthrie is the co founder of Polonious and our senior technology expert with more than 25 years of experience in software development, IT management, project leadership and business development. Stuart specialises in working with clients to develop plans and execute new technology capabilities with open source software. Stuart’s work has previously helped his customers win awards, reduce long term costs, improve productivity and generally love the technology they work with. Stuart has experience in a wide variety of industry sectors with previous engagements across: Banking, Insurance, Broking, Investment, Manufacturing, Distribution, Media, Software, TV, Vehicle, Local, State and Federal Government. Clients have included Otis Elevator, Rothschilds Investments, Mercedes Benz, British Broadcasting Corp, Sims Group, Galore Group, Hannan Print, Channel Seven, Progress Software Corporation (UK), IMAN Health Plans, Hartford Insurance Group, Pittwater Council, RTA NSW, DPIE (Canberra).

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Alastair Steel, Dip.Crim. is the co founder of Polonious and our investigation subject matter expert.
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Rick Shepherd, CFE is the president of Polonious Investigation Management Systems USA.
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For more about Polonious the IT company visit Polonious.

Last updated: September 24th, 2009