Look at it. It’s your pride and joy. It’s certainly not something you rushed into unprepared either. You searched and searched and you found the perfect partner. You considered every detail and created the perfect environment for it to thrive and grow. You’ve socialized it and invited others to interact with it, continuously amazed that it’s yours.
Could you ever imagine anything so perfect? Could you ever imagine a better custom software product?
How Can Your Partner Help It Grow Up?
To realize your vision, you likely talked to several software development organizations or individuals to find a good match for your requirements, budget, schedule, and style. You’ve hopefully been pleased with your choice and you may have even discussed an ongoing relationship once your initial software version arrives in the digital world.
Perhaps, however, you need to channel your remaining budget and energy into making sure potential users are as excited about your product as you are? How much of your budget can you allocate to keep the development team with your partner going?
Or are you continuing to enhance your product with your partner to a more mature version? Is the development team regularly interrupted by the needs of current users?
How can your partner help when a user points out a blemish or suggests an improvement? Or when changes in the supporting technology happen, can your partner anticipate and react to the change to keep your product viable and vibrant?
You likely want to reduce your spending. Ongoing Support and Maintenance for products, or Continuation Engineering, is one way to handle the changes your software will see throughout its, hopefully, long and profitable, lifetime.
So What’s A New Product Owner To Do?
Can you hire staff to provide bug-fixes, implement improvements, and perform updates as needed? Great! You can set your staff’s priorities and manage their time. You’ll have the knowledge right in-house with you.
If your product consists of multiple technologies and requires several skill sets such as .NET, iOS, Android and QA, it’s hard to find all that talent in one person. You may need to hire a few people to cover the needs your product has. You’ll be able to direct their work, and may also have to find additional work for your staff to keep them busy and interested.
There are many independent contractors who will be happy to take care of your product. Again, you will need to search for the right skills and fit. They may be working on several products at a time so you don’t need to keep them busy and only have to pay for the time they are working with your product.
Since they likely have other clients, they may not always be immediately available for an urgent issue. And if they should choose to work elsewhere, or win the lottery and head for the Caribbean in their new yacht, you’ll be left looking for someone else to spend time with your software and trying to manage a transition.
Hire the Big Guys!
Maybe you can continue to work with your partner at a reduced level of spending, using the skills that created your product. Or, you can approach other companies to see if they offer Continuation or Maintenance Services. However, it can sometimes be difficult to find a partner interested in and able to support your changing budget and skillset needs long term.
Or… You Can Talk To Us
As a custom software provider, we’ve helped bring many new software products into the world. It’s unusual for a new product to have anticipated everything users and the market wants, so updates and bug fixes are a normal part of the software product lifecycle. As your product matures and as new versions of browsers, mobile devices, and operating systems are released, it will inevitably need changes. Not to mention, system vulnerabilities are discovered and need patching. The digital world is very dynamic.
MentorMate has a team of technologists dedicated to product support and maintenance. Our Continuation Engineering staff covers the range of technologies we develop with and the production environments we deploy our clients’ products on.
Whether you need a little ongoing work or a lot, in one skillset or in many, we can help. For a fixed monthly fee, you can purchase a set number of technical support hours per month, to be used across any of our technologists. If in September you need to verify your iOS App on the latest version, you can prioritize QA and iOS work, but in October switch to address database issues. Your budget is predictable, and your Continuation Engineering team is staffed with the skills you need. We do allow some flexibility in hour allocation month-to-month since it’s not always easy to hit the exact number of hours by the end of each month. If changes occur in our staff, we take the responsibility of on-boarding and continuing our services for you. As a software development company of 18 years, we’re committed to client satisfaction in all our offerings.
Interested? Reach out to us today. Your darling software deserves nothing less.