We’ve taken what we consider to be a major step forward: For the first time, the motivation of our work has been a project without any direct customer involvement and which has originated solely from our own desire for improvement and efficiency. But let’s  go back to the beginning…

Our motivation: yes, we can – and even better!

We have been developing optimization software for customers over the last few years, . During this time, we have experienced one thing in particular: even if every single customer has different requirements and specifications for a project, a certain number of these overlap. Over the years, we have re-developed these. It has taken up a lot of our time and, as a result, it has been an expensive business for our customers.

Besides, there are features which have no quantitative measurable use for the customer, like search tools, filters or other usability features. These do make a user’s life a lot easier but if the development costs money, then this is where the customer often tends to save. That’s why we could not always provide software the way we wanted to and could…

Our idea: a platform

But we want our software to be as good as it can be. That’s why we wanted to integrate all the features which were too expensive for each customer. To do this, we needed a basic framework providing all the features and options which we had identified as being essential (nice to have) to users over the last few years. We wanted to place customer-specific requirements on this framework and configure it to their needs. The framework was to provide our customers with better software within a shorter period of time and for less money. Does that sound like us trying to square the circle? We have to admit, it wasn’t all that easy.

Our solution: OPTANO

In 2011, we began to develop this basic framework in the form of a platform called OPTANO.

By doing so, we have created a basis for future developments:

  • User-friendly features are already included! (searching, filtering, moving columns around, conditional formatting and lots more)
  • There are templates for different views! (e.g. for charts -including pivot charts – maps, and many more)
  • The platform code has already been tested! (Tests are only necessary for customized parts).OPTANO has a modular structure. This means that components which are separated according to content also need to be separated in the software. For example, user management is always a module of its own and separated from the content-related modules. While its implementation requires more work, it can still be extended at a later date and is pretty uncomplicated.

Alongside the above options , which can be offered for the finished product, OPTANO can also provide demo products in just a few days. In this way, customers get an idea of how their requirements can be implemented in OPTANO.  For us as well as our customers there is a big difference as to whether we use mock-ups for a presentation or actually use a functioning software demonstration.

OPTANO has a modular structure. This means that components which are separated according to content also need to be separated in the software. For example, user management is always a module of its own and separated from the content-related modules. While its implementation requires more work, it can still be extended at a later date and is pretty uncomplicated.

It goes without saying that we  continue to enhance OPTANO by incorporating new features and making it even more user-friendly. The advantage of the platform solution for customers is that they can benefit from the enhancements even when the product is already complete. We simply update the platform to the latest version and provide the customer with the new features.

Our résumé

To be honest – we love OPTANO! Finally, we can offer our customers products which are as good as they can get. Of course, we are working on OPTANO to make it even better but we have already achieved our goal: OPTANO has enabled us to develop software in a shorter period of time. And, we  can proudly announce that we have already acquired several customers for OPTANO this year.

Convince yourself of  the advantages OPTANO can offer you by testing our OPTANO demo version.