Xpandion Blog

  • Home
    Blog Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.

Does Your Software Suit You?

Posted by in Xpandion
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 5251
  • 0 Comments
  • Print

When you go to a tailor to purchase a suit, do you prefer a suit that fits you 100%, in size and taste? Or would you rather get a semi-fitted suit, which is not quite your size (baggy…) and only close to the color you wanted? I’m pretty sure the unanimous answer is a 100% tailored suit – nothing less. In off-the-shelf software however, I recommend the opposite: tailor the software as little as possible.

iStock 000021570269XSmall

 

Suit vs. Software

Upgrade. That’s the difference between a suit and software. Nobody thinks their suit will be upgraded annually so the expectation is to leave the store with a 100% fitted suit (which can also cost a fortune…). As opposed to a suit, you can count on having to upgrade your software regularly; when you buy software from a 3rd party, you expect it to be upgraded for bug fixes and future features. You even prepare for an upgrade by trying to estimate annual maintenance costs during the purchase process. Enterprises want the upgrade process to be as simple and fast as possible; this is why they are willing to compromise on certain features and capabilities during the implementation phase. 


Easy Customization vs. Hard Customization

Customization is basically making sure that off-the-shelf software works according to the taste and desire of a specific organization. Although a report by Panorama Consulting claims that 23% of organizations implement vanilla ERP software with little to no customization, I have never witnessed a client that didn’t customize its ERP software (and the same goes for Xpandion’s software…). The only question is how much customization is required and how will it impact future upgrades.

When I say easy customization I mean adjusting the product’s look & feel and functionality according to customer requirements – without having to change any codes. Switching user interface colors to fit customer’s brand, including other logos or adding steps to workflow processes – are all examples of easy customization. Don’t be fooled by the word easy. Easy customization can include many activities and take a lot of time. Still, since all customization actions are built-in possibilities, easy customization hardly affects the upgrade process. From the software’s point of view, it’s really easy.  

Hard customization usually involves coding, and when dealing with coding you should definitely expect difficulties in the upgrade process. Adding codes for additional validation checks, changing database queries, extending tables with additional fields or converting data in tables to emails – are all examples of hard customization. Just imagine the problems you would face if the next software version didn’t include the modified table or if data in the database changed to a new format. Examples like these are the reason why some organizations are traumatized by the process of upgrading their software.

My Recommendation: Keep it Simple

If this recommendation rings a bell then 2 points for you; yes I strongly believe in the rule if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. When you start the implementation process try to focus on easy customization and avoid hard customization as much as you can; even if this forces you to compromise and adapt to the standard version of the software. Remember, hard customization means more difficulties during an upgrade, and many more resources needed for completing the upgrade.

Dror Aviv joined Xpandion in 2010 as a programmer in the R&D team. Combining technical knowledge with implementation skills, Mr. Aviv serves today as a Senior Implementation Advisor, bringing with him extensive hands-on experience from the field. He works closely with customers at their sites, and is an expert in defining customer needs, translating them into business process and implementing them via ProfileTailor Dynamics’ suite of products.

Comments

  • No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Leave your comment

Guest 27/04/2017

RELATED BLOG POSTS

10/09/2013
in XpandionPosted by Yoav Michaeli

Do You Understand the Meaning of Behavior-Based Profiling?

Xpandion creates “behavior-based profiling” for business applications. Sounds impressive, huh? However, do you know what it means, exactly?

28/03/2013
in XpandionPosted by Dror Aviv

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

I, for one, feel confident when implementing new software on a client’s server or on our secured cloud; nonetheless I can’t necessarily say the same about the customer... Sometimes I feel that customers are a bit nervous when I’m around, especially when I ask questions about their SAP authoriza...
12/11/2013
in XpandionPosted by Moshe Panzer

Xpandion and the Cloud: Compliance in Loosely-Connected Environments

For the last couple of years, the cloud has proven to be both an obstacle and an opportunity for enterprises. Even the largest Fortune 500 Companies who like to have their data on their own servers can't ignore the cloud anymore and are forced to create a policy for using it. Even if they aren't m...
12/10/2010
in Security & AuthorizationsPosted by Dror Aviv

When SAP® users get sleepy

“Dormant” SAP usersSome licensing-optimization tools for SAP, including ProfileTailor LicenseAuditor claim that they can identify “dormant user accounts”. Some customers don’t understand what this means and say – we identify dormant user accounts by ourselves – just look at table ‘USR02’ and see the...
08/04/2014
in Security & AuthorizationsPosted by Moshe Panzer

How to Tell Your Mother That You’re an SAP Authorization Manager

Oh Mama! Although the title of this blog refers to mothers, it’s really referring to anyone who’s not technically savvy. The people that, when you tell them that you’re the new authorization manager at your corporation will squint their eyes and say, “Well, I’m sure it’s great and everything, but w...

Headquarters

+972-3-624-4245

157 Yigal Alon Street,

Tel Aviv 67443, Israel

info@xpandion.com

US Office

+1-800-707-5144

33 West 19th Street, New York,

NY 10011, USA

info.us@xpandion.com

India Office

+91-989-2546216

C 103, Akruti Orchid Park, Andheri-Kurla Road,

Andheri East, Mumbai, India

info@xpandion.com