Cannibalizing services to build the ‘off the shelf’ utopia

Bespoke development is rarely a good investment for your customer – at best it’s a short term play by a vendor with a short term view of the vendor/customer relationship.

Customers get a solution built specifically for their needs but at Sabisu we feel the customer should be investing, not spending. Better to invest in a vendor which is willing to develop the product into something that pays back in the long term. That’s an investment. It’s a commitment from vendor and customer to the long term.

The challenge for the vendor is getting that quality build tried and tested by industry leaders so that the early majority can see the reduced implementation costs. Sabisu is there now but it starts small. As Geoffrey Moore so famously documents in Crossing the Chasm, it starts with the visionaries.

Working with those visionary foundation customers in the early days, a product necessarily starts out as virtually bespoke – at some point, you have to choose a user with a problem which needs solving.

Sabisu started like this but the team was lucky, starting with a petrochemical giant with needs common to many industry sectors – in fact, any complex industrial environment. Different sectors have different names for processes but essentially the software they require does the same job.

The Sabisu team is excellent at spotting these commonalities and building the simplest solution to meet them all. This drives down services revenue as these needs are embedded into the product. We want everything our customers need to be ‘off the shelf’, ready to go with minimal configuration.

During the project process we analyse the customers requirements and decide on a technical approach by asking the following questions:

  • Do we already have something similar?
  • Will this involve a change to the platform?
  • Will other customers have a use for this?

This ensures we’re not building the same solution twice. We know if something is already built and productised the implementation costs for our customers are significantly reduced. If it’s something we need to build from scratch we’ll make sure it’s something that could be used by other customers in the future. If it involves a change to the way the platform works we’ll evaluate the benefit of this to all our customers and the impact it will have on their current applications.

Ensuring our products can be easily replicated into off the shelf solutions with only minor configuration required means a quick implementation turnaround, with a more rapid return on investment, it’s more cost effective for our customers and it has the quality you only get with a tried and tested solution.

We may take less in services revenue but the customers get what they need faster and to a higher quality.

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