When you hear the words “custom software development”, what’s your first impression? What comes to mind?
When we ask customers this question, we often get answers, like “not sure it’s necessary”, “isn’t that really expensive?”, “oh, that’s not in the budget right now”, or “we don’t see the need for something that specific”.
It’s our pleasure, therefore, to let people know that custom software development can be as simple as using a platform, like Power Automate, to create an automated workflow that helps employees be more efficient in their day. At ProServeIT, we believe that you just need to start somewhere. So, in this blog, we’re going to show you five easy ways that you can unlock the power of custom software development in your organization.
#1: Unlock Custom Software Development Through Automation
As mentioned in the quick example above, there are many benefits to using custom software development to automate workflows in your organization. And these projects don’t need to be massive undertakings, either. Using technology, like Power Apps and Power Automate, it’s possible to create workflows in a matter of minutes, hours, or days.
The most exciting thing about these technologies and the capabilities that come with them is that elegant solutions are right at your fingertips, and you can experience the value for your business much sooner than more traditional custom software development projects. Here’s an example:
ProServeIT’s Office Capacity Manager Application:
When COVID-19 hit and many organizations were forced to switch to remote working, there was a need for organizations to safely bring their employees back to the office and ensure that their workforce would still be able to access the offices and worksites they needed to get to. Simply, the Office Capacity Manager application allows employees to utilize any device they’re familiar with – phone, tablet, or laptop – to fill out a health screening form and select the dates they want to go into the office or on the worksite. That form is automatically emailed to the employee’s manager, who can approve or deny access from their device of choice.
Check out the short video below to see the Office Capacity Manager application in action:
#2: Unlock Custom Software Development with Data & Reporting
Custom software development can also be a game-changer when it comes to data and reporting. If you’ve ever had to manually assemble reports from data that resides in multiple systems or multiple locations, you’ll know that these activities can be time-consuming, tedious, and doesn’t always guarantee the most recent or accurate data is used to make your important business decisions.
A single source of truth for your reporting, therefore, is something that’s pertinent to all businesses, to ensure that we have confidence in the data you’re working with and the decisions you’re making from it. Tools like Azure Data Lake, Azure Data Warehouse, and Microsoft Power BI provide opportunities to integrate disparate systems and create a single source of truth to build reports and dashboards out of them.
This short video shows an example of what Power BI is capable of & how it can be used to aggregate your data. Best of all, these kinds of software development projects can be done in stages, giving you a viable product at the end of each stage, so that you can see the value of having custom-built, real-time dashboards for your organization.
Interested in seeing how custom software development can facilitate the simplification of your data & reporting? Check out our Business Intelligence Workshop and explore Business Intelligence reporting possibilities and capabilities for your organization.
#3: Unlock Custom Software Development for Frontline and Remote Workers
Custom Software Development can also be beneficial for organizations who have teams, agents, sales representatives, personal support workers, or other employees that not only spend time working remotely, but also require access and ability to interact with corporate information real-time.
Your organization may have progressed past requiring that your field services engineers, sales team members, or other frontline or remote workers record their interactions and activities with customers and clients in a paper journal, recognizing that it is an inefficient way to gather pertinent data. But, do your frontline and remote workers have full access to connected devices that provide them with information on inventory levels, accounts receivable status, alerts & notifications, dashboards that are connected to real-time data, and customer history and interactions?
Custom software development can provide valuable guidance to organizations, like yours, on how to deploy systems like this in your environment. Technologies like Dynamics CRM, for example, are easy ways that your frontline and remote workers can carry entire business systems in the palm of their hands. Ready to meet your game-changing competitive advantage? Give us a shout!
#4: Unlock Custom Software Development for Employee Health & Wellness
In a lot of ways, the cultural norms of the office – “water cooler chats”, in-person meetings, and working in-person with each other – provided the opportunity to tell whether or not someone seemed a little down, or out-of-sorts. Colleagues and managers could see when people were stressed out, overwhelmed, or upset, and they could choose to use that information to initiate a conversation and provide support. When the pandemic hit and employees were forced to move to remote working, those touchpoints and social interactions were disrupted, and it became harder for colleagues and managers to gauge employee mental health and wellness.
In this difficult time, technology has kept us together – we’ve been able to use solutions like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or WebEx, to host virtual meetings and check-ins, but the question must be asked – surely technology can do more for employee health & wellness?
The answer is yes! With custom software development, organizations can easily take advantage of Artificial Intelligence technologies, like Microsoft Bot Framework, to create bots that can reach out and ask your team to tell you how they’re doing on a scale of one to five, or just do a quick wellness check. This webinar that we filmed at the beginning of the pandemic has some great examples of how to use bots to address employee wellness – check out the short demo video below, or register to see the full webinar!
Employee health and wellness extends beyond the mental realm, too – another example that ProServeIT has helped to implement is the idea of utilizing technology and custom software development to use technology like Microsoft Bot Framework to create safety checks.
These safety checks work like so: when a report of a natural disaster like an earthquake, tornado, hurricane, or wildfire strikes in a particular location, or when an accident is reported on a particular highway, organizations can utilize the safety check bot to ask employees within that geographic location, or scheduled to journey that particular stretch of highway where the accident is reported, to report whether or not they’re safe. A push notification is sent out and asks the employees to quickly respond with, “I’m fine”, “I’m not sure”, or “I need help”. This can alert the organization to the safety and wellness of their employees in a matter of seconds, and the organization is able to get to their team in a timely fashion, if help is requested.
#5: Unlock Custom Software Development and use AI for Education and Professional Development
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and bots can also be used to help organizations with ensuring their employees are kept abreast of educational or professional development initiatives. At ProServeIT, we’ve used pre-set criteria to develop a customized bot that gave the organization the capabilities to send out tips and tricks to their sales members to help the team improve on their sales abilities.
This educational application of custom software development can ensure that your organization’s employees are well-trained and kept up-to-date on techniques that will make them more efficient and more effective when it comes to assisting customers and drive business efficiency.
Ready to Unlock Custom Software Development in Your Organization?
The stories we’ve told in this blog are referenced in the first video of our Unlocking Software Development video series. You can check out “Season 1” of our series on our new Custom Development page.
Ready to get started with custom software development? Remember – you just need to start somewhere. Why not book a call with us? Let’s chat about some of the easy ways that you can unlock the power of custom software development in your organization – today!