Delivering Value for Clients

New relationships begin with excitement and optimism about the future.  In custom application development, new client relationships are no different.  Clients start out with clear goals and management consensus to invest in growth or efficiency for their company.  Development teams commit to aggressive timetables and provide glowing references from previous clients.  Over the course of a project, maintaining open lines of communication and building trust are key to sustaining that initial optimism and excitement through the inevitable rough patches and to building momentum necessary for successful project delivery.

OmniSpear works with start-up and seasoned businesses to develop custom software applications.  Successful projects deliver real value to the client.  Depending on the client’s goals, value can mean expanded customer reach, improved efficiency, increased functionality, greater competitiveness, more security and much more.

software developers Ohio

 Most importantly though delivering value to a client means completing a project to spec and within the time-frame and budget agreed upon by both client and development team.

Read about OmniSpear’s work with Intellicasting, a start-up that began in 2015 and is still going strong today.  Find out how OmniSpear delivered value by designing and developing a cloud-based SaaS mobile and web application launching Intellicasting from start-up to profitable online subscription management system for the quick-service restaurant industry.

The Landscape after Penguin and Panda

You probably have heard that Google made major changes to its search engine algorithms in 2013. If you’re wondering what these changes mean to you, you’re not alone.

Search engines have two basic jobs. The first is evaluating and ranking websites based on the quality of their content and the authority they’ve earned from acquiring inbound links. The second is interpreting the intent of the words and phrases in the search bar and returning the most relevant results, placing the highest quality and most authoritative websites at the top. Last year’s overhaul has improved Google’s performance on both.

google_panda_penguinSo what changed last year? The SEO landscape is definitely different. SEO practices recommended by SEO experts in the past won’t work. We’ve read and listened to many posts, tweets and whiteboard presentations by Google insiders and outside experts with real tools to evaluate the results of the changes, often to an overwhelming degree. Much as you would view an impressionist painting from a distance to see the artist’s rendering of its subject, a little bit of time gives perspective to the new SEO landscape created by the changes. Here’s a summary of that landscape.

Google can more effectively identify sites with high quality original content above the fold and reward them with higher page ranks. It can also apply penalties to sites that paste together content from other sources or fill the top of the page with ads and little content. Code named Panda, this part of the algorithm goes beyond scanning meta data descriptions and on-page keywords. Think of it as “seeing” visible content on the page to determine the User Experience and assigning the subject of the page based on that visible content. No more manipulating results with keyword stuffing or writing eloquent meta descriptions with little or no real content for the User to view. Google is looking for good User Experiences…the same as you or I, as users, would expect.

Google also appears on a mission to lower the authority of sites gaining prominence from mostly purchased or self-published links and keyword-stuffed content. Think of this as the blow to those that “bought their way to the top.” An update to this algorithm originating in early 2012, code named Penguin, was implemented in early 2013. Penguin dealt a real blow to pay-to-list directory sites and aggregator spam blog sites. Is Google acting in its own best interest at eliminating these competitive middlemen? Perhaps, but you can’t complain about their efforts to stop this parasitical practice.

In a tweet about Penguin updates in October, Matt Cutts, head of the webspam team at Google, refers us to a webmaster tools blog post that summarizes the SEO landscape after Penguin and Panda well:

“While we can’t divulge specific signals because we don’t want to give people a way to game our search results and worsen the experience for users, our advice for webmasters is to focus on creating high quality sites that create a good user experience and employ white hat SEO methods instead of engaging in aggressive webspam tactics.”

It’s early 2014 and rest assured Google is working on algorithm updates. So do we sit and wait for the next round? We can’t… that is, if search results matter to the success of your business. It’s imperative to act now. The current landscape is based on solid principles: focus on the user experience and create high-quality, content-rich sites. Taking any action in either or both of these directions will only improve search engine results and more importantly improve results with Customers.

More next time on the second part of a search engine’s job: interpreting the search and returning relevant results.

Standard Development Methodology Improves the Odds: Meeting Clients’ Expectations and Delivering Great Custom Web Applications

Delivering great software applications is imperative to the success of a custom software development shop. Clients turn to a custom shop when off-the-shelf, prepackaged one-size-fits-all solutions can’t meet their business need. They require a unique solution. Delivering a great custom solution means merging the benefits of a standard solution – value, predictability, tried and tested – into a custom software application tailored to the Client’s own business requirements.

A great development team can more successfully deliver great software applications – applications that delight the Client, are delivered on time and on budget and are defect free – with the benefit of our Standard Development Methodology. Even though no two custom software projects will ever have the same spec, the building blocks are generally very similar. Whether you’re building an elegant glass atrium or a solid cinder block warehouse, you need to know the building’s use, put in a foundation, build a solid infrastructure and add exterior finishing touches to realize the architect’s vision and ultimately meet the client’s expectation.

Adhering to a Standard Development Methodology enables our team to more successfully engage the Client resulting in an agreed upon project scope, an effective build plan, realistic due dates and aligned expectations. Our Development Methodology allocates appropriate time to Discovery – gaining insight about the Client and its requirements – and Design – establishing a clear vision for the application. These upfront, pre-coding phases result in the most value for the development dollar.

development process

The truth is, it’s expensive to code. The greatest value in custom development is achieved when code is written to meet the project requirements the first time through. Many might view planning and documenting as time wasted. We believe time spent planning avoids wasted time during Development.