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Back to the Future: a Pledge to Keep our Customers Self-Sufficient

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I just got back from a week-long planning session with our partner/parent SydneyPLUS at their headquarters in Vancouver.  It was really invigorating to discuss the future and what we want that to look like.  But what was really funny (and exciting), is that that future looks very much like the past.  Let me explain.
 
At the core of Inmagic’s product strategy (past and present) we have two core beliefs:  The first is that our software should be flexible and meet our customers’ unique requirements.  Secondly, our software should enable self-sufficiency so that customers – especially those whose primary roles aren’t technical – can easily use and customize the product. 
 
A History of Ease-of-Use

If you look at our history, Inmagic for DOS was a very powerful product, and yet users could essentially do everything themselves.  DB/TextWorks for Windows followed very much in this tradition, and when we introduced DB/Text WebPublisher, most customers were amazed at how self-reliant they could be and yet have the power to make information accessible to users around the world.
 
But as Web-based technologies grew, more and more organizations turned to WebPublisher’s XML capabilities for even more flexibility.  The XML interface, in the hands of a skilled Web developer, enabled customers to build highly functional, but custom websites.  The problem is that often meant that DB/TextWorks users lost a measure – often a significant measure – of Web publishing self-sufficiency, as they couldn’t tweak or change the website themselves.
 
This loss of autonomy has been at the center of many recent conversations with customers.  And that is why I’m so excited about Presto v4.0 and Presto for DB/Text.  Presto is helping customers build the advanced and visually appealing websites they want, and yet gain back that self-sufficiency that they have come to expect from Inmagic.
 
Self-Sufficient Clients

A client recently approached us to help them with two pressing needs for their custom DB/Text WebPublisher-based website.  The first was they wanted to be able to make future changes to the site themselves, without having to engage the consultant that had built their website originally.  They wanted a solution where only a modest level of HTML skills was needed to maintain and update their site. They also wanted to continue to use DB/TextWorks to build and maintain their database.
 
We were thrilled to be able to offer our new solution, Presto for DB/Text.  The DB/TextWorks connector in Presto for DB/Text enables the client to build and maintain their textbase in DB/TextWorks while publishing the content in Presto.  And the connector easily accommodates their textbase of more than 100,000 records.  In addition, the Presto configuration layer enables the client to easily make changes to the website without technical support.  In fact, the client is so comfortable with the product that they’re handling the majority of development of their new website themselves, with only limited configuration and building help from us.
 
A different client recently came to us with the desire to rebuild their intranet site and integrate with SharePoint.  In this case, we recommended Presto v4.0.  The conversion to Presto was rapid and seamless, as we were able to use the DB/TextWorks connector to migrate their textbases.  Once the content was in Pesto, we provided training only, as the client wanted to do most of the Presto configuration work themselves.  After Presto was configured, the client then installed several Inmagic Web parts in SharePoint.  These Web parts made Presto content available in the new SharePoint-based intranet.
 
The Future is So Bright

Our plans for 2013 and beyond are really the same as the driving principles that we put in place when the company was founded: build flexible software and train the customers to be self-sufficient.  Is self-sufficiency important to you?  Let us know!

 

 

Dusting off the Blog

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As you’ve likely read in our summer newsletter or one of our email updates, we went radio silent for a few months after our merger with SydneyPLUS almost a year ago.  We were – quite frankly – swamped working on post integration, product releases, etc.  The good news is that all of this activity has been terrific for our company and we continue to be busy with our current and new customers. We’re back to publishing a quarterly newsletter and a monthly email update, as well as giving webinars on our product roadmap.  The bad news is that our blog has languished a bit.  We’re going to fix that.  Ideas, case studies, tips and stories have been welling up inside our employees and they’re bursting at the seams to share them with you.

Here are just a few of the exciting topics coming soon to the Inmagic blog:
  • Introduction to Presto 4.0
  • Presto for DB/Text: a three part overview
  • Musings of a new Inmagic employee
  • Adoption and utilization: you built it but they won’t necessarily come
  • Mobile vs. app:  why we chose to do a mobile website
  • Checking out IE 10
  • Completing the package: catering to power users and lightweights
  • The logic behind thumbnails
  • The lion and the lamb working together:  engineering and opps
  • Building Windows 8 apps for Presto/Genie
  • Mobile app for USAID
  • Getting IT’s buy-in: how Presto for DB/text helped solve the 20-year-old problem
  • The new office. Out of the silos, into a new space.
Stay tuned for these and other thought-provoking blogs in the coming months. We look forward to hearing your feedback and comments.  Happy reading!

 

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