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Riding the Rails with Presto – Thoughts on Implementation

Posted by Erika Halloran

Recently, the first gold medal of the Sochi Olympics was awarded to a snowboarder named Sage Kotsenburg for his performance in the Men’s Slopestyle competition. The Slopestyle event is making its Olympic debut this year; the athletes go downhill while performing a series of difficult tricks on strategically placed structures.  
Although I don’t know a lot about Sage Kotsenburg, I think it’s pretty safe to assume he didn’t “ride the rails” or perform a "1620 Japan Air Mute Grab" in his first season strapped to a board.  While Olympic athletes are widely considered to be the World’s best at their respective sports, they still start with the basics and add frills progressively as their experience grows.
Successful Inmagic Presto administrators follow a similar path.  The teams with the most successful Presto implementations choose to excel at using Presto’s core functionality before unveiling the bells and whistles, ultimately  leveraging all our tools (which are more than enough to perform the software equivalent of a “1620 Japan Air Mute Grab”) as their experience grows.
If Presto lets you provide your end users with their first opportunity to search a Catalog by themselves and easily retrieve relevant records with a few keystrokes, they will undoubtedly be pleased and impressed.  They’ll see it as a win – the equivalent of a snowboarder who can now confidently ride down a “black diamond” trail.  This is no small feat, especially when they used to slide down the mountain being expertly towed by a skilled Librarian. 
Furthermore, since Presto launch announcements spotlight features that are “coming soon,” users can eagerly anticipate the day they’ll discuss their own research in Presto’s Forums, read comments about the latest additions to the Catalog, and maybe even become published as Presto Blog authors.  Imagine their excitement when, a few months down the road, you announce the incorporation of these options.  People who’ve become accustomed to using Presto for their research will be excited when they discover that it “just got better.”
The urge to immediately enable every feature of a new software product is a strong one, but it sometimes pays to fight it.  Most successful implementers start by thinking about what the users need and providing them with tools that will help them do their jobs, while also letting them know what is possible down the road. 
Once you have configured Presto to meet your users’ needs, thinking about what they’d like becomes fun and exciting.  Perhaps the users themselves can help decide which features will take center stage in the future, and you can focus on a strategy for providing these features in a way that will create excitement and encourage active engagement. 

So as you embark on your first trips down the “Inmagic Presto slope,” you might consider resisting the urge to ride the rail or go off the jump.  But once you’re comfortable… by all means, have at it!  You’ll have fun with the features and your users will feel the same way.

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