What have you done for me lately? That is a fair question when it comes to updates and support for software solutions. I look at the software solutions we design for the IBM i/AS400 as a snapshot in time – the very best we can offer our customers at that particular milestone. It’s actually cause for great celebration internally when we release a new update. Because hundreds, sometimes thousands of hours go into choosing the modifications and new features with the feeling that you always want to squeeze in more.
Once we’ve released the update, the very next day we begin the “What’s next?” process. Because we operate with the attitude that our software is never good enough. We are constantly striving to make it the best it can be by listening intently to our customers who let us know what new features will help them do their job better; by keeping up with updates to the power system; by educating ourselves on business trends. And then going back to the drawing board to update, rewrite, and improve programs. The same goes for our support. We actively challenge ourselves to keep a culture of constant improvement.
I was involved with the development of four well known forms software products. And I can tell you from this experience that each time I had the opportunity to develop each subsequent product, they were much better than the previous ones due to my knowledge gained from each one, but also the new technology that comes out with every release of IBM Operating Systems.
Our programmers like being given the opportunity to improve their “work” (programs). These programs are a direct reflection of them personally and they want it to be the best it can be. We actively look for “fire in the belly” when it comes to hiring programmers. Many software companies do not give their programmers the opportunity to continually improve their work. They believe in the adage “if it’s not broke don’t fix it.” That’s baloney. And frankly, it’s lazy and it results in software that is still being sold today that was developed 10 – 20 years ago.
One of the great benefits of our beloved IBM Power Systems (and its predecessors AS400, iSeries) is that the software written back in 1988 can still run perfectly fine today. This stability means that your software does not become quickly obsolete. But the flip side is that the software you are running may have fallen into that category of “good enough.”
Good enough doesn’t improve workflow and save you time and money. Good enough doesn’t help you best mine, format, and distribute the critical data that is stored on your IBM i.
Good enough is just…not good enough. So don’t settle for that. Seek out the companies like ours that prize that fire in the belly to always get better, do better, get ever more aligned with what you need to leverage the very best use out of your IBM i output.
Software is not just a product. It’s a relationship. Choose the relationship that listens and responds to you.
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