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February 9, 2010

Is your web company a solution or solutionS provider?

By Ross Gerring

“Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black”. So said Henry Ford in his autobiography in relation to the Model T Ford motor car. Despite the somewhat limited choice of colour options, the Model T enjoyed massive worldwide success. Over 15 million cars were produced between 1908 and 1927, a record that stood for 45 years.

Today however we live in a globalised economy where choice and variety allow products and services to appeal to almost every segment of the population. Would Apple have sold quite so many iPods if it were a case of “any colour so long as it’s white”?

To this end, Itomic prides itself on being a website solutionS provider. It’s one of the perks of having 15+ staff (and growing) in offices in two states that we have the breadth and depth of skills and expertise to offer up genuine speciality across multiple service offerings. It means that we have a better chance of being able to offer up a solution that truly “fits” the challenge, and therefore maximises the chance of long-term business success for our clients.

Focussing on our core business of website design and development, our 3 diverse service offerings look like this:

  1. Customised software development. We have the technical skills and experience to build you a web-based solution from the ground up. This is particularly suited to very niche or specialised website projects that “do not fit the mould”, and are unlikely to be replicated anytime soon. It’s really an “anything is possible” proposition, with very few limitations on what can be achieved given sufficient resources.
  2. The Itomic proprietary “Nucleus” Content Management System (CMS). This is web-based software that Itomic has been developing and evolving in-house since 2000. It provides us with a rapid, tried and tested, development platform for a wide variety of website requirements. We apply feature updates and patches to the core software libraries, and the benefits are instantly passed onto all Nucleus users. It’s extremely easy to use even for the most timid of Internet users.
  3. “Off the shelf” CMS software. Itomic’s strong preference in this category is Drupal. Expect to hear a lot more about Drupal from Itomic in the future! There are a number of reasons why the best solution to a challenge may be “off the shelf”, for example:
    1. Price. Some very highly quality off-the-shelf is actually free (open source). No cost to buy the software, no ongoing license fees. Conversely, some off-the-shelf CMS software is unbelievably expensive!
    2. Specialised applications. Why re-invent the wheel if a pre-existing solution has already been developed that is more than up to the task and can (if required) be easily modified and branded for your company?
    3. Wider support base. Whether open source or not, if the product has a large user base then the chances are good that you can find another company to assist you with supporting the product. Indeed, one of the reasons for the rise in popularity of such web-based solutions is because of the bad experience some people are having when it comes to moving on from their website development company, only to find that the website they thought they’d paid for was actually being leased and is not portable.

By having all 3 offerings under our belt, it allows us to focus on the most important question first: what features and functions will add maximum value to the challenge we are being presented with? Once we’ve established these requirements, only then can we intelligently compare and contrast our service offerings for the best fit. The result: faster development cycles, better prices, higher quality, great solutions, happy clients.