Below is an excerpt of an e-mail I sent to Violet Technology about our software vision. It is a work in progress, and I have to add social networking functions and Mobile applications (we currently have both in development).
(the below are thoughts from an early morning mind, post coffee, pre-exercise)
I am passionate about technology that improves one’s quality of life.
Not all technology is equal. Some technology is very capable, has amazing potential, however, is limited by the ability of ordinary people to use it.
Most of the improvements in our standard of living over the past hundred years can be attributed to the massive proliferation of new, labor-saving technologies.
The best technologies solve a real world problem. Some problems are known to the user, others are not known by the user until they encounter the technology solution (to a problem they did not know they had).
What good is the world’s best, most advanced, most capable technology if no one can use it because you need to be a PHD to understand it?
The best technology solutions are created from the end users point of view, not from the designers point of view.
All technology, unless updated on a constant basis becomes out of date and obsolete very quickly.
The application of technology allows the user to save time, money and energy by getting more done in less time, with less effort.
We live in a world with massive amounts of information. Information on its own is useless unless it can be viewed, categorized and understood. Knowledge includes information, however information alone does not lead to knowledge.
Inter-relationships are the key to transforming information into knowledge.
The Optima Zones are based on a vast amount of information and yet are presented in a simple form that shows the inter-relationships between seemingly unrelated areas of life.
In business, complex relationships and massive amounts of data (information) are collected on a daily basis. if this information is kept inside people’s heads, it is only accessible to the person who owns the head and retrieval of this information is only as good as their memory.
Most people cannot remember what they ate for lunch yesterday, let alone remember what a client said to them last month.
How to tap this information and make it available to everyone in the organization if it is trapped in a persons head and even they don’t have easy and reliable access to that information?
Enter the computer. It will store information in massive data in great quantities. But on its own it is only accessible to the person with the head. But then when they are away, another person could access the information on the computer. However, if the information was entered in a way that only the person entering it can understand, then it is useless to any other person.
So, entering information in one computer is better than leaving it in ones head. However to be really useful this information has to be in a format that anyone can understand and access. But we still only have one computer, with one user at a time.
Enter the networked computer. All information is accessible to all users on all computers and all at the same time.
So in order to provide a full information solution requires hardware and software. The hardware connects everything and is the physical foundation. The software is what stores and categorizes information and presents it to the person who needs it in a way that they can easily understand.
Nows lets consider OptimaV. It evolved from a problem and became the best solution available. Software that is easy to use by the ordinary person and allows them to view just what they need when they need it.
Perhaps the number one advantage of OptimaV over other solutions (the world is awash in great software solutions) is that it is tailored to the Goldzone business and yes, the most needed functions are very easy to use and information is presented in an aesthetic way.
But we are only scratching the surface. Much more can be done to translate the vision of easy to use software that provides easy access to all information and presents it in an aesthetic way.
I would say the top five values of our software are:
- Easy to use
From our user point of view, what is the number one business use of the software?
- To make money
- To save money
How does the software make money?
Violet ES is a money making machine. It allows the employees of the company to market and promote our products and services to clients and to provide information about clients to all employees instantly and provides continuity when employees leave.
The more we know about our clients, the more we can make offers of products and services that they will buy.
And we can do it on a massive scale. One e-mail sent to a group of clients. Powerful, however, what about a series of phone call, e-mail, letter, phone call, e-mail?
They are all part of one campaign, one promotion in a sequence. History records that it takes approximately 6 contacts to go from initial contact to a sale.
What if these contacts were pre-planned? What if the software tracked it? and interacted with the user to customize each contact and communication and yet did it on a massive scale?
So with software we have form and we have function. Form is about design, aesthetic, ease of use, minimum key clicks, minimum layers. Function is about what it does. Track purchase history. Send e-mail reminders. etc.
Our client technology experience looks like this:
- PROSPECT (WE CONTACT THEM OR THEY CONTACT US)
- ENQUIRY (WEBSITE OR CALL)
- INFORMATION (MAIL, PHONE OR MEETING)
- MORE INFORMATION
- REGISTRATION (WEBSITE)
- E-MAIL CONFIRMATION
- PHONE CALLS TO FOLLOW UP
- ATTEND AN EVENT
- FOLLOW UP
- INFORMATION (MAIL, PHONE OR MEETING)
- REGISTER FOR A SERVICE OR ANOTHER EVENT
- CHANGE CONTACT INFO (PHONE, E-MAIL OR ADDRESS)
- FOLLOW UP
This is just an overview. A more detailed technology experience can be mapped out.
Behind the evolution of OptimaV is a very sophisticated marketing model. Not all CRM solutions subscribe to the same marketing model. Many of them are created for generic application of sales organizations. The same model is used by aircraft salespeople as well as pump manufacturers.
We are different from these businesses and we have very unique needs that only our industry has, and only we within our industry have. If you apply the Optima Zones to software development what do you get?
Software that caters to users in all zones. How powerful is that?
What about software that harnesses the zones technology and makes it available to clients? Recruitment, training, performance management? What about client curriculum support? in other words, the software knows the curriculum and tracks the clients progress, and can present a report that shows the untapped $ potential in the client base.
What about predicting the future sales?
What about tracking statistics?
What about a management report that advises what support and training the Relationship Managers require?
The possibilities are endless. We chose Filemaker Pro as the engine because it can do all these things. And it can do it for a lot less money than other platforms. We chose to do it ourselves because we can do it for less money and in less time. We also know our business and can develop solutions and deploy them within days.
We can win awards for our software.
Our Leadership Centers can win awards too. The software can help them do it.
In order to do this and to continue our software development, we must align on the vision. Then every piece of code, every user interface will reflect it.
Every window must be pleasant to look at. It must uplift. It must inspire. WOW, that looks good. I like using that. It is a joy. It is fun. It makes my life easy. Technology should not run our lives. We run our lives and technology helps us do it.
I hate those programs that remind me what I have to do today, and then tell me everything I did not do yesterday. The way they present information makes one feel bad. Makes one feel overwhelmed. Makes one feel out of control. Makes one feel stressed.
So how can OptimaV track to do’s, making the information available – WHEN NEEDED, but not constantly reminding you of what you have not done?
How would you solve this problem using knowledge of the Optima Zones?
Does the color make a difference?
Is the software window like a room in a house? cluttered, or orderly, everything available when you need it – but out of view when you don’t need it. Imagine going into a kitchen and having all the pots and pans out on the bench. All the food on the counter. All the utensils out and lined up… you would know what is there; however, you would feel overwhelmed! you would not be able to move. Work in an environment like that for a while and you end up with chaos.
I see software the same way. Too many software applications have are too complex and show too many things.
Our software is different. And yet, there is much more to do to realize fully our software vision.
Working together, VES, GAP & GLC we can create magic. Demand more and “it” will deliver more.
That’s my sharing for today, I am off to exercise!
© Andrew John Harrison. All rights reserved.