Most of our clients are looking for off-the-shelf software to fulfill their needs for line of business solutions. Their requests for proposals typically contain a long list of desired features, and we are asked to characterize whether the feature is "out of the box" or requires customization or custom programming. Proposals are scored higher if they have more features listed as "out of the box" and as few as possible requiring custom development. I understand the motivation for this approach. Custom development has fallen out of favor, and more "out of the box" features reduces time, cost, and risk for an implementation. This approach is not sophisticated enough to lead to the best choice, however. Many features required in a line of business solution are inherently "custom" because organizations follow business rules and workflows that are quite specific for their industry and niche. Companies strive to differentiate themselves from
From James Townsend, vice president of Sylogist, thoughts on digital transformation, marketing automation, customer relationship management, Power Apps , Microsoft Dynamics 365, government contracting, customer service and more.