3 Best Practices for Decision Analytics

Decision analysis is critical for any business. You must be able to make the right decision right on time. Decision analytics require you to look at your data in the decision-making process. Being able to rely on your data can make this process easier and you can rest assured that you have made strides to better your organization.  We have three best practices when it comes to decision analytics that will help you along the way. Intuition Analytics can be the opposite of intuition sometimes.

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A lot of people want to trust their intuition, especially when it comes to business. But try this – listen to your intuition but verify it by looking at the data. Backing your intuition with facts is a great way to make sure your decisions are solid and in the best interest of the organization. Options When we set out to make a decision, we can be focused on choosing between ‘A’ or ‘B’.  It’s very simple to think of things in this binary way. Challenge yourself to take a moment or two and you might find you have an option ‘C’ or maybe even ‘D’. Creating options for yourself while making decisions will lead to higher satisfaction with your choice. You will make the best decision possible because you have laid everything out on the table. Communicate Data is best communicated visually. This is the best way to communicate your analytics because it give the numbers more meaning and relevance. A great example is that anyone could tell you what the Grand Canyon looks like. It has browns and reds and it’s beautiful. But until you stand there on the edge of the canyon you don’t have a real sense for what it’s actually like. Visualizing your data is the most powerful way to communicate it.

6 Best Practices for Creating an RFP

Writing an RFP or request for proposal can be a daunting task. At its core, it seems simple enough- you have a problem and you want vendors to offer their solution. Giving prospective vendors a good look into your company, how you work, and what you need from them isn’t easy, however. Bringing clarity must be balanced with seeking knowledge. This fine line has to be walked after scouring the internet for a list of vendors who you think will suit your needs.

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This process can take a long time for a first timer and that might be time your company does not have to spare. A well-executed RFP can save time and money in the long run. If you think through what you would want to know as a vendor while creating your RFP, you will have much more success. These best practices are easy to follow and will get you well on your way to an excellent RFP.

  1. Focus on Format

Be clear and concise. Vendors expect RFPs to be easy to evaluate and clear to read. The organization can also make a difference. Add cover pages and tables of contents for ease. Being organized with your format will also help you include all of the information you need to, and not leave anything out.

  1. What’s the Problem?

Go into detail. This problem you are trying to fix could be quite complicated. The solution or service proposed could be different if the problem is not given detail. The vendors need to know where gaps exist so they can offer solutions. Make sure you stick to the formatting best practice and balance being as concise as possible.

  1. How can vendors Return Information?

Include when and where to return the proposal along with the desired format. A standard format will make it easier on you as you look through multiple proposals. You can include this information in your introduction. Make sure to also include the date in which you want the proposals returned and how you will evaluate them.

  1. Give Vendors a Point of Contact

Give vendors an internal contact to come to with questions. No matter how clear you are, they will likely have questions. Don’t view this as a bad thing, however, because you may find a vendor who is exceptionally easy to communicate with or one who is impossible to communicate with. When it comes down to making a decision, this could be something to keep in mind. Answering their questions will also ensure the proposal you receive doesn’t miss the mark.

  1. Give Background Information

Adding context gives vendors so much more clarity. You will have far fewer back and forth communications while they compile the proposal when background information is provided. This also allows vendors to be specific on how their service or solution meets the needs of your project and company to a tee.

  1. Offer a Project Scope and Desired Timeline

You may find this steps will weed out some companies who cannot meet a deadline or do not have a large enough staff to take on the scope of your project. This will help save time for you and the vendors. Serious vendors are the only ones you need to have return on your RFP. It is important to be clear and realistic about your scope and timeline. Don’t downplay the size of a huge project and don’t try to get a huge project done in no time flat.  

A Case for Adopting Best of Breed

7 reasons to consider Best-of-Breed to drive innovation.

Construction companies know infrastructure. At the core of what they do, they design, they build, they install, they service. Whether setting in place the foundation for a road, a city, or a building, they must create something out of nothing from concept to physical reality. The industry is good at what it does: laying the foundation required to build our imagined future.

The time is right to start considering the imagined future of how Construction companies operate their businesses. Not tomorrow, or next year, but right here and right now. There are many transformational concepts entering the conversation around how technology is impacting the industry, from the use of drones to the use of augmented and mixed reality concepts to 3D printing. But something that is being overlooked and less seldom talked about are the transformational abilities that are already available:

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The software needed by construction companies to innovate and improve the value they seek to deliver is already available across many functions.

The term infrastructure can mean many things. It can refer to a type of construction, such as Heavy Highway or Civic Engineering. It can refer to the physical technology stack that many companies employ to help them operate their business. But it also refers to the application footprint a company uses to operate successfully, putting the right tools in the hands of the right people to capture every ounce of success that is available to them when the people, the process and the technology are all aligned toward the same purpose and outcome.

Byron Deeter, from Bessemer Venture Partners talks about this concept in an OPED that appeared in the Wall Street Journal’s CIO Journal not moments ago, but over 4 years ago! The idea and reality is not new that a company can adopt the applications and tools they need to perform their jobs in as efficient a way possible. The reality is no longer out of reach. After all, when it comes to the tools the workers use to actually construct, why use a hammer when a nail-gum is available? The industry has evolved its use of tools for decades inside the actual construction process, but has become somewhat cemented in place when it comes to viewing software as an available strategy to separate itself from the competition and drive innovation to achieve more successful outcomes for themselves, their customers, and their communities.

It is in this spirit I offer 7 key reasons companies in the AEC industry need to seriously consider adopting a best-of-breed strategy.

1. First: What is Best of Breed Software?

In the simplest terms, best of breed software is a focused application meant to achieve specific outcomes. Rather than choosing an all-encompassing, sometimes monolithic application that touches all business lines, a best of breed application is designed to empower a specific function, or even subset of a function in the business and can often be so focused that it enables a specific role in the business.  These are all example functions that could adopt a specific solution meant to enable those functions in a far more sophisticated way.

2. Ever Hear the Phrase, Happy Employees Make Happy Customers?

Many companies are coming to embrace the Employee-centric culture required to establish competitive advantage and sustainability in the race for talent and customers in the evolving, but competitive landscape of the AEC industry. Rated the second largest industry in the world, the talent shortage is being felt far and wide and more than ever, Employees require choice. The best Employees also require autonomy. Allowing Employees to work with the systems and tools that enable them to perform their best work creates an environment that helps Employees be more productive, more collaborative, and more customer-centric in their approach to delivering outcomes your customers require.   

3. Up-front Investment of Time and Money is Minimal and Streamlined.

The technology landscape has moved quickly toward the “as-a-Service” model for adoption and delivery. Gone are the days of large capital investments into the technology hardware needed to run the applications that run the operations of any individual firm. With virtualization and cloud technology becoming the standard rather than the exception, IT infra-structure investment is being replaced with software applications that are readily accessible through lower cost plans that remove barriers to entry and help companies get started with little to no up-front investment.  The model works well in that value derived is captured in a streamlined way because the spend required to scale the use of the system aligns with the value derived from using the system.

4. Focused Upgrades.

How many of you out there have used an email or messaging system like Gmail or Facebook Messenger? How many of those systems have you had to upgrade? The same is true for most applications delivered in a Software-as-a-Service format that promotes mobility and web-based accessibility through cloud technology. These systems are essentially maintenance free – for you. The maintenance and upgrade path is managed in whole by the Vendor delivering the product to you and is generally baked into your pricing plan with them. That means that all of those internal resources you used to deploy to manage upgrades and infrastructure can be repurposed for far more productive work.

5. Huge ROI, Rapid Payback, Time Savings!

Working in the consulting space for almost two decades, a common thread throughout every project, engagement or solution provided in that time has been that the more intangible benefits and soft costs related to automating work activities and maturing processes is almost always ignored or discounted in favor of the only Immediate-term concern often in play: the actual dollars or time required to get from “here to there” in that moment.
Many estimates of the overall productivity improvements available to any organization that strategically invests in technology adoption with a long-term focus is often more than 20% increased productivity across their entire operation within a very near term 3-5 year period. The strategy to enable technology adoption and the challenges that can come with it can seem daunting, but the payback is quick and offers significant time savings and return on investment. To paint this picture differently, I’m advocating for the fact that for every one hundred employees that you have today, productivity improvements through technology suggests the same work could be performed with twenty fewer employees in just a few short years with the right adoption strategies in place.

6. Cloud Computing is a Powerful Thing.   

Cloud Computing is an often confusing concept for non-technologists to grasp and make relevant meaning of. So, let me offer you a simple explanation. Cloud Computing is nothing more than an evolution of technology infrastructure that increases your options. Cloud Computing makes application use and availability more cost effective, available, and efficient for companies to leverage. No more large investments in servers and storage and server rooms are necessary to bring applications into the operation.
To offer an age-old analogy, people used to have their own wells.  You had to go to the well to fetch a pale of water. Then one day someone came along and said “How about I just pump that water straight into your house to all the different endpoints you’ll need it in an instant? Oh, and I’ll purify it first too.” Late adopters and cynics fought giving up their wells, can your business afford to be the laggard clinging to the well in the back yard rather than adopting the cloud?

7. Don’t Forget the Data + Don’t Ignore the Objections

Not everyone will agree with a best-of-breed strategy. There are challenges that exist, including the potential for data islands to be created in various areas of the company. An integrated product suite will make the case that an integrated data structure is required for a business to operate well. Sometimes, that is absolutely the right approach. If and when a company does decide to adopt a best-of-breed strategy, however, they had better incorporate an integration strategy, toolset, and overall mindset in executing the plan. There is a real possibility that data will become decentralized, be hard to move and harder yet to manage if this consideration is not part of their strategy and selection process.
Many best-of-breed solutions will claim to have integration, but be sure to challenge the theory. Having an open API framework is a huge step in the right direction, however providing access to their system, and therefore your data, is not integration.  It is access to the data you are authorized to access and have a right to interact with. Software platforms that make access to your data through their system fully available “get it” and are often ahead of the cure in this regard.  But integration doesn’t start and stop with access, so be sure to go beyond how you might access your data to also challenge the means with which you might take action on your data.

Conclusion

No matter what systems a company that works in the AEC industry chooses to fulfill its mission, the industry at large is faced with an overall productivity imperative that will require all of us to evolve the way we operate, collaborate, and ultimately deliver value. Ryvit was founded on this Observation; that in order to be more productive, businesses are demanding solutions that maximize their productivity and provide an integrated application experience to help automate work-flow and analysis. Coupled with this imperative, some software companies are addressing this head on, while others are fundamentally failing to establish focus and resources needed to rapidly develop and deploy integration solutions for their customer base.
Most of the time, integration is often confused with access. Many companies will tout integration as an available, working feature of their platform, when in reality they are providing access via an open programming model or framework. The shift toward open programming frameworks is a welcomed change, a shift in the right direction. For the software providers that have yet to adopt this strategy, they will likely soon be forced to.
Ryvit, the Integration Platform built specifically for the unique needs of the industry, believes integration should be delivered as a solution, not just access. We can do better than simply providing an open programming framework. We must start there, but we must also push beyond that to finish in a more connected place. Ryvit will continue working to help fundamentally shift the mindset toward integration and best-of-breed adoption of application use within the industry, all with the singular focus of establishing automation for collaboration and data movement, and through that, higher rates of productivity across the entire operating model.
For companies that embrace these shifts, we expect the payoff to be huge.

Application Integration Strategy - Knowing when you need one

An application integration strategy can be beneficial for a number of reasons. Having an ordered movement of work between applications and components saves time and saves money. Here are 10 reasons why you could need an application integration:

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  1. Passing work between applications today

You’re already doing it. You do it every day, so get a strategy around it. Increased use of technology in business means creating a strategy for this just as you would with any other department of your organization. The need for a strategy increases when you have already invested heavily in best-of-breed applications, and users want to incorporate a cutting edge point solution application. A recent purchase or development of an integration due to changes in the organization could also signal the need for an integration strategy to ensure your invested dollar is being used in the best possible way.

  1. Out of date current practices

Handwritten forms, printouts, and reports sent via email are all different ways to share data between teams, but these ways of sharing are outdated. Automated sharing through integration is more efficient and reliable for your team. Import/Export workarounds are inferior to integrations. Think about what happens when an import fails halfway through. A true integration can handle the order of operations, workflow rules, stored procedures, and concatenate and parse data.

  1. Scalability

Look at the software you currently have. Is it software that offers scalability through multiple software copies?  If your IT is bogged down with report writing because access to all of the data is not available to the users needing it, you are not working at the scale you could be. If you are unable to properly scale through the current software you have, an update could do you some good.

  1. Predictive Analytics

Many organizations could use help ensure the decisions they are making are the smartest decisions possible. The right integration will give you a comprehensive executive analytics dashboard. The predictive analytics that are yielded from such a dashboard are irreplaceable for your organization. The ability to pull data from multiple applications will increase your ability to make smarter decisions.

  1. Changes on the horizon

Changes to your operations could mean an increased need for an application that involves information sharing with current applications. Especially if you frequently experience changes in product or service offerings or changes to your competition. Having a strategy in place will make this transition smoother and more effective in the long run.

  1. Visibility at all levels

An application integration strategy can bring all levels and departments of your organization together through streamlined data. If the current state of your business has department leaders reporting different results and these data discrepancies are costing your team time to reconcile the data, you are not up to industry standards. This could be negatively impacting your organization and having one truth for the data will bring visibility to all levels.

  1. Adaptability

Let’s say your sales doubled overnight, would your team be able to keep up? Would you still offer the same level of service to your customers? If your accounting team wants visibility into daily operations, will it disrupt a workflow? If your team and your technology couldn’t adapt to changes in your organization, it’s time to look into an application integration strategy.

  1. Load Balancing

Dividing the work that a computer needs to do between two or more computers should be a thing of the past. If it isn’t in your organization, look to the future and the increased efficiency that is possible. Your end-users shouldn’t need to operate “swivel chair” integration, either. It is inefficient to use multiple applications on various computers, shuffling back and forth to get the data they need. Getting more work done in the same amount of time can be achieved through a strong strategy around application integrations.

  1. Cloud Computing

Moving to the cloud can complicate integrations so you should have a plan in place, this includes hybrid clouds. The cloud opens up a lot of possibilities and many organizations are moving toward the cloud for data integrations. Your managers and employees in the field will be able to access the latest data on their mobile devices without a trip to the on-site office or trailer when integrations are hosted on the cloud or a hybrid cloud. Making sure you are ready to make the leap to the cloud will increase the benefits you reap from the cloud.

  1. Regulations

If your company has to uphold regulations such as HIPPA or others, an integration strategy could be beneficial. Regulatory changes may have to be made quickly and this organizational need can be built into your integration strategy.  This can keep headaches to a minimum each time a regulatory change is made. Audit trails are an important compliance liability for your company, as well when it comes to meeting regulations. The ability to track the chain of data operations from who, when and what was changed at each piece of information is essential and needs to be done independently from the application. If this is a need your organization has, an integrations strategy should be made.   Contact Ryvit for help getting started.

Back to the Basics: Where to Focus for Success in Construction

If you ask leaders in the construction industry what areas to focus on to be successful, you could get an array of different answers depending on who you ask. If you ask a general contractor, he will give you a different answer than the head architect, and she will give you a different answer than a construction software provider.

On the cutting edge of construction technology, we see automation, efficiency, and data management becoming essential to all projects. These advances mean fewer mistakes, fewer safety issues, and fewer unforeseen budgeting snags.

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But really, that boils down to three basic necessities.

Successful, profitable construction projects all have three things in common, we have come to realize.

Successful, profitable projects are on time. Delays can be unavoidable due to weather, unforeseen breakdowns, or the like. However, these events must be proactively planned for. Some easy areas to focus on are project management and data management.

Project management should build in time for weather delays. No project is unaffected by weather delays. Unforeseen breakdowns can be managed through collecting data on all machinery to anticipate maintenance work.

Successful, profitable projects are under budget. Keeping to your budget is a huge influencer of success. Projects that go over budget can have significant consequences. Project budget can be influenced by every operating aspect of the company. To avoid later hiccups, it is important to ensure your review and approval process is clearly defined and easily followed. Change orders and RFIs should pass across the right desk to keep rework at a minimum.

Several tools exist to keep track of budgeting and help a project stay on track from that standpoint. Integrating software applications is one way to make sure all of the information is shared a visible to keep the budget on track.

Successful, profitable projects are safe. Safety is absolutely key in the construction industry. Incredible strides have been made over the last century to ensure that all employees stay safe on the job. Your job safety can also contribute to the labor morale and retention. Your labor force should be skilled and educated on safety precautions. This will help to boost your reputation and efficiency.

Read more about how technology has played a role in creating safer worksites.

Way before we were integrating software or even using walkie talkies on the jobsite, keeping construction projects on time, under budget, and safe have always been three keep attributes of a successful project. Technology has raised the bar and aided in making these very basic goals more achievable.

Creating Effectiveness in your Company

Many companies get in a groove, get comfortable and go with it. Your employees know what to do to get the job done and everyone knows what to expect. We have all been there, we get comfortable and fall into a routine. However, there may be room for improvement. Are there inefficiencies you are letting slip? Is your company staying adaptable? Are your numbers being tracked, and if they are, what are they telling you? These are all factors you should consider regularly to keep your company performing at the height of its ability. Make sure your company is as effective as it can be by auditing your effectiveness.

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Remove Inefficiencies If each step of your workflows do not directly add value for your customer, they need to be revised. Being systematic with the necessary changes to your workflow is the best way to make sure each issue is properly addressed. Any gaps between what needs to happen on a daily basis and what actually happens need to be closed. Any wasted steps that are duplicate or create delays are important to eliminate. Allow your company to have sustainable long-term value added to workflows by making them as effective as possible. Adaptability Ask yourself this question- if yours sales doubled, would your team be able to sustain maximum service levels? If you aren’t sure of the answer, your adaptability and ability to respond to rapidly changing market factors may not be where it needs to be. Mistakes and adjustments should be anticipated in your master plan. Adaptability is more than being agile, you also need to anticipate unexpected expenses and build room into your budget for these situations. Track the Numbers If this is not something you’re doing already, you need to start. This is where you can see if what worked on paper is actually working for your company. The numbers will tell you without a shadow of a doubt areas where errors can be corrected. Take this opportunity to truly test your process.   Creating effectiveness in your company is all about being informed. You need to intimately know the way your company works and how it will react. Knowledge about workflows, your ability to adapt, and the numbers will ensure you will make necessary adjustments to stay ahead of the pack.   [button size='' style='' text='Link to Full eBook' icon='' icon_color='' link='https://ryvit.com/wp-content/uploads/Fundamental-Elements-of-a-Successful-Software-Company.pdf' target='_self' color='' hover_color='' border_color='' hover_border_color='' background_color='' hover_background_color='' font_style='' font_weight='' text_align='' margin='']

Data Audit: 5 Ways it Helps your Business

As technology evolves, so does the way we store data and records. Being consistent in your data storage and organization isn’t always as easy as it sounds, with some companies still trying to make the transition from hard copy records to digital records. With changing records over, some inconsistencies may be detected in your data- calling for a data audit.  Although many organizations view data audits as time-consuming and not a worthwhile endeavor, the benefits outweigh the costs. Here are 5 reasons to audit your data regularly:

1. Streamlined Storage After an audit, employees should be able to look in one place for the data they seek and find it in a timely manner. Creating this consistency can take a great deal of planning, but it is well worth it in the end because it saves employees time in the long run. Creating policies to enforce the consistent storage of data comes in handy. This should be done before employees are able to access the newly cataloged data. A data audit can also uncover instances when data which should not be accessed by just anyone can be accessed by, well, anyone in the organization. An audit will help find out where records are stored now so you can make changes when necessary.

2. Reducing Risk If your data or records are not correct, your company could be vulnerable. It is important to detect inconsistencies and correct them before an issue like this creates problems. Even more importantly, if your company is not protecting confidential records and an e-discovery inquiry uncovers, the fines and fees will be more than a new records management system. A good data architecture will reduce the risk your company has of legal and contractual violations.

3. Save Money An audit will reveal if you have been wasting money in records management by keeping data in silos. Keeping data in silos is ineffective from a business intelligence standpoint and it can also be costly. Having records isolated by a computer system, application, department, or even physical location can hold a company back from achieving the highest levels of efficiency possible. Centralized management is the standard your company should strive for.

4. Preparing for the Future With data insights about everything available to companies, what most are dealing with is handling the sheer volume of data. This data is most valuable, however, and should be applied to your business. Having intelligent reporting relies on having organized, quality data. Auditing your data will help prepare your company to use the ever-increasing amount of data available to them.

5. Integrating Data  If your data is all in order, it will make launching an integration that much easier. The higher quality the data and the less data replications, the fewer hurdles you will have when you go to integrate.  Integrations can create efficiency in your organization and allow you to optimize your employees’ workday. Connecting your applications with other business essential applications won’t be a daunting task when your data has been audited and it is managed properly. Before you launch an integration, the Ryvit Portal allows you to audit the data that will be used in the integration.

How to Maximize your Hiring Dollar

For any company, and especially startups, spending has to be done wisely. All budgets are important, but your hiring dollar might be the most important. A new hire has the potential to add more value to your company than any other expenditure. On the same coin, you are taking a risk when you invest a tremendous amount of money, time, and resources on an individual who may or may not live up to your expectations. At Ryvit, we are part of a 2-time 5000 fastest growing company and want to share some of our key HR wisdom with you. Start with tangible goals and visible values. Aligning your values, culture, and performance should be the focus when hiring for any position.

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Any new employee you add will impact all three of these areas in either a negative or a positive way. For this reason, Ryvit integrates personality profiling into the hiring process. With the use of personality testing, you will have the ability to hire an employee who will add value to your company immediately and fit into your culture. The tried and true method of hiring minimizes turnover rates and saves money in the long run. Building a scalable team means hiring the best people your money can buy. You have to know what it takes to attract the brightest talent. More than just salary expectation, make sure your company can offer benefits, perks, and a culture that set you apart from other employers. These aspects of your company are now more important than they have ever been to prospective employees. When considering leadership roles, look for the ability to make decisions independently without C-Level involvement on every project they work on. There are intangible qualities it is important to weave in that create and support a positive culture such as resourcefulness, tenacity, passion and fortitude. Building in these employees will give your company an edge above your competition. You will have the ability to grow and thrive with far less effort when you have a desirable culture and capable leaders. Once you have built your dream team of employees, listen to them just as much as you listen to clients. They work with your solution and process every day. If you have hired the best your money can buy, these individuals will be able to suggest improvements for ease and efficiency that you may have never thought of. Take advantage of their perspective and listed to their insights. These simple HR tools will bring incredible value to your company. Keeping culture a main focus will give your company the ability to attract the best and brightest. Finding talented employees who fit into this culture can take patience at times, but will pay off in the long run. [button size='' style='' text='Link to Full eBook' icon='' icon_color='' link='https://ryvit.com/wp-content/uploads/Fundamental-Elements-of-a-Successful-Software-Company.pdf' target='_self' color='' hover_color='' border_color='' hover_border_color='' background_color='' hover_background_color='' font_style='' font_weight='' text_align='' margin='']

Modern Day Matchmaking in the iPaaS economy

Finding your perfect match means more than just a feeling when we talk about the iPaaS economy. Ultimately your perfect match needs to help you accomplish one task- outsell your competitors. Customers demand all of the workflows be accessible from one interface, they want to use one dashboard, and they want to access it from anywhere. Here’s how to outsell your competition: Focus on the Technology itself Ask your software provider what you are really getting. The technology needs to be:

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Reliable- First are foremost your technology needs to do what it is supposed to do all of the time. No one has the patience to deal with spotty technology or an application that is unreliable when you need to use it. The technology we have available at our fingertips is expected to perform.

Usable- Can the end user open this up and figure it out? Sure there could be a little bit of a learning curve, but too much of one and interest in your tool will be lost- no matter how much easier it could make their lives. The technology should be intuitive.

Portable – Having a mobile-friendly tool is necessary to compete today. Many professionals work from multiple devices including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Make sure it’s all going to be mobile friendly and powerful even in the palm of their hands.

Accessible- Today, everything must be easily accessible. This goes hand in hand with the tool being usable and portable, but it takes it one step further. Can the end user open the tool and go? What steps stand in the way of that happening? These steps should be eliminated to create ease of accessibility.

Performing – The tool has to meet all of the needs of the client. They need to be able to be able to have that all-in-one experience. Streamlined tools perform well for professionals today. Having technology that meets all of these requirements- reliable, usable, portable, accessible and performing is step one in outselling your competition because it leads to happy customers. Make sure your customers know your technology solution in and out to help manage their expectations. If they have new requirements for your tool, be responsive. This will help them understand that you are doing everything in your power to get them what they need and will keep your from gaining any unhappy customers who could damage your reputation. Find a software partner who can deliver to you a superior product and your clients will be happy.

Project Collaboration: The Basics

When working for most organizations, projects can take up a big portion of what you do. Collaboration is essential whether it’s with an established team or across departments. Your team needs to have a certain level of competency and ability. There are tons of tools out there to help you make your team organized and more efficient. These tools range in price and features so you can choose the tool that will be the best fit, but don't forget some of these basics for successful projects:

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1. Forgetting what it’s all about Yes, implementing tools can really help your teams collaborate better. But don’t forget that project collaboration is really all about the people. Make a team that has the right people and this will get you further than any tool.

2. Only using email Meeting in person is great when everyone can get together and they are all in the same office. For many collaborations, this simply isn’t possible all the time. Being able to meet online is essential and email can’t take care of all of the needs a group will have for collaboration. Not to mention, lots of us get hundreds of emails a day and project collaborations can get lost in the shuffle.

3. Getting a tool, but not seeing it through You can research and find the best tool out there, but if your team doesn’t know how to put it into play, it’s all for nothing. A lot of project collaboration tools have a learning curve. Allow your teams to learn these tools before they are expected to jump right in.

4. Non-adoption If your team learns the new tool or method but does not adopt it into their daily use, this can be a problem. You made this business decision and now you need to make sure your team is behind you and understands the importance of this tool and why they need to use it. Non-adoption can also apply to other areas of collaboration, not just a new tool or method.

5. Focusing on the negative When you are working on a project you might be solving one problem and while trying to do so, you may come across other problems. Don’t focus on the negative. This kills productivity in your collaboration. It can be easy to let your team get dragged down by the negative but instead, face these challenges with solutions.

6. Failing to communicate This can be an issue for many different areas of an organization and it hold true for project collaboration. Open lines of communication have to be established to have a free flow of thoughts and ideas. Communicating deadlines just isn’t enough, more conversation needs to go into collaboration. This starts with a clear mission. If this isn’t clear, the team will be set up for failure.

7. Overlapping tasks Sometimes, when the communication isn’t strong, multiple people could be working on the same task and have no idea someone else is too. This is just one example of how poor communication can lead to wasted time and efforts.

8. Resistance to change Many people are afraid of change. This could stem from a fear of surprises and the unknown, a certain level of mistrust, or maybe just bad timing. The creative ideas a project collaboration could come up with might require a certain level of change, however. Don’t be resistant to the good ideas that come from collaboration.

9. No established skills and best practices Your team should know what you expect out of them for project collaboration. Setting standards and best practices is a good first step. You need to make sure employees learn and understand the best practices you have in play when they are onboarding. You also want to make sure they know what basic skills will be required for the projects they join.

10. Failing to plan When it comes to collaboration, planning can be your best friend. Make sure giving each participant a voice is part of this plan. What methods will you use to brainstorm? How can you get to the end goal? These are a few of the details that need to be planned well in advance.

Sourcing for Quality

There will be times when you need something for your company that you won’t be able to create on your own while keeping the balance of time, resources, and quality. Sure you could have your marketing intern take a stab at graphic design, but will they create the quality you want, as quickly as you need it? At what cost to you will your intern achieve success? It is important to know your core competencies and focus on delivering those. Outsourcing can help you gain leverage of scale. Don’t try to do everything in-house if this will not give you the results you wish to achieve at the right price and on the right time schedule.

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Outsource to experts and leverage their expertise. Expertise is something that is slow to grow or duplicate rapidly. This brings up one of the critical build or buy questions to consider: Are there people outside of your company who can do it faster and for less money? We have all heard the saying that you can have something fast and easy but it won’t be cheap, you can have something easy and cheap but it won’t be fast or you can have something fast and cheap but it won’t be easy. The implication is that if you want something fast and easy, you won’t get a high quality solution. Every project manager wants to balance the scope, cost, and schedule of their project while achieving a quality result. The sweet spot of fast and easy with high quality does exist.  Sourcing for quality could be the answer for your company. Ryvit’s unique platform and partner program was created to give you intelligent integrations without spending development dollars on each integration.  Ryvit iPaaS+ ™ is the competitive edge you need to outsell your competition. Give customers the progressive software experience they expect: to be able to enter, access, report and analyze all of their data across the business.  Because this kind of enterprise workflow fluidity and transparency is not available with any other solution, you will win and retain more business. You will gain exclusive access into our ever growing economy of complimentary, progressive, and leading software vendors. Our professional integration team of experts builds an integration for you to connect our ecosystem of existing partner applications or to any other software package you need. Your development team resources aren’t drained and distracted learning another vendor’s API and can remain focused on delivering on your product road-map. [button size='' style='' text='Link to Full eBook' icon='' icon_color='' link='https://ryvit.com/wp-content/uploads/Fundamental-Elements-of-a-Successful-Software-Company.pdf' target='_self' color='' hover_color='' border_color='' hover_border_color='' background_color='' hover_background_color='' font_style='' font_weight='' text_align='' margin='']

The Tech Review all CEOs should do

Whether you are the vision creator of a startup or leading the charge of an established corporation, technology is changing and with that, your business practices around technology might need a refresh. Leaving all of your company’s tech-related decisions up to the CIO or CTO isn’t enough anymore. Creating a strategy around technology is essential to define your company’s path forward so as the CEO, get involved. To make sure you are starting in the right place and heading in the right directions, take a look at these 5 areas of your technology.

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  1. Your current strategy

That is the place to start. If you don’t have an expressed strategy yet, take a general survey of what tech updates have been made recently and the impression of where your company was headed with technology. If you do have a strategy currently, gain an understanding of what department heads and employees need from their technology and where the current strategy is falling short. Making sure your strategy is well-defined will create fewer technology distractions as you move forward.

  1. New Projects

As a CEO, how do you want to approach new technology projects in the coming years? Different tech issues can be solved by a number of existing solutions or by custom-coded solutions. Each has their benefits and drawbacks, but as the CEO it is up to you to decide which way your company will head. Make a decision and be consistent. Take into account the opinions of subject matter experts at your disposal. Many projects in the coming years will be shaped by this decision.

  1. Efficiency

Isn’t efficiency why we invest in technology? Your technology should be helping your employees make the most of their time each day. Take a look at efficiency in your data centers, support centers, and IT systems. You want all of these systems to be as efficient as possible to increase profitability. If your employees are not selling and working in the most efficient way, your tech strategy needs to encompass changes that will help them do so.

  1. Consider your customers

If your customers don’t have the tools they need, work this into your technology strategy to stay competitive. Create a survey and listen to your customers’ feedback about your technology. What preferences do they have in communications they receive from your company? Is your website meeting their needs? What’s not easily accessible? They drive your business so they should be considered in key technology decisions. Building a great customer experience is worth the investment.

  1. The right team

During this process, you will need to have the right team in place to help you understand your current state and what changes are needed. Make sure this goes beyond senior management. When you have this team, set parameters to communicate what can and what cannot be done when it comes to your technology assets. Communicate your company’s risk profile to these individuals. This will allow your team to make the right decisions for your organization.

Top 7 Things to Consider When Selecting your iPaaS

Ryvit is the only vendor that delivers iPaaS +   Data integration is a specialist activity that demands expertise for support, particularly if the project involves complex data or complex data procedures.  If you don’t possess the necessary bandwidth or skills sets in-house to perform quality integrations, then you need a partner with a track record and expertise to tackle tough projects. The challenge: there are several iPaaS solution providers on the market; How do you determine the one best for you? Consider the following 7 areas to determine the following: Are getting the Service in the promise of an iPaaS model or are you getting a tool kit?  If you are bringing this value to your customers or does it require your customers to invest IT and development resources for implementation?

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Industry standards The right partner helps to expand and grow your business by enabling integrations that bring you two things: more value to your customers and revenue to your organization. The right partner will also recognize potential gotchyas and know how to prevent them to reduce development and testing time. This in turn will increases your velocity to market with your integration solutions. For instance, at Ryvit we use the agile method, which emphasizes adaptability, and we also use the ISO standards where appropriate to underpin our methodology for handling data.  We can trap coding and communication issues between applications proactively and throughout the development and maintenance of your integration so things are not broken with each new releases or enhancement. This long term benefit will make the integrations you offer your clients run smoothly.

Project scoping A partner who offers a scoping exercise will be incredibly beneficial for you if you are not sure of what methodology to use for your integration, how long it will take, or if you haven’t carried out a data integration before. The point of project scoping is to identify gaps and risks before you begin. It will evaluate areas such as in-house skills, the quality of your data, the project’s timing and identifies the integration tools required to complete the project successfully. Project scoping is an important key to your project road map and allows you to have a much better idea of what to expect overall.

The Approach A robust methodology is essential if you want a staged, well-managed integration.  Most data integration vendors have a methodology; ours is a tried-and-tested, nine-step process that covers the key stages of a successful data integration project.   It spans the entire integration life-cycle from initial set-up, ensuring that you have the right people and equipment in place, through to data assessment to testing then to implementation and version control and on-going enhancements and support.

Configuration Ask yourself these questions: How flexible can your integrations be for your customers?  Has the platform been used before in your industry? You need to be sure that the vendor’s iPaaS will do a comprehensive job, and that the people on the project are experienced and trained at helping to define business case scenarios that are applicable to your industry.

People If the partner is providing consultants, check that they will be available for the duration of the project.  The iPaaS vendor should provide a project manager and a technical lead, giving you consistency and direction from start to finish.  In terms of the in-house team, at Ryvit we check the required skills for you.  Our staff competency assessment is carried out to the highest industry standards.  On average it takes 30 of interviews to identify a qualified member of our team.  We are just that picky.

Experience Working with an iPaaS partner who has operated in a variety of different environments and industries is preferred.  At the same time, the partner should also have prior experience of data integration and migration in your particular industry. Domain expertise is also highly valuable. Ryvit has, in fact, been named as one of the Top 20 development services companies serving the Construction Industry by CIO magazine. Our experienced team brings a wealth of knowledge to the table.

Visibility We manage, measure and guide the software development team at Ryvit to ensure the investment is addressing 80% of the common business case scenarios faced by your customers, while at the same time providing the flexibility to configure and address the needs of each of your B2B subscribers. Throughout the process we give you business intelligence about the integration, because after all, development without performance metrics  doesn’t help you to continue to accelerate your velocity in the market place. We give you real time access into the performance of the integration so you can see what is working and what is not.