ViaData is a company dedicated to providing data-focused business systems to businesses. In a world where shrink-wrapped application vendors dictate to the client what functionality should be in an application and how it should be utilised, ViaData offers a unique, client-centric approach.

ViaData believe that the typical client is intelligent, aware and cognisant of the best business practises in the industry in which they operate. Clients do not need to be dictated to as to how they should run their business, or what is considered "best for them" by software vendors.

The Problem

There are a large number of software vendors that have created their trade out of such business practises. In so doing, they have created a disenfranchised client community, who feel that they "have" to purchase such systems in order to "be compliant" and follow "best practise", or the "industry standard."

These phrases will sound familiar to most corporate staff who have been involved in the purchase of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply Chain Management (SCM) or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. The reality is that these business systems, by their very nature, have been created to be generic across a broad range of geographies and business methodologies in order to encompass the largest range of corporations.

This then necessitates the need for extensive customisation for the individual client, typically at great expense. Implementation and customisation consultants never leave the client, and they are saddled with constant modular and version integration issues. In extreme cases, some companies have folded as a result of implementing an ERP system, due to issues such as bad project management, unrealistic expectations and incorrect requirement definitions. The implementation projects have literally eaten up their cash.

Each client, even within a broad market, will have individual functional, process and management requirements that will be unique to that client. These are the differences that create competitive differentiation and relationships in the market place, and why a customer will purchase from one company and not the other.

These differentiators are not taken into consideration in generic ERP, SCM and CRM applications, and yet these are the fundamental differentiators that create competitive advantage for the client. For these differentiators to be implemented in generic business systems, costly implementation consultants have to be employed to customise the software for the individual client.

Why then purchase the generic business systems software in the first place? Surely the "advantage" of implementing generic software is then lost in the customisation?

Many organisations have started a project with every intention of re-engineering their business to the so-called "best practise" incumbent in the generic software, only to find that they cannot do it - any competitive, business, functional or process advantage they have would be lost in the translation. [ more - experience ]

So companies have traditionally sat with a catch-22 decision - do they re-engineer their companies to fit the so-called "best practise" in major ERP/SCM/CRM software and lose their competitive differentiators, or do they purchase the software and customise it to death (at great expense) to fit their needs, thereby incurring constant version control and integration problems.

Coupled with this, companies have found that, with the major ERP/CRM/SCM vendors, they become a small fish in a big pond. They are told to "wait for the next release" which could be years away or more often "we won't be including that functionality because not enough companies have requested it". Companies' needs are not met and localisation issues also abound.

The standard alternative to shrink-wrapped software for corporations is custom-built software. This brings with it the perceived risk of investing in a long, arduous development process that can continue for many months and sometimes, years. As a result, management are often unable to say with certainty when they will be able to deliver a system to the company. User specified changes during the development process can also require major structural changes to the software that cannot be easily implemented, requiring additional time and further delaying the project, due to the inflexibility of the development process. Additionally, traditional software development requires that the main system development should take place from scratch once the initial modelling has been completed. This exercise negates all the work that has been done in developing and testing the initial system model, delays the implementation of the system and pushes the timeline of the overall project out, to the cost of the company.

Further, there is little, if any optimal learning and application of previous work performed by developers. Much time has to be spent on screen layouts, as these have to be set up manually every time a new application is developed, and there is typically an inconsistency in code and standards from screen to screen, application to application and project to project. System architecture, functionality and processes may also be inconsistent from application to application, resulting in user confusion and difficult system maintenance.

The Solution

There is, however, another way to business productivity and efficiency. ViaData offers a data-centric business systems approach that has consistently delighted clients with the speed of implementation, rich functionality that is client-specific and a consultative, value-driven partnership. [ more - Catalyst™, case studies, references ]

ViaData has consistently been motivated by the knowledge that the client will know their business, market and competition best. ViaData takes this intellectual capital and implements it into the business system during the architectural and systems analysis phase of an implementation project. The company works in partnership with the client, where every member of staff is considered a resource that can be utilised in perfecting the clients' system. In other words, a clerk may know a better way of utilising a business process than the MD. It is this kind of open thinking that has helped ViaData to provide the value to its clients for which it is regarded.

ViaData also maintains a number of strategic business partnerships with companies who are specialists in their fields. These companies include data modellers, system architects, process engineers and analysts. These specialists provide added value to our clients by offering their unique insight into business, data, systems and process issues and contributing their solutions when required in a project. Our clients have been delighted with the breadth of ViaData's service offering, as we continue to look for significant value to give to our clients and push the boundaries of software development.

Beyond the implementation of business systems, ViaData adds value through continued contact with our clients in order to enhance our relationship, maintain systems and implement improvements. We help our clients succeed and grow through the implementation of focused business systems - and therein is our own success. [ more - case studies ]

For details on how to contact us, please see our contact page.
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