Wednesday, December 9, 2009

No Harm Upgrades

Some features are simple upgrades in functionality, but some are fundamental. When our customers make take on a large scale change, we implement a "no harm" support package. Obviously, we mean by this that no harm will come to their data during the transfer process.

Tonight we are moving one of our larger 2-1-1 information and referral customers from an older feature set for tracking incoming calls and provided referrals, to a much more powerful and flexible feature set.

This move brings all manner of customization and controls to the table, including conditional fields, controllable formatting, multiple form sets for different call center contracts, sophisticated mapping tools and dashboard reports. A large number of our customers moved to this new system some time ago.

Behind the scenes, however, this also means that we will be moving their data and reconfiguring it in the new world. And--this has to happen for a 24 hour call center operation that can't go down unexpectedly.

To help with situations like this, we build automatic scripts to move the data, special tools to configure and check the new environment, and most importantly, a special transfer or training environment where the customer can activate and use their new tools before they are actually put into production. This way, there are no surprises.

Sure it takes a lot more time to build new enhancements with these kinds of transfer support mechanisms built in, but it helps to keep the technology in the background, and lets our customers focus on the people they serve, and the partnerships they build.

Douglas Zimmerman
President & CEO
VisionLink