Software is a tool. Whether it’s custom-developed or off-the-shelf doesn’t really matter, as long as it gets the job done.

But what if your company’s market niche, business challenges or service issues are unique? Chances are, you can’t go to Best Buy or and find the perfect software tool. One that is:

· Easy to use;

· Effective; and

· Affordable.

Oh, and it would be nice if you could get the software as soon as possible. Can this be done? Can you really get easy-to-use custom software, done right, at an affordable price – delivered in a timely fashion?

The short answer is: it depends.

It depends on whether you can find a custom software development company that:

1. Understands your business (or takes the time to learn)

2. Has experienced programmers (with more than one tool in their belt) and

3. Lives, eats and breathes customer service (puts your needs first).

Now you might be saying, “Okay, that sounds great, but how do I find such a company, assuming one exists?” Good question.

First, understand that these types of software development companies don’t grow on trees. Unless you are an IT giant like IBM, outsourcing software to India or anywhere offshore is a risky venture. Let’s face it: if problems arise, it’s going to be nearly impossible to enforce American contract law with an international enterprise. Companies like IBM can do it because they actually set up corporate entities in India and other countries. THAT makes contracts enforceable and protects their business assets. Without those entities and structures in place, are your company’s intellectual property and proprietary secrets really secret?

Of course, working with an American software development company doesn’t guarantee success, but it greatly improves your chances of getting what you want. For starters, it forms a business relationship based on mutual trust, where both parties understand the ‘ground rules’ and are held accountable to the same system of laws, trade regulations and statutes.

Before working with any vendor, it’s a good idea to create a request for proposal, or RFP for short. The RFP does two things:

1. It helps you to better define your situation, your needs, and the size and scope of the project.

2. It helps potential vendors to accurately gauge what it will take to make your software dreams a reality.

The better your RFP is, the more responses you will get, because vendors will be confident that they can provide you with a solid estimate in terms of variables, timelines and costs. As an added bonus, the RFP ensure that both companies are (literally) on the same page before the project begins. That gives your custom software development project the best possible chance for success.


By yanam49

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