Cost effective software deployment
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Cost-Effective Software Deployment. Ralph Brackert, Ph.D. Baseline Data Systems, Inc. CEO, CTO Law Office Accelerator Booth 617. Baseline Data Systems, Inc. 3625 Del Amo Blvd. Suite 245 Torrance, CA 90503 Discussion Background.

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Cost-Effective Software Deployment

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Cost effective software deployment

Cost-Effective Software Deployment

  • Ralph Brackert, Ph.D.

  • Baseline Data Systems, Inc.

  • CEO, CTO

  • Law Office Accelerator

  • Booth 617

Baseline Data Systems, Inc.

3625 Del Amo Blvd. Suite 245

Torrance, CA 90503

Discussion background

Discussion Background

  • Based on working with our customers

  • Baseline Data Systems

    • 12 years of developing and delivering consumer and enterprise software

    • Over 500,000 installations

    • Thousands of network installs

What is software deployment

The Big Picture

What is Software Deployment?

  • Everything the customer does to get the users up and running on the software.

    • Testing

    • Planning

    • Customization

    • Distribution

    • Data Migration

    • Training

Software developer perspective

The Big Picture

Software Developer Perspective

  • Has expectations on how the customer will use the software once running.

  • For most, how the software gets there is an afterthought.

  • Pressure to work on the feature list ‘check marks’.

Purpose of deploying software

The Big Picture

Purpose of Deploying Software

  • The purpose of deploying software in a business is ROI in the form of:

    • Increased Revenue

    • Money Saved

    • Time Saved

  • If the software can’t be quantified (explicit ROI) or rationalized (implicit ROI) to one or more of these, it should not be deployed.

Costs of successful software deployment

The Big Picture

Costs of Successful Software Deployment

  • Or: “How did $300 per seat turn into $1000 per seat, and over a year to roll out?”

    • Consumer vs. Consultant based software

    • Initial purchase and maintenance fees

    • Initial and on-going staff and service fees

    • Training materials, time, fees

    • Other new hardware and software, plus setup

    • Data Migration

    • Customization

    • IT and end user productivity loss

Success hinges on software evaluation

Road to Successful Deployment

Success Hinges on Software Evaluation

  • A Conservative Approach Ensures:

    • Satisfied Firm: Happy Partners and End Users

    • Smooth, Quick Adoption (Migration and Training)

    • Conformance with Existing Setup

    • Customization ROI

    • “The End” Exists

Evaluate don t trial

Road to Successful Deployment

Evaluate, Don’t Trial

  • Don’t waste time “playing” with the software.

    • Not Trained = Frustration

    • No one right there to help you.

    • Get more demos.

    • Ask more questions.

  • Bigger Firms: Buy with Contingency

Satisfying the firm

Road to Successful Deployment

Satisfying the Firm

  • Users: “I can’t wait to get it!”

  • Address Business Problems

    • “Every month we spend a lot of time doing…”

    • “When I get a call, I can never find…”

    • “Every day I have to…”

    • “To send a package, it takes…”

  • Not Features

    • “Is there a checkbox to…”

    • “Does it link to…”

    • “Can I click on a button that…”

  • Write down 10 biz problems before starting.


Data migration

Road to Successful Deployment

Data Migration

  • Avoiding the rollout that keeps on rolling!

    • Clean up what you’ve got before you start.

    • Don’t be afraid to ‘clean house’.

  • Software Developer

    • What tools are provided?

    • Is there an existing plan or method?

    • What migration training/services are there?

    • Third party assistance? (watch the $$)

    • The Software Developer is usually the expert.

Conformance evaluation

Road to Successful Deployment

Conformance Evaluation

  • What does it work with, or not work with?

    • Hardware Requirements

    • Existing Software Requirements

    • Compatibility with Existing Software

    • Required New Hardware and Software

    • Security Risks (web!)

    • Network Traffic

  • Know the issues

  • Use Company History as Benchmark


Road to Successful Deployment


  • The Money Pit

  • Focus on Solving Business Problems

    • Know the ROI (include maintenance)

    • Avoid “Wouldn’t it be cool if…”

    • Implement what people will use

  • What alternatives are there?

    • Typical Customization vs. Baseline’s CIT and Macro Suite


Road to Successful Deployment


  • Maximizing ROI

    • Biggest impact is mandatory training.

    • If your firm doesn’t want to train, don’t buy it.

  • Software Developer

    • What training materials are there?

    • What documentation is there?

    • Available training services?

    • Are there third party trainers? (watch the $$)

    • The Software Developer is usually the expert.

Knowing the end

Road to Successful Deployment

Knowing “The End”

  • Have a well-defined end point.

    • You know when you are done.

    • Set user expectations.

    • Adhere to a schedule.

    • Maintain a budget.

    • Measure the impact of mid-stream changes.

Distribution requires planning

Software Distribution

Distribution Requires Planning

  • Simplify with a Written Plan

    • Conformance Testing

    • Phased Rollout

    • Coordination with Other Projects

    • Installation

    • Data Migration

    • Training

Conformance testing

Software Distribution

Conformance Testing

  • Know the Problems

    • Setup Typical End-User Systems

    • Install All User Apps

    • You Can’t Test Everything

    • Anything is Possible

Planning a phased rollout

Software Distribution

Planning a Phased Rollout

  • Integrate with Other Projects, Training, and Migration

  • Prioritize the Rollout

    • Small Pilot Group: representative of the entire rollout

    • Must Haves

    • VIPs require perfection

  • Turn the crank!

What impacts distribution choices

Software Distribution

What Impacts Distribution Choices?

  • Every Situation is Different

  • Influencing factors include

    • Available IT Resources

    • Current Firm/IT ‘Convention’

    • System Standardization

    • Software Developer Provisions


Software Distribution


  • Locking Down or Standardizing the Environment

  • Every firm should have some form of Standardization.

    • Even if the standard is ‘no standard’.

  • Less flexible for user

  • Enables more sophisticated Distribution Methods

  • Enforce Standardization 

Installation overview

Software Distribution

Installation Overview

  • Manual Distribution

  • Email Enhancements

  • Write Scripts

  • Using a Web Site

  • Disk Imaging

  • Microsoft Solutions

  • Third Party Tools

Impact of web based solutions

Software Distribution

Impact of Web-Based Solutions

  • What is a Web-based solution anyway?

    • Internet vs. Intranet

    • Client support: HTML? DHTML? Scripting? Components?

    • Security and Liability Issues

  • Everything still applies!

  • Solve Business Problems

Final thoughts

Final Thoughts

  • Common Characteristics of Successful Deployments

    • Focus on Business Problems, Not Features (think ROI)

    • Expect Service Costs: 33% to 66% of Enterprise ISV revenue is services.

    • Enforce Mandatory Training

    • Enforce Standardization

    • Define the End Point

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