Client needs drive development priorities
- Ryan Dimick, Senior Director of Development at SMA Technologies. "In my position I see both the user and creator side of software, and I’m always excited when I come across software and applications that feel like they were created by someone who knew exactly what I needed. When the UI is clean and easy to navigate, and when the software is fast and reliable, it’s almost like admiring a work of art. This is the kind of reaction I want to elicit from our clients when they see our OpCon workload automation solution in action, and everything we do focuses on creating this reaction."
Reducing complexity to serve client needs
From the development side of the business, getting feedback from clients is immensely helpful. Our approach with OpCon has always been about making it as simple and easy to use as possible. How does this directly translate to our clients? The Director of Information Systems for one of our clients, Frandsen Bank & Trust, said it well for us, “It became apparent very quickly that the SMA Technologies product, through a single pane, if you will, could explain everything it’s doing across multiple operating systems, different programming languages and different departments.”
OpCon can use almost any scripting language to create automation workflows, from Python to PowerShell to Perl, which gives operators an immense amount of flexibility. This is what our clients want, because it makes it much easier to handle staffing needs when you don’t have to invest heavily into one person learning a new programming language. When your business grows and you want to expand your automation team, the potential talent pool is much deeper due to the large number of programming languages that OpCon can facilitate. Many of our clients are based far from traditional tech hubs, and this flexibility positively impacts their ability to meet their technical staffing needs.
Going the extra mile for clients
It is important for our development team to know that our product is providing a big business impact for our users. At Frandsen Bank & Trust, we deployed OpCon Microsoft SQL integration with the calculation that it would reduce their managed services expenses by 75 percent. One of their largest expenses in the SQL environment was backup and maintenance plan verification. These are routine processes that were being done manually, and we were able to automate them and set up alerts to only notify the operators when it found exceptions or errors, greatly reducing their need for managed services. Frandsen’s Director of Information Systems, said “We really felt that OpCon was going to that deeper layer to automate the things that are truly a concern to us.”
I love these examples because they validate what we’re doing as a development team, and we know that our goals of making a customer-centric product are being achieved. We focus our efforts on creating the automation product that the clients need, and our internal processes here all reinforce that.
Client referrals are a testimony to our success
As Senior Director of Development here at SMA, I always get to hear directly from clients and it’s very encouraging to hear that clients are happy with what we’re doing and eager to give feedback that we can translate into new features and service offerings to meet their evolving needs. But one of the highest forms of praise a client can give you is when they tell their peers about the solution you’ve provided for them. We’ve operated for 39 years now and for about 37 of them we relied almost exclusively on word of mouth and direct referrals from clients.
Frandsen Bank & Trust based their decision in part on what they had heard from colleagues in their industry, “You need to take a close look at what vendor can deliver the total package and verify that the vendor has a track record with like-minded peers.” It’s statements like these that drive me and my team every day. We come into work because we want to be the total package for our clients, and we want OpCon to make a dynamic impact on their ability to achieve their business goals.
Want to find out how OpCon can be the client-driven solution you’ve been looking for?
You can follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter, where I like to share my insights into automation and technology in general. Thanks for taking the time to read this article, I’ve got two more coming up that focus on the value of being nimble as well as what it takes to provide superior technical services to clients.
- Ryan Dimick, Senior Director of Development at SMA Technologies
About the author: Ryan Dimick is Senior Director of Development at SMA Technologies in Houston, Texas. Over the course of his seven-year tenure at SMA Technologies Ryan has also held positions as Director of Cloud Services, Software Architect, and Sr Business Consultant. He started his career at Corning Credit Union as a user of the OpCon automation platform and held positions in IT Operations and Programming. Ryan loves sports and competition, from ping pong tournaments at the office to running races. He is from New York and is still a huge NY Giants fan. Ryan lives in downtown Houston and is enjoying the constant stream of exciting food and entertainment options.
In this article
At the heart of our success at SMA Technologies is our client-driven development process. We actively solicit feedback from our clients and align our development roadmap to provide requested features and innovative new services to match the evolving automation needs of our clients.