It’s inevitable that you may have questions (possibly a lot of them) about us, our services and what to expect. Here, you’ll not only find answers to FAQ’s, but you’ll also find information on what to expect from us, when working with us, and what we expect from you.
Having a strong Consultant/ Client relationship is very important in the custom software development process. Our goal is to develop a relationship with you, the client, that will allow us to develop the best solution possible, providing the most value and ROI.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Development Lifecycle? – A Development Lifecycle, refers to the ‘womb to tomb’ process of developing a custom solution starting with the free consultation and ending with the go-live implementation of the finished solution. Extensitech is heavily involved throughout the duration of your Development Lifecycle. Expect to develop a relationship with your developer and your project manager that will last well beyond the go-live process. At Extensitech, we develop long-term relationships with our clients that provide valuable resources outside of your custom solution. We provide consultation and support before the project begins, during the project and after the project.
How much collaboration is involved in the process of the development? – Usually, a lot! The simple answer is, as much as it takes. You should reasonably expect regular meetings to occur via telephone and/or online, or in person, as the project requires. It’s our job to keep you informed of the progress and develop workflow processes and enhancements to the scope while working with you. It’s your job to be the Subject Matter Expert and give us the knowledge base we need to develop your perfect solution. You can expect us to provide helpful, reliable and honest input based on our previous experiences with similar industries. To understand more about the collaborative efforts and expectations of this Subject Matter Expert, feel free to read our Live Long and Prosper blog by Senior Developer Jason Sanders.
How important is it to have a Subject Matter Expert that’s knowledgeable and available? – Having the right collaborative partner in place is critical to the development lifecycle. We can’t stress that enough. We have only a few hours to learn about your business and determine the scope of your project so having the right relationship in place is pertinent if your goal is the get the best results and ROI. It’s a safe bet to expect us to grill the Subject Matter Expert about your business; we want to be sure that we meet all of your desired needs and the needs that you may not know you have. We will ask a lot of questions every time we talk. It’s an important part of our model for success.
What if I don’t know what I need in a custom solution, or I’m not sure? – If you don’t yet know exactly what you need, let us help you with a free initial consultation. We’ll also help you, and guide you through your options, as we move through your project. It’s our job to understand your business, identify the challenges, and know the scale of your project. Our backgrounds in business consulting and analysis give us the tools needed to identify your needs and develop the perfectly tailored solution to meet those needs. Our broad inter-disciplinary practices and hybrid development principles give us the tools to meet your budget requirements (as best as possible) while still provide a functioning and performing solution. For a good read on a related topic, read our The Bizarro World of the Developer blog by Senior Developer Chris Cain.
What value does your business consultation background provide in this process? – Outside of your custom development, expect us to make recommendations, suggestions, and comments to improve your business, operations and software efficiency; we’ll always stay on track and progress forward with sensible solutions. We won’t ‘sell’ you any development you don’t need and we will try to talk you out of options that we believe are not cost efficient for you. Our backgrounds will help us quickly identify how to spot your “pain points” and identify the opportunities for improvement and better profits. When we collaborate, we will provide reasoning with our conclusions and solutions for the areas that we think can make your business more profitable, streamlined and efficient. To get a better understanding, read our Avocado Tools blog by Senior Developer Chris Cain.
How do I know what developers, or which development company, I can trust? – This is a great question, we actually provide a list of client references not only in our development proposals, but by request as well. Honesty is the first moral code in our policy of how we treat our clients. If we don’t know something, we’ll say so; we are committed to provide answers with honesty and integrity. Some of our honest answers may seem a little rough around the edges, but it’s because we’re experts in our field and it’s our job to be honest and lead you away from a decision that may cost you more money or time, or a decision that may not be as profitable. We’ll even tell you if we aren’t the right people for the job; sometimes we just aren’t best suited or sometimes we just can’t meet your budget and that’s OK. If that’s the truth, we’ll tell you and if possible, refer you where to go. We not only encourage you to review our Testimonials and our FileMaker Developer Reviews, but we encourage you to talk to our client references as well. We also have bios on all of our Team members. (Each bio also features fun factoids that are great for striking up a conversation if you’re looking to break the ice!)
What are some industries you’ve helped? Do you have any examples of challenges you’ve overcome? – We have served a number of different industries, and provided software solutions for a number of specific challenges. We encourage you to view our Portfolio of industry and challenge examples. However, even if we haven’t encountered your specific needs a dozen times, or not even once, our talent is listening to your individual needs, recognizing your needs and providing and implementing solutions. You are the expert on your business. We will have many suggestions and insights, but in the end, you’re in charge. To view a list of the clients and industries we served, visit our Clients page.
Are your consultants FileMaker Certified Developers? – Yes, we are certified in versions 8 through the current version.
If I have a specialty need, outside of your core competencies, do you have any partnerships, or strong relationships with other providers? – Yes, we have many relationships and partnerships, in addition to our partnership with the FileMaker Business Alliance. We have strong referral relationships with IT professionals (specializing in PC and MAC optimization), Web Designers, SEO and Digital Marketing specialists, App Developers and database developers specializing in other coding/languages. We’re able to provide cooperative project work, working directly with a provider, or providers, if the project requires this.
How will you bill me for my project? – We bill by the hour for Development and Consultation services. We generate invoices weekly, so your project’s payments would be spread out weekly for the previous week’s work, throughout the duration of development. Some projects require a down payment but most don’t.Throughout the project, we bill as we go so you can see, week to week, what you’ve paid and what we’ve accomplished. Because we meet with a SPOC weekly during the development, you won’t receive a giant bill without any progress to show for it and we don’t disappear for months and come back with a finished solution. This is a collaborative effort!
Are there any other costs outside of development? – There could be. You’ll need FileMaker licensing in order to access the solution we develop for you. For specific needs, you might also need plugins from third-party developers. Because of our relationships with FileMaker and with plugin developers, we can often get generous discounts on software licenses. We do not sell or “mark up” software, so any discounts we can get are passed directly to you.
Depending on what computers and server you already have, you may also have hardware costs if you need new or more equipment. We can help you assess whether you need additional hardware, and if so what requirements you’ll have.
There will never be any hidden fees from us. There is no monthly or yearly cost associated with us unless you elect to go with a hosting or server maintenance plan with us though these are not required. There are also no required upgrades to your solution itself. Your custom solution will only be upgraded at your pace, and only based on your requirements.
Do you offer fixed bids? – No, we do not. We believe that you should only pay for the work that has been done as it is being done. We believe that, in many cases, fixed bids are a negative for clients. Either the client overpays for their finished product, or the client underpays and we as consultants are incentivized to do the minimum required so we don’t “eat” too many hours. We’ll work from our initial outline and estimate, of course, and we have a strong track record of estimating work accurately, but we want to be free, with your collaboration, to identify if there’s a way to do the project faster or an opportunity that warrants additional development.
Can you offer financing options? – We do not offer financing ourselves but we have a relationship, and have worked with, a financing company that offers financing for software development projects. Given our “pay as you go” approach, though, you have ultimate control over the pace of the work and therefore the pace of your payments.
Are there any important things I should know about when selecting a developer or development company? – In addition to these FAQ’s, we recommend you read Things You Should Know on our The Process page.
Do you outsource work, or send my projects off to other development teams, or developers? –In some cases, though rare, we do need to work with other providers, or we find that a particular bit of development can be done better by more specialized outside help. It’s important to note that this will never be done without your knowledge. All of the service providers we work with are held accountable by our Project Manager, and you’ll have the options of working directly with them or having us manage their efforts as part of our project.