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Recent Projects

Vizdom's core competency is learning and applying new technologies quickly. Each project is typically based on a set of technologies with which we are expert and one or two that are new. Most of our work centers on distributed Web architectures for database, document management, and portal products based on leading middleware options including CORBA, server-side Java, JDBC, and XML. Recent projects have fallen into four general categories:

Proof-of-Concept

Motivation: The value of proof-of-concept work is its ability to accelerate and bring substance to technical or marketing discussions about what is possible and what is sellable. Vizdom accelerates the proof-of-concept process and provides vendors with the tools necessary to fully test the market potential and technical feasibility of a particular new technology.

With a demonstrable prototype and a short white paper describing the potential of the new technology to be used in tandem with the vendor's product it is much easier to gain the customer's confidence that the technology is indeed on the vendor's radar screen.

Recent results: Vizdom performed a proof-of-concept integration between a document management system and Lotus Notes for the vendor's annual user conference. By making the proof-of-concept results available to customers the vendor demonstrated an active interest in the integration and prompted fertile face-to-face discussion with customers regarding requirements and preferences for the finished product.

Standard Interfaces

Motivation: As the market for a technology develops, standard interfaces emerge that were often not present or generally adopted at the time a product was originally designed. By providing standard interfaces to core products, Vizdom provides software vendors with the opportunity to close deals that require the interface, and in some cases open up entirely new market segments for the product.

The benefits of standard interfaces include reinforcing or establishing the product positioning as an "open" system, meeting RFP checklist requirements, and introducing options for low-cost - or no-cost integrations - for which the standard interface acts as the point of integration with other products.

Recent results: A European sales office for a niche database product had a major license sale opportunity if the vendor added a JDBC interface to the product. The JDBC interface was also appealing to the existing customer base, and had the potential to drive several other new license revenue opportunities. Vizdom provided an early release of the JDBC driver within 8 weeks to demonstrate progress and completed the development effort in 14 weeks.

Product Integrations

Motivation: Direct product integrations may be required to meet customer requirements for interoperability with products already in use in their organization. These integrations may also be used by a vendor to create a co-existence strategy with a complementary - or competing - product to generate new revenue opportunities.

When there is no suitable standard interface, or the requirements cannot be supported by a standard interface, a direct integration between the products can almost be achieved using the proprietary API's for each product. In many cases API-to-API integrations provide the richest features and the most satisfying user experience for users of both products.

Recent results: A client-server application vendor was attempting to target a market segment that was dominated by their leading competitor. The vendor asked Vizdom to design an integration with the other product that would allow the vendor to co-existence in those accounts. In this case there were no suitable standard interfaces to choose from. Vizdom designed a service provider interface (SPI) for the vendor's product that met the feature, performance, and time to market requirements for the integration and opened the door to an efficient series of similar integrations with other products in the same category.

Add-on Modules

Motivation: The motivation for developing add-on products is to introduce a module that is complementary to the existing core product and meets the needs of an active prospect or a group of prospects. No matter how complete a product offering is it will always be missing some key features for a particular customer or a set of customers. The add-on module may ultimately be included in the core product, or it may be that the add-on is not generally useful across the entire customer base, but does have strong niche appeal - including as fine a niche as "what it takes to win this particular deal."

Recent results: The initial Web-based product offering from a host-based database vendor provided strong out of the box functionality but limited options for customization. Customers requested that the proprietary host-based scripting language used to build character cell interfaces be extended to support HTML interfaces. Rather than introduce a proprietary Web scripting language that would compete with Perl, Java, VBScript, and JavaScript, Vizdom provided a compact set of language-independent CORBA objects that preserved the product's differentiation and introduced options for application development using popular tools from mainstream vendors.

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