Software development by Second Company
Walking into one of the world’s biggest tech companies, we found that they face just as many difficulties with regards to ICT as SME entrepreneurs. We wrote a blog about it so you can benefit from our experiences! Also in this article: how to convert your traffic into sales, and why our name conveys everything you need to know about successful ICT.
Even the world’s biggest tech companies struggle to balance business and ICT
It’s not every day that the world’s biggest auction platform gives you a call to discuss resolving a deadlocked ICT project. Of course, you say “yes” to that. By the time our employees walked into their company, their internal developers had been struggling with a supplier’s inadequate software for two years. They felt frustrated about their slow progress and tension was running high between the business unit and the ICT team, yet no one had yet succeeded in bridging the gap. That is exactly what we did succeed in, thanks to our practical business driven approach.
We proceeded armed with knowledge of both business and software, as well as team building. Soon, we concluded that the crucial problem wasn’t the software, but responsibilities that had not been clarified enough. And so, against all suspicions raised by the business unit, the true responsibility lay with the supplier instead of the ICT team. Within a month, we managed to find and resolve the problem in good cooperation with the software supplier. What’s even more important; the team could finally properly function again.
This yielded Second Company a beautiful reference from one of the world’s biggest tech companies:
“In a very short time, the cooperation between our company and our external software supplier was taken to the next level. Their technical knowledge, problem solving capabilities and specific approach allow Second Company to quickly resolve all bottlenecks. They intuitively understand what businesses need and know what to expect (and not expect) from suppliers. Thanks to this, it remains clear who is responsible for each problem, so they can all be resolved quickly and efficiently. Second Company has so many original ideas with regards to how to deal with certain issues and feels fully comfortable managing vendors. For us, this has translated into better services and less issues and churns overall.”, Roelof Lettinga
It’s a complaint I often hear: businesses lack employees with broad knowledge and experience in the fields of both ICT and business. Which leads me to...
Secret No. 1
ICT is more than just software. ICT is business. And that is why you need people who understand both the software and the business, and who have management skills. The aforementioned project is a typical example of why we, at Second Company, train our developers into being able to solve all aspects of a certain problem. Take a look at our blog ‘3 reasons’ as well.
Let me give you another great example of our approach.
From traffic to sales: how we made start-up Hotelkamerveiling.nl the greatest
The highest attainable achievement for our software developers is not a perfect line code, but a perfect line code that has the potential to improve business. So, when Hotelkamerveiling.nl approached us, asking us to help increase their sales, we were excited to take on a big challenge with a measurable outcome.
Hotelkamerveiling.nl was launched with the goal in mind to become the biggest auction site in its class, and to achieve this all in a very short time frame. The only problem they kept running into was their defective website. While they did get traffic, visitors kept leaving before making a reservation due to lack of various functionalities and a clear site vision. Another case where our business-driven mindset definitely came in handy.
We analyzed both the business’s and its visitors’ needs and translated those into functional solutions. In this way, we managed to create a fast availability check for the auctioned off offerings and started showing those offerings on the homepage. A smoother booking system reduced the number of steps visitors had to go through. We also made a couple of other similar adjustments. These solutions may seem simple, but the coding that preceded them was extremely complex and meant that we had to connect several databases and systems.
The investment turned out to be worth every penny. Thanks to our new, effective functionalities, the website’s sales momentum went through the roof and within years it became the Netherlands’ biggest website of its kind. And that brings me to...
Secret No. 2
The reason for the success of our approach isn’t caused by exotic (and often unnecessary) solutions. Our product just has to work. That is why we simply develop the best possible solution for the problem and translate it into code. You can read more about this effective approach in our blog ‘Digital transformation: that’s how’
Hence the name
Business and ICT have to reflect each other 100%. They have to be identical twins in order to supply customers with a digital version of their business processes, but slicker, nicer, more efficient, better.
For that reason, we don’t use account managers or other unnecessary organizational layers. Our developers have been trained to look at ICT with a business mindset. They directly cooperate with our customers and solve issues together in shared chat groups. Even though we are independent, business is such a familiar concept to us, and we are so thoroughly committed to the job that it almost seems like our customers have their own in-house ICT team. Hence our name: Second Company, your digital company.
What ICT problems are you running into while trying to reach your goals? Share them with us, because I would love to hear about them – to learn from them, and to possibly help you solve them.