What is Agile Methodology?
Traditionally, developers took a linear approach to software development called the Waterfall Methodology. Projects are divided into stages, and each stage is completed before the next stage begins. In the final stage, the finished software project is delivered to the client. This approach leaves stakeholders little opportunity to offer feedback, and if a deliverable isn’t all that stakeholders hoped for, it can be prohibitively expensive to make changes once the project is completed.
By contrast, the Agile Methodology takes a cyclic approach to development. Developers work in short development cycles of two to four weeks, and smaller deliverables are provided at more frequent intervals. Unlike the traditional method, meetings between developers and stakeholders are frequent, providing stakeholders and developers many opportunities to address issues as they arise and the ability to adapt early to changing requirements.
What are the advantages of an agile approach?
Agile Methodology is a logical solution to the many challenges that arise in the development of new software. The landscape of emerging technologies and the modern marketplace are both constantly changing, which means tech project requirements are subject to change often. An agile approach makes it easier and more cost-effective to adapt to shifting requirements over the course of the project timeline by periodically evaluating and adjusting expectations and proposed outcomes.
Shorter, iterative project phases and regular team meetings reduce risks and keep the whole team focused on the task at hand. Stakeholders have an opportunity to express concerns about a project during the early phases, which prevents developers from wasting time, energy, and resources on a direction that is no longer in alignment with the needs of a client.
When a product’s market is particularly competitive, the rapid delivery of Agile Methodology gives stakeholders a first-mover advantage. In a constantly-changing landscape, developers have the capacity to optimize and adjust software throughout its development rather than adding another stage at the end of an already lengthy waterfall project. This often results in unexpected, added value to stakeholders.
Is an agile approach right for you?
Agile Methodology offers a number of advantages to developers and stakeholders, and it’s particularly effective in highly variable, sophisticated projects with aggressive timelines. Regular communication means ambiguities and changes can be dealt with immediately. Shorter cycles encourage faster development. In a fast-paced marketplace, an agile approach is the secret to staying ahead of the competition.
At Antares, we use a customized agile methodology to develop solutions for a wide variety of industries, including healthcare, oil & gas, finance and insurance. We also help startups get commercial digital products to market faster using our agile approach. Contact our experts today to learn how our developers can work with your business team to offer a first-mover advantage in a fast-paced market.
At Antares, we know software. We use our decades of experience and software development expertise to help our clients achieve their business goals and solve their most perplexing technology challenges.
But we also know that software can be confusing for people who aren’t regularly engaged in development. One of our functions is helping clients become more tech-savvy, and sometimes that means clarifying fundamental concepts to make conversations more meaningful.
Today, we’re clearing up confusion surrounding the two categories of software that your computer uses to help you conduct business: system software and application software.
From the moment you turn on your computer, its system software is running. It’s the program that comes installed on your computer when you purchase it. You probably know the more common system software packages by their particular names: Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.
Each of these rely on low-level assembly language to operate the computer’s hardware, and they’re all built to be used by the computer, not the user. If you’ve got a robust operating system, you never have to think about it at all. Nevertheless, it’s always running in the background. It doesn’t stop until you turn your computer off.
System software is general purpose, providing a necessary platform for application software to operate. Unlike system software, application software is designed to fulfill a specific function or set of functions. Your favorite computer games, those informative spreadsheets emailed to you prior to meetings, internet browsers, and databases are all examples of application software.
Application software is written in a high-level programming language. It can’t run independently of system software and must be installed separately, according to individual users’ requirements. Once installed, applications don’t start running until the user issues a command.
Application software is designed with user-experience in mind. Often, several applications are packaged together as application suites, making interaction among the tools easier. By bundling Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, Microsoft streamlines operations for users in their Microsoft Office suite of products. For example, spreadsheets created in Excel can be more readily dropped into a PowerPoint presentation or Word document. MS Office also relies on a common user interface among applications, which shortens a user’s learning curve.
We help you know software
You’re busy building your business empire, and it may be that learning the ins and outs of software suites is not on your agenda this week. Custom software, however, can create new opportunities for your company’s growth and management. Fortunately, you don’t have to know all of the aspects of software applications to capitalize on them.
By partnering with Antares, you can gain the advantages of tailored software applications without becoming an expert on the topic. We’ll recommend and develop the right technology that fits your business best. Call us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our software experts.
Congratulations! Your business is growing and evolving. You’ve developed strategic processes and streamlined operations. You’ve broadened your customer base and increased your revenue. But is your business technology keeping up with your rapid expansion?
To stay at the top of your game, your technology solutions need to be as flexible and robust as your business team. If you’re experiencing bottlenecks, it’s time to modernize your technology to accommodate your growth.
When productivity is in decline, it’s time to take a look at your existing technology. Most personnel in modern businesses rely heavily on technology to get their jobs done. When the existing tools are no longer sufficient, your company will begin to experience productivity bottlenecks. This is an opportunity to have a sit down with your most efficient and ambitious employees and let them tell you where they’re getting bogged down by legacy software.
Modern businesses are data-driven, and instant access to information is critical to success across every department, from marketing to product development to accounting. Inadequate and outdated technology can create information bottlenecks through various failures, including obsolete sharing functions and confusing data duplications. If information is not flowing freely within your established data infrastructure, it has the potential to exacerbate productivity issues and bring your business to a grinding halt.
An outdated technological infrastructure makes it difficult to adjust and refine processes as your business evolves. When a minor modification to a database or monthly report sends your IT scrambling to come up with break-fixes, it may be an indicator that your legacy technology isn’t adequate for your developing processes. Consult with your resident tech expert and your staff to identify changes that are being avoided due to fear of system breakdowns. That’s where you’ll find your process bottlenecks.
Modern businesses rely heavily on collaboration to ensure clear communication, expedient processes, and accurate data transfer. Legacy systems are often woefully inadequate when it comes to modern collaborative functions, and commercial apps don’t necessarily meet the unique needs of larger, more specialized enterprises. Simplifying collaboration through modern technology solutions improves productivity and eliminates costly redundancies.
As your business grows, you run up against challenges that you never imagined before. Over-reliance on legacy systems can make adapting to rapid, unanticipated changes nearly impossible. Even a modest transition – like making your business platform available to employees on their mobile phones – can be overwhelming when you’re adjusting from antiquated legacy software. Your technology solutions need to keep pace with your business growth and with the changing market landscape where you operate.
Antares helps businesses grow their technology.
We have over thirty years of experience helping businesses evolve by creating custom software solutions designed to grow and scale with your business. We begin with a complimentary business mapping session that gives us a clear picture of where your business is coming from and where you’re headed. We assess your existing software, analyze your processes, and identify your goals in order to create the most labor-saving, cost-efficient technology solution for your unique needs.
Invest in technology that gives your company room to grow. Get in touch with the innovative team at Antares today to schedule your complimentary consultation.
Antares is proud to be a partner of the YouthForce NOLA Internship Program (YFI) and will welcome its first intern later this month. The long-term goal of YouthForce NOLA is to facilitate connections for New Orleans youth to long-term employment opportunities in growing local industries.
The program provides a paid internship experience and exposure to the soft skills needed for success in high school, college, and the world of work. YFI is a competitive internship program for high school seniors at YouthForce NOLA partner schools focused on career pathways in three high-wage, high-demand regional industry clusters:
- Bio & health sciences (including bioinnovation and medical professions)
- Digital media/IT (including programming and development, networking, and visual design)
- Skilled crafts (including architecture, construction, water management, and engineering)
Students participate in 60 hours of paid professionalism training, followed by their 90 hour placement with an employer in targeted industries. Learn more about the program here.
Antares developed the new Moxey Mobile App for use within the Moxey business-to-business network. Moxey started 18 years ago and has grown to 14 communities across 5 states. Moxey businesses buy and sell needed products and services while conserving cash to pay other bills, and taxes. Last year, nearly 4,000 members conducted over 100,000 transactions and generated over 20 million in new revenue.
The Moxey Mobile App allows users to process live and secure transactions directly from their mobile device with activated data service, and also provides tools to allow member account management and directory search of members with mapping capabilities linked directly to their device’s GPS capabilities. Want to see a list of Moxey restaurants in the network that are available and close to your current location? It literally takes the press of one button! Make a selection and get a map and driving directions. Moxey Mobile is available for both iOS and Android devices.
Client portals provide an electronic gateway that offers your clients, customers, partners, and personnel streamlined access to company information, data, and applications. Gated access allows businesses to securely manage documents and permissions, to collaborate with authorized users, and to tailor the user experience to create a more rewarding relationship with clients and customers.
Most large corporations rely heavily on client portals for cost and labor-saving customer and resource management. As a consequence, consumers now expect to be able to engage freely with their partners in business and commerce. Fortunately, this is an area where small and mid-sized companies can meet and even exceed the standards set by larger corporations. You don’t have to be Amazon or GEICO to reap the same rewards as colossal corporations by integrating a custom client portal.
Streamline operations and reduce overhead costs
When it comes to client portals, the long-term cost benefits far outweigh the upfront costs. By storing frequently requested forms and information in an easily accessible secure online client portal, you simplify customer service and automate processes that might otherwise require hiring new personnel as your business grows. You eliminate the costs of physical filings, and the need for physical storage. Clients can file support requests, calculate quotes, find answers to their most common questions, complete and submit paperwork, locate documents such as invoices and associated purchase orders and even place orders with minimal expense to the business.
Increase revenue and improve customer retention
Client portals minimize duplicate data entry, costly calculation errors and backed up workflows while improving customer satisfaction and retention. When these factors are paired with reduced overhead expenses, businesses see an uptick in the revenue cycle. Client portals simplify invoicing and payment processes and make your financial practices more transparent, which builds trust with your clients and customers and incentivizes a long-term relationship.
Improve collaboration and strengthen relationships
With client portals, businesses are able to improve the back-and-forth flow of information and build better systems for collaboration. This ease of sharing and communicating fortifies robust relationships among clients, customers, and business stakeholders who can quickly and securely view and edit quotes, proposals, contracts, and project plans as they develop.
Minimize errors and improve data accuracy
A cloud-based client portal ensures that users are accessing the most up-to-date data and the most current versions of documents. This significantly reduces the chances that your team or your clients are operating or making assumptions based on inaccurate data. By providing all users with precise, real time data, you build your business’ credibility and improve customer loyalty.
Plan your portal today!
At Antares, we’ve been helping mid-sized and enterprise-level businesses grow and expand through custom app development. We’ve got the expertise and the experience to develop a client portal tailored to your exact business specifications. Schedule a consultation with a solution specialist today to begin planning your custom client portal.
Know a student who is interested in technology? Antares is proud to be a supporter of this year’s Core Element’s Hands-On STEM Summer Camp sessions! Core Element’s unique summer camp model engages both students and teachers as they discover how to build and program robots and learn to code using popular web-based technologies. Working together in teams, students develop critical skills in reasoning, analytical thinking, leadership and team building. They also meet local STEM professionals who help them equate their interest in math or science with possible STEM careers.
Teachers who attend the camp work and learn as “students.” This hands-on professional development opportunity will help teachers integrate Louisiana’s new science standards and create hands-on, minds-on STEM experiences for the classroom. During robotics camp sessions, teachers also learn how to develop a robotics team at their school so that they can participate in robotics competitions.
The sessions take place from June 11 – July 27 at the University of New Orleans, with each session lasting several days. Registration is ongoing. Sessions include:
- Jr. STEM Camp- Coding/EVO Robotics
- Coding Camp
- Jr. STEM Camp – WEDO/ LittleBits
- Introduction to LEGO EV3 Robotics
- Arduino Microcomputer Processing
Click here to register for an upcoming session.