Evaluating Software that Drives Success

What makes great software?  Great software is a tool that helps you as an individual succeed. Great software helps your organization succeed.  In order to compete in today’s technologically demanding environment, software is expected to be smarter and faster than ever before. Additionally, very high expectations are made on features like interoperability, platform availability, and extensibility. Growing organizations need to be confident that software is scalable and can grow with them.  What was considered cutting edge just a short while ago, now constitutes minimum baseline expectations.

Configurable and accessible from anywhere

Collective Data’s web-based fleet maintenance management software can be accessed from computers, tablets, and smart phones.

For example, good software might incorporate the most commonly requested features across the industry (one-size-fits-all), but great software is engineered to be highly configurable to provide you with the best solution possible. And good software would, of course, run on your preferred hardware, but great software runs on your PC, your tablet and even your smart phone.

The overall user experience of today’s best software is expected to present not only easy-to-use workflows, but also provide ways to manipulate data in fresh, clever, and advanced new ways. Using things like events, triggers, calendars, organizers, and to-do lists, great software works for you proactively.

Reporting and integrations

Good software should provide stock and customizable reports. Great software also provides interoperability opportunities to integrate with any existing database reporting tools.  For example, running 3rd-party reporting tools across an open database. Good software integrates with other leading software, but great software also provides custom interfaces to provide the best integration opportunities possible.

Ad Hoc Reports

Report creation needs to be easy and useful. Collective Data’s fleet management software Ad Hoc Report Generator makes it easy for users to create quick, custom reports on the fly.

Support

Great software has great support! When it comes to enterprise-level software, the support you receive from the company is just as critical as the software itself. At Collective Data, we provide the support, help, documentation, and training that minimizes learning curves and maximizes productivity and user confidence. We are driven to provide a user experience that lets you confidently manage and analyze your data in ways that are familiar to you. In addition, we provide fresh new ways to keep you on top of your game.

Make sure you look into how the company will be able to provide support you before you make a decision. You can often tell how well they will support you based on how responsive they are to your requests before you are a customer. A company that is quick to respond and goes above and beyond before you’ve paid them anything says a lot about them as a company.

Performance and scalability

For example, the Collective Data software server incorporates a new primary/secondary multi-server model, that allows the software to scale to the future needs of your organization. It delivers highly scalable performance … and that without the need to expose additional ports (something that your IT folks will appreciate!). Configurable multi-threading technologies are being incorporated into the Collective Data system which will further bolster the performance and responsiveness of the software.

As your company grows, you want to know how the software is performing, and how to tune it. For example, Collective Data’s Performance Monitoring feature provides a window into our server that tells items such as:

  • How many requests are being executed concurrently
  • How many licenses are being used
  • How much memory is being used
  • Errors and exceptions

And, we can even set it up to email you that information periodically if you like.

Both sparse long-term logging and dense short-term logging are important to have as well. For our fleet management software, logging supplements our auditing features (if purchased) to help give you a clear picture of what is going on with the software.

Reliability

The reliability of great software should be excellent to say the least.  If some exception should occur, great software should be tolerant of exceptions and also provide exception reports with “call stacks” that give the development team the information it needs to address the problem as quickly as possible.  The Collective Data server software has developed some best-in-class self-monitoring and recovery features.  You can even optionally configure our software to email an exception report to our development team automatically… so it is possible that we can identify and correct exceptions before you even know there was a problem.

Conclusion

In order to create great software, the company’s development team must be comprised of highly skilled and dedicated engineers that are leveraging the best and most appropriate technologies. At Collective Data, our engineers are working for you and your organization to succeed.

As you look for a fleet maintenance management software system, be sure to challenge the companies you are evaluating with some of the elements I mentioned above such as configurability, customer support, scalability, and reliability. You’ll be happy you did!