30 lipca 2018

Use of applications developed in Excel, Access or Visual Basic. What is the optimum way to do it?

Do you have a suite of legacy scripts and applications which nobody wants to or can use? How can you maintain it? How to extend it to include new features? Whom should you hire without spending a fortune? You will get answers in this article.

An ambitious man and a project on the side

Let’s start with the origins of the problem. There is a company there with a department with heaps of work to do. The department’s budget will not allow for new employees while the workload is increasing. Fortunately, a clever man works in the department. He is not a software developer but has an excellent command of office applications. The department’s needs grow, hence it is necessary to increase its efficiency. What does the clever man do? He makes his own improvements: develops simple Excel templates to facilitate calculations, cataloguing or information flow. The company continues to develop. Its needs expand. Other employees begin to use his solutions.

The Excel guy turns out to be a true Renaissance man. He gets on well with the users of the templates he has prepared and learns how to improve them. And he does improve them. All of a sudden simple documents become automated, there appear Access, Visual Basic and other “strange” technologies.

After some years the entire department of the company works based on the once simple Excel template, which is now…  an advanced suite of applications and scripts. They may not be intuitive to use, yet people are still satisfied as they do not need to do all the toilsome tasks. It works.

They owe it all to a single man who had the zest and skills and knew how to use them. He knew the business, he knew the people, he knew the technologies and now… he is gone. Has he left the company? Has he retired? Is he ill?

He has left a suite of applications the entire department’s work depends on. And the entire company’s stability depends on… the department’s work. Suddenly the applications become a crucial factor to look after in order to ensure the company’s safety, but…

Nobody knows what all of this is about

Nobody can handle them. Nobody knows how to maintain or extend them. Moreover, everybody is afraid to even try not to spoil anything.

You put your faith in the software developers (if any) in the IT Department. They wash their hands of the issue – its not their project. Why should they put their neck in the noose for the system somebody developed on the side? Besides, they haven’t got the time, means or know-how to do it. Theirs is a simple solution – let’s buy a new system from a vendor who will provide support and assistance.

But this is out of the question. Vendor search, specification definition, analysis of needs and requirements, business analysis, financing… It will take months and if you add the time to implement and optimise the new system, it will be ready in 2 years, in an optimistic scenario. Meanwhile, the existing applications require ongoing modifications: because legal regulations are altered, data formats are modified, needs change or… your applications may simply become corrupt.

What about hiring somebody who would manage the whole thing? While it seems to be an optimum solution,… the IT Department will still think one person is not enough – you need three or more because hardly anyone could understand on their own how your “strange” system works. So where can you get the money to this end? And another question: will those people really want to deal with it?

Nothing to be happy about. What should you do then?

We have a solution to this problem

We know dozens of such stories. We know them because we have had numerous talks with our clients who could not manage such applications in their companies. They were looking for a reliable and effective solution which would not ruin their finances, and…

They have found it with us.

We are among the few companies (or perhaps the only one) in the Polish IT market to handle such cases. We employ on a permanent basis experts in legacy technologies such as Visual Basic, Access, Excel, DOS, and others. We may quote a number of examples where our service saved our clients the trouble, time and money. We use proprietary processes for system and application takeover, upgrade and maintenance. Not only will we ensure the stability of operations for your company but we will also expand and upgrade your existing suite of scripts and applications.

Further, our software developers are genuine experts. They work more efficiently, learn faster and their employment costs are paradoxically lower than the labour costs of poor software developers. Instead of our single expert, you would need to hire 2-3 average employees to achieve similar results. Therefore we only employ the best.

Take advantage as others have

If you need somebody to help you solve a similar problem in your company, you are in the right place. As confirmation, see below for some companies which have used our system maintenance service and their opinions on our work:

Contact us. We are willing to learn what your situation looks like. We will put forward solutions tailored to your needs and the needs of your company.

Make an appointment for a non-committal meeting or phone call and find out how we can help you solve the problem.

Use the following form or call our office and make an appointment.

PS: Here is one more article you might find interesting:

Legacy systems — is it better to maintain or convert them into new technologies?