You’ve been tasked with turning a great idea for a new communications application into a working product. Seeming at first to be an insurmountable mountain of effort, there is panic as you realize the magnitude of the project and struggle getting your mind around the thousands of decisions and preparations that need to be made between now and completion. Some expert advice and best practices sure would come in handy as the groundwork for the new application starts.
This was the subject of a webinar I hosted this last week titled “Communications Application Development – Top 10 Best Practices.” The webinar included Peter Kuciak and Elhum Vahdat, two of the seasoned members of the application development team here at Dialogic who have dozens of years of experience each in managing development of advanced applications.
In preparing for the event, I asked each to contribute their own best practices, creating a shortlist that we could share with listeners facing the long steep climb of creating their own new communications applications. That long climb includes challenges along the way too – being prepared for those challenges gives a developer a significant head-start, like a short-cut up the mountain.
Here’s a brief overview of their “Top 10”:
Proven expertise – if you plan to be successful, you need to have a seasoned team that “knows the ropes” and can bring their past experience to the task at hand.
Leverage – using known software building blocks and existing intellectual property can shorten the effort significantly.
Commitment to Innovation – seek out vendors and team members that are committed to new innovations and technologies. No sense building tomorrow’s hot new application on yesterday’s technology.
Agility – work with vendors that have the ability and willingness to adjust as the project evolves, allowing for adaptations to changes in the market and the competitive landscape.
Cloud & Mobile Focus – designing your application with a mobile-first perspective and leveraging the power of the cloud will give you an advantage. Use it.
Build or Buy – with the first-to-market advantage pressure, it’s important to explore the possibility of buying some portion of the application or underlying libraries
Forward-Looking Migration Path – give consideration to “what’s next” to reduce future upgrade costs and service disruptions when 2.0 of your application hits the market. Is it an easy upgrade for your customers or a rip-and-replace?
Future Customization – consider the possibility that not every customer may want the same exact solution. Consider special versions for different markets and ways to simplify the customization.
Multi-Service Platform – plan for deployments across platforms, sharing resources and skills needed for those platforms.
Open Platform/Architecture – and finally, consider utilization of open architectures and platforms that allow integration of other best-in-class technologies. Closed architectures are dead ends in the eyes of many buyers.
As Elhum and Peter explained during the live event, careful planning and consideration to the partnerships can give significant advantages to both the first and subsequent versions of your application. Remember that any big project (even climbing Mount Everest) starts with plenty of preparation followed by putting one foot in front of the other.
You can download a copy of the slides and view a recording of the event (which does include much more detail) on the event landing page.