When you are shopping for a product, do you like that it's available off the shelf, requires very little configuration, and works right away? Or do you like to tinker with the product until it works just right?
At Websystems, while most of our customer are using AceProject standard, we see a growing trend towards having some customization. For a lot of our clients, customizing AceProject includes putting their own logo instead of AceProject, and choosing a color scheme that is closer to their corporate image.
The thing is, everyone has their own way to managing projects. Everyone needs to track specific data. Some teams like to keep statistics on how long it takes to complete a project. Some teams like to track how many hours a specific piece of equipment is in use. Some managers want to know who hasn't filled out their time sheets for last week. Some managers like to know what constraints their projects are experiencing.
Most of the time, AceProject can work for those teams as it is. Sometimes, AceProject needs to be customized to work how the clients need it to work.
At first glance, it makes more sense to put our time and energy in the standard system. After all, the time we put in developing a feature used by everyone benefits more people and gets us more sales.
Not necessarily so.
In our experience, when we customize AceProject for a client, they tend to stick with us in the long term. So the revenue we get from this custom system is not just from the custom work itself, but also from the long-term relationship we build with this organization. Moreover, doing custom work is a great source of inspiration. It's an opportunity for us to explore adding a new feature, from usability to the actual usefulness of that feature.
In the end, we would not be able to do custom work without a standard system that works great as it is. But AceProject would not be what it is today without the support of those clients who had their account customized.