You’re running a business – and so are we, in more ways than one.
Many business people are quite wary of IT experts – and it’s understandable, as many technical people can be naive about the true needs of business. This page explains how Blueberry manages to combine serious technical skills with a strong understanding of the needs of business.
"Blueberry was chosen by Rorkal from a shortlist of specialist software companies because the company met our demanding commercial and technical evaluation criteria. This included a pool of technical software specialists and the credentials for successfully managing complex technology projects - on time, to specification and within budget."
Business Expertise Through Experience
All of Blueberry's management team have 20 or more years' experience of working in custom software development. The MD previous ran a company for 10 years before starting Blueberry, and grew that company to 35 employees. Blueberry’s managers have past experience working in a wide variety of industry sectors. This gives Blueberry a lot of in-house business expertise.
Since 1997 Blueberry has worked with both large and small companies, including organisations such as Carillion, Chubb and the NHS. We understand management processes such as Prince 2, and we know how to work with customers internal departmental structures.
Blueberry is not just a software development company. The group includes Blueberry Software, which develops and publishes a range of software products. The management team has had to solve business problems such as developing the marketing; creating a reseller network; establishing online payment and invoicing systems, and understanding the European VAT rules for online trading.
Start-up and Joint Ventures
Blueberry is often approached by people with a new business idea that is based on (or requires a large amount of) software. We’ve probably seen a hundred such ideas since we've been in business. Unlike other consultants, our business expertise is free, and given politely. If we think an idea won’t work, we explain our reasons and decline to be involved.
We created our first software product for WhiteSprings Inc – now a successful company with offices in the UK and USA. We also developed the business infrastructure for ChinaOneCall Ltd – including developing call centre software for their office in China.
Blueberry has been involved in three joint-venture projects, where we created the software and a business partner ran the marketing / sales operation. Of these, two companies are still running – one is now completely independent, and the other still relies on Blueberry for all product development. In both cases, Blueberry took a shareholding in the joint-venture company.
We have been involved with raising finance for new ventures on three occasions – we understand the routes to finance, and we have some contacts in this area – although we also appreciate just how difficult it can be.
As you can see, that's a lot of business expertise, gained through experience!
The Customer Benefit
On all new projects, we always consider the business issues as well as the development issues.
For internal systems within companies, this might include human-factors considerations – will the system really deliver the benefits hoped for? Are there ways to make the system more effective within the organisation? Often, we identify requirements that the system proposers have not considered.
For new products, we can advise customers on issues such as search-engine optimisation, product pricing and localisation into foreign languages.