I can’t believe that it is almost the end of March already. As Q1 comes to a close it struck me that Q1 is really all about preparing for the rest of the year ahead. Not unlike Spring Training, which is just finishing up as the real Baseball season begins in earnest tomorrow – and the World Champion Giants begin their title defense. (Last baseball reference this post, I promise.)

Traditionally for us, Q2 and Q3 are the busiest times of the year – all areas of our company seem to hit their stride and work towards a strong finish –  from a development perspective the teams are always working towards a product release of some sort that usually coincides with the CEDIA EXPO, and this year the team is already in mid-season form, with work on version SIx and other initiatives well under way. More on that later, but as part of our Q1 planning, one theme kept coming up over and over again – how can we help our users be more productive through the use of our software?

As we continue to develop our platform this theme is central to the core of our business and the foundation for what we do:

  • Productivity helps identify areas for better efficiency
  • Efficiency drives profitability
  • Profitability drives growth

With these central core themes our number one objective is to ensure that our users are more productive through the daily use of our software. So in looking at our next version, our future development roadmap, and ultimately our business mission, we need to ensure that everything starts there.

We are making productivity improvements and enhancements across the board – every service pack release, no matter how minor, always includes useability enhancements. Our recently released SP3 has a number of them. If you are a current D-Tools SI5.5 user and you haven’t upgraded yet, please read more about SP3 here.

Over the last year we made tremendous improvements to our data process, making it much easier for our users to find, preview, and download data for their projects. We improved the data management functionality within the software and added an online data library to make it easier for new customers and prospective customers to better understand how we work with manufacturers and the data we have readily available for download. We improved our internal data procurement and publishing processes, in order to increase productivity and efficiency in-house, which has resulted in exponential growth in both quantity and quality of the data that is now available for our users.

Much of what we built for our internal teams will be leveraged in order to dramatically improve how our customers will be able to work with their product catalog in version SIx. We are looking at the entire process, from building and managing our customers’ product catalogs – all the way through the estimate, system design, and management of projects. There are no sacred cows – we are looking to improve – if something is getting in the way of productivity it has to go. (Hence the reduced baseball and pop culture references in this post for example.)

At the time of this writing, our development team is finishing up their latest development sprint. We have come close to completing some new functionality that will make it easier for our manufacturer partners to work with product data and better communicate with our users (more on that soon, I promise). I expect we will see a glimpse of a re-worked UI and new functionality which we plan to share soon. We too are just finishing Spring Training and preparing for the real deal. (dang – another baseball reference!)

It’s gonna be good.