Bespoke Software Development and Consultancy - Wise Owl

In addition to providing training for businesses, we also offer consultancy as a service.  Our main strengths are:

  • Our software is easy to use (our training experience comes into play here);
  • We have unrivalled expertise in using Microsoft software; and
  • We keep our systems  as simple as we possibly can.

Against all this, it's worth noting two constraints.  Firstly, we only use Microsoft software (largely because it's so good); and secondly, we're quite fussy about who we work for, as explained towards the bottom of this page.

Read on for more information on each of the above points!

Strength 1 - Ease of Use

We've got a long background in consultancy and software development, but we are primarily a computer training company.  This brings you two big benefits:

Benefit Notes
Design When designing software, we'll always bear in mind what it will be like to use.  We've watched too many people struggle with badly-designed systems to then inflict bad design on others!
Implementation One of the great advantages of using a training company to help with consultancy is that you can call on our expertise to help roll out any software.

One of the main reasons for the failure of any software project is lack of acceptance by users.  You can write the best application in the world, but it'll be useless without the buy-in of the people who will have to use it.

Strength 2 - Experience

When did you last read an advertisement for a computer job which read:

"System developers required - no experience of life or programming needed, although a good Arts degree will be of value."

It doesn't happen, does it? It's not for nothing that most programming job advertisements quote a minimum number of years of experience required. 

Here's what we know about software:

Software knowledge matrix

"Advanced" really does mean advanced, and "Expert" really does mean expert.  As for "Guru" ... !

What this means is that we'll spend your time understanding your business, rather than understanding our software.

Strength 3 - Simplicity

KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid - is the motto which guides our software development.  Every computer project that we've seen go wrong has done so for one of three main reasons:

Reason Notes
Too ambitious Why do so many large IT projects fail?  The answer: it's staggeringly hard to specify what a complex software system should do, let alone to then get it to do it.  At Wise Owl, we try to break complicated systems into easily understood modules, then agree on staged delivery of these with clients.
Too much data When in doubt, leave it out!  How often have you seen a field in a database or on a form whose purpose no one quite understands?  Computer systems aren't just for Christmas; they have to be fed data on a regular basis, or they die.  It's cruel to create software without the ability to keep it going in the long term.
Does the wrong thing The only way to specify a system is to have an in-built understanding of what it aims to do, and to define clearly its scope (including what it shouldn't do).

We don't claim to get everything right, but we do claim to use our 25+ years of experience of software development to avoid the obvious pitfalls.

Goldilocks Clients

We believe in being as honest as we possibly can be (it saves everyone time and money).  As part of this, you should know that there are two things which will stop us working with you - unrealistic expectations, and a project which is too large (or too small).

Constraint Notes
Expectations It takes a lot of time (and money) to understand a business problem, agree a solution with all of the interested parties, implement this solution and then ensure that the resulting software is used.  We don't expect you to sign a blank cheque, but we do expect you to have a reasonable expectation of what is and isn't possible using IT.
Project size Being primarily a training company, we don't have the capacity to take on mega-projects, nor do we have the time to help out with ad hoc questions.  This means that we will only take on projects in the Goldilocks zone (which typically means a total project duration of between 1 day and 1 month).


And finally ...

If you want more information, just send us your initial requirements - however woolly they may be!  If we're not the right people to help we'll tell you immediately (we've no wish to waste your time - or ours).

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