Does CTDATA Provide Consulting Services to Help Implement Slashcode?
A couple of people interested in implementing Slashcode have approached CTDATA recently because they have heard that we do some consulting in this area. This is true, but we carefully investigate potential projects before offering to undertake them.
If you are interested in how we evaluate potential new Slashcode projects, read on.
- Viability and Project Funding
Unfortunately, many personal friends of ours have been left in difficult positions because they agreed to perform work on projects that were not properly funded. Therefore, we look carefully at the nature of the entity developing the Slash site, its management, and its revenue model before offering our services.
CTDATA is not saying that it will not perform work for start-up companies or non-profit organizations. But, we are not likely to be able to commit resources to new sites that are being operated on extremely limited budgets.
- On-Going Relationships
CTDATA places a priority on projects that are part of a long-term commitment between us and a client. We do not generally accept projects that initially require less than 40 hours of professional services. Furthermore, projects where the total number of billable hours expected in the life of the project are less than 150 will probably not be accepted.
Exceptions to this policy are generally made only for those clients who have engaged us for several projects in the past.
The reason CTDATA approaches short-term work in this manner is simply that the amount of work necessary to schedule such projects often exceeds its contribution to our bottom line.
- Acceptable Billing Rates
We must be able to charge hourly rates that cover our costs, provide a reasonable profit to the firm, and are commesurate with the value that our clients have historically received from us. CTDATA sets its rates on a project-by-project basis, based on the level of skill required to do the work, the availability of our people and their other commitments, the duration of the contract, and the location at which the work takes place. Other factors often come into play in rates, such as special intellectual property agreements and contract provisions that place additional restrictions or administrative burdens on our employees while work is being done.
- Previous Experience with the Technology
Finally, CTDATA looks carefully at the technology choices that have been made in preparation for the project. We hesitate to offer our services when we do not already have experience implementing the software and related technology in question.
With respect to Slashcode, this means that we would be hesitant to offer to perform work on an implementation of the "Bender" version, because we have yet to migrate our existing Slash-based Web Sites to that version.
We do not use our paying customers as subjects for our research and development efforts. CTDATA's R&D takes place on our own Web Sites, in our own facilities. It is through this process that many of the innovations we have brought to the Slashcode environment have taken place. We like to think that this is one of the reason that clients continue to choose CTDATA as a partner in database-driven Web Site implementation.