Taking quotes on building LC external for RethinkDB

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Tue Aug 8 13:31:39 EDT 2017

Tom Glod wrote:

 > The plan so far is to work with the IT dept (guy or gal) and help them
 > to set up safely and securely based on their particular requirements.

No disrespect to IT staff keeping businesses running safely, but FWUW 
the main reason we ported one of our apps from native to web-only was to 
bypass IT departments.

Many of my friends work in IT so I appreciate what they're up against, 
but man oh man the lengthy conversation we'd have with IT managers.  We 
worked really hard to make the app as self-contained and 
firewall-friendly as possible, and our setup was so simple the one-page 
Installation Guide really only needed to be one sentence ("Copy this 
folder to a shared drive").  But no IT person would believe how easy it 
was so we padded it with extra verbage and a diagram.  And even then we 
got countless requests for meetings and conference calls, questions 
about DLL requirements we didn't have, firewall settings we don't need, 
and more.

Ultimately we found we were spending more time on the phone with IT than 
we were with customers.

Moving the product to the web bypassed that conversation entirely, 
allowing much simpler conversations about features with prospects and 
about value with managers.  Never had another IT conference call again.

Not all products lend themselves to the web, of course.  In our case the 
product was primarily content, with minimal interactivity, so it was a 
good fit.  Good enough to eventually lead to acquisition of that company.

I'm familiar with your app so I don't expect the web will be as easy an 
option, if practical at all.

Just budget time for pre-sales support, and time spent on an 
Installation Guide for IT is probably time well spent (at least much 
better than not having a thorough one).  Be willing to revise it 
regularly as you learn new concerns IT departments share.

 > Never considered providing our own boxes..... but i might think about
 > it now.
 > There'd be an increased cost, but decreased costs elsewhere. Decisions
 > Decisions.....
 > thanks for suggestion.

Appliances are probably a lot less attractive for businesses large 
enough to have dedicated IT staff.  But for many SMBs they may be quite 

The hardware needed for servers is usually much more modest than a 
client desktop needs, so hard cost is low (small form factor barebones 
can provide great value, not just in hardware cost but also in low 
energy consumption - lean green machines).

The bigger expense is setup and testing, but if you set up a custom ISO 
with everything you need pre-installed you can cut that time tremendously.

With remote admin you can keep it current and perform troubleshooting as 
needed, covered with a support subscription as a supplemental revenue 

And of course a "virtual appliance" may be even better: AWS or Google 
Cloud instance set up and ready to go with no on-prem requirements 
(read, "No chance the customer's intern will accidentally pull the plug, 
but with the tradeoffs inherent in relying on public cloud services").

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  Ambassador at FourthWorld.com                http://www.FourthWorld.com

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