When organizations need software to handle complex processes and automation, it often seems there are only two paths to choose from: they could pay top dollar for a highly customized software solution (which might take months or even years before it’s ready), or they could buy an off-the-shelf product, which has little to no customization and falls far short of their needs.
We’re proud to say that we’ve developed a platform that offers the best of both worlds: 3Di Engage.
From hospitals to utility companies to local governments (like Los Angeles County or San Francisco), our customers enjoy highly customized software solutions that are priced sensibly, quick to implement, simple to extend and maintain. However, this wasn’t always the case.
How 20 years of sophisticated software development led to 3Di Engage
Before cloud computing entered the business world, the application development process was cumbersome to say the least. Most software was developed from scratch to accomplish a specific task. If you wanted to build a complex system you had to build or buy each individual piece of software, then figure out a way to bridge them all together in a functional way. This took such an absurd amount of resources that many businesses were excluded from many of the benefits software provided.
On top of this, it took years to build and integrate these systems. By the time things were up and running, updates were often already needed. To make matters worse, simply maintaining these systems was prohibitively expensive for most.
When cloud computing arrived, it changed the software scene, democratizing access to computing. But not everything changed. Even with new cloud-based systems, building new applications still required significant time and resources, and organizations still needed someone to come in and integrate them together. The process also had a high failure rate, and massive cost overruns for projects.
The solutions were disappointing, and we knew we could create something better
By this time, we had been developing applications for a variety of organizations for 15 years, and were disappointed by how often smaller organizations and governments were left out.
In 2012, when we were working with a large utility organization, we realized there had to be a simpler way of doing things — technology’s capabilities were developing and changing rapidly, so it no longer made sense to stick with these outdated processes. Something had to change.
We looked at projects like Amazon Web Services, where they were able to buy millions of servers and distribute small parcels as needed, while still benefiting from the scale of large infrastructure. We thought, “why can’t we offer that at the application level?”
3Di Engage is Born
The idea grew slowly at first, until 2015 when we started building the first version of the 3Di Engage platform.
We found that we could build many of the features commonly needed by our customers, on a single central platform. This way, we could help virtually any size organization streamline a wide variety of processes — no matter how complex. We could simply provide them the platform, “turn on” the features they need, and tailor the design and workflows to their unique needs.
Luckily, our extensive experience with local governments had taught us how to build software that could handle complex and ever-changing processes. These clients also almost always had multiple systems to integrate with, high expectations for security and reliability, and uncertainty about what their future needs would be.
We took each of those lessons and began incorporating them into 3Di Engage, helping us to create one of the most capable software platforms in the market.
We started by creating core components that most use cases required, like customer relationship management (CRM) and identity management. By 2017, 3Di Engage 1.0 was ready for the world.
Doubling Down on Service
We hit a big speed bump right from the start: most organizations were still locked into legacy systems that made it difficult or expensive to shift to a new system. From that point it was obvious we needed to help our customers migrate as part of our offering.
We doubled down on customer support to help every customer switch to the 3Di Engage platform as easily as possible.
We now provide in-depth consulting to our clients to ensure we understand their needs and how best to address them. We also introduced “Genie Hours” for all 3Di Engage users to provide any kind of assistance needed without added costs or delays, from tech support to platform training to updating or changing workflows.
Setting ourselves apart from conventional software platforms
Seeking to build the best platform possible, we took a hard look at our competition and realized something everyone was missing: they struggled with complex workflows. Many systems are built on the assumption that business processes are linear and don’t change often, but this is unfortunately not the case.
Most processes in any complex organization today are adaptive, meaning you don’t know exactly how the process is going to play out until you’re in it. When an organization uses a system that can’t adequately manage this change and uncertainty, they’re forced to adapt to the software. We believe it should be the other way around. That’s why we developed a highly-capable adaptive workflow engine and made it a core component in 3Di Engage.
Since getting these processes right is critical for most of our clients, we also handle the implementation of 3Di Engage for them. Unlike other no-code platforms that require customers to learn how to create their own applications on the platform, our team configures a customized solution for each client from the start. This helps speed up implementation timelines, reduces the need for IT resources, and allows our clients to stay focused on the work they do.
Behind the scenes, 3Di Engage runs solely on Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) cloud computing service. By committing to work with the industry leader in cloud computing, we’ve eliminated the need for clients to choose or set up cloud computing on their own. This partnership has also allowed us to work closely with AWS to ensure that 3Di Engage leverages the full benefits of the superior security, reliability, and scalability that AWS provides.
What’s next for 3Di Engage?
Already, we’re working to optimize workflows and massively speed up processes across a range of use cases, such as inspections and customer engagement. We’re constantly improving integrations, so you can more easily integrate Engage with your existing tech stack. We’ve also introduced GIS and other useful technologies to turn Engage into a comprehensive solution
As always, we will proactively find ways to apply the latest technology in the areas where it adds the most value for our customers.
First and foremost however, we continue to find the best ways to offer powerful software solutions — quickly, easily, and affordably — so we can help more organizations reach their full potential. Click here to further explore 3Di Engage and its capabilities.