Love it or hate it, Microsoft Excel is still a pretty entrenched piece of software for most businesses. And for good reason. When you stop and think about it, you realize Excel is a lot like an old family friend. It’s hard working. Pretty reliable. But maybe not 100% living in modern times. This post will take a look at Excel in a modern context and will show you why so many companies are moving away from it.
Microsoft Access has been a stalwart in the database space for years. Ever since its debut in 1992, businesses everywhere have trusted it as their go-to database management system for workflows and data tracking. But, as with all things technological, if it doesn’t evolve, it dies. And that’s what we’re seeing with MS Access now.
Coming out of business school, somebody once told me, “If you design a solution correctly, everybody can be a winner.” It was up to the solution designer to capture every user’s requests, wants, and needs and to piece them together into a solution that creates high value for all of them. Soon after, I entered the real world of system implementation and I soon realized that this advice was purely, 100%, unequivocally wrong.
“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough, we must do.”- Leonardo da da Vinci (1452-1519);
At VeilSun, a QuickBase Solution Provider, we’ve been fortunate over the years to work with some remarkable
clients – companies that are dynamic and forward-thinking. And within those companies, we’ve been privileged to team up with the folks who are looking to make a positive impact within their organizations – we sometimes call them change agents. Insofar as our business is developing QuickBase solutions to project management problems, these change agents are invariably the people who are instrumental in pushing their company forward, whether it’s by moving applications and data to the cloud, driving process improvements, or influencing old ways of thinking. These key people are not necessarily in top management. Rather, they can be at any level in a company that fosters innovation. We’ve been able to discern three characteristics that these special people have in common and wanted to share them with you:
- Innovative. Not just coming up with ideas, but knowing how to apply them. Change agents are curious, experimental, and, as we’ve witnessed with our customers, they try to apply their discoveries to the organization’s goals. They are not necessarily “techies,” or experts, but are more likely generalists who have the vision of what will make a difference to the company.
- Diplomatic. Rarely do we see a good change agent who is not diplomatic. They are usually very good at working with multiple groups and moving them forward. They usually have a good feel for what it takes to make something happen. Often, they will combine their diplomacy with innovation to develop a “proof of concept” to motivate and impress a cautious boss.
- Supercharged. Not hyperactive, but motivated with a purpose. With persistent determination, these change agents methodically spread their vision, achieve buy-in, and get the boss on board. Along the way, they learn the rewards of patience. Even the best ideas can become better by listening to and incorporating the input of others.
We’ve learned that being a change agent is not specific to a job title or area of expertise. No matter what their position, they have a passion to positively impact their organization, their way of working, and to embrace new toolsets and methodologies to achieve their vision. We’ve been privileged to grow with these special clients
Building software customizable to your business needs is like building a custom home. You’ve got the blueprints and materials you’ll need, the crew to build it, and a timeframe when it should be ready to move in. After living in your new home, you may realize a few things that didn’t quite work out as planned. For instance, having that small office nook right next to the downstairs bathroom everyone uses probably wasn’t such a great idea after all; or the kitchen cabinet knobs you chose just don’t quite look as awesome as you dreamed up in your head (you mean all gold plated knobs clash with my stainless steel appliances?! WHAT?).