A la carte or the specials menu for your electrical design software?

By Steve Chidester, Zuken

As a software vendor we serve a broad range of industries, each with customers who have their own range of needs. This is sometimes causes us a dilemma, because we want to meet individual needs as closely as possible; and at the same time we have to resist trying to be all things to all people.

The obvious risk in trying to be all things to all people is that you spread yourself too thinly and become a jack of all trades and master of none. In our business, there is no prize for finishing second.

This problem is biggest when you are starting out. The most successful companies pick something and do it well. Then, over time add more. As a product matures, they expand into other areas.

First focus

And so it is with E3.series – our software solution for electrical wiring, control systems and fluid engineering. When the product was first released in 2001, the focus was on the machinery industry. As the product has matured, and as we have gained customers from other industries, E3.series has expanded, grown, and improved in every area.

About a year ago, I did an article about the challenge of balancing customer needs and wants in new software. In that article, I noted that functions which are implemented for a specific process or industry are often found to be useful in other industries as well.

Specially preconfigured

With E3.series 2012, we recognized that the extensive features of E3.series can be tailored to the various industries we serve – and so the E3.series industry editions were born. Working with customers from major industries, we have configured E3.series with industry-specific base functionality and the optional add-ons needed for each sector. This allows you to get what you need, without being weighed down by a bunch of things you’ll never use.

So now, with E3.series, you have the option to buy products à la carte and configure your own solution to meet your needs, or adopt an industry edition that is specially preconfigured for you. This not only creates the best technology solution for you, but also the most cost-effective. And that, after all, is what you expect from a software vendor and partner.