Since 2007, we’ve put our heads together to complete 1,200 client projects and counting. Over a decade later, we’re using our extensive expertise to bring you tips and tricks on how to land a great Quickbase partner.
When designing an application, it’s important to be aware that some partners will offer a wide range of services, while others will only provide narrow functional capabilities. What follows is our list of the top five things to consider when evaluating a third-party partner and assessing whether or not that partner is the right fit for you and your app.
Our mantra for application success? Start with the right design. A good partner will always make sure they fully understand your requirements before presenting you with a design solution. When your partner follows this model, you stand a better chance of securing a design that meets your needs from the get-go. Plus, you’ll most likely be able to see exactly how the design will solve your particular business challenges.
Keep in mind an excellent application design should always have some kind of database diagram, along with a technical specification that outlines the functions required to meet your business needs. These outlines should include plans for tackling security (and assigning security roles), integration, workflows, and anything else that affects your business. In other words, you, the client, should always have clear visibility into every aspect of the application that’s being built for you.
2. Integration & Workflow
While you may be comfortable designing and creating your own basic Quickbase application or even maneuvering your way through some advanced techniques, you might need assistance when it comes to the more complicated technical work (i.e., integrations, workflows, and/or advanced customization).
To avoid pitfalls or potential disasters in this area, make sure you understand both the integration and advanced technical capabilities of every partner you investigate. Remember: Not every third party will have the same level of experience in working with integrations or workflow development. The best partners, however, will have pre-existing frameworks integrated with tools such as Workato, AngularJS, etc. And ideal partners will also provide examples as to how they use these tools in order to extend Quickbase functionalities.
As your application increases in size, importance, and user numbers, you may start bumping into issues surrounding governance requirements and security compliance. If you’re not familiar with managing compliance programs for a business application, the process may feel a little overwhelming. Not to worry, though. A great Quickbase partner can help you navigate these tricky waters and help you define a plan to make sure you’ve covered all your security and governance bases.
Some things to consider in this regard include your application life-cycle management, the configuration of security roles within your application, and your overall compliance (particularly if you have special regulatory restrictions such as those required by HIPAA or other privacy watchdogs). Make a point to ask any potential partners what experience they have in the fields of privacy management and government compliance, and ask them what security assurances they can offer you should you choose to employ their services.
One of the biggest challenges in rolling out a new Quickbase application can be getting end users on board. Sometimes this process requires work within the application to ensure interfaces and workflows are both logically sound and easy for users to understand. Other times you may need to put together training materials and host training sessions to welcome people into your application properly. In either case, you may also want to configure special reporting functions to monitor whether people are using your application in the way you expect.
Here again, experience is key. An ideal Quickbase partner for user adoption will have a proven history of rolling out applications that speak to the kinds of users you anticipate bringing on board. The best partners should likewise be able to help with documentation, training, and training materials, and should also be able to help you evaluate your application for ease-of-use.
5. Reporting (BI)
Before we leave you, consider this final point: It’s essential to understand the kinds of reporting functions you’ll need to support both your users and your many management requirements. Bear in mind too that, in several cases, Quickbase can be used to develop most (if not all) of these business intelligence (BI) reports. (For more advanced reporting, however, you may need to tie in a more sophisticated solution such as Power BI.)
When choosing a potential partner, be sure you have an accurate grasp of their background in reporting—not just in terms of technical capabilities, but also in terms of the partner’s ability to assess how reports are used (as in: “Does this report drive work productivity? Does it satisfy management requirements?”…and so on). You should feel perfectly justified in asking partners to demonstrate specific experience in this area, and you shouldn’t partner with them until you completely understand their skill in developing custom reports or securing reporting systems integrations.
We hope these steps prove useful the next time you’re looking to find the right Quickbase partner for an app project. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at MCFTech to see how we stack up in the five areas mentioned above.
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