Archive for March, 2009


You can get anything on the Web

March 23, 2009

I am now convinced of this. Embedded in our iQuote service is a rules based configuration engine to allow the customisation of product. In the course of research we came across the Configurator Database:

This site evaluates “configurators” against 85 different criteria and publishes the results. In terms of the scoring it is a useful barometer for us to see what features users find important. Our hosted model does bend some of the questions out of shape – when we’re ready we’ll get iQuote listed on here for all to view.


See a need, fill the need

March 18, 2009

So sometimes you take business advice from Robots the Movie ! Although a huge simplification it’s not a bad place to start. See a need, get demand and fill the demand (with innovation) may be a safer punt and is certainly how iQuote came about. The key with iQuote was to make it portable so that it could be adopted and integrated.

The other thing that we were passionate about was performance and ease of use. iQuote rolled out to 70 plus users last week with virtually NO training and NO mention of waiting time. iQuote continues to gather momentum.


iQuote Update

March 3, 2009

Now getting into the thick of the pilot: iQuote is performing according to plan. There is still a lot to do but we are getting through the detail now. This week will see the implementation of a couple of new things:

  1. We have made wholesale changes to the parts descriptions. This may seem minor but it has a big impact on usability and customer experience. We use a standard (to us) set of abbreviations but instead of an acronym/glossary we plan to place the longer description (with acronyms and abbreviations expanded) on a mouse hover – seems much more intuitive.
  2. Where the customer is experiencing a stock outage there will be the ability to hover (again) and pick up the date of next shipment from HP and the quantity on order. The latter may be suppressed for external users to avoid setting expectations where product is in constraint.

Very few major issues are being flagged by the Distributor in pilot phase so this is encouraging.