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  • Does custom software cost more than regular off-the-shelf software?

    Generally, yes.

    Off-the-shelf software includes functionality you need and functionality you don’t. The development costs are spread between many paying users which makes the cost per unit relatively low. With custom software, you only get what you need, but because it’s reserved for only you to use, the build costs can’t be spread out over many users.

    Axios’ custom software starts at around $60-80k.

  •   How can I justify that sort of cost, when I can probably get off-the-shelf software cheaper than that?

    The important point here is to find a project that will deliver returns on that spend. Where does your business benefit by doing things differently/better than your competitors? Typically our customers want to position themselves as the leaders in their industry and can easily make a positive return on the additional spend by capitalising on the competitive advantages gained.

    We have a business case process that can help you identify what projects will produce a good return and where you should just stick with off-the-shelf software.

  •   How long does custom software take to build and implement?

    Anywhere from a few months to around a year.

    Don’t forget that a lot of this time is the business needs analysis at the beginning and the deployment, training and change management at the end of the project. These need to happen with off-the-shelf software as well. If we’re comparing apples for apples, the timeframe to get the system in place and fully commissioned isn’t that dissimilar from a large off-the-shelf system.

  •   I’ve heard that custom software is difficult to get right and I’m kind of nervous about that. How can I be sure I’ll get the result I need?

    The analogy we like is Homer’s car from that Simpsons episode (Google “Homer’s car” if you have no idea what this is). All of his ideas individually sounded great, but when he put them all together he ended up with an expensive monstrosity.

    Let’s not forget Homer was unsupervised, he had unfettered access to the engineers and they weren’t allowed to provide any “push back”. We use a well-defined and tested consulting process to identify which ideas contribute value to the end product. We aren’t afraid to push back if we think one of your ideas won’t work the way you imagine it will. In fact, we think that is one of our greatest differentiators.

    We’re happy to run you through our process ahead of engaging us if you have any doubts whatsoever.

  •   Surely every custom development company is going to claim their process is superior. What makes Axios any different?

    Simple, it’s our track record.

    How many of those other development companies have been around for 13 years? How many have conducted customer satisfaction scoring through a trusted third party (TNS)? We’ve done this every year since 2009. In the last three years, for example, we’ve scored between 95% and 100% satisfaction and between 89% and 94% say they would recommend us. We have over 25 customer reviews on Google+ with an average score of 4.9 out of 5.0. We’re Microsoft Gold Certified and ISO9001:2008 Certified.

    We’re totally transparent and we’re happy to give you any raw satisfaction data and/or the names and contact details of any of our clients (after checking with them first of course) for you to verify our awesomeness.

  •   Ok, let’s digress over to tech. I’ve heard Open Source is the good stuff. Do you use that?

    No, not really.


    Without bashing Open Source, which has its place, we understand that the major cost of building serious business-grade applications comes from labour. Not technology licensing costs.

    Technologies that provide the best tools, the largest pool of talent and paid/accountable support packages will reduce our build times and ultimately lower project cost and risk. That’s why we use the Microsoft .Net and SQL Server technology suite. It’s robust, has mature tools and components, great support (through our Gold Partnership with Microsoft) and there are plenty of developers out there to choose from.

    November 2014 Update: The .Net Core was recently made open source to allow it to achieve platform independence and encourage innovation. It is still managed and supported by Microsoft.

  •   I’ve heard that Agile is cool and I think we should use that to develop our software. Can you use Agile please?

    Maybe. We have staff certified in a range of project management methodologies and we choose the one that will work best for your project, not necessarily what’s in fashion right now.

    Agile is great if you’re developing a new product that is market led and where there is very little opportunity to plan what users will find appealing. But its downsides include significant time and discipline requirements from the customer and no real possibility of working to a fixed timeframe or cost. The Waterfall methodology is more of an engineering process that is heavy on design up-front. It makes it easy to plan and produce fixed timeframes and costs. It just isn’t really geared around changing your mind all the time.

    Good project management is crucial to the success of your software project with Axios. We’re here to help you navigate this and make the right choice.

  •   I’m convinced Axios is the right software developer for me. How do I get started?

    Fill in our Contact form or give us a call.

    We’ll send you our T&Cs and then arrange to meet (no cost or obligation) to see if your project is feasible, discuss budgets and likely approaches. When you’re ready to go, we’ll provide you with a quote to complete the initial scoping work (our Define phase of the project).

  •   I need to operate this project under different terms, can you accommodate that?

    Of course!

    Our T&Cs are just a starting point and we find that they are right for around 70% of our customers. Some customers want to add some additional terms around non-disclosure and we are happy to sign an NDA. Other customers want to change terms or even have us use their standard procurement agreement. We’re more than open to customising the engagement to meet your needs.

    Axios is a member of the South Australian eProjects Panel and is happy to undertake any projects listed under those terms as well.