Why INI Participates in Beta Programs
Author: Gary Van Gordon
Going back to the company’s beginnings in 1992, INI has continually been recognized for its willingness to actively engage in the early introductions of platforms and software components being brought to market by our suppliers and partners.
Many organizations within our industry take somewhat of the opposite stance. Using pre-introduction components has risks because process and functionality can and often do change before general market introduction. If deployment strategies or software design and development are done for components that utilize pre-release platforms and/or software, significant re-work on those components can be necessary when things change.
So why is INI so willing to participate in Beta, early introduction and even Alpha programs? The reasons include:
- Our participation in early introduction programs helps our Partners review the release processes they believe are appropriate once their product goes to General Availability status. We gain by firmly understanding how the deployment process is intended to work, while our Partners gain by knowing INI is willing to overlook a few rough edges that may still be present. The customers and/or staff responsible for the go-to-market process win when any deficiencies identified are corrected before release.
- Participation in programs such as evaluating a new release of Dialog Designer (DD), the Award Winning development tool provided by Avaya to create applications on Avaya Voice Portal (AVP), has facilitated earlier and better understanding of the software by our staff. That, in turn, allows INI to “hit the ground running” when the software becomes generally available..
- Beta and, especially, Alpha program participation provides a forum for us to provide feedback directly to the creators of the new products. INI personnel have been recognized for contributing valuable feedback that facilitated changes in the release version of a product and for providing suggested improvements that have been incorporated into subsequent releases. We are honored to be considered trusted partners in these endeavors.
It is true that participation in these programs represents a significant investment in resources for INI. We are willing to make those investments because that is exactly how we view them – as investments. They are not considered merely as cost centers nor begrudgingly taken on as something we do. Rather, the activities are welcomed as opportunities to learn and advance our engineered solutions with consideration to new environments. Our end user clients are the ultimate winners when new products from our suppliers and partners come to market with our applications already tested and ready to deploy. Customers have assurance that INI is in synch with the most current environments and able to maximize lifecycles with the most current versions of platforms available.
Effectively engaging in pre-release programs requires a nimble organization with a cultural philosophy that includes the willingness to be flexible and helpful. INI maintains that willingness and believes that every engagement is an opportunity to reflect our professionalism and our appreciation for being considered a trusted ally.