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Agile working for more success

How low-code platforms promote agile work:

What is agile working?

The concept of agile working is a response to the ever-increasing complexity of entrepreneurial processes and the speed of change in fields such as development or marketing. Agile teams are designed to increase efficiency and innovation through greater adaptability.

This is based on a manifesto (agilemanifesto.org) written in 2001 by a group of experts in the field of software development. It sets out guiding principles and principles that are used by an agile team. In the meantime, the concept is also being applied in many other industries.

Guiding principles

The four guiding principles:
  • Individuals and interactions more than processes and tools
  • Functioning software more than comprehensive documentation
  • Cooperation with the customer more than contract negotiation
  • Responding to change more than following a plan

“That is, although we think the values on the right are important, we rate the values on the left side higher.” (Source: www.agilemanifesto.org)

In the application for companies outside of software development, the word “software” can be simply replaced by “service” or “product”. These guiding principles make it clear that the social dimension as well as the final result and adaptable work are put above technical aspects and documentation.

The principles of the Agile Manifesto describe important cornerstones of agile work. Particular emphasis is placed on close cooperation and direct communication as well as on the prerequisite for high motivation and self-organization of the employees. Management should be more supportive (servant leadership) and trust, rather than commanding and controlling from above. Instead of a five-year plan, visions are formulated that serve as hubs for any necessary rearrangements in planning. In addition, continuity is particularly important in many areas. The pace of work should be uniform – overtime is not foreseen – while changes and new insights are welcome and are continuously included in the development. This is also part of the continuous reflection that serves to continuously optimize the processes and organization in the team. This also includes questioning work steps, finding simple solutions as simple as possible and avoiding unnecessary tasks.

However, the principles are not to be understood as a formula for the perfect team. Each team is made up of different personalities and has to develop its own optimal working method through continuous learning and reflection. This phase of “finding yourself” is an important part of the way to a well-functioning agile team.

Agile methods

  • In addition to the principles, some well-known agile methods such as Scrum or Kanban have also developed. Scrum, for example, relies on short “development sprints” from days to weeks, maximum months. Then the achieved stand is presented to the customer or manager. Optimization suggestions or new insights are then absorbed directly and incorporated in the next sprint.
  • However, an agile approach is not yet achieved with a pure application of these methods. Rather, the internalization of the guiding principles and principles – the agile mindset – is important in order to implement agile work and thus be successful. Nevertheless, agile methods are often borrowed and in places successfully used in less agile teams.
  • However, agile work is not suitable for every team. It makes real sense, especially in the complex market environment, where adaptations to new contexts are part of daily business and long-term planning is hardly possible.
How can software support agile working?

The simple configuration of business applications with a low-code platform such as a business app has many advantages for agile teams:

  • Existing building blocks can be used to build applications quickly and in simple steps for the team
  • For special project-specific requirements, Business App also allows you to create your own elements
  • High data transparency enables agile work and self-organization in a team, so that the collective intelligence of the experts can be optimally utilized
  • Due to a high degree of automation possibilities in the applications and the easy integration of external software via interfaces,valuable time is saved, for example, during documentation activities
  • The data-based view of past and future project histories, on the other hand, is of great benefit for continuous learning and reflection.
  • Easy user management and operating system friendliness creates benefits especially in collaboration with supra-regional agile teams

The software is there for the user

Why User Interface Design is so important

Since the first generation of computers, which were still operated by entering pure text, a lot has changed. Since the introduction of the Graphical User Interface, which allows even laypersons to use computers, usability is now the main focus. Today, the conception of the interface proves to be a complex interlocking of different development and design activities.

Group working on user interface

Software is not equal to software

With more and more complex technologies, their operation is also becoming more and more demanding. Differently trained users must be taken into account. Software should often not only be designed for desktop use, but should also be functional and intuitive to use on mobile devices. This is where inner logic and the balance between consistency and convention count. The user should be able to find operating functions and elements easily. However, different standards and trends must also be taken into account so that intuitive operation is retained on all devices.

Some sub-disciplines of user interface design

Chart User Interface Design

Sub-disciplines of User Interface Design

User Interface Design comprises first of all the conceptual, visual and technical design of digital interfaces between man and machine. The user interface and the associated interactions are designed according to aspects of user quality and design attractiveness.

The Information Architect initially lays the foundation for the further design. Above all, he categorizes and structures the contents and functions so that the user can find them easily. For a qualitatively valuable user interface design, this task should not be underestimated.

The Interaction Designer plans the provided interaction possibilities and the necessary user guidance. This also includes aspects such as text, icons and the type of interaction – does the user operate with mouse, touch, swipe?

The User Experience Designer basically combines all the disciplines mentioned above and goes one step further. For him, the user experience is at the center of attention. This should be as positive as possible so that the user is enthusiastic and recommends the product to others. For this purpose, so-called “personas” are usually differentiated, which stand prototypically for the individual user groups of a software. Based on these personas, action scenarios are then designed and thus possible negative experiences are excluded.

Actual … the user interface is the product

As far as the customer is concerned, the interface is the product.” | Jef Raskin*

Jef Raskin, one of the first interface designers at Apple, noticed this almost 20 years ago. And many quickly realized that he was right. Using the example of cloud computing software (SaaS), this can be explained quite simply.

Developer’s view: A developer usually has the big picture in mind. Uniformity is what counts. He prefers to use the latest technology, a single integrated database, and work through the cloud, where he has everything under control. Special solutions, offline capability, etc. – all this means more work for him and a higher risk of problems.

User perspective: A user views a software product from the perspective of his individual needs. He rarely looks into the full depth of the software, but simply at the user interface (UI). One would like to have an easy-to-use UI for his smartphone. Another would like a UI that fully exploits the performance of his desktop PC.

If one divides such different demands on the product into the above-mentioned “personas”, it is much easier to take them into account. The end product may no longer correspond to what a developer would have designed from the outset. Instead, however, more customer wishes are fulfilled, which makes the product more successful.

The fact that such an implementation involves more costs for the customer and may be less easily scalable to large user groups is a critical factor for many. Ultimately, however, consumers also know that a higher investment may be worthwhile for quality.

It makes sense, especially for midsize companies, whose requirements can vary greatly, to invest in adaptable software that meets all their user requirements.


* Raskin, Jef (2000): The Human Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems. Boston: Addison Wesley.


Reference Selling

Reference Selling: the best way to convince customers

Satisfied customers are the best advertisement and the best protection against competitors.
If your customers are satisfied, everyone should notice that. With good reference selling you can generate new prospects and convert leads into customers. On the other hand, it also helps with customer loyalty.

References are also exciting for our own employees. Nothing gives more motivation than a satisfied customer. But many companies find it difficult to create compelling reference stories. What is most important? This contribution reveals this.

Reference Selling significantly influences the purchase decision

Consumer evaluations of their experiences with products and service providers have a decisive impact on the purchasing and decision-making processes of other consumers. This development is confirmed by a GfK survey in 2017 conducted by Greven Medien : two thirds (66.4 %) of German citizens no longer make a purchase decision without first checking evaluations on the Internet. 31.9% of all respondents state that ratings in online portals influence their decision strongly or very strongly.

Reference Selling – a look behind the scenes

What is most interesting: what was the customer’s problem and how was it solved? How did the company proceed and what were the challenges? These “behind-the-scene” moments are very important for other customers to see if the company can deliver flexible solutions and has the expertise to match. If you can already demonstrate solutions for well-known customers, you automatically receive a leap of faith. Reference stories are an important sales argument, especially for the acquisition of new customers.

Reference Selling – how to get a great reference story

If you want to attract attention and stand out from the competition, you need reference marketing. However, many companies find it difficult to create references.
These are the typical success factors, so that in the end a good reference story is created:

    • Good cooperation from all involved
      An exciting reference story can only be written if all the exciting facts are gathered together.
    • Motivating the customer to a reference story
      Often the customer has his hands full and is not exactly waiting to get extra work. Good research in advance helps here.
    • Lively narrative style
      Nobody likes to read miserably long texts – more success is achieved with crisp short sentences and pictorial language that arouses emotions.
    • Appropriate image material
      Also here applies: emotional, exciting hangers obtain the best effect e.g. photos of the work employment or its result are more exciting than a picture of any company building. The presentation is most impressive with a video.

Reference selling – facts are not everything

With reference stories it is basically no different from painting. With the pencil one creates a foundation that has been achieved through cooperation with the customer. But it only becomes really interesting when colors are added and you start “coloring”. Attention, this is not meant to create untruths. It is not completely uninteresting how many employees the customer’s company has or how long the company has existed. But it is not the most important thing. More identification potential for other customers is provided, for example, by a concretely identifiable success that has resulted from the use of the new product. Scenic and detailed descriptions also arouse the interest of the reader. A look at the customer’s history is also often suitable to show the enormous development of the customer, in which the new solution has its share.

How can Reference Selling be implemented in everyday life?

Obtaining the right information and building a structured reference story is not so easy for many. Often the creation of a good story takes a relatively long time or is postponed because the daily business has priority.

Now there is a tool with which reference stories can be created easily, structured and with little effort.

The Reference Manager provides a template for the creation of reference stories and helps to break down and write down the customer project into its work steps, challenges and solutions. No information is forgotten. Images and videos can also be captured for reference.

Collaboration with colleagues and customers is simplified. All required information can be conveniently obtained electronically by colleagues, e.g. in sales or customer service, and entered directly by them. Communication with the customer in the form of conversations and emails is also easily and quickly documented for later traceability for reference purposes. This also includes approvals for the use of the reference by the customer, which are thus traceable at all times.

Of course, the Reference Manager also helps to keep the overview. The status shows which processing phase each reference story is in. Is the reference story available to the customer for approval or does a colleague still have to provide input? Everything can be traced very easily.

Create the basis for good reference selling now and create exciting references:

View the Reference Manger!

What will you choose? – Cloud or Server?

“To Cloud or not to Cloud“:

Cloud, this is a term that is often heard. Whether it’s Microsoft’s advertising campaign “in the cloud!”, or from Apple, whose iCloud is published everywhere. On your way to work, you can see endless posters everywhere that say nothing but “cloud computing”. Most people do not know what the cloud is. For most people, the cloud is a synonym for the Internet itself, and when you talk about SaaS products, its basically right. But when it comes to cloud computing, it is more complicated.
Cloud or Server? Pros and cons. What will you choose?

“In the field of information technology (IT), cloud computing provides new prozesses for providing IT resources. Resources that support companys in electronic data processing (EDP). For example, servers or software applications. “

For many users and companies wonder: Are we going to go into the cloud? Or do we keep our data and applications on our own servers?

When you start a new SaaS project, you usually have some minimal requirements. You will need a web server and probably a database server. At the beginning a small number of users will use the application, but the number of users will rise more and more. The number of users will determine the load on the server, and the server data will determine when the maximum number of users is reached.

So, where to start? With a dedicated server or directly to a cloud server? Here you find decision support:

Cloud Pro

• Don’t have to buy / maintain hardware
• Unlimited instance scaling
• Unlimited memory scaling
• Dynamic scaling
• You pay for what you use
• Redundant

Cloud Contra

• Bandwidth limited and expensive
• Memory is expensive
• SQL memory is expensive
• Lower performance in many cases
• Lack of control

Server Pro

• Full control
• Planty storage space
• Cost-effective storage space
• Bandwidth is cheap
• SQL memory is cheap
• High performance
• Room for growing

Server Contra

• You always pay for the maximum performance
• Limited physical space
• Physical scaling limit (vertical)
• Hardware error
• Non-elastic
• Configuration and administration

Costs for a cloud and server

To define the costs of setting up a cloud server is quite difficult. Each platform has different pricings and other factors that determine the cost.
A dedicated server in a datacenter is easier to calculate, the cost per month for a decent server (quad-core xenon, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB disk, Linux OS) is about 150 € per month.
In comparison, a much weaker small cloud with Microsoft Azure (1.6GHz CPU, 1.75GB RAM, 100GB of memory) would cost about 60 € a month, with less than half the server’s performance.
The important difference is that you may not need all of the power that the server provides, so you could save 90 € per month until the number of users rise on your application.

Cloud or own server

Whatever your decision is: with Business App, you have all the freedom in the platform choice. Choose whether your applications run on your own server (on premise) or in your preferred private or public cloud (e.g., Amazon, Azure, Telekom, Google). A change is possible at any time. Business App leaves you all freedom to make the right choice.
Get more information about all the features of Business App

More time for the important things

Create software applications in the twinkle of an eye:

The development of a software application isn’t child’s play and requires both time and creativity. But what happens if the developer doesn’t have either due to the complex demands made of him?

Most of us are familiar with the problem: the working day doesn’t allow you the time to be creative and to develop really innovative new things. You stumble from deadline to deadline and try to achieve as much as possible in a short time. Quality and motivation are often thereby neglected. In the long run both daily activity and end results will suffer. Therefore a common user wish is to be able to automate and simplify diverse daily activities.

Now you can get back the time you need for the things that really matter

The ready-to-use elements from Business App, which would otherwise need to be developed anew for each software application, help you to create prototypes or state-of-the-art web applications through a process of configuration.
Thanks to the toolkit you can choose from over 50 control elements those which you require and assemble them together as required – all without tedious software development.

Progress through the latest technology

Should designer not be able to satisfy your needs, you can still code complex applications on the server with C#, .Net, MVC, or DevExpress. Or in the browser with Java Script, Ajax, HTML 5, and CSS 3.

Get ahead in the future.
Curious? Make an appointment for a guided demo