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Digital Creations Solutions
Digital Creations delivers value by customizing solutions based on its renowned Zope application server. These solutions meet the full lifecycle of business needs, enhancing the customers message, enabling smooth workflows, and improving communications.
Consulting services are the primary business for Zope solutions from Digital Creations. Customers are looking for problems to be solved, not new technology to be mastered.
After investigating Zope, prospective customers quickly appreciate the direct and indirect benefits of the platform. This leads to a buy vs. build decision. Either they can develop their high-end application with in-house staff, or they can have their solution built for them.
For many, the decision process focuses on time and quality. By going with Zope, the customer clearly gains a more powerful platform with faster turnaround time for construction. By teaming with Digital Creations, the time-to-market is even shorter, due to the leveraged expertise of Zopes developers. Additionally, if the engagement has a new requirement Digital Creations is able to improve Zope to meet that special need.
Prospective customers also see that Digital Creations produces quality deliverables. Not only will Digital Creations create the most powerful, re-usable Zope solution, but the company also produces industry standard object models, based on the Unified Modeling Language (UML) and project management based on the Unified Method.
Digital Creations general consulting rates are $1,800/day for work at a customer site and $2,300/day for offsite work. Discounts are available for Open Source engagements and large, fixed-price projects.
During consulting assignments, Digital Creations becomes immersed in the problem domain of customers, delivers a vertical solution, then transitions into support and upgrades.
Increasingly, companies with existing software products wish to move atop Zopes architecture. Over the years their software has accumulated features and capabilities known only to a handful of staff, placing them in a vulnerable position. With few eyeballs on the internal architecture, their software foundation is an evolutionary dead-end.
From a business perspective, however, they cannot move atop a commercial solution. First, their product cannot justify the tremendous addition of cost and complexity to co-package an application server and relational database. Also, the software product is critical to the strategic success of the business. Turning control over to a proprietary vendor is out of the question. But the company also cannot justify the dramatic increase in R&D staff needed to create, distribute, and maintain a new architecture.
Without question Digital Creations is viewed as the perfect solution. Not only is the Zope platform a perfect fit, but also Digital Creations is a successful, well-funded company, making them a reliable partner for long-term relationships. The customer contracts with Digital Creations to produce a long-term object model for their software, create initial prototypes for the application, then build out the infrastructure services needed in Zope. In most cases these Zope enhancements are then made available in the base Zope distribution, as the technology partner sees the business benefit in having many eyeballs on the platform.
With these technology partnerships, Digital Creations has a strong mutual relationship based on an expanding platform, and gains a relationship for life.
The Zope application platform provides a free, Open Source application server as a strong basis for delivering customer applications, such as those in the Digital Creations consulting and technology partner businesses. This is a primary goal of giving away the server and supporting the community; namely, Digital Creations is building a strong platform story.
As the company gains expertise from consulting engagements, the knowledge is occasionally used to create a vertical software package that is sold as commercial software. General-purpose documentation is written, the software is packaged, and the marketing collateral is created.
In many cases this presents a highly lucrative opportunity. However, Digital Creations is extremely careful about what opportunities it chooses to pursue. Once a commitment is made, the commitment must be upheld.
The commercial software is still delivered with source code. However, a fee is involved and the license is more restrictive than the Open Source Zope license.
Commercial software will never impact the status of the Zope platform. The company is fully committed to being a successful Open Source software company.
In conjunction with the Zope community, Digital Creations provides excellent and responsive free support for both casual and deep questions. This handles the vast majority of support needs.
In some cases, companies are making Zope a strategic platform and are betting the business on the application server. These companies demand responsive commercial support. Digital Creations provides an array of packages ranging from per-incident to high-end Zope support.
Digital Creations has authored general and customer-specific training courses. These are available under an Open Content license, but Digital Creations also provides scheduled courses for the general public as well as customized courses for onsite training.
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