InTheKnowCIO

The future of Healthcare IT is upon us

QuickBase and SaaS (Software as a Service) for non-critical applications

leave a comment »

For those of you who have followed me for awhile you know that I am bullish on SasS (Software as a Service) for non-critical enterprise applications. This would include Sales, HR, Payroll and Project Management type applications. I am  a big fan of QuickBase from Intuit as their product allows for the rapid web development of both departmental and enterprise apps. QuickBase is a powerful, flexible and user friendly web application development environment. There is elegance in simplicity!

I personally have developed numerous QuickBase applications that are used throughout our organization today. To say that QuickBase does it all would not be the truth. I like to say that the product core product offers 80% percent of what you need. However, it’s the 20% that it’s missing that has prevented me from further adopting the product as a strategic solution for Vitalize. As a passionate user of QuickBase, I have communicated with Brad Smith, Intuit’s CEO, and I have visited the QuickBase office in Waltham MA. The QuickBase team even came to visit me in our Reading MA office. I provided them with a feature fit/gap road map to enhance their product.

Intuit has made some small enhancements to the core QuickBase product but the 20% gap still fundamentally remains. To their credit, QuickBase has been working on a business strategy to extend their product features through tools like Adobe Flex. This is coupled with a development partner program to encourage developers to write, promote and sell QuickBase applications. I am not critical of this as a strategy, but as a QuickBase customer and fan, I would like Intuit to also focus on enhancing their core product offering. My development team and I would welcome the enhanced features and functionality that could and would make QuickBase an truly amazing SAAS Solution.

I will remain an advocate of QuickBase and I do recommend it as complimentary solution to every companies application development environment. I just know QuickBase could be so much more than what it already is. Intuit will either advance their product or a competitor will step in and offer it in their own solution.

I started my career doing software development. I programmed for a living and lead business software development for many years. As a result, I am quite familiar with development environments, frameworks and tools. So when I found Quickbase I was a  bit skeptical. However, once I started using the product I was impressed with it’s capabilities. I would say that I really pushed the product to it’s limits and was quite happy with the result. However, I did encounter it’s limitations. The QuickBase team called me an advanced user, someone who has exploited the full dimension of their product. They have been very receptive to my recommendations but I’ve yet to see a major release that address the 20% gap.

I know they are working on QuickBase regularly, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new version released sometime soon. I highly recommend QuickBase for any company. It comes with numerous applications that you can use immediately and learn from. I simply want to continue to encourage and council Intuit to make QuickBase even better. It has so much more potential and opportunity as mature and proven SssS solution.

Written by intheknowcio

August 3, 2009 at 4:26 pm

Posted in SaaS

Healthcare CIO’s need to reevaluate system integration strategies

leave a comment »

With HITECH efforts being planned in hospitals across the nation, Healthcare CIO’s need to reevaluate system integration strategies. The challenge historically has been one of evolution where different vendor interface engines have been introduced over time. Each time a new system, application or module got introduced into the environment it often came with a preferred vendors engine for integration purposes. As long as it talked HL7 and could parse, transmit and interpret records it was generally deemed acceptable to not delay the project.

This model, however, has created hospital IT environments and staff that have to support, manage and upgrade these different vendor products. Now add in the HITECH mandate of system interoperability and the CIO is left with a more complex environment than desired. Healthcare CIO’s need to move to a “less is more” approach to integration by moving towards a single vendor product as a best practice. This will pay huge dividends for them in the future by allowing them to be agile & responsive to interoperability needs coming their way.

Written by intheknowcio

August 3, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized