At CE-iT we are writing code for most of the time, both in the core of the software and for implementing custom solutions for customers. The result is software with virtually no limitations. One of our business partners therefore introduces us to companies as a group of nerds who develop software that fades the competition. The endless options and flexibility are the default for us and so are creating unique solutions, but people around us ofter say we should make more noise about it. So here we are: “MA!N differs from the competition, because it is more flexible and offers more features. Without costing more.” It’s that simple. And we will explain how that is achieved.
Flexibility is the core
MA!N can do more because it is different. The idea started with credit management, knowing that customers have different requirements and that people not all have the same routine. With that in mind, we looked at how to comply with this, so that every customer gets the best suitable solution without using a custom version of the software or requiring many consultancy hours. Why? Because we are software developers who like to automate as much as possible, we are not sellers of hours.
The flexibility is possible due to the four layers the software consists of: a user interface, an interface setup, a database setup and the fourth is the source code. Each layer has a different function and not every layer is accessible to every user. Each customer can take advantage of the flexibility, which also means that customers are able to develop features and solutions without the help of CE-iT.
The user interface is the top layer. It’s the place where users work every day. Here you record notes, plan activities and much more. The design of the user interface differs per customer and sometimes per role. The idea is that as a user you get a design that suits your work.
This is the first layer for the functional setup and it’s common in most credit management software packages. This is the place to configure letters, set roles and permissions, define workflows and more. No, you don’t have to be a programmer: you can turn features on or off with “ticks”.
The database setup is where the big difference with the competition begins. In the interface setup you can only go so far in terms of configuration, because it’s impossible to pour all possible requirements into a 100% standard. And certainly not in a way that users will also find what they are looking for or without the application becoming a truck where a bike fits your needs. With MA!N we offer an additional configuration layer in the database for requirements that go beyond the standard. It makes that almost everything is possible at this level, as long as there is consistent logic. If your organization wants the outcome of 2 + 3 – 1 to be 2 instead of 4, consider it done as long as there is logic.
In the way we use the database the sky becomes the limit. It’s used to set up the custom features in the database. These are, for example, workflows with specific business rules like models for calculating risks and adaptive workflows based on customer characteristics and events. We have customers who do these configurations themselves and there’s a bank that has configured MA!N as a correspondence server for the outgoing correspondence for the entire bank. (Pretty neat, isn’t it?)
Another example are the options that MA!N offers for exchanging credit information with organizations such as Creditsafe and D&B. As a customer, you determine which parts of the offered information you import and what’s done with that data. Do you want to combine the data of multiple providers with each other or with internal data? It’s possible. Whether that’s with data in MA!N or a data lake, the options are almost limitless and you can apply the outcomes in workflows which makes collections operate smarter. And that’s perhaps the strength of MA!N for you as a customer, you combine your intelligence with that of MA!N, so that 1 + 1 is not 2 but 4.
The MA!N core
The fourth layer, or perhaps we should call it the first layer because it’s the engine that drives all other layers, is the MA!N core; the source code. The core is the same for every customer, regardless of the setup that a customer has and it enables MA!Ns flexibility. For example, MA!N doesn’t have a native API with D&B for exchanging credit information, but it enables the technology that is required for talking to other systems. This offers many advantages, because the same technique is also used for exchanging data with applications such as Exact and Afas. The result is that we only code core technologies once. An approach that is efficient and offers flexibility for customers.
The way MA!N works makes that we, as CE-iT, can operate with a small team and serve a large customer base with diverse requirements worldwide. Just by doing things a little smarter every day, just as we help customers work smarter.