We have the technology and
we're not afraid to use it.
If you’ve got the needs, we’ve got the technology
Everyone's needs are different. What are yours?
We'll help you get off the ground
Just going out on your own? Got a great idea but little budget? Need help turning your dreams into reality? If your new business requires software, the chances are we’ll be able to give you step-by-step guidance of what’s possible and what might take a little longer!
Whether you’ve got funding or not why not give us a call to discuss, without obligation, how we can help get your business off the ground.
Small is beautiful!
We understand the pressures of running a small company. We know you need to compete. So we’ll afford you the proper attention to ensure that what we deliver makes your competitors and customers alike treat you as a serious player.
Excel Spreadsheet and Access databases may be perfectly suited to your needs and if we think they’re still suitable, we’ll happily recommend you continue using them by helping optimise and develop them to suit your needs.
If you’re rapidly growing, see System Scaling.
If your MS Office and systems were created for when you were small, and can no longer cope – we can advise you on how to take your software requirements to the next level. We help our customers migrate to larger systems and create new environments to scale with the business.
There will come a time when you’ll need to integrate your systems and optimise how your business processes work together. With planning this can be achieved as part of a long term strategy and by seamlessly migrating your data into new databases and systems.
We mean business.
We’ve worked with many blue chip companies over the years and understand the huge differences in systems, processes and politics that are necessary when working with large organisations. We are experienced and have the resources to cope with major projects, yet flexible enough to comply with different working methods and systems.
Large companies can suffer from inertia, budgeting and resourcing difficulties but are beginning to understand that small, flexible specialist companies like First Option Software can add enormous value and inject a welcome agility and clear thinking.
Don’t let your system hold back your growth
One of the common growing pains in any business is the need to match the technology to the size of the organisation. This could be moving from a single user application to a shared environment or from a single server to a mission critical, multi-tiered resilient architecture. We remove barriers to growth by migrating you to the right tools.
For example, it is quite possible to scale Microsoft Access up to an enterprise level database, adding new automation and thereby improving collaboration through browser-based applications. No more growing pains.
Got the source code? Chances are we can support it!
If you have a system that has been developed internally, or you have inherited from another company, the chances are very high that we can help by providing the system support you need to keep it running, and perhaps improve on it too. Unlike other companies, we are not fazed by what seem to be unsolvable compatibility problems, and we’re certainly not afraid of taking on someone else’s code.
Let us turn your idea into new revenue
If you’ve got a great idea for a product that will add new revenue to your business then we’d love to help.
We’ve created a number of products for companies of varying sizes, some of which are the entire focus of the company. We’ve created everything from an SMS messaging platform, virtualization audit software to entire document management systems.
With something so critically important to your success we match your attention to detail and help you make it a rewarding success that makes a difference to the bottom line.
Give your customers a single point of reference they’ll love
It’s all about being in control. Nowadays customers expect to be able to control and view all their interaction with you online, and rightly so. If you provide a number of services to your customers a portal can be one way to provide a seamless branded interface to your customers, creating true interactivity, buy-in and loyalty.
Portals are often relatively straightforward interfaces with a number of Systems Integrations with other systems.
For an example, see our Nebulas Case Study.
Bringing it all together
The chances are your business runs multiple systems and integrating data together from them will increase the value to you or your customers.
APIs, SDKs, data feeds, XML, direct injection, screen scraping – there are numerous ways integration can be approached and with 20 years of experience we’ve probably used every technique going – and some.
Whether you just want some ‘glue’ to bind two separate systems or an entire Customer Portal that shows all your customer data – we can bring it all together.
Access from anywhere
Thin client applications provide many benefits particularly with their anywhere accessibility, zero footprint and cross device capability.
Advances in browser technologies and communications speeds allow thin client apps to act and feel just like a locally installed app whilst still benefiting from central control.
Even today there are still some restrictions with thin client apps and many, many differences in capabilities of browsers and versions to consider.
We’ll help you choose the best approach.
Always ready when you need it
Sometimes a locally installed application is the only way to achieve exactly what you’re after, particularly if you need control over local devices or where communications aren’t guaranteed. Likewise user interaction performance and local storage may be critical factors in choosing a thick client app.
With the potential to integrate into other installed applications such as MS Office and auto-startup or background processing a local app can add value and convenience to the way people work.
Software to go!
Never has there been such a huge transfer of user activity from desktop to mobile. Everyone wants their software with them whenever and wherever they go, available at the touch of a button. This is no ‘flash in the pan’ fashion – mobile processing, marketing, interaction and communications have changed dramatically, and will continue to change, affecting the way we deliver software solutions.
It’s our task to keep pace with those changes, to take advantage of the benefits they afford and to offer users what they want.
Where design meets functionality
Good design is more than skin deep – it must be aesthetically pleasing, intuitive and fully functional. Whether it be a software interface, a mobile app, a website or an offline product such as corporate literature, design is at the heart of the process from the start. No more ‘dry’, functional, clunky programmes that work on one level – expectation from everyone is much, much higher and our work is worthy of praise only when it meets that expectation.
For more information see our Design page.
Who doesn't need to stick to a budget?
They say nothing focuses the attention like an invoice. No-one likes nasty surprises so a fixed price project helps you plan your cashflow and know in advance what you’re going to get for your investment.
Unlike many companies we have the experience to be confident in tackling most projects on a fixed price basis.
Many of our customers prefer this approach and we find it helps focus everyone on agreeing the detail of exactly what is planned, instead of on nasty shocks.
Don't pay for what you don't get
Where your requirement is likely to be a bit more fluid or where you have the internal skills and time to actively help out on the project it may be that a Time Used basis is more appropriate. In other words you only pay for the time actually spent, giving you the flexibility to start and stop the clock whenever you like.
But don’t worry: we don’t want you to have any unwelcome surprises so we always put in strict controls to make sure you remain fully in control of your budget. That way we jointly ensure that you achieve what you need and only pay for what you get.
Multi-packs you won't find at your supermarket
If you know you’re going to have some ad-hoc requirements over a long period you could take advantage of buying a ‘pack’ of Developer days. Pre-purchased at a specially discounted price, you simply draw down from your balance of days throughout the year, knowing that you’re getting great value for money every time. Another great way of staying in control of your budget and maximising the value achieved from our expertise.
A different commercial model that creates a win-win – why not?!
We don’t like to be constrained by conventional thinking and commercial models.
We are always open to offers by considering other means of agreeing commercial terms, for instance through a partnership arrangement or royalty payment scheme. The important thing is to create a win-win situation so why not try us and see if, between us, we can come up with something new and mutually beneficial? Like our software and solutions, we like to think differently from the rest.
4 things that make us stand out
Building exactly what you want.
Even when you're not sure yourself! We can help transform your ideas into software reality.
Working within constraints.
Whether they are time, money, technology or security - we'll do our best to conform.
Making your business efficient.
Software that makes your processes sing will make your business thrive.
Designing software which looks good.
Design is when art meets functionality so your software looks good and works well.