Prior to the COVID pandemic, OptimumHQ's primary mission was delivering custom business applications built on the OptimumHQ low-code development platform. Our fundamental value proposition was "custom software: faster, better, and cheaper than traditional custom software approaches." The expectation was that small and medium size companies would want to control their own software destinies with the ability to build, and continuously customize, their own software to run their businesses. The reality, however, was that most of our customers were not yet ready to develop and continuously modify custom software _on their own_. They much preferred to have us do the work for them.
Then COVID happened in Q1 of 2020. As virtually every non-essential business suddenly had to cope with an entire WFH (Work From Home) workforce, we decided to build a low-code solution of our own on our platform. We offered it for free and thought this made a lot of sense at the time because the whole COVID thing was going to be done by the end of June, 2020, right?
Wrong. Clearly, the business operational challenges associated with COVID have lasted well beyond 90 days. For two years, the policies and procedures required to deal with symptom checks, contact tracing, social distancing, capacity management, vaccination status, weekly testing, etc., were constantly changing. This meant our solution, called Safe Return, was in a constant state of change and evolution. Virtually every Safe Return customer had their own unique requirements for how they wanted to manage COVID policies with their employees/visitors. Consequently each customer ended up with their own unique version of Safe Return by virtue of 1) a constantly changing operating environment, and 2) our ability to easily and quickly customize the core solution.
About a year into the pandemic, feedback from Safe Return customers was overwhelmingly positive. Customer feedback was so positive, that we decided to fundamentally change our business model and introduce more applications with a similar concept to Safe Return. Internally, we call this business epiphany and resulting change to our business focus, our "Pandemic Pivot."
So what were the key attributes of Safe Return that made it so successful?
- Safe Return was a 'head start' Solution Module that contained the essential functionality to be immediately viable for virtually any company, regardless of their business. Whether a museum, a college, a software developer, or a pharmaceutical manufacturer, Safe Return was a minimally viable solution immediately. This immediate utility, when combined with the ability to customize, was a big win for everyone.
- The ability to customize quickly. Because Safe Return was built on our low-code platform, we were able to customize it to every company's unique requirements. Most customizations were performed in days or weeks and our customers loved this! Each customer deployed their own version of Safe Return, customized specifically to their unique requirements.
Stated more simply, our customer base reacted so positively to the "customizable Safe Return Solution Module" approach, that we decided to leverage our legacy of building custom business solutions and build out more Solution Modules. This was our "Pandemic Pivot"
From our legacy business of helping companies build custom business solutions from scratch, we have initially identified 25 Solution Modules with the same characteristics as Safe Return. This is our future. Solution Modules are our future. And while the immediate utility from any given Solution Module will vary, depending on customer uniqueness, the vital concepts will always hold true:
- The Solution Module is a "head start" solution that provides immediate utility with core essential functionality.
- Every Solution Module has been designed with the expectation of being customized. We fully expect every implementation to achieve "Perfect Fit" with every customer's unique business processes
- Achieving "Perfect Fit" is expected to be a moving target. As our Solution Module customers' businesses grow and evolve and change.....we will always be able to customize the core Solution Module to achieve "Continuous Perfect Fit"
That's it. That's our Pandemic Pivot. The COVID pandemic caused us to build a Solution Module to help companies bring employees back to the workplace safely and responsibly. This was so successful that we decided to offer more Solution Modules and focus solely on this as our core business moving forward.