Proprietary software, also called out of the box software, refers to enterprise-ready tools that can be easily implemented to serve specific telecom purposes. They should be distinguished from open-source solutions, which use open code. Telecommunication companies can use both options, but out-of-the-box software has unique features and advantages that make it more suitable for telecom needs. Let’s discuss these characteristics to explain how telecommunication companies can benefit from the existing out-of-the-box solutions.
Fast Roll-Out and Implementation
This software is ready-to-go, meaning that apart from installation and configuration, there is not much preparatory work that a company should complete. As a result, out-of-the-box solutions are preferred when the deadlines are short or when there is an urgent need for some software. Another option telecom companies may consider is using out-of-the-box solutions temporarily before they develop more customized options.
Out-of-the-box is relatively inexpensive compared to more customized solutions. Designed for a specific market and audience, it has limited functionality but an attractive price. Developers manage to keep the price low by distributing development expenditures across a broader audience. Therefore, smaller telecom companies may find out-of-the-box solutions more suitable, mainly if they have limited budgets.
Access to Diverse Functions
Pre-made functionality is what makes out-of-the-box solutions attractive for telecommunication companies. By purchasing this software, they immediately get access to a large list of different functions and tools. However, out-of-the-box solutions may not always capture the company’s business needs, meaning that additional features will still need to be added through customized solutions.
Require Only a Small Team of Experts to Implement
Out-of-the-box solutions are also appealing because they don’t require telecommunication companies to hire a large internal team of developers and IT staff. Unlike open-source solutions that require a team of 20 to 30 people, this type of software can be installed and maintained by a much smaller team of experts. Some of them don’t require software skills at all, so they can be used by the staff with no prior training. Thus, if you face a staff shortage and don’t want to waste human resources or use outsourcing, out-of-the-box solutions are what you are looking for.
Ongoing Technical Support
Maintenance contracts signed between a developer and a telecommunication company may presuppose ongoing technical support and updates. A qualified support team is always ready to help with any emerging problems quickly and efficiently. It means that companies don’t have to use the development team’s services whenever the software has some issues or becomes obsolete. Again, for companies that have limited human and financial resources, this advantage can be decisive.
Large Customer Base
Out-of-the-box solutions are usually widely applied in different industries. It means that thousands of users around the globe can share their experiences only and offer support through online forums. Whenever a company faces some problem with the software, it can find a solution even without contacting the support team as everything is available online.
Disadvantages to Consider
However, there are some problems associated with the use of out-of-the-box solutions. Here’s a list of the most common complaints that users have:
- A higher cost than initially stated
- Many unnecessary functions that slow down the software
- Solutions that do not fit the company’s specific needs
- Functions and security standards that do not comply with country requirements
Given the listed benefits, it’s not surprising that an increasing number of companies in different industries aim to achieve at least an 80% out-of-the-box threshold and obtain the remainder of functionality from more customized software. This strategy allows saving time and resources without compromising the quality of services. It is suitable for established and proven businesses with a loyal customer base and a low risk of losing clientele. However, since there are also some drawbacks, telecommunication companies need to carefully assess their business needs and expectations to ensure that the selected solution perfectly fits their needs.