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Support: North Ridge Reports

High-tech Innovation

Originally published: Summer 1999

Innovate!Innovation. . . our industry often uses this word to hail new or unusual "High Tech" developments, implying that theyharness the potential to make our society more productive. Even if you work in a bastion of conservative thought (like a bank), if you are an IT professional, you qualify for the "High Tech" crowd.

In such a fast-moving industry, where the latest technical knowledge commands awe and deference (along with high salaries), the natural drive is to chase the latest fad. However, if these efforts result in systems that lack capacity, stability, error recovery, or strong security,we must question "What are we really innovating?" Even the latest technologies will result in bad application design if not implemented correctly. For example, recall your last visit to a Web Site where a Java applet not only produced a series of indecipherable error messages, but seemed cloaked in an aura of mystery as to its actual purpose.

In light of this, it seems that the best type of innovation lies in adapting proven technologies to new requirements. Building on the successful features of legacy systems, rather than spending an inordinate amount of time re-inventing (or spinning) the technological wheel, provides one key. Using the once "obsolete" mainframe as a high powered server is an example of this approach.

At North Ridge Software, we also evaluate and use new technologies in areas that make us more productive and better able to service our customers. As a niche player in an industry dominated by megalithic giants, we know it's imperative to do so to stay competitive. For example, we continue to adapt Internet technology to provide increasingly responsive levels of customer support.

However, we avoid replacing personalized customer service with an efficient but impersonal technical front end: If you have a question, you will always be able to talk with a real person - often the product developer - when you call our service line. Now that's innovation!

We look forward to continuing to provide you with high quality support, as well as the opportunity to help you make your job more productive.

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