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Lioncom services range from strategic guidance on technology to application engineering, as described more fully below:

Strategic Technology Guidance:


Strategic Technology Guidance

Due Diligence/Technology Evaluation for Investors

When considering a significant investment in a technology company, it’s essential to know whether that company’s technology is likely to improve or hinder its prospects for maximum success over the next three or more years. Building a significant and successful business is often a messy process. New companies may need to make two or more radical changes in strategy direction before achieving success. If each of these necessary twists and turns requires a technology restart, the impact of time, cost, and loss of competitive position may be deadly. A company with stellar management may succeed with technology that is merely acceptable, but making an informed investment decision requires knowing the degree of risk—or the hidden strengths—inherent in the technology.

Lioncom can evaluate both the technology team and the technology approach being used, determining whether they have the flexibility to support business goals as they change over time. We can provide support before the due diligence stage as well, in assessing potential investment targets in a particular business space, from a technology perspective. . Our understanding of the unique interests of investors, combined with our long history of successful innovation in technology products, ensures thoroughness in the technology aspects of due diligence.

For owners of software intellectual property portfolios, Lioncom can extend its evaluation to include recommendations on maximizing the value of existing IP. We may find unsuspected value in existing code. We work to maximize the value of your investments.

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Aligning Strategies

Lioncom strongly believes that the long-term success of a software application in a demanding environment requires aligning the technical strategy with the business goals that the company wants the technology to support. Business plans and processes change over time, and we create technology strategies that address this fundamental aspect of business development.

Where the intent is to market the software, it must be managed as an investment. Lioncom can help you develop the core strategy that guides this process, questioning preconceived technical constraints, providing outside creative vision, and opening up the business strategy to consider new opportunities. This planning cuts across more than just the software product itself, to include the general technology picture of the company overall, and how this supports (or challenges) the likely delivery and success of products to market. While this process produces a deliverable document, the real goal is for the process to promote ongoing dialog and flexibility of thinking in the technology team.

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Technology Product Strategy and Execution Planning

We design plans as if we will have to deliver on them. That means we build a strong but elastic framework that can accommodate the market shifts and business modifications that will, and should, occur during the product development cycle. We have found that the way in which we work makes it easy for other groups to execute. For some projects and technology teams, simply introducing certain ideas will produce a “Eureka” moment and provide sufficient momentum for success. In other situations, we can have periodic involvement, engaging in “tune-ups” where the technology team decides how to adapt the plan for emerging developments. In still other instances, our involvement can extend into partial execution, creating core components of an overall framework that we maintain, and which the internal team draws on to deliver on the technology goals. How we work in execution is shaped by what makes sense given the level of technical sophistication of the internal team.

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Software Architecture

Lioncom believes that the core architecture of an application in a high-demand environment is critical to its eventual performance and usability. The architecture must be superb to provide the backbone for development over subsequent versions, and to provide flexibility to respond to changing requirements and opportunities without a coding restart. For software applications that are to be sold, the right architecture can provide a potential base for new business ventures in the form of derivative software products.

By creating deeply considered architectures that are consistent with the client's goals and the requirements of the environment, Lioncom facilitates successful versioning over time, and avoids hitting the brick wall of the code restart. This creates a competitive advantage for our clients. We aim for the cumulative effect of our efforts to serve as the base for a product or application life-cycle that will last years, if not decades.

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Software Development

Lioncom’s approach to software development is characterized by:

Deep questioning. We deeply question and consider all features, and use common sense in evaluating and implementing requests. Every specification is a starting point, an opportunity to investigate generalizations of features, and to explore what is really being requested. This approach allows for crucial flexibility as later feature requests come in.

Fifty percent of good software product development does not involve writing code, but rather extracting the client's needs as laid out in a specification document, or a previous application project, and transforming it into valuable software. This is not the same as just coding the wants as laid out in the specification. This type of questioning is rare in the IT world. Lack of this "translation" and feature generalization step is one of the reasons software projects often fail, or get so inflexible over time that they severely constrain possible options as business strategy evolves and changes.

Focusing on usability and user interface design. We believe investment in software product usability will produce the highest ROI for every dollar spent. The most important skills for creating high-end usability are not learned in design school. Usability is not just about the visible user interface design. It is also concerned with the application’s overall process flow, and with structuring the application itself to avoid burdening the end-user with too much information. Good user interface should, like good industrial design, disappear from the user's conscious perception. Interface design is about creating clarity and intuitive function, listening to the client and intended users—making functionality simpler, not just more pleasing to the eye. The user only knows that the task they want to accomplish is easy to do.

Working with all stakeholders. We work with the client’s internal support groups and user constituencies as appropriate to make sure documentation is of a high level, and that there is a constant dialog between engineering and user or marketing feature requests. This interaction is rare and valuable when done well, and can result in engineering innovations that open up whole new feature possibilities.

Relying upon our own agile methods for creating software. We do “just in time” management of the application, operating in very close collaboration with the client’s domain experts. Methodologies that ostensibly minimize risk by doing more upfront planning and design can be self-defeating — the added time to implement often means that user or market needs have moved away from the plan by the time the software is completed. At the same time, Lioncom believes that development methodologies need to be flexible to the specific needs of the current application. We adapt those portions of the “Agile” techniques that make sense for the particular initiative, and modify others.

We never lose sight of the fact that the value of Lioncom’s services is in their net positive contribution to the bottom line. We strongly believe that Lioncom can produce the most value for a given software initiative.

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