A number of years ago we took pride in the fact that we released VitalSite updates every quarter. Not only was it a significant differentiator from other software developers who struggled to deliver even one release a year, but frequent releases just seemed like the right thing to do. Why? Quarterly updates allowed us more opportunities to help our clients manage their top performing hospital websites. And that’s hard to do when you have to wait a year or more to take advantage of new features.
Over the last few years we’ve been resolute in our commitment to frequently delivering software, and the rate at which we release updates has increased manyfold. In fact, we now consider a quarterly release cadence to be slow and often symptomatic of problems on software development teams. Such problems can be the result of:
- A software development team that is incapable of responding quickly to changing market needs, or of quickly deploying fixes and updates to clients. This can be because of anything from code quality to management problems. Regardless of the cause, it should be considered a warning sign for many types of software.
- A vendor who has decided to withhold valuable changes and updates from their clients until the marketing team decides that they have ‘enough’ new functionality for them to bundle it all in a release and promote it in the market. This approach is common among software vendors who just want to rack up new sales and have little regard for existing clients.
At Geonetric, we consider both of the above to be signs of dysfunction, which is why we’ve invested in being able to quickly deliver updates and features to clients. Not a couple times a year, and not just “when we think it’s convenient for us.” It’s our mission to deliver updates as soon as they are ready and tested. As a result, we delivered 11 releases in 2013. What about 2014? Good question. I’m pleased to announce VitalSite 7.0! While we’ve delivered dozens of updates since the start of the year, 7.0 is already our second full release in 2014. It includes a bevy of features and improvements specifically requested by clients. These include:
- A new Healthwise SmartPanel for dynamically cross promoting Healthwise health library content on related CMS pages, physicians, services, events and more.
- A new site script management feature that gives system administrators the ability to manage the custom scripts, CSS and markup on all their VitalSite hosted websites. Curious about turning on GA’s new Demographic Information, or Content Section tracking? Have a third party tool that you’d like to embed on the site? The new script management helps you get it done.
- A new intranet mode that’s like a giant padlock for your website. This new security feature locks down all pages and files on a VitalSite instance, and requires visitors to log in before they can access any content.
- Multiple enhancements to the Calendar and Events Directory that helps marketing teams better promote and manage their hospital events.
- Numerous additional tweaks, enhancements and fixes.
Existing clients are already reviewing the release notes and discussing the new release with their client advisors. A few have even scheduled deployments already. If you’re not yet a Geonetric client but would like to learn more about how frequent software releases can help your organization, why not contact us today?