With our prototype that we had developed on the basis of the pain points experienced back when I was CEO of my previous company, we went out to meet potential clients an providers
Developing the application took us a month and a half.
The technical specifications, albeit complex, were simplified to be able to provide a basic look and feel of the application
There were a lot limitations and compromises. One of the big limitations that we had was geolocalization as well as route calculation. Google doesn’t allow programatic route calculation unless you have a Google Maps premier account which cost too much for us.
We turned to Via Michelin because they gave us a free developers account for a number of months to help us develop the prototype and later on to find our first corporate customer.
Our most major compromise was on functionality, ie our algorithms worked for very simple scenarios, anything too complex wasn’t addressed..
With hindsight, what was developed was embarrassing. The initial code that we used was very simple and didn’t take into consideration the problems that we see now such as timezones and split algorithms.
It was however more than enough to help the people we interviewed visualise the potential of our software. Albeit simple and maybe crude, it was beautifully thought out and the initial design still carries out in part today.
We interviewed quite a few potential clients and our findings were very interesting and here is what they had to say.
The system had to be integrated
All companies involved in transporting patients have their own software. Using an outside service was interesting for them but only if it could be integrated into their system. This led us to developing a web service for our enterprise clients to quickly and confidently integrate our application.
There are many different ways to organise a medical transport
Our clients taught us that every company works differently in regards to organising medical transport. Some prefer to outsource all of the work to others, some prefer to keep it all in house. Most companies had varying degrees of outsourcing so that ere was no industry standard
Never underestimate the importance of Networks
Networks was very important for our clients. These networks had been carefully built at a great expense and costs had been negotiated extensively.
Our features had to include some form of network management.
Security is essential
They explained to us that security was essential. Guaranteeing the confidentiality of their client’s information was crucial. Informing the client what were the different measures of security that we implemented was important
The market was comprised of many different segments
There were many different customer segments, ranging from the major assistance company to the smaller underwriter. Thanks to our discussions, we identified three major market segments. These segments conditioned our initial offering, as our second task was to find an industry leader to develop and test our application in production setting.
More on this in my next blogpost