In order to maintain the best possible service and continue to meet the needs of our communities, we’re in an ongoing state of new feature development and feature enhancements. This is a division of resources between the two distinct areas: new feature development is the creation of a new idea; and feature enhancements are improvements on existing features.
The process of creating a new feature is lengthy. When an idea comes up that we all like, we ask customers about it to get their input. Does it interest them? Does it solve any problems or create some convenience? Would they use it? Would they pay for it? If we get favorable responses from the majority of the folks we talk with, then the proposed feature goes into a product queue and gets scheduled for development.
Some features can take as long as a year to build, others a few weeks. Feature enhancements, on the other hand, are typically addressed more quickly. The need for enhancements usually springs up after a feature has been live and in the market for a little while and we’ve collected considerable feedback.
In a typical year we’d expect to release one or two new features and tackle dozens of feature enhancements.
Some new features, depending on their complexity, may require an increase in monthly maintenance fees. There is a cost associated with developing and supporting each feature. Licensees have the option to decline most new features on a case-by-case basis. However, if a new feature is released that directly integrates with an existing feature, it will be added to the licensee’s existing service with no increase in fee.
We keep licensees regularly informed as we plan for new features and enhancements.
Whenever we have a new feature or enhancement to release, we handle the submission of each licensee’s service to the app stores.