With iVolve Chief Technology Officer, David Eagles
Getting a product to market that meets customers’ needs is essential for a successful business. Creating that product is a whole other ball game. Here at iVolve HQ there is a buzz in the air over the development of iVolve’s new and exciting product, the Bus Access Module (BAM).
Over the coming weeks, we will expand upon how the BAM came about by looking at the Hardware concept, firmware, the enclosure and Application and Integration of the product.
What prompted the creation of the BAM?
Chief Technology Officer, David Eagles, said the need for the BAM arose for a number of different reasons, but primarily ‘… as a way to support all the different machine interfaces independently of the ever-increasing range of hardware platforms used by iVolve and our OEM partners.’
The Product Creation Process
iVolve’s product creation process spans across the entire engineering department with countless hours of hard-work being invested into each and every product. The creation process can be broken up into four steps –
- Market Research.
The first step of the process aims to identify the feasibility of the product and the return of investment for our customers. Market research involves ‘identifying the need and basic requirements – this usually comes from current or prospective customer interactions, performing market research to confirm there is a wider requirement for the proposed product, perform a preliminary high-level design to estimate the costs to develop the product and bring it to market and finally, decide if the product should proceed to the next stage of development,’ said David.
- Detailed Design and Development.
Once the product goes into development, David and the engineering team follow the Agile development methodology, a process that involves undertaking repetitive short cycles of development, testing and review (both internal and customer based).
‘We initially start out by implementing a proof of concept to verify the assumptions made during the first phase, and captured in the MRD. The proof of concept is typically implemented using low cost or existing hardware platforms along with very simple test applications. This provides a hardware platform for the software team(s) to continue using for development. This also gives us the first opportunity, in conjunction with our partners and/or involved customers, to deploy the product in a very limited field trial to validate functionality and capture operational data,’ said David.
- Development of Prototypes
After the proof of concept, David and the team move on to the development of an actual product prototype, this involves the construction of the first generation of custom hardware required for the product including electronics, enclosure, branding etc.
‘The software team(s) continue their development using the new hardware, we typically conduct one or more field trials with our partners and/or a limited number of key customers interested in the product. It’s not uncommon to go through two or three prototype steps as the product is refined,’ he said (read more about the iVolve Prototyping process here).
- Release of Product
Finally, once the hardware and software have been thoroughly tested and the documentation is completed, the product is released to the wider customer base. As a result of working closely with customers, iVolve is able to create a reliable, unique and customisable product for customers that does what they need it to do, when they need it.
The BAM will be released very soon. Stay tuned.
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