When MicroMain realized that it needed to refresh its development platform to maintain its competitive edge, the company took action. Using the OutSystems low-code development platform, the company’s engineering department rebuilt MicroMain’s core maintenance management solution into a mobile-ready, cloud-based solution designed to meet its customers’ evolving needs. The result? Lower costs, happier customers and rapid acceleration into new markets.
Legacy System Modernization with a Low-code Platform Provides a Competitive Advantage
Challenge - MicroMain helps companies manage their maintenance and facilities better with their award-winning software solutions. While it’s a very successful business, there was a time when the Texas-based company was losing ground to its competitors. That’s because although Micromain’s software has always been very good, the fact that it was built on a legacy Microsoft Access platform meant that it had some limitations. Unfortunately, the company’s attempts to both buy a new system, and later to replace it themselves, fell short.
“When I arrived at MicroMain, I realized that it was time to replace our main product,” says Ron Savarese, Director of Engineering. “Our on-premises system was very effective, but to remain competitive and take things to the next level we needed to rebuild it from the ground up.”
The problem, however, was that their development platform lacked a modern user interface and was hard to use for programming. It soon became apparent that MicroMain didn’t have the time, money or resources to build a better maintenance management solution on their existing platform. They needed to find an alternative solution.
“There are two main things we like about OutSystems: the speed at which we’re able to develop and the speed at which we can move something through to production,” says Savarese. “It’s reusable and we don’t need DevOps, which makes it much faster and more efficient than traditional approaches to software development.”
"After using OutSystems, I don’t know why people would bother with traditional software development. The ROI is just tremendous."
No Limitations with the OutSystems Low-code Platform
Solution - Savarese began exploring options and came across the OutSystems low-code development platform. He knew the best way to test a platform is to use it, so he built apps with a free personal edition of OutSystems. “Once we got into it, the platform practically sold itself,” he recalls.
At first, the engineering team was apprehensive about building such a complex solution on a platform that was so different from coding the traditional way. They didn’t know what to expect and thought that they would have to do a lot of work outside the platform. As Savarese and his team soon discovered, however, there weren’t any limitations.
By using OutSystems, Savarese and his team were able to rewrite their existing application, giving them a more modern, mobile-ready, cloud-based solution for their customers. Having a cloud-based application allows them to change the way that they deliver content updates.
Since rebuilding its software, MicroMain has also been able to fulfill customer requests for functionality that it couldn’t before. For instance, the app now works in Spanish and Chinese — functionality that it added in one month.
"When you put a disrupter in the market that works, sooner or later everyone is going to adopt it."
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New Platform Lowers Costs and Accelerates Business Growth
Results - “With OutSystems we can reach new enterprise markets that were once closed to MicroMain,” says Savarese. “Plus, we can develop faster than our competitors, which gives us an edge. After using OutSystems, I don’t know why people would bother with traditional software development. The ROI is just tremendous.”
Micromain’s engineering team plans to continue building features into the app, then start integrating with other apps. The team is also building native mobile apps that can scan barcodes and work offline. Meanwhile Savarese is already predicting a paradigm shift in the US to low-code development.
Thanks to switching to a low-code platform, MicroMain has gotten some pretty remarkable results, which include:
- Being able to enter new markets and accelerate business growth
- Greater ease of use for customers, resulting in higher customer satisfaction and retention
- Being able to easily add new features and functionality to better serve customers
- Lower development costs, saving the company roughly $250,000 in the first year, and roughly $500,000 overall
Faster time-to-market, which drove sales on a shorter time table, including pre-sales before the product release
Since 1991, MicroMain has been building strong relationships with customers in industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, property management, hospitality, and the public sector.
Their software is used by more than 30,000 users to streamline maintenance at 5,000+ facilities on six continents.