Today a fellow architect and I got invited to look at a tender that the customer was complaining about. It was the customer’s opinion that the price was too high and that we should bring it down.
After having the problem explained to us, we tried to reduce costs on the proposed solution. It was going to be a completely custom-built solution involving some services, queues and a database. It was not looking too complicated but after trying to approach it from a couple of different angles we concluded that it was going to be hard to achieve significant savings on this design.
I started to reexamine the original business requirements and noticed that the problem could be approached from a totally different angle. What the customer wanted was to have information gathered from various systems, transform that information in a particular manner en store the result in a file. That actually looks a lot like an ETL problem!
We consulted an ETL specialist and concluded:
- we could bring down the development costs from over 2,000 hours to well below 1,000 hours,
- a lot of the risks went away,
- there was going to be a lot less design and testing involved,
- the TCO also went down because this solutions requires a lot less server components.
All in all this new approach was going to save the customer literally tons of money while minimizing risks!
So next time somebody complains about a tender, take a long, hard look to see if you have the right tool for the job!