“How have you customized off-the-shelf products to make them work in your environment?”
We have clients with specific needs that require customized approaches to software and hardware. Whenever customizing the off-the-shelf product, there must be support in place. Case in point: We have a customer that came to us with a specific need that no platform could do “out of the box.” This took several weeks of analyzing and reviewing with different manufacturers. Once we found the right partner, we worked together to fulfill all the requirements and delivered on time and on budget.
This is most likely a rare scenario. The need to customize software and hardware can be tricky because the need to customize must outweigh the complications that could arise from the resulting implementation. You also need to have the right people in place to make those changes, ensure that updates are made correctly and have an ample timeframe to troubleshoot so you can deliver on time. Building a test environment is key to success and a good way to support the product after implementation.
The end result is that the customer receives a working solution and the services to support the product after installation. No one wants to be the guinea pig in a situation like this, but in some cases, the approach is necessary to build the expected experience.