How we develop Engage
The key to the ongoing success of Engage and Engage Accounts is that our schools drive the direction of our programme of continual development and investment.
Being a customer-led company, Engage is informed by leading schools and groups locally here in South Africa, as well as in many of the globe’s other education hotspots.
With the ever increasing demand for good fee-paying schools across the world, schools require their software to keep pace for three key reasons:
For many years, all schools which use Engage have had access to Share Ideas on our Support Centre website, where authorised users can post their development ideas.
Once an idea is posted, all other Engage schools around the world are notified whereupon users they can add their own comment and vote for the idea using one of the school’s 30 votes per quarter. A school can only vote once per idea.
Engage and Engage Accounts are developed on a six month rolling development plan, with upgrades being released quarterly.
Every month, the development managers examine Share Ideas, float those they chose to their key Engage schools, discuss the feedback and finally accept the formalised ideas into the rolling plan.
Being the manufacturer of Engage and Engage Accounts has one very significant benefit. Our developers develop not only the front end, but the database as well.
Having this ability is vital especially when we are asked to carry out a specific bespoke development which is outside the scope of our rolling development plan.
When this occurs, it’s embedded into Engage and made available to all Engage schools. Some will benefit, some won’t. But the option is there.
How we manage our development
The whole of the development side of our parent company uses the Agile management methodology. Compared to older methods of managing code creation, this enables much more flexible response to the ever changing demands of the school academic, administrative and marketing requirements. Developers, analysts and testers work together to keep the cycle of work flowing for successful delivery, through closely integrated systems and close contact across all departments.
We release upgrades most months, which avoids disruptive massive changes at less frequent intervals. It also means you get to see the improvements much faster. Each release is accompanied by notes explaining which parts of Engage have been added to, or improved.
We use similar workflows for bespoke report development, where our techniques have been refined to produce high quality end results in the shortest possible time. Reports are independent of releases and can be issued to you as soon as complete.
The technology behind Engage
Our key software products are founded on the latest .NET technology and we test all of our web portals to the latest browser standards. The team also delivers our mobile apps in both iOS and Android versions.