Dogfooding: Why We Use Our Own IT Products and Services

“Dogfooding” or eating your own dog food: a term used to reference a scenario in which a company uses its own product to validate the quality and capabilities of the product.

IT Products and Services

What better way is there to demonstrate confidence in our own products? Summit Business Technologies not only offers an array of different types of products for many IT needs, but we also use them in-house. We wouldn’t offer a product to our clients that we wouldn’t use ourselves.

So, how does Summit implement and use our own products? Take a look at just a few of the many products we use in-house and the benefits we’ve seen:

Our very own conference room is housed with video conferencing equipment from Lifesize that makes it convenient for us to connect with clients and employees who are on the road or working from home. The benefit we’ve seen lies with how easy and convenient it makes it to connect on-the-go without the delays of coordinating schedules, and because people can connect using the cloud they can’t join meetings directly using their tablet or smartphone.

We know how well ShoreTel’s phone systems work simply because there’s one at every desk in our office and in our conference rooms. One of the many benefits? It streamlines communication between employees in a user-friendly, efficient way and has extensive capabilities that go above and beyond a normal phone system, including call forwarding, call handling, and a ‘Find Me’ function so that even when we’re away from our desk our customers can still reach us.

We use SharePoint in several capacities to improve how we work at Summit, including:
1) As a document repository to better manage and access our documents, especially when we’re away from the office
2) As a shared calendar resource to track and schedule training activities across the company
3) As a project management tool to track tasks, documents, and notes related to specific projects

SharePoint’s integration with other Windows applications such as Windows Explorer and Outlook allows us to work transparently in SharePoint using tools that are familiar to our staff, which in-turn reduces training requirements and eases user adoption.

Google Drive
We use Google Apps to improve our own collaboration capabilities. Meeting agendas and notes are stored in Google Drive and shared among team members for access during meetings and for simultaneous editing, or co-authoring, which allows multiple people to make changes to the same document at the same time. Google Docs is used as an aid to communicating the status of projects and activities between staff and managers, with both parties viewing and co-authoring simultaneously from different locations. Google Drive is also used to share documents externally when collaboration on documents is required with non-Summit contacts.

Mobile Responsive Website
One of our best examples of us eating our own dog food is how we responded to Google’s recent changes to its search algorithms based on “mobile-friendliness”. We realized our previous website didn’t meet Google’s criteria, so we made the change quickly and updated it so we were back on the map with a mobile responsive website. We also notified our own clients and recommended doing the same.

As a company, we understand that new technology isn’t always the easiest thing to grasp, especially in an ever-evolving industry. That’s why we take it on ourselves first and understand how it works so that we can then help you reach your goals. How many companies do you know of that use their own products?

Summit Business Technologies has decades of experience offering technical and business consulting support. We provide a range of technology solutions to help businesses and organizations run more efficiently and communicate more effectively.  We support the Mid-Atlantic region including DC, Baltimore, Annapolis, and Northern Virginia.


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