The Support Group is one of the largest and most successful FileMaker consultants in the world. With offices in Boston, Los Angeles, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area, we service FileMaker users throughout the U.S. and Canada. We are among a small group of companies selected by FileMaker to be Platinum level members of the FileMaker Business Alliance consultants program.
With our staff of expert FileMaker Certified Developers, we build new solutions and modify existing FileMaker databases to add functionality, improve performance, increase security, integrate databases with websites, and convert older systems to FileMaker Pro 12. We can also provide an Onsite FileMaker Systems Audit to analyze and assess your current FileMaker applications and make written recommendations on improvements. And our FileMaker mentoring service can put you or members of your staff side-by-side with a FileMaker Certified Developer for coaching, tutoring and assistance with specific development issues.
Most impressive was that you are one of the few firms I’ve ever worked with that was able to hear what I was saying, comprehend it and get to a solution very quickly and with terrific results. I couldn’t be more pleased.
San Francisco-based software development company
We’re one of the largest and most successful FileMaker consultants in the U.S. We’ve built over 800 new database systems and added new features and functionality to thousands more. We’ve serviced clients in business from Fortune 500 companies such as Chevron to small start-ups in many different industries including retail, manufacturing, high tech, life sciences, financial services and entertainment. We provide FileMaker design, development and training to numerous departments within well-known and highly respected private and public universities such as Dartmouth, Penn State and Duke University, as well as K-12 school systems like the Los Angeles Unified School District, one of the largest in the country.
These organizations and many more all turned to The Support Group’s staff of expert, FileMaker Certified Developers for easy-to-use FileMaker-based tools to help them better run their organizations, provide improved products and services, reach more people, grow their revenues, control their expenses and make better decisions. Learn more about our customers.
We’ve delivered FileMaker solutions to our clients and made modifications to existing database systems in a wide variety of functional areas. For example:
This list represents a small sampling of the many types of projects we’ve completed. Some of our client successes have been published as case studies by FileMaker.
Because of your expertise and support, we were able to impress my bosses by coming in under budget and ahead of schedule. We are ecstatic with the results of the new system. Thanks for all your help!
Maryland-based fine arts service company
Our experience has taught us that the key to a successful project is communication. From your first contact with The Support Group, you’ll know that you are dealing with a group of true professionals who are responsive, experienced and knowledgeable. We follow a proven methodology to ensure that every solution we build meets all of our clients’ requirements, specifications and objectives. Additional planning is provided to minimize the total cost of ownership and help boost our customers’ return on their investment in us.
Each project is organized into phases and we use an iterative approach for achieving the best results in the shortest amount of time. “Iterative” refers to continual demonstration, review and testing by our clients during the design and development phases. This “bottom up” process helps familiarize our customers with the underlying architecture of the new system and lowers the cost of administration, diagnosis and maintenance once the system is use.
The following is an overview of our development approach.
Because of the informal nature of FileMaker, few clients have written specifications for the work they need done. When a client makes a decision to have us work on their database, we start with a “discovery” meeting. We meet with you and your team to develop a written specification of the work that is to be done. It is vitally important that all of us are on the same page and that we have clearly defined the scope of the project.
The design phase is a detailed process. Not only are we learning about your business dynamics, but you are learning about the architecture of the new system. This approach gives your staff familiarity with the framework of your solution before it is built, letting your team members make important decisions in the database design. Specifically, we:
We strive to keep the scope of your project focused and within bounds. Often, we recommend an initial phase of work that will give you the greatest benefit for the least time and cost. Additional features and functions can then be implemented later in second or third phases. After the initial delivery, the overwhelming majority of our clients call us back for further improvements.
During the development phase, The Support Group will schedule periodic milestone meetings in person, via conference calls/web conferences or via email file exchange. This is an opportunity for your team to not only check our work and report back needed adjustments, but also become acclimated to the new system early on.
Developers perform initial testing during development. We provide test or “beta” versions of the system at several junctures as well, allowing your staff to gain an in-depth understanding early in the process. The key people on your staff who are involved in the success of the project will have ongoing opportunities to review, comment and make changes as the system takes shape. We’ve found this iterative approach is far more effective than our handing over a completed project to a client and THEN getting the key people involved in it.
By the time development and testing has been completed, you’ll be intimately familiar with the system. The solution will meet your needs because you will have helped guide its development.
We begin planning for implementation from the first discovery meeting. We will discuss and prepare for any required data migration and integration with other systems so there are no surprises. We will ensure that your FileMaker environment is robust, secure and properly configured. User training will prove greatly simplified since members of your staff will have worked with the system during development.
We can provide a range of options for rolling-out a new system, from basic orientation training to ongoing FileMaker monthly maintenance plans. We will work with you to determine when additional system modifications would be better handled internally by your organization or with help from our professional staff. We provide FileMaker training classes in all of our offices that can get members of your staff up to speed on basic development techniques so that you can make simple changes to your system without having to call us every time you need a modification.
Our customers have told us repeatedly that our efficient, professional approach is the reason they chose us for outsourcing their FileMaker database development.
Most FileMaker consultants are one-person shops. Others run “virtual offices” and hire temporary contractors in remote locations to help with their projects. The four offices of the Support Group are staffed with committed and loyal employees who are provided with up-to-date hardware and software tools, management oversight and office support staff. Our developers receive ongoing technical training and professional development. They each benefit from being a member of a team of other experienced FileMaker developers.
If having a well-respected professional services company with a multitude of committed FileMaker Certified Developers, real offices and a 20+ year track record of success is important to you, then talk with us.
We are one of a handful of companies chosen by FileMaker to be an Authorized training provider. We offer Intro, Intermediate and Advanced classes in our Boston, New York, and San Francisco Bay area locations. By attending any of our classes, we’ll enable you or a member of your staff to make changes to your database to create new fields, layouts and reports. Our customers appreciate our ability to teach them to do much of the ongoing maintenance, while knowing they can call us when they need to add major new functions such as integrating their FileMaker solution with the Web. In addition to our regularly scheduled classes, we can also offer onsite training at our clients’ offices.
For a free initial consultation or to learn more about our consulting and training services, fill out our online form or contact the office closest to you to get a rapid response from one of our FileMaker experts.