Buy vs. Build

The Classic Question: Buy or Build?

If you are part of a development team, you've undoubtedly considered building your own module rather than using Spondyr's document generation and delivery capabilities. Building your own in-house version makes sense under certain circumstances. After all, that's what we did years ago when we couldn't find a suitable product on the market! But, you need to be careful that you've identified the full set of requirements you need to build so you don't find yourself spending more time developing your document infrastructure than you do building your unique application logic.

Consider the following points to help you make your decision...

Template Requirements:

How many templates will be used in your system? How often do they change? Is it important for business users to manage their own templates so they aren't constantly requesting simple formatting or content changes from your team?

Spondyr provides a template management system with role-based security so you can put the power of template editing directly in the hands of business users. Plus, Spondyr uses Word templates so that business users can use a familiar tool and setup complex formatting that HTML editors can't support.

Delivery Complexity

How many delivery channels do you need to support? Remember that each delivery channel (fax, postal, e-mail, SMS, in-application) comes with its own complexities. For example, if you are delivering mail through USPS, do you have a mail center that will handle stuffing the envelopers and sending them? If you are leveraging an API for faxing, how do you monitor the status of each fax? Do you know that some 3rd party delivery API's have status callbacks that aren't guaranteed-- you have to poll for missing delivery status. Do you automatically retry failed faxes? What do you do with a document that cannot be delivered? How do you handle 3rd party downtime -- can you fall back to an alternate delivery vendor automatically?

Spondyr can support a wide variety of delivery channels and we hide the complexity behind our own simple API. Furthermore, if you leverage our delivery rules, we can automatically fallback to alternate delivery channels if possible. For example, if a fax attempt has failed 3 times we can fall back to sending it via postal mail. With Spondyr, your main responsibility is to maintain delivery addresses for your recipients and we'll take care of the rest.

Template Matching Rules

Does your application require logic to pick the correct template? For example, health plans may have their unique requirements when sending a denial letter that you need to accomodate. Is it easier to support these complexities within a single template or by maintaining multiple templates and selecting them via rules? Rather than hard-coding logic in your application, can you embed a conditional rules engine to insure that template selection can be flexible and controlled by your business users? Do you need to support sending documents in multiple languages?

Spondyr provides role-based administrative screens that allow you to give business users total control. Give them the freedom to embed logic within templates or control template selection based on data matching. If requirements change, conditions can be easily added or modified so that documents keep flowing.

Scalability, Reliability, and Throughput

Are you sending generation requests from an OLTP application? Or are you sending large batch requests that require sending thousands of letters as quickly as possible? Can you easily scale resources to meet changing demand without incurring excessive costs? Are you prepared for disastery recovery scenarios so you incur minimal delays in the event your services are down?

Spondyr provides automatic scaling that adjusts to periods of high demand. Spondyr can accept and send thousands of letters per hour without incurring any additional costs. As a cloud-based solution, Spondyr can take full advantage of multiple geographic zones for storing data or spinning up services if our primary zone is down.

Auditing and Compliance Requirements:

How important is auditing for your application? Do you need to know when every letter was generated and when it was delivered to each recipient? Do you need to track how many delivery attempts were made? How long do you need to store the generated documents? Do your documents contain sensitive information like PHI or account numbers that should be stored in encrypted format?

Since our background is in healthcare applications, we have designed Spondyr to support standards like HIPAA. We know that documents must be tracked every step of the way from request to delivery so that you can provide this information to auditors. If you use our viewer, we also track when users have viewed a generated document on-line. All documents and their metadata are stored forever as long as you have an active account, so it doesn't matter if you are audited after 1 year or 10 years. Furthermore, all documents in Spondyr are encrypted-at-rest to protect document content from accidental disclosure.

Time Savings and Total Cost of Ownership

Now that you've considered the scope of your end-to-end solution, have you discussed with your development team how long it would take to develop the required functionality? Do you have the necessary time and resources to fit this into your development plan, including planning, design, development, and testing? Have you considered the cost of supporting and maintaining this module over time? If you are using 3rd parties as part of your content generation or delivery functionality, have you accounted for the time spent adjusting to their functionality changes or dealing with downtime of their platform?

Spondyr provides a complete solution that lets you get up and running with little effort at a low monthly cost. Our event-based integration model insures you can quickly add minimally invasive calls to our API at key application function points without hard-coding any business logic. We also provide role-based administration screens so you can give business users control of templates and rules without development team involvement.


If you are pressed for resources or time, try Spondyr. If down the road you decide to build your solution, you can easily transition at a time of your choosing.

Documents. Delivery. Done.