I just read Amanda's Six Years at StatSoft blog. I have to jump in and say me too. I joined StatSoft in May, seven years ago.
One of my first major projects was for a company (RR) that creates machines for semiconductors companies. These machines are used in the manufacturing process for chips. They are large, expensive and cut silicon.
Every machine that RR creates has an embedded computer. RR has their own software that runs the machine, but they wanted to provide analytics to their customers.
So the project started out simple. RR hired StatSoft to create a .NET add-in. The add-in called STATISTICA's DLLs to calculate statistics. The requirement documentation specified which statistics were needed. RR displayed the results in their application.
Weeks passed and the customer was happy with our process. However they had new requirements. They wanted to display a Wafer Plot in their application. RR's customers could use it to visualize wafers and see defects.
RR has also been thinking about their customers... what if their customers wanted additional statistics? I understood this thinking. It seems like someone always wants another statistic. And what type of mean do you want to calculate? Mean or Geometric mean or Harmonic mean?
I reviewed these changes with the development team and priced the change control documentation. RR approved these changes and we added the Wafer Plot.
And RR added an option to their application to launch STATISTICA. They could see the value in letting their customers explore the data within STATISTICA.
Seven years later... RR continues to see STATISTICA as a value-add for their machines.
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/3796407329/