Web-based technologies can turn a company website into a 24×7 money-making powerhouse:
- Content Management
- Custom Applications
- Systems and Database Integration
- Browser-based Administration Tools
- Open Source Applications
Web technologies allow a company website to become a platform for interactivity that can substantially lower costs, create efficiencies and extend reach. Web applications empower users to accomplish things for themselves, which speeds transactions, reduces errors, lowers costs, and gives users a sense of instant gratification.
For example, when a person buys something online they access the product database for information, check inventory, place the order, pay electronically and track the shipment all on their own. The corresponding reduction in costs coupled with the expanded reach of the web can produce substantial financial rewards for companies that implement e-business correctly.
The ability to order and pay for goods online is an essential service that wholesalers and retailers alike must offer customers today. Shopping carts can be customized to serve the needs of specific industries and buyers. Credit cards, checks, and purchase orders can all be processed and validated online to speed transactions. Payments can be made electronically to maximize cash flow. And the entire process can be managed electronically to reduce both transactions costs, record keeping and the time required to process orders.
Our IDS SmartCommerce product provides a solid basis for any e-commerce strategy. It is designed for fast and flexible integration into any website design, provides complete functionality for reliable online transactions, and can be customized to accommodate any organization’s needs.
Content management systems provide tools that allow numerous contributors to create and update web pages from diverse locations without requiring technical skills or ongoing developer expense. These systems remove bottlenecks that are created when website content must first go through a “webmaster” before it appears on the site. Since content can come from many places within an organization, content management systems create a host of opportunities to provide regular, relevant and up-to-date information, making the website much more valuable to visitors. Examples include managing online product catalogs, publishing articles and press releases, maintaining schedules and lists, providing online training, and publishing company policies and procedures.
IDS SmartUpdate is our easy-to-use content management product. Available in PHP for shared hosting environments, and .Net for corporate applications, this system can quickly be incorporated into any website design and is fully customizable. Best of all, our content management products are extremely easy to use, even for the most tech-wary users.
An exciting area of development is helping companies implement new technologies for doing business online. Often companies can bring business processes online to expand their reach by providing customers and business partners direct access to their systems and data. Other times a business will have an opportunity to create an entirely new business model as a result of bringing Internet technologies into the mix. In either case, IDS can develop online systems from scratch that are as unique as the business you run. And with our focus on Internet methodology, your system will be state-of-the-art right from the start. From system design, to development, to integration to maintenance, we’ll help you expand your business through innovation.
Databases are the storehouses of an organization’s information. Making data available via the web can empower customers, sales staffs, distributors and others. Online database integration makes updated pricing and other important product information available in real-time, ensuring that transactions are not hampered by out-of-date information. When data systems are truly integrated, web-based systems can update other important business systems along the way with every transaction, including inventory, A/R, billing, purchasing and reporting.
In the same way, whole systems can be connected and integrated to share data and functionality. This opens up possibilities such as direct connection with suppliers or customers ordering systems, connecting shipping operations with national shipping systems and sharing datas with accounting and tex systems.
Web-based applications can be easily administered through browser-based tools. Because a browser becomes the primary interface, no additional software is needed to run key web applications. Furthermore, browser-based web apps can be administered from any location at any time, even wirelessly.
For example, a product database in an e-commerce system can be updated by a buyer at a vendor’s location. A press release can be submitted by an executive at a trade show. And a schedule can be updated by a manager while on vacation. Other examples of browser-based tools include network administration, calendar and contact databases, and access and authentication tools.
Open source applications are developed by large development communities rather than for-profit corporations. These communities oversee the growth, security and stability of the products. The software products are then made available for use at no cost under special licensing. Costs come with implementation, design and customization, but the core software is maintained and updated by the community so that businesses can focus on customers, products and performance rather than technology.
WordPress and Drupal
Two important open source products provided by IDS are WordPress and Drupal. Both are content management products that are fully extensible and can be configured for e-commerce and many other functional uses. Both are very strong in the market and are supported by large developer communities. Both have specific strengths and perform well when implemented in ways that utilize these strengths. IDS Interactive can design and implement both WordPress and Drupal for a variety of purposes for clients whose needs match up well with them.
More About WordPress
WordPress has become the industry standard for blogging sites. But in the last few years, WordPress has also developed into a full-fledged content management system, capable of producing quality websites that are deep in features far beyond blogging. Because of the way WordPress is built, content inside WordPress sites is easily picked up by search engines, which can help with search rankings. Some of WordPress’s other key features include:
- Built in blogging tools for producing ongoing, regular content.
- Built in search engine optimization tools for entering keywords, descriptions, TITLE tags, ALT tags and more on a per page basis.
- Easy linking to off-site media such as YouTube video and Flickr photos.
- Mobile-ready “responsive design” enables your website layout to change automatically to fit tablets and smartphones.
- Easy-to-use content management tools allow let non-technical website owners or staff update sites.
- A multitude of software add-ons called plugins, created by third party developers, can add wide-ranging capabilities to WordPress sites.
In addition, because WordPress has become an industry standard, a large and growing group of people with WordPress skills has emerged. And because it is easy to use, companies can have staff trained to manage their site in-house in little time.
Contact us to discuss opportunities that leverage web-based technologies »