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 well.
The ability for customers to order and pay for goods online is essential today for both wholesalers and retailers. Businesses can customize shopping carts to serve the needs of specific industries and buyers. Credit cards and purchase orders can be processed and validated in real-time to speed transactions. Customers can make payments electronically to maximize cash flow. And the entire process can be managed electronically to reduce transaction 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 developer expense. These systems remove bottlenecks that exist 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 opportunities to provide a variety of regular, relevant, and up-to-date information to visitors. Examples include:
- Managing online product catalogs.
- Publishing articles and press releases.
- Maintaining schedules and lists.
- Providing online training.
- 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 be incorporated into any website design and is fully customizable. Equally important, our content management products are easy to use, even for the most tech-wary users.
An exciting development area is using Internet technologies to extend or even transform a company’s business. Companies can bring their business processes online and provide customers and business partners with direct access to their systems and data — creating an entirely new avenue of business as a result of imaginatively using these new technologies. 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 teams, distributors, and others. Online database integration makes updated pricing and other important product information available in real-time, ensuring that out-of-date information will not hamper transactions. When data systems are truly integrated, web-based systems can update other essential business systems in real-time, 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 approach opens up possibilities for direct connection with suppliers’ or customers’ ordering systems, connecting shipping operations with national shipping systems, and sharing data with accounting and tax systems.
Managers can easily administer web-based applications through browser-based tools. Because a browser becomes the primary interface, no additional software is needed to manage critical web applications. And browser-based web apps can be administered at any time from any location, even wirelessly.
For example, a product database in an e-commerce system can be updated by a buyer at a vendor’s location. An executive at a trade show can submit a press release. And a schedule can be corrected 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 ventures. These communities oversee the growth, security, and stability of the products. The software products are then offered 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 fully extensible content management products and are configurable for e-commerce and many other uses. Both are very strong in the market and supported by large developer communities. Both have specific strengths and perform well in their respective lanes. IDS Interactive can design and implement both WordPress and Drupal for various purposes for clients whose needs match up with them.
More About WordPress
WordPress has become an industry standard for full-fledged content management for the masses. Key WordPress features include:
- Search-friendly technologies that make WordPress content easy for search engines to work with, which enhances rankings.
- Built-in search engine optimization tools for entering keywords, descriptions, TITLE tags, ALT tags, and more per page.
- Built-in blogging tools for publishing ongoing, regular content.
- Easy linking to off-site media such as YouTube videos and Flickr photos.
- Mobile-ready “responsive design” reconfigures your website layout to automatically to fit tablets and smartphones of any size.
- Easy-to-use content management tools let non-technical website owners or staff keep sites updated.
- A multitude of software add-ons, called ‘plugins’ created by third-party developers provide wide-ranging capabilities to WordPress sites, including e-commerce.
In addition, because WordPress has become an industry standard, a large and growing group of people with WordPress skills are available to service these sites. And because it is easy to use, companies can train staff to manage WordPress sites in-house.
Contact us to discuss opportunities that leverage web-based technologies »