How Much Effort does Web Content Management Save?

There was once a time when a “web presence” may have meant a static HTML site with a few dozen links, a few banner ads, and a guest book. Now with the rich capabilities of modern devices, high speed internet and wireless networks, and a web economy that is based on traffic as much as it is based on direct sales, a website must be as dynamic as the modern online world. The number of technologies for building web technology (Javascript, Flash, MySQL, CGI,  PHP, Perl,  XHML, Python, JSP, JSF, Ajax, the list goes on and on)  is quite staggering, but the commonly occurring needs of an organization or a web business are usually centered on serving up pages or descriptions of items complete with imagery to the visitor. Furthermore, the explosion in social media has led to a need for greater networking and plug-in capability with the large well known sites. Let us break down what it would take to achieve a developer from scratch what is achieved by a web Content Management System (CMS).

A static website, one that simply displays text or images, is very easy to build with just knowledge of HTML or CSS, and more advanced websites can be created with Dreamweaver and other software suites. Updating these pages can be done manually, but doing so gets extremely time-consuming as a web page grows. A combination of PHP, JavaScript, and other technologies can make the user experience more interesting and cut out the ease of updating, and plugging into a backend database system such as MySQL can give the site much more value and cut down the cost to maintain given some initial development time. This is essentially the work that a ready-made CMS provides, and most can be installed with a single click and can take an experienced designer around $300 and a week of work to into professional shape.

However, there are circumstances in which a site developed from scratch may b e preferable, such as when the site provides an interesting and unique service that can’t be built easily with the templates offered by a CMS. In this case it could take months to develop a system similar in complexity to what a CMS provides. However, the issues that really make a CMS system shine through are maintenance and search engine optimization (SEO). Security, updates for the latest operating systems and mobile devices, and plug-ins for improved features and social network support are all developed by third parties, allowing the web developer and content manager to focus simply solely on maintaining the content. The cost and time savings during the operation of the site could be enormous and there should be as little down time as possible. As far as SEO is concerned, the techniques are numerous and a designer who chooses to work from scratch must be aware and able to implement all of them, but web CMS platforms are all pretty much optimized for SEO as far as th e design and framework portion of it is concerned.

Is a CMS the right web solution for you?

Intranet Software Providers: Which One Should You Use?

When choosing intranet software providers to manage and update your systems, you may find yourself overwhelmed at the magnitude of providers to choose from.  One such intranet software provider is Claromentis.  They pride themselves on creating powerful workspaces that are not only great to use, but improve productivity within the framework of your business.  The build of the Claromentis intranet software is more than an information system.  It provides a platform for the workplace community to openly collaborate ideas in real-time with an online interface.  The design is geared towards fulfilling all of your company’s goals through extensive experience and expertise.  Some of the features of this intranet software include:

  • A document management system, which employs an enterprise-level document management software.  It provides a very large number of features to increase business management including indexing, tagging, workflows and record types.  In addition, the document management system comes complete with “version control.”  This allows for multiple users to work on a document while preserving the integrity of each, separate update.
  • Social networking has become very important within nearly every industry.  The Claromentis software comes complete with an innovative social networking application.  With the corporate social networking application, employees can post comments and share ideas instantly within the corporate community.  The social networking application also allows organizations to select their preferred level of social interaction.
  • The “people application” is another innovative approach to incorporating a social element to the corporate world.  This application securely stores and displays relevant personal information for each employee.  The employee database allows for easy search of each employee within the corporation along with the secure stoarge of information relating to the employee.
  • The Claromentis software also uses an advanced and powerful search engine to easily explore every aspect of the intranet.  Intranet administrators also have the power to adjust the intranet search results to improve the user’s experience.  In addition, if the user is unable to find the specifc information requested, the user can can submit a Search Request that immediately notifies the system administrator with the original search term, name of user and orginal comment.

 

Tips for selecting an intranet software provider

If you have spent the time researching about intranet and the benefits it can provide for your business, the next logical step is to learn about intranet service providers.  If you have determined to set up an intranet for your business and employee use and need some assistance selecting an intranet software provider, here are some tips to guide your decision:

  • Choose a provider who has a long track record.  You want to select a provider who has been in business for some time, with a proven record of expertise among various industries.  Particularly, you want them to have experience with your business industry.  Having a varied experience will enable them to provide you with a customized solution to your business needs.
  • Select a provider who is capable of immediate installation.  Someone who has an implementation date that’s far in the future is someone who won’t have time to immediately solve any problems that arise for you in the future.  While you might think a busy provider is one who is experienced and popular, it could simply be a sign of being over worked or lack of business time management skills.
  • Your provider should require little to no assistance from your staff.  The purpose of hiring a provider is to free you from the time obligation and save some money in the long run.  Utilizing your staff wastes employee time and your money as they are unable to complete the job tasks they already have.
  • A good provider can provide you with a cost analysis over the years.  They should be capable of working with you to find a good solution for now, and help predict future needs you might encounter.  These costs should be somewhat predictable in nature and will help you project your business cash flow.
  • For most businesses, security is a top concern.  Your provider should be capable of addressing to your satisfaction any security concerns you may have.

No matter who you select, consider price, security and expertise into the equation.  Doing so will have you with a provider you can trust and rely on for any problems that might arise over time.

Avoiding Common Document Management System Implementation Traps

Document management systems make the management of data across organizations hassle free. The automated processes of document management systems take care of important information of your organization. However, you need to choose and implement any solution astutely to reap the benefits of this system. Many organizations are not able to utilize the true benefits of a document management system because of the flaws in choice and implementation of a document management system. Let us discuss some of the most common document management system implementation traps and mistakes.

1. Not involving end users in system selection and implementation process:

A lot of failed implementations of document management systems are a result of this mistake. Organizations ignore the views of end users in choosing and implementing a document management system. This results in unfitting priorities, flawed planning, inadequate training and no value addition in the organization.

All the potential end users from different departments should be involved in the process of research, planning and implementation of a document management system. If you only involve managers and ignore the end users, then you are making a big mistake. The management will not use the system on a day to day basis. It is the administrative staff, legal staff and other relevant users that will use the system all the time. Therefore, make them part of the selection, implementation and training processes if you want an ultra-successful implementation of the system.

2. Assigning the selection and implementation responsibilities to the IT department:

Most organizations leave the choice and implementation of document management systems on IT personnel. There is no doubt about the fact that IT department plays a vital role in choosing and implementing any system. However, they are not the end users. A document management system is a tool for business and relevant departments should be given every chance to take part in the analysis, design and implementation of this system. In this way, the system will provide utmost benefits to the business.

3. Underestimating the work load during the implementation of a new system:

This is one of the most common mistakes made by the managers and supervisors during implementation of new systems, including the document management system. In the context of document management system implementation, most managers are unable to estimate the work load during the transition to a new system. This may result in chaos as the deadline of transition from old system to new system approaches.

The employees might need to work over time to process decades of documents during the final stages of the implementation. Contracts and legal documents are no joke. They will need proper care in handling and temporary staff or clerks may not be the right personnel to do this critical job during the final stages of implementation of a new system. Therefore, it is very important that managers and subordinates do not take the implementation and transition process lightly. They should allocate proper time and resources for ensuring smooth transition.

4. Underestimating the training needs of employees.

Nobody likes change and it is unwise to expect that employees will gleefully start using a new document management system from Day One. Employees will need proper guidance and training before they can use the system as expected. The best approach would be to introduce the new system in few departments at one time. This way you will be able to train the employees properly. Start with the departments that are expected to use the system extensively.

Remember, people are change resistant. So, you should start the training by highlighting the advantages of the new system. Then, you should also explain the document flow process to your employees in a detailed way. This will help them understand the importance of a new tool and they will take interest in learning and adopting the new system. If you involve your employees form the beginning, then this move will also help you in smooth transition. You should also note down the feedback from the end users and incorporate changes in the early stages of implementation. This will help you avoid frustration in the final stages.

A successful system implementation is the one that is driven by the employees and not the other way round. Therefore, it is important that your employees feel comfortable during the whole process of implementation of a document management system. This will help you get the most out of the brand new document management system in your organization.

Web Content Management: A Few Dollars Spent Now For Many Gained Later

Do you often wonder if the content on your website is something that your viewers are actually going to be able to use? If this is a serious concern that you have most of the time, then you absolutely need to start looking into web content management.

A management system that helps you to control the type of data that appears on your site is something that enables you to control the flow of information that is appearing on your site. You may have a content rich site that you need to make sure maintains some level of consistency to it, and this is what the management system does for you.

An article on the topic from Hyland.com states:

A good web CMS should be intuitive for your users. It should give content writers the ease of creating and updating content on their own, freeing up web developers and SEO managers to design and tweak the system. It should be a collaborative system, allowing authenticated users the ability to edit, design, post and publish quickly and easily.

Clearly, the use of content management helps to take one more thing off of your mind while you are worried about the million other things that you have to think about as a business manager.

The use of outside sources to help you make sure that your website is great for customers is clearly an investment that you should make. Just for a little bit of money you can have a much improved service for those who help you to maintain your business in the first place.