Building and running a successful World Wide Web site requires a mixture of design, technology and process skills. It is like a combination of the production of traditional marketing collateral with the added complexity of requiring some custom software development and regular maintenance.

Many organisations will not wish to dedicate scarce resource to this area and would prefer to contract this work to an experienced external organisation, in the same way as they might contract out brochure production or exhibition attendance. This service has been designed to meet this need.

The service is fully customisable and we can offer a complete range of facilities from implementing a basic static system to supporting daily updates and full on-line transaction processing, allowing you to get on with the work of running your core business.

Service Methodology

System Design

      In this initial phase we work with the client to establish the specification of the service. This will include the material to be published, the navigational structure, the screen designs and any custom software development and interfaces required.

The resulting system design is then documented for the client in the form of a service specification and project plan. When approved by the client these documents are used to manage the implentation phase.

Implementation

      During the implementation phase of the project we hold regular progress reviews with the client at which we present the status of the implementation, and discuss any changes that may be required to the specification or timescales.

Also at this time we recommend exposing the initial work to senior management and marketing and sales staff within the client organisation, and potentially customers and distributors, to aid in the final fine tuning of the service and to prepare for its deployment.

Custom Development

      In order to support more than just the basic web functionality, custom development is required. Through this, the service can be made more appealing to customers and more interactive services can be offered. Examples are:

      • tracking users by name and PIN
      • feedback forms
      • on-line ordering and interfacing
      • on-line customer forums
      • user specific page content
      • database lookup (e.g. current stock or price)

The precise nature of the development effort depends on the target host for the system. We either develop the system in house where the service will be run on our host systems or where we have the required skills, or manage the subcontracting of the development to the hosting organisation or other party.

Service Deployment

      Whilst we offer our own range of hosting services, clients are free to choose the organisation they prefer to host the service, which may include the client’s own IT group. The client can either handle negotiation of the hosting services directly, or we would be pleased to handle this on the clients behalf. In either case we would make recommendations as to the type of facilities that should be contracted.

We work with the hosting organisation to plan and execute service deployment. Typically this involves building the entire system off-line and executing thorough testing. At this time an optional pilot or beta test phase can be implemented.

Once the system is thoroughly validated it is made generally available. At this time we will register the new service on the client’s behalf with all the major internet indeces and with the Webmasters of any relevant related systems.

Service Maintenance

      A service that does not develop offers no reasons for users to return. The major benefits of on-line systems is that they can be updated virtually instantly allowing a very dynamic environment to be created. The downside is that this requires new processes to be put in place that often have no analogue in todays organisations. In addition the web is itself a dynamic environment and links need to be constantly checked to ensure service integrity.

We maintain the service, checking integrity regularly and adding, updating and changing material as required. This may be as frequent as daily or only on an “as required” basis. We design the processes required in conjunction with your information managers, and can usually make the maintenance process semi-automatic.

 

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