Business Focused Internet Systems - Systems and methods that make business sense

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Business Analysis and Proposal

Whether we design a simple Web Site or a complex database-driven, ecommerce system, we start by understanding your business goals and requirements. To do that efficiently we conduct a structured interview with the system’s sponsor (the person who has business responsibility for the system). To get an idea of the sorts of questions we will be asking you, look at the Business Design Meeting Questions. The output of this meeting is a proposal, which specifies the system’s usage scenarios, critical performance criteria, and data flow. The usage scenarios and critical performance criteria help us understand who will use the system, how they will use it, and what the system must do to accomplish your business goals. They also imply a procedure for testing the system (i.e., they define success). The data flow is the starting point for the next step.

Deliverable: Proposal

Database Design

The heart of an e-commerce system is its database. Designing a database is not a job for amateurs. We begin by defining the data base requirements (the data elements, structures, and relationships). We then design a relational, SQL database that meets your business requirements and complies with industry-standard design principles (including Boyce-Codd normal form). Before we go further, we build a prototype database and test our database design to ensure that database can store the data in a typical usage scenario. This procedure gives us a sound database design, which is essential to ensure that your system will be easy to use and economical to program and maintain. Typically, we use Microsoft Access to develop the database so that we can use Microsoft’s upsizing utilities to create the SQL Server database for the development system.

Deliverable: Tested prototype database with test data

Usability Design

A business system must not only perform its business tasks, but also do them in a way that is simple to understand, easy to use, and minimizes human error. To make our system usable, we apply our Usability Design Guidelines. These guidelines reflect: (A) principles articulated by Edward R. Tufte (e.g., Envisioning Information) and Donald A. Norman (e.g., The Design of Everyday Things), and (B) our years of practical experience. We have an established working relationship with Kohn Creative, one of the best ad agencies in the area. Kohn’s graphic design team will not only make your site look great, but our cooperative procedures give you outstanding value for your investment.

Deliverable: Comprehensive Graphic for the Home page and for each type of interior page

Economical, High-productivity Development

We provide the following services for Web Site and Web System development.

Copy Writing

Our technical writers can create text content for your site that both achieves your business goals, and works well on the Web. We can package your message to make it:

  • Structured for interactive viewing,
  • Attractive to search engine indexing-robots, and
  • Organized to have multiple highly relevant entry points for visitors that reach the site from search engine query results lists

Deliverable: Text copy and outline for the site

Search Engine Optimization

We optimize your site’s content and organization so that your site comes up near the top of the list of search engine results. Search Engine Optimization involves much more than choosing keywords. You must select clusters of keywords for each page and use them consistently in your HTML tags (Headings Titles, Alternate Image text, etc.). We use an innovative database-driven technique to generate clusters of key words that will be highly relevant to particular search scenarios.

Deliverable: Optimized HTML for the site’s main entry points (search targets)

Web System Development and Programming

We develop your site using the latest, WC3 standards including XHTML, Cascading Style Sheets, and XML. We use a number of products to integrate the dynamically generated content from your database your site; however, we specialize in Microsoft SQL Server and ASP.NET.

To make our development services a compelling cost-benefit value, we provide software components for and experience in the following.

  • Online Registration
  • E-mail Marketing
  • Product Sales
  • Cross Selling
  • Affinity Marketing
  • Shopping Basket
  • Credit Card Processing
  • Content Update

The first output of this task is a Development System. Before we release the system to our client, we test it using the test data that we defined in the Database Design task. The next output of this task is an internet accessible Test System ready for acceptance testing. The test system is complete with any required domain registration, security certificate, and connection to the payment gateways. We then work with our client to fix any problems that arise during the acceptance tests. When our client authorizes us to make the site accessible to the end users, we consider it a Production System, which is in maintenance mode. Any outstanding balances for development work are due at this point. Deliverables:

Deliverable: Development System, Test System, and Production System

Cost Effective Support

To ensure that your database and web site continue to achieve your business goals we provide the following, ongoing services.

Hosting and Site Promotion

Our Hosting and support capabilities provide.

  • Direct connection to the main East Coast Internet access point (Mae-East) with a backup route to Mae-West, plus redundant routers at the hosting site. Atlantech Online, the company that hosts the Web site for the Social Security system, provides our network facilities.
  • Physically secure facility with card-key access, and monitored 24x7; Air-conditioned 24x7 (temperature maintained at 68 degrees Fahrenheit + or – 5 degrees), Fire Protection: 2 hour fire rating and a dry-pipe sprinkler system at the main facility.
  • Power facilities include two power grids serving the building, a 3-hour UPS, and a backup generator. Staff can switch to backup power with out a service interruption.
  • We provide Technical Support for dozens of active clients who each month rely on our hosting, registration, and payment processing services.
  • Each year many of our customers continue to use our development services for timely enhancements to their Web sites.

Deliverable: Reliable and responsive site operation, even for sites that make extensive use of video

Site Statistics

We provide complete site statistics via the Google Analytics program. Statistics include:

  • Visits and page visits by day
  • Visits by New and Recurring
  • Visits by Location
  • Visits by Source
  • Conversions (Significant events defined in the Business Analysis
  • Top Sources and Top Keywords
  • Top Entrances
  • Top Exits
  • Top Content

We can also monitor your site statistics for you and periodically provide recommendations for improvements.

Deliverable: Google Analytics reports and analysis

Google Ad Words Campaign Management

If you want to attract viewers to your site with pay-per-click search engine ads, we can help. We can: Define cost effective Campaigns and Ad Groups. To do this we will analyze your site, define key word clusters (or use the ones we defined in the Search Engine Optimization task), and use these clusters to set up Ad Groups that have a high relevance score in the Google system. High relevance is critical to getting a high position in the ads list display at a reasonable price. Write effective ads that are effective and compliant with Google Guidelines. We can write ads that qualify customers, i.e., not only attract clicks from good prospects but also deter ad clicks from bad prospects (in order to minimize your total-clicks costs). Monitor your campaign’s performance. We will integrate your ad words campaign into your Google Analytics program and track click through rates, conversions, ad A/B analysis, and ROI. We can also monitor your ad performance statistics and provide ongoing recommendations for improvements that will maximize your ROI.

Deliverable: Ad Word campaign tracking and recommendations


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