The benefits of applications in the workplace

The use of applications in the workplace has become more prominent over the past decade. Businesses have been making investments in application development services to help grow their operations, as well as restructure it to be able to compete against rival businesses and in the global market as a whole.

Applications that are developed for operational purposes are very handy to a business as it can aid in smoothening the process as well as increase efficiency and productivity in the business. The use of applications in the business can also drive engagement with customers or other member of the business as you have to understand what their needs are and how to make their processes more efficient by utilising an application. This is important as this will ensure the customer is happy with what they get and that the investment that was made in the development in the application is worth while.

Applications or websites that are built to showcase an organisation or business can help build brand awareness. This is an effective form of advertising your business by giving a detailed description of your business and allowing users to see what services are being offered. By consulting with the developers you are able to style and design the app/website to your own specifications and update it accordingly when required.

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Development Process

Design

Once we’re armed with this information, we’ll set to work sketching out interface layouts for 3-5 different views, including the home page, sub page, the blog template, and any additional templates needed. Wireframes look like simple skeletons of your website without the visual polish of the finished design, allowing us to experiment and iterate on solutions quickly so that we have a good sense of how content should be laid out across different screen sizes.

We recommend having all of your content ready by this stage which will inform the design and make it faster to load the initial content on the development server so content would not hold back the launch. If you would not be able to provide professionally written content by this stage we recommend having our in-house copywriter create the content for you.

Next we will design high-fidelity comps that show what the final designs will look like on desktop, tablet, and smart-phone screen sizes, providing up to two rounds of revisions on the design.

Development

Next we will set to work making your design a reality by building the site using standards-based technology. We’ll build the front-end templates in HTML5, CSS, and use JQuery for simple behavior and effects like animations and form validation.

WORDPRESS Theme Development

We recommend WordPress as your content management system (CMS) so you can update the content yourself. WordPress is the most popular open-source CMS in the world and has thousands of developers constantly improving it and contributing plugins to extend it’s functionality.

We will install WordPress on your server, set up the admin panel for you and then create a custom WordPress theme that will mirror the design we created for you.

Your website will initially contain between 5-10 static pages (ie: pages that don’t change often) including the home page, about us, our services, our team, and contact us. You will be able to add new top level and secondary pages to the site navigation yourself in WordPress. We’ll also set up a blog for you to publish posts that will be displayed in a reverse chronological order with pagination, search, tagging and category filters.

The website will include a social media widget on the home page to display your Twitter feed, social share buttons on your blog posts, a simple email form on your contact page, and an email newsletter sign up form which we’ll hook into your Mailchimp account.

Plugins are a way to extend the functionality of WordPress and make the admin panel easier to manage. We will install a limited number of plugins for launch, which will include a simplified way to manage the navigation, automatically backup the database, SEO tools so you can manage the title and meta description tags, and an XML site-map generator which will help Google index your pages automatically.

Testing

We will test the website in a variety of browsers, including Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer 9. We will also test the responsive design on iPhone and Android devices. We will test the functionality of the site to ensure there are no errors or broken links and then hand it over to you for review on a test server. You will have two rounds of minor revisions or tweaks to the sites, and then we will launch.

Support Retainer

We recommend retaining our services after the site is launched to assist with any further support issues that arise. As part of this retainer, we will provide monthly analytics reports and recommendations to further improve your site conversion.

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Six reasons why it is important to implement a Learning Management System

Why do you actually need a Learning Management System?

In the following paragraphs, we will discuss exactly how a Learning Management System (LMS) contributes to a company. An LMS helps provide optimal support for an implementation process for training, learning and knowledge sharing. The administrative load will be reduced and relationships with employees will be improved. We will discuss below six main reasons why an LMS needs to be considered.

Improved business results

With an LMS, employees are given quick and easy access to all the learning tools that are available. This gives them the opportunity to become better at their jobs.

Employee performance tracking

Offering training is a perfect way to provide employees with essential knowledge. An LMS facilitates the setting of training requirements per job function which allows a company to identify who needs relevant training and information. Alongside this, registering employees and managing teams can be arranged using only a few clicks. With these options, it is easy to ensure that employees have the right skills, while simultaneously monitoring the investment in additional training.

Additionally, you can easily assess whether employees meet the mandatory industry standards. A list of those following a course along with when and where it took place can be printed.

One overview

Perhaps there are different systems used within the company to keep track of training courses. With an LMS, all the information is held in an organized, manageable, secure way and all existing (HR) systems are integrated so that all the data is readily accessible.

Furthermore, employees also benefit from a comprehensive system whereby all courses can be offered directly. This ensures an effective learning environment and reduces the stress levels associated with learning and employee motivation.

More control over employees’ learning processes

Each employee has drawn up his or her own Personal Development Plan, from which learning needs can be derived. These needs are then translated into specific, personalized training.

The results of assignments created can be followed and suggestions or comments given. Likewise, reminders and other notifications can be sent automatically to employees, all resulting in a clear overview and control of the learning process.

Evaluation of learning efficiency

So long as the right reports are created, the success and progress of training can be easily evaluated but drafting the right report is not always easy. An LMS can provide straightforward tools and makes it possible to select the desired format and level. The results can be filtered by, for example, training, department, or group exam. It is also possible to select the type of user and any relevant certification.

Additionally, specific functions automate reporting and the tracking of learning efficiency, so this does not need to be done manually. The result is that you can demonstrate without any difficulties how successful particular training or the progress of employees is.

Cost and time savings

In reality, only large organizations could afford the cost and complexity of maintaining an LMS. However, thanks to improved software, even small businesses can benefit from an LMS via minimal cost-based pricing.

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Why Digital Presence is so Important

Did you know your online presence could make or break your business?
Especially for small businesses. While small businesses don’t have as many resources or as much time to spend on their online presence it is extremely important.

If you want your business to become successful in today’s market, you need to be online. Technology is making it more convenient for customers to shop online, visit a website to learn about a business, or Google location, hours of operation, pricing, what others have said about your business and directions to the business. By the time a prospective customer contacts you they have already decided to purchase your product or service. As quoted by adweek.com “ 81% of Shoppers Conduct Online Research Before Buying”.
So why is digital presence so important?

Visibility –Your small business can’t be everywhere, all of the time. With a digital presence, it can. Your business can be seen by thousands of potential customers in the search engines, on social media and in industry forums where people can learn what your business is about.
Authority –Having a digital presence and using it effectively can make you an authority in your industry. From publishing informative content, to posting demonstration videos, your digital presence can show customers why they should be shopping with you.
First Impression –The first impression the customer gets of you and your business is always the most important. In the real world, we can’t always control the impression we leave with customers as there are so many variables. You can control your online image and the impression customers receive through your digital presence. A premium digital profile and attractive website will get your business noticed and will plant a good first impression in the minds of potential customers.

Not having a website will result in you losing in a whole lot of business. Customers look at your website to determine if they want to choose your services or products to spend products on. This being said, if you have a bad website your business still comes up in a search, but you might come off as sloppy or unprofessional.
If you have been sticking to the old ways of doing business, you could be missing out on a large customer base. Do you want to establish a digital presence for your small to medium or enterprise level business? If so, contact us now and we will assist you.

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5 Reasons Why Email Campaigns Are Still the Most Effective Form of Marketing

Deciding where to invest your marketing budget isn’t a decision you take lightly.
As a business your mission is to attract new customers and keep your existing clients coming back, but you can’t afford to invest time or resources into something that isn’t going to deliver the results you expect.

According to The Radicati Group, “Email remains the most pervasive form of communication in the business world, while other technologies such as social networking, instant messaging (IM), mobile IM, and others are also taking hold, email remains the most ubiquitous form of business communication.”

Say what you want about email being old and outdated, but the statistics don’t lie. Time and time again, email marketing has proven to be one of the most effective forms of marketing for both small and large businesses.

Email marketing is also a very personal way of reaching your target customers. Emails can be tailored to customer actions so that every communication is relevant to their interest. You can cover topics like changes in your company, victories, request feedback to your customer – this list is virtually endless. With 2.5 billion users worldwide, email marketing isn’t going anywhere.

And here’s why:
1. More effective than social media (for customer acquisition)
Social Media is a great channel for interacting with your audience and strengthening your personal relationships with them. And because of that, it is an important first step towards reaching your ultimate goal – the conversion.

But when it comes to converting people into members, customers or supporters, email marketing is the way to go.

A study by Custora from 2013 found that customer acquisition via email marketing has quadrupled in the four years preceding 2013. Email marketing then already accounted for nearly 7% of all customer acquisitions that occurred online.

2. Economic and Cost Effective
For many business owners who are working with limited budgets, email marketing is particularly appealing. That’s because email marketing yields an average ROI of 122%, according to a study from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). It’s easy, effective, and inexpensive.

3 Personal and Customisable
In email marketing, what you’re really doing is segmenting your audience into lists, and sending each list a tailored email message that resonates with your reader and can provide them with something of value (segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue according to DMA, and marketers that use segmented campaigns, have noted a 760% increase in revenue, according to Campaign Monitor). By segmenting your email list, you can easily provide consumers with the personalized experience they crave and increase your conversions in the process.

4. It’s Easy to Track and Measure Success
To get the biggest ROI, tracking and measuring the performance of your marketing campaigns is essential. Some marketing channels can be difficult to measure, but this isn’t the case for email marketing campaigns, like SPOT (http://spotcms.co.za).

Thanks to automated technology, it’s easier than ever to track key metrics, the performance of your segmented lists, and even what devices your subscribers are using to read your content.
Furthermore, with software systems like SPOT, you are even able to track hot leads from each email campaign created and convert them into sales. With all this knowledge, you can adjust your campaigns to maximize your ROI.

5 Mobile devices allow people to check their email constantly
Because mobile devices have become so common, people are checking their emails all the time—in line at Starbucks, during their office commute, in the waiting room at the doctor’s rooms, at the grocery store, everywhere.

Some people think that with the growing popularity of social media platforms, email should be forgotten and may be pushed to the side.
A study in 2016 from mybroadband.co.za reports that in South Africa, almost 90% of people use smartphones to access their emails. This compared to 83% of the people who use their smartphones for social networking.

Not using email as part of your internet marketing strategy means you are missing out on a large channel that a majority of the world uses on a daily basis!

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