Saturday 26 November 2011

Types of Software Covered by Courses Included in IT Training

Corporate training often includes courses in IT training, with many organizations providing technology training courses designed for both beginners and advanced users. Usually, enterprises utilize office software suits that are relatively easy to use and most users are familiar with their basic functionality because similar software applications are also used by most home users. Nevertheless, corporations cannot rely only on office software suits, with most medium and large-sized enterprises using some kind of customer relationship management (CRM) systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms, billing and accounting software applications, and various other types of business applications. Thus, corporate training should also include IT training, covering the basics of advanced software solutions used within an enterprise and technology training courses are rapidly gaining popularity.

Modern-day operating systems like Microsoft’s Windows, Apple’s MacOS, and Linux use graphic interface that is easy to use and understanding basic functionality of an operating system is easy these days. However, advanced corporate users are sometimes required to get familiarized with advanced functionality of operating systems to be able to operate with functions like access control, advanced networking, etc. Usually, technology training courses start with an introductory lesson on operating systems, and then cover application software, including widespread business software solutions like CRM and ERP systems.

Day-to-day activities of a typical corporate user would not require knowledge of programming languages, although many enterprises still use spreadsheet solutions where familiarity with the basics of programming is advantageous for creation of various macros and other automated tasks and procedures. Corporate training rarely includes courses in programming languages; but many companies organize courses in programming languages in the framework of broader IT training aimed at business users.

Business software solutions cover all kinds of business activities and industries, thus business applications include virtually all software used by enterprises in their day-to-day operations. Some authors include web browsers on the list of business software; although many IT experts would disagree unless a corporation is using web-based software in its business activities. Very often, corporations deal with huge volumes of data collected into databases, therefore many enterprises have to train their employees how to operate with these databases and benefit from analytical tools incorporated in database management software. Decision making software of all types also deal with huge databases, while a good number of training courses covering the basics of CRM and ERP also cover basic database functionality.

Many enterprises have to organize IT training for their employees when implementation of new business software takes place within an organization. While ready to use solutions require little or no training, complex business systems like CRMs and ERPs usually involve extensive training for company’s personnel to familiarize themselves with advanced functionality of such software. Therefore, virtually all reputable software vendors offer technology training courses as part of the implementation process of ERP and CRM software solutions.

Companies use similar software to deal with similar business procedures like billing and accounting, marketing and sales, customer and technical support, etc. On the other hand, most enterprises apply customized business procedures and accepted business processes might differ from best industry practices. Thus, corporate training may involve technology training courses that cover particular aspects of a customized software solution that is used within an industry or custom-made modules that are designed to be used only within the particular enterprise.

In fact, IT training organized in the form of in-house corporate training may cover all and every software application or operating system because contemporary enterprises use a wide range of software solutions that are highly configurable or customizable.

Friday 11 November 2011

Improving Intranet Workflow through Web Portal Development

Corporations witnessed their intranets grow tremendously in the past two decades and web portal development is now an integral part of a complex process of developing corporate portals, designed to improve workflow and provide advanced functionality to employees and customers. During the past years, corporate portal intranet workflow has become increasingly hard to manage, while corporate IT departments were under growing pressure to optimize corporate web portals and offer personalized tools for management of data, information, and applications utilized by users. As a result, today’s web portal development increasingly involves design and implementation of software aimed at corporate users, instead of development of classic web portals intended to serve as entry points to information available on the Internet.

Workflow management within corporations offers numerous challenges to both webmasters and IT professionals, with user-generated content growing rapidly. Therefore, software vendors offer various ready to use and custom solutions to deal with the increasing amount of data, stored in numerous file formats, that is hampering the flawless workflow of business operations. In general, an intranet portal would provide access to variety of corporate applications and information stored in company databases, while personalization offered by such gateways markedly improves the overall efficiency of the system.

The corporate workflow process can be improved by integrating various software tools with an existing enterprise portal, with most corporate portals featuring built-in email, calendar, and scheduling capabilities. Furthermore, many corporate portals, designed by reputable software developers, are highly customizable and configurable, enabling users to personalize views, take advantage of custom modules, and collaborate in a multi-user environment.

Workflow automation is considered an important tool to boost overall efficiency within an enterprise, and web portal software allows creation of personal and group alerts that are triggered if a pre-defined event occurs. In addition, corporate web portals offer virtually unlimited opportunities for creation of templates that automate workflow and do not require extensive knowledge of programming languages.

Web-based portals, as a rule, can be accessed from any location and any type of computer, thus providing improved workflow management abilities, while employees are able to access and modify corporate documents from remote locations at any time. Usually, the corporate data is stored in a centralized data repository, which allows for faster indexing and searching of information and facilitates data backup procedures within an enterprise. Those factors have indirect positive impact on business performance and help reduce the overall costs of running a business.

Some authors claim that security issues might prevent intranet portals from achieving their projected effectiveness. Nevertheless, modern intranet portals utilize web-based technology and applications that allow webmasters to apply highly centralized approach toward security, monitoring and granting/revoking access permissions within seconds. Evidently, the majority of intranet portals that allow users to connect from remote locations could become victims of a targeted computer attack but this is a relatively small price to be paid for having a modern business system.

Overall, web portal development is a growing market for developers offering services to enterprises that plan to boost efficiency through creation and maintenance of intranet portals that also facilitate collaboration within larger corporations.

Monday 7 November 2011

Professional Services Can Secure Successful Implementation of Business Software Solutions

Modern-day enterprises are forced to implement new software solutions and update their applications on a regular basis, which often requires assistance and advice by providers of professional services specializing in professional services consulting. Implementation of new software and modernization of existing software infrastructure requires professional approach involving careful assessment of business processes and procedures applied within an organization. Moreover, an implementation plan should be worked out which should be prepared with long-term business strategy in mind; otherwise, serious post-implementation issues could occur.

Professional consultants can provide valuable assistance when the matter in hand is to design a strategy for deployment of new software or tweaking of existing software solutions to meet new business realities. A third party consultant can offer solutions that are fine-tuned within the specific context of a company business, and provide support for staff training and implementation of best industry practices. Some customer relationship management (CRM) systems and enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms feature built-in best practices functionality, however, these systems often require further configuration or customization to be conducted. Thus, an external consultancy company can offer both non-standard approach to issues and demands of business customers, while incorporating best practices within an existing or newly implemented system.
Sometimes, business software requires redesign that can result in implementation delays and poor post-implementation usability, therefore careful planning and evaluation of company requirements and needs should be conducted prior to deploy any business software. For example, integration of new software into existing business systems can secure visible benefits like reduction of overall costs of running a business, improved efficiency and increased customer satisfaction. On the other hand, poor integration can produce undesired effects, wiping out the positive impact of software implementation.

Software vendors tend to offer complex business solutions that cover various business processes, from billing and accounting, to marketing and sales, to customer and technical support. Selection and deployment of the most suitable business solution therefore requires professional advice and detailed due diligence of underlying business strategy and core business processes.

Typically, implementation of sophisticated CRM and ERP systems can take months and even years, when deployed within large enterprises. The process should be closely watched by software experts who are experienced in the field of business software implementation and possess expertise to make the necessary adjustments in the software configuration to secure flawless performance of all systems. Evidently, business software deployment is a time-consuming process while most enterprises lack expert resources and means to complete successfully implementation of complex systems that feature various modules, with each of them requiring to be configured accordingly.

In general, deployment of complex and efficient business software solutions requires significant investment, a financial effort during which professional services provided by expert consultants can markedly lower implementation and post-implementation costs through careful assessment of existing and applicable solutions.