Top 3 Benefits of Web Based CRM Software

Web Based CRM Software (such as sales force automation on the web) features a number of benefits when compared to traditional on-premise CRM solutions. The top three benefits are: lower TCO, an accelerated implementation track and improved technical integration capabilities because of its inherent Service Oriented Architecture.

The reduced TCO of online customer relationship management solutions has 2 main drivers: lower implementation cost and reduced operational costs for system and software maintenance. One of the advantages of Sofware as a Service is that the solution is immediately accessible and operational at the moment a subcription license is bought at web based CRM vendors such as Salesforce, Entellium, Netsuite, RightNow and other SaaS companies.

Furthermore, a subscription-based internet CRM application does neither demand costly on-premise IT infrastructure or extensive operational investments to maintain the infrastructure. The lower costs for software maintenance (mainly performed by the SaaS vendor) will have a positive impact on the ICT budget because numbers of in-house IT staff can be kept low. Effectively, the base solution is maintained and operated by the software provider. Only the customizations done by customers beyond the standard solution have to be budgeted for.

The number two benefit is the accelerated implementation of web based CRM software. The moment the customer finalizes the sign-up, the application is available for operational use. It is clear that some basic setup has to be performed to tailor the customer relationship management software to the specific needs of the company, but in essence, the application is ready-to-use and with its standard built-in processes can be made operational in a breeze.

However, we must point out that the apparent ease-of-use can be misleading. It is strongly advised that early on in the process, the business and IT organizations align themselves on the CRM requirements and thoroughly prepare the configuration (and potential customization) of the solution in order to prevent inefficiencies and miscommunication at the moment the web based software suite is available for productive use. The fact that it concerns a SaaS solution does not make any difference to the normal process of software acquisition. And like in all IT implementations, Pareto rules. In other words, 80% of the cost of the software is incurred by 20% of the functionality (additional customizations, integrations and the additional documentation and maintenance that comes with it), so think twice about building additional functionality.

The final benefit, easier integration, is a result of the SaaS architecture. Sofware as a Service applications such as web based CRM software are built on Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) principles which provide a number of benefits such as easier integration and a high level of reusability. The reduced complexity of establishing technical integration is a result of the use of open web standards like web services (functionality provided under the form of xml over the http protocol). Because most of the applications that enter the market (or have recently been released) have built-in support for web technologies, the technical integration of the online customer relationship management solution with other applications is much simpler.

Another advantage of the easier technical integration is found in the field of user productivity. Lately, a lot of model-based rapid application development tools arrived on the market. These tools make it possible to build business applications (so-called mash-ups) through modeling, without having to write one line of code. These tools combined with functionality provided under the form of web services make a powerful combination that can increase the ROI of any online CRM solution.

To conclude, although on-premise business software has evolved a lot in the last of couple of years, web based CRM software has some distinct benefits. It is true that traditional business software vendors have invested heavily in pre-built scenarios that reduce the implementation time (think about the SAP Baseline ERP suite targeted at SMBs) and in the service/web enablement of their applications. However, the business model, operational model and web based software architecture make online CRM a winner and a guaranteed bet on the future.

Web-Based Issue Tracking and Task Management

Making your business run smoothly is a lot easier with the right project management and administration tools. These disciplines revolve around both planning and quick response times to issues as they come up. Tools that help planning (everything from budget analysis tools to project management software) get most of the press when it comes to effective project management. Ironically, it’s the other end of the development cycle – web based task management and issue tracking – where modern software architecture can generate the biggest rewards.

Network based issue management systems have been around since the days of Novell Netware, and have made slow, incremental improvements since then. One of the latest rounds of improvements has been the confluence of virtual private networking and IP networks, coupled with the ubiquity of the web browser. These web based issue tracking systems allow your support staff to offload much of the data entry side of a defect management loop on to the end users.

The usual defect tracking cycle runs through a predictable loop – the end user calls up the engineering team, they discuss what’s going wrong, and if the solution isn’t immediately obvious, it can get escalated to second level support. What web based incident tracking systems allow is for the initial customer to go through a series of question and answer loops covering the basics, while also inputting things like version numbers of software and the like. If the web based support doesn’t solve the problem, the relevant data has already been entered, saving time for the second level support technician.

More advanced forms of web based issue tracking systems put a client out on all of the relevant hardware; this client reports back with full system data to a centralized repository run by your organization.

Once the issue has been logged, including all pertinent information (either by end users entering data, or a software client reporting back to your centralized system), the other benefit of web based incident tracking becomes apparent: Issues can come into a central repository, and be assigned to the relevant technicians by their availability, their level of expertise, or how full their current workload is. As each issue gets escalated or annotated, it’s added to the issue log, which is available to the entire technical services department.

A redacted version of this log can also be made available to your support customers, either by email, or by web login, so that they can see that progress is being made. One of the great slowdowns on IT technical support is that the technicians get asked by customers about the status of pending jobs – and spend enough time answering those questions that the job queue can get unmanageable. By automating this report feature, you can free up both the time for your technicians to solve the issue, and increase transparency on the response loop.

Because these solutions are web based, they also become location independent. This is critical when you’re trying to coordinate the efforts of several staffers over several campuses. Centralizing the reporting solution is a great benefit.

While these software solutions are solid now, there is still room for improvement; most of that innovation is being directed at making the software easier to use for the customers rather than the technicians, so that the customers have an easier time solving their own technical issues.

Function of Project Manager and Web Based Project Management

The project manger has a vital role in the execution of a project. Increasing business demands have made the role of a project manager essential and complex than ever before. A project manger needs to possess certain characteristics.

A project is managed through five process groups. They include initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and controlling. The final step is the closure of a project. The initiation of a project refers to proper and channelised allocation of resources. It is followed by planning. It refers to the identification of the process through which the project has to be executed. During execution, it is the responsibility of the project manger to monitor and look-after each step of the project. Under the supervision of the project manger, the project smoothly moves towards a fruitful closure.

Apart from the responsibilities of the project manager, some influencing factors need to be discussed. These factors include time, cost, and scope. A project manager has to consider, and cope with all these factors at every cost. He/she is responsible for developing an effective and productive project plan. He/she should be able to gain commitment on the project plan. A good project manager knows how to carry out the project with minimised scope creep. To accomplish his/her goal, he/she should be able to develop an efficient project team controlled by effective project control system. Practicing in all these steps, he/she should be able to proceed towards the efficient closure.

Additionally, good communication skills are very important in obtaining, and executing a project. So apart from all the above capabilities, he/she should also possess good communication skills to deal with his/her team, and the stakeholders. Moreover, a project manager should also possess good HR skills. These skills are critical for the efficient management of resources.

Many organisations employ desktop software applications as Microsoft Project and Microsoft excel to mange their projects. They may be helpful, but have some limitations. They are not sufficient for collaboration among many parties. At the least, they can facilitate the sharing of information through emails. Whereas the best service they can provide is through placing the files on the network, from where the team members can share it.

The desktop software project management gives rise to a usual situation known as version control. For instance, if you are frequently updating a Microsoft Project management file, it can raise a lot of confusion regarding the latest version of the file. It may happen that after twenty minutes of discussion between the project manger and the executive, they may find themselves conversing on the two different versions of the project.

The requirements and even the projects themselves are very dynamic, and they change every hour, or every minute. The information delivered through this desktop application is not immediate. In such cases, the data is emailed to the other end after being out-dated. The web based project management system has provided the solution to all these problems. It enables an immediate access to the project information from any browser server in the world at any time of the day. This 100% web based system enables all the project members and executives to view the most recent project information through the centralised database.

Thus, web-based project management software solution compiles all projects, resources and their assignments in one centralised location. However, it should be kept in mind that not all the web-based systems are equal. Before the selection of the web based management system, you should evaluate it based on some of its functions. These functions include the presentation of a cross-project resource allocation report along with the web of all the resources, projects, and tasks. It reviews the report to detect the causes of over allocation, if there. It accounts for the schedules of employees, and sub-contractors as well as the holiday periods, and weekends.

Meet Your Strategic Objectives With Web Based Project Management Systems

Strategic objectives are the objectives that can be achieved over a time of one year; so, basically, these objectives are long-term based. These targets are necessary for an organisation/individual to achieve to make its strategy flourish.

Strategic objectives are much focused, externally. These objectives may be innovation, development of new goods and services, and of skills, and methods required to supply, human resources, selection, and development of employees, etc.

Web based project management systems allow people to achieve their objectives in a very conducive, and concentrated way. Web based Project management systems (WBPMS) is a product that covers many kinds of software including scheduling, cost control, and budget allocation, resource oriented, communication, quality of the management and for the administration systems, which are used to deal with the difficulty of large projects.

Scheduling is the most important tool to achieve the strategic challenges, and the difficulty can be increased, depending on how the tool is used. Some important tasks include events, which depend on one another in different ways, scheduling people to work on, and the resources required by various tasks (commonly termed as resource scheduling), dealing with uncertainties in the estimates of the duration of each task. In many complex schedules, there is a critical path, or series of events, that depend on each other, and whose durations directly determine the length of the whole project.

Web based project management systems provide a lot of information to various project managers, or stakeholders in order for them to understand the progress of the highlighted objectives. These systems can be used to measure, and justify the level of effort required to complete the projects. Some formal requirements may include task lists for people and allocation schedules for resources, scheduling of time for the specific tasks, and timely warnings of any risks to the project. These also may include all the details about workload, holidays planning, evidence, past records on how projects have progressed, and in particular, how actual and planned performance are linked, plus the maximum utilisation of available resources.

Nowadays, web based project management systems are useful as a web application for achieving the targets; these are also accessible through an intranet, or an extranet, using a web browser.

The regular benefits and disadvantages of web based project management systems are various. These are user-friendly, and can be made available on any type of computer, without software installation, easily accessible, naturally multi-user, requiring a single software version, and one-time installation to maintain. They are also centralised data storage, typically slower to respond than desktop applications, project information not available when the user (or server) is offline, and some solutions allow the user to go offline with a copy of the data.

Time has changed now, and people are becoming more and more influenced towards the technology, not the manual things. This technology in one can place has policies about how to tackle the problems, related to their strategic objectives. Therefore, it is the best time to choose the right tools to achieve your objectives.

Web Based Bug Trackers

Tracking and managing computer bugs and errors in the past has been cumbersome and costly to businesses. Communication between all members could not be certain, and therefore the solution process was flawed. Being unaware of a problem or having a problem sent to the wrong team member could not only cost a company money and production, but could also lower customer service satisfaction. With new web based bug tracking software, many of these issues are resolved. Simultaneously, users of the program can submit errors, notify other team members of their progress, and contribute to the solution of the problem. Tracking software easily adapts to track bugs, errors, defects, business issues, enhancement requests, and can even be used as a help desk manager.

There are different companies that provide these services, but they all work generally the same way from a high level. These trackers are web-based, meaning a business must purchase a license for each user whom they wish to use the program. The company then maintains the system and provides customer support to the businesses. Businesses use the software trackers to maintain a database of business-related issues. These web based software programs provide a powerful and efficient tracking tool. The tracking tools are beneficial to technical support, software designers, customer support, and website enhancement. One of the worse things for a business is to have lagging productivity due to computer problems. Without bug tracking software, a business needs manpower hours to manage, organize, and route problems to the correct channels in order to get an enhancement or fix as quickly as possible.

A web-based bug tracking tools reduce cost and provide the same service. End users can submit information about a computer problem or glitch that they have experienced. If a web page is not fully functioning, if their email doesn’t work, or if a program gives error messages these users can use the tracking tool to submit their problems. Software developers and project managers can also use the product internally to manage work flow and projects. Most software can be customized to fit the individual business’ needs. Being aware of the problems and being able to route them effortlessly to the correct personnel can greatly reduce project cost and end user frustration.

These fully web-based tracking software programs ease the burden on project managers by allowing them to fluently categorize and distribute work flow to the proper teams. Automatic routing and instant notification will get projects completed in a timely manner.

Another benefit of using a web based tracker it that businesses can get up-to-the-minute, real-time project information. Team members are aware of the status and can therefore contribute and collaborate to complete the projects more efficiently. Because the tracker also retains and captures a history of the transactions, it is easy to audit the progress and ensures that all bugs and glitches are handled properly. Accountability also makes team members more conscious of the quality of their work, thereby increasing employees effectiveness and productivity.

Finally, some of web based bug software systems are highly customizable making it useful not only for help desk and computer problems, but also can be adapted to track other workflow projects for a business. This added feature expands the possibilities for these web based tracker systems to enhance business in many areas. Because of so various applications, these must have products are not only cost effective, but also facilitates valuable time management benefits for any sized business.