March 1, 2016

Portals and Websites

Denver Web Developers with a Focus on Custom Solutions

A company’s website is the world’s window into an organization and should accurately represent the essence of the mission, goals, culture and operations. Not only should it be appealing from a visual standpoint, it needs to function flawlessly from a usability and performance standpoint on a desktop, tablet or mobile device. Quality sites can’t simply function as digital brochures; they must attract visitors and engage new and loyal customers. This holds true for public sites, company intranets and secure extranet portals.

Custom web solutions deliver the functionality and the appeal companies need to uniquely thrive in a global digital market. From leveraging the keywords used to attract new viewers when searching, to delivering the exact content users are looking for, to completing financial transactions online, a custom solution will always outperform and provide greater value than a site configured from a generic website builder. While many startup companies will turn to off the shelf website builder software, expanding organizations quickly come to understand the limited functionality and value when it comes to integration with other software and enhanced functionality that is needed to adapt and grow.

WordPress and other leading content management systems (CMS) provides easy to use functionality when it comes to administration and straight content updates. If however, your organization is transacting business online with growing volume, and has integration requirements to other back office, ERP, or data sources, you will want to create a custom web solution. Your organization will benefit from breaking away from the overused templates that actually handcuff organizations.

We Begin by Understanding Your Needs

Brainspire consultants begin each client relationship and project by listening to your business goals and challenges, understanding your unique technology environment, getting to know the capabilities of your staff and proposing a solution that will meet your immediate and future needs. There are times when creating a website or intranet portal with a proven content management system provides the greatest value, typically with a buy and extend solution, while other situations will require a custom solution. We realize that you know your business best, and it’s our job to understand your needs. Our consultants have been engaged on hundreds of unique web projects, and because of that, we can apply a variety of successful approaches to your unique situation to create the ideal solution for your website, intranet or extranet needs.

Who Needs Access?

Public websites are open to the everyone and should be easily found through keyword searches and search engine optimization. Many organizations however, have a need for a secure site or application such as a partner or member portal or “extranet”. These sites require login credentials to access special and focused information available only to authenticated users. Targeting users even further, “intranet” sites can be secured for employee use only. While the tools and approach are generally the same whether you’re creating a new public website or a secured site, special attention needs to be taken to provide access to the right user – and provide the correct targeted information based on their credentials. Brainspire has experience creating both public and secured sites for credentialed users based on the business needs of an organization.

How Secure Does the Data Need to Be?

If you’re transacting business online, or even just collecting information from your users, examining your security model must be a top priority. While malicious data breaches capture the headlines and bring devastating lawsuits for a company, simply exposing the wrong data or information to an unintended person can have equally harmful consequences. For instance, imagine the impact on profits should your proprietary product or go-to-market information be accessed by hackers through your partner extranet.

Further, almost all organizations are subject to regulations and audits of some sort. Having the proper level of security and traceability is a must to meet regulatory guidelines.

Admittedly, not all data needs to have the same level of security. Some data needs to be highly secure and requires extra layers of authentication and monitoring. Other less critical information can be protected more easily and with a lower investment. Our customers typically know their data, the sensitivity level of this information and the level of security needed. Brainspire consultants have the technical skills and expertise leveraging best practices to design and build public and private sites that meet each client’s unique security needs.

What Functionality is Required?

Every public and secure site will have some common functional requirements. For instance, every site needs an easy way to update and manage content, offers and graphics. New content should be easily created and published by those creating the content, not software developers. This is where leveraging a proven content management system (CMS) will provide basic out of the box functionality with little investment. In addition to basic backend usability, ALL websites should be easy to navigate on a mobile device. If your site isn’t mobile friendly through responsive design, it’s absolutely time for a new website.

Conversely, most businesses have some unique functional requirements for their public and secured sites that wouldn’t be accommodated by an off the shelf solution. Perhaps your organization is aggregating information from other sites and displaying the results? Or maybe your site is collecting customer information, integrating this data into a CRM system and offering deals based on their past buying habits? The point is that growing, creative and thriving businesses have unique functional requirements that can separate your business from your competition if done correctly.
If you have some new ideas and unique functional requirements, share them with us. Brainspire excels at capturing your requirements, then developing and deploying web-based software solutions that meet your exact needs. We typically develop these solutions using an iterative process, meaning we can develop and release features in small increments as needed – building a more robust solution on a solid foundation to make sure you have a greater return on your investment.

What Integrations are Needed?

Even if your business is only publishing a simple “brochure-ware” marketing-type website, integration with other software can provide business advantages. For instance, most customers will want the analytics around who is visiting their site, how did they find the site, where did they click, how long did they stay and are they a new visitor or current customer. Using even the most basic data collected can provide valuable insight.
Most public sites and all secured intranet and extranet sites perform advanced functions needing integration to other backend applications or databases. Typical integrations include Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, financial / ERP systems, payment processing software, workflow and supply chain software, and a variety of custom applications and databases (both internal and 3rd party Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions). Brainspire builds custom solutions to integrate your web portals into the backend software that drives your business by leveraging existing APIs or building custom web services to meet your exact needs, eliminating the need for any manual data entry.

Custom Intranet Portals

Brainspire creates secure, intuitive, branded and searchable intranet solutions for efficient content creation and storing / retrieving key information (i.e. reports & dashboards, documents, presentations, video) for all business units including HR, Finance, Sales and Marketing, Legal and Operations.

Secure Extranets

Using web development technologies and best practices for security, Brainspire develops private websites and secure web applications to share information and drive operations with suppliers, vendors, partners, select customers and member groups.

Website Development

Brainspire develops public facing websites to attract visitors with key content, blogs and search engine optimization (SEO), capture and analyze visitor information that contributes to lead generation and pipeline management, and engage customers with relevant information, social site integration, and full ecommerce solutions. Brainspire is not a design firm; we are a development firm. We develop sites that are performance rich and can partner with your internal marketing department or a 3rd party design firm to implement the look and feel that best represents your company.