How bespoke cloud apps could propel your business

  With so many cloud applications flooding the market it can hard for business owners and IT managers to compare and decide what solution is right. In general you’ll find that applications that try to do everything, do everything poorly. And applications which provide a niche solution for operations such as project management, or customer relationship management, simply leave users frustrated that integrations […]

Mark Probert

Digital Strategy Director
·5 min read (1202 words)

 

With so many cloud applications flooding the market it can hard for business owners and IT managers to compare and decide what solution is right. In general you’ll find that applications that try to do everything, do everything poorly. And applications which provide a niche solution for operations such as project management, or customer relationship management, simply leave users frustrated that integrations into their accounts system or other legacy systems are complex or simply not possible. Or that the system is just too generic and can’t be customised to their requirements and way of working.

We have had the same issues here at Newicon HQ as everyone else, so a few years ago we set about building our own system (we call it the ‘Hub’) to manage the key areas of our business; from our communication systems to our project management and everything in-between. Quite an undertaking for a busy company intent on producing great apps for our clients, let alone ourselves! However, we wanted to practice what we preach, even if it did mean some additional effort, frustration and inevitable teething issues along the way.

Three years on from our initial ALPHA project management system we are edging ever closer to a product we can be proud of. It’s still in BETA and evolving, but we know our product will never be finished as things inevitably evolve as our business and the world around us changes – and that’s precisely the point. By creating a flexible framework and excepting the system may not yet be perfect we stay agile. This is a good thing, as it enables us to move the business in new directions, fast. This gives us a competitive advantage over our competitors, as we are way ahead of the smaller outfits in terms of our process management and supporting technologies, but yet far more agile than the larger corporate competitors.

I’d like to share some of our tools with you, and whilst these applications aren’t yet production ready for your company, hopefully they provide a taste for what bespoke software could do for your business. It’s a journey of discovery and one that can produce amazing results and provide your business with a competitive edge, enabling you to run leaner by automating key processes across all aspects of your business, whether that be sales and marketing, assembly line management, or project management within a service business like ours.

Here’s our top FIVE app modules, as used by ourselves, that might help your business in 2015…

1. Hosted CRM and Phone system

What can it do? Well, put simply everything your existing phone system can and then some, plus it will save you considerable money on your phone bills. What’s more we have integrated the phone with our custom CRM address book, to provide a seamless and time saving user experience.

Features include:

2. Project Management SYSTEM

What can it do? Manage all aspects of your internal and client projects, from financial information through to job management and staff scheduling. This system provides the tools and information to allow a business to run more efficiently and profitably.

Features include:

 3. KNOWLEDGE BASE (WIKI)

What can it do? Allow your staff to share their experiences with co-workers. Solved a complex process or repeatedly articulating to co-workers some important information? Well, then create a new article in the WIKI and allow users to share the knowledge and improve efficiency across your organisation.

Features include:

 4. HR System

What can it do? All business need to keep a track of staff details, holidays, reviews and the alike. We’ve developed a simple module to manage staff holiday and keep track of important and confidential credentials.

Features include:

5. Accounting SYSTEM (integrations)

We currently use Kashflow to manage our business finances. Like Xero and other well known cloud accountancy applications Kashflow, for which we are a trusted and recommended development and integration partner, provide a fantastic API. This means we can pull critical financial information into our project management system and also send information, such as for invoicing purposes back to Kashflow.

Features include:


I'm Mark Probert

Digital Strategy Director at Newicon

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