So, once a company has a web-based business system, what about the 'External' website?
The external website should to be an extension of the web-based system. Whatever business a company does, they ought to be concerned about prospects, leads and customer retention in order to continue to do business. The whole idea of a company website is to drive those leads and prospects into the 'sales funnel', and to provide customers with a communication channel back to the business.
Consider the typical 'Contact Us' page. The Contact Us page 'typically' sends email to a particular sales person or group. There are two major problems with that approach.
Email can fail, or you could miss it (most folks are deluged with emails nowadays.)
There is no tie in to your business system. Your business system ought to have contacts, and some of those contacts ought to have the types lead or prospect. This is accomplished in our new system through the "Human Relations" module.
The contact us page should create a contact in your business system, which would then create a work-flow item for sales to contact the new lead. This way the person trying to contact you goes directly into the sales funnel. Or it may be that a customer has a question, or worse, a complaint. The "Human Relations" system will correlate request to the customer, and will create an actionable item that will go into the work-flow for the responsible customer relations person to handle. This will lead to a much more satisfactory result than a sent email.
For businesses that are happy with their existing site, W3 Systems has a REST service to allow the contact form to push the form request information into the "Human Relations" system.
The cellphone is now a ubiquitous feature of daily life. W3 Systems messaging system could place a notification on the salesperson or account manager's phone, with a link to the actionable item that was generated from the contact page. That way, the salesperson or account manager will know immediately that something needs to be done.
Security is the paramount concern of a web based service offering. The new software stack is being written with a security first imperative. Strong passwords, digital hashes, and email based resets will be used throughout on the new systems. The new database interfaces only allow access to the database through a 'Statement', where data coming from a client is fully vetted. The strongest encryption for privacy and authentication will be used everywhere.
Having dealt with the different SSL providers, and what they charge, SSL creates a mild barrier of entry for small businesses, especially since Snowden's revelations, and the normalization of the encrypted web.
I'll be recommending this provider to all of my customers.
I'll also try to support this non profit as much as I can.
Please consider donating.
The new website is up, after several years of pointing to a static page on w3sea.us.
(More on w3sea as the new framework becomes ready, but work is under way. w3sea.us will use the new code, not the hybrid code used here on w3sys.com.)
The code currently behind this website is a refresh of older code that began development in the 90's which was once described by another developer as "a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a mystery." I really can't disagree with that assessment, but the code works well, has very low overhead, and is conducive to the development of business systems. It's a little less mysterious than it was, and bridges the gap to some of the modern features of HTML5 and CSS3.
I'm currently only taking care of existing customers until the new code base is done. When the new code base is done, I'll be developing SaaS packages for several business domains:
Contact Relationship Management (CRM)
Inventory and Sales Management
Shop Floor Management
Code Development Tools
E-Commerce and Auction Management
I'll also be looking for "user experience" (UX) expertise, developers, and partners with domain knowledge in these or other areas W3 Systems might want to grow into.