Caspio has proven to be a good source of revenues and new opportunities for IT consulting firms. About 25% of Caspio’s new accounts are created by firms who value-add their own services to the Caspio platform. These professionals fall into two categories, creative firms and developers:
Graphic designers, advertising agencies and public relations firms use Caspio solutions to provide value-added services to their clients and complement their core services. Caspio gives them the simplicity and cost-effectiveness that was never available. Typical scenarios include:
- Bid on entire projects rather than just the design aspects.
- Enhance core offering such as ad agencies who now bundle lead generation into creative design services.
- Profit from signing large and complex projects and outsourcing them to Caspio’s quick and cost-effective Professional Services.
Developers on the other hand have realized that with Caspio they can expand their business without adding new headcounts or incur additional costs. They benefit from their relationship with Caspio in several ways:
- As a new tool in their toolbox that is applied to relevant projects.
- An easy way to increase business volume by building apps faster than before.
- Deploy Caspio’s ready-made solutions to their clients to generate recurring revenues.
- Create “application templates” that can be easily customized and deployed again and again for new customers.
We are expanding our programs for consultants in the coming months with services designed to help them succeed with less effort. However, the time to expand your consulting business with Caspio is now. Information about Caspio’s current programs can be found at http://www.caspio.com/partners/.
A good friend of mine Tom Taulli kindly quoted me on his blog about Google Apps. There is a lot of opinion out there on whether Google can chip away some market from Microsoft Office.
With its extremely wide reach in search, Google’s app offering is bound to have a lot of users.
But is it going to win you and I? I doubt it. For one, I do my computer use on my office desktop, home desktop, or on my laptop. I have Microsoft Office on all these machines and I depend on Office’s performance and richness. If you take Microsoft Office away from me, I simply go for the free and powerful Star Office. Version 8 is really nice. In fact I’m tempted to go for it anyway.
Despite what Google says about the penetration of its apps in small businesses, they are targeting the MySpace generation. The generation who’s main computing device is a mobile phone.
You don’t need Microsoft Office for word processing on a phone. Google Apps fit the bill perfectly. Overtime the same users are going to take Google apps to the workplace.
Microsoft, being an excellent follower these days, will surely come up with a similar offering soon. The question is will the market go with the leader or the follower?
Choosing not to “program” your next software project might be a very smart decision. Here is why:
1. Time to market
Writing code one line at a time is not the fastest way of bringing a new idea to life. Companies using Caspio Bridge see at least 80% reduction in their app development timeline when using Caspio Bridge. For IT department it’s time that can be devoted to other tasks. For business manager it’s good business practice and faster deployment. And for independent consultants it’s pure profit.
2. Improved quality
Crafting code is half art and half science. It is error prone the same way it can be ingenious. On the other hand, auto-generated apps are consistent day after day. As the same system generates large number of apps everyday, it receives a level of scrutiny and utilization that custom apps rarely get. As a result potential problems are identified and addressed quickly ensuring high quality and reliability standards.
3. Ease of change
The most dreaded task in the software development profession is changing someone else’s old and usually undocumented code. In many cases it’s easier to rewrite the program again than to change it. In contrast, changing Caspio Bridge apps is through the same wizards used to create the app in the first place. All previous selections are preserved and can be easily tweaked and modified.
Not all app categories are a good match for Caspio Bridge capabilities, however many are. If in doubt, let our trained solution advisors help you decide whether your project can benefit from Caspio’s app creation platform.
Most web hosting companies give their customers a CGI for email forms. You make a form and use their CGI to have the submissions emailed to you.
There are two major problems with this approach. The first is that with most of these CGIs your email address is in the source code of the form and accessible to email harvesters. If you have one of these forms on your site, chances are your email account is full of junk.
The second problem is that all your submissions are in your email folders and unless you manually cut and paste your emails to a database your submissions are scattered among hundreds or thousands of emails.
You can have both of these problem solved with Caspio Bridge. Forms created with Caspio Bridge never contain your email address, even if you have configured them to send you notification emails. Furthermore, since all you submissions are stored in your Caspio Bridge database, you can destroy your notification emails knowing that at any time you can run searches and reports on your database or export your data.
The success and efficiency of your company is largely dependent on your systems and processes. Caspio Bridge gives you the most critical tool for your business web site, and the SOHO accounts are completely free.
At Caspio, we come across many small businesses that either don’t have a web presence at all or are not satisfied with what they have. I have a seven-step guide to help the small company move its business online. It shows how to business-enable a small company web site.
- Setup a web site. Go with a brand-name hosting company but initially select the most basic package. You can always upgrade.
- Use your web host’s site builder. If their’s is not that great, check out Site Kreator which works with all web hosting services. Unless you are a web designer, don’t even attempt at designing a web site. Go with a pre-designed template without being too picky. Instead put your effort on your site’s content. Make it action oriented so people want to buy from you or contact you. Remember your site is your least expensive salesperson but can do wonders.
- Start doing business on your site. If you’re selling hard products, setup a catalog and shopping cart. You may need to upgrade your hosting package to get a shopping cart. If you sell services or capture leads, use Caspio Bridge to collect inquiries in a web-based database. We have a few ready-made apps that may fit the bill just fine. Give our support people a call.
- Don’t stop there. Use Caspio Bridge to track and follow up with your leads. Our light CRM app supports unlimited users. Plus, it’s totally customizable. This CRM will be the basis of your own Intranet where you and your employees access company databases. A free Caspio Bridge SOHO package includes both items 3 and 4 at no cost.
- Use Caspio Bridge to setup additional services for your customers, such as order status/tracking, support and service inquiries. Understand that you can offer great customer service through your web site to save yourself time and money while keeping your customers informed and happy.
- Generate traffic. Use SEO and keyword advertising. But even more important, make sure your web site address is on all your material, including traditional ads, direct mail, business cards, letterheads, etc.
- Give it time. It will take a while for your web site to take off. Have patience. Use it as your business tool and look at it as the focal point of your customer activity. Keep it fresh and up to date. This will ensure you continue building and improving it, which ultimately serves your customers.