The purchase of software or the order creation of a dedicated system is a decision you make based on the experience and quality of the IT company’s offer. This article will present what the customer path in Kotrak looks like and how important it is to ensure high quality IT service and customer care.
IT support for companies is a process based on several key stages, ensuring high quality of service. In Kotrak, we provide our clients with comprehensive IT services at every level, guaranteeing them a sense of security and control over the project commissioned to us.
In our article we will discuss the following issues:
- IT consultation with the client
- Pre-implementation analysis
- IT system design – step by step
- Programming and system testing
- Implementation of an IT system in a company
- Technical support and constant software development for the needs of the company
IT consultation with the client – what does it look like?
The stage initiating cooperation with the client in Kotrak is called IT consulting. This is the moment when we collect information about your needs and expectations, and based on them we prepare the presentation of a solution that best meets these requirements. While creating an offer, we use among others the support and experience of our implementers. This is an important element that allows us to present you with the most optimal and comprehensive solutions for your company from the very beginning.
We perform a preliminary analysis of client’s needs based on a series of questions.
They allow us not only to clarify your needs, but also to understand the nature of your business. This is very important because the software we offer is a tool that will grow with your company, supporting departments and business processes (current and future).
The questions we ask our clients include:
- What functionalities should the system have? What should the software be responsible for? What departments or business processes will it support?
- What is the delivery time?
- How many users will use the software?
- Has the company already been using any software? If so, what kind of software and do you plan to integrate it with the new system?
- Is the new system going to replace other IT software? If so, are you planning to migrate data?
- Will the system support one or several companies? If so, we can use the so-called ‘multi-company’ function.
- Should the program have different language versions?
- Is there a need to create software using a specific technology?
- How do users connect with the software? Through a server, internet or mobile devices? In other words, should the application be desktop, mobile or web? Or maybe 3 in 1?
At the very beginning, it is also important to determine what kind of software interests the client – is it a dedicated system or a box solution? It is worth noting, however, that ready-made software does not exclude the possibility of introducing dedicated programming add-ons.
You may find that a standard ERP system is not enough for your business. To avoid the costs associated with the preparation of a new system, you can use the option of creating dedicated add-ons by our programmers. With them, the box software will be tailored to the individual needs of the company – in less time and at a lower cost.
It is also worth asking the question: should the system work in the cloud? While the costs of implementing such a solution do not differ from other implementations, the subscription paid for this service takes into account the rights to new versions of the system. This means that you will not have to pay extra for subsequent updates, thus ensuring the continuity of work on the program. In the cloud model you also gain access to the system from anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in putting software on a server, our consultants can also help you with this.
Once we have gathered all the information relevant to us, we prepare the presentation of a solution that we think will best meet your expectations and needs.
If there is box software, then:
- we will present its operations to you
- we will indicate which modules will work best in your business
- we will show how the system will help you in optimizing business processes
- we will, if needed, propose dedicated add-ons, complementing the system and tailored to the individual needs of your company
Presenting you with a dedicated system:
- we will present similar solutions that we have made for other clients
- we will indicate functions that will improve the operation of your business
- we will prepare preview mock-ups to illustrate the initial appearance of the system
- we will show step by step what our process of creating a dedicated application looks like
When IT consultations are completed and a cooperation decision is made, we go to the next stage, the aim of which is to prepare the system implementation in detail.
Pre-implementation analysis – how is it carried out?
A pre-implementation analysis is the IT analysis of client’s business needs. During its course, we analyze the situation of your company and what IT tools will best improve its processes. Of course, the nature of such analysis depends on the type of software you choose – dedicated or boxed.
The IT business analysis for a dedicated application is nothing more than preparing a functional project for this solution. It contains a detailed description of the following:
- software functionality
- system architecture
- technologies used in it
- the appearance of the user interface
Based on these findings, the system is designed, programmed and implemented at further stages.
The pre-implementation analysis of ready-made software focuses primarily on preparing the program configuration for the needs of your company. During its course, we determine the details about how the system should work and what to do, namely:
- what processes it should support
- which company departments will work on it
- whether programming add-ons are needed
It is worth noting that in the case of ready-made IT solutions, we distinguish types of analysis such as:
- domain analysis – based on examining the needs and working methods of company areas, e.g. accounting, warehouse, production, sales, logistics, etc.; software functionalities are tailored to the individual requirements of the department.
- process analysis – the subjects of the audit are the business processes taking place in the company; this analysis includes elements of domain analysis, however, it focuses on a specific path that may cross several company departments, e.g. the process of ordering, manufacturing and sending a product.
The choice between domain and process analysis depends on the nature of the software. In other words, it decides whether the system offers more modular solutions or business process path management.
Regardless of the solution chosen, IT analysis can also include:
- definitions of system dictionaries – different types of dictionaries in the program, e.g. a dictionary of payment types, which includes terms of payment methods – cash, transfer, prepayment, etc.
- information on data migration – what data is to be migrated and from which systems?
- description of planned integration with other systems and devices.
During analytical work, a schedule of future activities is created, already broken down into individual stages. It is a work plan for both our implementation team and people cooperating with us in your company. It allows us not only to set deadlines for introducing further changes, but also to provide you with information, data or consents allowing for the transition to the next stage of work. This is a form of securing the smooth implementation of both sides.
We usually carry out IT analyses based on the Waterfall model. This is a type of methodology whose main goal is to create a detailed pre-implementation analysis, which is a strong foundation for further programming work. We use it in both business analysis of dedicated software and box systems.
We collect information for analyses based on conversations with management and the pertinent employees of your company. We carry out an IT audit to not only understand the processes taking place, but also to learn about the business needs and development directions of your company. Based on these messages, we prepare a flexible tool that will streamline current operations and will develop and adapt to the new needs of your business in the future.
The IT analysis phase takes about 6 weeks. After its completion, we consult it with you, discussing applications, answering questions and explaining planned actions if necessary. It often turns out that the original assumptions change during the analysis. New needs come to light , thus new solutions are presented to improve your business.
When the analysis stage is completed and the IT solution you choose requires programming work, we move on to the next phase of operation.
Step by step designing an IT system
After creating and accepting the work schedule, we start designing the IT system. Creating our dedicated solutions, we use various methodologies which we tailor individually to your needs. Their selection is determined by the degree of involvement of you and your team in the application preparation process.
We can conduct cooperation with the following methods:
- Waterfall – also called traditional methodology; all work is based on a detailed action plan and subsequent actions; in other words, our developers are working according to the set schedule, and you and your team are testing and accepting ready system modules.
- Agile/Scrum – creating applications in accordance with this method is based on programming work in the so-called sprints, i.e. short, measurable stages, during which you have constant insight into the progress of activities; this practice allows you to implement your comments in earlier software development stages.
Depending on which method of work you choose, you can always count on the full support of our specialists. They will answer your questions and explain any unclear points.
It is also worth noting that we create our projects in accordance with the assumptions of UCD (User-Centered Design). In other words, we make sure that the visual side of the user interface is easy to pick up. When designing systems, we pay close attention to the UX (User Experience) guidelines, because we are aware that intuitiveness in using the system has a significant impact on both the comfort of work, as well as its level and speed.
An important element of designing a dedicated IT solution is also the selection of appropriate technologies. It depends upon the nature of the system – that is, whether it will work desktop, mobile, web or a combination of all three options. Another key element in this selection is the question of handling the database or the way we will create the entire technical base of the system.
In Kotrak, we use the most popular and best application design technologies. They allow you to create flexible solutions that will respond to both your business needs today and also allow software to grow with your company.
After completing the design work, we go to the next stage, which is programming and testing the system.
Programming and testing the system
When the functional project is ready and accepted, we go to the programming and system testing phase. Currently, these two stages are inseparably connected with each other, which allows faster detection of inaccuracies in the application, and thus their immediate elimination.
Testers are none other than the first users of your future software. They receive guidelines on its functionality and how it should work, and then check how the product meets these requirements.
In addition to detecting potential errors in its operation, the work of testers also allows you to raise:
- system quality
- its values
- trust in the software of your employees and clients
Fast fault detection during early programming works saves program preparation time and production costs. After doing so, you can be sure that the final product will run smoothly and without complaint.
Now we can go to the stage of implementing the solution in your company.
What does the implementation of an IT system look like in a company?
The form and time of implementing an IT system in your company depends on the type of software you choose, as well as the size of your enterprise. If you have chosen a standard program that does not require additional programming work, then you will start working on it in a relatively short time. However, if the implemented system is extensive, and your company has many branches, including international ones, and runs complex business processes, then the implementation time is relatively longer.
The system startup is coordinated by teams consisting of our consultants in the areas of accounting, production, management and logistics. The more elaborate the program, the more these teams are supplemented with new specialists, including programmers. They supervise activities including data migration, software integration with other applications and devices, while testing how the application works in your company’s environment.
After the completed implementation phase, we conduct comprehensive training for your employees in operating a new IT solution. Our specialists not only present how individual functions of the system work, but also accompany new users while clicking through them, answering ongoing questions during work.
After completed training, we provide the system to your users, offering the possibility of its further development and technical care.
Technical support and constant software development for the needs of the company
We offer our clients comprehensive post-implementation assistance care, as well as the opportunity to develop applications to keep pace with changing market conditions.
We include an SLA – Service Level Agreement with all our support clients. They are currently considered to be a standard, demonstrating the quality of IT services provided by an IT company. This agreement contains provisions governing the scope and time during which the helpdesk must respond to the fault or problem you have reported.
Our technical support and helpdesk team consists of several dozen experienced specialists. We assign an individual guardian, a so-called Service Manager support. This practice allows you to quickly respond to any defects, as well as ensures you are up to date with information about your software update.
Another methodology we use is Continual Service Improvement which is the process of constantly making IT processes and services better, adapting the solutions to the ever changing business needs. It includes maintaining the highest quality of created systems, while updating to new needs and laws.
Both SLA and Continual Service Improvement are included in the set of good ITIL practices (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) and are currently considered as mandatory life stages of high quality IT services.
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