The landscape of software applications and technology changes very fast -- that's our space. We keep on top of changes in everything related to applications and services we deliver to your company. We implement best practices into our own work, and keep you informed for yours. Our goal is to keep "usability and productivity" at the forefront of every consideration we make to help your company continually do more, with less.
We'll keep an eye toward your current business process and regularly suggest areas of opportunity to do things better and faster. The Enterprise2.0 mindset in everything we do. Partner with us, and learn how a well planned Web Strategy can transform your business to thrive in the new world.
Great question! Control of your technology strategy is key.
Here are just a couple good reasons why you should partner with RidgeGarrett:
We've done the vetting of the vendors, and have chosen what we feel are top business applications in their respective space. Our business model is not specifically focused on one particular product for any specific vertical market. Rather, we take a customer-centric focus to deliver a variety of applications that are typically needed in all companies. This unique capability gives RidgeGarrett the ability to develop long lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with customers as they quickly realize we can be their primary provider of enterprise applications, integrations and app customizations. Our business model allows us to go "deep and wide" across a customer account, instead of the usual "one and done" mentality of space-centric software vendors.
For example, below are a few typical questions needing answers before you deploy any application...the 10,000 foot view of your overall business strategy must be in perspective!
Remember, you want technology to drive your business. Not your business driving technology! When your company deals with multiple OEM vendors for your business applications, many of the above questions remain unanswered. The end result is typically a growing array of duplicated work efforts and more silos of data and information. This is exactly what you were trying to avoid in the first place.
RidgeGarrett will keep the 10,000 ft perspective in view for every decision that effects life on the ground for your company. We get it. Partner with us and you'll have it. It's time to do more...with less.
Of course, we do highly recommend a Secure Virtual Private Network tunnel be utilized for all data passing between your office locations and the Data Center or your Private Cloud. Your remote workers obviously need to be connected via the VPN too, whenever accessing corporate business applications and information from remote locations.
Rest easy. RidgeGarrett provides the security and data availability you need. We can also help you sleep better at night with a comprehensive plan for enterprise data backup and recovery, too!
In some instances, it does make sense to have partnership arrangements in place with an OEM software vendor. Other cases it does not. Our decision to RidgeGarrett establishing a partner relationship with any vendor is heavily weighted against requirements put in place by the vendor on their partner community. Most of the vendors who are considered leaders in their respective space include (as part of their partnership requirements) annual fees and other marketing-type event activities which must be facilitated and paid by, the partner.
Our philosophy is to leverage those available events as we deem necessary instead of being forced to follow protocol that may not be in your best interests of time, money, and educational value. As your company's partner, we'll recommend specific events and other training activities that bring the most benefit to your company, on an as-needed basis. Again, the idea is always to remain in control of your overall technology plan and not be governed by outside entities that add costs and complexities to your strategy.
Most often, customers will desire to upgrade their applications to realize the full benefits of the premium versions of the software. This is very typical across all vendors who offer Open Source software.
When a request is made to upgrade an application, RidgeGarrett will handle all details of the upgrade and conduct all necessary functional testing to ensure nothing between the systems integrations is effected before we roll the upgraded version into your production environment. Once assured the application upgrades are functioning correctly, we'll determine an appropriate time to do the swap outside of the your normal working hours. The application upgrade will be seamless to the end users, and ready to go for the next business day needs. A notification email will be sent to appropriate users and management prior to the upgrade, and again after successful rollout of the new production version.
Any training requested for the new functionalities will be conducted after the swap, ideally soon as possible in order to ensure end users become productive quickly as possible.
Typically, we recommend updates or upgrades to your apps under one of the following circumstances:
If the OEM vendor recommends an update due to a security issue, we'll recommend an immediate fix.
Our Protocol: RidgeGarrett will apply the fix in a "test environment" to avoid interrupting your application usage. We'll conduct the necessary functional testing to ensure nothing between any app modules or system integrations is effected before we roll the updated version into your production environment. Once assured the app is conforming with all integrations between systems, we will determine an appropriate time to do the swap outside of your normal working hours. The application upgrade will be seamless to end users, and ready to go for your next business day needs. A notification email will be sent to appropriate users and management prior to the fix, and again after successful rollout of the fixed application. If you're dealing with 3 OEM vendors for your applications you can multiply this scenario X 6...and then you'll you have an expensive recipe for madness.
When the OEM vendor releases an updated version of their app containing improved functionality or additional features, we may or may not recommend an immediate upgrade to your own app, depending on what the changes made by the OEM include.
Our Protocol: We evaluate every update made by the OEM vendors for all apps we deliver for you as our customer. Knowing your business process and tools currently in use, we'll advise you whether or not we feel it is in your best interest to incorporate those changes into the current working version of your app.
Keep in mind, same as with the traditional enterprise software companies, Open Source OEM vendors sometimes release new versions and updates simply to keep their own recurring revenues from consulting and training flowing as needed. The bottom line is, when obtaining your Open Source apps directly from the vendor, you're business is at the mercy of their schedule, not yours. With RidgeGarrett, we control the application release schedule to ensure your best interests are always at the forefront of every action.
Yes. The Services Agreement will include a tailored Support plan for your exact needs. Depending upon which apps or services we'll deliver for your company, the support you need will be a perfect fit. Your written Services Agreement will include specific details of every item we're accountable for.
RidgeGarrett does not require any type of long term contract to utilize our apps or Services. We believe that a true "win-win" partnership is based on beneficial performance by both parties involved. We're confident to offer this type of arrangement based on what we feel are the benefits we're able to offer you as a partner. We will, however, offer you incentive options to commit for longer terms than the standard month-to-month timeframe.
SSAE 16 Overview
Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) No. 16, Reporting on Controls at a Service Organization, was finalized by the Auditing Standards Board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in January 2010. SSAE 16 effectively replaces SAS 70 as the authoritative guidance for reporting on service organizations. SSAE 16 was formally issued in April 2010 with an effective date of June 15, 2011.
SSAE 16 was drafted with the intention and purpose of updating the US service organization reporting standard so that it mirrors and complies with the new international service organization reporting standard – ISAE 3402.
For service organizations that currently have a SAS 70 service auditor’s examination (“SAS 70 audit”) performed, some changes will be required to effectively reporting under the new SSAE 16 standard.
Benefits to User Organizations
User organizations that obtain a Service Auditor's Report from their service organization(s) receive valuable information regarding the service organization's controls and the effectiveness of those controls. The user organization receives a detailed description of the service organization's controls and an independent assessment of whether the controls were placed in operation, suitably designed, and operating effectively (in the case of a Type II report).
User organizations should provide a Service Auditor's Report to their auditors. This will greatly assist the user auditor in planning the audit of the user organization's financial statements. Without a Service Auditor's Report, the user organization would likely have to incur additional costs in sending their auditors to the service organization to perform their procedures.
For more information about RidgeGarrett Data Center Compliance, contact us.
Why Mobile Commerce Is Set To Explode
Shoppers carry mobile devices everywhere they go, and they're already using their phones to redeem coupons, research products, and pay for things online and offline.
With mobile, it's now feasible to track an individual from the very first intention to shop for an item, to the actual purchase at point-of-sale.
The size of the mobile commerce opportunity in dollar terms, including mobile payments, tablet commerce, and SoLoMo (social-local-mobile) marketing - are contributing to a big increase in mobile commerce. If your business web strategy does not include the ability to capture these growing trends in mobile shopping, you risk losing to a competitor's site that does.
A brief overview of the rise of the mobile shopper:
The overall rise in mobile commerce will continue well into the future as more and more people are enabled (and expected) to conduct their business on-the-fly. With Federal mandates to make broadband access more affordable and available to every person, mobile and social commerce will continue it's upward trek for a long time to come.
Inbound Marketing is based on the concept of earning the attention of prospects, making yourself easy to be found, and drawing customers to your business website for further interactions by producing content customers value.
By contrast, traditional forms of outbound marketing are based on the concept of buying attention through the use of information channels that include 3rd party bulk mailings, radio and TV ads, sales flyers, email spam and cold-call telemarketing, among others.
Outbound marketing continues to become less and less effective due to the growing number of sales messages prospects are exposed to every day. For this reason, online marketers are now focusing toward inbound marketing strategies -- the process by which you build and distribute valuable content that enables new customers to find out about your business without direct involvement on your part.
Tools that can be used as part of an Inbound Content Marketing strategy include:
When it comes to marketing strategies, content marketing has just been crowned king, far surpassing search engine marketing, public relations and even print, television and radio advertising as the preferred marketing tool for today's business-to-business entrepreneur.
HiveFire (a Cambridge, Mass.-based internet marketing software solutions company) surveyed nearly 400 marketing professionals about the state of the business-to-business, or B2B, market, and discovered that marketers are retreating from traditional marketing tactics such as search marketing and have made content marketing the most-used tactic in their brand-enhancing tool box.
Fact is, according to HiveFire's B2B Marketing Trends Survey Report, twice as many B2B marketers now employ content marketing as they do print, TV and radio advertising, according to the survey.
So what exactly is content marketing? It's the creation and publication of original content -- including blog posts, case studies, white papers, videos and photos -- for the purpose of generating leads, enhancing a brand's visibility, and putting the company's subject matter expertise on display. HiveFire's researchers found that an impressive 82 percent of B2B marketers now employ content marketing as a strategy in their marketing programs. Coming in at a distant second place is search engine marketing at 70 percent, followed by events at 68 percent, public relations at 64 percent and print/TV/radio advertising at 32 percent.
Seventy-eight percent of respondents said driving sales and leads was the top marketing goal of their organization, followed by boosting brand awareness and establishing or maintaining thought leadership (both at 35 percent). Another 28 percent said their primary goal was to increase web traffic and 24 percent said it was to improve search results.
Part of the popularity of content marketing is its ability to generate qualified leads while engaging prospects in a branded environment. B2B marketers also believe most of their customers and prospects are online, which is why they're focusing their marketing efforts on the Internet.
Finally, the survey shows that "content curation" -- which is defined as the process of finding, organizing and sharing content -- continues to gain strength as a top marketing strategy, up 17 percent from six months ago. Seen as a way for marketers to fuel their marketing programs, content curation does have its problems. Nearly 70 percent of content curators say lack of time hinders their efforts, with 66 percent saying a lack of original and quality content is a major drawback. Another 38 percent say difficulty in measuring results is the stumbling block and 37 percent say lack of staff to do the work is the hindrance.
Despite these issues, the survey makes clear that content marketing is only going to become more important going forward, whether you market to other businesses or to the public at large.
Article credits to Mikal E. Belicove, a market positioning, social media, and management consultant specializing in website usability and business blogging. His latest book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Facebook, is now available at bookstores.