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You don't need anyone to tell you that your old systems aren't doing the job anymore.  You also don't need anyone to tell you just how big of a headache it's going to be to start doing things in a new way.  First of all, you have to decide how to make it all work just the way you need it too.  Then you find yourself managing concepts like data integrity, logic migration, and rules management.  These alone are enough to make your head spin.  If your looking at the big picture then you have already considered the implications such as employee re-training, workload restructuring, and customer/vendor relations.

Stop for a minute, take a couple aspirin and call ArcByte.  We've helped other companies make it through this difficult process and we can help you.  ArcByte specializes in finding what is working and what isn't working in your IT applications.  We have helped other companies match up diverse systems and build an integrated application base that allowed their business to function in a streamlined manner.

Most migration project arise from two basic problems:  System Integration problems and Missing Component problems.  Many migration projects have a little of both problems.  

System Integration issues come up very often in businesses.  As businesses grow, they add new programs and tools.  Sometimes these tools don't talk to each other and they should.  The following are some examples of System Integration issues that we have seen most often. 

Your Inventory System is in one program.  Your vendor requires you to input warranty or order information over the web.  You are currently paying someone to print out a report from your inventory program so they can manually input the data on the vendor's web site.  You know it would save hours of labor cost each week if there was a button that your employee could press that would copy the data directly to the web site.  Not to mention the fact that it would reduce errors.  

Your web site has a shopping cart that e-mails your customer's orders.  When you get the e-mail, you have to retype the order into your billing program and your inventory program.  You find yourself spending hours copying and pasting information.  Sometimes, when you are really busy, you just fill the order and you don't copy the e-mail into the other programs.  Doing your taxes and accounting has been a nightmare because you've just been saving all the e-mails and every quarter you try to get them compiled.

Buying that competing company was a great idea except for the fact that now you have to figure out how to merge all the records together.  Perhaps it would be easier if you could find someone who had a copy of Q&A for DOS or a copy of PARADOX 5.  It's hard to believe that the other company lost all of their install disks and the only thing they had installed on their computers was the application copy.  You find it amazing that they even stayed in business.

Missing Component issues are generally a result of your business outgrowing the programs and tools that are currently in use.  Your business has expanded and you need to track more information or you need to track the information differently.  The following are some examples of Missing Component issues that we see most often.

That customer management software that you bought 10 years ago was really wonderful in its day.  However, you find yourself having to put the person's cellular number, web site address, and e-mail address in the 2nd line of the address field because there just isn't anywhere else to keep the information.  You know you need to buy a new program, but the thought of re-typing 10,000 customer records into the new program is just a little overwhelming.  It's just your luck that the people who made your customer management software went out of business 5 years ago and no one else seems to have ever heard of this program.

Your Inventory program is wonderful except for the fact that it will only track part numbers up to 10 digits.  One of your vendors just went to a new 12 digit alphanumeric system and there is just no way to match the information up. It wouldn't be such a hassle except for the fact that you have to compile a report for the vendor every month so that you can apply for your discounts and rebates. 

Believe it or not, we do receive calls from people who have never computerized their records.  If you find yourself in this position, don't worry.  We can help you make the difficult decisions of what and how much to computerize.

 

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