Business Analysis and Process Improvement
Whirl Group can help you identify business needs and determine solutions to business problems. Solutions often include a software-systems development component, but may also consist of process improvement, organizational change or strategic planning and policy development.
Business process improvement (BPI) is a systematic approach to help an organization optimize its fundamental processes and workflow to increase efficiency. This type of process review is generally most effective when performed by an objective consultant working with business managers.
We start by identifying which processes offer the most potential value. Typically we will interview employees, review existing documentation (disaster recovery requirements, audit descriptions, document samples, etc.) and model the workflow by creating a detailed process diagram. We will use the process diagram to identify bottlenecks, enabling us to recommend appropriate technology, software, and process strategies. We will also work with business managers to prioritize incremental enhancements and small manageable projects that can be implemented quickly in order to provide assistance where it is most needed.
Project Management is an extremely important, yet often overlooked strategic business competency. If you’ve ever had difficulty getting time and cost estimates for a project, or have projects that seem to stagnate, then you probably need professional project management. Companies that actively manage projects are more likely to have successful outcomes.
A trained project manager will ensure that you begin every project with a solid foundation, including planning, project scope definition, a clear understanding of objectives, resources and requirements, and the identification of risks. Once the project is up and running, the project manager will effectively control change and communication issues.
We have trained and PMP credentialed project managers who will work with your managers, subject matter experts, developers, contractors and other business stakeholders to successfully deliver your project. We are also certified in Agile Project Management — the preferred methodology for delivering software applications.
Office Application Development
The most cost effective, yet underutilized, tools for productivity are the development tools built into Microsoft Office Applications. We use these appropriately named Rapid Application Development (RAD) tools to create Microsoft Office-based solutions for a variety of business needs.
For example, Excel has extensive automation features and a built-in programming language that can simplify complex workflows. For processes that include time-consuming and error-prone construction of complicated formulas, we can quickly create custom functions and macros that look and feel like built-in Excel functionality. Entire business processes can be automated into an Excel worksheet las, we can Microsoftcustom calculations to data reporting.
When a spreadsheet becomes unreasonably complex and begins to feel like a database, Microsoft Access (part of the Office Suite) is a great solution to develop custom and affordable business applications for department level solutions. Access is also an excellent prototyping device for business users to test the feasibility of new tools before committing to more sophisticated enterprise application development.
Enterprise Application Development
Enterprise Applications are purpose-designed to satisfy the needs of an organization rather than individual users. Applications built for the enterprise must be robust enough to sustain continuous operation, must be scalable, and must allow for efficient maintenance, monitoring, and administration. These applications typically must also meet the needs of many stakeholders itend users, IT, operations, disaster recovery planners, compliance, support, executives, finance and software vendors.
We will work with your internal and external resources to understand your need, engineer the best solution, manage the project, and build the software. We typically develop enterprise applications with leading technologies such as VB.net, C#, ASP.net MVC and SQL Server.
Cloud services offer a “pay-for-what-you-use” model with limited upfront costs – ideal for developing new systems or scaling existing production systems. Most businesses operate at least some of their operations in the cloud; examples include virtualized servers or desktops, online mail and file storage services, software applications, disaster recovery and backup services.
We are experienced with the two leading cloud services, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. We can design a strategy for moving your resources to the cloud when appropriate, such as creating a hybrid virtual networking solution, setting up Microsoft Office 365, or developing cloud-based web software.
Whether your website advertises your business or is your business, we can help. Your website may be a simple marketing site, an e-commerce site or a large, scalable enterprise web application. If your requirements are not complex, a straightforward solution doesn’t need to break the bank. In such situations, we can build a site quickly and affordably using a content management system (CMS). Our most frequent choice is WordPress—the most popular CMS available. (This site was built with it).
For more sophisticated sites, we prefer Drupal CMS (used by some of the largest sites on the Web). And for highly interactive sites and intranets, we develop with ASP.net MVC. We’ll set up the hosting, optimize your site so search engines can find it (SEO), and set up analytics so you know it’s working.
Reporting, both internally and externally, is essential to business. Converting data from databases and internal systems, organizing the information, and communicating it properly can be daunting for non-programmers. We use tools like Microsoft Reporting Services, Telerik Reporting, and Microsoft Office Applications to build end-user customizable reports. We can also create reusable database queries to empower end-users to build their own reports in familiar Office applications like Excel and Word.
SharePoint is the leading team collaboration platform for businesses. We can architect and configure your on-premise or cloud-hosted deployment. Often the most challenging aspect of deploying SharePoint is not the servers and the software, but configuring it to work specifically for your business. We can analyze your business workflows and processes in order to tailor your SharePoint sites to work most effectively for you. SharePoint offers the greatest value when users take ownership; that’s why we will work with you to empower your business users to customize their sites.
IT Support and Engineering
Having managed technology and IT for corporations, finance companies, hedge funds, non-profit companies, and media studios, we understand the challenges and concerns of the IT department. This experience is invaluable for working with your existing IT resources or consultants to build successful solutions within your organization. We are also available to advise you on establishing a successful technology support structure that works with both internal resources and external support companies.
We have decades of experience providing audio and visual technology support, photography, and audio and video production services. If you need product photography, conference support, presentation media, or promotional videos, we’re available with professional gear and crew.
Whirl Group has partnered with Salvage Communications to provide additional services including communications, marketing strategy, knowledge management, and graphic design for corporate, non-profit and NGO clients. Salvage Communications specializes in information management. They are experts in creating, organizing and delivering information in clear, user-friendly systems that facilitate the re-application of knowledge. Salvage Communications has worked with clients such as UNICEF, LexisNexus, SAP, Epson, Kepner Tregoe and the Wooster Group.