Blog Archive

Monday morning, the coffee machine broke down, and your computer prompts an error. What do you do? Do you contact your service desk? Or will you first try to find a solution on the internet? The demands and needs of IT users have changed radically over the past 5 years.  Is your company still using a traditional IT support desk? Integrating social media in your IT helpdesk offers a number of benefits. After reading this article, you may consider to introduce social IT into your firm.

Author: Inge Timmermans. You can follow Inge on Twitter (@IT8205) or connect with her on LinkedIn

Small and midsized businesses (SMEs) often have unique requirements for enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. They need powerful, integrated tools, without the complexity that is often induced with solutions that are designed for large corporations. On top of that, they expect a quick return on investment. Often, the main challenge is to find a standard software technology that perfectly fits their unique situation. And that is why many are hesitant to implement one, while they stand to gain so much from it. Are you unsure if your company needs to implement a new ERP system? Let’s see if you recognize any of the top 5 reasons we describe further on in this article.


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“If you can motivate at least 20 colleagues to participate, Delaware Consulting will support your sports event”, answered our CEO, Jan Delaere, enthusiastically to our request to register a company team for the 10 Miles of Antwerp. Team spirit and commitment are highly valued in our company, and what better way to stimulate them than in a healthy sports competition in the very city where we have one of our offices?


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How can you make sure your website is viewed in optimal conditions, irrespective of screen real estate? A few years back, it was commonplace to select a certain screen size as a reference and design the site around it. This was possible, because the variations of screen resolutions were not as fragmented as they are now. Today, mobile and tablet devices haven overtaken the PC as the Internet surfing device of choice. The touch experience and an increased awareness of User Experience make it a bigger challenge to create the necessary user experience for everyone.

Responsive Design is one way of tackling this problem, as it allows the page and content to adapt itself to the available screen real estate, just like the site you are looking at right now.
Try and drag the right-hand side of your browser, and decrease the width to smartphone size. Ready? Watch how the layout adapts, and how it ensures that you can see content optimally.

There is another solution for mobile sites in particular – like m.domain.com – where the user is redirected to the mobile version when a mobile device is detected. Although better compared to the one standard resolution, it’s still not optimal. The usage of two URLs for the same content and the growing number of devices and operating systems (iOS, Android and now Windows 8) make it harder and harder to select which version to show to which user.

Same webpage, different styles

Responsive Design takes a different approach. It’s the same page [the same URL] that makes the decision on how to present itself. This way, no redirects, duplicate URLs, device detection logic, … are needed. The solution is based on Media Queries, which are conditional rules executed by the browser itself to define which style sheet rules should be executed. The different presentations of the same page are based on the same HTML document, but with different style sheets on top. Via the Media Queries you define the set of presentation styles per page that are typical for mobile, tablet, PC and sometimes high resolution screens, like full HD support. Does this make Responsive Design the silver bullet for multi-device support? Although it does solve the problem of the fragmented screen real estate, it also creates some additional challenges. The page design itself must support this flexibility from the start. For example, adding Responsive Design to an existing webpage in a fixed format can prove very difficult. In essence, you need to start from scratch.

responsive digital site
Media Queries and visual design

Media Queries are part of the new HTML5 & CSS3 standard and should be supported by the browser itself. All latest browser versions do support it. However, there are still older browsers in use today, like Internet Explorer 8. You can solve this issue via JavaScript libraries (like http://code.google.com/p/css3-mediaqueries-js/) which add this behavior to older browsers. All in all, it is less clean than the pure CSS3 standard, but does allow you to start with Responsive Design today, even with the older browsers around. The visual design phase of a project becomes a little harder too. More visuals need to be created that include the media query rules. It is important to understand responsive design to create visuals that can be effectively created in HTML and CSS. Our UX designers are combining these UX design experience with HTML & CSS knowledge. This unique combination enables the crafted designs to be effectively created in HTML with the corresponding responsiveness.

Conclusion

Responsive Design allows your content or ecommerce site to be viewed in optimal conditions over the whole spectrum of Internet connected devices. This will have a positive impact on the conversion rate of your site. Delaware has the experience to create compelling and converting web and mobile designs, which are using Responsive Design just like the site you are looking at, and to implement it as part of a CMS system so you can easily update and maintain your content on the spot. Contact us if you want more info or if you want to see how we can help you reach your online goals!

Author: Yf Soreyn. You can follow Yf on Twitter (@soreyn) or connect with him on LinkedIn

forresterbuyingmedium

Source: Forrester Research, Inc.

Smartphones and tablets continue to gain popularity. For brands, that reality is both an opportunity and a threat:

  • First the good news: each additional touch point (store, print, web, mobile, … ) offers a new way to get your message across; an extra business opportunity. The numbers prove it: in the next 6 months, 13% of tablet users are likely to purchase something, and 10% of smartphone users (Forrester 2012)
  • Whether at work, at home, or on the road, always-connected customers find different touch points to interact with your brand and they have increasing expectations. If you don’t meet those, your prospects may not feel understood, be disappointed and become unsure about your brand.
    You’ll need to work hard and offer a consistent multi-channel experience.

When working on a unified customer experience strategy, never forget these two key success drivers: organize your team and implement the right technology stack.


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SpecialOlympics_FanFor the past years, Delaware Consulting has been a dedicated structural sponsor of the Special Olympics in Belgium. Sometimes people ask me why we chose to invest in this specific project.  They tend to find it rather odd, seeing that our core business has very little to do with sport events that have a social and a sensitizing angle.

Indeed, we have no direct commercial interest in sponsoring the Special Olympics. Chances of doing business during or around it are slim to none.  The reason why we associate with this commendable initiative can be found on a level that goes beyond the commercial: especially in these times of crisis, we believe that the Special Olympics are a source of inspiration and we encourage our colleagues to become a fan as well, through fund raising or active collaboration.


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We are all continuously generating data. I am right now, by writing this blogpost, by putting the link on Twitter and by sharing it on LinkedIn. You did only a second ago, just by clicking it. More and more of this generated data is getting captured; since 3G, iPhone and iPad entered our lives, we have become walking content creators.

The same goes for the corporate world: there has been an explosive boom of data in the last couple of years. Wal-Mart, for example, handles more than 1 million customer transactions every hour. Their databases contain 167 times the information that is contained in all the books in the US Library of Congress. All companies, from the very smallest to those of Wal-Mart-like size, will be confronted with the – as exciting as challenging – Big Data phenomenon. If not now, then very soon.


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A lot of us dream of working abroad, but very few actually end up taking the plunge. Is good old Belgium not that bad after all? Or are we just afraid of the unknown? Our colleague Nigel Grillet decided to find out for himself! Check his inspiring blog here and take part in the exciting tales of an adventurous consultant moving from Belgium to the USA.

Are you working abroad as well or are you a professional pioneer in another area? Don’t hesitate to tell us your story!

Author: Wim De Jonghe. You can follow Wim on Twitter (@dejonghew) or connect with him on LinkedIn

 

Last week, Gartner released a new spending report on Digital Marketing. The report is available free of charge, to support the new and much anticipated offering called Gartner for Marketing Leaders. I will elaborate on this new offering in a further post.

If you think that – being in the midst of recession – companies will keep cutting marketing costs, think again. Gartner predicts a major budget growth of no less than 9% in that corporate area this year! It seems that C-level management is well aware of the importance of attracting and retaining customers. Are you?

Check the seven key findings to benchmark your marketing budgets in this free report on marketing spending.

What are your expectations for 2013? Let us know!

 

Author: Filip Develter. You can follow Filip on Twitter (@FilipDevelter) or connect with him on LinkedIn

Recently, Delaware consulting was awarded with no less than three prizes – of a total of seven – at the SAP Belgium Ecosystem & Channels Partners Quarterly Event: ‘Best Performing Partner 2012’, ‘Best Net New Names Partner 2012’ and ‘Best RDS Partner 2012’. Winning this many awards is considered to be an exceptional performance within the SAP community. Both the nature and the amount of awards are confirmation for our professionalism and business drive in our services offering.

Continuing down this path of success we are also shortlisted for the Data News ‘Awards for excellence 2013’ in the ‘Consulting company of the year’-category.

Stay tuned on Delaware Consulting’s  social media channels to find out if we won! May the force be with us!

datanewsawardsexcellence2013

Author: Jens Ponnet. You can follow Jens on Twitter (@JPonnet) or connect with him on LinkedIn


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