Monday, July 29, 2013

Our Direction.

Hard work and we are ready to help you rock your business
We are currently in the middle of an upgrade and finishing up a major release which we are going to unveil next week.  I am pretty proud of the direction we are heading.  This week’s blog post we talk about some of those changes.

I founded this company because I wanted to provide tools for small and medium sized businesses to help them run their businesses for effectively. This meant web based systems where you could track invoices, inventory, and manage bills of lading.  I worked my day job and at night and weekends began building my software empire.  It was really just a software developer and a dream.  That was nearly three years ago and I am just as dedicated to the cause now as I was then.  Our Sully 2.0 system is a fine cloud based platform to make it easy for you to have a state of the art shipping and receiving system for the price of cable television.  We have mercilessly tested it with professionals inside and outside the trucking industry.  If it can meet their approval then we are sure it will meet yours.

Next week we are unveiling the release of Tony.  This software helps you track the vehicles in your fleet and the maintenance they have undergone.  No longer will you have to rifle through piles of paperwork or try to sift through receipts to know how many times you changed oil or had to repair breaks.  Now you have a simple means to view the information with your smart phone, tablet computer, or PC.  We have also folded Microsoft Tag technology into the system so you can place a simple bar code on the dash of the vehicle and scan it to receive up to the minute information.  We think that something like this is going to make life much easier for your safety and compliance departments.

E3 also offers other services.  We will be happy to provide agile project management training for your organization.  We also offer web site design and construction to make your company web sites respond to the mobile web and drive more business to your organization.  Finally, we can consult on how to use social media like Facebook and Twitter to spread your message.

We offer all of these services and as we head into our third year we are looking forward to a break out year with customers, new challenges, and lots of stories along the way.  Contact us today and find out how you can join us.

Until next time.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

We upgrade so you do not have to

Pay attention! We are upgrading.
This week we are preparing for the launch of our new software product nicknamed “Tony.”  We are also upgrading our servers from Windows 2008 to Windows 2012.  This made me think about why you the small business person should care about all these behind the scenes moves.  Today’s blog post will cover the reason we upgrade at E3 systems.

One of the important powers of the web and cloud computing is that as a consumer of cloud services you do not have to worry about software, server space, or even operating systems.  All you have to do is open your web browser use the software.  It is up to the loud service provider to make sure that its systems are up and running rather than placing that burden on the consumer.  This is why we are upgrading.  We upgrade so you the consumer do not have to go through the experience.

It is up to us E3 systems to make sure everything works in a safe and secure fashion.  It is up to us E3 systems to bring you the latest technology including responsive websites which look good on tablets, mobile phones and regular PC’s.  It is up to E3 systems to fine tune those systems for maximum performance.  For our customers, they can worry about their business and leave the upgrades to us.

This is not the most glamorous thing about being a cloud based company but I think it is the most important. We do upgrades so you don’t have to.  Manage your business we will worry about the upgrades.

Until next time.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Is your business ready for the next SharkNado.

Are you ready for the Next SharkNado Attack
It you missed it last week of the biggest events on Twitter in a long time was the premier of the B-grade monster movie SharkNado on the SyFi channel.  As the title implies, it was a monster movie featuring man eating sharks which sucked up by a tornado and then dropped on the unsuspecting population of Los Angles.  News anchors from cable television, celebrities of all stripes, and political figures chimed it to remark how awful the film was.  It generated so much buzz that the network decided to rebroadcast the film early because the overwhelming demand.  There is a lesson here for any business person.  The web and social media can be a powerful thing creating demand for your business.  In this blog post, want to encourage you to be ready when the next SharkNado hits.

The universe of social media is composed of many services; Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit being the largest and most influential services on the web.  Facebook acts as a global community for everyone from your parents to people who are interested in dressing up as cats to go for contact.  According to Yahoo news, about 1.1 Billion people call Facebook the place they go to share information with friends and family.  Twitter is known as a micro-blogging service and users can only type 140 characters at a time.  What makes Twitter so popular is the speed of how information is shared and it is also relatively unfiltered so it is the tool of Occupy Wall Street and rebels in Turkey.  Rumors and misinformation swirl about but within this river of information are plenty of nuggets of information gold.  Watching Samuel L. Jackson root for team USA during the Olympics was extremely funny and I highly recommend Jack Tapper’s feed from CNN.  Finally, Reedit acts as a clearing house of blogs and photographs on the web. They also have an “Ask Me Anything” or A.M.A feature which has become the place for politicians and other thought leaders to try out new ideas.  For the sake of disclosure, I use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn as my social networks to promote this business.

So what does this mean to you a small or medium sized business? It means you also need a presence on social media web sites; at the very least Twitter and Facebook.  You can promote specials and talk about your business in an unfiltered manner.  If people like your content they will share your tweets and Facebook messages extending your reach.  It is also cheaper than advertising on radio, television, or newspaper.  This makes it a low cost means to promote your business.

We at E3 systems understand this strange world and would like to help you.  We leverage Facebook and Twitter and can show you how to do the same.  Please contact us and we will show you how.  So the next time a SharkNado hits you will be able to use it to boost your business.

Until next time.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Your Web Site Stinks We Can Help

Your website stinks.  Here is why.
The biggest challenge of software development is that users have an opinion about the subject but don’t know how to transform that opinion into something a software developer understands.  This eventually leads to gallons of coffee consumed numerous hours worked and in the end the user hates the software created because it was not what they wanted.  This week on the blog, I want to discuss what all this means for your business.

In order to do business today, any company of any size needs a web presence. In my experience, a graphic designer with some print experience is given the job and they go about creating a company brochure for the web.  Soon marketing gets involved and the sales force joins the fun.  Finally, someone in tech support chimes is saying the company does not have any infrastructure to support a web site.  In the end, the web site is an unpleasant compromise which features the branding from marketing and does not drive business to the company.

Now evolve these trends over five or ten years and you have a recipe for mediocrity and poor brand presence.  The web site is difficult to update.  The original graphic artist has left and the help desk person is behaving like a troll under a bridge because they are afraid any change will break the website.   It is a mess.
This is becoming a bigger problem because web sites are being viewed more often by mobile devices like phones and tablets.  This means you rickety web site has out of date content and looks horrible on a mobile device.

At E3 systems we understand these challenges.  Contact us today and we will be happy to help you with responsive web design and finding a content management system that will meet your needs.

Everyone has an opinion about software and web sites.  Yours should be positive about your company web presence.

Until next time.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

America the Disruptive

America is the story of disruption,
ask Molly Pitcher.
This last week has been a weird mix of anniversaries and events.  The Supreme Court expanded the rights of gay people with the over-turning of the Defense of Marriage act.  This happens during the same week as the 150th Anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg where this nation almost dissolved into a feudal Confederacy and technocratic Union.  We have a black president while our Supreme Court repealed election laws which made his election possible.  It is a mulligan stew of conflicting trends and directions.  I suppose that science fiction author William Gibson was right when he said, “The future is here.  It’s just not widely distributed yet.” This week the blog is discussing how this uneven distribution or ideas and technology is part of the American experience.

I began thinking about this subject when I read an article by Maria Bartiromo about the disruptive nature of software in the business world.  After a good read, it dawned on me that the entire history of the United States is the story of technological innovation and disruption.

America was discovered thanks to advances in ship building and navigation during the renaissance.  Since the first settlers landed on our shores, the American experience has been one of technological discovery and advancement.  One of our founding fathers, Ben Franklin, became the nation’s first Renaissance man and patron of science with his work on electricity, home heading and his improvements to printing.
This devotion to science and engineering is a unique part of the American psyche.  It led to the creation of the Erie Canal and the development of the cotton gin.  It made railroads possible and helped create the modern research laboratory for Thomas Edison.

Each of these technological advances caused huge disruptions.  The cotton gin made human slavery profitable for the south and railroads made it possible to defeat the confederacy during the Civil War.  Telephones and telegraphs made communications swifter and the world smaller.  Refrigeration transformed the way we eat and the web has altered the way we interact with each other.  I would argue that a solider from the Civil War placed in the middle of contemporary America would consider this a time of wonder and magic.

Each technological change has created social change.  The promises of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the constitution were only enforced 100 years later thanks to advent of national television broadcasts in the middle of the 20th Century.  The labor movement is an outgrowth of the industrialization of our nation.  Civil rights and the sexual revolution would never have happened without Motown and Rock and Roll playing over a new-fangled device called the radio.

So when I read Bartiromo’s article on LinkedIn, I just nodded in agreement.  Software is a new disruptive influence in America.  Software is changing business and society.  It is generating piles of wealth and if you have the correct skills you will benefit in this brave new world.  If you don’t there are going to be economic and social problems.

I do not know how to solve these larger issues but I do know how to help small and medium sized business adapt to these trends.  At E3 systems we are creating disruptive software which can track your inventory.  Coming up later this month we will be releasing our fleet management software which will help you stay on top of fleet maintenance.  This is pretty powerful stuff and it is going to be disruptive.  You may need fewer clerks in your office or you may assign those people to sales or customer service roles which might improve your revenue.

The times are changing and everything can feel profoundly disruptive but change and disruption are part of the American experience.  Gibson was right, the future is not evenly distributed but at E3 systems we will keep on trying.

Until next time.