Your Communications Chooses First Option For Web Portal Development

08 April 2005: Business communication providers Your Communications have engaged application development specialists First Option to create a single web enabled point of electronic commerce. First Option has developed a web enabled portal that brings all Your Communications’ web based applications to one location providing their customers with one single consolidated view of their account status. The system will also enable customers to make electronic procurement requests, improving their control over their business communications, reducing implementation times and improving Your Communications’ overall customer service.The web portal is an opt-in system that is designed to help Your Communications’ medium and large customers carry out a number of service functions.

These include change management, harmonised reports and data viewing services, customer authentication and most recently their new electronic quote-to-order system (EQOS).Mark Charlesworth, Head of Messaging, Mobility and Applications for Your Communications explains, “Many of our customers use as many as five or six of our services and get monthly reports for each service. First Option has designed a web based application through the portal that standardises the format of each report and hosts it in one easily negotiable virtual location.”He continues, “The portal allows simple and effective change management for our customers. Rather than make changes through a relay of phone calls and faxes the user can log in, be electronically verified for security and make the changes online. A significant percentage of our enterprise customers are already making use of this service.

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This part of the portal alone has generated a return of ten times our initial investment, and we see great potential for further savings moving forward.”Your Communications is a North West based company with a national outlook including a network of offices across the country and 6,500 km of their own fibre. They provide bespoke business to business communications solutions for voice, mobile and data.The latest portal addition that First Option has developed is an electronic quote-to-order system called EQOS. This will allow previously complicated and lengthy paper based quotes to be amalgamated into a standard format and available to view by all parties on the portal.Mark Charlesworth explains, “EQOS will allow an exceptional level of visibility across our business, from the account manager, the deployment team, and the order processing team to -most importantly – the customer.

By streamlining the quoting system and centralising the data into one place via the portal, we estimate that we will be able to reduce the 58 Excel spreadsheets we use currently to one single central format.”First Option’s Managing Director, Tim Considine, attributes the ROI success of these projects to First Option’s templated Peach and AeZ platforms. “These allow rapid development at low cost, but with the advantages of a tailored bespoke system, rather than a shoe-horned product approach,” he comments.Charlesworth concludes, “First Option has become a major strategic asset to our business. Not only do they develop new applications but they are able to test and evaluate new technologies for us.

We have an excellent working relationship, finding them reactive to our requirements and highly knowledgeable as to both our and our clients’ needs.”