Client portals provide an electronic gateway that offers your clients, customers, partners, and personnel streamlined access to company information, data, and applications. Gated access allows businesses to securely manage documents and permissions, to collaborate with authorized users, and to tailor the user experience to create a more rewarding relationship with clients and customers.

Most large corporations rely heavily on client portals for cost and labor-saving customer and resource management. As a consequence, consumers now expect to be able to engage freely with their partners in business and commerce. Fortunately, this is an area where small and mid-sized companies can meet and even exceed the standards set by larger corporations. You don’t have to be Amazon or GEICO to reap the same rewards as colossal corporations by integrating a custom client portal.

Streamline operations and reduce overhead costs

When it comes to client portals, the long-term cost benefits far outweigh the upfront costs. By storing frequently requested forms and information in an easily accessible secure online client portal, you simplify customer service and automate processes that might otherwise require hiring new personnel as your business grows. You eliminate the costs of physical filings, and the need for physical storage. Clients can file support requests, calculate quotes, find answers to their most common questions, complete and submit paperwork, locate documents such as invoices and associated purchase orders and even place orders with minimal expense to the business.

Increase revenue and improve customer retention

Client portals minimize duplicate data entry, costly calculation errors and backed up workflows while improving customer satisfaction and retention. When these factors are paired with reduced overhead expenses, businesses see an uptick in the revenue cycle. Client portals simplify invoicing and payment processes and make your financial practices more transparent, which builds trust with your clients and customers and incentivizes a long-term relationship.

Improve collaboration and strengthen relationships

With client portals, businesses are able to improve the back-and-forth flow of information and build better systems for collaboration. This ease of sharing and communicating fortifies robust relationships among clients, customers, and business stakeholders who can quickly and securely view and edit quotes, proposals, contracts, and project plans as they develop.

Minimize errors and improve data accuracy

A cloud-based client portal ensures that users are accessing the most up-to-date data and the most current versions of documents. This significantly reduces the chances that your team or your clients are operating or making assumptions based on inaccurate data. By providing all users with precise, real time data, you build your business’ credibility and improve customer loyalty.

Plan your portal today!

At Antares, we’ve been helping mid-sized and enterprise-level businesses grow and expand through custom app development. We’ve got the expertise and the experience to develop a client portal tailored to your exact business specifications. Schedule a consultation with a solution specialist today to begin planning your custom client portal.

 

Map your app or software project

04/06

2018

Why Upgrading Your Legacy Systems Isn’t As Daunting As You Think

Many companies today overlook the importance of upgrading their legacy systems. Yes, it costs money to move your data to a new platform or even do a simple upgrade. But the money you’re spending on a legacy system migration can’t compare to the amount of money you’re losing by not upgrading.

Legacy systems take more work to maintain, typically aren’t as secure, operate more slowly and can create a negative customer experience. So, from a cost and functionality perspective, it’s not as difficult as it may seem to make an upgrade. This is especially true when you use a custom software development company to help you with the upgrade. Here are some points to consider when upgrading your legacy systems.

No Fear of Losing Existing Data

With any upgrade or transfer of data, business owners tend to worry about losing existing information. Industries like healthcare, insurance, oil and gas, finance and commercial product development have to store a significant amount of data and can’t afford to lose any of it. However, when you conduct a legacy system migration with a reputable company, there is no reason to be afraid of losing this data. These types of migrations happen every day.  Proven processes and security protocols are in place to prevent disasters from occurring.

Benefits of Working With The Right Company

When you work with a reputable custom software development company, you can rest easy knowing your data is in good hands when going through a legacy system migration. Most of the time these companies can perform the migration in the background while you continue normal business operations. On that note, you could even upgrade by having customized, more functional software developed to suit your business’s ever-evolving needs.

Plan Your Strategy

Planning is critical when doing any major software upgrade or legacy system migration. Think about your business needs now and in the future. When you’re doing a legacy system upgrade, now is the time to incorporate any changes to improve business efficiency. Working with a custom software development company is beneficial in many ways, but one of the main benefits is being able to develop a roadmap to determine exactly what you need for your business to thrive.

Antares works with companies of all sizes to grow their business and make it more profitable through the use of innovative technology. In our 30 years in the business, we have come to understand that every company has specific needs. Our passion is ensuring that each of our clients completely understands and values the impact of every decision they make regarding their software, and to provide recommendations accordingly. We offer a complimentary, one-hour software mapping session to determine the next steps for your legacy system upgrades. Schedule your mapping session today to learn how taking your software to the next level can help your business thrive.

Map your app or software project

03/27

2018

Why Your Business Needs a Mobile App

When mobile apps first became known, only a few select companies decided to adopt them. However, as the years have gone by, mobile apps have transformed from a luxury to a necessity. Software application development companies are constantly creating and designing new mobile apps for businesses in every industry. Here are some of the main reasons why your business should adopt a mobile app as soon as possible.

Customer Visibility

It should be no surprise that your customers or clients likely use a smartphone. With custom software application development, they can have your application on their phone and access it at any time. With the average user spending more than two hours on their phone each day, chances are they will see your app a time or two and always have your brand on their mind.

Build Your Brand

Brand recognition is important for businesses of all sizes. With custom business software solutions, you have the opportunity to create brand recognition however you want. A lot of time and effort goes into building your brand. With the right custom software application development company working with you, it’s easier to build your brand the right way.

Engage With Your Audience

Many mobile applications for businesses have a chat or messaging feature built in. Communicating with clients or customers can build trust and loyalty because of the engagement factor. When they feel like they are engaged with you, they will be less likely to go anywhere else.

Promote Loyalty

When businesses have a mobile app, the person who downloads it automatically feels a sense of loyalty. Companies use many different means of advertising, but none are stronger than having your brand and logo a fingertip and swipe away. When your business is easily accessible, customers will feel much more loyal to your brand.

Create Repeat Customers

People who do business with you and have your mobile app will be more likely to conduct business with you in the future. If you don’t have a mobile application for your business, customers may tend to gravitate toward your competitors that do.

For 30 years, Antares has provided businesses with custom software solutions, including mobile applications. If you have an idea for a business app or other custom software solution but aren’t sure how to bring it to life, let’s talk! We offer a complimentary, one-hour software mapping session to determine the next steps for your project – no strings attached. Schedule your mapping session today.

Map your app or software project

03/20

2018

Industry Insight: The Life Cycle Behind Software Development

Companies across all industries are realizing the need for custom software development, especially in the healthcare, insurance, oil and gas, finance and commercial product development industries. Working with the best software development company is crucial to fulfill your needs in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. Knowing more about how the process works can help you understand what goes into developing software. Here are the key steps of the software development life cycle to become familiar with.

Step 1: Identify and Analyze the Problem

The first stage requires collaboration among all members of the team to determine the issues at hand and how they could be solved. Understanding your business processes along with the current software used and its functionality will make it easier to know what can be improved and what works well.

Step 2: Define the Requirements

Once all problems are identified and analyzed, discussions and plans can be made about what is required to solve the issues. At this stage, it’s beneficial to discuss all problems and solutions to determine what is most cost-effective. It’s possible all issues can be addressed, but it’s also entirely possible that the cost and resources required won’t allow for certain features.

Step 3: Design the Solution

With the requirements in place, the software outsourcing company will begin designing the solution. The best software development company will provide frequent updates and ensure the plans are following through as expected. This is a crucial step in the life cycle, since issues in the product design can lead to unexpected costs in the near and distant future. Frequent communication is often the key to successful design.

Step 4: Build and Develop

If the first three stages are followed completely and thoroughly, then a custom software development company can begin building and developing the platform. This is where the code is written, the most obvious part of the process, and often the lengthiest.

Step 5: Testing

Quality assurance testing is a crucial step in the process. Testing is performed by quality assurance analysts who the verify that the developed functionality aligns with the design requirements. This is an important investment to be certain everything works as planned and designed.

Step 6: Deployment

When the development and testing are complete, the software solution is deployed for use by its intended audience. The deployment process should be designed to ensure a seamless transition, minimizing risks and business disruption.

Step 7: Maintenance and Support

As businesses grow and evolve, the chances that software will need changing will increase as well. Finding the best software outsourcing company to work with will make updating and improving software simple.

Antares follows the entire software development life cycle while using an agile development approach and keeps its clients informed every step of the way. We believe communication and collaboration are the most important factors of any software development project. When all parties are in complete alignment, the chances of further issues occurring are minimized, and the project will likely be much more successful as a result. To learn more about how our services can benefit your company, contact us today for a consultation.

Map your app or software project

03/16

2018

5 Benefits of Having Custom Software Developed for Your Business

Working with the proper software in your business is critical for the efficiency of daily operations. Sometimes a traditional off-the-shelf software package is enough for your needs at that moment, but often it’s not designed to grow with you. Relying on a custom software development company is becoming more of a necessity than a luxury due to constant growth and evolution within various industries. This is particularly the case if you are in insurance, healthcare, finance, oil and gas, or commercial software product development. Here are some of the important benefits to consider about custom software.

Maintenance When You Need It

Since your custom software doesn’t have an expiration date, the maintenance on it is available as long as you need it to be. Compare this to a standard software package, where you never know when the company will decide to discontinue the product and maintenance. With custom software development, you can be at peace knowing a sudden change in support or operations won’t occur. You are in control of your software.

Software Designed Specifically For Your Business

Any software is an investment for a company, so it’s always best to ensure it meets all of your needs. When it comes to custom software development, you work directly with the developers to discuss your needs and desires. Once the application is designed, you work closely with the developer to ensure it meets all of your requirements, and adjustments are made accordingly.

Superior Technical Support

One of most convenient aspects of custom software development is that the people who develop your software will also be able to provide technical support. Since these professionals were heavily involved in creating the software, they are the experts and know the product inside and out.

Maximize Your Investment

A common misconception is that custom software is significantly more expensive than a standard, off-the-shelf program. This is not always the case. Even if the upfront cost is a higher with custom software, the long-term costs can be far less when you consider specific features it offers tailored to your needs and its ability to grow with your business. Plus, you don’t have to worry about unknown changes made by the vendor which may affect your processes and business workflow.

Heightened Security

Cyber criminals spend a lot of time trying to hack into standard software packages. Since there is more information to find on packaged software, they are often easier to hack. In fact, many hackers won’t even attempt to breach your custom software since it’s not an easy target to find or access, and therefore not worth their effort. Custom software allows security to be designed around your needs.

For 30 years, Antares has provided businesses with custom software solutions. If you have an idea for a business app or other custom software solution but aren’t sure how to bring it to life, let’s talk! We offer a complimentary, one-hour software mapping session to determine the next steps for your project – no strings attached. Schedule your mapping session today.

Map your app or software project

03/15

2018

RECAP: Activate Conference Hackathon, Presented by Antares

Baton Rouge has such an amazing pool of tech talent! We saw this first-hand at this year’s Activate Conference, which hosted its first Hackathon this year, presented by Antares. The conference itself began two years ago by a handful of local, dedicated tech professionals who wanted to engage the tech community, particularly students and young adults, and bolster interest in the technology field regionally. The Hackathon, which was held on Feb. 23, was an amazing way to showcase the talent we have here in Baton Rouge. One of the things that excited Antares most about this Hackathon is that the winning application may be adopted and integrated into the city’s code base. This gives young, emerging tech talent an opportunity see their application used in real life to the benefit of their city.

Several teams consisting of four to six participants each used Baton Rouge’s Open Data Portal to develop a creative technology solution that improves the way the city works. The applications developed at the event included:

  • A web app that helps people considering moving to Baton Rouge better understand the area they’re looking  to buy a home in
  • An app that allows you to schedule activities at BREC facilities
  • A BI interface that allows users to visualize data and year-over-year trends using City-Parish data
  • A chatbox that allows citizens to report blight using text message capabilities
  • A searchable database of local businesses with notification functions when a business’s status changes

The winning teams were Tiger Bytes (student team), who created the web app to help people looking to move to Baton Rouge better understand the area; and Jabberwocky (professional team), who created the chat box for reporting blight. The City Council will review the projects to determine how they will be implemented in real life.

Congratulations to the winners, as well as the other participants, for such a spectacular showcase! As a Baton Rouge-based company, Antares hopes to see more of these valuable, local opportunities for young tech enthusiasts.

Team Tiger Bytes:

Team Jabberwocky:

 

03/15

2018

Overview: The Louisiana Insurance Pest Control Association’s CIRCA Project

Antares undertook a 12-month-long project for the development of a custom, cohesive integrated insurance system for the Louisiana Insurance Pest Control Association (LIPCA), an insurance agency that was created and is operated by pest management professionals and their families. Prior to the project, LIPCA operated four different applications to run their business. So Antares’ objective was to develop a single software package that made LIPCA’s processes more streamlined and improved efficiency and accuracy.

Antares developed CIRCA, which stands for Complete Insurance Rating Claims and Accounting software. The new system reduces costs by removing dependency on old legacy applications and their associated maintenance contracts. The system was built with multiple modules that provide underwriting, claim tracking, accounting, reporting, and other insurance lines of business functionality.

The CIRCA application was developed closely with LIPCA leadership. Their experience found that many commercial packages on the market designed for the small to mid-market insurance carriers did not provide for all four key business functions: creating the quote, binding the policy, issuing forms, and document retention/management. CIRCA helps to eliminate redundant tasks, and its workflow solutions have allowed smaller agencies to increase and grow their business without adding staff. CIRCA also features automated policy creation and binding workflow, and provides built-in, configurable business rules to eliminate human errors in underwriting.