AlloraNET (Extranet for our Customers and Associates)
Link to AlloraNet
The original purpose of AlloraNET was solely tracking time spent by Allora Technicians and Consultants. A customer has a dedicated login to a secure extranet portal where one can search, review, email and print any labor or service report recorded Allora workers in the recent years. A technician is obliged to accurately record the time spent on a customer's project along with a clear, brief description of the activity performed.
Since the dawn days AlloraNET seriously evolved and expanded its capabilities. The most interesting tool that we developed for the Consulting phase of our process is a "Project Estimator". For each project, whether web or network related, it allows us to produce an accurate proposal. It carries a brief breakdown of all activities involved accompanied by a number of hours that it typically requires to perform. Should the customer desire to learn more about any stage involved, each of them is represented hierarchically with expanded informational sections. Let us consider the following example: Networks -> Servers -> Hardware -> Deploy server RAID
We would provide the client with an introductory and consumer-friendly blurb on the nature of Networks, then Server, then Hardware and finally the actual Activity of Deploying Server RAID. The later includes the explanation of its purpose, prerequisites on the client's part, the description of technician's work and an hour figure.
We feel that our Estimate Tool includes all important technicalities but nevertheless delivers a clear representation of the project stages along with a labor estimate on an initial page. Often in the past our clients would rather skip lengthy and boring parts of a proposal and seek pages with the numbers of interest. Allora's approach is to make everybody happy by providing a quick, one-page punch list followed by a thorough coverage of technical aspects of servers, web design, etc.
Currently we are in the process of developing AlloraNET 2.0 which would be a complete re-write of the current extranet. It is being designed as a Joomla extension.