Germano Traverso, Technical Director and qualified engineer at Microarea, heads up the project and in this article describes the achievements so far and what lies in store in months to come.
“As you can imagine”, observes Traverso, “the portal is by its very nature constantly changing, not only because our development team is continuously working on maintaining and up-dating the contents, but also because visitors (users, partners, etc.) participate in discussions, pose questions and suggest improvements.”
Based on CMS technology, the portal has been structured so that its contents can be easily picked up by search engines, thereby improving its visibility on the Web.
Among the new features introduced on the portal, some, such as online and video courses, have been specifically designed for Mago.net users. These courses are free to access (subject to user authentication via the site) and are proving to be particularly useful in acquiring a deeper knowledge of specific software functions. Since the courses are available 24 hours a day, users can choose their favourite time to access them, at home or at the office. Their simple structure makes the lessons easy to follow and the concepts necessary for using any of the functions can be remembered with the least effort.
Some of these courses are accessible even without authentication for visitors who are not Mago users but who wish to try out its efficiency and perhaps learn more about the product.
Consistent with the site’s Web 2.0 technology foundation, new instruments such as the Forum (discussed in our previous issue), Blogs and, coming-up, Wiki and code sharing instruments are growing in significance.
Blogs: Versatile and easily up-dated, our Blogs are the ideal tools to keep you regularly informed of new developments regarding partners and users. Some of them are reserved for partners (Business, Support, Technical, Training), others can be freely consulted (MicroareaNews, press releases, etc.). You can evaluate articles on Blogs and post your comments.
Wiki: This project will allow easy sharing of informative material. The content will be open to the community of editors. Each change will be recorded chronologically, making it possible to redraft the text in its previous version. The aim is to share, exchange, store and optimise knowledge through collaboration.
Code Sharing: This is yet another project designed to create a highly open, progressive environment, offering the community of developers the possibility of sharing “parts” of codes or more complex solutions made available to the community itself.
Traverso’s view is that, “Today we are already in an intermediary stage where we are sharing information and knowledge, templates, reports and simple solutions in preparation for the next step which will involve sharing code elements”.
In the reserved area, now more accessible and navigable, order processing (dedicated exclusively to partners) has undergone a complete restructuring, allowing for orders to be placed completely online with a noticeable time saving and quicker execution.
Even becoming a Microarea partner has become easier with the possibility of concluding contracts online. In time, this is expected to become the sole procedure, having already eliminated paper copy contracts in other areas (for instance, MLU Microarea Live Update).
“The favourable response we are receiving from the public (over a thousand visitors per day) shows that we are on the right path. In future, we will strive even harder to build and consolidate the network formed by partners, users and Microarea itself because we are convinced that reciprocal interaction can lead us to the solutions required by the market in terms of speed and creativity: two fundamental elements which are essential to always remaining competitive,” concludes Traverso.