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Cloud Development

What is cloud computing?

Simply put, cloud computing is all about accessing information on the Internet.

You already use cloud computing when you buy items off of Amazon.com and check your checking account status in your bank's website. But you can also use cloud computing to access your own business data as well. Facebook and Linked In are examples of how you can create your own personal data and not only allow your own access, but invite others to access it as well. And in many cases you can restrict who is allowed to see it.

Take this concept one step further and start keeping business documents that you used to keep on your network server, now online. No longer install and maintain Quickbooks on your server and your accountant's desktop system to be eble to manage your expenses. Now, sign up for Quickbooks online and keep your books in the cloud. Quickbooks is now responsible for applying updates to the software and maintain your data. All you need to do is log in with an ID and password to enter new data and run reports.

What can the cloud do for me?

In many cases, there exist third-party software packages to which you can subscribe and get most anything accomplished on the web. A lot of times you spend a lot of money for these products and they provide 80% of what you need to do, but you still need to pay even more money to customize the other 20% or you just assume that you need to continue to do it manually.

SWAT can provide customized solutions that provide you with 100% of the capability you need that is comparable to the purchase price of a third-party package and almost always less expensive to maintain on an annual basis! Take a look at some of the custom examples that businesses and nonprofits have implemented to better control their information retrieval and reporting.

Project Examples

Dane County United Way Assessment Tool.

United Way Agency Online Assessment Tool

United Way of Dane County provides assessment tools to participating agencies that allow the agencies to evaluate their operational, board and volunteer capabilities. Previously these tools were Word documents that were manually filled out by multiple members of an agency and it was a manual task to tabulate the average results for the assessment categories.

Now, agency participants can log on to the Assessment Tool, quickly and easily take the assessment and the tool provides agency administrators with real-time reports, performing the summary calculations in only seconds!

Picture of SE10 time tracking system.

Global Company Time Tracking

This company has offices in the U.S. and Europe, yet they work with the same global clients. Associates needed to keep track of their time to be included in the client invoicing.

Prior to SWAT's involvement, time tracking was kept in Excel spreadsheets which were emailed to the U.S. on a monthly basis. The spreadsheets were loaded into an Access database where they were consolidated by client as an additional component of creating client monthly invoices. Data was frequently missing or corrupted. If an associated typed the wrong type of data into a field, the consolidation needed to stop until manual intervention could determine the problem. And managing multiple currencies was difficult.

SWAT created an application in the cloud that was accessible 24 hours per day from anywhere there was an internet connection. Associates entered their time immediately online. Associates and management could now get an up-to-date snapshot of work and time by region and client. Online reports easily created the summary information needed for invoicing and the application handled currency conversion.

Picture of Family Enhancement program logging system.

Nonprofit Remote Program Logging

This nonprofit had a program that included home visits. During each visit, it was required that the case worker record the detail and track progress thorugh a defined program. Prior to the online system, case workers had to take manual notes during the visit and find time to travel back to the office to enter the information into Word documents. Consolidating any kind of information was impossible and the delay in making this information to their supervisor took days.

SWAT developed a secured access online system whereby the case workers could enter their information directly while in the home, or stop by a local wi-fi hot spot on their way home to enter the information. It saved driving time and the information was immediately available to anyone with authority to view it via a browser. The application also included online reporting which included demographic and overall program statistics as well as a detailed history report of a selected family that would be used to have all detail in hand if the case worker was asked to attend a court hearing.

Picture of Canopy Center on-line job application

Online Volunteer Applications

A local nonprofit made it easier for people to submit their interest in getting involved in volunteer opportunities at the agency by including an option to submit their application online.

No more downloading, manually filling out and mailing in PDF documents. When an application is submitted, administrative staff is immediately notified of the new application and they can review it online or print it for filing.