Enable — Blog

Application lifecycle: from build completion to successful delivery

Application lifecycle: from build completion to successful delivery

Filed as ArticlesPosted March 9, 2018

From the initial conception of an idea, analysing and defining your requirements through to the development of your software, a lot of time and effort is spent ensuring the finest details are catered for. It can be a common misconception that once the software build is complete the hard work is over and users can be let loose with the ‘end product’. There are still a number of important steps that need to be undertaken and considerations to be made following build completion, to ensure that you get the most out of your software.

Technical requirements for hosting

By the end of a software build phase, you should have already put a lot of thought and planning into how your software will be hosted. There are many hosting options available; including in-house options and a variety of cloud hosting providers, each of which could hold their own benefits for your business based on the type of software you are building. Enable’s hosting preference is cloud-based hosting platform Azure, benefiting us through increased flexibility, quick and easy scalability, a high level of security, and reduced costs. Regardless of which option you choose, it is important that your environment of choice is adequately prepared ready for your software to be deployed to avoid any last-minute hiccups.

Efficient disaster recovery: Enable's first-hand experience

Efficient disaster recovery: Enable's first-hand experience

Filed as ArticlesPosted February 16, 2018

For many businesses, the question is not if a disaster or power outage could happen, but when it will occur? And how severe it will be? As a company whose primary products are internet-based applications, it is of vital importance to Enable that our ability to host our clients’ applications remains unaffected in every eventuality that could be reasonably foreseen. Disaster recovery (DR) is not something that any business can afford to get wrong. This is why Enable takes it very seriously and, after recent events, can boast of having first-hand experience.

Sometime around 03:00 on Monday, December 4th, a water heater in the roof space in our unit 11 building failed and began to leak. The water heater was located above the stairwell and leaked through the first floor, destroyed ceiling tiles, flooded one of the staff toilets, and made its way through to the ground floor. Unfortunately, significant water had entered our server room. The water had run through all three server cabinets and the servers within. All local servers, networks, and internet access shut down after power was lost. This meant no access to telephone, email or any local IT infrastructure including domains, web servers, file servers, source control and deployment services.

One of the main advantages of hosting in the cloud rather than locally, is that no live systems or data were affected, this meant minimal impact on our clients. Also, due to sensible management of time and resources, projects that we had underway were still delivered to clients on time.

Ewan Gibb is the IT Manager at Enable and has been with the company for over 15 years, helping it evolve into the well-organised and responsive IT department that it is today. Ewan was heavily involved with the DR process for this incident from the moment it was reported, ensuring that our systems were back online and operating normally as soon as possible. Here are Ewan’s recollections of how the day’s events unfolded.

Microsoft Azure: hosting your software in the cloud

Microsoft Azure: hosting your software in the cloud

Filed as ArticlesPosted January 26, 2018

Enable has more than 15 years of experience in designing, securing, and maintaining hosting environments on which our bespoke software solutions depend. Increasingly, we are deploying solutions to Azure, Microsoft’s globally-available cloud hosting platform. This leaves our clients safe in the knowledge their software is not only maintained and developed by Enable’s highly skilled team of developers but is also hosted on a secure and powerful platform in the form of Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft Azure is a popular cloud hosting service that offers a secure, modern hosting platform with powerful features, such as the automatic provisioning of additional processing power during periods of high demand and continuous security-health monitoring, available out of the box. With industry leading hosting supporting our applications, developers at Enable are free to focus on delivering reliable and highly engaging software solutions.

UX design: improving productivity, brand loyalty and satisfaction

UX design: improving productivity, brand loyalty and satisfaction

Filed as ArticlesPosted January 5, 2018

Users often decide in just a few seconds whether or not your site or app is worth their time. If your software is unusable or confusing, it can result in user mistakes, reduced productivity or even the total failure of the project. This is why user experience (UX), whilst often neglected, is one of the most important features of your software. What is user experience design?

UX design is the process of enhancing user satisfaction by improving the compatibility, usability, appearance and performance provided in the interaction between the end user and the software. In simpler terms, this means that good UX design works to ensure the user’s experience of your software is as enjoyable, intuitive and satisfying as possible. What is Enable’s approach to user experience design?

Enable is passionate about UX design. Our goal is that our applications genuinely enhance people’s day to day tasks and are a pleasure to use. To meet the high standards we set ourselves, we conduct a UX planning exercise for each area of work. The key point of this exercise is that, before any code is written, the team has considered the different possibilities for the look of what is to be created and how the user will interact with it. Planning is one part of the UX process but reviews are required to help consolidate it. During the build phase, UX reviews are held periodically to consider what has been developed and if it is the best that it can be for the client.

So let’s dive in and explore how user experience design can benefit your business.

Support: keeping your software up and resolution times down

Support: keeping your software up and resolution times down

Filed as Company NewsPosted December 15, 2017

Enable’s dedicated Client Services team are on hand to provide our clients with an ongoing helpdesk support service, covering general questions, diagnosing problems, fixing bugs and discussing possible changes to existing software systems.

Once a client raises an issue, Enable records a detailed ticket to keep track of the request, and stay organised as the team’s work progresses. Rather than passing responsibility to third-party providers, our team takes direct ownership in resolving issues. This leaves our clients safe in the knowledge that requests will be resolved efficiently and speedily.

Our helpdesk support services are available during the UK working hours of 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. By being easily contactable by telephone and email, we ensure there are efficient communication channels available for clients to report incidents and receive feedback.

We appreciate the vital role our software plays within our clients’ businesses and the disruption that can be caused when a problem occurs. We take great pride in our response times, with our in-house helpdesk software system ensuring our clients receive an initial communication from our team within 30 minutes of raising a request. We manage expectations by publishing a set of target resolution times, as follows:

Application testing: setting a new quality benchmark with every project

Application testing: setting a new quality benchmark with every project

Filed as ArticlesPosted November 24, 2017

In today’s business landscape, software applications play an integral role. By getting the requirements for an application right first time, Enable’s clients are free to focus on what matters: profitable growth, business transformation, and achieving their company’s vision.

The approach for any software design and build lifecycle should focus on ensuring that all of your requirements have been fully understood and delivered. The fact that software testing plays a vital role in this process is well understood, but the variety of topics that need to be considered can often be overlooked.

This article draws attention to six types of application testing that Enable recommends. By being attentive to testing of this kind as early as possible in the implementation process, an application is a lot more likely to be secure, reliable, efficient, maintainable and provide a high standard of usability.

How to keep your software infrastructure secure and your customers protected

How to keep your software infrastructure secure and your customers protected

Filed as ArticlesPosted November 3, 2017

Keeping software secure has become increasingly important for businesses over the years. Software security is no longer optional; it has become an absolute necessity. Security breaches and attacks could potentially result in a significant loss to your company’s revenue, reputation and even your customer base. With this in mind, it’s important to have procedures and processes in place to minimise the chances of any sensitive customer data getting into the hands of the wrong people.

Let’s dive in to the five key security steps Enable recommends your company should take to keep your software secure and your customers protected.

1. Preventive Measures

Being part of a connected world provides a significant number of both benefits and risks. Any computer that is connected to the internet is at a potential risk from various security breaches and attacks, such as viruses, Trojans, and spyware. Firewalls should be used to protect your company network by only allowing internet traffic that is defined in your firewall policy. Antivirus software should be used to prevent, detect and remove any malicious software and other threats. All software should be properly patched and kept up to date.

Sales record for Enable — for 17th year in a row!

Sales record for Enable — for 17th year in a row!

Filed as Company NewsPosted February 1, 2017

Stratford-upon-Avon based software developer Enable has closed another record year in 2016 by sustaining double digit growth.

Sales for 2016 increased to more than £3.15m, up from £2.65m the previous year which represents an increase of 18.6% — more than £500,000. Licensing and implementing Enable’s new DealTrack software product was responsible for a significant portion of the growth.

During the year the company also welcomed 7 new starters on-board, taking the total headcount to 44 staff.

Co-founder and MD Andrew Butt comments:

“In 2017 with DealTrack and Enable iD we hope to pass through the £4m milestone.”

“We are receiving significant interest in our products and services from both UK and USA and are investing heavily in product development to make sure we are providing innovative software to our existing clients as well as attracting more new business.”

“We are also continuing to work closely with University of Warwick and plan to recruit many more graduates this year to help meet current and expected future demand.”

sales-i and Enable form strategic partnership

sales-i and Enable form strategic partnership

Filed as Company NewsPosted August 30, 2016

West Midlands, UK — sales-i and Enable, two West Midlands based enterprises, have partnered to provide a suite of software to improve profit margin and increase sales across manufacturing, distribution and wholesale industries.

Founded in 2008, and with offices in both the UK and North America, sales-i provides market-leading sales performance software designed to help manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers. Its award-winning software helps companies to improve their bottom line, identify new business opportunities, and strengthen their customer relationships.

Enable provides DealTrack — a rebate management solution that helps organisations manage complex trading agreements involving retrospective payments, such as rebates, retrospective discounts, royalties, purchase income and other forms of back margin.

The partnership will combine sales-i and Enable’s vast experience and expertise in wholesale and distribution to provide a suite of software to improve profit margin and increase sales.

Our 16th year of growth

Our 16th year of growth

Filed as Company NewsPosted May 10, 2016

Stratford-based software development firm Enable has achieved a record 16th year of growth with sales of £2.65m last year, up more than 25% compared to 2014.

During 2015, 12 new local jobs were created, taking the current headcount up to 42. The company builds software for some of the UK’s most recognised companies including BBC, BUPA Care Services, Mitsubishi Electric and Wolseley.

The firm, who recently purchased three freehold office units on The Courtyard, Timothy’s Bridge Road, was started by Denys C. Shortt OBE and Andrew Butt in 2000. From humble beginnings in a stable block with 2 employees, Enable has achieved sales growth every year and been profitable since inception.

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