The Benefits of SaaS & PaaS

July 23, 2014
Posted by John Fager at 10:44 AM

SaaS is a common acronym for "software as a service", while PaaS is "platform as a service". As new technology comes available so quickly, it should be no surprise that specialized tech companies with expertise in a specific area are able to develop robust, secure, stable offerings that cost less and offer more to their clients.

Companies that have traditionally supported their internal application development using in-house developers, SQL gurus and privately hosted servers are finding that the internal demands on their team often serve as a roadblock to making modern, time-saving, critical business tools available. Alternatively, companies will outsource to a "job shop". Both of these strategies leave an internal code set that must be maintained and starts decaying much faster than it can be reinvigorated.

Clients have frequently asked us to help with a solution that fits into the VDP Web product family when their internal development team had a few weaker members that weren’t performing in a timely manner. Often, in-house staff is simply not experienced enough to architect specialized processes with complex data, rules, and content management requirements.

There are several reasons that you may wish to consider using SaaS or PaaS solutions:

  • Lower cost
  • Richer features
  • 10-20 x faster to "go live"
  • Bypass issues with slow and overwhelmed internal staff
  • Regular upgrades to features and usability
  • Instantly scalable as your needs change

You can expect a better maintained solution with laser focus on key features. This saves tremendous amounts of valuable staff time. It keeps your internal team working to grow your business rather than managing technology to support existing business.

New Templates Feature and Tour Videos

March 11, 2014
Posted by John Fager at 12:59 PM

Templates

Right on the heels of our recent major system upgrades, we've added a new templates feature to the content management system in VDP Web®. Templates allow users to:

  • Define editable regions
  • Lock down other areas of the page
  • Allow non-technical users to create web pages from the template
  • Edit the images and text to their needs
  • Publish work to the web in minutes

The interface in VDP Web makes it simple for anyone to edit the content of a template. No coding skills required! And for the web savvy, content created from templates can be unlocked, giving users full access to the design and code.

Templates can be created in any account. Resellers can share templates will all of their clients by simply clicking a button. Any creative agency can provide instant access to so many useful and high-converting landing page designs.

With the release of the new templates feature, we've also created a catalog of readily available web templates that can be used by anyone. These include simple opt-in landing pages with striking backgrounds, clean and elegant 2-column designs, and even our classic "old-school" landing pages. Many of these are responsive as well, so they're ready to go on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices!

Tour Videos

Check out our 10-minute video tour

Along with the changes to the user interface and the release of the templates feature, we've created two brand new "Quick Tour" videos. "Create PURLs in Under 10 minutes" showcases how fast and efficient VDP Web is for launching campaigns compared to other "clunky" systems. "Reseller Setup in Minutes" shows just how quick it is to for resellers to brand the user interface by uploading a custom logo, selecting a look and feel with exact company colors, and setting up a unique vanity domain.

We've also updated and streamlined our "Deep Dive" VDP Web system walkthrough videos that explore content, campaigns, data, and PURLs in detail.

Take the tour now

Major VDP Web Upgrades Show Huge Client Benefit

January 26, 2014
Posted by John Fager at 11:07 AM

The recent upgrade to our PURL enabled Cross Media Marketing software is helping our reseller clients provide tangible and immediate benefits to their clients.

Rather than splitting our software into two separate platforms as some providers have been forced to do, we’ve been able to keep new innovations under one roof. This means that we don’t have the distraction of supporting and updating separate systems. Likewise, our clients don’t have the headaches of different accounts and pricing models.

We’ve also kept our platform as a true "software as a service," with nothing to install on the desktop. VDP Web works cross-platform with a normal web browser.

In this post, we’ll highlight some of the new features.

A Better White-Label Platform

Our architects have updated the whole system to a modern, clean design that incorporates large, crisp fonts. We’ve eliminated unnecessary content and design elements. The new interface makes a fantastic impression on users and keeps our resellers looking good.

  • Easily upload and white label with your logo
  • Choose a primary and secondary exact color
  • Select between two layout styles
  • Select rounded or square corners
  • Use a vanity domain for client access

View Screenshots of White Labeling

Easy Enterprise Security that You Can Customize

The other guys just don’t have this. Agency and Reseller accounts can choose their default security settings and also choose custom settings for each client. This keeps resellers from frustrating those that don’t need the extra security while accommodating financial, medical and insurance clients with more exacting requirements.

Protect logins from hacking and unauthorized access:

  • Can use traditional, no-hassle email/password login access
  • Optionally activate email confirmations for logins from unknown locations
  • Optionally protect accounts by restricting login access to known company locations
  • White list IP addresses for instant access
  • Dual authentication

Automatic security notifications:

  • Branded, white-labeled and professional security notifications
  • Automatically notify users when an incorrect password is entered
  • Automatically protect accounts after 5 failed login attempts
  • Notify users when a password, security question or account information is changed

Granular control on individual user permissions:

  • Control system access to creative, data and reporting
  • Limit specific users to reporting relevant to their role
  • Limit sales reps to data only from their region
  • Allow managers overview access to see all data and reports

Format PURLs Your Way

Our competitors squawk about whether PURLs with the personalized part in front of the domain name is better than PURLs that come after the domain name. We don’t make you choose. VDP Web let’s you do your PURLs either way. In fact, you can always access a PURL using either method as long as your domain is correctly configured!

Powerful New Content Management Tools

VDP Web is the only system on the market that allows you, the client, to develop and drop in your own custom web and email templates in minutes using standard HTML and CSS.

Three great ways to work with our variable data enabled content:

  • Custom web templates
  • Content Wizards
  • HTML pages

New Web Templates

The power of being able to create web templates that are available to every client account under an agency or reseller cannot be overstated. It allows for tremendous speed and cost reductions in setting up custom designs and launching new clients.

We estimate that this new functionality will cut production costs for our clients by up to 70%.

  • Create your own re-usable templates in minutes with standard HTML and CSS
  • Perfect for franchise marketing
  • Lock down disclaimers, legal language and control assets
  • Keep designs fresh and modern across all accounts by making updates in just one location without overwriting customizations that your clients have made
  • Make your own designs or choose designs from our well-stocked library
    • Responsive designs
    • HTML5 and CSS3 based designs
    • Traditional old school HTML designs

Unlike with other systems, you can allow your clients to unlock templates for full access. You are never "stuck" in a template! This makes the creative like a fully customizable springboard for quickly launching complex sites across hundreds of accounts.

Every agency or reseller account can create templates that are automatically available to all of their clients. Any changes to the template immediately update the design throughout the system, no matter how many client accounts are using it.

Even our Basic accounts have full access to our new web templates!

Rapidly Deploy Complex Content with Content Wizards

We still offer our Content Wizard tool to rapidly deploy sets of complex content with multiple pages, surveys, opt-in forms, images and CSS. The variable sections that require customization appear on the screen for quick editing that can be done by a non-technical user. Click the build button and a multi-page, full featured website with all of the appropriate cross-linking is deployed in seconds.

Always Open, Full HTML and CSS Access

Our founding premise has always been that normal HTML, CSS, and JavaScript should work perfectly in our system. And it does.

Both Content Wizards and Web Templates can be unlocked for full access editing if desired. Choosing from our great library of templates will never hold you back from customizing the design. Simply unlock the template and you have full access to the HTML and CSS.

Enhanced Image & Asset Management

Quickly upload images, CSS, JavaScript and other assets from your desktop editing environment. Edit files online. Upload files from directly inside the HTML editor. Choose between our traditional HTML editor or our new HTML5 oriented editor, or if you’re a hard core coder, turn off the HTML editors and work directly with code. It’s all become so much easier and faster.

Streamlined, Simpler Navigation

We’ve worked hard to cut back on the number of buttons on the page! The new interface separates less used commands to the footer menu, leaving the primary areas as the main focus.

You won’t need any “university” or group message board to figure out our software. No 3-day training or special employees that have been trained in the system.

VDP Web can be figured out in minutes. Our video tutorials are extremely detailed along with simple and clear online documentation. Our phone-based support is immediate and you’ll know the person who answers the phone.

Try VDP Web Anytime

If you’re looking for a better provider, come and see what we have to offer. We’ve always had clear, transparent pricing posted online at www.vdpweb.com/pricing with a no-risk 14 day free trial.

If you’re already offering PURLs and cross media services or if you’re looking to start, we invite you to speak with us!

  • No license fees
  • Month-to-month
  • No long term commitments
  • Transparent pricing
  • Cancel anytime
  • The best support in the industry

VDP Web Thanksgiving Upgrade

November 23, 2013
Posted by John Fager at 5:44 AM

During our Thanksgiving rollout, our shiny new code will be available to all users!

Our Enterprise clients will have two themes to pick from for their branding, with options for square elements or rounded corners.  The system will now match a primary and secondary color exactly!

We’ve been very busy beta testing the new rollout of VDP Web. As promised, we wanted to share some screenshots of the newly designed user interface.

New features will greatly enhance security, such as failed login attempt and account information change notifications.  Resellers will be able to setup global security policies with specific access rules that can be customized for every client.

The newly designed HTML editor, along with a  greatly enhanced file manager have been a tremendous time saver for our designers as we have worked on projects over the last couple of weeks.

Visit upgrade.vdpconcepts.com for more info.

Take a look at some of these screenshots and let us know if you have any feedback.

Buzz versus Performance in Marketing and Sales

October 09, 2013
Posted by JFM Concepts at 5:51 AM

I was at the mall last night and took a walk down the concourse, takin note of the advertising and traffic in the mall.  Some stores were packed, some were empty. Apple has ads everywhere.

The launch of the iPhone 5 sold a significant number of units.  According research by Canaccord Genuity published in Fortune, the Apple’s 5s model was the best seller at all major US Carriers.  The Galaxy S4 was in second place.  Now take a look at pictures from an upscale suburban mall taken last night. 

Here's a shot I took of the Microsoft store just last night followed by a shot moments later at the Apple store down the hall

Photo2

Nothin' but crickets and employees on the xbox

Photo

Things are looking great over at Apple!

However…

It has been well documented recently that competitors to Apple, Inc’s  iPhone have been steadily gaining market share despite scenes like this.

The key to understanding this phenomenon is to look beyond appearance.  While on the surface (no pun intended), and from the popular media, everything looks like it’s going great, so how can Apple be in trouble? Products are selling and the stores are busy but the media coverage is coming from the same group evangelists and sales are coming from the same group of people.  Their is a media bias here towards their pet favorite.  Repeat purchases by existing customers make up most of iPhone’s sales and that spells big trouble down the road.

The simple fact of the matter is that smartphones are a global business and Apple is steadily losing market share.  In fact, they lost the lead in smartphone sales way back in 2012.  In the one year period from the second quarter of 2012 to the second quarter of 2013 they lost more than 4% market share.  In consumer products, drops of less than 1% are causes for panic.  While there has been a slight bump in share for Apple in the immediate past, they are still way behind in recapturing lost ground.   

When looking at the future of your market segment it is critical to look past the hype.  Being a media darling which dominates pop culture and rides a crest of positive free press can’t hurt, but that may not translate into long term business performance.

 

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About Us

JFM Concepts is a full service cross media marketing technology firm featuring the VDP Web® PURL and cross media marketing platform. JFM specializes in creating variable data cross media marketing technologies with Personalized URLs for commercial printers, marketing departments and agencies of all sizes.

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Cross Media Marketing 101, The concise guide to surviving in the C-Suite is the perfect guide for executives and managers looking to be sure that they have considered the major challenges facing them as traditional marketing methods are eclipsed and even supplanted by new channels. Taking a completely agnostic approach to the marketing mix, the author offers practical insight into the changing marketing world and how marketing leaders can beat the odds. Order Now

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