iBranch Collaboration through Internet is critical for state-of-the-art learning environment in professional colleges (a fact well recognized by NBA). Its also a globally emerging corporate culture. Introducing iBranch, a technology service using which a college can have its official collaborative portal without buying extra hardware or software or hiring ‘IT Guys’, … for as low as Rs.1750 per month! 1 2 3 Interact Share Information Share Knowledge Online Online Online with state-of-the-art collaborative features… Announcements Event Calendar Discussion Forums Blogs Repository White Board --------------------------------------------------------- “What is an iBranch?” … “Why do we need it?” …Find all details at: www.iBranch.in
Do you have an iBranch ? Inside… Frequently Asked Questions …… 1 Advantage iBranch …… 3 Collaborative Features …… 5 Contact Us …… 6
‐1‐Frequently Asked Questions 1. What is an "iBranch"?Answer: "iBranch" stands for INTERNET BRANCH. The iBranch of an organization becomes the “official portal” for its members to share day‐to‐day work related information through Internet. Technically speaking, an iBranch is a web enterprise portal. For example, see our demo iBranch of a college ‐ International Institute of Learning (www.ibranch.in/iil). 2. How is it different from the “Website” of our organization?Answer: Your “Website” is your interface to the outside world, like a detailed brochure which contains mostly static information like About Us, Products & Services, Achievements, Clients, Contact Us etc. An iBranch is strictly for the members or employees of your organization to share day‐to‐day work related information which is highly dynamic in nature (changing every day or hour). Technically, both website and iBranch (web enterprise portal) need a web server for hosting, but the software for a web enterprise portal is much more complex than that of a website. That’s because, a web enterprise portal is a collection of various ‘web applications’ which allow people to collaborate in different ways. 3. Why Does my organization need an "iBranch"?Answer: Interactivity and info‐sharing is CRITICAL to the core function of an educational institute i.e. imparting knowledge. Hence an iBranch (web enterprise portal) is as important as classrooms & black‐boards (especially in this Internet age). It would also help the institute management to organize the functioning of staff and activities of students more easily. Collaboration through Internet is required where there are inefficiencies in communication or info‐sharing resulting in poor team work and haphazard functioning (which is commonly found in any kind of organization). 4. Why use Internet when all our employees/students have mobilephones?SMS or phone call is only suitable for personal messages. When you need to send an announcement to 50 people, a lot of time and money would be wasted in calling or messaging. And apart from announcements, there are many other ways in which you share information within your college. Although you can send short notices using SMS, but you cannot guarantee whether all desired recipients have received (and read) the SMS and you are never sure whether your purpose is solved. For the recipient too, it is difficult to keep the announcements categorized and dated. So a student for example, will have to keep all the messages from HOD, library, accounts and teachers etc. in the same inbox. 5. Why do we need more ways of collaborating when we use e-mail?E‐mail, like SMS, is most suitable for personal communication. Although you can send detailed messages with attached documents to a number of recipients at once, it is still unorganized. E‐mailing a message to a group of people is like distributing photocopies of that message instead of putting it on a notice board (What if the message needs a small correction after it has been distributed??). Inteeg.com provides you with a sophisticated notice board on the Internet (along with lots of other features of course).
‐2‐Wikipedia states “inconsistency” as one of the drawbacks of e‐mail, it says “Email makes copies of information. This is especially a problem, when a team of people collaboratively works on documents”. For the recipients too, it is difficult to categorize the mails because everything is at one place. (Yes we know you can tag or label your mails, but how can you enforce all members to create the same kind of tags and ensure that they DO tag their mails every time?) E‐mail was one of the first applications over Internet (more than 2 decades old!). Lately we have seen many new collaborative applications emerge, like instant messaging, discussion forums, blogs and others using which users share information and content over Internet. Emergence and popularity of these applications prove that people need to collaborate in more than one ways. 6. What direct benefits does my organization get from an iBranch?Answer: Apart from increasing the overall efficiency and productivity, an iBranch also results in direct savings in TIME, MONEY & ENERGY of your organization. It enables interaction, information dissemination and knowledge sharing through Internet in a well‐organized manner and thus cuts down the need to travel physically. It also cuts down your printing/photocopying costs and telephone bills. Therefore, not only the management, individual employees/students also save on TIME, MONEY & ENERGY. 7. If we keep our internal or private information on a web portal, thenanybody can see it...Answer: Your iBranch on www.iBranch.in is accessible ONLY to members you authorize. Unauthorized visitors only see a login screen when they visit your iBranch. 8. Can you provide multiple levels of security, for example the informationshared among top management should not be visible to junior staff?Answer: Yes, we provide ‘role based security’ for your portal. So in the above example, a section of the iBranch can be configured to be accessed by authorized users which are further included in “Top management” role. Other authorized users will not have access to that section. This filtering is automatic, without requiring a secondary login‐id. 9. What kind of collaborative features does www.iBranch.in provide?Answer: Please see the section “Collaborative Features” on page‐5 10. Why use www.iBranch.in when we can develop and host acollaborative portal on our own?Answer: We mainly offer you 3 advantages – cost, continuity of service and latest technology. Please see the “Advantage iBranch” on page‐3 for details. 11. Do we need to buy extra hardware or software to use iBranch servicefrom www.iBranch.in?Answer: No, you only need a PC with Internet access.
‐3‐Advantage iBranch Opening an iBranch on www.ibranch.in has three major advantages over Behind the Curtain developing and/or hosting your own portal solution: What does a Web Enterprise 1. Cost advantage Portal service require at the back‐end? 2. Continuity‐of‐service advantage Infrastructure: 3. Latest technology advantage Server class computer 1. Cost advantage: Server operating system with web server software (Please see the box “Behind the curtain” to understand the infrastructure and manpower resources needed for running a Web Enterprise Portal service). Portal software or a content Following is a table showing the cost distribution across four critical areas: management system Where are the costs? Database server software. 5% – 20% 5% – 15% 5% – 15% 50% – 85% Initial Deployment Ongoing Ongoing Supporting software like anti‐ Infrastructure personnel Infrastructure Personnel virus etc. ‐ Hardware ‐ Design ‐ Hardware Repair / ‐ Scheduled Replace Maintenance Internet leased line with at least 2Mbps bandwidth. ‐ Software ‐ Configure & Integrate ‐ Network ‐ Unscheduled ‐ Security Maintenance Firewall (hardware or software) ‐ Test & Tune ‐ Security ‐ Monitoring / ‐ Outage Response Management Tools ‐ Ancillary Upgrades ‐ Bandwidth ‐ System Monitoring Deployment Personnel: ‐ Ancillary Upgrades ‐ Launch ‐ Software Maintenance ‐ End User Service System design and Information & Support architecture. ‐ Facilities ‐ IT staff Training & Upgrades ‐ End User Training ‐ Redundant Systems ‐ End User Training Portal software or content Staff Training management system & Awareness development (or ‐ Capacity Adds ‐ Admin, Reporting & customization). Cost Allocation ‐ Add on Feature Sets Infrastructure deployment. ‐ Planning, ‐ Monitoring/ Engineering, Testing Management Tools Ongoing personnel: ‐ Deployment of ‐ Facilities Upgrades and Add‐ ons Infrastructure maintenance ‐ Other (help desk etc.) ‐ Security Monitoring Portal administration (user memberships and roles ‐ Marketing management) Awareness & Adoption End user training and supportOriginal source: IDC. Direct source: White paper from WebEx™ – [pdf] “On‐demand Vs. On‐premise collaboration”.
‐4‐Just the initial infrastructure with an entry‐level server and free open source software would cost more than Rs.70,000 and it would incur a recurring cost of more than Rs. 25,000 per year for power and internet connectivity (excluding maintenance costs). This assumes that your IT department has reserve manpower to do things mentioned in the second and fourth column of the above table. Even if a shared hosting service is used and just one person is dedicated to these tasks, the effective recurring costs shoot beyond Rs.100,000 per year! On www.iBranch.in, subscription prices for a Web Enterprise Portal start at Rs.1750 per month.! So how do we provide this service at such low prices? The infrastructure costs get shared among various clients. Operational costs per portal, which are the highest among all costs, are recovered through sponsorships and ads (limited and strictly relevant advertizing). 2. Continuity‐of‐service advantage: Once members of an organization start using a Web Enterprise Portal, it gradually evolves into a critical service (just like any other communication service). Therefore its availability must be high (24x7) and functionality must be error‐free. This requires all the processes mentioned under “Ongoing Personnel” column in the above table to be executed periodically. For a non‐IT organization it’s difficult to have such a team in‐house. At iBranch.in, we are here to do just that. So you can use your iBranch anytime anywhere. 3. Latest technology advantage With specialization in the domain of Web Enterprise Portals, we are in a better position to adapt to technology changes and pass‐on the benefits to our customers (as compared to a general IT administration team). So with www.iBranch.in, you always get to use the best and the latest technology
‐5‐Collaborative Features A simple and secure way to broadcast notices & announcements, and publish news. It comes with ‘display‐in‐future’ and ‘expiry date’ facility. Useful when you want to create a “virtual notice board”. Announcements Important events can be displayed (with details‐on‐click) under specific dates on a calendar. E‐mail reminders can also be sent optionally. Useful for exam schedules, meetings & conferences, deadlines etc. Event Calendar An online platform for members to discuss topics asynchronously (unlike chatting). Saves & displays discussions topic‐wise. Useful when you want a group discussion on a topic. Also when you expect a reply for a query from anybody within your Discussion Forums organization. Blogging, the latest trend in the Internet world, allows members to write articles, essays, comments etc. and share them publicly. Useful when you want to just write about something and express yourself subjectively. Blogs Upload documents (like text files, spreadsheets, presentation slides, pdf etc.) from your computer. It can then be downloaded by authorized users from anywhere. Useful when a document/file needs to be distributed among a group or made Repository available for reference anytime in future. A custom defined table which can be used to build online lightweight databases. For example time‐table, task allocation table, member records etc. Useful when multiple users need to view or edit tabular data which traditionally requires group‐sharing of Custom tabular excel files through e‐mail. data Its a plain and simple white board! You can write any text on it or even create advanced displays using HTML. White Board It’s the newest way of co‐authoring documents. It maintains a single active copy of the document online and also tracks the changes made to it. Useful when more than one persons work on a single document. For example a team working on a client‐ Wiki proposal. @ An easy to update contact directory. Maintain contacts of your members (or clients) online, hence it can be accessed from anywhere. Contact Directory
‐6‐Contact Us Office: Citywala Infotech Pvt. Ltd. C‐45 Parijat Commercial Complex Bittan Market, Bhopal – 462016 Phone: (0755) 4202423 93008 21326, 98933 06861 e‐mail: email@example.com w w w . i B r a n c h. i n