According to the nursery rhyme, “Lucy Locket lost her pocket”. Something Irish firm Lucey Technology hopes to avoid with its cloud based Online Customer Engagement service (OCE), aimed at small professional services businesses.
OCE is designed to give companies with limited resources access to Web collaboration technologies more normally the preserve of more affluent enterprises. Specifically, OCE provides tools to “engage” with customers online, rather than via the postal system, fax and, more latterly, email, saving both time and money as well as leading to a more secure solution.
Underpinning the OCE service is a hosted SharePoint portal, originally designed for use by accountancy firms, but which can be customised and branded to suit a variety of businesses including architects, charities, dentist practices, hotels and many others.
The portal provides access to customisable workspaces equipped with contact, calendar and discussion tools plus a range of file sharing, document management and workflow controls. The ability to electronically sign off documents can also be added, using an optional digital signature service, and it’s all pretty straightforward to configure with no special programming skills required. Despite which, what you end up with can be the equivalent of a professional online collaboration system that, to develop from scratch, might otherwise cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.
You can even accept payments online using OCE, via a hosted online payment processing service for which Lucey has negotiated a cut-throat rate of just 1.24 percent; significantly lower than PayPal and other common alternatives. Moreover, small businesses can buy into this component by itself and simply incorporate the online payments service into their own websites, if preferred.
As with most cloud computing solutions, there are no up-front costs with OCE. Just a monthly subscription based on the number of users, amount of storage and any optional services required. You can also support as many clients as you want at no extra charge and they can logon to the portal from anywhere. All that’s needed is a browser plus a Microsoft Office Live ID for authentication.
We found the product easy to work with, although there is a fairly steep learning curve. Indeed, at first glance OCE seemed a bit of a mish-mash of tools and services, and it took a while working through the examples and the online video tutorials before it started to make sense. More importantly, however, when we logged on as a client, to a pre-prepared workspace, we found it easy to follow and very quick.
As a solution, OCE is very much oriented towards businesses offering professional and other expert services. Online retailers, for example, are unlikely to be interested in anything other than the payment service. But that’s understandable, OCE offering a sensible mix of tools in an affordable cloud based format to help small companies reap the rewards of online collaboration with their customers; just like the big boys do already.
Company: Lucey Technology
Contact: 020 7193 2890
A unique mix of online collaboration tools delivered as a cloud based solution, Lucey OCE makes it possible for small professional service companies to benefit from Web technologies already widely used by larger enterprises. No special programming skills or extra software are required. Key benefits include the secure sharing of confidential documents, optional electronic signing of documents and the ability to process payments online at a specially negotiated low rate.