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Hosting and IT

Hosting and IT related: Keeping your Flextraining safe, secure, and running.

1. Hosting: Much more than renting space on a disk drive.

At FlexTraining, we recommend that ALL of our customers to be hosted on our network. The benefits are huge, and while our license allows self-hosting, we encourage you to have us provide hosting and services, bundled into our "Premium Application Hosting" program. Hosting tasks include configuring the software, applying fixes, migrating databases, installing software upgrades, running imports, trouble-shooting slow performance, etc. For FlexTraining installations with over 1000 users we utilize a dedicated server, either a virtual machine or completely separate hardware, for great performance. Customers with less than 1000 users may be placed on a shared web server, for economy.

We can even provide these hosting services without actually having the system on our network. For example if your FlexTraining system resides on some third-party server space rental farm, or global cloud such as Amazaon AWS or Microsoft Azure. We charge the same amount for this kind of "remote hosting" as we do when the system is installed on our network - there is no additional fee beyond the normal hosting fee. We prefer the software reside on our network due to all the advantages it provides, but we can provide hosting-related services for you in this other scenario too.

2. System Installation: Setting up FlexTraining in its secure operational environment

For license customers, the IT department typically handles these tasks, but some customers do not have an IT resource, so they hire us to do the installation. NOTE: For Login & Go subscribers, and for FlexTraining-hosted customers, we handle this at no additional charge.

3. System Configuration: Setting options, policies, behaviors and technical values in the software menus

A flexible system like FlexTraining comes with many system options, operational settings, and user-definable behavioral policies. For license customers, the IT department or a designated manager may take this responsibility, but some customers will hire us to do these setup tasks. NOTE: For Login & Go subscribers, we define a few technical settings, and the customer will choose the desired values for the other options.

4. Database Upgrades: Moving from MS Access to MS SQL Server database technology

Most customers will operate efficiently on an MS Access database platform, but larger customers may need the power of SQL Server. Migrating the training data - with over 50 tables - is a job that must be done correctly. The customer's IT department will usually handle this task, but some customers will hire us to connect remotely and perform the migration for them. NOTE: For Login & Go subscribers, and for FlexTraining-hosted customers, we handle this at no additional charge.

5. Software Upgrades: Implementing the latest changes and enhancements to FlexTraining

FlexTraining is continuously improved - we invest a lot of resources in adding and enhancing system features. And every now and then we send a batch of new programs (called "pages" in a web application) out to non-hosted customers for them to apply to their system. A technical resource from the customer's staff will usually open, unzip, apply, and test the updates, but some customers will hire us to connect and load the changes. NOTE: For Login & Go subscribers, and for FlexTraining-hosted customers, we handle this on a rapid-deployment basis at no additional charge.

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Suggested: The services below are recommended and should be part of each customer's annual budget.

6. Data Import/Export: Adding learners in a mass import or adding management users

FlexTraining offers several ways to add learners. One of them is a mass import feature that can be operated from the web-based FlexTraining Management Center. Accordingly, the customer's staff performs imports, as needed, just as they enter individual learners as needed. If desired, the customer may hire us to actually perform the import for them. The same can be said of exporting data, which may be done via the reporting module.

7. Manager Training: Skills, tips and strategies for administrators and course authors

You can be sure you are getting maximum value from your FlexTraining system when your managers have been given the "how to" knowledge for creating and managing training. Covers all aspects of system operation and any special topics requested by you. For customers that hire us to operate their system, an abreviated version is offerred.

8. Building Online Courses: Best practices and years of experience combine to produce solid online training and testing.

Of course, FlexTraining comes with a built-in, tightly integrated course authoring tool. As a result, most customers develop their own courses. However, we offer professional course authoring, and we have a lot of experience working with our own tools. For a reasonable fee, our creative services team can get you up and running quickly with a fully-developed catalog of courses. This may include Audio/Video creation and editing.

9. Updating Online Courses: Times change; make sure your online catalog of courses keeps up.

The day that a new course is launched, it begins to age. Content may become less accurate, products and company leaders may change, and regulations may change, making a compliance course obsolete. And technical advances, like the emergence of "responsive" content that stretches and shrinks according to the display device, can leave a course looking old or unprofessional. Regular updates and course edits should be a integral part of any E-Learning plan.

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Discretionary: Depending on each customer's needs, the value-add services below are also available.

10. CyberSecurity Services: Security Assesment, Planning, Vulnerability Scanning, and more.

We offer flexible services that are economical and straightforward, and which won't disrupt your business. Tell us about your current operations, technology, and goals, and then we'll make a plan together.

11. System Operation and Management: Managing the entire learning platform and simply delivering results.

Customers also have the option of not really running the system at all. We can perform the full range of management and operational tasks. This would include importing users, building courses, assigning skill groups, adjusting scores and progress, running reports, and distributing progress and completion results. This service is available to Login & Go subscribers and to hosted license customers.

12. Custom Modifications: For that particular operational requirement that just can't be met any other way

FlexTraining is based on a large number of user-definable behaviors, screens, and processes. Thus it is rare that an actual code-based customization needs to be made. But it does happen from time to time. Examples may include changing the nature or design of a feature or screen, adding fields to a screen, adding filters to a report, or customizing a process or form. We perform these customizations, which are usually very small, on a time-and-materials basis, or sometimes on a fixed-fee quote. In rare instances, a customization for a single customer may become a feature in the standard FlexTraining product. NOTE: Customzations are much easier to perform and test (and at a lower cost) when the customer is hosted with FlexTraining.

Technical Support vs Professional Services: Knowing the difference is important.

Technical support, which is available as part of the annual Support/Upgrades agreement, does not include the services listed above. All the professional services listed above are distinct from, and thus invoiced separately from, the annual Support/Upgrades service. NOTE: Support and Upgrades are required for hosted customers and are included at no charge for Login & Go subscribers.

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Need an estimate or a quote for one of more of the above? Just ask your account manager or submit a ticket to the Help Desk.

We make a living by providing value-add services to our customers. We are anxious to work with you. Contact us to start a conversation about how we can add value to your company or organization and cut your operating costs.