Services in more detail

We have extensive experience of manufacturing, business, operational and engineering environments and use that and our technical expertise to work with our clients to provide the right solution for them. Through customer feedback we have been able to build on our strengths and underpin our core principles.

In addition to providing products or repeatable solutions we also offer the following services.

Our clients often comment that we are good at understanding and articulating what it is that they need. In most cases we go on to deliver a solution ourselves to meet those needs but we sometimes work on behalf of the client as a Trusted Advisor to help them specify and implement a solution from another provider.

We are very happy to deliver this service as we recognise that what is best for out customers is best for us in the longer term.
The difference between an application that is good now and one that is still good in 5 years time is “Application Architecture”.

You may not need a dedicated architect but you do need to make sure that someone is taking the time to step back and ensure that the solution you are about to build is based on a solid foundation, will cope with 5 years worth of use and is using the most appropriate platform and methods.You can seldom make up for a rocky foundation with extra code, resources or money.

One of FoCul’s core strengths is in helping you to determine the best architecture for your applications. We are happy to lead user specification workshops or to work with your IT team to understand the resources that you have available and how these can be best used to deliver applications.

We can provide this support on an ad-hoc basis or against fixed deliverables and are very happy to work alongside your existing teams.
We develop modern browser based applications which can run on the user’s computer without any additional software. The applications that we develop are secure and can be integrated into your intranet or can be accessed by your customers and suppliers over the internet.

We develop these applications in a modular fashion re-using proven code where possible so that we can deliver robust solutions faster and at the best cost.
XPages is the latest application development framework for IBM Lotus Notes and Domino. It is has very powerful functionality that allows developers to deliver modern applications while still utilising the benefits of IBM Notes and Domino.

XPage applications can be run as web applications or from within IBM Lotus Notes – even in disconnected mode. XPage applications can also be mobilised.

FoCul is a leading developer of XPage applications.
There are broadly two ways to mobilise your data. The first is to web enable your application so that it can be accessed via a browser. If access via a smart phone or tablet will be a frequent requirement then this web enablement should be optimised so that mobile users have a dedicated version of the site to best suits their small devices. This will typically have less functionality than the desktop version.

The second method is to use software to take your data off-line on your device so that it can be accessed, modified or created whilst you are disconnected. This approach is usually more expensive but may be necessary if users cannot reliably get good data connections – e.g. on chemical plants.
FoCul has extensive experience of modernising IBM Lotus Notes applications. The modernised applications can be used with the Notes client or via a browser with no need for Lotus Notes at all. We are also able to replace your Domino servers with appliances that are integrated into your Microsoft Infrastructure and will run unattended with a SLA and licencing from FoCul.

New features in these modernised applications include dashboards, improved user interface, improved searching and mobilisation.
Even if you have no IBM Licences or expertise we can provide your Domino application on an easy to manage appliance. Appliances can be in the cloud or on-premises to ensure that your business can get maximum benefit.
We can provide additional expertise to your own development team. Our team includes very experienced Notes and XPage developers who are happy to take on Level 1, 2 or 3 support tasks. We will always look to work with your own team in a way that maximises the opportunities for knowledge transfer.
We can provide additional expertise to your own administration team. Our team includes very experienced Notes / Domino administrators who are happy to take on Level 1, 2 or 3 support tasks. We will always look to work with your own team in a way that maximises the opportunities for knowledge transfer.

System health checks and security audits

Domino and / or Notes installations upgrades

Notes Traveler installation – this is a free add-on to IBM Domino that allows smart phones or tablets to integrate into your Notes / Domino mail system for work emails and calendaring.

Migrations to and from Notes

Review of your use of collaborative tools and your existing platforms to identify opportunities where collaboration could generate more business value.

Linux – One of the real strengths of the Domino Server and XPages is that they can be run on many different platforms. Linux is an efficient and robust platform that can be more cost effective than Windows Server depending on the hardware and circumstances. If you would like more help understanding or managing Domino / XPages on Linux please Contact us.
IBM Licensing is more complicated than it needs to be but their software is very good. As an IBM Reseller our aim is to make it easier for you to understand how you can optimise your IBM licences for your environment.

There are a wide range of IBM licensing models that you can choose from. This page is much too short to address them fully but you should be aware of the following points :

IBM XWorks Server : If you only need to run XPage applications rather than mail then the XWorks server can be a very attractive option.

IBM Express Licences : If you have less than 1,000 employees you will benefit from the Express Licence. For example there is no charge for servers if the users have an express Notes licence.

IBM Utility Licences : These licences allow unlimited users to access browser based applications and are priced according to the power of your server using “PVUs”.

If you are licensing servers be very aware that increasing the number of cores or CPUs will increase your licence costs very significantly – over-specifying a server is very expensive

Some software vendors such as ourselves, are able to include IBM Licences as part of the product. This can be very cost effective.

IBM Resellers, such as ourselves, can often add more value at renewal time than IBM