By Azaraimy HH
With the advent of social networking sites like Facebook, many people are able to run home-based businesses through the Internet. In Brunei, this is also fast catching up. Check out the likes of "de cutehaus", "Dk onlineshop", "Mystique Naomi", "kadai jami" and a lot more as they stand testimony to the e-business revolution.
HRH the Crown Prince in conversation with Nor Azian at the TechXpo at ICC. - PHOTO COURTESY OF NOR AZIAN
Few years back, Nor Azian was struggling to keep her business afloat but then saw her business boom from a small shop selling flowers to a florist specialist and her home-based "i-can-rent-for-you" activity went into a full-blast baby cradle rental business. Together with her home-based bridal business, she has her time going for her.
Nor Azian and her husband have dropped their good paying jobs to focus on their business and customers, which now has a good base of clientele. They also run www.perkahwinannegerisembilan.com.
But she became successful not until she found 7portal.my, a Malaysian-based webhost that offers CMS (content-management software) which allows people with no IT or ICT knowledge whatsoever to administer their own dynamic and transaction-capable dotcom website without the expensive assistance of a webmaster and designing works from a web designer.
7portal.my is one of the technology companies that is showcasing their products at the first-ever Tech Exposition - the TechXpo 2010 - currently being held at the International Convention Centre (ICC), and their participation is timely as many Bruneians are now joining the web-based business bandwagon. It is also timely for those NGOs and non-profit organisations that are looking to establish dynamic professional websites but can't afford to maintain one.
7portal runs a D.I.Y (do-it-yourself) portal design and administration with a CMS that will even make facebook look a bit more technical.
In an interview with Nor Azian, who is now working as a main distributor for 7Portal due to her success and has been a consultant to many people who want to follow her footsteps, she said she had no prior knowledge on IT.
Her idea to join the 'online' bandwagon first came when she ordered her stock online from a company website based in Australia. She said she was amazed when her stock came right at her doorstep.
After that, she and her friends tried to look for an affordable web designer.
"In the past, a web designer could charge you about $100 to $200 per webpage. It is an expensive affair for a simple shop to maintain it," she said.
Logically, stocks are changing thus websites need to have constant updates, and if something goes wrong to the website, trouble shooting and necessary correction should be done. All these require good technical knowledge. This is where problems will come.
"We do not know how to admin and what HTML etc is. This is the common problem people have when they order a website from a web designer."
To cut the story short, she was amazed how 7portal has made that problem non-existent. The administration of the website through a dedicated CMS is so simple that will even make facebook look a little bit more complicated.
She can even change the layout and the look according to seasonal period, such as Hari Raya time, Christmas etc.
"You can even drag and drop photos from facebook right through the CMS admin very easily," she added.
7potal has five main features namely; 7portal (easy CMS); 7commerce (complete package for commercial website including shopping cart, payment gateway, domain, email, hosting, supportive services); 7skin (growing number of customisable template to mix and choose); 7sms (capable for sending SMS to 1,500 numbers simultaneously); and 7academy (training and consultation services).
7portal is currently doing a free demonstration for visitors at the TechXpo 2010 at the ICC in Berakas.
7portal will also be holding a website development training course at SEAMEO-VOCTECH on November 7 (Sunday) and marketing strategy through Facebook, eBook etc.