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Priti

Priti

With a Masters degree in Human Resource Management, a Masters in Commerce and a degree in Law, Priti Pundir took up the profession of her passion in Information Technology. It's only her enthusiasm that took her from Operations Manager to Business Consultant and eventually Partner - Business Development at Evon Technologies. Her strengths are maintaining good Public Relations and Business Development overseas. She loves Cars and Poetry.

Application requirements have changed drastically in recent years. For any application to succeed in this era of cloud computing, big data and IoT, going reactive is increasingly becoming a norm.

Today’s users embrace applications that have milliseconds of response time, 100% uptime, lower latency, higher throughput and scalability. However, these features are nearly impossible to achieve by using yesterday’s software architecture that enabled applications having tens of servers, long response time, hours of offline maintenance and gigabytes of data. There’s now a need for systems that are built for distributed environment, and which can deal effectively with petabyte of data and cloud-based clusters running thousands of multi-core processors.

This is a major reason why many businesses are adopting Reactive Systems for building applications that provide high-end user-experience and help beat the competition.

Let’s get into details of what Reactive Systems bring on the table for your application and how they work.

Top Four Traits of Reactive Systems:

Responsiveness

If an application user doesn’t get timely response, they will go somewhere else because they are not getting the value they expect from your application. Having a reactive System prevents that by responding in real-time. Besides, such systems are capable of detecting errors quickly and fixing them effectively. Being able to provide consistent response times helps comply with tighter SLAs of today, grow confidence in end users and make your app highly interactive.

Responsiveness heavily relies on two other aspects of Reactive Systems: Resilience and Elasticity. Let’s see how.

Resilience

If a system is not resilient, it will not be able to respond under failure, making responsiveness a lost feature of your app. By using replication, isolation and delegation, you can have a Reactive System that is resilient and responsive even under failure. When components are isolated from each other, they can fail and recover without leading to the failure of the system as a whole. Delegation allows another (external) component to take the responsibility of recovery of each component, whereas replication ensures high-availability whenever required.

Elasticity

As workload can vary from time to time, your application should have the ability to stay responsive even under high workload. According to Reactive Manifesto, “Reactive Systems can react to changes in the input rate by increasing or decreasing the resources allocated to service these inputs.”

Isolation of components from each other and no sharing of resources pave the way for replication. Which translates into running multiple instances of a component at once and splitting the inputs between them. The inputs become asynchronous messages, allowing instances to independently receive different messages. All the instances only deal with the messages they receive, and do not show concern for ordering of a message in relation to other messages. Also, there’s no need to care about how other instances are dealing with their messages.

As a result, it becomes possible to scale up or scale down as many or as few instances of a component running at once as required. This property of growing or shrinking as needed is referred to as “elasticity”.

Message-Driven

Reactive systems are message-driven and use asynchronous message-passing to create a boundary between components. This brings the much-needed loose coupling, isolation and location transparency in the systems. With a boundary established between components, failures go as messages.

Due to this message-driven nature, the system responds in a sensible way when any component comes under stress. The component can’t fail, so it sends a message to the system, telling the fact that it needs other components to reduce its load. This feature is called back-pressure. Message queue monitoring and action-taking ability makes the system capable of managing load, elasticity, and flow control.

How Loose Coupling boosts Performance of Reactive Applications?

Going reactive means using a set of design principles to create cohesive pieces of software that solve individual problems efficiently through “separation of concerns” and “loose coupling”. The architecture of Reactive Systems is so designed that multiple individual components of the software conflate as a single unit and react to changes.

To better understand, let’s take an example. A software that has tightly coupled components would look something like this.

It might be your hard work, but it will not be able deal effectively with a change. All of them would probably fall if anyone of them moves out of the place. So, if your software does not have components that are independent of each other, they won’t be able to work properly in the absence of others.

Now, look at this.

Well, this is made of small reusable components that can be arranged in different ways to solve different problems.

But, think about the effort and the cost that will take for converting it into something showed below.

Besides high cost and time, this might also prove to be a headache for your technical team.

The Takeaway: even if your software architecture has small, reusable pieces, it’s not enough to effectively deal with a change, as new requirements may demand a complete rewrite of huge parts of your system.

Now, look at this.

The picture says it all about how easy it is to change from one shape to another. All you need is to add some toothpicks and balls or remove them to create a different shape. Since the balls are totally decoupled from each other, they can be easily linked with any other through a common interface (the toothpick).

Such a software architecture design makes it possible to effectively react to a change and solve different problems through resilience, elasticity and responsiveness. The picture has its limits and just serves as an example to make it easier to understand what do we mean by decoupling or loose coupling.

What Reactive Programming holds for Reactive Systems?

Reactive Programming is a popular method of writing codes to create components and compose workflows in Reactive Systems. The programming method is event-driven and helps increase utilization of computing resources on multicore and multi-CPU hardware. Besides, developers using Reactive Programming find it easy to deal with asynchronous and nonblocking I/O. What makes Reactive Programming a good fit for developing Reactive Systems is the removal of explicit coordination between active components.

Below are some links to case studies of businesses going reactive, and thereby boosting growth

How America’s largest telecommunications provider Verizon is drawing benefits from going reactive

UK’s online gaming leader invests big on reactive to drive personalization

Walmart sees 20% hike in conversion rates after going reactive

Wix.com user base grows from 5 to 50 million after going reactive

The idea of going reactive is not new as dates back to 1970s. However, it’s only been in the past few years that the emergence of new tools and technologies have helped developers turn the idea into reality by composing complex tasks with ease. Going by the context of multicore, Cloud and Mobile architectures, the future of modern web is reactive. Business giants, like Netflix, Slack, Microsoft and Facebook, have already started to power themselves by going reactive, with many more businesses awaited to jump on what has now become the bandwagon.

For any queries related to Reactive Systems and Reactive Programming, get in touch with us using the comment box below.

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The world of finance is set for a big change. Two disruptive innovations, Cognitive Computing and Blockchain, have attracted some serious attention in the finance world for the potential they have showed to revolutionize finance industry. There’s also pressure mounting on financial institutions to adopt new technologies for more competence, new customer experiences and efficiency savings.

Dutch bank ING, Dubai-based Emirates NBD and Deutsche Bank are among some financial services leaders which have already earmarked hefty amounts for strengthening their digital capabilities by using the power of cognitive computing and blockchain. The IBM Watson Platform has also created a lot of buzz to help remove the complexity of financial system by providing an “insight as a service.”

How Cognitive Computing and Blockchain are Shaping the Future of Financial Services?

Cognitive Computing, a term coined by IBM, simulates the functioning of human brain in a computerized model. The goal of cognitive computing is to use self-learning algorithms that use data mining, predictive analytics, pattern recognition and natural language processing that mimic human-like intelligence.

Deep learning algorithms and neural networks play a crucial role in development of cognitive systems that can acquire knowledge from the data they are exposed to by mining data for information. The system learns more and become more accurate as it gets exposed to more data over time.

Implications of Cognitive Computing for finance industry

Financial institutions have very large sets of data at their disposal, but they have not been able to take full advantage of them for years. “We all have mounds and mounds of data, but getting data to produce insight, that is the holy grail", said Cathy Bessant, chief operations and technology officer at Bank of America Corp, during the Fintech Ideas Festival.

Banks cater to millions of customers of different income, age, location and needs. However, customers often get fed up with financial institutions targeting them with products that don’t suit their requirements. Cognitive computing could play a big role here to end such stereotypical approaches for targeting customers.

Using cognitive technology, financial institutions can unlock the power of unstructured data, understand different requirements of customers and treat them as individuals, not faceless entities. Relationship building is another strong advantage that banks can pull using cognitive technology.

Cognitive computing provides a way to determine an individual's personality via historical data and analysis. Therefore, financial institutions can tell an advisor the type of engagement strategy they need to devise to interact and build relationship with a particular customer.

Having such an ability increases the chances by many folds to sell right products to different customers and drive value out of the relationship. Besides, cognitive systems do not require human efforts to interact, engage and advise customers on the investment options that are most likely to bring them good returns.

What Blockchain Holds for Finance Industry?

Blockchain is another revolutionary technology that could see high adoption rate across various sectors, not just financial services, in coming years. Blockchain was used to create the first ever cryptocurrency, called Bitcoin. It’s now widely believed that Blockchain will become the future of transaction processing in financial services.

Click here to learn how Blockchain works

Blockchain is a decentralized ledger of transactions that are cryptographically secured. Every transaction is stored in a block and each block is linked to the preceding one using advanced cryptography. As new transactions happen, new blocks are generated and linked to preceding ones in a chain of blocks that can’t be reversed or deleted.

“Blockchain is so profound it will do for trusted transactions what the internet did for information,” said IBM Corp's president and chief executive Ginni Rometty. Rometty also described blockchain as one of the most transformative technologies for finance.

Use cases of Blockchain in Financial Services

Cross border payment is currently an expensive and slow process. Blockchain has a great potential to expedite the international money transfer process and significantly cut remittance costs, from 5-20% to 2-3%.

Smart contract is another most promising application of Blockchain technology, allowing to execute commercial transactions and agreements automatically. Also, there’s no need to pay a middleman to provide products such as Letters of Credit and enforce the obligations of all parties in a contract. Smart contracts provide exciting opportunities for trade finance as well.

Blockchain also gives rise to identity management, removing the complex know-your-customer verification approach that banks follow to identify their customers. Currently, official identity documents and some form of face-to-face checking is required to avail a loan, buy a house, settle a car insurance claim, etc.

Once identity management moves to Blockchain, users will be able to choose how they identify themselves and and have a control over who all can see their identity.

User registration still needs to be done though to create a digital identity, but only for once. The user will not have to register again for every service provider who is also connected to the Blockchain. Digital identity saves a lot time and cost that goes into information and document exchange between multiple parties.

Narrowing down the gap between finance and technology has become the need of the hour for financial institutions to stay competitive and meet increasing demands of customers. Many financial institutions have already started to ramp up investments in Cognitive Computing and Blockchain technology development to offer innovative and effective solutions to customers. That said, it’s right to say that the finance industry of today will look very different by 2030.

Do you really think that the advent of Blockchain and Cognitive Computing will reshape the future of finance industry? Is there any fear associated with the adoption of the two disruptive technologies in financial services? As always, your views are vital for us, please share them in the comment box below.

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The Internet has revolutionized our lives in every possible and positive way we can think of. Although the Internet has become an inextricable part of our life, making it much convenient for us to shop online, renew car insurance, hunt for a job, or research for things that matter to us, there’s a dark side attached to it as well, i.e. loss of private information.

Do we really need to worry about our personal information that rests precariously on the Internet?

If you are a regular Internet user, you must have come across several websites asking for your personal information, like date of birth, email address, phone number, marital status, residential address, etc., before providing you the access to their content and offerings.

However, have you ever pondered over the fact that many of them don’t need your personal information to do business with you, but they still ask for it. And in many cases, users provide their personal information, thinking that their private information is safe as such websites strictly adhere to their privacy policy.

But in reality, your personal information, including bank details or credit card numbers that many people use to shop online on retail sites or mobile apps, is still subject to data leak or data hack. Whatever we do on the Internet, we leave a digital trail that can be exploited by data hackers or data miners. There’s also no denying the possibility of your data being sold by unscrupulous websites to book their profit.

We take emails as safe as the message content is protected by encryption technique. However, no encryption is used for the “metadata” that goes with the message as it’s required by the internet routing system. The metadata can reveal vital part of our private information we share through emails.

The big reason we need to worry about data security breach and hack attack is that our confidential information could go in wrong hands, putting us at the risk of fraud, identity theft, unsolicited selling and marketing, blackmail, etc. Since mobile is increasingly becoming the central medium of accessing the Internet, it’s also important to highlight the repercussions attached to it in terms of personal data extraction and misuse.

How do Mobile Apps get Access to Your Personal Data?

If you have ever installed an app from Google Play Store, you must have agreed to its endless “Terms and Conditions” before starting using it. Chances are high that you have never read them in full, like many of us who prefer to skip the long list of permissions Google Play apps, before accepting them.

By agreeing to “Terms and Conditions”, you actually allow those apps to get inadvertent access to your confidential information like contacts, messages (including bank transactions and one time passwords), photo/media files, device and app history, etc. It becomes important here to understand whether free apps are attempting to make money from in-app purchases or selling your data.

Think about a picture editing app that asks for permission to access your phone camera and media files. Well, it makes sense as the app requires the access to your mobile camera and media files in order to edit pictures saved in your mobile or to click a new picture it can edit. However, aren’t permissions required by a photo editing app to access unnecessary content, like contacts, messages or phone call details, enigmatic? There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be wary of such apps, right?

Many app developers also integrate third-party libraries that allow push ads and other content of external entities on their apps. Since attackers can easily exploit poorly written code of an app or third party libraries, chances of your personal data to be compromised increase by many folds.

Lesson Learnt: Several app developers or data miners can easily access and misuse your private information on the pretext of fulfilling app functionality and providing good mobile experience.

Measures Internet Users must take to Safeguard Privacy and Security Online:

  • Always use an effective and updated antivirus/antispyware software on a computer for entering account or other sensitive information, like bank details.

  • Before revealing your private information to a particular website, read the privacy policy carefully. And, if the site agrees to not share your data with external parties in exchange of money or any other benefit, then only give them your personal details.

  • Never enter confidential information on sites that do not have “https” in the beginning of their URLs. “S” means secure. Also, you should log out from secured sites after finishing your transaction.

  • Never use free hotspots for online banking or online shopping. Free, public wi-fi is too luring to ignore, but you never know who else is watching and tracking your online activity.

  • Cloud storage is also quickly picking pace, but it’s important to go for vendors that provide full protection and data backup against hack attacks.

  • Beware of unknown downloads as websites like torrent downloaders and streaming sites could pose a data-leak threat via ‘drive-by’ downloads. Without your knowledge, such websites download sniffers and keyloggers in the background that act as malware and track your keystrokes. To block such downloads, use an antivirus solution with a firewall.

  • For safe Internet browsing, keep deleting cookies from time to time. Using a virtual private network (VPN) is also a good measure to keep your IP address and user data protected by routing all your data through a proxy server.

  • Update privacy settings on social media sites and search sites, like Facebook and Google. As per default privacy settings, your information is shared publicly. You can allow your personal information to be seen by fewer people or those you trust by making changes under a “settings” menu option.

  • Use strong passwords and regularly change them. Never reveal your passwords or other confidential information on texts, emails or phone.

  • Phishing attacks have become common. So, if an email appears to be suspicious and asks for your personal details, check the company details before furnishing it with the information it’s asking for. It could be an attempt to divulge your personal information for misuse. Also, never use your work email address for personal use.

  • If you often make purchases online, don’t save your payment information for future purchases.

Data broking is a fast growing industry and generates approximately $200-billion per year now. It’s true that we value the convenience the Internet has added to our lives. But, it’s also true that the Internet has become a double-edged sword now and could hurt us if not handled with care.

What according to you Internet users can do more to avoid their personal data being misused or hacked? How big do you think data security breach threat is? Your views are highly welcome, please add them in the comment box below.

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We would all agree that learning is pivotal to achieving any goal in the world. However, the set goal could only be achieved fully if the learning is interesting, engaging and motivating. Textbook learning is gradually losing its ground as learners find it boring, offering them no to little visual element to be able to actually see what they are learning. Many studies have also proved that we remember less of what we read and more of what we see.

Now, think of how quickly and effectively we all had started learning playing games, like Hopscotch, Four Square, Jump Rope, Badminton, and many more. Not did only we learn those games well, but enjoyed and had loads of fun too. Having agreed upon this, we could say that gaming is one of the best ways not just to learn something, but improve concentration, cognition and participation rather than merely reading out a book.

This is one of the top reasons why Gamification is quickly turning out to be a paradigm shift in learning space now. Gamification is a technique that uses game mechanics for even non-gaming activities, like elearning. Game-based learning products are becoming more and more popular everyday among e-learners because they are interactive, engaging, motivating, and have the fun element involved, which learners widely miss in traditional page-turner courses.

Let’s gain insight into crucial factors that make gamification a boon to elearning.

How Gamification Aids e-learning

#1 Makes e-learning Interactive and Entertaining

Image source: eLearning Industry

For a learner, it’s very important to feel excited about what they are learning, which is often not the case with traditional e-learning methods. Gamified e-learning scores big here by bringing in fun and interactive elements.

Learners feel excited to take up new tasks and perform them successfully without getting bored or feeling demotivated. When learning becomes fun and exciting, learners get the feeling of immersion, which also gives them the ownership of their learning.

KnowRe is one such gamification tool that lets middle and high school students learn mathematics in a fun-filled environment. The math program also has interactive learning map to show the students’ performance and motivate them to reach their full potential.

#2 Gives a Sense of Achievement

Image Source: Christening - WordPress.com

Having successfully passed a level in a game fills players with a feel-good-factor, which further motivates them to keep playing and making new achievements. Likewise, gamification in e-learning also helps learners get a sense of achievement after passing a level, which impels them to score more points and move to a higher level, thereby making gamified learning engaging and captivating.

Ribbon Hero, a game developed by Microsoft, lets people to learn MS Office by completing short and relevant tasks, like formatting or inserting graphs. Since tasks are short, it doesn’t take learners too long to complete them, which gives them a sense of achievement related to their learning progress and fuels their motivation to reach and pass higher levels.

#3 Better Learning Experience

Gamification gives learners the freedom to learn without having to worry about failure. If they fail to pass a level, they have the option to try again without any negative aura of having previously failed surrounding them. Therefore, game-based e-learning provides a positive learning environment where learners feel enthusiastic and interested.

Image Source:Opiskelijankaupunki

To cite an example, Duolingo lets people to learn a language by taking challenges related to speaking, listening and translation. Since learners are not experts, they are highly likely to fail at some level. However, the interesting point is that they can always start over and try again without having the feeling of being a failure or looser. Such a learning environment keeps the learners positive and motivated to keep trying and succeed in their bid to learn a language.

#4 Gives Rise to Microlearning

Learners find it difficult to grasp complex concepts through one entire course. Gamification comes handy here as it divides e-learning courses in small segments that usually take learners about 3-5 min to complete. So, learning becomes a step-by-step process wherein learners feel motivated to fulfill prerequisites that are required to unlock new learning segment. Gamified rewards, like badges, points, etc, nicely connect learning paths to help complete the learning process in a much easier and effective way.

Image Source: GSV Capital

For example, curious.com has nearly 25,000 lessons on virtually any topic. Based on your area of interest, it sends you mini lessons on daily basis to help you achieve your monthly learning goals. Learners get to build their Curiosity Quotient (CQ) by taking up micro lessons everyday for 30 minutes or 15 minutes or even five minutes.

#5 Provides Feedback to Keep Track of Learning Progress

Gamified learning helps learners keep the track of their learning progress by providing them feedback. As a result, learners quickly learn from their mistakes and complete their learning journey much earlier than traditional elearning. Feedback is a very important factor in any field to let learners figure out what’s going wrong with their efforts, and quickly find a fix to improve and perform better.

Image Source: SlideShare

Salesforce with Nitro/Bunchball is a tool that provides real-time feedback to employees to have better product knowledge and deliver strong performance. Immediate feedback on employee behavior also helps employees make the best of their targeted campaigns.

#6 Long-term Knowledge Retention

Image Source: Capytech

Use of work role simulation or life-like situations in gamified e-learning allows learners not just to effectively acquire new knowledge, but fit it in the long-term memory as well. Findings of a research conducted by Professor Traci Sitzmann, at the University of Colorado Denver Business School, have also showed that playing video games helped players acquire 11% higher factual knowledge level, 9% higher retention rate and 14% higher skill-based knowledge level.

Having gained knowledge imprinted in long-term memory makes gamified e-learning way better and effective than traditional page-turner courses.

Image Source: Pinterest

MCDONALDS: TILL TRAINING GAME is designed to use a simulation of the new till system. The game features a realistic setup which contains restaurants, characters resembling customers and a narrative to take orders and deal with different customers. The game has proved to significantly improve the long-term knowledge retention rate of employees by allowing them to deliver customer experience in an environment that seems real.

#7 Causes Positive Behavioral Changes

Gamification can also be used to encourage behavioral change and instil the desired attitude in learners. Gamified e-learning appreciates and rewards learners for their good behavior via reward points, certification badges, etc. Behavior is one of the major factors for any person to grow and become successful in their respective fields, which could be effectively attained through gamified learning.

Image Source: EnGaming - WordPress.com

ClassRealm is a gamification tool that allows teachers to encourage better behavior patterns and creativity. Students get to learn positive behavior by helping out their classmates, and get rewarded for exhibiting the desired behavior.

Major Factors Driving Growth in Game-Based Learning Market

  • More positivity in corporate sector towards gamified learning has been driving the adoption rate up for sometime now.

  • University and college students are finding edugames as an excellent platform to learn complex things effectively in a fun-filled and motivational environment.

  • Increasing popularity of language learning apps, predominantly English and Chinese.

  • High demand for early childhood game-based learning.

  • Widespread popularity of brain trainer games.

  • Decline in legacy learning technology and upsurge in modern learning technologies like gamified learning.

Different Types of Game-Based Learning Products

  • Social games

  • E-learning courseware

  • Online audio and video content

  • Mobile games

  • Wearables for Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality or Mixed Reality-based e-learning

A new report by Metaari, a commercial analysis firm that tracks advanced learning technology, gives figures to understand how the game-based learning market is faring worldwide and how much it is expected to grow in coming years. Check below.

Game-Based Learning Products Market and Forecast

  • The current global growth rate of game-based learning products is 20.2%.

  • Revenue generated from the sales of game-based learning products touched the $3 billion mark in 2017.

  • Global revenue to be generated through the sales of game-based digital learning products will surge to $8.1 billion by 2022.

Gamified e-learning is radically transforming the learning landscape and firmly setting to become the learning technology of the future. Furthermore, the emergence of new technologies, like Artificial Intelligence, Virtual & Augmented Reality, Machine Learning and Cloud Computing, looks promising to rapidly lift up the adoption rate of game-based learning products in near future. At this juncture, it won’t be a hyperbole to say that integration of game mechanics and new technologies could bring gamified elearning to the mainstream in the next 10 years.

Would you like to gamify your e-learning course to bring out the best in your employees? What according to you is the most fascinating benefit of gamified e-learning? Your views are vital for all our readers, please share them in the comment box below.

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Digital marketing has long surpassed the advantages of traditional marketing, and it’s not an overstatement to say that digital marketers will have complete control over the customer experience in coming years. The rise of digital marketing is highly attributable to increasing use of mobile devices across the globe, currently driving nearly half of all the web traffic.

Our digital marketers offer personalized experiences to users to enhance engagement and turn them into loyal customers. Digital marketing is not about just pushing customers to buy your products or services, but offering them content that helps them solve their problems. It also involves using techniques that increase a brand’s visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). Without a doubt, digital marketing is a great means of identifying prospective customers who exist on the Internet, like social media.

Techniques our digital marketers use to help your business touch new heights:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO helps improve your site’s rankings on major search engines, like Google, Yahoo, Bing. SEO is divided into two categories Off-page SEO and Onpage SEO.

On-page SEO

On-page SEO means working on your website to help it rank as high as possible on SERPs. On-page SEO involves:


Keyword listing, Meta Descriptions, Meta Tags, URL Structure, Body Tags (H1, H2, H3, H4, etc.), Keyword Density, Image SEO and Internal Linking.

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO means working off your website to help improve ranking of your site. Off-page SEO involves link building via guest posting on reputed and high domain authority (DA) websites.

App Store Optimization (ASO)

Like SEO, ASO is for app stores. A plethora of apps comes to app stores, like Google Play or iOS App Store, on daily basis. Without ASO, chances are high that your app will be lost somewhere way down without downloads. ASO helps move up you app in app stores so that users can find them easily.

Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising

Pay-per-click means running ads and you pay only when your ad is clicked. PPC helps target particular audience when they enter specific search terms. They see your ad as “sponsored result” on the top or side of a search engine results page (SERP).

Email Marketing

Email marketing is the quickest way to reach customers with your offerings. We create engaging, relevant, informative, and entertaining email marketing campaigns to produce fruitful results.

Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing has become pivotal to digital marketing as people are increasingly using mobile devices. Mobile marketing involves SMS, MMS, in-app marketing, etc.

Social Media Marketing

Social media has become an integral part of our lives. Most of us now can’t imagine our lives without Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Social media is a great platform to market content as it significantly helps increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and generate leads.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation refers to the using tools to automate marketing actions. Our marketing team uses cutting-edge tools to automate repetitive marketing tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions.

This article is a part of the Evon Technologies: Startup Accelerator series. For our other service offerings, please choose any of the below:

Product Development

Quality Assurance

DevOps

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DevOps were largely brought to the fore in IT departments after the success of agile software development and the advent of cloud computing. DevOps bridge the gap between software development and software operations by enhancing communication and collaboration between development team and IT operations team. The reasons DevOps are high in demand now are that they help increase software development speed and facilitate greater business agility.

Our DevOps break software development into smaller development cycles, which leads to faster development. We use tools such as Git and SVN for maintaining the different versions of the code. We also use tools like Ant, Maven, Gradle in order to build/package the code into an executable file good to go for testing.

Different Stages of DevOps are:

  • Plan (JIRA, HipChat, Slack, Confluence, iRise)

  • Code (Microsoft Visual Studio, Bitbucket, GitHub, Electric Cloud, SVN, Eclipse)

  • Build (Grunt, Microsoft Visual Studio, Maven, Gradle)

  • Test (Selenium, TestNG, JUnit)

  • Release (AWS, Azure, Jenkins, Docker containers, Puppet, BMC Software)

  • Deploy (AWS, TFS)

  • Operate/Configure (Splunk, New Relic, Ansible, Chef, Salt, Otter)

  • Monitor (BigPanda, Ganglia, New Relic, Wireshark)

Our DevOps ensure that clients get instant updates as and when they happen, with high quality delivery. Clients get competitive advantages, like reduction in time to market, quick response to change and automation of advanced processes and tools.

This article is a part of the Evon Technologies: Startup Accelerator series. For our other service offerings, please choose any of the below:

Product Development

Quality Assurance (QA)

Marketing

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We offer Quality Assurance (QA) services to guarantee a level of quality for the end client. QA is more than testing and has to make a big contribution to the overall quality of the final product.

Our QA team members maintain the quality of the system as per the specification and business requirements. They put emphasis on three main things:

  • What a product will do.

  • How it will behave.

  • How it will interact within its surroundings.

Roles of QA Professionals at Evon Tech are:

  • Understand Software Development Life Cycle and Software Testing Life Cycle

  • Conduct analysis of system specifications

  • Verify and validate all of the deliverables

  • Review documents on regular basis

  • Carefully understand all the features

  • Write all the test cases for the system

  • Prepare a report of the bugs and discrepancies in the system

  • Plan based on past results of test execution

  • QA team has their own automation framework build to test using test scripts

  • Maintain and update test scripts.

  • Perform testing for alpha, beta and live environment.

  • Communicate and coordinate with developers for a qualitative deliverable

This article is a part of the Evon Technologies: Startup Accelerator series. For our other service offerings, please choose any of the below:

Product Development

DevOps

Marketing

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Tech Frontrunners

Being a tech startup accelerator, we understand very well that a bandwagon technology of today might be obsolete tomorrow. Which is why our team of more than 275+ experts keep abandoning technologies that have become outdated and upgrade to the ones that are the present and the future of the technology. Such a proactive approach works in our favor by allowing us to always keep pace with ever evolving technology world and avoid being a laggard.

90% of our Developers are Full Stack Developers


Our full stack developers are familiar with all the components needed to run a software, therefore help build a better product in less time.

Owing to years of experience in software development and commitment to refine strategies for every part of the web development process, our full stack developers keep all three layers of web development process covered:

  • Presentation Layer ( UI)

  • Business Logic Layer (Backend and Data Validation)

  • Database Layer

Our full stack developers are proficient in:

  • Server, network, and hosting environment

  • Front-end code in one or more languages (Angular, Ember, JQuery, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Java, SASS, Core JS)

  • API/back-end code in one or more languages (Ruby, Java, Python, etc.)

  • Relational and nonrelational databases (Oracle, MySql, PostgreSQL, MongoDb, etc.)

  • User experience

  • Big Data Tools (Hadoop, Spark, Hive, Hbase, etc.)

  • Quality assurance

  • Security concerns throughout the program

  • Project management and Client coordination

Full Reactive Development Team

Our team of reactive developers creates reactive systems that are:

  • Highly Responsive

  • Resilient

  • Scalable

  • Event-Driven

Reactive systems are created by writing codes that react to changes as they happen in real time. Our reactive programmers first model data and events as observable sequences, and write code that reacts to changes in those sequences.

One of the top virtues of a reactive system is that it stays responsive even when there is a sudden rise in load. Reactive systems automatically react to changes by increasing or decreasing the number of resources as per requirement. Besides, they achieve scalability on commodity hardware and software platforms at a low cost.

To develop reactive systems, we use advanced Reactive Extensions (Rx) libraries for various platforms and languages, including .Net, Java, JavaScript, Swift, Android, iOS, Angular, React Native, Vue.js, etc. Using latest technologies, we ensure to update data on the fly so that users can see changes in real time.

This article is a part of the Evon Technologies: Startup Accelerator series. For our other service offerings, please choose any of the below:

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Incepted in the year 2006, Evon Technologies has come a long way as an offshore technology partner to clients all around the globe. With more than 10 years of experience now as a technology startup accelerator, Evon facilitates staff augmentation and helps startups find business solutions for all their needs by providing services in four major areas:

Evon understands that gone are the days when a large application was attached to the use of tens of servers, seconds of response time, gigabytes of data and hours of outage because of maintenance. Evon provides what the current digital arena asks for:

  • Reach varied mobile devices

  • Provide millisecond response times

  • Handle cloud-based clusters running thousands of multi-core processors

  • Ensure 100% Uptime

  • Deal effectively with data in Petabytes

We take great pride in calling ourselves a technology frontrunner, as our ability to provide latest technology solutions has helped business clients world over carve a niche for themselves and stay competent.

We believe in exceeding client expectations and not just meet them via collaboration and consulting. As far as data security is concerned, we have a proven track record of more than 10 years where there’s not been a single incident of intellectual property breach. We strictly adhere to data security policy and strengthen the client-relationship bond with trust.

We understand that Tech startups may have nothing to begin with can seek the complete package of services from Evon to shape their ideas into a reality. However, if you have a specific requirement for your business, you can avail a particular service from us as well to make your project a success and increase ROI. Please choose below to explore our offerings:

Product Development

Quality Assurance (QA)

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The new buzzword for industry is Industry 4.0, which refers to the fourth industrial revolution. Owing to IT advancements in the past decade, Industry 4.0 is believed to significantly evolve the supply chain and production line in manufacturing industry. Before we start discussing the next big frontier of industry, let’s catch a glimpse of three industrial revolutions that happened previously: Mechanization, Mass Production and Automation.

Mechanization was the first revolution in the history of industry, bringing machines to perform certain tasks. The second was Mass Production and became possible due to electricity and Assembly Lines. The third industrial revolution was automation, thanks to the advent of computers, allowing machines to perform a particular task repeatedly without human effort.

And now, we have yet another revolution “Industry 4.0” aka “Digital Factory” or “Smart Factory” or “Industrial Internet of Things” (IIoT). Let’s understand what Industry 4.0 is all about and how it will shape the future of manufacturing industry.

Fourth Industrial Revolution Explained

The term “Industry 4.0” was first introduced as “Industrie 4.0” by the German government in 2011 to enhance the production and growth of German manufacturing industry. Industry 4.0 paves the way for smart factories in which machines improve processes to a much higher level through automation and self-optimization.

Industry 4.0 uses new IT technologies, like Cyber-Physical Systems, the Internet of things, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Simulation, Autonomous Robots, Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence. Although the virtues of Industry 4.0 were initially believed to be a boon only for the physical production of goods, they expand the reach to planning, supply chain logistics, product development and service as well.

Essential Components of Industry 4.0

IIoT

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IIoT is an abbreviation for Industrial Internet of Things and it’s different from IoT (Internet of Things). IoT allows a smart device to connect or communicate with other devices through the Internet. IoT is mostly about consumer-level goods, like cars or home appliances, that send and receive data via Internet to bring benefits to users.

In a nutshell, IoT connects the physical world to the digital world. With IoT, home appliances can be automatically turned on and off when you’re home and when you’re not home. Therefore, it reduces unnecessary usage of home appliances and cuts down your monthly electricity bill.

IIoT or Industrial Internet of Things, on the other hand, is a sub-segment of IoT, used for industrial purpose, like manufacturing, supply chain monitoring and management. Industries across the globe, such as aerospace, oil and gas, transportation, healthcare, energy and mining, are increasingly adopting IIoT to handle critical machines via sophisticated sensors.

IIoT uses more precise sensors than that of IoT as system failures could lead to life-threatening and other emergency situations. That IoT is related to consumer-level devices, the risk originating from failure is much lower when compared to the failure of IIoT. Using cutting-edge devices and location-aware technologies, IIoT takes manufacturing to an all new level and ensures flawless supply chain management.

Big Data, Data Mining and Data Analytics

Image Source: ResearchGate

Without a shred of doubt, Big Data will play a big role in the success of Industry 4.0. Manufacturing industry generates large volumes of data as a result of Machine to Machine communication, cyber-physical worlds, cloud based software applications, Augmented Reality (AR), etc. However, this data will be of no use unless big data analytics is applied to draw actionable insights.

Big Data Analytics not only helps identify trends and patterns, but improves plant productivity as well by making it possible to examine time differences between data transmitted by different robots. This valuable information helps find a fix to improve efficiency. Besides, data analytics enables to identify flaws in product design at a very early stage by collating and examining part-per-million defect data. So, data analytics provides a way to identify anomalies or issues in new product design before customers identify them after buying from you.

Furthermore, data analytics helps calculate maintenance cost of machinery, thereby making it possible to plan and execute the process in an effective manner. Big Data Analytics will play a critical role in gaining valuable insights to reduce business costs and boost productivity.

Artificial Intelligence

Image Source: HCL Technologies

Manufacturing industry was the first to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) for product assembling and packaging. AI, too, has a very important role to play in Industry 4.0 as it facilitates machine learning, allowing machines to learn and make predictions based on experiences.

AI has a lot to do with data as cyber-physical systems communicate with each other and humans by sending and receiving data in real time over the Internet of Things. Collection and analysis of large amounts of data optimizes the manufacturing process and revolutionizes mass production. Besides, AI-powered machines are capable of performing tasks 24 hours a day, which gives a significant boost to productivity.

Collaborative Robots or Cobots

Image source: CATE Srl

It’s no secret that manufacturing industry has been using robots for many years to replace human labor, boost productivity and cut down costs. However, Industry 4.0 brings to the table the concept of collaborative robots aka Cobots. Cobots were first introduced to the world by a 1994 General Motors initiative led by Prasad Akella of the GM Robotics Center and a 1995 General Motors Foundation research. Taking the concept further, Universal Robots developed its first cobot in 2008 in a bid to enhance quality production.

Unlike robots that replace humans, cobots work and collaborate with humans to produce the desired result, without posing any threat to human safety. Cobots are lightweight and are equipped with sensors to ensure that they avoid touching humans forcefully or causing injuries to them.

Many manufacturing industries are now jumping on cobot bandwagon to boost quality production with human supervision, and Ford is one of the popular examples of that.

Augmented Reality (AR)

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Image Source: You Tube

Augmented Reality (AR) is known to make our existing reality more meaningful, which manufacturing industry could use to expedite the entire production chain. AR helps create simulation models and allows to see information on tasks that are being performed. With the help of AR devices, it becomes possible to see what can’t be seen otherwise, like a virtual screen appearing in front of you to provide instructions on how to perform a particular task. AR provides a brilliant way to bridge the knowledge gap in workers, which makes them more efficient and productive.

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing will play a crucial role in Industry 4.0 to harness the full potential of robotics and artificial intelligence. The key to easily and effectively manage workloads across the full spectrum of devices created by Industry 4.0 is to integrate compute services with a cloud platform. Since Industry 4.0 produces humungous amount of data via IIoT, cloud technologies become important to analyse and visualise it.

For example, Rolls Royce teamed up with Microsoft to utilize its Azure IoT cloud suite in a bid to make aircrafts more efficient and bring down engine maintenance costs. Using Azure IoT Suite, Rolls Royce collects and aggregates data from different sources and different geographical locations.

After collecting data, Rolls Royce puts into use the Cortana Intelligence Suite to extract useful insights into engine health, air traffic control information, route restrictions, fuel usage, etc. As a result, the British luxury car and aero engine manufacturing company has been able to improve operational performance and increase fuel efficiency.


Conclusion

The fourth industrial revolution has already begun, and benefits of using new disruptive technologies are increasingly becoming evident for the industry of today. Many tech giants, including AT&T and Google, are venturing in Industry 4.0 solutions to welcome the change that seems very promising for industry. By covering the essential IT components of Industry 4.0, one can add more value to manufacturing business and touch new heights.

What are your views on the future of Industry 4.0? Do you think if there are any risks associated with the much-hyped change? If yes, please share them in the comment box below to add a new dimension to the adoption of Industry 4.0.

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There are so many virtues associated with Marketing Automation and Customer Relationship Management (CRM), but many sales and marketing departments are still unable to notch up the best for their businesses. And, one of the top reasons cited by marketing experts for that is not integrating marketing automation with CRM. By not integrating these two technologies, many sales and marketing teams deprive themselves from understanding what works for each other and tracking every step of the buyer’s journey. Consequently, they bring roadblocks to quality lead generation and shrink the opportunities to have better conversions.

Before I begin shedding light on how marketing automation and CRM integration boosts conversion rates, let’s have a quick insight into what marketing automation and CRM are.

Marketing automation allows marketing departments to easily automate and analyze routine marketing tasks, like social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, digital ads, landing page visits, etc. As a result, they get to focus better on lead generation and offer personalized content based on user response. Marketing Automation has become a bandwagon almost all marketing departments are now jumping on to generate more leads than ever before. Some top examples of marketing automation software are HubSpot, Pardot, SharpSpring and Marketo.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM), on the other hand,h complements marketing strategies by making it easier for sales team to convert marketing leads into paying customers. CRM tool, in a nutshell, serves as a database for storing marketing leads with their meaningful data, and help manage both existing and new customers. Some top examples of CRM software are SugarCRM, Odoo, Agile CRM and Nimble.

Let’s now move on to the most important aspect of this blog. How does marketing automation and CRM integration open new avenues for higher conversion rates?

Marketing Automation and CRM Integration a Boon to Your Business

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Image source: Blogspot

Helps You Devise Marketing Strategies that are Highly Likely to Work in Your Favor

By integrating marketing automation and CRM, your marketing team can easily track the efficacy of their marketing decisions. Being able to track how customers are responding to your marketing material paints a clear picture about what is working for you and what isn’t. For example, you can see what sort of emails coaxed your customers the most to become interested in your services or what type of social media campaigns got you most leads. Having such an insight helps you build on what worked the best for your and devise effective marketing strategies business.

So, you can effectively run marketing campaigns and ads that suit the requirements of your customers and help them improve quality of life by going for your products or services. Marketing automation and CRM integration also allows both sales and marketing departments to keep a track on every lead from the top of the lead funnel to the bottom of the sales funnel.

Enables to Increase Conversions via Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing means turning cold leads into buyers. And, this mostly becomes possible after you integrate marketing automation with CRM. Marketing teams can put colder leads on nurturing tracks to ensure they find your content interesting and relevant. Cold leads may not immediately get converted, but if you let go the hold over them, they become likely to buy from your competitors over time. That’s why lead nurturing is so important.

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Image source: HubSpot

If you keep contacting prospects systematically, it helps them build trust in your brand over time. The integration foundation allows marketing teams to understand unique interests of cold leads and treat them differently. Lead nurturing requires marketing team to have a better understanding of needs of prospects and targeting them with information that they want at each stage of their buying process.

A market study found that 80% of new leads never become sales. However, lead nurturing provides nearly 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost. Lead nurturing is like forming a relationship with leads, not only to sell them just once, but improve your ROI via upselling as well.

Helps Sales Teams get their Hands more on Quality Leads

Integration of marketing automation with CRM especially becomes important when it comes to differentiate between qualified leads and unqualified leads. Let’s understand, how?

Image source: Stampwood Limited

Marketing automation software allows marketing teams to automatically fetch all the information about how the leads interacted with marketing, like their social media engagement, page views, forms completion, queries, buying behavior, etc. When marketing teams enter leads along with their behavioral information in CRM, sales teams find it easy to draw a distinction between leads that are highly likely to be converted than those that are not. This is also called lead intelligence.

As a result, sales team dedicate most of their efforts to engage with qualified leads and improve conversion rates. Most CRMs allow to filter information, like leads that visited your site more than five times in past 30 days, or the ones that didn’t visit your site at all during the same time span. Such results help increase the efficiency and productivity of the sales team by encouraging them to spend more time on the leads from whom the marketing team has received positive response on their marketing material. Simply put, the more the focus on qualified leads, the better the conversion rates.

Speeds Up Sales Process

Since all marketing and sales report sits at one place, it becomes much easier to know where prospects are in the sales cycle. This in return helps expedite sales process. Sales people are also able to determine the best time to contact a lead in the nurturing process with appropriate content, thereby reducing the time it otherwise takes to convert a lead.

Another important aspect of marketing automation and CRM integration is the fact that it allows sales team to get involved in the development of a marketing campaign. As a result, marketing team is able to offer better and result-oriented content to its target audience, a factor that also speeds up sales process.

Without a doubt, marketing automation and CRM integration offers a plethora of opportunities to sales and marketing team to increase ROI via higher conversion rates. Many businesses are adopting this practice to boost their sales and get a competitive edge. It’s very hard to find a reason that why a business should not bank on marketing automation and CRM integration.

What’s your thought on the efficacy of marketing automation and CRM integration to boost conversion rate? Do you want to add more to what’s already being discussed? Please share your views in the comment box below.

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