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You may have heard the new buzzword in software development world - Language Agnosticism. Language Agnosticism is a skill that programmers develop by expanding their reach to different languages. Simply knowing a programming language does not seem to be the thing of present anymore to make a mark in the software development industry as a software developer. Since software development paradigm has witnessed radical changes in the past few years, language agnosticism appears to have become a kind of necessary skill software developers should have. Let’s talk about what Language Agnosticism is and implications it has for software developers.

What’s this “Language Agnosticism” software developers just can’t stop talking about


Language Agnosticism means choosing a language that best fits a particular task based on factors like ecosystem, developer skill-sets, performance etc. If you are a language agnostic aspirant, you need to transcend the boundary of a specific set of language.


Let’s better understand this with an example: You are a Java developer, but you have a new development task ahead for which Ruby or Perl is more appropriate. So, despite being a Java expert, you decide to go with either Ruby or Perl since they best suit the development task you are going to take up. This capability of a software developer is called as Language Agnosticism.

Why Language Agnosticism is being touted as a boon to software development?


Software engineering is no longer restricted only to writing code. It requires much more than that, like finding an effective solution to any problem related to software development, script, algorithm etc. Software developers also need to know about language-agnostic interfaces for software development. Language Agnosticism gives software developers the much-needed freedom to develop apps in their preferred languages. Below are the benefits of being language agnostic:


  • You become a complete software engineer rather than simply being a Java developer or C++ developer.


You have been working as a Java developer or C++ developers for quite sometime and now you want to become versatile and stand out as a software engineer. The solution is to become a language agnostic, which will require you to learn other languages like Haskell or Scala. You will initially face problems learning a new language, but within a week or two you will begin picking it up. Once you get a strong grip over the new languages, your value as a software engineer increases by many folds.


  • Helps figure out how to use certain language features effectively


A programmer is not using any object-oriented features in his/her C++ code and passing everything as a pointer. What do you make out of it? Simple, the developer is not programming in C++. Instead, the programming is being done in C using a C++ compiler. A language agnostic never makes a mistake of believing that learning a language is synonymous to writing code that compiles. He/she rather figures out what those things are and how to put them into the best use in that language.


Many changes have occurred in ECMAScript 2015,  but it is yet possible to cross-compile any other language to ES5, though some will require a bunch of libraries to become as effective as desired.


  • Gives rise to nimble thinking


When you know various languages, you tend to get the knack for finding quick solutions to future problems. The reason for this is well justified. Since you can think about your problem in several frameworks, chances are high for you to find a cleaner and effective solution to your problem.


  • A language agnostic software developer is a happy software developer


Performance and quality of software have a direct impact on the happiness of software developers. Since language agnosticism paves the way for building good software, a language agnostic is happier than the ones who are not. Moreover, a language agnostic feels encouraged to keep on honing their skills and become better software engineers.


If you want to get insight into language-agnostic interfaces for software development, click here.


Language agnosticism opens new avenues for software developers to enhance their programming skills and stand out to offer unique solutions to their respective clients or organizations. Your views are highly welcome in the comment box below.









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6 Keys to Building a Successful Mobile App
Image source: www.infoq.com
 

Mobile apps are everywhere, be it movie tickets, ordering pizza to kill that untimely hunger, playing your favorite game, or even traveling to a distant corner of the world. The omnipresence of mobile apps is attributable to unprecedented growth many companies have witnessed year by year in the recent past.

There is no denying the fact that mobile apps have brought customers what they exactly wanted - The ease of placing orders without even visiting a store themselves and being heard in a quick span. Such a liberty has encouraged consumers world over to buy products and avail services from businesses that actually offer them via mobile apps. This notion is perhaps leading every business now to joining the bandwagon of mobile apps.

However, is it really so easy to develop a mobile app that uplifts your business and make it do wonders? Unfortunately, NO! According to a report by a reputed survey firm, 25% apps were downloaded only once after their installation from 2011 to 2015.

 

 

Mobile app failure

 

                                   Image source: www.slideshare.net

 

Although mobile apps are easier to create due to less coding, involve simpler graphics, a limited range of features and require less memory space, they do not guarantee you the success and high ROI. It’s very easy to go astray and end up being a failure, if you don’t pay heed to six key points to build a successful mobile app.

 

  1.  Your app shouldn’t be a raw fruit stemming from a mere thought

 

Don’t look at your mobile app as just another screen. You might think the idea of your mobile app is unique and will be highly embraced by people, but it’s more important to ask a few questions to yourself before entering into the development phase.

  • How your app is going to benefit your target audience
  • How your app will engage users
  • What’s the roadmap for making your app a success? 

Happy and satisfied customers translate one’s business struggle into success. And this exactly what your app should aim at. Before going ahead with app development, you must assess your business and its customers. If an app could really help your customers get what they need, then your decision to develop a mobile app actually have great substance to produce fruitful results for your business. In even simpler words, one needs not to develop an app just because others are doing it. The decision should be based on the results of the comprehensive analysis of your business needs and customer requirements.

 

  1. Multiple mobile platforms

 

Multiple mobile platforms
Image source: www.rishabhsoft.com
 
 
 

Since people use mobile phones that are powered by different operating systems (Android, iOS, Windows etc), it becomes paramount to develop a mobile app for cross mobile platforms. You need to have different development teams for different platforms, as UI and UX conventions of iOS are very different from Android or Windows.

According to a report, Android recorded the highest app downloads in 2014, though iOS apps stayed at the top for revenue generation. The implication is crystal clear - Don’t put all eggs in one basket, and design your app for multiple mobile platforms to ensure maximum user acquisition.

 

  1. Build a unique-yet-simple mobile app

 

The much-desired success of your mobile app has a heavy reliance on what positive difference it makes to people since there could be many mobile apps serving the same purpose. Therefore, you should incorporate some viral mechanism into your app, so that anyone using it spreads a word of mouth and gets more users to your app.

Another important key to success of your mobile app is keeping things as simple as possible. You must refrain from adding unnecessary features in you app. Make it a point that your app’s user interface (UI) is easy to understand and navigate. There is no hyperbole in saying that user experience (UX) decides the fate of every mobile app, thus strive hard to deliver top-notch UX to your app users.

 

  1. App marketing

 

App marketing Strategize
Image source: ibrandstudio.com
 
 

You might have developed the best app in the world, but chances are always high for it to stumble if you do not promote it. App marketing is as important as app development. Adoption of right marketing strategies help create brand awareness and take your apps to masses. Press releases, social media campaigns, pay-per-click marketing and email marketing are some of the effective ways to let your target audience know about your new app and the benefits they can avail through it. Effective marketing entails right planning and knowledge of powerful marketing mediums and techniques.

 

  1. User engagement

 

engaging your app users
Image source: appdevelopermagazine.com

 

 

The more you engage your app users, the more you lure them into coming back to your app. You need to make a list of ideas that could go a long way in engaging your app users. Some of the examples are:

  • The look and the feel of your app should be awe inspiring.
  • You can make a list of loyal users and offer them exciting rewards, which would further encourage them to keep using your app.
  • Nice features and simple UI lead to great user experience, thus enhanced user engagement.
  • You can incorporate a message feature in your app to regularly communicate with your app users. This allows you to swiftly tell your app users every time a new upgrade is available which they can download from their respective app stores.
  • Enable social sharing to integrate community
  • Listen to what your users are saying
  • Marketers should also apply Gamification techniques to enhance user engagement

 

  1. Use metrics to gauge the contribution of your mobile app in your business growth

 

You have launched your mobile app on multiple mobile platforms, but how you will determine its performance and its direct impact on your business growth. The answer is simple - put into use right metrics to measure how your app is performing and its efficacy to engage users. Such an effort allows you to figure out strengths and weaknesses of your app. User feedback in early stages opens gates to optimize and iterate your app to make it enticing for users.

 There is no fixed formula to make an app a big hit, however, there certainly are some practices app developers can follow to get an edge over their competitors and increase their business sales. I have shared some of such tips through this blog. If you have any experience in building a successful app and want to add your views, please share them in the comment box below.

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NFC (near field communication) chips have become the new buzzword for marketers across the world. With NFC chips, marketers feel that they can easily deliver product/marketing content to their target audience, and thereby give a big boost to their respective businesses.

What are NFC chips?

NFC chips pave the way for an easy wireless connection between a mobile device and an NFC tag. Although NFC chips are not something very new - their emergence dates back to 1980s - they have become very popular in the past few years as marketers see them as a brilliant way to deliver content from one device to another.


The word “near” in near field communication signifies proximity since NFC chips-enabled smartphones can communicate with NFC tags only when they are 4 cms or less  close to each other. Such a proximity ensures high security and privacy.

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             Image source: www.makeuseof.com

                                     

“NFC technology essentially converts smartphones into loyalty cards, single-tap location ‘check in’ devices, concert tickets, coupon carriers, contactless payment devices, transit tickets, and secure keys to access cars, hotel rooms, buildings, and computers—the possibilities are endless”, says Ruediger Stroh, executive vice president and general manager, Identification Business, NXP Semiconductors.


Imagine the fun of shopping without having to face the hassles of carrying and handling your credit card. Moreover, you are relaxed all the way through since there is no danger of credit card theft. NFC technology revolutionizes the way we pay for items we buy - simply take your phone close to an NFC enabled kiosk and pay at one go for all your purchases. Sounds exciting, isn’t it? Google Wallet has already made it possible for users to store their credit cards, gift cards and coupons in their smartphones and make a purchase. Android Beam is another example of how people share photos, videos and other data via NFC.


While the NFC technology is rising to popularity among both marketers and buyers, QR (Quick Response) codes have begun to decline after a long-time popularity.

What are QR codes?

QR codes are like bar codes and a user has to scan it with the help of their smartphones. For analyzing a  QR code, a user has to download a scanning app in their smartphone to analyze the information written in the square shaped bar codes.


You must have seen QR codes on poster advertisements, newspaper ads, business cards, utility bills etc. QR codes are very popular in Japan. The US has also witnessed a skyrocketing rise in the use of QR codes in the past few years. However, many tech giants, including, Google says that NFC chips will replace QR codes as advertisement vehicles in near future.


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Source: www.123rf.com

There are several benefits of NFC chips over QR codes:


NFC Chips

QR Codes

NFC chips are flexible. No need to create a new NFC tag to store different types of information and cause changes into it.

Changes can’t be made to an existing QR code.

NFC offers faster, easier and more secure transactions. A user only needs to wave their smartphone near the NFC tag area to let the information transfer instantly.

QR codes are not as fast as NFC is since a user first needs to open a scanner app in their smartphone, hover over the code and wait till the time the smartphone analyzes it and reacts to the code.

The feeling of use is natural. Touch is a natural action.

There is no natural feel since a user needs to open a scanning app to perform the action of reading a QR code.

NFC technology allows a two-way communication, thus could be used for a wide range of applications, such as mobile payments, secure access control and pairing electronic devices.

QR codes have no concept of two way communication.

NFC tags can be hidden behind printed media or within products.

QR codes are visible and not much could be done to maintain their performance via customization.

NFC tags offer high security since they have a fixed manufacturer ID number. Moreover, encryption is supported by special tags to hide the programmed data.

QR codes are not at all secured.


The only disadvantage of NFC technology compared to QR codes is that NFC chips are expensive and cost £0.20 ($0.30) each for an order of 1,000 tags. However, many tech companies are investing in research and development of NFC technology to bring down the price of NFC chips by a big extent in future. That it may happen, NFC technology opens gates for digital marketers to use it as the preferred embedded digital advertisement tool as more and more people buy NFC-enabled smartphones.  According to a report, there will be 1.2 billion NFC handsets world over by 2018.


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Image source: www.mobilecommercedaily.com


The time is not too far when an NFC tag within a poster of the latest movie in a cinema hall will let you get all the details of the movie with the help of your NFC-enabled smartphone, including online trailers, pictures and special interviews.


With NFC chips, marketers can make it possible for their target audience to access online content with utmost ease.  Marketers can use proximity marketing to their advantage by sending messages to any smartphone within the range of a particular product. They can develop analytics based on the reaction of customers to those messages and target the ones who appeared interested.


If you have ever availed NFC services and have some additional inputs to describe how they can help marketers to grow their business, please share them in the comment box below.




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Image source: www.gamemarketeers.com


Nobody had perhaps thought when mobiles phones were born that they would one day become an essential part of marketing. The popularity of mobile phones and apps has gone sky high, especially in the past few years. Mobile apps have become an important cog in the wheel of marketing strategies of many businesses world over. However, it’s difficult to devise a marketing plan without getting a deep insight into mobile app statistics. So, here I am bringing for you 7 stats that highlight the importance of mobile app marketing.


  1. Number of mobile subscriptions surpasses the world’s population

According to Ericsson’s most recent Mobility Report, the total number of mobile subscriptions in 2015 outnumbered the number of people living on our planet. The implication is crystal clear that smartphones have become the first choice of people to access the Internet.


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Image source: statista.com

 

2. 58% Rise in smartphone application usage over the last year

 

A new report by Yahoo-owned mobile analytics firm Flurry shows that overall smartphone app usage grew by 58% in 2015.


  • A major chunk, i.e. 48%, of the 58% growth in app usage came from existing users in 2015, up from 20% the previous year.

  • Personalized apps, like Android-lock screens, witnessed a skyrocketing rise of 332% in session usage.

  • News and magazine apps, on the other hand, recorded a staggering growth of 135% in 2015.


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Image source: http://flurrymobile.tumblr.com/

 

3. Android apps rocked in 2015


Another interesting fact about mobile apps, according to a report by App Annie, is the total time spent on Android mobile applications soared by 63% in 2015.  


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Image source: App Annie


The report shows that the downloading gap between Android apps and iOS apps is widening at an unprecedented pace. However, an important point to note here is that Android apps are still way behind iOS apps when it comes to monetization. The key is to develop apps that are available to both Android users and iOS users since the duo reign the app market combined.


Emerging market like India, Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey and Mexico are making a significant contribution in the growth of Android app market.

 

4. Google Play will become the leader in app market by 2020


The App Annie report also shows that Google Play store will have 166.4bn app downloads by 2020. Such an abundance of app downloads will take Google Play store to the number one position in the app market.

 

5. Apple iOS will make the highest app revenue in 2020

Although Google Play Store is estimated to continue record the highest number of app downloads in future, Apple iOS is expected to remain at the top in terms of app revenue. Apple iOS app revenue was 75% higher than that of Google Play store in 2015 despite the latter having twice the number of app downloads than the former’s in the same year.  


Apple iOS app revenue will touch the $45bn dollar mark in 2020, almost 200% up from 2015.

 

6. One billion people will use mobile commerce to shop in 2018

More and more people are moving to online shopping every day. However, there is a clear shift in the trend of online shopping - shoppers are now increasingly using their smartphones to shop online instead of desktops.


It is expected that m-commerce buyers will exceed to 1 billion in 2018.



Image source: Statista.com.

 

7. Mobile ad spending to reach $200bn by 2019


Investment in mobile marketing will keep growing over the years. The market for mobile advertising is growing at such a rapid pace that it will soon surpass all other digital platforms. Since people are now spending more time on their smartphones than PCs, many businesses are feeling the need of investing a hefty sum of money in mobile ad spending. So much so that, $200bn will be spent on mobile ad spending by the end of 2019, says a report by eMarketer.



Smartphones present a great marketing opportunity to businesses. I have offered you an insight into now and future of mobile app marketing through some significant stats. If you want to add some more stats and give readers additional information on mobile app marketing, please share them in the comment box below.

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Posted by on in Marketing

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Last updated on: June 13, 2017

The world has witnessed a rapid shift from analog to digital in the past few years. Since digital content is catching more and more eyeballs on daily basis, digital marketing has become the mainstream marketing strategy for businesses worldwide to boost their sales. So it won’t be wrong to say that digital marketing has become the new frontier of digital marketing. Through this blog, I am attempting to shed light on 9 biggest digital marketing trends that’s been making the waves in the digital world.

#1 Social Media Ads

More than a billion people exist on social media, making social media sites a great platform to post ads and increase sells. With cutting-edge tools, digital marketers can identify their target customers and sell them products via social media ads. Targeted marketing and retargeting will certainly be a differentiating factor between digital marketing and traditional marketing in 2016.

According to Interpublic Group’s Magna Global, digital ad spend grew 13.5% in 2016 and left behind TV as the biggest advertising platform in 2017. Social media advertising account for a big percentage of digital advertising. According to eMarketer, social media ads spending soared to $23.68bn in 2016 and will reach $35.98bn by the end of 2017.

#2 Native Advertising

Since Ad blockers inhibit the strength of modern-day marketers to display ads on many websites, it’s essential to follow a pragmatic approach of native advertising.

The best characteristic of native ads is they do not appear promotional, which is why ads blocking technology can’t stop them from being displayed. Ads blocking technology has emerged as the bane of digital marketers, which is why it’s paramount to create native ads and reach out masses with your products.

#3 Ads via Facebook Messenger

We all user Facebook messenger to communicate with friends and loved ones. Taking a significant step further, Facebook opened Messenger to third parties as well, thereby allowing users to interact with businesses and buy products they feel they need.. Messenger has millions of active users, meaning it could have a great impact on your digital marketing efforts.

Digital marketers must see a great opportunity in Messenger app to tap into the abundance of users and bolster their coffer.

#4 Podcasts

A podcast, which is a digital audio file that you can download and listen on your preferred device, has emerged as a great tool for digital marketers to spread their message across the world. Podcasts are trending, which provides a brilliant opportunity to digital marketers to advertise their products and boost their business sales.

Podcasts also paves the way to build customer loyalty by allowing you to offer tips to customers to fix resolve their problems. For example, if your company sells financial products, then you can offer your customers the guidance on important financial matters via podcasts. The most popular podcast programs, like TED Radio Hour and “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me, were chosen by Squarespace and Casper to capture ad space during breaks, which significantly help them expand their ads reach and increase their bottom line.

#4 Marketing Automation

Marketing automation system has become the need of the hour for businesses in 2016. Marketing automation involves content management, social media automation, email scheduling, segmenting contacts and many more. Automated marketing not only reduces the size of your marketing team to half, but makes is possible to reach your goals faster, too.

By adopting marketing automation, digital marketers can bring ease to their jobs and make their goals achievable.

#5 Video Marketing

Video marketing possesses a great potential to create an impact on your prospective customers to buy your products. People are more likely to jump on videos than exploring a static ad. Since videos are full of colors, visuals, sounds and music, they keep the audience engaged and attract their attention to your products.

In 2016, digital marketers across the globe focussed on short videos (not more than 30 seconds) to take their businesses to fruition.

#6 PPC Personalization

Gone are the days when paid search was restricted only to targeting the right keywords to identify people who can buy your products. There have been many negative impacts on sales due to irrelevant clicks and site visits. But not anymore, the year 2016 calls for finding the right audience on the web. In 2015, Google introduced a top-notch feature, called Customer Match, to allow a company to upload a list of emails that customers have provided to the company and when these customers are signed into Google Search, YouTube, or Gmail, the company can show them its product ads.

The Internet knows a lot about people, the need is just to understand their behavior and make a list of those who are likely to show interest in what you have on offer.

#7 Buy Buttons

Social media sites, like Pinterest and Twitter, are also using buy buttons to make it easier for users to directly buy from there itself. Buy buttons on social media sites will avoid the need of visiting an e-commerce site to buy products, which would be a welcome change for more than one billion social media users worldwide. Marketers need to acclimatize to this changing trend and strive hard to make out the best of buy buttons on social media sites.

#8 Mobile Marketing

Mobile users have already surpassed the numbers of desktop users, which has a great implication for digital marketer.. A sudden rise in mobile users to access the internet has caused the stir in SEO arena, requiring marketers to optimize their sites for mobile devices too. So, digital marketers must deploy mobile marketing strategies to increase the visibility of their products to maximum users.

Digital marketing has become the need of the hour, no matter what type your business is. If you are a digital marketers, you must take cognizance of the above eight trends to add new dimensions to your business. If you have interesting digital marketing strategies in mind, please share with all our readers in the comment box below.

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Posted by on in Android Development

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Updating a mobile app is essential to build trust among users that you are willing to improve the overall user experience and fix the app issues that arise from time to time. Android developers also pay heed to that matter and regularly publish their app updates on Play Store. Google has recently brought a welcome change for Android developers by allowing them to use a timed publishing approach for updates on Play Store.

However, Android developers must not mistake time publishing approach for scheduled updates. It may appear from Google’s support document that Android developers can schedule time for publishing updates to their apps, but that is certainly not the case.

What is this timed publishing approach?

With timed publishing, Android developers need not to bear the stress of working out when their Android app updates may go live. Android developers first need to push the new APK for their apps and then wait for a couple of hours, which is the normal time for processing. After this, they will get a “Go Live” button, pressing on which will make the update available for all users within minutes and at the same time.

So, Android developers now have the option to make an update available for all users at once, but they still have to press the “Go Live” button. There is no option to choose a specific time to schedule the publishing time for an update, which may seem from what Google has worded the update in their support docs.

Limits of Timed publishing approach

Both Android developers and users appear rejoicing over the new change, but they must note that timed publishing is only meant for updates to an existing app in Play Store, and not for publishing a new app.

However, Android developers also must understand that Google has not removed the processing waiting period for app updates, and they can process only one change at a time. Besides, they will not be able to revert changes, meaning they need to fix all the bugs before making their update live for everyone at once. An extra stint would also be needed at Android developers' end to ensure that all their servers are in sync with each other.

Benefits of timed publishing approach

  • Google says that Android app updates will not take more than a few minutes to be available for all users after the processing wait period is over, but it certainly won’t take hours like in the past for the same.

  • The new change makes it easier for Android developers to make app updates available to users, without worrying about when they may go live as they were previously used to after hitting the publish button.

  • Android app users also don’t need to wonder when updates would be available to them.

  • Once an app update is successfully processed, Android app developers can choose to hit the “Go Live” button sometime later to coincide it with a press release, ad campaign or other events pertinent to their apps.

Timed publishing for Android app updates is a brilliant new feature for Android developers to take advantage of. Many app developers, without a doubt, will take cognizance of it and feel encouraged to shift their focus to Android apps, since Android users exist in abundance. If you have any additional information to share about timed publishing of Android app updates, please mention them in the comment box below.


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Last updated on: 02/05/2017

Agile Project Management Methodology has emerged as a great alternative to traditional project management methodology, like Waterfall. Agile is predominant in IT and software projects since it allows to adapt to rapidly changing business environments. Unlike traditional project management, Agile calls for producing and delivering work in short bursts, also called sprints.

Gathering all the requirements before the development team even starts writing the code puts your software at a great risk of being not in line with current market demands and become a failure. When you decide what your product should be in the very beginning, you tend to ignore important iterations that must be made during the development lifecycle, thereby preventing your final product from being the right fit for the market.

A plethora of project management methodologies are available in tech market, however, for the success and timely completion of a project, it’s imperative to choose the one that fits your business requirements and empowers the product development to keep the pace with changing client demands.

Key characteristics of Agile Project Management

  • Empowers developers to self-organize the task

  • Enhances learning, knowledge sharing and communications among team members

  • Emergent behavior to deal with uncertainty

  • No detailed documentation and calls for just enough planning

  • Continuous product refinement via regular iterations

  • Constant feedback, research and creativity

  • Faster completion of projects without compromising on the quality of desired product

  • Maximum ROI

Agile project management is a boon especially to IT field because time determines the fate of your product. Since IT has become a fast-paced world, months have been reduced to weeks, and weeks have been reduced to days. If you take too long to develop a software, chances are high that the requirements for it change drastically by the time it is finally available for use, which makes Agility a matter of paramount importance. Agile enables the development team to work faster by dividing tasks into different sprints and incorporate innovation and uniqueness in the development process.

Limited documentation in Agile project management also improves the pace of a product’s development lifecycle. Instead of long documentation that nobody has time to read, Agile calls for increased interaction among team members, customer feedback, imagination, coding, testing and new ideas. These factors result in appropriate response to a change rather than following a plan that has prerequisite measures and no room for dealing with a change. Unlike traditional project management, Agile paves the way to adapt to even last-minute changes.

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source: http://www.softwareadvice.com/

The biggest reason for the immense popularity of Agile is its basis - It’s not possible to determine all the tasks going to be required for completion of a software project up-front, design an architecture upfront and get all the requirements upfront. Agile is built upon the belief that constant feedback cycles, research, undisrupted interaction and creativity allows the plan, the requirements and the architecture of a project to gradually emerge. As a result, the end-product meets not only the client’s need, but latest market demands too.

Although Agile project management has proved to be a great help for IT managers, nearly 48% of US project managers use it for non-IT projects as well.


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source: http://www.adfkickstart.com/agile-methodology

Since Agile project management is the best fit for businesses that have continuously changing environments and highly complex situations, it is often deployed in ever-evolving software and IT industry. However, non-IT managers have also begun to use Agile for project management as even they find it difficult to articulate requirements without seeing a tangible product first. Agile ensures production of a quality product that flawlessly meets client’s requirements.

If you have ever used Agile and have additional inputs to add, please share them in the comment box below.

 

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source: www.manageprojectsonsharepoint.com

 

Is project management really a conundrum of almost every project manager? Well, experts say not for those who know to bring key project management methodologies to their advantage. A cutting-edge project management methodology is designed to assist project managers in flawlessly dealing with problems and ensuring timely completion.

 

Moreover, a project management methodology allows project managers to set different tasks to complete a project and manage ad-hoc resources as and when the need arise.

Usually, there are five processes in a project management methodology

 

  • Initiate
  • Plan
  • Execute
  • Monitor
  • Close
 

 

An organization that takes the responsibility of completing a project for a customer has to deploy a project manager, right resources and a capable team to ensure the same. Therefore, a project management methodology acts nothing less than a savior for a project manager who is responsible for the entire project in the end. In this blog, I am discussing five most popular project management methodologies: PRINCE2, Scrum, Waterfall, NPI and RAD.

 

Let’s begin!

 

PRINCE2 (An acronym for PRojects IN Controlled Environments)

 

PRINCE2 is a process-based project management method and is widely used by the UK government and private sector world over. The methodology has become immensely popular for delivering quality results within the stipulated period of time.

 

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                                                                      source: scilsng.com

 

You must be asking how a project manager meets the end-goal of completing a project in time using PRINCE2. Pay attention to key features of PRINCE2 below:

  • Enables effective product-based planning and communication
  • Fit for any kind of project
  • Defines roles and responsibilities
  • Gives rise to consistency
  • Hassle free monitoring
  • Opens gates for learning
  • Results oriented not task oriented

PRINCE2 makes it easier to decide who are the right people to take on your project and what tasks they are supposed to perform to complete the project. Besides, the method enhances risk management ability, managing quality and control changes on the project.

SCRUM

 

Let’s talk about the second project management methodology called as Scrum. It’s the best methodology that fits for projects free of budget constraints and requires a team that takes one project at one time. A dedicated team means more focus and effective communication. The project manager is called Scrum Master in this process.  

 

Key features of Scrum:

 

  • Gives rise to high visibility of project
  • Cross-functional, self-organising teams
  • Early identification of problems
  • High productivity
  • Timely response to change
  • Enhanced communication
  • Easy project assessment
  • Predictable schedule to ensure timely delivery of project

 

Waterfall

 

Waterfall is a popular project management methodology in most industries in general, construction in particular. Waterfall is simple to understand and use. It requires completion of one phase before going ahead with the second one. After each phase a review is conducted to ensure that the project is on the right path, which helps remove discrepancies and take necessary actions.

 

Benefits of Waterfall:

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Management ease due to review process and specific deliverables in each phase
  • One phase at one time
  • Ideal for projects that involve physical objects, like buildings or computers
  • Easy to replicate project plans for future use
  • Allows to visually see and communicate a target delivery
  • Easy forward and back planning to ensure timely completion of a project

NPI (New Product Introduction)

 

NPI is a process that businesses and companies use for products. NPI helps managers figure out effective ways to develop products as per customer requirements and bring them in the market. NPI is highly useful for companies that are looking forward to respond to customer requirements and market demands.

 

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source: www.almengineeringsolutions.co.uk

Advantages of using NPI:

  • Automates task
  • Removes performance bottlenecks
  • Gives rise to consistent execution and continuous improvement
  • Gives management visibility
  • Allows to introduce products on time
  • Standardize format and attributes for different deliverables
  • Initiates company specific new product introduction process

 

RAD (RAPID Application Development)

 

RAD is often referred to the conventional Waterfall and is used for rapid development of products. RAD is mostly used for software development and has very less to do with planning tasks since entire focus is on development. RAD allows to make subsequent improvements and adjustments as a project progresses.   

 

Advantages of RAD:

 

  • Faster delivery time
  • High quality
  • Improves flexibility and adaptability to changes
  • Highly efficient to handle big-size projects
  • Reduces project risk
  • Helps incorporate short development cycles
  • Low cost
  • Low maintenance

 

All the above discussed project management methodologies have their own advantages. Before you choose a project management methodology, you must have a clear understanding of your business requirements and functioning of various project management methodologies.

 

If you have ever used a project management methodology and have additional inputs about project management and techniques, please add them in the comment box below.















 

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Cloud computing is a boon to every business, irrespective of the size. However, small or medium sized businesses (SMBs) can make the best of them since they can effectively run their business operations without making hefty investments. Unlike cash-strapped businesses, large businesses can afford expensive hardware, software, infrastructure and human resources for streamlined business functioning, thus cloud computing proves the be the kind of panacea for SMBs.

Nearly 37% of small businesses in the US are currently using cloud services and the figure is likely to surge to 80% in coming 4 years. “The cloud is transforming how small businesses operate and the way companies like ours serve the needs of entrepreneurs," said Joshua Reeves, CEO and co-founder of ZenPayroll, a simple, cloud-based payroll service for accountants and bookkeepers. Reeves adds that his cloud-based payroll service helps businesses get rid of the hours of frustration of dealing with complex tax calculations, countless forms etc. Besides, business owners get time to work on their relationships with employees to appreciate and motivate them. Cloud computing services can be divided into three broad categories:  Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

Let’s talk about as to how cloud computing helps SMBs grow

  • Reduction of business costs: Small businesses can go for cloud-hosted servers to get access to robust and scalable computing. Cloud computing services also minimize IT requirements and physical storage, which helps small businesses cut significant business costs.  When a small business starts growing and witnesses a rapid rise in number of customers, cloud service provider automatically allocated as many servers as requires to effectively handle high traffic. Cloud services can be both scaled up and down based on the business requirement, thus saves the costs of buying and installing new hardware and software. 
  • Top-notch Functionality: A small business has to deal with the conundrum of matching the top class functionality of a large, established business. Since resources to create the custom functionality are expensive, it becomes difficult for small business owners to effectively manage their businesses. But all such business woes are eliminated by cloud computing. A cloud service provider will provide enough flexibility to your business to enhance development, improve maintenance and enable upgrades. 
  • Special services for back-office operations: In future, small businesses can integrate cloud-based plug-in players into their back-office operations to rid the need of spending time and energy on menials tasks related to finance, marketing and human resources. Thus, more small businesses will begin availing cloud services to save both money and effort at their end, which in turn will help other important areas of business.Acloud-computing1 (1).gifsource: www.technewbrand.com 
  • Easy collaboration and no time constraint: When all business related files and documents are saved in cloud, anyone with permission from administrator can access them at any point of time. Such a service gives significant rise to collaboration and removes time-constraint, an important factor to bring success for a new startup or a business  
  • Opportunity to become big: Growing number of platforms and plug-in services will enable small businesses to establish themselves in market that were previously dominated only by large companies. For example, AirBnb, a website that enables people to rent their homes and uses cloud services from AWS, helps individuals expand their reach to mass market via community infrastructure.  
  • High security: Cloud service providers always keep a backup of your important business data. Since the data is also stored offline, chances of hacking, viruses, and other cyber-security issues go out of the equation. 
  • Improved efficiency: Small businesses can improve efficiency to a big extent by adopting cloud computing services. Via cloud computing, operations of a small business do not get hampered because of power requirements, small space and software updates.  

Cloud computing helps SMBs set up a robust, scalable infrastructure on cloud to ensure smooth functioning of business operations and reduction of costs. Cloud computing offers tremendous opportunities to SMBs to grow without making huge investments. 

Please give your additional inputs about how cloud computing could help SMBs in the comment box below.

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source: http://metataggsolutions.com

Having a website is a top priority for nearly all businesses in modern times. A website not only helps generates more business, but also improves customer service and brand value. Now that 3.17 billion people have access to the internet, online presence is paramount for every business - irrespective of their sizes - to increase sales and establish a good foothold in the market. However, there is often confusion to choose between in-house web development project and web development project outsourcing.

 

In this blog, I am shedding light on three top reasons as to how outsourcing your web development project is always better than in-house web development: Cost, Time and Quality

 

  1. Cost:

By outsourcing a web development project, you shell out much lesser money than what you are required for in-house web development.

  • You are not required to manage human resources, hire a qualified staff, pay them salaries and several employee benefits.
  • Web development outsourcing also eliminates the need of buying expensive hardware and software.
  • You get SEO/marketing specialists at a very economical price to draw high traffic to your website and earn high ROI. 

 

Cost is important to every business, no matter how big or successful it is. By outsourcing your web development project, you save a lot of money and take the burden off your shoulders to get the end result.

  1. Time:

Web development outsourcing saves you a lot of time, allowing you to focus on important business related tasks.

  • You need not to waste your precious time hunting for developers.
  • No need to hire trainers and allocate a period of time to get the developers trained to get acquainted with latest tools.
  • Since you outsource your web development project to a company that has experienced developers with a good track record, you get your website developed in quick time.
  • You save a lot of time that is often wasted on addressing employee concerns.

 

If your website witnesses sudden surge in traffic, you need not to worry as all will be taken care by the outsource company. It saves you a lot of money that you otherwise spend on web scalability.

  1. Quality: 

The main purpose behind developing a website is to increase user engagement, sales and numbers of visitors. All these goals can be achieved if your website is developed using latest tools, has a nice UI and is highly interactive. Outsourcing your web development project ensures top-notch quality of your website since expert developers take on your project and incorporate all the important features into your website to make it a big success.

  • Outsource web development company deploys experienced team of designers, developers, and marketing specialists to yield good results for your web development project.
  • Outsource company keeps abreast of latest trends and best cases to help your website reach specific goals.
  • Helps improve corporate identity and search visibility of your brand.
  • Experience in web projects helps you get more customers through marketing campaign and implementation of conversion optimization strategy.

 

You can also find online project management tools, like FindNerd and Jira, in tech market to hire a team of developers and effectively manage your web development project without facing hassles that one usually faces with in-house web development team. Offshore web development project management is hard to manage, but online project management tools come with intriguing features like session tracker, flawless invoice generation, sprint and many more to ensure trouble free project management. Moreover, project managers can easily check the status of their projects from any corner of the world 24x7 and stay relaxed as far as web development management and timely completion is concerned.

 

After considering all these benefits of outsourcing your web development project, it makes enough sense to go for it without a second thought. In addition to saving you both money and time, web development outsourcing gets your business more customers and bolster your coffer.

 

Please share your vital inputs about web development outsourcing in the comment box below.

 

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source: www.linkedin.com

 

You would agree that mobile apps are the trend of modern times. In fact, every business can reach out to masses through convenient apps that can be accessed from any place to make a purchase or avail services a particular company has on offer. Going by 2015 Q2 results, Android was dominating the smartphone market, with 82.8% marketshare worldwide. Now that Android has such a wide global reach, a business can certainly carve a niche for itself via Android development. A recent research estimates that almost half of online retail sales in the seven largest EU markets will happen on mobile devices by 2018.

 

Does Android development mean you need to have a dedicated in-house team at your disposal and bear hefty costs? Thankfully no. Since several options are available to outsource your Android development project, you not only save significant costs for your business, but also ensure quality to have the kind of impact on customers you aspire for. Online presence knows no international boundaries, which for your business means a big opportunity to spur  sales via Android development outsourcing.

Benefits of Android App Development Outsourcing

 

  • You get your Android app developed from experts who have are well versed with the latest tools and technologies.
  • Your Android app is capable of capturing and mining customer data to help you make informed business decisions.
  • Assures you that your Android app is in line with vision and your target audience
  • Your Android app can monetize traffic via add integration
  • Ensures flawless testing of your Android app
  • Attractive UI to encourage user engagement
  • Saves time and money

 

In order to have such an immaculate and lucrative Android app, it’s paramount that you outsource your Android development project to a vendor that has strong track record and substantial experience in mobile application development. Outsourcing Android development allows you to focus on important tasks that could go unattended when you are too occupied with setting up an in-house Android development team.

 

Testing of Android app is a complex task and requires thorough knowledge. Even a minor flaw in testing could seal the fate of your Android app, which is why experts advise to outsource Android development project to a company that is well-known for offering quality Android app development and testing services. Data capturing and mining is another important aspect of Android app since every chief manager wants to make informed business decisions to draw fruitful results and earn better ROI. By outsourcing your Android development project, you can be rest assured that your app is capable of capturing and mining the necessary data of customers to increase your bottom line via targeted marketing based on your customer behavior.

 

One challenge when working with offshore team is Project Management. However, there are a plethora of online project management tools, like FindNerd or Trello, available in the tech market to effectively manage your Android development project. Moreover, you get your Android app developed by freelancers who have both passion and capability of building cutting-edge Android apps.

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                                                             source: am-horizon.com

Advantages of Android development Outsourcing via Project Management Tools

 

  • Easy accessibility to your Android development project from anywhere in the world at any time
  • Enhances collaboration with your Android development team
  • Android aficionados ensure flawless testing and top-notch quality  
  • Saves cost of your Android development project
  • Session tracker improves efficiency and ensures timely completion of your Android development project
  • No need to buy expensive software and hardware for Android development

 

Businesses have now begun to feel the pressure of maintaining competitive presence in mobile space, which brings Android development at the top of their priority list to increase customer engagement and sales. However, an in-house development team is not worth going for from a business point of view. You must treasure Android development outsourcing to give your business a boost since its benefits largely outweigh the ones you get from in-house Android development.

 

Have you had any experience with outsourcing Android App development? If yes, do share your experience and insights in the comments below. Hope to hear from you soon!

 

 

 

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                                            source: parthiansystems.com

                                           

 

What business decisions you make determines the fate of your business. It’s makes enough sense to say that decision making for a business no longer have a reliance only on gut-feeling, past experiences etc since we are now living in a digital-enriched world wherein a huge piles of data is present to make informed decisions. According to Chris Jordan, President, iOLAP, Inc, “Success of any business has a lot to do with unlocking the value of data and convert it into trusted information for critical decision making.”

 

Since massive amount of data from disparate sources exists in structured, semi-structured and unstructured form,  data integration plays an imperative role to turn it into trusted information.  

Why Data Integration Holds Significant Importance for Businesses

 

Data integration helps in converting data from different sources into a structured set of information to make it usable for end-users without complex coding. It allows chief managers to gain insight into customer’s behavior and devise effective marketing strategies.

Benefits of Data Integration

 

  • Creates value for your business
  • Improves business intelligence
  • Allows timely access to business data
  • Allows integration of diverse businesses and their processes through shared data
  • Enables chief managers to meet business goals
  • Helps in creating valuable database
  • High ROI                                      Data_Integration_Acceleration.png

                                                       source: superdevelop.com

                                   

 

Data lake is a term referred to a gigantic amount of data which has not been transformed into meaningful information yet, thus brings no benefit for the holder. However, data integration tools, like Pentaho, help convert it into streamlined data refinery with ease to enable chief managers to make informed decisions. Data integration software hold the key for business managers to make predictions, improve business operations and offer products to customer that fit in their interest areas.

 

Data integration tools enable ETL (extraction-transform-load) to process big data sources in familiar ways. Moreover, data integration tools give you access to their big library of pre-built components, which make it easier for you transform data from a full spectrum of sources. Sub-areas of data integration comprise of data warehousing, data migration, enterprise application and master data management.

Below is the list of 10 popular data integration tools  

 

  • Astera

  • IBM’s Agile Data Integration
  • Pentaho
  • SAP
  • Jitterbit
  • Oracle Data Integration
  • Informatica
  • HVR Software
  • Information Builders
  • Adeptia

 

Data integration also gives rise to Predictive personalization, which is the new mantra for businesses to increase their sales numbers and keep on adding new customers to the list of loyal customers. It helps you create a good brand value in the market as invokes a feeling among customers that you pay heed to their individual preferences and deliver tailor-made solutions. CRMs, social media, websites, news feeds etc. generate a lot of data about customers, but without data integration, it’s not possible to make sense of it and figure out what sort of personalized experience your prospective customers are demanding from you. Data integration tools do not cost much and take less time to provide you vital information to transform your business into a big success.

 

Exploring highly interactive and high-performance information via data integration opens gates to take informed business decisions and take your business to new heights.

 

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source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

 

Online businesses have carved a niche for themselves as more than three billion people world over now have access to the internet. Of all the worldwide internet users, a third accesses the internet on their mobile devices as more and more people are now preferring smartphones or tablets over PCs to browse the internet. Video streaming on mobile devices via YouTube or Netflix (TV on demand service) has also become easier with high-speed 4G networks and large screen sizes. Making online purchases using a mobile device has become a skyrocketing trend as people are increasingly enjoying the luxury of buying their favorite items online from anywhere.

 

Businesses now see a great opportunity to bank upon burgeoning mobile internet users worldwide. For any online business seeking growth and increased profitability, a mobile web application offers significant support to reach that goal. A mobile web app, unlike a mobile native app that requires a download, can be easily accessed on any smartphone’s browser.

 

Native mobile apps also help a business to increase sales, but mobile web apps get an edge over them due to following factors:

 


Mobile Native Apps


Mobile Web Apps

Development of mobile native apps is a time taking and costlier process

Mobile web apps are cheaper and faster to develop

Mobile native apps need a download, which increases data usage and occupies space in phone’s memory

Mobile web apps can be easily accessed through a URL and require no download

Native apps are expensive as needed to be developed for multiple mobile platforms, like Android iOS etc

Mobile web apps do not cost much as they can be easily developed to access via a phone’s browser, like Google, on any mobile OS

Native apps often cause annoyance to users who need to download heavy updated versions time and again

Users don’t realize that a mobile web has been updated as developers can easily repair it without causing much disruption

Updating a mobile native app for multiple mobile platforms incurs high cost for owners

Mobile web app maintenance does not involve too much cost and can be easily updated through a CMS

Mobile native apps are dependent on mobile platforms, thus getting an  app available on Google Play, App Store etc often results into a long wait

There is no such constraint with mobile web apps

Native apps don’t offer monetization ease as online stores, like Google Play, handle all payment work

With mobile web apps you can easily handle all the payments by setting up a payment gateway

 

For detailed comparison, you can check 7 main differences between web apps and native apps.

Now, let’s talk about how mobile web apps can help your business

 

  • Improved visibility and user experience: A mobile web app for your business can increase your visibility as people now spend more time on their smartphones to browse the internet. A prospective customer can land up on your web app’s site page through Google search engine results and make a purchase for a product he/she is looking for. A mobile-optimized website has optimal download speed and provides users a pleasing experience since it’s specifically made for hand-held devices.

 

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                                                       source: okayapowergroup.blogspot.com

 

  • Improved SEO: By developing a mobile web app, you can boost your SEO efforts and ensure that your company has a high rank in search engine results on mobile-friendly search engines like Google and Yahoo.  

 

  • Rise in sales through advertising: Mobile advertising allows businesses to take their products to target audiences and lure them into purchasing products on your mobile website. An important point to note here is that your ads must take users to mobile-optimized landing pages, not your desktop site.  

 

  • Increased engagement with users: Mobile-specific features like click to call increase engagement with mobile web app users. Location aware technology also makes it possible for visitors to connect to your website, especially when you are a local business and users are either in or nearby your geographic location. You could also add a chat feature on to your mobile web app to answer queries of users and improve customer service.

 

  • Secured payment gateways: Mobile web apps are designed to perform all the tasks in a secured manner in addition to provide pleasing experience to users. Users don’t feel reluctant to make a purchase using a mobile web app due to highly secured payment gateways. More and more users now believe that their bank details are not vulnerable to misuse by third parties, therefore by using right marketing strategies you can increase your sales through your mobile web app.

 

  • QR code use: You can use QR codes in advertisements, brochures, posters to direct traffic to your mobile website. After scanning a QR code with a smartphone, it can be converted into a website URL, an email address or SMS message.

 

Numbers of users accessing the internet on mobile devices are increasing everyday. It’s high time for businesses to realize the importance of mobile web apps in improving their bottom line. I hope this blog has offered you deep insight into inevitability of mobile web apps.

 

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                                                         source: sites.ndtv.com

 

Real-time data means information that is available for use immediately after collection. However, it doesn’t mean that the information will be available to an end-user with microseconds after collection. To best understanding, we can say real-time data is fast data that is not meant to store or kept back for later use in future, but to keep it in motion to give rise to immediate response and action.  

 

For a long time now, use of real-time data has been restricted to navigation and tracking only. But the picture is changing now with the advent of new technologies being capable of delivering up-to-the minute information to mobile devices through convenience apps.

How real-time data could help businesses grow?

By deploying real-time data analytical tools, such as Woopra, Clicky and Mixpanel, businesses can analyze huge data sets of fresh information in a matter of seconds or a few minutes, unlike hours and days previously. Real-time data comprises what people are purchasing online, sharing, posting, clicking, reading and many more.

 

Making right sense of such information opens doors for businesses of all sizes to understand customer behavior and target them with products they would actually like to make a purchase for. Besides, assessment of customer interaction in real time enables to improve customer service and improve brand value of your products and services. Real-time data improves your business-decision making ability, which in turn increases profitability and takes your business to new heights.

 

To make real-time operation possible in reality, many businesses have already started asking developers to design their apps that support real-time data, business intelligence(BI), analytical tools and data management.

Factors to be considered while designing real-time data apps are as follows:

 

  • Customization: Adding a personal touch in an app makes it easier to understand consumer preferences

  • Awareness: Capability to figure out where a user is and what he/she is looking at

  • Speed and interaction: Ability to respond in real-time and take quick actions

 

All these benefits can be availed if businesses can manage to transcend limitations of cost, difficulties in designing real-time systems, data-management infrastructure, lack of staffing etc. Besides, it would really become possible to make software-enabled automated decisions without having to rely on human beings for the same.  

Let’s now talk about applications of real-time data

 

                                            source: www.slideshare.net

 

Retail companies: Real-time data enables a retail company to decide the right product it needs to target a potential customer based on information about what interests and behavior he/she has recently showed on social media and shopping sites.

 

Retail companies can also figure out on which day traffic is high on their sites and can increase their sales by quickly responding through email campaigns. It’s also possible to monitor social media campaigns in real time and figure out which posts and tweets were liked by your target audience and attracted them to visit your site and make purchases. With online campaigns, it’s very important to act on feedback in real time to improve your products and services, which leads to rise in sales and adds value to your brand.

 

Sites are subject to downtime due to updates or maintenance requirements. Via real-time data analytics tools, you can figure out when the traffic is low and high on your website. As a result, you can choose right time of a day to repair or update your site, so that users face minimal disruption.

 

Banking: Real-time data also has a role to play in banking sector as many banks are looking forward to introduce the concept of small mobile banking. This will allow a customer who has recently inquired for a financing a new property to automatically receive alerts from the bank about its mortgage offer, thereby increasing chances of conversion by many folds.  

 

Insurance: GPS coordinates could help an auto insurance company to get real-time information about an accident a customer has had. Thus, the insurance company, without wasting anytime, can call a towing service provider to take the customer’s car to a repair shop and arrange the nearest rental car service.

 

Trading: In trading, it becomes paramount to evaluate real-time impacts on trades in order to maintain balance of portfolio metrics and bring down equity-risk exposure. Real-time data is imperative for risk assessment in a trading.

 

E-commerce sites can enjoy skyrocketing sales by analyzing real-time data, which opens gates to take interaction to an all new level. With real-time data, you can immediately become aware of a blog or any post on the internet that has mentioned your business. You may like to comment on every post that has the name of your business mentioned and is bringing a good traffic on your website. This will help your business increase interaction with more and more people.

 

You will also be able to figure out the place a user has come from on your website, how long he stayed on your site, which page he spent the most time on and what product he clicked the most at. You can tag the customer from your database to know when he/she comes next time on your website and based on the vital information at your disposal, you can launch a browser chat session. A chat session usually has a huge impact on a customer and drives him/her to buy a product he/she had previously showed interest in on your website.  

 

Real-time data has many virtues for businesses to give their rivals a tough competition and increase their bottom line to a great extent. I hope this blog has served the purpose it was intended for.



 

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Apache Hadoop is an open-source, java-based programming framework meant to process large data sets in a distributed environment. Hadoop has created a lot of Big Data hype in digital arena, with many viewing it as the best platform for handling high volume data infrastructures. Sorting of Big Data offers great opportunities to companies to increase their ROI by targeting or retargeting right customers. They can figure out what customers do not like about their products or services, therefore can go for a quick fix and improve their brand value. Moreover, they can provide personalized experiences and grow their list of loyal customers.

Big Data has a lot of virtues, but many companies are wary of Big Data Hadoop implementation. In this blog, I have discussed major constraints that make Hadoop inappropriate for Big Data

But first have a quick look why Hadoop is touted as a standard platform for Big Data

  • High data storage and processing speed

  • Scalability

  • Flexibility

  • Free open-source framework

  • Gives protection to data and application processing against hardware failure

  • High computing power

Now let’s talk about negative points of Big Data Hadoop implementation

  • Not suitable for small data: Big Data benefits are not restricted only to large organizations since small businesses also have a treasure trove of opportunities to skyrocket their sales by using it. But Hadoop has a high capacity design and is not fit for small data. Hadoop Distributed File System(HDFS) is incapable of reading small files randomly, thereby making Hadoop incompatibile with small data. This is a big setback factor in Big Data Hadoop implementation.  

  • Security and Vulnerability: Hadoop’s security model is not well-designed for complex applications and lacks encryption feature for storing and networking. Owing to these inadequacies, data sets are always at risk of being compromised. No organization wants its vital data to be leaked and become available to its competitors to pre-empt business strategies. Hadoop is also not secured against data breach as its framework is written in Java, which is vulnerable to cyber attacks. Many cases of cyber criminals having exploited Java in the past make Hadoop not to be completely trusted as far as data security is concerned.

  • Stability Issues:Being an open-source platform, Hadoop is surrounded by stability issues. Many developers have developed it and iterations are being continuously made, but its stability always remains one of top concerns. It’s very important for a company to ensure that they have put into use the latest stable version of Hadoop. Another way is to go for a third-party vendor who takes the responsibility of running it and fixing stability issues. But still, stability issues always make organizations uncertain over using Hadoop for processing of important big data sets.

  • Problems with Pig and Hive: Pig does not entertain Hive UDFs and Hive does the same to Pig too. Both can’t be used in one another. Pig script also does not offer any help whenever any requirement arises for extra functionality in Hive. If you want to access Hive tables in Pig, you need to use HCatalog.

  • Repository Functionality: Installation from Hadoop repository is not an easy task. It often takes a lot of effort because of mismanagement and improper act. Another flaw with Hadoop repository is that it does not keep a check on compatibility while installing any new application. As a result, compatibility issues emerge at later stages and cause annoyance.


There are other problems with Hadoop as well, like unrefined documentation, problems with Ambari installation and Oozie not behaving well when not properly distributed. But I have discussed the top five major concerns with Big Data Hadoop implementation.

I hope this blog helps you understand top challenges Hadoop is facing to become the best framework for Big Data. If you want to add more about what Hadoop needs to improve to become a best fit for big data, please share your views in the comment box below.
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Artificial Intelligence (AI) reminds us of many Hollywood movies, like The Terminator, The Matrix etc, in which machines surpass ability and smartness of human beings to perform incredible acts. With significant advancement in technology, it is now actually possible to empower a machine with AI by using a few programming techniques and database management system. But AI is no restricted to machines robotics only, and is now seen as the next frontier of mobile devices too.

Cortana, Siri and Google Now have already shown us how AI can make a difference in digital world to make human lives better. They behave as personal assistants to advise and suggest a user, like reminding birthdays of loved ones, an important meeting, a major event and many more.

Integration of AI in mobile apps is all set to create a bandwagon, with smartphone manufacturers investing in research to come up with mobile apps that can effectively handle official and personal tasks of human beings. We have a small quotient of AI in our smartphones already, which is why we are able to easily make a hotel booking and shop online. It’s no hyperbole that further advancement in mobile AI only opens avenues to make smartphones or tablets capable of performing human activities.

Mobile apps will not only communicate with human beings, but will understand their emotions as well. Researchers are working to improve voice-recognition service to achieve the same. Mobile chip maker Qualcomm says that future smartphones will be intelligent enough to understand what photos you are taking of and recognize faces. Does that mean deep learning will become a standard features of future smartphones? Qualcomm is looking forward to build neuro-inspired chips to make smartphones smarter about images so that they can recognize faces even from videos or images that are not very clear.

Going by estimates of ABIresearch, could-based solutions will globally result into 68% of growth in mobile speech-recognition platforms by 2017. Researchers are endeavoring to transcend limitations of smartphones like constrained communication bandwidth, small screen sizes and other issues to incorporate AI in smartphones.

BroApp helps strengthen your romantic bond with your partner by sending an automated text message on daily basis. But this is no stopping as further advancement in its AI could do wonders for couples who struggle to remember small-yet-important things to maintain a happy relationship with their loved ones.

Watson, a product of IBM, is a machine that finds answers to complicated questions in a matter of three to five seconds. The machine is powered with AI to dig into a terabyte of data and come out with answers in no time. Such is the power of AI, and it is only going to increase by multiple folds, providing you a picture about enormity of AI to transform how mobile apps will behave in future.

AI in mobile apps will give rise to smart interaction, deep personalization and intelligent answers, recommendations, opinion and what not. AI advancement will help expand boundaries of progress human beings have created so far. WIth this, I am wrapping this blog and hope it has provided you insight into how AI will impact behavior of mobile apps in future.
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Long gone are the days when computers and PCs were predominant devices for people to surf the Internet. Technology has seen great advancements and people are now increasingly using mobile devices of varying screen sizes that run on different platforms, like Android, Windows, iOS etc. However, advent of tablets, smartphones and phablets has also brought challenges for businesses to develop web apps that are fit for multiple devices.

This blog explains important factors a developer needs to take into consideration before beginning to develop a web app for multiple devices. But first, let’s talk about why so much hype has been created around web apps when other solutions like native apps and hybrid apps are also available.

Web apps are the future because unlike native apps that require installation through an app store, they can be easily accessed through different browsers on different devices. Nowadays, there is an app for everything, but a user has to deal with storage issues as a mobile app on an average weighs 20MB. It’s not possible for a user to install every mobile app that appears of use due to non-availability of such a gigantic storage space on mobile devices. A web app is the best solution as it’s only 1/20th of the size of a mobile app and users can access it with ease by entering a URL in a browser. Users don’t even need to remember a URL for a web app, as it can be easily bookmarked for future use.

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By going for a web app, businesses can also save significant costs as they do not need to create heavy updated versions of mobile apps, which also takes the data burden off from a user as they no longer need to update their mobile apps time and again. So, it won’t be wrong to say that web apps create a win-win situation for both owners and users.

There are so many benefits of a web app, but it’s not at all easy to create one that works flawlessly on multiple devices. Developers are required to take cognizance of popular operating systems, software, hardware bugs, hardware limitations, different screen sizes, resolution, browser and other issues to develop an immaculate web app for multiple devices.

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Programmers need to apply themselves a little more than what they do in case of native apps. For instance, a Firefox browser behaves differently on iOS phones than it does on Android ones. So, developers need to do debugging to fix browser-specific issues, ensuring smooth functionality of a web app on cross platforms.

The main aim of any app is to attract users through quality content on a wide range of screen sizes, which makes it paramount to know about different resolutions on various devices. Efficacy of features on different devices vary as contexts of usage are different, therefore a developer needs to identify how a user will use the product. Smartphones are used as alternatives to desktop, which is why it’s important to design a mobile web app that focuses on core function and activities users look forward to, unlike a website that gives immersive experience to desktop users. A very good example of this is Google’s mobile website which offers you different items in the navigation compared to its desktop website.

Your web app must enable interactions and functionality in an effective manner for multiple devices. It’s very essential for a developer to know strength and weaknesses of each device and figure out how your web app will behave when a user leans back, leans forward, remains stationary or go mobile. With cloud computing offering advanced features, web apps are evolving as cloud apps.

Advantages of cloud apps

  • Can be accessed through web browser.

  • Data is present in cloud infrastructure.

  • Offers support for data backup, security, backup schedule etc.

  • Reduces costs of installing your own servers.

  • Provides you a scalable solution to handle sudden rise in traffic.

  • Provides you an on-demand solution for Test, Load, Beta and Pre-Production Environments.

For a web app, creating a device group could provide you significant help in managing the diversity of screen sizes. Consider the below example to understand how you can put together devices of same widths in one group.

  1. Tiny: 84, 96, 101, 128, 130, 132

  2. Small: 160, 176

  3. Medium: 208, 220, 240

  4. Large: 320, 360, 480+

  5. Desktop: 800+

By creating a default reference design, it becomes easier to make a web app adaptable to smaller and larger screens. Display should be eye-catchy, therefore you must define rules for content and design adaptation. Going for web standards and flexible layout helps in providing a great experience to web app users on multiple devices. It’s also important to keep file size and load times down to provide a good user experience.

You need to be smart with placements of elements as less screen size is available on mobile devices. HTML5, CSS3, and web fonts are some examples of latest improvement in programming languages to design web apps that are scalable and adaptable to multiple devices. jQuery is worth trying for developing a web app as it has a widget library capable of converting semantic markup into a gesture-friendly format. It especially helps your web app perform operations on touch-screens.


Developers also need to pay heed to different user interface guidelines being offered by iOS, Android, Windows and other platforms for mobile devices. Developers can seek help from online forums as well to find answers to questions pertaining to web app development for multiple devices. These tips will help you as a developer to gain insight into important factors need to be taken under consideration to develop a web app for multiple devices. ens.

 


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Content Management System (CMS) makes website management a much easier task, freeing you from the dependence on a highly skilled developer to update or publish new content. CMS provides the much-needed power to a website to effectively manage all the content, especially on a corporate website. In simple words, CMS could be described as significant advancement in technology to store and manage website pages, blog posts, images, videos and everything related to content on your website without facing the hassles of using HTML codes.

Benefits of CMS system are:

  • Boosts your SEO efforts.

  • Gives you control of your website and enhances marketing initiatives.

  • Improves your business communication.

  • You can control the flow and visibility of your content.

  • You can easily search, retrieve and reuse content to come up with new products in quick time.

  • Non-technical staff can easily perform the task of making updates, provided some training is provided to them.


There are indeed so many benefits of CMS, but it’s not easy to determine the kind of CMS you need for your website. Well, you don’t even need to think a lot about the CMS that suits your business, since a web developer is the best person to decide which CMS is apt for your website, based on size of your business, functionality requirement, editor, customization need, etc.

Consider this example to understand the importance of leaving the CMS choice to a web developer - A person doesn’t have a good knowledge of CMS systems, and decides to buy an enterprise-level system, costing him a hefty amount, but later realizes that even a free blogging tool would have fulfilled the requirements he had for his website. His money wouldn’t have gone waste, had he left the CMS choice to a web developer who actually understands precise requirements for a website and offers the best CMS type to help your business thrive.

Wordpress, Drupal, Magento and Joomla are some popular CMS systems. A web developer knows which among the gamut of CMS systems is a perfect fit for your website, thus saves a lot of money for you that you may waste for buying plugins or features you have no requirement for.


A web developer knows very well which CMS systems manage and handle images in proper manner to ensure accessibility and great usability. Your CMS must offer basic image editing tools, like cropping, resizing and rotating. You can also get user feedback if your CMS has the required functionality. Other important factors needed to be taken under consideration are licensing, support, accessibility, security, training etc. Who can tell you the best about these than a web developer himself.


A web developer will also guide you to go for a CMS that is fit for all screen sizes. It’s no more a hidden secret that smartphones, tablets and phablets are outpacing PCs and laptops, which is why it becomes important to go for a kind of CMS that works flawlessly with multiple devices.

A web developer analyzes your website goal, expected number of visitors, extent of flexibility your website requires, scalability need and ease for overall management, therefore helps you choose the best CMS system for your website. I hope this blog is clear in its context how important a web developer is to help you decide the CMS system you need for your website.

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Growth Hacking

The term growth hacking has created a lot of buzz already, with Facebook, Hotmail, Twitter, Instagram etc having grown beyond expectations and estimations of many renowned growth experts world over. You must be thinking what’s this new jargon is all about, right? Well, growth hacking is actually the linchpin for startups to grow a new business and it is completely different from traditional means of marketing, like ads on television, radio, newspaper or setting up big distribution partnerships. Until now, Search Engine Optimization(SEO) was the only means to grow business by attracting visitors to a particular website through improvement in its ranking in search engine results. However, SEO is not enough to get the much-needed growth to your business now, you must employ growth hacking techniques along with SEO to achieve the objective.


The distinction between conventional marketing and growth hacking is very important to understand to get your business what it needs to survive in the very beginning - GROWTH. Growth hacking means using marketing tricks that are effective to increase user base for new companies. Growth hacker has only one business to do, increase the numbers of users and make every decision from the perspective of growth only, nothing else at all. Growth hacking strategies are meant to make your presence viral on the internet so that people can take a good note of what you are saying and offering to them.


The aforementioned statement does not implicate that traditional marketing tricks do not target growth, but the approach is highly intensive when a new company adopts growth hacking. Growth hacking does not mean getting 10 million users for your business in no time. Instead, it means getting a first few users who will get you more users with everyday passing by. For example, cross-posting on Craigslist did wonders for AirBnb and increased its user base to an extent that left its counterparts scratching their heads.




Product development team and marketing team are known to be two different departments. But it is very important to understand that more often than not a product development team develops a product in a non-empirical way. They develop a product they think people would like, without actually knowing it if it has the features that people would actually embrace. And once the product is developed, the marketing team is supposed to sell it even if they have to push customers. Well, this is what a marketers are believed to do, aren't they? But all changes with growth hacking as it allows a product to market itself. Growth hacking in simple words can be described as understanding your customers and figuring out ways to help them find and start using your products.


Twitter is another great example to support the virtues of growth hacking. Many users were coming to Twitter everyday, but the problem was not many of them were sticking around. So, Twitter instead of emailing newsletters or investing money in other traditional means of marketing to bring them back, focused on making the product better. Twitter learnt very quickly that chances increased by many folds for a user to stick if he/she followed at least 5-10 Twitter accounts on the very first day. It’s simple human psychology, we tend to spend more time on something that interests us. Twitter began to help users get followers who they knew, which further increased their interest to use Twitter. It was no stopping for Twitter, it kept on improving features that helped users achieve things they wanted, thus successfully managed to retain users.



 

In this blog, I am covering the five most effective growth hacking strategies to take your new business to great heights.


  • Identify growth goals that need not to be extravagant but achievable

First, ensure to have 10,000 visitors on your product page. Put ads on social media and use influence marketing to generate leads. You can increase traffic on your website through blogs, so pay special importance to it and use remarketing to ensure conversions of at least 5 bounced site visitors every two weeks.


Ask yourself questions, like adding what features to your product will drive in more customers to begin using your product, what kind of content you need to produce to sound appealing and convincing to your target users etc. Klout is a great tool to determine as to how your are doing on social media platforms. A Klout score, based on your retweets, likes, shares etc, paints a clear picture about your influence on the internet. Posting content on websites with best Klout scores enables you to be accessible to more people, thereby increasing your popularity and odds to get more and more users. Not only this, Klout also suggests you the kind of content you need to develop to ensure your audience likes and shares it.

  • Referral Program


For a growth hacker, a referral program could result into a significant hike in numbers of users signing up on the respective website. Dropbox is a very good example to explain this growth hacking strategy. Dropbox came up with a referral program wherein it offered 500mb worth of storage space over cloud for getting someone onboard. The program made a huge contribution to grow the numbers of users on Dropbox from 100,000 to 4 million users in mere 15 months. PayPal is another great example it offered $10 to a user who invited someone and another $10 for the person who subscribed through that invitation. The program helped PayPal acquire 7-10% growth in numbers of users on daily basis. However, new startups could find such a move expensive. But nevertheless, they can offer something they can afford in exchange of more numbers of users.

  • Platform Hacking

You could make use of other successful platforms to make your business thrive by enrolling more and more users everyday. Think of ideas that could help you work with other businesses, products etc. Cross posting could help a great deal to skyrocket numbers of users on your website. AirBnb is a perfect example as it recorded a burgeoning rise in its user base by allowing users to post their listings on Craigslist. Instagram also banked upon the popularity of Twitter and Facebook by allowing users to cross-post.


When your content is posted on other famous platforms, it gets exposed to more people. As a result, you reach out to masses who may like to give a try to your product.

  • Use Retargeting Ads and Remarketing Tools

It often happens that a user comes on your website, searches a product and spends sometime checking its feature and other things, but then changes his/her mind and leaves without making a purchase, which could be for many reasons. However, it’s important that you follow the prospective customer with the product he/she was looking for on your website. This technique is called retargeting and really encourages such customers to make a purchase on your website. Moreover, right ads tools lift the rate of site visits and brand search. 

Ad exchange is also a lucrative way to get more users to grow your business. It could be both paid and unpaid, but ensures that top publishers, advertisers, networks and agencies spread a word about your product as they have a wide reach to masses.

  • Create Online Communities

Building your own online community could go a long way in increasing numbers of users on your website. An online community enables your business to get access to new prospects and build a strong bond with existing ones. With the help of online communities, people can share their experience with your product from time to time. You can also join forums and other existing popular communities to give rise to engagement with even more people. This strategy is good to adopt to make people know that you exist and are offering a product to improve quality of their lives.


With this, I am wrapping up this blog, hoping it provides a good insight into the next frontier of marketing and will help your business grow exponentially.

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Overview

Sensei Project Solutions approached Evon Technologies, a web and mobile app development company, in May 2013 with an idea of a mobility task management app for Android, iPhone and Windows mobile platforms. The idea behind the mobile app was to allow project team members to update tasks and get access to timesheets on the go from Microsoft Project Server’s Project Web App (PWA).

The client wanted the app to support both Microsoft Project Server and Microsoft Project Online.

The client shared with Evon details of an app that was already developed for Office called the “Sensei Project Dashboard”. The application ran within Microsoft Project Professional 2013 and worked on the SenseiDev2013 environment that was being used for the Time Reporting app. This app used HTML5 and C# code and had implications for the new mobile app. The code had significant importance to draw an outline of the business logic that the client needed in the new app for Android Phones, iPhones and Windows 8  Phones.

The app’s idea was very exciting for Evon as it was going to be the first app to support Project Online to both view and update tasks on the three most famous mobile platforms, as we know them - iOS, Android and Windows.


Challenges

The Evon app development team had to cope with some challenges too while developing the app. First was to develop features for iPhones and Android phones capable of working with  Microsoft Project Online and Microsoft Project Server. Another big challenge was to support Project Online due to authorization issue and scarce documentation.


Research & Analysis

The Evon app development team did a lot of research to make the new mobile app for Android Phones and iPhones compatible with Microsoft Project Online and Microsoft Project Server. And as there is a famous saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going”, the valiant efforts of the team finally paid off with an architecture that enabled hassle-free interaction of Android phones and iPhones with Project Online and Project Server.

The Evon app development team did not just leave any stone unturned to deliver the apps as per the client’s requirements but even exceeded the client’s expectation and won accolades from them.

Solution

The ‘Tasks’ section in Sensei Task Master allows a user to first select a task and then edit it to send progress to their respective project managers. The Time Sheet feature, on the other hand, helps users see all the work planned for the selected period, track actual work and update remaining work. It also allows to insert tasks from other schedules or time periods. Users also get an option to save or send the timesheet, along with recall and delete.

The app works with both Microsoft Project Online and Microsoft Project Server 2013 and 2010.


Industry Reception and Acknowledgements

Evon has developed a plethora of immaculate apps for various clients across the world since its establishment in 2006 and has earned a stature every app development company strives for. Microsoft’s acquisition of Sensei Task Master from the client is another corroboration of the coveted expertise Evon has achieved in app development over the years.

Evon believes in walking an extra mile with its clients to ensure they always thrive in their respective businesses. Making regular enhancements and updates for the app on client’s demands and ever-evolving requirements only adds a significant degree of veracity to the aforementioned statement.

About Evon

Evon has so far developed 70+ iOS apps, 40+ Android apps, 10+ BlackBerry apps, 5+ Windows mobile apps, 5+ cross-platform desktop apps, and 300+ Websites & Web Portals.
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