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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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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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Posted by on in General

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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: 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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Outsourcing your app development project is one of the best ways to dominate your competitors, especially in the era when outsourcing is not limited to only large companies. Thanks to steep rise in numbers of internet users worldwide and long distance communication.

By outsourcing an app development project you no longer need to keep a dedicated team of your own, which is a strong cost-linked factor. The best part is, you will be rest assured that the app development task is being carried out by experts who have years of experience and passion for app development. It’s certainly a big sigh of relief as it takes all your worries related to efficiency, timely delivery, quality, etc at the cost of divided attention and distractions from your core business.

A By outsourcing an app development project you no longer need to keep a dedicated team of your own, which is a strong cost-linked factor. The best part is, you will be rest assured that the app development task is being carried out by experts who have years of experience and passion for app development. It’s certainly a big sigh of relief as it takes all your worries related to efficiency, timely delivery, quality, etc at the cost of divided attention and distractions from your core business.

Imagine a likely situation whereby a new technology makes it way to app development. Now, if you have created and deployed your own team, you would be required to arrange a trainer to help your team learn the new technology. This is a loss for you in terms of both time and money. However, outsourcing your app development project prevents all such losses and troubles, and you remain rest assured about the progress and quality of the project.

Advantages of outsourcing app development project are as follows:

  • Allows you and your staff to focus on key activities

  • You don’t need to increase your own staff when a project requires more developers

  • Reduces app development cost by a big margin

  • Ensures delivery on time

  • Meets your demands for a variety of apps

It must be clear by now that outsourcing an app development project offers you a great opportunity to increase your business revenue and focus on important tasks.

Evon Technologies offers app development services for both Android and iOS platforms. iPhone has brought a revolution in the handset market, but it’s success in a long run is very much dependable on apps. Many businesses know that iPhone app developers can help them bolster their coffer and want to bank on this brilliant opportunity. But hiring app developers may not be a wise idea, especially when you have an amazing option to outsource your app development project and reap fruits.

Outsourcing also paves the way for you to develop a community of experts who are best at what they do, which is not an easy task for any company in the world. Software development outsourcing has already shown a new way to do business. However, it is still important to evaluate a company for its commitment before you outsource your app development project to it.


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Project management is pivotal to success of every project. But traditional means of project management have become obsolete now as they are not as effective as expected for some domains like software development. With traditional approach, project managers often face problems in planning, monitoring and controlling. But significant advancement in technology in IT has brought forward a modern approach called web based project management. It helps you effortlessly, effectively track the status of your project from the beginning to very end.


It gives you an assurance that your project resources, expenses, time and equipment are all worth to make your project a success. Web based project management gives rise to collaboration, which is one of the major concerns of project managers who use desktop based software that requires installation on different machines. fFkLI.jpg


Web based project management ensures that all the documents related to the project are  available at one place at any given moment. Besides, any member of the project team can access the information from any part of the world through any web browser, which boosts performance, productivity and efficiency. Collaborative features of web based project management helps team members send instant messages, set up email alerts and share files.


Maintaining spreadsheets and documents are not enough to guarantee you the success and timely completion of your project. It’s very important to have entire history of the project available to you at any given point of time to derive important conclusions. Web management program covers every aspect of the project, including feasibility, definition, project planning, implementation, evaluation and maintenance.

 

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Web based project management enables programmers, project managers, developers to add documents and specifications in various forms like graphs, database diagrams and graphical diagrams. With so many benefits on offer, web based project management appears to be the next frontier for project managers.


Web-based project management system enables team members to swiftly complete timesheets, update tasks and prepare a report about current status of a project.


Factors that make web based management project the future are as follows


  • Improves project management processes

  • Increases collaboration

  • Helps create online project plans

  • Keeps a track on status of your project

  • Reduces cost of project

  • Saves time and ensures quality  

  • assigns tasks and resources


FindNerd, a product of Evon Technologies, comes with all the features required to successfully execute a project. With FindNerd, you can find not only right resources for your project, but also effective ways to track the status of your project, manage resources, ensure high performance & productivity, quality and timely completion. For example, if your are managing a software development project, FindNerd’s session tracker helps you track the time developers have spent on the task.


You don’t even have to face the hassles of calculating numbers of hours your resources have worked for to make payments, as the project management software is well capable of generating invoices that are free of human errors.


Project managers have been long feeling the need of tools that can remove complications of managing a project. Their wait is perhaps over now as web based project management is offering them endless opportunities to leave no stone unturned in making their project a triumph.


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Big data is gigantic amount of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data available from various sources across the internet and even internal systems. The problem though is, how to utilize this vast resource of vital information. The answer is Big data analytics. Big data analytics is now seen as the future of human resources and recruitment, like any other organizational function.


In the present scenario, almost every job seeker exists on social media, online job portals, etc. This provides HR professionals a great opportunity to identify top talent with the help of right analytical tools to dig into this data.


Previous means to recruit were past experiences, opinions and guts. But making uninformed decisions while hiring often resulted into selection of poor candidates, and subsequently into considerable revenue losses for businesses.


However, with the advent of big data, it’s now possible to gauge a candidate's potential performance, skills, productivity, etc. in order to ensure accomplishment of desired objectives. All you need are right tools to accumulate, mine, analyze the data for managing tasks related to human resources.


LinkedIn, a social network of millions of professionals, acquired Bright in 2014 to use its algorithm in order to extract useful information from massive data that exists in its database. We all now perhaps know that LinkedIn provides the most relevant job search results for both employers and job seekers.  This is the power and potential of big data. Many CEOs are now looking forward to invest in software development that can provide them significant data related to talent acquisition, employee performance and human capital management.


Benefits of Big Data for Human Resource Professionals are as followed:


  • Better insight into Job Seekers

  • Helps screen new hires

  • Allows you gauge employee performance

  • Paves the way to discover high-performing employees

  • Enables to predict employee turnover

  • Provides understanding of hiring trends


Being able to extract chiseled information from big data helps not only to empower a company with top talent, but reduce attrition rates too. For example, Xerox recorded 20% decline in attrition after using big data analytics. Big data analytics helps HR professionals learn why employees leave, what factors contribute the most in employee satisfaction and what makes them stay in the company.


Evon Technologies develops analytical tools for companies to help them use big data in order to take right human capital decisions. Such tools open new avenues for HR professionals to understand hiring needs and trends. Moreover, use of big data helps test theories, find solutions to problems before they start hurting, and devise effective sourcing and hiring strategies.


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Retail merchandising strategy is paramount for small and medium sized retailers to boost sales of their products. It’s imperative to explore every corner of business strategy landscape to survive tough competition. For example, determining the place where a particular type of product needs to be placed so that maximum prospective customers can see it with ease, which can be the difference between a sale and non-sale.

Retail merchandising involves:

  • Launching right product

  • Setting right price

  • Positioning Products at the right places

  • Placing products in right amount

  • Knowing types of customers buying a particular product

  • Drawing traffic to particular products

  • Improving customer relationship

  • Buying trend

The problem is that with all this, there comes a huge volume of disparate data, which is basically useless if one can’t run proper analytics on it to figure out sales patterns, optimum positioning and buying behaviours of customers and perhaps more importantly so, the prospects.

Use of analytic tools could do wonders for small and medium sized retailers. Many of them often struggle to come up with an effective merchandising strategy because of being deprived of information they can extract from their own databases, forget about the vast amount of useful data floating around on the interweb.

Social media, industry forecasts, existing customers records and web browsing patterns can help retailers predict products a specific segment of customers is more likely to buy. For example, Kohl’s had announced personalized offers for customers in five of its stores. Smartphones were all required for customers to opt for the offer while they visited one of those stores. A customer who had looked for a pair of shoes online but never went ahead with the purchase would receive a coupon based on the same shoes. This had increased the chances of the sale of the shoes for Kohl’s by many folds, as customers have a very high likelihood to avail an offer when they get it at the time of purchase while they are shopping.

With increasing use of the internet on cellphones worldwide, experts predict that 25% of the world will be soon on social network. This creates big opportunities, but simultaneously, it also creates problems owing to unstructured, semi-structured and muddled nature of data. Here pops up a question how to use big data to help small and medium retailers devise marketing strategies that improve customer experience, boost sales, understand buying trend inside a retail outlet etc.

But first, let’s get some concepts right about Big Data. Let’s start with the three Vs of big data - Volume, Velocity and Variety.

Volume - Nowadays, a lot of data is available in the form of videos, musics and large images on social media channels. The volume is so large that normal computer systems are incapable of processing it.

Velocity - Data movement has become very fast. Gone are the days when data of 24 hours ago was considered recent. Now, people don’t rely on newspapers to stay updated, they rather get the latest news through social media, which even tells you what happened half an hour ago. Updates are now made almost every second as data is being accumulated across the world on various platforms. This fast movement of data represents big data.

Variety - Data is available in many formats, like database, excel, csv or access.  It’s sometimes even available in the the form of video, SMS, pdf etc. It’s a big challenge with big data to arrange data available through different formats in one format.

IBM is among many companies that offer big data solutions to retailers to help them devise personalized marketing campaigns. IBM’s big data solution helps retailers understand customer shopping behavior, improve cross-selling & upselling, analyze product and customer data to avoid stock-outs and overstocks etc.

However, these full-fledged big data solutions are very expensive for small and medium sized retailers. The best remedy to reduce high costs of big data solutions is to go for customized solutions. Evon Technologies offers such custom-made big data solutions to retailers at very nominal prices, thereby providing them an affordable way to make their business more agile and robust. Having a tool to understand big data is next frontier for small and medium sized retailers in order to ensure their survival amid cut-throat competition.  


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