Author Archive

How DevOps Reduces the Operational IT Skill Gaps

Friday, September 18th, 2020

One of the biggest challenges faced by enterprises today is the Operational IT Skill Gap. This gap is not only distressing productivity, but is also impacting the quality in this modern application-centric and competitive world. CIOs also confirms that a shortage of tech skills is affecting their ability to respond to digital transformation. How can you close this gap?

Using DevOps 

Why?

DevOps is an agile and intelligent approach. It has the potential to increase efficiency and boost productivity. Here are some ways DevOps is helping you reduce the operational IT skill gaps:

A Centralized Monitoring Platform Should be focused

IT operations teams are struggling a lot nowadays. This includes issues like

  • Proper monitoring of databases, services, and applications;
  • Ability to retain their subject matter experts who can potentially research root cause analysis and recover from application issues;
  • Hire and retain all necessary skills to manage applications. 

This is where you need smart and big platforms like Big Panda. It gives embedded artificial intelligence, autonomous operations, and centralized monitoring capabilities under one roof. Whether you want to aggregate events and log data from multiple systems at a central point or need to have alerts into a single, manageable incident from multiple incidents, you can do with great ease. 

Moving forward, AIOps (Autonomous operations) can then direct incidents based on their type into multiple ticketing systems. This way, you can resolve issues quite fast and with minimum manpower. 

Importance of Automate Testing, Integration, and Deployment

Application management helps you to resolve parts of skills, complexity, and cost. But, to enable less error-prone and more frequent application release cycles, you need continuous integration and deployment platforms (CI/CD) coupled with continuous testing capability. 

When CI/CD platforms (such as Jenkins) and automating testing tools (like Selenium) automates testing, deployments, and integration, the knowledge and subject matter expertise packed into release management practices gets auto codifies. Though you will still need a developer to amend necessary change steps like integration, deployment, and regression test can be automated. Another great factor, automation & platform deliver documentation using which new IT professionals can easily review DevOps tool configurations and scripts. 

Onboard IT Talent by Changing DevOps Culture

The three best DevOps practices include Centralized Monitoring, Automated Testing, and Continuous Integration, and Deployment (CI/CD). Operational steps such as automation implementation and tools procurement can help you address the cost, skills, and complexity involved in application maintenance. The next important consideration is–how these practices adoption can change IT to a culture of DevOps.

IT culture change has many aspects. If you talk specifically about production application maintenance, it is when enterprises take a step ahead towards IT heroics to maintain an application. In every organization, there is one person who knows all about the critical application—from issues finding to resolve. In such a scenario, CIO needs to ensure that modern-day cloud infrastructure and applications are easy to manage by different teams with skills that are easy to find and with less complex processes. Plus, CIO needs to ensure that their team should lead to simplified architecture, operational standards and are automating more operational procedures. 

A data-driven culture, leveraging ML and embedded analytics in an operational platform help you aid application changes and incidents response efficiently. By overcoming the IT skills gap, architecture standards along with centralized monitoring platforms can reduce operational expenses and enhance system reliability.  Along with reducing or eliminating the skill gap, it helps you reduce IT costs and increase system reliability. 

Final Thoughts 

The technology skills gap is the biggest issue that organizations are facing presently and demands prime consideration. However, DevOps methodologies have some promising practices that can not only close the IT skill gaps, but it can also enhance the overall efficiency and productivity of the business. Successive Technologies has Certified Competency and Center of Excellence for Continuous Integration, Deployment, and Continuous Delivery. Our team ensures speedy onboarding of applications by automating the end-to-end delivery pipeline and facilitating continuous integration and development across the leading cloud platforms. Book a free consultation now with our experienced team of professionals who have years of experience in DevOps. 

Why DevOps is the Perfect Choice for Mobile App Development?

Monday, September 14th, 2020

DevOps for mobile app development is a smart approach to ensure smooth application delivery from initiation to production. It makes the process more efficient, streamlined, and flexible. How? By breaking the development operations barrier. Read this post to know the significance of DevOps in Mobile App Development and how it can benefit your business.

What is DevOps?

DevOps

DevOps isn’t a technique or process, it is a unique approach that ensures effective collaboration between all the stakeholders (developers, managers, and other operations staff) included in creating a reliable digital product. DevOps helps to:

  • Bridge the gap between operations & development so that all can work in a team;
  • Overcome the challenges involved in continuous software delivery;
  • Brings together agile, continuous delivery, and automation.

Moreover, DevOps lowers development costs, accelerates the release cycle, and improves efficiency. According to a study (Source: UpGuard), organizations integrating DevOps showed:

  • 63% improvement in the quality of their software deployments
  • 63% released new software more frequently
  • 55% noticed improved cooperation and collaboration
  • 38% reported a higher quality of code production

Six Essential Elements of the DevOps Approach

DevOps

Continuous Planning

It brings together the complete project team to a single platform to define application scope and determine the possible outcomes & resources.

Continuous Integration

It emphasizes frequent error-free builds and ensures its seamless integration into the last developed code.

Continuous Testing

It helps in the early detection of bugs. It ensures the performance and reliability of the application and the infrastructure as it moves from development to production.

Continuous Monitoring

It helps in issues identification and resolution. It ensures the stability and proper functioning of the app.

Continuous Delivery

It assists in the delivery of software/updates to the production environment in smaller increments and ensures faster release.

Continuous Deployment

It is a strategy where any code that crosses the automated testing phase gets auto release to the production environment.

How to Implement Mobile DevOps?

The three fundamentals to implement mobile DevOps:

DevOps implementation

Continuous Integration and Delivery

The code should be written in such a manner that other teams can easily integrate. All assets—from scripts, text files, configuration, documents, to code should be traceable. Continuous integration comes with continuous delivery. It ensures fast delivery.

Testing and Monitoring

Mobile app testing is quite significant and should be carried out in the real environment in addition to emulators & simulators. An automated tested process has numerous benefits— it is problem-solving, results in early bug detection, & helps in frequent build handling. Continuous performance monitoring can be done by integrating third-party SDKs (like a crash report, log, etc.) to identify the cause of failure.

Quality Control

It is imperative to measure and verify all components of the code from inception to production, including all modifications that took place during the process. The ratings and feedback on the app store need to be monitored constantly to address the issues quickly and determine the scope of improvement.

How Mobile DevOps is going to Benefit Your Business?

Reduced Release Time

Mobile DevOps offer a smart way to fix issues that originated within the product. The continuous integration in DevOps along with the best test setup ensures a faster solution to problems and compresses applications time to release.

Better Customer Experience

The prime goal of a company is to deliver better services and products. DevOps help to create a quality app using continuous automated testing. This results in better customer experience and satisfaction.

Better Software Quality

DevOps ensures fast development, high quality, stable software, and more frequent releases. When coupled with Agile, it results in better collaboration and helps in solving a problem quickly. DevOps ensures close monitoring of everything from user experience, performance, to security. Thus results in stable and robust software delivery.

Reduced Risks

Mobile DevOps significantly reduces risks. Automated Testing in the development lifecycle ensures that every bug is detected and resolved before the release of the product.

Innovative Toolkits

DevOps offers creative & feature-rich tools to enhance mobile application quality and scalability. These tools foster capabilities for implementing continuous delivery for a large number of releases. Also, the release management tool offers a single collaboration platform for all the teams and provide traceability of every product release.

Conclusion

Adopting DevOps will be a total game-changer for your mobile app development business. Mobile DevOps looks quite promising. It not only enhances business productivity but also minimizes time to market/market releases. Whether you are a growing startup or a well-established enterprise, we, at Successive Technologies are here help to you.

We help you establish quick and transparent software delivery cycles with reliable and technology-driven software solutions. We help businesses attract new market opportunities. Contact our experts to get started with your Mobile DevOps Journey.

Why AIOps is the Next Big Thing in IT Operations?

Friday, September 4th, 2020

AIOps platform market size is growing exponentially. According to Markets and Markets latest survey, the AIOps market size will reach USD 11.02 billion by 2023 and USD 237 billion by 2025. But, what is AIOps, what it is designed to do, how it is developing, and why AIOps is the next big thing in IT operations? If you are also looking answers for such questions, then your search ends here. Have a look:

The ‘What’ Of AIOps

AIOps is the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to IT operations. It is Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD) for core IT functions. AIOps combines machine learning, big data analytics, and various AI technologies to automate the challenging IT tasks. Using the IT data collected from algorithm analysis, AIOps check assets and gain visibility into dependencies within or outside of the IT systems. It helps IT Ops and DevOps teams work smarter and faster. It also denotes a shift from siloed data to a more dynamic business environment.

With AIOps, Ops teams can tame the immense complexity and quantity of data. This prevents outages, maintains uptime, and match endless service assurances. By 2022, 40% of all large enterprises will integrate big data and ML functionalities to replace and support monitoring, service desk, and automation methods (Source: Analytics India Mag).

AIOps Benefits

The prime advantage of embracing AIOps is that it provides momentum and agility to the Operations Team. This helps to ensure the uptime of vital services and timely delivery for better customer experience. Other AIOps benefits:

  • Data-Driven Decision Making

AIOps brings key ML techniques to the IT operations and helps with decision making. It enables the data-driven approach and automates responses. Such automated responses eradicate human errors and data errors. AIOps lets the organization focus more on resolution than detection.

  • Event Noise Reduction

Machine learning technology has great learning skills. With AIOps, using ML, the operations team can identify the error pattern and take immediate counteraction against the discrepancy.

  • Immediate Cause Identification

AIOps platform enables deploying correlation analytics. This helps teams to identify errors and its root cause by correlating monitoring data pointers. As a result, a team can resolve issues quickly and efficiently.

  • Predicting Event Warning

Early error detection is as necessary as fixing it. AIOps with advanced analytics can’t only detect the anomalies in the application performance, but also fix it efficiently for better customer experience.

  • Enhanced Customer Experience

AIOps can predict underlying availability and performance issues by collecting and analyzing data. It accelerates deployment and problem-solving processes.

Conclusion

AIOps is here to stay. It can potentially replace the traditional IT approach with streamlined automation and better efficiency. At Successive Technologies, we integrate the AIOPs, DevOps, and Agile procedures across the software lifecycles to improve operational efficiency and foster innovation. We deliver applications at the pace of business with comprehensive AIOps and DevOps services.

Build the next generation of your business with us now. Get started!

Why Telemedicine is the Next Big Thing in the Healthcare Industry?

Thursday, September 3rd, 2020

All thanks to technology, healthcare has revolutionized a lot over a few decades. Though it has become quite easy, yet there are many challenges. Especially when it comes to service convenience & accessibility for medical providers and patients. One of the perfect solution to address these issues is Telemedicine. But, what is telemedicine and how is it revolutionizing the healthcare industry? Read to know.

What is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine is the use of electronic communications or media, such as teleconferencing, remote patient monitoring, video calling, image sharing, etc. to give medical services to patients over long-distance communication. In short, without in-person visits to clinics or hospitals. Telemedicine also offers a unique platform to health care experts to coordinate in between and discuss the patient treatment/diagnosis without leaving their facilities.

Formerly, telemedicine was introduced with a motive to bring healthcare into remote and rural areas. But, today, it has become a necessity of the healthcare industry. A classic example: COVID-19.

Why Telemedicine is the Next Big Thing?

Evolving smartly, telemedicine is potent enough to eliminate the modern-day challenges of healthcare professionals and patients.  Whether you need emergency medical support or you need just a consultation, you can have it easily anytime, anywhere with telemedicine.

Increased Convenience and Approachability

Started with a prime goal to provide ease and convenience to patients in remote or rural areas, telemedicine is widely growing in urban areas too. It is also a perfect go-to option for patients equipped with busy schedules and lifestyles. As a result, patients can get complete medical excellence under one roof—from intensive care service, remote monitoring, quick assistance, immediate care, to on-demand access. People suffering from chronic conditions or homebound can also avail benefit from telemedicine technologies simply by sharing real-time medical data.

Cost-Effective

Unnecessary ER visits or physical check-ups for common health issues like sore throats, skin rashes, colds, or flu can be removed easily via telemedicine. This saves not only the patient’s time but also transportation costs and in-person visits costs.

American Hospital Association (AHA) Report:  11% cost reduction & 300% increase in the return of investment (ROI) for investors in a remote patient monitoring program in Pennsylvania in the US.

Telemedicine services help you save time and money by reducing work absences and hefty billable expenses of hospital visits. Telemedicine is also beneficial for medical providers. They can work as per their ease and can even charge for non-clinic hours.

Improved Care Quality

Telemedicine provides patient-centered care anywhere, anytime. Medical consultation can be given through real-time urgent consultations within moments. Appropriate, early, and timely treatment of a patient not only improves outcomes but also reduces expenses. Via remote monitoring programs, medical experts can provide better care in areas where medical assistance is next to impossible. Example: Mercy Health System, Virtual Care Center in the US. It is known as “hospital without beds”.

Increased Patient Engagement

Patients are gradually becoming more tech-savvy and are keeping themselves in sync with their health records via a variety of health care apps available today. Telemedicine has improved patient engagement by assisting them in maintaining proper and suitable check-up appointments and care schedules. Virtual consultations have made it easier for patients to reach out to the doctors. This has created a more collaborative and engaged environment between patients and their doctors.

Increased Doctors/Physicians Efficiency

Telemedicine has introduced a new branch of Intensive Care known as Tele-ICU. It serves as a second pair of eyes for ICU operators to promote awareness to patients. Tele-ICU also offers:

  • Better monitoring of the progress of patients.
  • Better maintenance of the patient’s information can be referenced by the doctors.
  • Improved assessments and monitoring through cameras to check the patient’s condition 24*7.

Conclusion

Telemedicine has completely transformed the way healthcare institutions are used to deliver and receive medical services. From decreased follow-up checkups to reduced healthcare costs, the advantages of telemedicine are limitless.

Successive Technologies offer end-to-end innovative healthcare, telemedicine, and technology-driven solutions that drive better communication, higher productivity, and improved patient outcomes. Contact us to gain better insights for enhancing your Healthcare and Telemedicine services.

Mobile App ideas to consider using Javascript(Js)

Monday, August 31st, 2020

JavaScript is the most popular language on our planet. Even back-end developers who write server-side code tend to research more questions on JavaScript than any other language. That’s because JS is pretty inescapable. One of the most powerful things you can do with JS is to build mobile apps for both Android and iPhone. Here are some JavaScript frameworks and mobile app ideas that you can use.

Build hybrid mobile apps

Hybrid apps merge components of the web and native applications. They are a mobile version of a website that runs on a web browser. Unlike Safari, Chrome, or Firefox, this is a default browser that does not use an address bar. They are cross-platform compatible and can run on multiple mobile operating systems.

JavaScript frameworks that can be used to create hybrid mobile apps include Phonegap, Sencha touch, Onsen UI, and Ionic.

Build native mobile apps

These apps work with only one component for an operating system. Some components of a native app will change as the features of the operating system change; for example, buttons and preloaders. These apps are written in programming languages like Objective C for iOS and Java for Android operating systems. The advantage of native apps is that they are fast and reliable when compared to hybrid mobile apps.

Today, you can use a JavaScript framework to build native mobile apps that are cross-platform compatible. You can convert a JavaScript code to render the native components to the platform it runs on.

Here is a list of JavaScript frameworks you can use to build native apps.

React Native

An open-source framework that has been created and maintained by Facebook. Although not a new framework, it is one of the most popular. You can create an entire mobile app using only JavaScript. It uses the same design as React and lets you build a rich mobile user interface from declarative components. Apps built using React Native include Instagram, Uber, Facebook, and Walmart.

Tabris.js

Build native iOS and Android apps from a single code with Tabris.js. If you know how to use PhoneGap and/or Ionic, you won’t have trouble using tabris.js, and it won’t be a difficult destination to migrate. Tabris.js follows the same format as PhoneGap and Ionic config.xml.

Native script

For great UI performance, Telerik Native Script is just right. This open-source framework allows you to build both Android and iOS mobile apps.

Of all the above apps, Tabris.js framework is definitely the best as it also supports cloud build without the requirement of huge SDK installations that consume both space and memory.

DevOps vs. DevSecOps: What is the difference?

Thursday, August 27th, 2020

Beyond the economic jeopardy of high regulatory non-compliance penalties as a result of falling prey to a data breach, every corporation has to protect the sensitive data of their customers and representatives. If they fail to do so, they not only violate the law but, crucially, they put their reputation at stake by compromising trust. The most practical approach to recognize security vulnerabilities is to inquire about software for potential frailties and treat them before a product goes to market. However, up until recently, security testing has been deprioritized by software delivery companies. This is an addition to circumstances such as time pressure and a central focus on delivering innovative and user-friendly products to stay ahead of the competition. However, times are changing. In recent years, there has been a progressive transformation in mindset around security within the DevOps community. Since its initiation, a core element of DevOps is consistently delivering value to the customer rapidly. Nowadays, the teams have started taking more accountability for establishing security testing within the continuous testing process to overlook potential security weaknesses.

DevSecOps is now prompting a significant transformation in IT culture. Meanwhile, DevOps continues to remodel industries with a focus on “shifting left” to deliver more applications promptly and with less downtime. For many companies, the simultaneous growth of both methodologies arises a question: What’s the difference? How do these two approaches protrude, and where do they deviate? Here’s the breakdown.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is the collaboration of developers and operations teams to create a more agile, efficient, and streamlined deployment framework. It can also be termed as a philosophical approach that aims at developing a culture of collaboration between the isolated teams. To deliver software and services more reliably and promptly to market with fewer requests for revision, DevOps has become a driving force in many growing organizations.

DevSecOps: The Next Big Thing

DevSecOps presents the concept of information security (InfoSec) into the existing DevOps model. Since the initiation of an SDLC, DevSecOps makes the application secure by proposing a variety of security techniques. Besides, it integrates essential security policies like code analysis, compliance monitoring, threat investigation, and other vulnerabilities assessments into typical DevOps workflows. In this way, the native security gets built into new product deployments and mitigates the risk of flaws and software errors.

Source: Deloitte

DevOps vs DevSecOps: Fundamental Differences

‘Speed’ is the most significant driver of DevOps. However, moving processes left and establishing in automation makes it convenient to test new products, design improvements, and start all over again. But sometimes speed is considered as an enemy of security and is very close to the chances of happening risk. Here comes DevSecOps: executing most high-grade practices that lessen the entire corporate risks. The transition from DevOps to DevSecOps can be uncertain as developers require more speed and security, on the other hand, needs time to guarantee critical vulnerabilities that are not being neglected. The security perspectives of the software are increasingly core to its functionality. Ultimately, regardless of the terminology, security needs to be the main element of software delivery. While implementing security for every business model kind of policy can help decrease the overall risk factors. Moreover, the key distinction between the two methodologies is of the skillsets, which means that security implementation ultimately rests with InfoSec pros. objectives.

Conclusion

As enterprises are evolving their IT culture to DevOps by focusing on rapid service delivery through the adoption of agile and lean practices. At Successive Technologies, we build consultative solutions that enable clients to secure product development with DevSecOps capabilities. We enable teams to inject comprehensive application security testing at the right time, at the right depth, with the right tools and processes, and with the right experience. Contact our DevSecOps Architects to know more.

Topmost Strategical Technology Trends in 2020 You Should Know

Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

With each passing year, we are witnessing new advancements in the technology transforming businesses around the world. While some things already exist and are common finds in the modern enterprise, other new technologies are ‘prime pickings’ to drastically change the way we live and work. Rapid developments and adoption of these technologies in the enterprise and our lives are contributing to the digital transformation. Analysts have identified that technology trends will shape and disrupt businesses in the next few years.

Every modern technology evolves with new use cases and even newer applications. Additionally, we will begin to see the new benefits and opportunities. Its 2020 and analysts have found out some of the top strategic tech trends that will have a wide impact on both the people and businesses.

Strategic Technology Trends in 2020 depend on two major areas:

  • People-centric
  1. Hyperautomation
  2. Multi-experience
  3. Human Augmentation
  • Smart spaces
  1. Distributed Cloud
  2. Blockchain
  3. AI Security
  1. Hyperautomation

Hyperautomation elevates task automation to the next level. Knowing the selection of automation mechanics, the way they relate to one another and how they may be coordinated and combined is a significant focus for hyperautomation. In other words, It’s the combination of multiple machine learning, packaged software and automation tools to deliver work. This is further kicked off with robotic process automation (RPA).

  1. Multiexperience

Multi experience is basically created by the use of multi-touchpoint and multisensory devices. This is anticipated to grow widely in the coming year as well. In fact, Multi-experience currently focuses on immersive experiences that use augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality, multi-channel human-machine interfaces and sensing technologies.

  1. Human Augmentation

Human augmentation is leveraging technology to increase human capabilities both physically and cognitively. The proliferation of smart devices, and smart wearables can be now seen widely. New applications include the use of these wearables to improve worker safety in the mining industry. In fact, wearables could be used to increase worker productivity and increase human ability.

  1. Distributed Cloud

The cloud holds a lot of potential when it comes to manage operations, governance, updates and evolution of the services. Now, distributed cloud is how the cloud is shifting towards a new era. Most have thought of the cloud as being location independent every time. But now with distributed cloud, physical location of where those data centers are located becomes increasingly important.

  1. Blockchain

Blockchain has the potential to remold industries by enabling trust, providing transparency, and enabling value exchange across business ecosystems. However, it remains immature for enterprise deployments due to a range of technical issues including poor scalability and interoperability. It has been analyzed that Blockchain, will be fully scalable by 2023. Moreover, true blockchain or “blockchain complete” will have the potential to transform industries, and eventually the economy because of the complementary technologies such as AI and the IoT begin to integrate.

  1. AI Security

As mentioned earlier, technologies like hyper-automation already show how true digital transformation is changing in the business world. All the same, these technologies also create security exposure through potential new points of attack. In such case, AI security outgrows as a key solution. Safety and threat leaders should concentrate on three important areas; shielding AI-powered systems, leveraging AI to boost safety defence, and expecting nefarious usage of AI by attackers.

Final Thoughts

In today’s competitive environment, It is important to always remember that embracing change and adopting new technologies and trends will guarantee that your organization maintains a competitive edge. Implementing such technologies will definitely be a game changer for your business. Get ready for the better future!

Five Emerging Trends in Telemedicine to Watch in 2020

Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

Since the beginning of the 21st century, hospitals and doctors have been trying to sort out ways to provide better access to treatment to their patients, their payment alternatives, and health records. Telemedicine is revolutionizing health care and changing rapidly. It uses an electronic route to communicate with patients with their physicians. It is also associated with forthcoming advancement in health science arising out of the effective fusion of knowledge and technologies with bioscience.

Some advantages:

• Reduced inconvenience and price of patient transfers.

• Decreased inessential period of time for health professionals.

• Improved access to quality health services.

• Facilitate patients and rural practitioner’s access to specialist health services and support.

“In this technologically dominant world, individual physicians/doctors have to keep themselves updated or risk being left behind”, says Jonathon Savage, DO, vice-chair of the mHealth, Technology, and Distance Learning Group for the American Telemedicine Association (ATA). “Our patients are living in an online and on-demand world. So, we as physicians need to live in that world,” he says. “If we do not meet the patients where they are, we are going to become like the music stores and the video stores of the past.”

Emerging Trends in Telemedicine in 2020

Telemedicine is bridging the gap between patients and doctors. Patients are gradually accepting this change and feeling more in control of their health checkups. However, doctors are getting more time to research and review individual cases.

Below are the 5 major upcoming telemedicine trends:

  1. More Insurers will cover Telehealth

“The broad acceptance and usage of Telemedicine are enabling several insurance companies and government-administered healthcare institutions to come forward and incorporate such advancement in their operations,” said Dr. Savage, CEO Care on Location. Medicare is gradually becoming the mainstream and producing innovative remote patient monitoring and telehealth services, such as remotely monitoring a patient’s heart function from home. “In 2018, that was something that was not covered by Medicare, but now it is.” Dr. Savage added further.

Also, 35 states including Washington DC, have strict laws mandating that private insurers cover telemedicine services in the same manner that they cover in-person services, according to the ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment). “It seems like most health plans have some kind of telemedicine benefit.” Said Dr. Michael Brown the former director of telemedicine at Mosaic Life Care in Kearney, Missouri.

  1. Patient-centered Medical Homes to Become a Reality

Telemedicine will gain huge prominence because of the increased customer satisfaction numbers. It is not only convenient and effective but also saves time and expenses for both the doctors and patients involved. Thus, in the coming future, we can observe an upsurge in the number of patients getting treatments right from the comfort of their home, or being a part of a medical home including several other patients with similar symptoms and diseases for better diagnosis and consultations.

  1. More Stringent Cyber Security Measures

Cyber security is most crucial in the healthcare industry. We will continue to see extensive variations in the way the telemedicine industry goes about protecting confidential information. As hackers continuously exploit new vulnerabilities, developers are in a constant race to keep up with new threats. With the fear of the massive costs associated with data violations coupled with being on the protective side of cyber-attacks, the healthcare industry will continue taking necessary actions to reinforce its security.

  1. Decentralized Care Will Become Commonplace

Today, we already notice varied examples of advanced healthcare heading towards community-based and cost-effective territories. Several organizations have already started to decentralize their niche offerings, especially Teleradiology by community extension services or by partnering with emergency healthcare centers. The decentralized clinical telemedicine will offer healthcare professionals around the world to see their patients virtually.

  1. Better Technology and Healthcare Apps

In the coming future, we can expect personalized telemedicine apps for both the clinician and the patient that would not only be customized to their case but also offer the flexibility to specify the information that should be displayed. Moreover, we can observe better integration of EMR software with telemedicine software to render relevant patient information seamlessly to the doctor during the virtual treatment sessions.

Choose Successive Technologies for High-quality Telemedicine & Healthcare Solutions

The healthcare industry is undoubtedly the most crucial and fastest-growing industry in the world. Combined with the technological advancements and the ability to predict and manage the healthcare operations, new and unique opportunities are making way for a broader healthcare industry transformation. Successive holds a deep understanding of the healthcare industry and demanding healthcare needs. Our focus revolves around optimizing the operational efficiencies, reducing risks, and enhancing the customer experience to provide reliable and cost-effective solutions.

Contact us to know more about our healthcare services and how partnering with us can help you capitalize and adapt to the changing trends of Healthcare.

Why Telemedicine Is The Next Big Opportunity In Healthcare?

Monday, August 17th, 2020

The word ‘Digital’ has become a norm in most of the industries worldwide. One of the most influential industry, which has seen an exponential growth with the wide adoption of tech advancements is Healthcare. The new lingo in the market is about Digital Health. It is a broader terminology that can be facilitated through a variety of methods, including Digital Communications, Telemedicine, and Tele-monitoring. The increased demand for digital health platforms and softwares will allow the market to continuously grow at a rapid pace.

Here are some major statistics in the Telemedicine industry-

  • The Telemedicine industry is expected to create more than $5.4 Bn market opportunity by 2025, globally.
  • Over the past few years, Telemedicine has seen an increased adoption rate of 71 percent.
  • In March 2020, India’s Telemedicine guidelines issued have clarified regulations for startups and investors.
  • Telemedicine promises to solve the most challenging problems in the healthcare system for the future, allowing access to care in a cost-effective way.
  • Big Startups such as Practo and DocPrime are leading India’s Telemedicine market with plenty of untapped opportunities.

With the aforementioned point, it is clear that the Telemedicine trend will help shape the future of the healthcare industry. And It will continue to grow as it helps close the gap between patients and healthcare providers. The ability to deliver healthcare services remotely, using computing devices and customer-facing AI-powered apps are the most contributing factors for the growth of the telemedicine. Telehealth visits continued to surge in the year 2019, driven by thriving reimbursement measures that are increasingly positioning telehealth as a highly attractive care option for providers as well as patients. On the other hand, supportive reimbursement progress, coupled with the growing awareness and acceptance of telehealth’s value, has set the stage for big moves in 2020 that will change the paradigm of healthcare.

Why Telemedicine in Required More than Ever?

There is often no replacement for face-to-face interaction with a physician and telemedicine requires specialized physician training and equipment. But its implementation would help facilitate overworked doctors provide badly needed medical services in rural areas, and even lower healthcare costs that burden the entire system. Even if no other good for health care come out of the coronavirus crisis, one development the incorporation of telemedicine into routine medical care — promises to be transformative.

Without having to travel to a doctor’s office or clinic, patients can have many ailments “seen” on a computer, tablet or smartphone by a health care practitioner and have treatment prescribed as needed. In short, Telehealth can-

  • Brings Expertise to All Areas
  • Assists People with Limited Access to Specialists
  • Lower Healthcare Costs
  • Increase the Monitoring of Chronic Conditions
  • Attracting New Patients and Retaining Existing Ones

This movement could be a game-changer for the healthcare industry, but mounting its implementation will require well-coordinated action between governments, tech firms and healthcare providers to overcome existing barriers.

Some of the biggest Telemedicine barriers include-

  • Physician Licensing

Cross-state licensure is also a problem, along with credentialing. The current approach to medical licensing requires health providers to obtain multiple state licenses and adhere to diverse and sometimes conflicting state medical practice rules.

  • Difficulties integrating Telemedicine into the practice workflow

There is also a lack of acceptance by patients and healthcare providers that may arise from discomfort with technology, the relationship with the provider, and concerns over security of information and confidentiality. It is essential to educate the clients and increase public awareness for it.

  • Lack of good reimbursement models

Certain criteria must be met for practitioners receive reimbursement. When reimbursement is limited, patients in the affected regions are under-served. As of January 1st, Medicare has established new payment codes for services provided. It is essential to take time and understand the new codes and reimbursement guidelines and implement them carefully.

  • The Future of Telehealth is Bright!

Considering so many advantages, the widespread adoption of telehealth is now recognized to be a sure thing. Telehealth was never well-meant to replace the traditional on-site clinical visit. Rather, telemedicine should be used as one more clinical tool in the clinician’s tool belt, with the ultimate and the best aim of enhanced care for patients and increased operational efficiencies. As telehealth utilization picks up, we’ll also see an influx of “peripheral” services and devices to support it.

However, in the coming years, practices that fail to adopt telehealth will lose patients to their competitors that offer this facility. In 2020, we will see companies, providers and health plans move toward using telehealth not just to increase access to care, but also to deliver improved care as well as to increase revenue and/or reduce costs. As we know, the outbreak of COVID-19 has created a lot of barriers for patients who are ill and have a serious disease, in such case, the implementation of the successful Telemedicine program is all you need!

If you are a healthcare provider and deal with telehealth rollout issues, integration challenges and more.

No worries!

Our team of Telemedicine Experts and Developers gives you the power to bring your ideas to life. Want to know more about how to get started with implementing a telemedicine platform for your healthcare practice?

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Google Will Auto-Delete Your Data by Default—Everything You Need to Know

Friday, August 14th, 2020

Google has been lambasted for collecting and retaining data that users don’t even realize it holds. A year ago, the company added some auto-delete controls that allowed you to set your Google account to delete its browsing history every 3 or 18 months. But it was long overdue. The information Google gathers from its users now holds an expiration date. Recently in the annual Google I/O developer festival, Google made one major announcement that it will soon start deleting your data automatically.  Location History, Web & App Activities will auto-delete after 18 months by default. However, YouTube history will delete automatically after three years by default. The default deletion only applies to new Google accounts, which means if you are an existing Google user leveraging the company’s services, you need to change your settings. For active Google users, the company has decided to send reminders and notifications about changing its auto-delete settings. Also, Google proclaimed to overhaul its privacy control settings with guided tips and suggestions to make the process more spontaneous.

“We will continue to challenge ourselves to do more with less, and today we are changing our data retention practices to make auto-delete the default for our core activity settings,” said Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai. “The approach is to give users the convenience, accessibility, and benefits of everything including the recommendations that come from retaining 18 months of history while abolishing innumerable storage,” Pichai added further.  More than 200 million people have visited Google’s Privacy Checkup tool so far. The Auto-Delete features are approved by default so that privacy protection reaches everyone rather than the people who modify their settings.

Google is making it more comfortable to access incognito mode on elected apps. The mode allows you to browse or use apps confidentially, without letting Google save your browsing history, cookies, or site data. Google promised to let its users stay in incognito mode across its family of apps, so that they won’t have to turn it on in each app. Besides, it will also offer more proactive privacy controls and help supervise users by managing their privacy settings. Now, users will be able to access the key Google Account controls through search. Additionally, the Auto-delete features do not apply to services meant for long-term data storage, like Gmail, Google Drive, and Photos.

Below steps will guide you to turn on auto-delete if you haven’t done it yet:

  • Head to your Google account’s activity page on desktop or mobile.
  • Proceed to the auto-delete section under Web & App Activity, Location History, or YouTube History.
  • Select the auto-delete duration.

How Blockchain is revamping the Freight and Logistics Industry?

Thursday, August 13th, 2020

Technology is ever-evolving phenomena and it is reshaping almost every industry vertical with its innovative advancements and modernized methodologies. Likewise, the logistics industry is no left behind. Global shipping is a core part of today’s economy, but it is also an area that has seen few technological advances. A typical cross-border transaction involves multiple parties like exporters, importers, freight, logistics companies, etc. But now an immensely trending technology named Blockchain—a secure, replicated, immutable shared digital ledger that relies on the consent of a global peer network to operate. The digital ledger is a series of encrypted “blocks” that are linked together in public “chain” and are offering a way forward. Blockchain, since its inception, has been the buzzword for its excellent transparency and security. It is rapidly modifying the way we store and manage data. Besides, Blockchain can help track worldwide shipments more effectively, lessen administrative tasks by automating the documentation process, and guard transactions across the complete logistics chain.

Current Challenges

Currently, the global shipping sector goes through multiple bottlenecks:

  • The exchange of paper documents makes the entire process sluggish, cumbersome, and expensive.
  • Multiple parties are involved in diverse countries.
  • Extensive information about the shipment gets passed and re-packaged from one party to another often ends in errors and theft.
  • Inaccurate and false documentation leading to held up cargos in customs and imposed penalties

In conclusion, the transport and logistics companies require higher authentication, secure data to consistently improve their operations and transparent way to handle the information exchanges between parties.

Upcoming State with Blockchain

Chain Supply Utilizing the Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology will change the way shipping and global trade operates by assuring that the stored data records are tamper-free and from a genuine source, enabling all associates to feel trust and belief in a single source of truth. Any additional information is adjoined to the original entry of the blockchain. Besides, no individual can alter the algorithm that is built into the system without the approval of others. This, however, builds confidence in the system and ensures a level playing field for even the tiniest players.

Some Current Examples of Blockchain Application in the Supply Chain

Food Security: Blockchain is seamlessly enhancing the traceability of food products along with the entire production and logistics chain. It is empowering the authorities to respond immediately and efficiently in cases of large-scale food contamination.

Cross-border Payments: Blockchain has made it facile to transfer money across borders and between institutions while diminishing intermediary costs, especially when it comes to compliance inquiries.

Cross-border Finance: Financial authorities utilizing Blockchain to transfer digital documents to encourage trading and financial activities between the two nations, also to transfer data seamlessly across borders.

Conclusion

Blockchain Technology handles the documentation process from the initial booking, shipping instructions to the drafting, and creation of the Bill of Lading and Customs Manifest. This pioneering solution has the potential to eradicate the increasing demand of shipping documents, empowering various stakeholders to positively and securely access shipment transaction data. It could lead to immense savings for those involved in international shipping. Shortly, enterprises are working on designing a unique shipping platform by leveraging blockchain technology for a broad set of information capture and distribution. This collaborative platform will provide an industrialized, secure, and scalable approach for the shipment process and it will bring a significant transformation to the freight and logistics industry.

How Engineers Can Cope Effectively to Reduce Burnout During COVID-19

Wednesday, August 12th, 2020

In the current pandemic situation, many people have been forced to shift their work into their homes and to learn ways to organize and execute that they aren’t used to. Considering this, health experts are warning about the long-run effects of working remotely including burnout and stress. At this point, it can also have an impact on a person’s mental and emotional well-being, creating a state of delicacy born from over-tiredness and frustration.

However, this can be difficult even when we’re not experiencing a pandemic. With the growing stress day by day, burnout is occurring at an alarming rate with people unable to separate home from work, the magnified burden of keeping everything on and heightened on-call loads, and the strain on communication. For product and engineering teams, development now occurs in isolation; meetings are held via email, messaging app or calls; and decisions are made asynchronously. This, as a result has resulted in burnout which needs to be reduced in such crisis. Here, in this blog you will get to know about some important ways to combat this and keep yourself and your team from burning out.

Reasons Why Companies Should Be Concerned for Burnout

When you were at the office you were completely working. But now those lines are blurred, or nonexistent. This is a new kind of stress that most of us have never before experienced while working from home. There’s now an expectancy that we should be going “above and beyond” with our jobs, something that often translates into working longer hours. The top reasons which is why it is a major concern for companies are-

  • Decreased Productivity
  • High Turnover Rate
  • Low Employee Engagement
  • Negative Health Impacts

Not only in work from home situation, but also burnout is more common within organizations. It can’t be measured easily by the number of hours worked or the amount of sleep one gets. It is more often related to extended pressure and to operating from a place where you start every day feeling backside, fighting against quicksand. It can cause exhaustion, trouble sleeping and an inability to focus. However, this doesn’t mean you’re not good at your job or capable of remote work. Or else, this is likely a version of burnout that none of us have experienced before.

As mentioned, It is not so easy to overcome but there are some ways to combat this and keep yourself and your team from burning out.

  • Encourage Autonomy and Asynchronous Communication

You can communicate to your team so they know when you’re online and available, by sharing an accurate calendar noting when you’re busy with personal needs or “in-office.” In addition, you can help other teammates struggling with vertical schedules by asking “can this be done asynchronously?” If a meeting isn’t necessary, prefer writing an email instead.

  • Follow Agile Workflow

Engineering teams can amend the stress that leads to burnout by actively and visibly reinforcing the value that the team is delivering. An agile workflow can be a great way to do this. The prime advantage is that the team can avoid an endless push by incrementally releasing features and achieving milestones.

  • Use of Feature Flags

Organizations should use feature flags feature as it allow engineering teams to operate with greater autonomy, as code developed by one engineer can be released before its dependencies are completed. They allow for enabling the code safely and incrementally, minimizing the stress of releases and giving teams an escape hatch should an issue occur.

  • Unplug and Relax

Last but not the least, its important to take time and relax. If you’re not on call, try to separate work and life by minimizing time spent checking your emails or responding to Slack messages. To help you avoid this enticement, create a separate desktop on your laptop or folder in your phone for work and home, and turn off work notifications when you’re not working.

Conclusion

These tips won’t solve all the problems, but they can help provide a bit of buffer against burnout and improve your team’s morale during a trying, emotional, and difficult time. By taking some time to recognize the signs of burnout and addressing it will help you become more satisfied with your job, lead to a growth mind-set and help you become more successful in your personal as well as professional life.

Evolving Technologies Making Way to Deal With Coronavirus Pandemic

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020

Due to its high transmissibility and no effective vaccine or therapy still available, COVID-19 is now a global pandemic. With the growing crisis day by day, companies & researchers over the world are looking for the ways to address the challenges of this virus and develop a cure for this disease. In a global pandemic, technology tools are lively weapons for effectively monitoring and controlling disease occurrence. Especially when containment is a challenge, technology can not only function as a good fortune for healthcare professionals, but also match the scale and speed at which the current pandemic requires treatment.

In spite of fast spread, people across the world are putting up a brave fight and using new-age technologies in this situation. Several start-ups are working inexhaustibly with clinicians, government entities, and academics around the world, intending to develop solutions that can improve the destruction. Here, the blog gives detailed insights on tech solutions companies are using to tackle the current pandemic.

Some of the prime challenges that has been widely considered around the world are:

  • To prevent people from getting infected or passing on the infection.
  • To maintain public safety, and public health in general, during an outbreak.
  • To prevent avoidable community transmission of the coronavirus.
  • Offering additional support for highly vulnerable groups of society.

Technological advancements have always came out as a boon for almost every industry, and when it comes to healthcare, the tech solutions are making it better day by day. Addressing the above mentioned challenges, Tech leaders like Alibaba, Baidu and Huawei have unified several healthcare initiatives.

Ways How Technology Serving the World From Deadly Coronavirus

  1. Remote Healthcare

As the pandemic intensifies, stakeholders are racing against time to implement remote healthcare solutions. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is a proven and effective modality that can be used to monitor patients avoiding health care facilities and to care for recovering patients at home. There are several connected health platforms that allow doctors and patients to remotely engage via online conversational interfaces and digital medical assistance. Some of the most relevant solutions of remote healthcare are Telehealth, Mental health chatbots, Respiratory monitoring, Digital Stethoscope and Wearable sensors.

  1. Robot Nurses and AI Diagnosis

Robots are being used in hospitals in some countries to deliver food, medicine and other supplies to patients; to disinfect hospitals and other public areas; to check patients’ temperatures; and to answer common questions. This is gaining huge momentum and at this point Coronavirus is even being diagnosed using AI, which can read thousands of CT scans in 20 seconds with an accuracy rate of 96%. Also, robots are being used for patrolling and disinfecting.

  1. Use of Drones for Medical Supplies

Drone delivery is being considered as one of the safest and fastest ways to get medical supplies whenever they need to go during a disease outbreak like current situation. It has been noted that Terra Drone is deploying unmanned aerial drones to transport medical samples of people who are under quarantine. In addition, drones are also being used to patrol public spaces to keep a check on non-compliance to quarantine mandates and for thermal imaging.

  1. Tracking COVID-19 Patients Via App

Using wearable apps seems like a promising solution to accurately track the active COVID-19 patients in various states and districts. Considering the huge worldwide user base of wearable devices, it can be an effective solution to avoid contact with potentially infected people. From rings to wristbands, earpieces, and patches, wearable devices in their varied forms can provide continuous monitoring in a favourable manner.

In point of fact, several healthcare organizations in various countries have already launched wearable apps for the same purpose.

  1. Chatbots to Share Information

Sharing correct and valuable information during such crisis can actually make a difference to so many. Chatbots have also played an active role in sharing information with the travel and tourism sector to keep travelers up to date about the latest travel restrictions, procedures, and disruptions. Also, the two most authoritative voices of the pandemic, WHO and CDC, have also included chatbots in their websites to provide cutting-edge information to billions on the spread of the disease and its symptoms.

Wrapping Up

This pandemic is an unprecedented situation for everyone across the world. In such case, several mobile health, e-health, virtual care, remote health, and diagnostics startups and companies are able to respond quickly is encouraging. With thousands of deaths already happened, all of us expect to see many new companies offering technology-driven solutions to help wider number of people.

Digital Transformation 101: Digitize to Survive

Monday, August 10th, 2020

Digitalization is wide-ranging and the buzz word in the business world. Businesses that delay in innovating with modern technologies face disrupted productivity and grappling to catch up. Nowadays, people have revamped their shopping trends. Technology has made it extremely convenient that you can now actually window-shop swiping through items on your smart devices and make a purchase from the comfort of your home/anywhere. Digital transformation can be seen far beyond the reach of businesses into all aspects of society and how people behave. E-commerce always focused on its sellers to innovate and adapt to the advancements in technology, influences in the business, and the ever-changing trends in consumer behavior. A quick overview–Digital transformation signifies adapting to the trending technologies along with modifying the customer expectations, societal shifts, and industry disruptions. Businesses, in responding to these transformations, are wanting to become more customer-focused, nimble, adaptive to new opportunities, and dynamic to stay competitive.

According to the study, global retail e-commerce sales will rise to $4.13 trillion in 2020 and by 2040 about 95% of purchases will be done through e-commerce. Also, by 2025 online luxury sales to the global high-end market will more than triple to reach $91 billion which means 20% of luxury sales will be done online. The current trend projections for eCommerce retail sales in the United States predict over $700 million by 2023 which is a 60% rise since 2018. A recent poll discovered that 59% of shoppers are drawn to a brand’s website in searching for the latest products. Additionally, 37% stated that they expect a more pleasant overall experience than when they shop through third-party retailers.

Most Companies Have an Online Presence

Whether it’s a website, an e-commerce platform, a social media page, or anything, getting your company online harvests major advantages. Even if your firm does not possess an online business, customers and potential customers are expecting you online. Not having an online presence may lead you to lose out on the opportunity to improve your customer base and get the word out about your business. Customers perform online research to make choices on which product to purchase and which brands to unite with. A survey explains that 65% of people read online reviews before making a purchase, and only 45% visit the company’s website. Small businesses are also realizing the benefits of online business and hence they are steadily moving online. 2/3rd of small businesses now have an operational website.

Brick and Mortar Stores have now Built Online Outlets

As foot traffic remains leaned in the brick-and-mortar stores and declining sales make rents and leases extremely challenging to sustain, businesses are required to make adjustments and advancements to lure consumers in spending more time and money in stores. Many renowned companies have already made the shift in this direction by establishing a much-required connection between their online and offline business. Customers these days want a consistent and loyal relationship with their preferred brands online and require access to their products anytime in a much seamless and convenient way. Currently, only 10% of the retailers provide a frictionless omnichannel experience to their customers.

Various Small Businesses Have Migrated to Online-Only Storefronts

For small stores and restaurants, online sales, take-away services, and local deliveries have become crucial survival tools. Nowadays, the retail tenants that have grown, and that will continue to grow, are those that have embraced the technological advancements. It is far more cost-efficient to run an online shop than have a brick-and-mortar store, so small businesses, and direct-to-consumer brands are getting their start online only before broadening into offline markets and their storefronts.

Conclusion

Digitization holds the potential of making the business more dynamic, flexible, and better aligned with your customer-driven landscape. In the digital age, embracing technology is compelling for everyone from small businesses to large enterprises to stay productive and ahead. Business leaders who embrace transformation have to consider prevailing operating standards, methods, and technologies.

Major Tech Trends Will Emerge in the world Post COVID-19

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

As we all know, the coronavirus pandemic has globally disrupted people’s life and lifestyles. Governments have enforced lockdowns to curb the spread of the virus. Work from home is the new reality for many businesses. Even, schools and colleges are conducting online classes. In fact, social distancing is the new norm at grocery stores. People are getting used to this kind of change and they are aware that how much this virus is dreadful for them. In addition, one of the major fact is that the COVID-19 will have a lasting effect not only on our daily lives but also on our economy, and things are not likely to return to pre-pandemic norms sooner.

In such case of lockdown, there is a unique focus back on the urgent need to adopt digitization and modern technology tools to not only get through the pandemic but to also sustain a competitive market and be prepared for future crisis.

Technology is Helping Us More Than You Realize

In the past few months, there is surge in adoption of various advanced technologies. The big examples are drones for food delivery and robots for automation to COVID-19 contact tracing apps, and online education learning platforms. This is not the end! This blog discusses some of the tech trends that are likely to see a surge in adoption post COVID-19.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is playing a massive role in helping us all get through the pandemic and it will see a greater adoption after the pandemic is over. AI will be particularly useful for those within retail and supply chain industries. Through machine learning and advanced data analytics, AI will help these companies detect new purchasing patterns and deliver a greater personalized experience to online customers.

Most importantly, big tech firms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp, are leveraging the power of AI to decrease the spread of COVID-19 related misinformation online, mobile app developers are building AI-powered apps that can help screen people for COVID-19 symptom. For companies looking to restart their office, Amazon’s new AI-powered tracking system will encourage employees to maintain social distancing.

Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT has played a significant role in successfully leading the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. In the coming years, IoT will transform the user experience profoundly, providing opportunities that weren’t possible before. The biggest example of IoT being used during the pandemic is that of drones that are not only helping deliver food and other necessities but are also helps keep check on containment zones and congested areas to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Moreover, some other examples include connected thermometers and remote monitoring of patients using IoT-enabled device. At present, remote monitoring of patients is helping offer relief to hospital doctors and staff by limiting their face-to-face interaction with patients who are infected.

Cybersecurity

It has been analyzed that coronavirus pandemic saw a massive surge in cyber-attacks (such as ransomware, email campaigns, phishing, etc) and data breaches. The current situation of lock-down, when thousands of people are forced to work remotely, volumes of private data may become totally vulnerable or not protected in a proper way. This is why companies are likely to boost their cybersecurity plans to make sure their sensitive corporate data is not compromised in the coming years because of certain security loopholes.

VR/AR

As we know, everyone is spending a lot of time in their home because of lockdown, which has increased the number of people using #VR headsets to play video games, explore virtual travel destinations and partake in online entertainment. For this, they’re also using this technology to seek human interaction through social VR platforms.

Also, businesses have been experimenting with VR platforms to train employees, hold conferences, collaborate on projects, and connect employees virtually. Now that businesses and consumers know the extent to which this technology can be used, we are likely to see more virtual conferences and human interactions as our new normal sets in.

Voice User Interface (VUI)

Nowadays, consumers are becoming increasingly concerned that their mobile devices can spread coronavirus because it has been used and placed at so many places in a day. As the fear of spreading germs grows, so will the use of voice tech in forms of voice user interface (VUI), which can reduce the number of times one touches any surface, including our mobile devices. Almost 80% of our communications done using verbal communication, that’s why voice usage will continue to increase in the coming times as well.

Summing It Up

These emerging technological trends will see a greater acceleration in adoption in the world after the COVID-19 pandemic. It would be better for industries and businesses to adapt these changes which will later help them alot. So, get ready to implement these technologies and prepare yourself for a better future!

Strategies to Boost Your Product ROI in Uncertain Times

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

As the global situation continues to develop rapidly and our lives are changed more and more, business professionals are still searching for answers to some of their most pressing questions. One of the big question is how to increase the business productivity and boost product return on investment. If the same question is coming across to your mind and you need a solution, then your search ends here! This blog explains latest insights into what strategies help top companies to deliver fantastic products that customers return to time and again.

It has been analyzed that there is a successful way to boost your product ROI as well as to reduce customer turnover for tech first companies and the world of software development, I.e. product QA.

Why Product Quality is Key?

It is a major fact that quality is crucial to product success. It can mean the difference between an app your customers love and a simple app with low ROI. Leading quality is all about influencing those around you so that they prioritize QA. In order to achieve success, it is important for you to explain your team that how it will save costs and improve customer experience down the line, reducing churn. Walk your teams through the customer journey and explain how important is product quality is.

This communication will definitely increase empathy among teams. Once your company understands the value quality can bring, it will become much easier to make QA a priority for customer satisfaction.

One of the most important things to keep in mind that organizations with an expanding user base can scale their testing capacity in several ways, such as

  • Implement Automation
  • Hiring extra QA Engineers
  • Partnering with Outside Experts

Moving further, there are three important process which is crucial for business in every situation. In fact, these strategic ideas are not limited to huge corporate powerhouses: Companies of any size or budget can implement them. Let’s get know about it in detail below-

Ways to Improve ROI for Your Business

Early Testing

Without any doubt, continuous testing is key to amplifying your QA strategy. It lets you catch and fix bugs early, which means few bugs make it to production and there are fewer happening you have to put out.

It also means that you’ll produce higher-quality products for your users, who then will be more likely to stick with you. By testing earlier, you are building testing into the cognition of the development process. This will help prioritize quality by putting QA at the front of the minds of designers, developers, and testers alike.

Smarter QA

It is also important to understand that you don’t need to drastically increase your testing capacity. Instead, you need to take an assessment of your current process. That’s because it’s natural in every business for legacy strategy and software to become the norm. By optimizing your current testing capacity, you can make your QA work smarter.

Use Cost Effective Channels

While businesses won’t see the same amount of new customers and growth they’re used to with a halt of paid media and offline marketing efforts, then you should not completely restrained goals. Preferably, shift your approach and make the most out of existing customers across high-value channels.

Marketers can take this time to shift to a marketing strategy that relies on email, mobile, and in-app marketing. These channels have great ROI and cost less to run on average.

Conclusion

All of these tried-and-tested techniques can level-up your ROI strategy without the expenditure of endless resources. It’s all about supercharging your process and getting the most out of it. Once you apply these ideas then you can deliver quality at speed and retain your user base, even when times are uncertain. Still have some queries? Reach out to our team to understand business solutions and strategies that will help you succeed in these uncertain times.

On-Demand Apps Expecting Favorable Growth During Coronavirus Pandemic

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

Now, we all are aware of the Covid-19, the novel Coronavirus that started in Wuhan in December 2019 and has become a Pandemic. Without any doubt, it has became the most talked about disease of our time. At present, there are over 3,779,253 active cases around the world, while 474,960 people have succumbed to death from this life-harming disease. And the saddest part is that count is going up every second.

Considering that the virus tends to spread with human-to-human contact and its pace is overwhelming the healthcare system of many countries, various governments have asked its citizens to limit their outings and stay indoors. Not only the people, but Coronavirus has adversely affected the global economy. Name any sector, be it hospitality, airlines, transport, or any other, all are facing unprecedented lows. But even in this grim situation has an unseeable benefit for the story. One of them is mobile app development, especially on-demand industry. In this article,we are going to discuss the rise of on-demand apps during the time of COVID-19.

Why is On-Demand Industry Facing High Demand?

Before we go on to look into the slightly positive impact of coronavirus on on-demand industry, let’s look into the reasons behind the success of on-demand apps in a pandemic situation like now.

Contactless Deliveries

As we know, increasing cases of coronavirus all across the world have increased the fear among people to follow social distancing and avoid direct contact with the suppliers. Users can request delivery professionals to bring their orders in a particular spot outside their house.

Quick and Convenient Shopping Experience

With most shops closed or running out of stock, many customers are unable to buy their regular supplies. In such case, ensuring the regular flow of goods and services through on-demand service stops people from panic buying

Multiple Choices One Stop

Consumers always want to choose from a variety of options. An online platform like an on-demand app helps in making the purchase decision favourable because it has multiple options for products/services.

Adjustment to User Preferences

An amazing feature of on demand apps is analytics and insights which assess user needs and preferences in a more in-depth manner. This enables them to understand what their users want and then ensure that the service is delivered to them.

Multiple Payment Option

The availability of multiple payment options makes on-demand apps a convenient and safer platform for consumers when buying goods and products. The multiple payment gateways adhere to all security norms and are highly fast and reliable.

Here are a few facts on the on-demand market post the pandemic outbreak

  • The US has reported that over 22.5 million users have started using food delivery apps at present.
  • When compared to the year 2019, the year 2020 has seen a 9.8% increase in this sector due to the lockdown.
  • On-demand video streaming services is another vital sector that has witnessed a 12.45 rise after the outbreak.

Popular On Demand Services During This Pandemic

Well, to break the chain, it is imperative to be socially distant from one another. Also, you don’t necessarily have to go out and increase the risk of contracting the disease. Consequently, it is better to rely on on-demand services offered by companies, such as

On-Demand Grocery Delivery

Online Grocery delivery business has seen massive surge in the past couple of months. You can deliver groceries and other essentials with a mobile app to users around your region. Ensure positive safety measures such as contact-less delivery, advising executives to wash hands and use a sanitizer, and more.

On-Demand Food Delivery

Even when people have been confined to the homes, they are able to order the food of their choice simply with a few clicks.Most times, customers are dependent on these apps for their food. So, you can hire delivery executives to serve user requests efficaciously.

On-Demand Medicine Delivery

Elderly people with certain medical conditions will have to take medicines on a daily basis. As an entrepreneur, you can help them by delivering the necessary medicines at their doorstep.

On-Demand Laundry Apps Solutions

Laundry services via on-demand apps have also seen a rise in popularity. These applications are aimed at picking dirty laundry from people’s doorstep and returning them cleaned clothes.

On-Demand doctors service

his is one of the prime services that will be highly required during this pandemic season. Several doctors have now been using doctor on-demand applications to be connected with their patients. They can schedule online appointments via app and obtain instant medical care easily.

Summing Up

The on-demand service apps have outstandingly evolved the way of business operations by enabling themselves in becoming the fast-moving technology companies. To make sure that your business survives, you must enter the online market. During this pandemic, strategize how you can change your model to deliver your services to your customers, at the doorstep, with minimal contact.

For starters, create an app for your business. This is where Successive can help you. We cater mobile app development services, which businesses can use to develop their own on-demand apps to serve their customers.

Impact of Digital Workplace on Software Development

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

As the COVID-19 or widely known as the Coronavirus is spreading around the world, more and more companies and industries have no choice but to have their employees work remotely and preferably from home, sometimes even mandated by the governments themselves. This as a result has increased the demand of digital workplace. Well, the idea of remote working is not new and is extremely used by freelancers and entrepreneurs. In fact, there are teams that have been working in collaboration with each other since the inception of their job roles. One of which is software developers.

The software development work process has always required designers, developers, and QA experts to work in close collaboration. However, the current pandemic situation is making the software development work more productive. The direct impact of this workspace shift is visible in the greater adoption of digital solutions and collaboration platforms. This blog explains impact of digital workplace and why software companies need remote teams. Have a look-

Why Do Software Companies Need to Hire Remote Teams?

Access to World’s Talents

Developers with the right skills and experience are in demand. Now, there is no need to limit yourself to find developers available in your geographic area. Remote hiring is ideal for companies planning to grow the number of developers who work for them. By having an extended team of remote employees, you are likely to find someone who ticks all the boxes.

Healthier Working Environments

It is also true that there may be some remote employees that might be introvert while others may prefer remaining quiet during a meeting. Although they give their ideas later after the completion of the meeting. For streamlining virtual communications, there is a diverse range of virtual tools available like Slack, Zoom, and Trello etc. Remote hires can provide people with more flexibility, which will contribute to high confidence and less stress.

Unique Service Offerings

An amazing plus point is that when you extend your team by partnering with software engineers from a remote team, it significantly helps in increasing your service offering. Different age, gender, background, and culture has an array of diverse view-point. The team members are likely to have a new perspective on a problem due to the cultural background. This proves to be a huge asset when it comes to launching your product or service across the market.

Greater Flexibility

The employees who have freedom to choose their work timings and work locations are a lot more engaged. Additionally, the flexible schedule helps in closing the gender gaps prevalent in the corporate world thus improving diversity and success in the organization. When one signs out, another joins and this keeps the development work running. In consequence, these software development companies tend to be more productive.

Tools to Ensure Smooth Collaboration While Working Remotely

Once you decide to go remote, it can be difficult to approach organizational issues that come with managing remote employee all across the world. An effective remote team will have a set of tools: an email service, file sharing capabilities, an instant messaging platform, project management software, video conferencing, and anything else. Here are some of the great tools that smoothen the process for software designers & developers working remotely.

  • All-in-one solutions

Troop Messenger, BasicOps, TipHive, Hibox, Paymo, Hive

  • Managing tasks

Avaza, Taskworld, TeamGantt, Fusioo, Trello, Jira, Twoodo, Wrike, Worksection, Finit, Eylean Board

  • Document collaboration tools

Google Drive, Bit.ai, TipHive

  • Team communication tools

Skype, Slack, Telegram, UberConference

These tools are extremely useful for the developers and other team members to oversee the complex development process.

Apart from this, it has been suggested that you should follow the work procedures which has been set with your project manager and show spirit as well as responsibility for the progress of development. Inspire your team by being truly involved and form goals clearly to make everything go as planned. The overall success of your project and the speed of development will depend on the responses you provide to your team.

Final Words

When your organization has access to a much larger pool of remote developers, building a diverse team helps in gaining benefit in the complete process. This means you get a better working environment and improved services. So, what are you waiting for? Follow these tips and make the software development process much convenient while working remotely.

Why You Need to Integrate LMS with Social Media

Friday, July 17th, 2020

Nowadays, it is quite impossible to imagine a life without social media. Every day, millions of people across the globe utilize various social media platforms to stay connected and informed about global events and news, attend meetings, share experiences and discover new things & people. Multiple organizations are integrating social media into their marketing and communication strategies to promptly identify the global trends and analyze their statistics in almost every vertical. But, for a few years, social media has become one of the prominent tools for enhancing personal/professional growth in terms of learning. Many enterprises are leveraging the potential of the Learning Management System (LMS) which can integrate social media to make eLearning more engaging, interactive, and enjoyable at the same time for their employees. LMS with social media integration improves the participation and engagement of the users, raises the quality and experience of online training programs, and makes them highly engaging and collaborative for employees.

In this blog, we have highlighted the major pointers that explain how social media integration of LMS can provide an interactive and collaborative eLearning:

Compound Learning

With LMS integrated with social media, employees can learn unique things in multiple styles. For instance, you can create variety by using infographics, video, audio, and distribute the same using social media platforms. By implementing such practices, learning can become more engaging, interactive, and shareable, hence, everyone enjoys the entire process of learning things quickly. In this way, you can also opt for third party integration that acts as a medium to deliver your training through LMS.

Interactive Learning 

The blend of LMS with social media facilitates the admin to generate interest-based polls, surveys, and discussions for collaborating and engaging both the trainers and learners. People these days are glued to their mobile phones and laptops therefore they tend to engage more by sharing their common interests. This helps in spreading the main objectives of eLearning programs and enables close communication among all the learners.

Quantifiable Analytics

Today the term Learning has excelled time, demographics, and physical appearances with the ever-increasing demand for internet and smart devices. LMS with social media integration offers 24*7 consistent accessibility to your employees and encourage them to achieve their daily targets via self-learning. Besides, learning programs using the Learning Record Store (LRS) have a higher potential to store data about your learner’s experience by analyzing their social media habits and patterns. Such analytics can customize your training program accordingly and engage your employees to enhance their skill sets and productivity.

User-Generated Content

Learners who have benefited from your training sessions can share their experiences with their peers. It enables you to efficiently utilize the feedback as “original content” and reach out to possible target audiences by publishing it on multiple industry forums with Learning Management System (LMS) mobile app development or other platforms. This user-generated content will extremely promote your business, training programs, and eLearning courses organically.

Content Outreach

Since your LMS is online connected, they seamlessly share information in real-time through diverse social media channels. It enhances your content outreach and boosts online visibility. Social media integration benefits you with an opportunity to connect with your potential target audience easily and also builds reliability among them organically.

Conclusion

Incorporating social media learning into your eLearning system is tricky and requires great potential, therefore you should consider the above actions for enhancing your business value.  Moreover, the customized LMS enables social media connection, user analytics, payment integration for all learning, and business solution needs.

How AR/VR is Transforming Data Visualization

Friday, July 17th, 2020

According to Forbes, we have created 2.5 quintillion bytes of data and over the last two years alone, we have created over 90% of the world’s data. According to research, all the data between 60%-73% within an organization goes unused for analytics, whereas the percentage is even higher for small scale enterprises. The major impediment behind effectively utilizing such data is the ability to perceive the data as facts that make the dependence of the efficiency on the visualization techniques. The traditional 2D representation of the big data analytics restricts the imaginations, facts, and conclusions from the data gathered. 

The demand for data visualization in AR/VR has grown tremendously for a few years. Enterprises are making optimal utilization of their data by creating technology solutions that maximize customer engagement levels, efficiency, and business capabilities. Such data-driven solutions incorporate next-gen technologies like AI, ML, Big Data, IoT, and immersive technologies like AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality). Besides, several data scientists believe that AR/VR solutions have a massive potential to radically transform the way enterprises interpret the data and interact with it. Data visualization is a graphical representation of data. It has become an integral and massive component in data science. Also, it offers visible and factual visuals as opposed to the raw data, providing a quick and better understanding of the information.

In this blog we will highlight some pointers depicting how the immersive technologies AR/VR are transforming the modern data visualization techniques:

Better and Actionable Data Insights

In an average organization, collecting, analyzing, extraction of useful insights consumes a lot of time and creates blurry and irrelevant conclusions. Here, data visualization plays a key role, it inspects and extracts only the actionable data with minimal efforts. The use of VR/AR in data visualization enhances process effectiveness by rendering an immersive environment. For instance, integrating VR techniques in the product development lifecycle can precisely detect the flaws and errors that may further lead to process hampering or other business challenges.

Enhanced Decision-Making Capabilities

Implementing AR and VR solutions enable organizations to enhance their decision-making process significantly. Data scientists can leverage the benefit of gathering important facts and figures from the analysis report with the help of data visualization. Besides, Data visualization using AR/VR helps in forming efficient strategies to seamlessly attain critical business goals and objectives in the lowest timeframe. It facilitates business processes by enabling prompt responses that effectively runs daily operations in multiple companies.

Improved Data Research and Presentations

Unlike the 2D data representations, 3D data visualizations using the immersive technologies (AR/VR) are highly effective at elevating the data research process during various stages. Nowadays, the data scientist is massively using mixed reality techniques to investigate complicated data structures and to extract the hidden patterns via immersive technologies. VR simulations cannot only emphasize the data exploration process but can also predict future business outcomes through 3D data models. Besides, AR/VR/XR technologies provide an effective way to collaborate within the organization and sharing of discoveries with the stakeholders in a presentable manner.

Collaboration in Real-Time

A collaborative form of immersive data visualization is rapidly trending among the tech community. The unique data visualization methods draw the exact data on the table enabling the users to hover on it, explore the details, and generate charts. Moreover, users can add new datasets, variables, and understand the data completely through immersive technologies. Similarly, the visualizations can act as a virtual meeting room where the distributed teams can collaborate and work on the data projections.

Conclusion

The mixed reality data visualization for several industrial purposes is still in the initial stages. The combination of AR/VR with data visualization creates great opportunities and possibilities in the creative environment. Besides, it will enable enterprises to augment their growth curve through advanced data analytics and future-proof decision-making processes. 

Work From Home: How Organizations Are Adapting to The New Normal

Friday, July 17th, 2020

We are in the midst of a flexible workplace revolution where remote work is an upward trend in almost every industry. Nowadays, the global economy is immensely competitive, thus it is imperative to find the best business solution to stay ahead. We all are aware of the coronavirus pandemic and how it has terminated all the organizations and have forced their employees to work from home. Well, work from home was already on a full-on global work movement even before Covid-19, but considering today’s situation working remotely is one of the best trends in the market. It has become the new norm. According to research, 90% of the employees who are currently working from home have decided to continue the same for a few years. Innovative techniques like collaborative platforms, videoconferencing software, and multiple cloud services keep the employees engaged and provide the benefit of attending meetings, project completion from anywhere, anytime.

Remote working is not only beneficial for the employees but has proved to be revolutionary for the organizations as well. Let us have a look at the benefits remote working has brought to the enterprises:

Increased Productivity

Businesses have experienced an augmentation in their productivity during the “work from home” trend. According to research, approx. 50% of remote employees are working smartly and consuming less time. Also, 45% of the people say that work from home causes less distraction due to which they complete their tasks accurately and timely. Working from home has undoubtedly increased business productivity and employee working standards as well.

Improved Employee Retention

Retaining your most talented and productive team members in such a pandemic situation has become the need of the hour. Enterprises are ensuring that their employees are actively connected to the core of the business. According to research, engaged employees are more productive, more faithful, and are better advocates for their employer. Work from home has resulted in better and seamless employee engagement and team collaboration (thanks to technologies and management). Therefore businesses are experiencing a more powerful brand reputation and elevated employee retention rates.

Easier Access to Top Talent

Organizations open to hiring remote workers are more likely to have the most reliable and the brightest joiners in a more economical way than you would spend to hire someone in-house. Various enterprises have found a flexible and engaging workforce to be a scalable solution that enables them to stay on-budget during busy & slow times and avoid overstaffing and layoffs.

Enhanced Savings

Many established businesses have already enjoyed savings due to telecommuting. By empowering the workers to be highly collaborative and engaged in working from home is a good option to save your business in terms of money. This way you can lead with a good amount of money to be wasted on many perpendicular activities like parties, electricity, journals, office rents, and other overhead stuff.  Although working from home can save companies money, some hidden costs will need to be assessed.

Conclusion

Initially, remote working wasn’t feasible for many companies, but today evolving technologies have made “work from home” a much seamless and easier task. Every business is unique, and therefore requires a keen evaluation of the benefits applied to the specific business before making any decision. It is quite clear from the above analysis that remote working is one of the best options for your business right now. It can help the employees as well as the business to stay updated, flexible, engaged, and collaborative in terms of work and other business activities.

It’s time: Take your retail business online

Monday, July 13th, 2020

There can’t be a better time to convert or expand your brick-and-mortar store into an online store. But since Abraham Lincoln suggests that you mustn’t believe everything you read on the internet, we’re going to address a few apprehensions you might have before taking your business online.

E-commerce sector: Current trends

But why? I’m so comfortable with the way things are!”

A piece of advice, don’t be. Your brick-and-mortar store might be doing well now but in order to maintain the momentum or scale it up in the future, you will have to make a few changes. With technology becoming all-pervasive in nature, industries have been known to notoriously expel players who do not embrace trends and innovation as they come.

E-commerce has carved a niche for itself in the retail landscape. With e-retail sales accounting for 5.1% of total retail sales worldwide in 2007 to a staggering 14.1% in 2019 and an estimated 22% in 2023, e-commerce is, to say the least, thriving. By 2040, it is expected to take over retail almost completely.

With revenues at about $3.5 trillion in 2019 and projected at $6.5 trillion in 2022, it is certainly time to take your physical store online and jump on the internet commerce bandwagon.

COVID-19: Strike while the iron is hot

Why now? What’s the hurry?”

COVID-19 has had all-round devastating impacts and has debilitated all spheres of life. However, there is one sector that seems to have gained strength during this period.

According to the Adobe Digital Economy Index, May 2020, e-commerce has gained $52 billion in extra online spend since the pandemic began. Within May, total online spending increased by 77% year-over-year. Consumer behavior post COVID-19 will rely heavily on e-commerce since people will be more comfortable staying home and shopping online to maintain social distancing as much as possible.

A Morning Consult poll from April 2020 involving 2,200 U.S. adults showed that 54% of the respondents were uncomfortable going to a shopping mall within the next three months. This is a common sentiment and must be taken seriously by brick-and-mortar businesses. This is the time to shift to e-commerce to de-risk your business, gain that competitive advantage and stay afloat in the long run.

Resources: Get your online business up in minutes

How am I even going to do it? It seems so complicated!”

You can find a plethora of e-commerce tools, platforms and software online to help you take your retail business online, build an e-commerce website, manage, market and even scale your business.

For example, Shopify and BigCommerce have e-commerce website builders. You can also integrate your e-commerce store into Mento for social media marketing. You can launch a multi-vendor marketplace in minutes with MarketCube and track your progress through Google Analytics. There are tools like ZenDesk to offer good customer service, CrazyEgg to better understand your visitors’ activity, Price2Spy for online price monitoring and many more to perform any function you need.

Benefits: The power of e-commerce

What’s in it for me?”

In three words – better, smarter, faster! With e-commerce, you’ll be able to:

  • Offer your customers with a differentiated shopping experience.
  • Tap into the global market even at a nascent stage of your business.
  • Sell 24X7 and make money even while sleeping.
  • Automate processes like dropshipping, inventory and invoice management, marketplace integration, etc.
  • Accelerate go-to-market without any hassle.
  • Have higher profit margins due to low operational costs.
  • Offer personalized solutions at competitive prices.
  • Run your store without a large workforce.
  • Take advantage of ever-increasing social media penetration rates and indispensability of mobile phones.
  • Collect data regarding the behavior and trends of your target market.
  • Understand and predict consumer behavior using the latest technologies.
  • Build an effective digital sales channel using latest technologies.
  • Expand your reach and boost sales.
  • Enhance consumer satisfaction and build a loyal customer base.

To put it simply, you can build a more resilient, efficient and profitable business by improving your online presence.

Need for change: The slow demise of physical stores

But my brick-and-mortar store seems to be doing just fine!”

This is the stage where you ask yourself a question – Can your sector shield itself from the internet revolution? What this means is that you need to ask yourself if your business is impervious to the power of the internet and whether it can prosper without any physical presence.

The significance of this question can easily be gauged through this statistic:

Even with annual inflation and population rise, department store sales have dropped by 35% in the last 16 years. E-commerce is crushing traditional retail and it is pivotal to invest in online activities to sustain.

Relevance: Online retail in today’s time

Why is there so much buzz around e-commerce anyway?”

That’s because online retail resonates with consumer behavior, habits and preferences. Let’s take a look at what customers are like these days.

  • On the phone: People check their phones almost 58 times a day. An average user spends almost 3 hours 15 minutes on the phone daily while for millennials, this statistic is almost 5.7 hours a day.
  • On the couch or working desk: One in every four American adults spends more than 8 hours sitting. Sedentary jobs have increased by 83% since 1950.
  • Busy: Overworked, overstressed and persistently occupied, your consumers lead fast-paced lives.
  • Impatient: According to a survey, 63% of Americans frequently consume a hot beverage or drink that burns their mouth; 71% exceed the speed limit to get their destination faster and more than 50% disconnect the call after being on hold for less than 60 seconds.
  • Well-aware: Google processes almost 63,000 search queries every second on average. An even more alarming statistic is that almost 90% of the data in the world was generated within the last two years.
  • Well-connected: With 1.49 billion daily active users on Facebook and 1 billion monthly active Instagram users, social media has changed how we process and receive information. Adults spend an estimated average of 395 minutes engaging with digital content every day.

Now let’s see what boxes e-commerce ticks – all of them. Driven by exponentially-growing mobile commerce, online retail is the go-to solution for consumers who seek the best products or services out there without wanting to invest too much time, energy and resources or without changing their existing routines. Everything at the click of a mouse!

We hope you make an informed decision about your retail business and explore the benefits of digital transformation with us. At Successive Technologies, we believe that technology-enabled innovation has the potential to optimize, transform, and maximize businesses. We are in an e-commerce renaissance that is here to stay and our technology-led solutions will help you adapt and scale responsibly.

Google Meet Introduces AI and Machine Learning-Based Noise Cancellation Feature

Monday, July 13th, 2020

The immediate demand for Internet-based meetings has risen for a few months due to the increased number of employees working from home. The Covid-19 pandemic has shut down all the organizations and forced employees to work from home. To help everyone transition to a home office environment, Google is updating its premium virtual meeting app, Google Meet, with the much-required noise cancellation capability. The feature uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning algorithms to eliminate noise in the background for video calls/conferences. What’s more? The feature leverages supervised learnings that necessitate training an AI model in a labeled data set and comes handy in improving the quality of group meetings. Besides, the AI-enabled noise cancellation hit the web first, following with the iOS and Android coming later.

Here’s How It Works

The feature announced later in April for G Suite Enterprise and G Suite Enterprise for Education customers, but since the rollout continued, it is now becoming accessible for Meet users on the web. However, the noise cancellation gets activated by default but can be turned off by heading over to the audio settings and turning the noise cancellation toggle off.

Serge Lachapelle – G Suite’s Director of Product Management says “The capability operates with the help of machine learning algorithms. The audio of the speaker is transmitted securely to the cloud where a machine learning algorithm analyzes it to identify the main voice and remove all the ambient noises surrounding it in real-time”. However, he adds “Once the processing takes place, the filtered out voice – free from ambient noise – is delivered to the person on the other end of the call. Overall, the quality of the voice comes out pretty clear, but the segments where the processing has been done sound a little degraded or low. But, it will improve eventually.

Serge Lachapelle – G Suite’s Director of Product Management says “The capability operates with the help of machine learning algorithms. The audio of the speaker is transmitted securely to the cloud where a machine learning algorithm analyzes it to identify the main voice and remove all the ambient noises surrounding it in real-time”. He further continued “Once the processing takes place, the filtered out voice independent from ambient noise is delivered to the person on the other end of the call. Overall, the quality of the voice comes out pretty clear, but the sections where the processing was been done sounded a little deprived or low. But, it will improve with time”.

Curious already? Here is the video featuring Serge Lachapelle- G Suite’s Director of Product Management. In this video, he is describing the working of “Denoiser” in detail using a snack bag, a clicking pen, and rotating a metal object in a glass.

Microservices

Monday, July 13th, 2020

The world we live in is dynamic, in fact, the only sure-fire constant that you may find in it is the fact that change here, is a rather constant set of affairs. When we narrow down our view of the world to software and technology this seems to take a whole other meaning, not only is change constantly occurring, it is occurring so rapidly that even the best of our brains have difficulty keeping up with it.

This brings us to a very interesting question- how can the various applications and other software on your electronic devices accommodate such a variety of change and that too this fast? This question lies in the mind of all developers, before they even launch a new application, for example, they build it already capable of inculcating new updates, etc. Now comes the question of rapidity. Earlier the applications used to have monolithic architecture. Under this, the entire application was built as one independent unit. This resulted in any induction of change to be an extremely time-taking and tedious process as any change affected the entire system- even the most minuscule modification to even a tiny segment of the code could require the building or deployment new version of the software.

But the world as we know it needed to be much faster than that, this where Microservices came and replaced Monolith applications. Microservice Architecture or as it is popularly known- Microservices is today one of the foundation components of creating a good application aimed and precise and immersive delivery of service. It is a style of Architecture that designs the application as an amalgamation of services that can easily be maintained over a long period of time and deployed if need be both with one another or independently. It tackles the problems posed by earlier models by being modular in every single aspect. It is a rather distinctive method of creating systems of software that emphasizes the creation of single-function modules with strictly defined operations and interfaces.

Since there are no official templates available to either design or develop or even base microservice architecture upon, providers of these services often find themselves in a more creative space than usual, however over time there has come some uniformity in types and characteristics of services offered or how this architecture is developed. Topping the charts, of course, is its uncanny ability to be divided into numerous components with each being able to be tweaked and redeployed independently so if one or more service is to be changed, the developers do not have to undertake the gargantuan task of changing the entire application.

Another defining characteristic carried by it is the simple fact that this is built for business. In previous architectures the traditional approach with separate teams for User Interface, Technology layers, Databases, and other services and components was present. Microservice comes with the revolutionary idea of cross-platform teams, with each team being given the task of developing one or more very specific products based on any number of services (as available within the architecture) with the help of a message bus for the purpose of communication. It functions on the motto- “You build it, you run it.” Hence these teams are allowed to assume ownership of their developed product for its lifetime.

Another well-founded achievement of Microservices is its quality of resistance to failure. The probability of failure is extremely plausible since a number of services which on their own are quite diverse as well are continuously communicating and working together. The chance of a service failing is rather high. In such cases, the client should withdraw peacefully allowing other services around its function. Moreover, Microservices come with the ability to monitor over these services which exponentially reduces these chances of failure, and if and when one service or the other does fail it is thus well equipped to cope up with it.

As you may realize reading thus far, that Microservice architecture in all its application and potential seems to be a design capable of bringing a revolution in the industry, hints of which have already been seen as it has efficiently and rather completely replaced the traditional monolith models. It is an evolutionary design and it is an ideal choice for a designer who is unable to anticipate the types of changes that product may have to undergo in the future. In fact, it is built to accommodate unforeseen changes and that is why as development becomes more and more rapid a larger share of industry is switching from Monolithic to Microservices.

Some of the big players adding to its prestige are Netflix and Amazon. Both requiring one of the most widespread architectures possible in the industry. They get a number of calls from a variety of devices which would simply have been impossible to be handled by the traditional models they used before that.

One major drawback faced globally among Microservices enthusiasts is the fact that the logic, schema and other information that would otherwise have been the company’s intellectual property implicit their own minds now have to be shared across the various cross-platform services. But there is no way around it, in the world around us where most software is being developed over cloud environments this is more or less a philosophical question that whether we should even keep a secret. But along with this aby accepting regression tests and planning around backward compatibility a lot of such tricky scenarios could easily be avoided. Anyway, compared to the ocean of benefits that one receives from Microservice architecture it can remain a rhetorical question whether companies have any other options available. The pros outweigh the cons by far and in the coming times, this is going to be even more sought after model than it is now.

Slack and AWS Team-Up to Drive Agility in Software Development

Friday, July 10th, 2020

Why? Because new shared initiatives make it easier and engaging for teams to manage their AWS resources in slack. AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Slack Technologies declared an extended agreement to deliver innovative solutions for intensifying the industry workforce collaboration and communication. The goal is to help distributed development teams communicate and become extra agile in maintaining their AWS resources from inside Slack.

How?

Slack will relocate its comprehensive voice and video calling capabilities to Amazon Chime (a communication service by AWS that enables users to chat, place business calls, and meet). Besides, Slack leverages AWS’s global infrastructure to promote the rapid adoption of its platform by business customers and to proffer data residency to them by which they can independently choose the country/region in which their data is stored at rest while satisfying the compliance necessities. Slack will continue to rely on AWS as its favored cloud provider to add innovative and collaborative features whereas, AWS will adopt Slack organization-wide to streamline and strengthen team communication.

Stewart Butterfield, the Cofounder, and CEO of Slack said that “The future of business software will be driven by the unification of cloud services and workstream collaboration tools. Moreover, the strategic partnering with AWS allows both companies to scale, satisfy demand, and deliver enterprise-grade offerings to our customers. By integrating AWS services with Slack’s channel-based messaging platform, we’re helping teams easily and seamlessly manage their cloud infrastructure projects and launch cloud-based services without ever omitting slack”.

The Integrations

Slack and AWS will also elongate product integration and intensify interoperability to help the teams in managing their AWS resources in Slack channels and Amazon Chime chat rooms with more prominent flexibility. Let us have a look at some of the integrations:

Amazon AppFlow Integration

It allows users to transfer data between the Slack and AWS services rapidly and securely. Need to run data flows regularly? Schedule them in advance or trigger them with specific business events with the help of Appflow Integration. In the coming months, AWS and Slack will enhance this capability, empowering users to transfer data bi-directionally between multiple Slack channels and AWS services in a single flow.

AWS Chatbot Integration

AWS Chatbot, an interactive agent, enables development teams to monitor and use AWS resources where they are already working– Slack. DevOps can execute AWS operational activities that incorporate monitoring, system management, and deployment workflows, all inside Slack. Besides, AWS Chatbot is already in use by several other teams across the globe to enhance the application development process. In the coming years, AWS Chatbot service will consolidate 175+ services of AWS to give developers the ability to collaborate with their teams and help them maintain their cloud-based services without dropping Slack.

AWS Key Management Service with Slack Enterprise Key Management (EKM)

EKM enables its customers to utilize their keys stored in the AKMS (Amazon Key Management Service) to encrypt essential files and messages. Slack leverages AWS’s security services like the AWS Key Management Service for distribution and control of cryptographic keys. Invented for security-conscious or regulated company customers seeking improved visibility and control over their data in Slack, over 95+ firms are now utilizing the solution to handle their encryption keys.

Amazon Chime

To ensure an upgraded and comfortable calling experience, Slack Calls is migrating to Amazon Chime’s voice and video calling infrastructure. Slack will leverage AWS’s proven infrastructure to deliver excellent and reliable user experiences. Soon, AWS will power audio, video, conferences, and screen-sharing capabilities in native Slack Calls. Besides, the transition will allow adding new features, such as mobile video, so users can continue to rely on Slack for secure industry communication.

Working Together to Unlock Enterprise Innovation

“Collectively, AWS and Slack are providing development teams the ability to collaborate and innovate faster on the front end with applications and the ability to manage their backend cloud infrastructure efficiently. We look forward to operating with Slack to increase the ways we can help our customers innovate in the world of cloud,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS

Google Meet Introduces AI and Machine Learning-Based Noise Cancellation Feature

Friday, July 10th, 2020

The immediate demand for Internet-based meetings has risen for a few months due to the increased number of employees working from home. The Covid-19 pandemic has shut down all the organizations and forced employees to work from home. To help everyone transition to a home office environment, Google is updating its premium virtual meeting app, Google Meet, with the much-required noise cancellation capability. The feature uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning algorithms to eliminate noise in the background for video calls/conferences. What’s more? The feature leverages supervised learnings that necessitate training an AI model in a labeled data set and comes handy in improving the quality of group meetings. Besides, the AI-enabled noise cancellation hit the web first, following with the iOS and Android coming later.

Here’s How It Works

The feature announced later in April for G Suite Enterprise and G Suite Enterprise for Education customers, but since the rollout continued, it is now becoming accessible for Meet users on the web. However, the noise cancellation gets activated by default but can be turned off by heading over to the audio settings and turning the noise cancellation toggle off.

Serge Lachapelle – G Suite’s Director of Product Management says “The capability operates with the help of machine learning algorithms. The audio of the speaker is transmitted securely to the cloud where a machine learning algorithm analyzes it to identify the main voice and remove all the ambient noises surrounding it in real-time”. However, he adds “Once the processing takes place, the filtered out voice – free from ambient noise – is delivered to the person on the other end of the call. Overall, the quality of the voice comes out pretty clear, but the segments where the processing has been done sound a little degraded or low. But, it will improve eventually.

Serge Lachapelle – G Suite’s Director of Product Management says “The capability operates with the help of machine learning algorithms. The audio of the speaker is transmitted securely to the cloud where a machine learning algorithm analyzes it to identify the main voice and remove all the ambient noises surrounding it in real-time”. He further continued “Once the processing takes place, the filtered out voice independent from ambient noise is delivered to the person on the other end of the call. Overall, the quality of the voice comes out pretty clear, but the sections where the processing was been done sounded a little deprived or low. But, it will improve with time”.

Curious already? Below is the video featuring Serge Lachapelle- G Suite’s Director of Product Management. In this video, he is describing the working of “Denoiser” in detail using a snack bag, a clicking pen, and rotating a metal object in a glass.

Why Telemedicine Is The Next Big Opportunity In Healthcare?

Friday, July 10th, 2020

The word ‘Digital’ has become a norm in most of the industries worldwide. One of the most influential industry which has seen exponential growth with the wide adoption of tech advancements is Healthcare. The new lingo in the market is about Digital Health. It is a broader terminology that can be facilitated through a variety of methods including digital communications, telemedicine, and Tele-monitoring. The increased demand for digital health platforms and software will allow the market to continuously grow at a rapid pace.

Here are some major statistics in the telemedicine industry-

  • The telemedicine industry is expected to create more than $5.4 Bn market opportunity by 2025, globally.
  • Over the past few years, Telemedicine has seen an increased adoption rate of 71 percent.
  • In March 2020, India’s telemedicine guidelines issued have clarified regulations for startups and investors.
  • Telemedicine promises to solve the most challenging problems in the healthcare system for the future, allowing access to care in a cost-effective way.
  • Big Startups such as Practo and DocPrime are leading India’s telemedicine market with plenty of untapped opportunities.

With the aforementioned point, It is clear that the Telemedicine trend will help shape the future of the healthcare industry. And It will continue to grow as it helps close the gap between patients and healthcare providers. The ability to deliver healthcare services remotely, using computing devices, and customer-facing AI-powered apps are the most contributing factors for the growth of telemedicine. Telehealth visits continued to surge in the year 2019, driven by thriving reimbursement measures that are increasingly positioning telehealth as a highly attractive care option for providers as well as patients. On the other hand, supportive reimbursement progress, coupled with the growing awareness and acceptance of telehealth’s value, have set the stage for big moves in 2020 that will change the paradigm of healthcare.

Why Telemedicine in Required More than Ever?

There is often no replacement for face-to-face interaction with a physician and telemedicine requires specialized physician training and equipment. But its implementation would help facilitate overworked doctors provide badly needed medical services in rural areas, and even lower healthcare costs that burden the entire system. Even if no other good for health care come out from the coronavirus crisis, one development the incorporation of telemedicine into routine medical care — promises to be transformative.

Without having to travel to a doctor’s office or clinic, patients can have many ailments “seen” on a computer, tablet, or smartphone by a health care practitioner and have treatment prescribed as needed. In short, Telehealth can-

  • Brings Expertise to All Areas
  • Assists People with Limited Access to Specialists
  • Lower Healthcare Costs
  • Increase the Monitoring of Chronic Conditions
  • Attracting New Patients and Retaining Existing Ones

This movement could be a game-changer for the healthcare industry, but mounting its implementation will require well-coordinated action between governments, tech firms, and healthcare providers to overcome existing barriers.

Some of the biggest telemedicine barriers include-

Physician Licensing

Cross-state licensure is also a problem, along with credentialing. The current approach to medical licensing requires health providers to obtain multiple state licenses and adhere to diverse and sometimes conflicting state medical practice rules.

Difficulties integrating Telemedicine into the practice workflow

There is also a lack of acceptance by patients and healthcare providers that may arise from discomfort with technology, the relationship with the provider, and concerns over the security of information and confidentiality. It is essential to educate the clients and increase public awareness of it.

Lack of good reimbursement models

Certain criteria have to be met for practitioners to receive reimbursement. When reimbursement is limited, patients in the affected regions are under-served. As of January 1st, Medicare has established new payment codes for services provided. It is essential to take time and understand the new codes and reimbursement guidelines and implement them carefully.

The Future of Telehealth is Bright!

Considering so many advantages, the widespread adoption of telehealth is now recognized to be a sure thing. Telehealth was never well-meant to replace the traditional on-site clinical visit. Rather, telemedicine should be used as one more clinical tool in the clinician’s tool belt, with the ultimate and better aim of enhanced care for patients and increased operational efficiencies. As telehealth utilization picks up, we’ll also see an influx of “peripheral” services and devices to support it.

However, in the coming years, practices that fail to adopt telehealth will lose patients to their competitors that offer this facility. In 2020, we will see companies, providers and health plans move toward using telehealth not just to increase access to care, but also to deliver improved care as well as to increase revenue and/or reduce costs. As we know, the outbreak of COVID-19 has created a lot of barriers for patients who are ill and have serious diseases, in such cases, the implementation of a successful Telemedicine program is all you need!

If you are a healthcare provider and deal with telehealth rollout issues, integration challenges, and more. No worries! Our team of Telemedicine Experts and Developers gives you the power to bring your ideas to life. Want to know more about how to get started with the implementation of a telemedicine platform for your healthcare practice? Connect with us now.

Take 30 Minutes to discuss your Telemedicine project with our team of experts.

Click here to know more

RPA and Workflow Automation: The Key Elements in Driving Digital Transformation

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

To achieve agility, competence, and effective digital transformation, enterprises should rigidly focus on the evolving advancements in technology. Nowadays, new technology is broadly available and far more affordable than it was decades ago. Several organizations have set forth on the path towards digital transformation with emerging technologies as their prime focus, however, it is the processes and the people they are empowered with that lead to a productive and robust transformation.

Enterprises that have successfully executed and are efficiently navigating their role towards digital transformation have experienced that deploying a low-code workflow automation platform makes them more radical and fast-paced. A low-code workflow automation platform empowers decision-makers to configure applications and automation solutions without the need to code. Besides, it ensures the interoperability of diverse systems with minimal human intervention.

Even the most skilled and dedicated IT leaders fail to manage and optimize a wide range of processes that exists across the business. As a result, only some specific and particular processes get prioritized for automation leading to a remarkable number of inefficiencies across the organization.

Deploying the Workflow Automation across the Company

The key fundamental to a business-wide adoption of workflow automation is that it should be trustworthy and easily accessible across the complete LOB (Line of Business). With an intelligent, efficient, and robust workflow automation and orchestration platform, businesses can enhance their accessibility as the workflows can be created and deployed in minutes (no coding required and features a drag and drop design). 

Automated workflows simplify the tedious IT operations and improve the experience of LOB (Line of Business) users. By leveraging automated workflows, organizations can unleash the potential of their workforce along with empowering the users to innovate and optimize.

RPA Promotes Businesses by Delivering Automation

RPA (Robotic Process Automation) enables businesses to frequently measure the implemented manual activities that can persevere a well-defined process, increase the speed of office work and depreciate the human errors which occurs while re-keying similar data into various systems. It automates the monotonous and tedious tasks and improves process agility. Businesses are implementing RPA to digitize their standard interfaces where the software robots stimulate the processing speed by automating the iterative tasks that usually stagnate business productivity.

In comparison to a full-scale business process optimization, the RPA is economical as it utilizes the existing IT infrastructure and automates the continuing business processes. By incorporating ML into the dynamic part of workflow automation and RPA, organizations can become more innovative, agile, smarter, and efficient.

The Bottom Line

Understanding where to begin with digital transformation is a bit challenging, but automation will provide the kickstart that maximum businesses need to begin with their journey. By unifying the power of low code workflow automation, RPA, and ML, businesses can become more productive, solution-driven, advanced, and efficient. Just remember to start simple and approach the big stuff systematically.

Benefits of Creating Microservices Apps in an Advanced Production Environment

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

Nowadays, containers are highly utilized as a deployment vehicle for applications. According to experts, the expedition of legacy app modernization and net-new development will lead to 45% of production applications being cloud-native using containers, microservices, and dynamic orchestration, by 2022.  As a result, containers will still house the monolithic apps which are directly packed in containers or refactored in the microservices. However, the maintenance, operations, and management of such applications won’t require any certain changes in the business IT operations.

The cloud-native apps by their nature are microservices-based applications and they are constituted of “set of microservices” which is owned by one or mixed company lines and consolidated from various resources. A cloud-native app can easily contain 35+ microservices. Usually in an organization, there are about 150+ business applications, and recreating them as cloud-native apps can lead to 3500+ microservices, all deployed on a single container platform at once. As a result, there will a consistent change in your production environment. 

The cloud-native applications on a container platform need an absolute redesigning of the entire IT operations and management. These changes are driven by:

  • Integrating constant deployment of cloud-native applications
  • Reconstructing the relationship and cooperation model with the organization
  • Tooling for microservices monitoring, management, and logging

How to deal with the cloud-native apps in production?

To seamlessly integrate the continuous deployment of the cloud-native apps, you need to re-evaluate the management of your testing, staging, and production conditions along with an integrated toolchain. You also need to observe the flow control through all the various stages. The development phase must mirror the production stage so that the business lines can effectively test the microservices under the close-to-production provisions and operations. Likewise, businesses can verify the development progress and classify the possible issues before moving towards the production stage by performing intense monitoring and logging.

Moreover, businesses should support rollback if the new microservices creates an error in the production environment. Secondly, the container platforms must maintain the Continuous Integration/ Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) process and implement constant monitoring, resourcing, and tooling access over the testing, staging, and production phase.

Synchronizing with the Business

Enterprises are more focused on re-creating their relationship and interactive model with the businesses. IT leaders are now jointly operating with the developers and LOB users to create an effective microservices architecture and process model across the business.

Benefits of having a Microservice-Based Solution

Easy to Manage and Evolve Especially:

  • Developers find it quite easy to learn and get started instantly with excellent productivity. For instance, containers start quickly making it more productive for developers. 
  • An IDE like Visual Studio can load tinier projects quickly.
  • Each microservice can be created, developed, and deployed individually of other microservices providing agility since it is easy to deploy new versions of microservices often.

Effective Work Division Every service can be controlled by a single development team and each team can control, develop, deploy, and estimate their service independently.

Isolated Issues Error in a single service does not hinder the entire structure, only the particular service is impacted. Besides, when a problem in a microservice is resolved, you can easily deploy just the affected microservice without influencing the rest of the application.

Importance of Migrating Business Apps to the Multicloud

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

According to research, 98% of the organizations will entirely adopt multicloud architecture by 2023. The reason is multicloud utilizes two or more cloud computing services including any blend of private, public, and hybrid cloud. Besides, multicloud management requires skilled expertise or service providers which is why 45% of the IT leaders indicated a deficiency of in-house talent that can manage the multicloud environment.

Nowadays, businesses require an extremely unique and innovative digital transformation approach that goes beyond the cloud-native apps and incorporates the migrating legacy ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems to the cloud model. 

Strategies for Effectively Managing Business Apps in the Cloud Environment

  • Stay Flexible: Matching the right cloud vendor to the right workload is considered as the most strategic approach towards effective management of the enterprise apps. 
  • Consolidate Views: It allows you to view the complete app performance across the multicloud model on a single view. 70% of IT leaders believe that consolidated views boost efficiency and productivity while reducing IT operational costs. 
  • Consolidate Management: This approach enhances the communication between various business functions and reduces cost by depreciating the headcount and consolidating the systems and process. 68% of the IT leaders say that a single vendor managing multiple clouds reduces the complexity and streamlines the process. 

45% of the IT leaders cited the capability to match up certain workloads to the suitable cloud vendors as a huge advantage of smoothly running the business applications in multicloud environments. 

The optimization strategies bring various other benefits that include: 

  • Scalability:  The key advantage of the multicloud model is its potential to scale efficiently. It allows businesses to scale the workloads into the cloud models best suitable for specific operations and tasks. 
  • Economical: Public clouds provide basic profits such as just spending on the required computing power and offloading the IT infrastructural prices. Dividing workloads to cloud vendors depending upon their corresponding strengths can provide additional capabilities.
  • Versatility: Nowadays, IT leaders are highly concerned about vendor lock-in, in case they are dependent on a single cloud provider. This single-vendor approach can bring certain disruptions and inefficiencies if any change/variation in cloud providers is required. This can be prevented by distributing the business workloads across various cloud vendors. It will eventually minimize the uncertainties and limitations faced during the vendor lock-ins.
  • High Security: If all the resources powering your business are store on the cloud model, a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) security threat/attack can affect your data and can cause huge financial losses. In a multicloud model, whenever one cloud gets down/turned off, other remains online to take the entire load until your services resume. Hence, it makes your company’s services highly secure and flexible against such malicious activities and attacks.

The Bottom Line

A Multi-cloud environment allows enterprises to create the best and effective cloud solution for their business operations. The best cloud application development company will help in boosting the enterprise applications to effectively mine data, deliver new apps and services, and elevate the competitive advantages in today’s digital economy.  

The Role of Governance in Building an Effective Multi-cloud Environment

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

Effective management of the hybrid multicloud environments requires unique capabilities and strategies that offer enhanced visibility and governance over the cloud resources. According to research, 98% of the companies are planning to increase or maintain their cloud providers by 2022 yet only 20% of the IT leaders believe that they are confident enough about their ability to seamlessly and effectively manage their cloud usage.

Organizations need to understand the purpose of multicloud governance and security platforms or the significance of effective multicloud governance as improper visibility and governance over the cloud resources can lead to inefficient cloud usage and higher costing.

Cloud Governance vs. Cloud Management

The terms Cloud Management and Cloud Governance are often treated as identical but there differences when we talk about optimization, control, the security of the cloud infrastructures, and the applications that run in them.

Cloud Governance is the act of creating, auditing, and monitoring the rules and regulations under which an enterprise’s cloud infrastructure operates to depreciate the control costs and enhance efficiency. Cloud Governance incorporates establishing policies (cost optimization, resiliency, security, or compliance), guidelines, and certain processes. Whereas, Cloud Management is more about adjusting and coordinating the resources to ensure that the operational and strategic objectives are engaged. It’s more like how the admin controls everything that operates in the cloud including the users, data, services, and applications.

Purpose of Multicloud Governance and Security Platforms

The multi-cloud governance and security platform offers an enhanced level of clarity, economical capabilities, and effective automated governance over the cloud environments (single-cloud, multi-cloud, or hybrid-cloud). The right and suitable cloud provider will conduct an in-depth examination of your complete cloud infrastructure to recognize the resources suitable for resizing or termination, areas of risk mitigation, and possibilities of reducing costs.

Afterward, IT leaders can create and implement policies that monitor the activities across all the cloud accounts. Several IT managers are increasingly adopting cloud platforms to leverage the tools they demand, resulting in enhanced visibility, efficiency, and less time to value.

Maintain Control with Governance

Building company-wide cloud governance is an indispensable element of hybrid multicloud management. Organizations striving to manage large and complicated cloud infrastructure should leverage the multi-cloud governance and security platform. These platforms will allow you to save time and money while smoothly managing your cloud environment.

Importance of APIs in the World of Social Media

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

You have probably heard of the acronym tossed around in recent years. API is the acronym for Application Programming Interface which is a set of instructions, standards, or requirements that enables a software or app to employ features/services of another app, platform, or device for better services. Concisely, it’s something that lets apps communicate with each other. One of the major aspects of API is that it has made the internet experience much more pleasant for every person. The acronym has helped you compare the best prices for flights, allowed you to embed a map into your store’s website, and even seamlessly processed your credit card payments. If you want to explore more of it, then this blog will give an overview of APIs and how they relate to social media platforms.

Role of APIs for Social Media

Social media has exploded in recent years. Today, the number of people on social media has grown to nearly 3 billion, and the numbers are projected to continue their upward trend. As we know, there are numerous platforms, from Facebook, Instagram to Twitter, Imgur to Foursquare, and more, cater to a remarkable range of digital interactions to people around the world. 

APIs make social media possible and they are crucial to successfully exchanging all of this information and delivering the experience that users expect. Without APIs, it would be difficult for your website to link your Facebook page or Twitter account to your website or to combine your Google Plus account to your blog posts in order to promote your authorship reputation. In like manner, you will not be able to use the Google Analytics tool in auditing and optimizing your e-commerce website for better search performance. The social media marketing tools that are used in encouraging businesses are powered by APIs. As far now, there are many marketing values that are derived from social media APIs which include but not limited to the following:

  • Showing ad campaigns to your site as a publisher.
  • Application development to expand the benefits of using marketing tools.
  • Displaying social media buttons to optimize the social shares of your post.
  • Seamless launching of an email marketing campaign using APIs for customer subscription lists and ad campaigns.
  • Tracking down the data analytics information from your website to the analytic monitoring tool or software.

Big Examples of Social Media API Functionalities

As mentioned above, APIs are being used in countless ways by every social media platform today. Here are a few popular examples:

Facebook Graph API:

At present, Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform, with more than 2.4 billion active users worldwide. The Facebook Graph API is an HTTP-based API that provides the main way of accessing the platform’s data. Third-party developers and creators use this tool to retrieve information such as username, email, birthday, and hometown of users. Besides, popular chains such as Subway and Starbucks use the Graph API to collect user information to assist in their marketing and advertising strategies.

Twitter Ads API: 

The Twitter API mainly allows you to add Twitter functionalities to your application. Moreover, the Twitter Ads API is a key part of their business; it not only helps promote Twitter accounts but also allows organizations to launch their scheduled advertising campaigns. With the help of API, marketers can reach out to people of a certain age group from a certain city. From one ad account, an organization can roll out about 200 active advertisement campaigns.

Imgur API: 

Imgur is another amazing social media platform where people share entertaining images. It has a global user base with high engagement, and these users are particularly interested in technology, video games, food, and music. Brands outside of Imgur can utilize its API functionality to expose these users to new gaming and tech items and products. Currently, Imgur offers its third version of APIs which use OAuth 2.0. Therefore, you won’t have to encrypt your requests, but simply send them to https:// via SSL/TLS. 

LinkedIn API:

LinkedIn can be described as the world’s number-one social network for business users. It was established in 2003, and currently serves millions of users in more than 200 countries worldwide. LinkedIn also offers API access to developers (RESTful), so that all contacts, jobs, relationships, companies, and interactions would be displayed by third-party providers. Likewise, there are many more: Instagram, Reddit, Snapchat, and other social media brands all have created APIs. These APIs will act as potent technologies supporting the ever-expanding promise of social media.

Conclusion

With the aforementioned information, I hope you will find an API that you can use to add versatile social engagement capabilities to your applications! For more information, you can connect with our business consultants. 

The Emergence of Cognitive Enterprise in Business World

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

Without any doubt, advances in technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, IoT, and robotic process automation (RPA) are now having a powerful impact on the structure of the business and change the way we work as a whole. But, this is not the end. We are entering a new era of enterprise evolution. Continuing to this, The cognitive enterprise landscape is starting to taking shape. Even though the concept of the cognitive enterprise is not new, it is quickly becoming a reality. Cognitive technologies are already automating marketing, service, and other business processes rapidly.

To get a crystal clear overview of Cognitive enterprise, in this blog you will understand why the architecture of the cognitive enterprise is evolving and how it is beneficial for businesses. First, we’ll dive into what is a cognitive enterprise?

About Cognitive Enterprise

The next digitization movement is the beginning of a “cognitive enterprise”. Cognitive enterprise leverage Cognitive computing, which is an epitome shift from traditional people-centric enterprises. Cognitive enterprises leverage wonderful technologies such as natural language processing, machine learning algorithms, augmented intelligence, and real-time computing to give rise to the human brain like abilities such as sensory, processing, and quality in machines.

A cognitive enterprise is one that invests in data and technologies and allows all workers, particularly knowledge workers, to perform at higher, more efficient, and more productive levels. In simple words, cognitive systems can help us solve problems quickly and with higher efficiency than a human mind. Some of the major examples where a cognitive enterprise has emerged. For example- IBM has long championed the cognitive enterprise as a new era of business reinvention. Recently, Salesforce announced Einstein Voice, an AI-powered back-end to its robust CRM system with a voice command UI, a la Alexa, on the front end. While digital transformation continues to renew legacy systems and operations, the cognitive enterprise represents the next phase of enterprise evolution.

Benefits of Cognitive Computing for Organizations

1. Higher quality data analysis

It has been identified that Cognitive systems are highly-efficient in collecting and cross-referencing information to analyze a situation effectively. For instance- in the healthcare industry, cognitive systems such as IBM Watson help physicians to collect and analyze data from various sources such as previous medical reports, medical journals, diagnostic tools, and past data from the medical fraternity. Moreover, Instead of replacing doctors, cognitive computing employs robotic process automation to speed up data analysis.

2. Improved employee capabilities and performance

With cognitive computing, employees can benefit from self-learning algorithms that will help them to do their jobs better and faster. Such programs support increased productivity by automating repetitive, low-value tasks such as collecting relevant statistics or updating client records easily. In the legal industry, a “smart” analytical mechanism is used that helps lawyers mine through voluminous content — streamlines the discovery process, especially where accuracy, deadlines, and pecuniary interests each compete to provide clients with excellent service.

3. Improved Customer Interaction

The cognitive enterprise organically integrates customer-focused teams, with operation staff to analyze workflows to achieve new levels of agility and customer experiences. As mentioned earlier, the technology can be used to enhance customer interactions by implementing robotic process automation. Robots can provide contextual information to customers. 

4. More Efficient Business Processes

Cognitive computing can analyze emerging patterns, spot business opportunities, and also handles critical process-centric issues in real-time. By examining a vast amount of data, a cognitive computing system such as Watson can simplify processes and reduce risk according to changing circumstances. While this prepares businesses in building a proper response to uncontrollable factors, simultaneously it helps to create lean business processes.

Wrapping Up

Deploying cognitive technology doesn’t just result in improved agent and customer experiences, but there is a tangible, enterprise-wide return on investment. To derive the maximum benefits from cognitive computing, organizations need to carry out a thorough analysis of its processes, data, talent model, and the market it operates in. If you still have some queries on the above, then do let us know. At Successive, our experts will help you find innovative solutions to your business problems and increase efficiency. Contact us now! 

Waterfall Vs Agile Methodology

Monday, June 29th, 2020

What is Waterfall methodology?

Waterfall Model methodology which is also known as Linear Sequential Life Cycle Model. The Waterfall Model followed in sequential order, and so the project development team only moves to the next phase of development or testing if the previous step completed successfully.

What is the Agile methodology?

Agile methodology is a practice that helps continuous iteration of development and testing in the software development process. In this model, development and testing activities are concurrent, unlike the Waterfall model. This process allows more communication between customers, developers, managers, and testers.

Advantages of Waterfall Model:

  • It is one of the easiest models to manage. Because of its nature, each phase has specific deliverables and a review process.
  • It works well for smaller size projects where requirements are easily understandable.
  • Faster delivery of the project
  • Process and results are well documented.
  • Easily adaptable method for shifting teams
  • This project management methodology is beneficial to manage dependencies.

Advantages of the Agile Model:

  • It is a focused client process. So, it makes sure that the client is continuously involved during every stage.
  • Agile teams are extremely motivated and self-organized so it is likely to provide a better result from the development projects.
  • Agile software development method assures that quality of the development is maintained
  • The process is completely based on incremental progress. Therefore, the client and team know exactly what is complete and what is not. This reduces risk in the development process.

Limitations of Waterfall Model:

  • It is not an ideal model for a large size project
  • If the requirement is not clear at the beginning, it is a less effective method.
  • Very difficult to move back to make changes in the previous phases.
  • The testing process starts once development is over. Hence, it has high chances of bugs to be found later in development where they are expensive to fix.

Limitations of Agile Model:

  • It is not a useful method for small development projects.
  • It requires an expert to make important decisions in the meeting.
  • Cost of implementing an agile method is little more compared to other development methodologies.
  • The project can easily go off track if the project manager is not clear what outcome he/she wants.

Conclusion:

Agile and Waterfall are very different software development methodologies and are good in their respective way.

However, there are certain major differences highlighted below –

  • Waterfall model is ideal for projects which have defined requirements, and no changes are expected. On the other hand, Agile is best suited where there is a higher chance of frequent requirement changes.
  • The waterfall is easy to manage, sequential, and rigid method.
  • Agile is very flexible and it is possible to make changes in any phase.
  • In the Agile process, requirements can change frequently. However, in a waterfall model, it is defined only once by the business analyst.
  • In Agile Description of project, details can be altered anytime during the SDLC process which is not possible in Waterfall method.

Requirement Traceability Matrix – RTM

Monday, June 29th, 2020

What is a Traceability Matrix?

A traceability matrix is a type of document that creates a relation between two-baseline documents which will have many-to-many relation to check the completeness.

Main use of traceability matrix is requirement tracking and current project requirements are meeting or not.

What is the Requirement Traceability Matrix?

RTM captures all requirements proposed by the client or software development team and their traceability in a single document delivered at the conclusion of the life-cycle.

The main purpose of Requirement Traceability Matrix is to ensure that all test cases are covered so that no functionality should be missed while doing testing.

In Agile methodology we don’t prefer to have a requirement traceability matrix as it is having a fast paced work model and the turnaround time is shorter.

Some specific parameters in RTM to make it more efficient as follows :

Parameters of requirement traceability matrix:

  • Requirement ID
  • Risks
  • Requirement Type and Description
  • Trace to design specification
  • Unit test cases
  • Integration test cases
  • System test cases
  • User acceptance test cases
  • Trace to test script

RTM flow:

RTM is used to track or trace the requirement in all perspectives as per the terminologies Forward and Backward.

Forward traceability:

This matrix is used to check whether the project progresses in the desired direction and for the right product. It makes sure that each requirement is applied to the product and that each requirement is tested thoroughly. It maps requirements to test cases.

Backward or reverse traceability:

It is used to ensure whether the current product remains on the right track. The purpose behind this type of traceability is to verify that we are not expanding the scope of the project by adding code, design elements, test or other work that is not specified in the requirements. It maps test cases to requirements.

Types of Traceability Matrix:

Bi-directional traceability (Forward+Backward):This traceability matrix ensures that all requirements are covered by the test cases. It analyzes the impact of a change in requirements affected by a defect in a work product and vice versa.

Let’s Go Ahead and create RTM:

Step 1: Our Test Case is”Verify Login, when correct ID and Password is entered, it should login successfully”

Step 2: Identify the Technical Requirement that this test case is verifying. For our test case, the technical requirement is T94 is being verified.

Step 3: Note this Technical Requirement (T94) in the Test Case.

Step 4: Identify the Business Requirement for which this TR (Technical Requirement-T94) is defined.

Step 5: Note the BR (Business Requirement) in Test Case.

Step 6: Do above for all Test Cases. Later Extract the First 3 Columns from your Test Suite. RTM is Ready!

Before we discuss the details, it’s important to understand the difference between BRD and FRS.

FRS documents detail out the BRD and split each business requirement into multiple functional requirements. Hence in an RTM, you can opt to highlight both the BRD Number and FRS Number to ensure all BR’s are mapped to FR’s. So the table below showcases the same wherein the BR and FR ID’s are mapped.

Below is a sample of the test scenario document:

S. NoTest Scenario IDTest Scenarios
1TS_Sign-up_001Verify whether the user is able to sign-up via sign-up form, facebook, gmail.
2TS_Login_002Verify whether the user is able to login via login form, gmail, facebook.
3TS_User Profile_003Verify whether the user is able to fill all required details and save them.

Test Scenario Document

In the above table, the test scenario document highlights the test scenario ID used in the RTM document. The document will ensure that all the test scenarios should cover all the requirements mentioned in the requirements document. Likewise, a test case document which shows the mapping between the test scenario ID and test cases.

Advantage of Requirement Traceability Matrix

  • It confirms 100% test coverage.
  • It highlights any requirements missing or document inconsistencies.
  • It shows the overall defects or execution status with a focus on business requirements.
  • It helps in analyzing or estimating the impact on the QA team’s work with respect to revisiting or re-working on the test cases.

Java & JavaScript

Monday, June 29th, 2020

What is the difference between Java and JavaScript?

The Internet is flooded with statements like Java and Javascript are similar to cars and carpet. But it does not hold true anymore.

It often happens that programmers get confused between Java and JavaScript. Thinking both Java and JavaScript to be the same.

As both Java and JavaScript refer to the same OOP language and share the same control structures and operators. But when you will learn them individually, you will get to know they are completely different from each other.

Java

Java is a popular object programming language invented by James Gosling and developed by Sun Micro-Systems. It is a general-purpose high-level programming language created in the year 1995.

James Gosling initially developed Java in Sun Micro-Systems (which was later merged with Oracle Corporation). Java is a set of features of C and C++. It has obtained its format from C, and OOP features from C++.

Originally Java was named as OAK but later it changed into Java. With its virtual machine platform, it allows you to create compiled programs that run on nearly every platform.

Benefits

  • Java is platform-independent and flexible in nature. The most significant feature of Java is to run a program easily from one computer system to another. 
  • It can also be distributed among servers and clients in a network.
  • It can be used in a wide variety of computing platforms to enterprise servers and supercomputers.
  • It can be used to make mobile applications, web and desktop applications, games and much more.

JavaScript

JavaScript was developed by Brendan Eich in 1995, which appeared in Netscape, a popular browser of that time.

JavaScript is a lightweight programming language of HTML and Web used to make web pages interactive. As a multi-paradigm language, it supports event-driven, functional, imperative, and programming styles.

JavaScript is a very powerful client-side scripting language. JavaScript is used mainly for enhancing the interaction of a user with the webpage. In other words, you can make your webpage livelier and more interactive, with the help of JavaScript.

It was first known as Live Script, but later Netscape changed its name to JavaScript.

Benefits

  • Adding interactive behavior to web pages.
  • Developers can use various JavaScript frameworks for developing and building web and mobile apps.
  • Beyond websites and apps, developers can also use JavaScript to build simple web servers and develop the back-end infrastructure using Node.js.

Differences Between Java and JavaScript

It is a very common thought that both Java and JavaScript are the same. But the truth is there is nothing common between them except their name Java. Both are completely different and have nothing to do with each other. Their working, functionality, and capabilities all are very different.

List of key differences

If we traveled back in time, there would be a simple comparison like Java is a general-purpose coding language, and JavaScript is used on the web applications to make them interactive and animated. Now that JS has “grown-up,” the comparison is much more complicated here.

As Java has so many important features it is a most used programming language. Whereas JavaScript, on the other hand, possesses some features that Java lacks. JavaScript does not require any compiler or editor; it is considered as the easiest language to learn.

Thus, both Java and JavaScript carrying different features are equally important in their areas of requirement.

Conclusion

Both Java and JavaScript are different languages and have no similarity except the syntactic resemblance. After going through the above comparison between Java and JavaScript you can very well know about their differences and similarities. Java is a general-purpose language used for developing desktop or mobile or web-based applications.

On the contrary, JavaScript is a client-side scripting language used for designing the behavior and interactivity for web-based applications. However, both are very popular and effective while creating interaction between the user and the web page.

API Automation with Rest Assured

Monday, June 29th, 2020

Introduction of Rest API

Rest-Assured is a Java-based library that is used to test RESTful Web Services. We can build a customized HTTP Request to send to the Restful server. This allows us to test a variety of Request permutations and in turn test various combinations of main business logic.

Rest-Assured library also provides the capability to authenticate the HTTP Responses accepted from the server. For e.g. we can verify the Status code, Status message, Headers and even the body of the response.

What is Rest Assured?

REST Assured library is the best tool to automate your rest api’s. Rest Assured has a gherkin type syntax.

List of few Rest Assured features:

  • DSL-like syntax
  • XPath-Validation
  • Specification Reuse
  • Easy file uploads 

All these features support in handling api tests in a very well managed way.

Why Are We Using Rest Assured?

REST Assured offers a number of other useful features for writing tests for RESTful APIs. Let’s take a look at some of them.

  • Technical response data validation
  • Data-driven testing
  • Support for authentication mechanisms

The benefits of REST Assured

Aspects of REST Assured which makes it a most appropriate library for API testing:

  • In traditional development we have to write a large amount of code to set up http connection, send a request and receive and parse the response, while with the rest assured a lot of boilerplate code is not required to be written.
  • Since REST Assured is a Java library, integrating it into a continuous integration / continuous delivery setup is a breeze, especially when combined with a Java testing framework such as JUnit or TestNG


Challenges behind API Automation Testing:

Initial Setup

Foremost obstacle in any automation testing is initial setup. If the initial setup is too much complicated, then enthusiasm goes down as the time passes. Most people, even companies, put automation testing on hold or leave in the middle and proceed with the manual testing. This is one of the major blockers in automation of the testing process. If initial setup is easy-going, then implementation of the testing framework / tool will be much easier and highly achievable.

Maintenance

Second major barrier is maintenance. Once you have created your test suites for any release. Then the query comes in your mind, is it easy to maintain those test suites over a period of releases? If improving those test suites takes a good amount of effort, then it is worse than the manual testing. If upgrading time is less than we can easily maintain those test suites.

Management

Third obstacle is management and is to some extent related to maintenance. Management makes the tasks of organizing test suites easier and more maintainable. If you have linked your API test cases with API Specifications, then proper management can give you answers to the questions like whether your API is fully tested or not.

Skilled Resources

Fourth hurdle is skills required to use the library / tool. If we adopt a tool / library, then we should have people having those skills set required for the usage of the tool. In the range of REST API, we can benefit from the tools in which no technical skills are required to validate REST APIs because REST APIs are platform independent and language agnostic.

Integration with existing ecosystem

Fifth hurdle is integration with the existing ecosystem. It is important to know how well the library / tool integrates with your build or defect tracking system (or any other). Whenever you prepare a new build, it should fire the automated test suite first and if all the test cases pass, only then the build is ready to be released in the market. And if the validation fails, then your automated test suite should automatically log bugs against the failed test cases.

Test Driven Development(TDD)

Friday, June 19th, 2020

INTRODUCTION

Test Driven Development(TDD) is a software development process developed and discovered by Kent Beck. It is a technique where test code is written before production code. It is a technique that is used for designing as well as testing software. Basically, TDD is a process that turns requirements into very specific test cases. It is one of the core principles of extreme programming. It is referred to as test driven design. Unit tests and Refactoring are considered as components of TDD. It is not a one way or linear process.

To summarize Test Driven Development(TDD) is a proven technique to ensure effective unit testing. It consists of short development iterations. TDD is nothing but a technique of TFD (Test First Development) and Refactoring together. TDD promotes improved quality because extensive verification is performed.

TDD is a technique that discovers the mistakes upfront and prevents code with too many defects. The main benefit of using TDD is that one can write a high level of quality code much faster than without TDD because modifying the existing code with TDD is easy.

IMPORTANT PRINCIPLES OF TDD

Important principles of TDD are:

  • Write tests, then the code
  • Write a code only when test fails
  • write the code to make tests pass, Eliminate duplication

WHY TEST-DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT IS?

There are many constant changes in business requirements for software applications. Thus, making modification in a traditionally developed software application seems to be difficult. Because of this many organizations hesitate to make changes, thus affecting their overall success. TDD is thus indeed a solution to this because it makes developers easier to make the required modifications to the application without affecting the operations of the application.

The core objective behind using TDD is to implement smaller test cycles and achieve more agility in the process. With TDD, you start by creating the test cases for a new feature, write code required to pass the test, after that refactor the code to increase its sustainability. In TDD, automated tests are written before writing the code which helps to get fast confirmation on whether the code works as expected or not. TDD immersed as a reaction to waterfall development. It’s an incremental and evolutionary design technique.

STAGES OF TDD

There are three stages of TDD, see the details below:

Red Stage

Red stage consists of tests creation in which initially tests fail as code is not written or features may not be implemented. Therefore, any failure in this stage is not considered as a bug or defect.

Green Stage

Green stage consists of writing code in order to make the test pass. For writing code practices like “Keep it Simple (KISS) are recommended. The code written in this stage may not be of high quality and coding values are hard coded, but that can be refactored in the next stage.

Refactor Stage

Refractor stage consists of improving the quality of code without changing the actual behavior. While refactoring, duplicate code is removed, and any hardcoded data is parameterized in order to match the actual requirements. Any bad coding practices used are also cleaned up improving Readability, performance and maintainability. At the end of the refactoring process, the Existing test cases should still pass to ensure that the functionality has not been broken.

It is called Red/Green Refactor because the unit testing framework displays a red bar for failing and green bar for passing tests. TDD tests are executed in less than 10 mins.

BENEFITS OF TDD

  • TDD keeps the code clear and simple and improves the quality of code. It Ensures that the written code is covered by at least one test, thus increasing the level of confidence in the code.
  • TDD reduces the debugging time and Eliminates duplication of code.
  • TDD helps in complete understanding of requirements and provides the ability to modify the application with the changing business requirements.

DRAWBACKS OF TDD

  • Main drawback of using TDD is that Database and external files are not tested.
  • TDD seems to be Difficult for GUI (Graphical User Interfaces) & relational databases.
  • TDD requires additional time to write and maintain test cases.
  • TDD Tests can sometimes be incorrectly formulated or applied as a result unit tests do not perform as expected in real domain and Efforts are required to maintain test suites

LEVELS OF TDD

There are 2 types of TDD:

  • ATDD (Acceptance TDD)
  • TDD (Developer TDD)

Acceptance TDD

Acceptance TDD is the collaborative practice and advanced form of TDD. In this automated acceptance criteria are defined early in the development process. It focuses on external quality of software.

In scrum with the project manager to find out the acceptance criteria to achieve the requirements that the user stories represent. ATDD shows a clear picture of how the product will look.

Developers TDD

Developers TDD focus on specifying complete plans on a JIT (just in time) basis. In developer TDD, a simple developer test frequently referred to as unit test is written and then just enough production code to pass that test is written.

TOOLS FOR TDD AND ATDD

Tools for TDD

  • .Net – Nunit
  • Java – Junit
  • C++ – gunit
  • Python – Pyunit

Tools for ATDD

  • FitNesse
  • Selenium
  • Sahi
  • Frankenstein

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NORMAL AND TDD APPROACH TO DEVELOP A SOFTWARE:

Normal Approach

Steps:

  • Write a code (logic) and compile it.
  • Write unit tests to test the code.
  • Run the unit tests to check if the logic is working or not.

TDD Approach

Steps:

  • Write unit tests.
  • Execute the tests (the test case will fail as there is no code written).
  • Write code to make sure the unit test compiles.
  • Execute the unit test and see if it passes or fails.
  • If it passes, then move on to the next unit test, else refactor and then execute.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NORMAL AND TDD APPROACH FOR TESTING A SOFTWARE

Normal Approach

  • Focus is on test case design
  • Generate the code and then write test cases based on that code

TDD Approach

  • More focus is on production code
  • Code is written for already created test cases.

HOW TDD HELPS TO AVOID SCOPE CREEP AND PREVENT BUGS

Scope creep can happen due to several reasons like lack of documentation, misinterpretation of project requirements, ineffective distribution of tasks etc.

TDD environment developers write unit tests to test a feature to be implemented. Therefore, avoids redundant code that wasn’t specified in the project requirement.

TDD is a unique agile approach which when followed properly results into 100% test coverage. TDD developers focus on preventing bugs rather than removing it later.

ROLE OF QA IN TDD

In TDD, developers use test cases to develop their code and execute test cases respectively. So, in TDD major dependency is on test cases. So, test cases with good coverage of requirements are more important for making TDD successful. It is an overall observation that QAs know the system much better than a developer as they test the system End-to-End. Therefore, it is required to involve the QA team from the beginning of the project. QA & developer should work together to create test cases. It helps developers to design better unit level test cases & QA can set up acceptance test cases that are at a higher level than unit test cases.

Tester’s knowledge of the system and the developer’s technical knowledge accomplished each other to help adding duplicate and invalid tests

REFERENCES:

https://docplayer.net/15430061-Test-driven-development.html

http://www.agiledata.org/essays/tdd.html

https://medium.com/swlh/why-test-driven-development-tdd-is-the-best-way-for-robust-coding-a1821de51e19

https://medium.com/swlh/why-test-driven-development-tdd-is-the-best-way-for-robust-coding-a1821de51e19

https://www.eecs.yorku.ca/course_archive/2003-04/W/3311/sectionM/case_studies/money/KentBeck_TDD_byexample.pdf

What is Jmeter?

Friday, June 19th, 2020

The Apache JMeterTM is pure Java open source software, which was first developed by Stefano Mazzocchi of the Apache Software Foundation, designed to load test functional behavior and measure performance. Apache JMeter is a testing tool used for analyzing and measuring the performance of different software services and products. It is a pure Java open source software used for testing Web Application or FTP application.

It is used to execute performance testing, load testing and functional testing of web applications. JMeter can also simulate a heavy load on a server by creating tons of virtual concurrent users to web server

What is Performance Testing:

Performance Testing is defined as a type of software testing to ensure that software applications will perform well under their expected workload. It focuses on certain factors of a Software Program such as:

  • Speed – It Checks whether the response of the application is fast.
  • Scalability – It determines the maximum user load.
  • Stability – It checks if the application is stable under varying loads.

It is very important to verify whether the product meets expected or required performance. Unfortunately, we figure out this pitfall post-delivery of the product. But performance has become an inevitable factor nowadays, especially for web and mobile applications as the user strength is very huge for each application.

Tools used for Performance Testing:

Performance testing is significant in real time, particularly from a point of view of customer satisfaction. There are several performance testing tools available such as:

  • Apache JMeter
  • LoadRunner
  • WebLOAD
  • LoadUI
  • LoadView
  • NeoLoad

How does JMeter perform Testing?

Let’s have a look at the different steps performed by JMeter during testing:

  • It creates a request and sends to the server.
  • It receives the response from server, collects them and visualizes those details in a chart or graph.
  • It processes the response from the server.
  • It generates the test result in several formats such as text, XML, JSON so that the tester can analyze data.

Apache JMeter – How is works?

The web server handles or carries loads of lots of applications & its user, so there is a need to know how JMeter helps us to handle the performance of Web server to manage simultaneous users or their applications. 

For Example: Online purchasing site, how they handle their sale when there are lots of users are accessing the same page of the product. To handle or check that kind of performance of application or server we must do a high performance or a load testing using JMeter.

There are three different approaches to JMeter testing:

  • Performance Testing – This testing used to test the performance of site configuration of infrastructure & helps us to get results Quickly & easily before we transfer the application in Production environment.
  • Load Testing – This testing is used to check the extreme load of a system that can be aimed to handle.
  • Stress Test – This test tries to break the system by crushing its resources.

Plugins & Protocols:

JMeter works with different plugins & Protocols, Also Off-site developers can simply spread JMeter with custom plugins.

 JMeter works on many protocols which are: 

  • Web Services – SOAP / XML-RPC
  • Service – POP3, IMAP, SMTP, FTP
  • Web – HTTPS sites ‘web 1.0’ web 2.0 (ajax, flex and flex-ws-amf), HTTP 
  • Messaging Oriented service – JMS
  • Database – JDBC drivers, Directory – LDAP

Working features of JMeter:

JMeter works as a number of users send a request for accessing some server & shows the performance by the listeners like tables, graphs etc. 

Characteristics of Apache JMeter

Why People choose Apache JMeter for Performance & Load testing. Here are some characteristics which are mentioned below:

  • Open source application – Apache JMeter is an openly available free tool & it facilitates users or developers to use the code for other development or modification purpose.
  • Platform independent – It can run on any platform & also it is capable enough to check the load & performance of any server requests.
  • User friendly GUI – Its user-friendly, simple & easy to understand.
  • Write your own test – Using Jmeter we can write our own test cases. It uses a text editor to create a test plan and supplies in XML format.
  • Simulation – JMeter can parallelly work with threads to generate a heavy load on the server.
  • Installation – It’s easy to install on different OS like:
    Run the “*.bat” file to use JMeter
    Mac – JMeter can be accessed by typing the Mr. jmeter.sh
    Linux/Unix – JMeter can be accessed by clicking on a JMeter shell script.
    Windows – JMeter can be accessed by starting the JMeter.bat file.
  • Record & Run: JMeter provides the facility to record the steps by using Blaze master add-on & run with any number of threads & listeners.
  • Support multi-protocol: JMeter works on web application testing and database server testing and supports protocols such as JDBC, HTTP, LDAP, SOAP, JMS, and FTP.

JMeter is a pure Java application and should run correctly on any system that has a compatible Java implementation.

Here is the list of an operating system compatible with JMeter:

  • Linux
  • Windows
  • Mac OS
  • Ubuntu

JMeter GUI: Test Plan & Workbench

As soon as you launch JMeter, you will see 2 elements

  • Test Plan
  • Workbench

What is a Test Plan? Test Plan is where you add elements required for your JMeter Test.

It stores all the elements (like ThreadGroup, Timers etc.) and their corresponding settings required to run your desired Tests.

What is WorkBench? The WorkBench simply provides a place to store test elements temporarily. WorkBench has no relation with Test Plan. JMeter will not save the contents of the WorkBench. It only saves the contents of the Test Plan branch.

Hope this blog helps you to make you clearer about the Apache JMeter. Feel free to share your queries OR any feedback for the same.

Decision Making Via Decision Trees in Manual Testing

Friday, June 19th, 2020

Overview

Decision table testing is a software testing technique used to test system behaviour for different input combinations. This is a systematic approach where the different input combinations and their corresponding system behaviour (Output) are captured in a tabular form. That is why it is also called as a Cause-Effect table where Cause and effects are captured for better test coverage.

Why Decision Table Testing is important?

  • In Software Testing, boundary value analysis and equivalent partitioning are other similar techniques used to ensure better coverage.
  • They are used if the system shows the same behaviour for a large set of inputs.
  • However, in a system where for each set of input values the system behaviour is different, boundary value analysis and equivalent partitioning technique are not effective in ensuring good test coverage.
  • In this case, decision table testing is a good option. This technique can make sure of good coverage, and the representation is simple so that it is easy to interpret and use.
  • This table can be used as the reference for the requirement and for the functionality development since it is easy to understand and cover all the combinations.
  • The significance of this technique becomes immediately clear as the number of inputs increases. Number of possible Combinations is given by 2 ^ n, where n is the number of inputs.

Use Case of Decision Table Testing:

How to make Decision Table for Login Screen

Let’s create a decision table for a login screen

Email- ************.com
Login- XYZ

Password-########


The condition is simple if the user provides correct username and password the user will be redirected to the homepage. If any of the input is wrong, an error message will be displayed.

ConditionsCase 1Case 2Case 3Case 4
Username F T F T
Password F F T T
Output E E E H

Notations:

  • T – Correct username/password
  • F – Wrong username/password
  • E – Error message is displayed
  • H – Home screen is displayed

Interpretations:

  • Case 1: Username and password both were wrong. The user is shown an error message.
  • Case 2: Username was correct, but the password was wrong. The user is shown an error message.
  • Case 3: Username was wrong, but the password was correct. The user is shown an error message.
  • Case 4: Username and password both were correct, and the user navigated to homepage.

While converting this to test case, we can create 2 scenarios:

  • Enter correct username and correct password and click on login, and the expected result will be the user should be navigated to homepage.

And one from the below scenarios:

  • Enter wrong username and wrong password and click on login, and the expected result will be the user should get an error message.
  • Enter correct username and wrong password and click on login, and the expected result will be the user should get an error message.
  • Enter correct username and wrong password and click on login, and the expected result will be the user should get an error message.

Conclusion:

When the system behaviour is different for different input and not same for a range of inputs, both equivalent partitioning, and boundary value analysis won’t help, but decision table can be used.

This table will help to make effective combinations and can ensure a better coverage for testing. Any complex business conditions can be easily turned into decision tables.

In a case we are going for 100% coverage typically when the input combinations are low, this technique can ensure the coverage.

Status Codes in API Testing

Friday, June 19th, 2020

What is API?

API is an Application Programming Interface. It is an interface among software and within the software. To understand it we must go through a basic example as a user.

To get to know the API, follow the below steps:

  • Let us suppose a user is on ‘You Tube’ and observes the URL field on the screen. If a user enters any keyword for which the user wishes to view the video, say ‘Hello’ and click on the search button. The API of the videos related to’ hello ‘will get hit and users may observe the part after youtube.com/{This}.
  • If the user clicks any video from the page again, he/she will observe the API’s being hit at that moment. So, what is basically happening here?
  • The user is requesting a request from a provider and it is giving back the required response. Some of the times it happens that there is a working site say ‘www.ABC.com users search it and its API gets hit, it opens.

What are Status Codes?

  • Now if the company ‘ABC’ changes its name to ‘ABD’ and the user enters the same old URL which has not yet been redirected to the new company name it will show an error ‘Page not found‘.
  • How can users view it? For more understanding, right-click on the screen, Select ‘inspect’ and click on the ‘console’ tab. It will display a 404 page not found. These results tell us the responses are known as status codes.

Status Codes are the HTTP RESPONSE standard status code.

What are some common API status codes?

Status codes are divided into 5 categories:

  • 1xx – Informational messages
  • 2xx – Success messages
  • 3xx – Redirection messages
  • 4xx – Client error
  • 5xx – Server error

To understand categories of status codes in API’s testing, let us think of a way the user can easily catch. Consider a website, the screen user can view with the eyes is the user interface.

On this website, there is a page where the user can add its details to create the account.

Users enter fields such as ‘Name’,’ DOB’ (and other personal details) and click on ‘Submit’. Now considering the above scenario, we can understand status codes.

  • If during the submit request, which was received and understood. It requests the response consuming resource to wait for a final response. Just an information message while the request continues to proceed are Information messages.
  • When the request is requested by the client was received, understood and accepted. It states as Success messages.
  • If while entering the Name field which has a validation to accept only 15 alphabets, user-entered more than that and submit the request. On the UI, an error message is displayed. Now, this error was caused by the client. hence Client error.
  • If during the submit request, the server is unable to perform the request due to any situation, that is known as Server-side error.
  • For a Redirection message, the website name changes its name to ‘www.AND.com’ and you enter the same old URL which has not yet been redirected to the new website name, this is the case for redirection found.

Conclusion

APIs are a means by which two different programs can communicate within the software and among software’s and status codes are the responses that are the results of the requests sent.

How Digital Technology Upgrades Retail Experiences

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

For a few years, we have experienced a radical transformation in the shopping patterns away from brick and mortar to online shopping modes, this is because of the dynamic and flexible experiences available through online shopping. Almost 60% of the retailers have already incorporated online shopping into their strategies and operations, 40% of retailers are still left confused in implementing the digital transformation. “What to do with the existing brick and mortar stores?” is however the main concern for many retailers.

Further, the innovative and productive retailers are adopting the opportunities to upgrade their physical locations with trending digital technologies such as Cloud, AI, IoT, and other mobile capabilities. With online shopping being the trending standard in the digital world, these emerging technologies provide retailers the capability of moving forward and beyond to develop personalized and enhanced customer experiences.

Leverage emerging technologies to create immensely significant in-store experiences

Cultivate Current Customer Relationship

Whether you sell goods or services in B2B or B2C environment, the fusion of technologies and digital solutions provide an opportunity for businesses to establish loyal customers by delivering a streamlined and flexible experience. For a B2B environment, organizations can implement predictive analytics technology to stay agile and forecast relevant inventory levels to adequately serve the increasing customer demands.

Whereas for the B2C environment, organizations can implement social listening initiatives to monitor and improve customer engagement on social media platforms allowing the business to gather valuable data insights that can be integrated into its CRM system to better understand the customer’s preferences.

Creating Opportunities with New Customers

Extending the use of data analytics is the key factor to improve a new customer’s experience. Several organizations collect relevant information or execute customer surveys to collect worthy information and implement that information to create the right product mix and branding strategies. By using trending technologies like CRM applications and significant marketing tools, companies can enhance their customer reach.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platforms are immensely effective in establishing modern and improved customer relationships. Such platforms provide data insights that help in tailoring the sales strategies and product offerings to a potential customer at the right moment.

Moreover, various vendors are actively supporting retailers and using modern technologies to create high-level opportunities that can increase revenue and profitability. Digital Marketing applications such as social media, mobile apps, email apps, etc. have created innovative ways through which companies can experience increased customer engagement.

The company must have complete control over complex inventory-management processes to provide consistent customer experiences across multiple touch points. The focus should be on enabling centralized visibility, orchestration of the inventories across various channels, and making omnichannel retail a reality.

Conclusion

Retail Industry is experiencing transformative changes these days. Thanks to innovative technologies and modern strategies, it is seamless to get insights on customer demands and priorities. Nowadays, digital technologies, AI, IoT, AR/VR, mobile capabilities, and cloud solutions are considered as the top-notch tools to help retailers broaden their customer reach, boost agility, and rightly utilize their infrastructure.

Digital Transformation Challenges Businesses Should Focus

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

The world has gone digital, and there’s no passing back. In today’s rapidly growing digital era, companies across all industries need to embrace new technologies and business methods to stay relevant. Organizations, especially those founded before the digital age must transform their business digitally to stay afloat. They need to embrace the digital wave to stay ahead of the competition and to improve their business efficiency and customer experience.

While the world has been talking about digital transformation for a while now, very few organizations have embraced this trend and made noteworthy progress. This is because Digital transformation also means a change in the business culture. It requires commitment because it’s not typically a simple process. It takes significant changes to long-used legacy systems and comes with some challenges as well. So, business owners might have a question in mind that- Is it really worth it for the company to invest time, money, and human capital in this process? 

Well, the answer is ‘Yes’.

In a recent survey by Gartner, 56% of CEOs said that digital improvements have already led to increases in revenue. Improved revenue and stock prices are two of the numerous benefits that digital transformation offers. Earlier, we have already discussed in a blog about the major importance of digital transformation in business. You can read the blog here- 

https://www.successive.tech/a-facelift-to-the-business-world-a-digital-transformation/

With so many benefits it offers, modern-day entrepreneurs understand the need for digital transformation solutions. But they also understand that there will be multiple digital transformation challenges standing in the way. Let’s face it! 

Challenges Associated with Digital Transformation and How to Overcome it

In this blog, I want to address the top five challenges every business should focus that’s looking to adopt a digital transformation strategy. Also, they can overcome those challenges for a successful business makeover.

Unwillingness to Change

Organizations and people often like routines and certainty. Most of the organizations continue to use the same business models and processes in the current digital world as well. They are hesitant to incorporate new strategies and bring a change in the ways they do business. However, it is essential for every business to adopt changes in order to keep up with customer requirements.

Solution:

It is vital to make everyone in the company aware of the opportunities of digital transformation and its benefits. For this, you will need to have a clear road map and use the correct digital transformation services to achieve new heights. 

Failing or Poor Analytics

It has been identified that 53% of modern companies are dissatisfied with their analytics abilities. That may seem unreasonably high to some, but in the face of today’s digital transformations, it makes a lot of sense as it is like a mirror of your business performance. There’s more data to collect than ever, and failing to measure the right ones could end in disaster. 

Solution:

The solution to this concern is to implement AI technologies to help improving data collection and personalization efforts. A recent study reflected this idea, sharing that 61% of marketing leaders believe AI is going to help the “hyper-personalization” of content. Better analytics means better decision making, and the value of that can’t be unpretentious.

Ineffective use of customer data

There is no doubt in saying that customer data is at the core of digital transformation. Organizations have a large amount of structured, unstructured, and real-time data stored from internal and external sources. This data remains unused as they do not have the right way to effectively gather, store, and leverage it. They have no idea about how to use the data in a way that adds value to the customer and benefits their business.

Solution:

To overcome this challenge, you need to identify a few key attributes of the customer that can help you serve them better and more effectively. Make the most of the data by storing it on the cloud and making it available to data scientists, businesses, and IT teams for analytics. Cloud serves as a single data platform that is secured as well as easily accessible.

A shortfall of Technical Skill Sets

Absence of IT resources and resource management strategizing are one of the key challenges to digital transformation. Innovative technologies such as AI and ML, blockchain, IoT, robotic process automation, etc. have already paved the way for new business opportunities. Even so, some companies lack the technology and dedicated development team to keep up with changing trends and innovations.  

Solution:

Train your workforce for all the needful digital and technical skills. Look out for business partners who can help you on your journey. Choose the correct technologies that are in-line with your vision and growth strategy.

Conclusion

Don’t let the challenges your business faces in our digital world become unconquerable roadblocks. Instead, face them and find innovative solutions to your problems that provide success for years to come. Ready to transform your business? Connect with Successive technology experts, who are helping clients business innovation with customer-centric solutions.

How Blockchain is Empowering the Business World?

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

If you are in the business world, then the term ‘Blockchain’ would not be a new one! Blockchain is undoubtedly one of the hottest new technologies to hit the business world, and companies are racing to learn more about it and how they can apply it to their business. According to statistics, the global blockchain market is anticipated to be worth $20 billion by the end of 2024. What’s driving this exponential growth? A number of factors are contributing, such as- The need to simplify business processes to keep pace with the speed of business, transparency, traceability, and reduced costs.

Well, Blockchain may have gained huge momentum in the marketplace, but people are still not aware of the terminology. They see blockchain as a synonym for bitcoin and often use the terms. However, there is no excuse for losing out on the immense business opportunities that the technology can offer you. Today, in this article you will understand different ways blockchain can make a huge difference in your business processes.

Top Industries Leveraging Blockchain Technology

Within just the last few years, industries from insurance to finance, manufacturing to local government, and everything in between has found ways to utilize the power behind blockchain! Have a look-

Considering this wide spreading of Blockchain, most of the organizations have embraced this new technology in their business. Also, the business and IT services will mark 70% of all the blockchain spending in the future, as per the research.

So, let us discuss what blockchain is and the assorted benefits of using this technology in businesses.

How is Blockchain used in business?

As the name implies, the blockchain is a series of linked data blocks. Nothing can be erased from the ledger or audit track, but more data can be added in the form of new blocks. A unique code makes it possible to differentiate one block from every other block on the chain. Blockchain is important because it is a foundational technology that has the potential to be used in an almost infinite number of ways. Some of them are-

Operational cost reduction

One of the prime benefits of blockchain technology is that it can reduce operational costs. This is because blockchain allows businesses to remove intermediator or the administrative effort associated with both transaction balancing and record-keeping.

Easy of Payments

The collaboration of blockchain and digital payments is also one of the obvious applications of decentralized blockchain networks. By removing the involvement of third parties and associated documents like billing statements and invoices, blockchain has also eased the cash flow in the startups and establishments.

Supply Chain Management

Another great benefit of blockchain for businesses is that it makes supply chain management simpler. It offers a cost-effective method of tracing goods without the guesswork and inefficiencies. This, as a result, making it possible for companies to combat counterfeiting, delay in product delivery as well as security. 

Transparency

When discussing the importance of blockchain for business, technology also adds the benefit of transparency into the business processes. Blockchain is immutable in nature which means the content stored in the system cannot be added, altered, or removed anonymously. This improves accountability and trust between the business partners; making it possible for one to monitor everything in real-time.

Smart Contracts 

Smart contracts are also one of the outstanding ways of considering blockchain for business communication transformation. Being a self-automated contract, Smart contracts are programmed such that the actions are taken on their own when the associated terms of the agreement are fulfilled or not. This not solely reduces the need for intermediaries but also makes the transactions cost-effective, time-efficient, and trustable.

Robust Security

Security is a key requirement for every business. The technology comes with the power of decentralization and transparency which encourages users on the network to store and verify some or all of the information stored in the network. Also, the blockchain network comes with higher complexity and security considerations which lower down the risk of cyber attacks Above all, Blockchain is also emerging as the perfect answer to the fight against Coronavirus by offering real-time tracking information, data immutability, and transparency across distributed decentralized ledgers.

Final Words

Blockchain technology is undoubtedly here to stay and will change the face of business. With the above-mentioned points, you can not overlook the fact that blockchain has so much potential for the business. Companies are observing these business benefits and embracing blockchain technology for its wide-reaching possibilities.

A Guide to Maintain Business Continuity During the COVID-19 Crisis

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

Globally, the COVID-19 crisis has changed the lives of people in unprecedented ways. With travel bans, lockdowns, and imposed quarantines, this misfortune is having an impact on the global economy as well. In such a case, business leaders must make rapid decisions and take immediate actions to sustain business operations to deflect an imminent deep economic recession in the long term. To develop resilience, companies, and leaders need to review the strategies, policies, and processes to safeguard employees, customers, and operations during the crisis and at the same time maintain business continuity. In this blog, you will know what challenges business leaders are facing in the current scenario, and the solutions to overcome these challenges.

Before we move to the solutions, let’s discuss some crucial aspects to amend risks and to survive the slowdown caused by the impact of COVID19 for business and startups-

Track Expenses and Actual Revenue

The prime and important aspect is that businesses should do a proper assessment of their fixed and variable expenses as well as the actual revenues. This will give a clear picture of where a company stands financially and also help in planning ahead to stay sustained.

Evaluate Business Feasibility

Concerning the revenue and cost, it is crucial for businesses to reexamine all the important aspects to get the exact idea of what your business is lacking. Make sure you evaluate the impact on new sales, credit cycles, and potential bad debts.

Plan Policies for Future

No one can even analyze how long this epidemic will last, so it is important to be prepared for all scenarios. Businesses will need to strategize, communicate, and act with compassion during this crisis. They would need a revision of sales revenue goals and products along with a new operating plan.

Make Funding Decisions Carefully

Another important factor that businesses need to consider is making funding decisions. No doubt, investors will be more alert and may take longer than usual to make funding decisions after following rigorous diligence procedures. But, do not hassle as if we look at the previous economic downfalls, we can notice the market eventually bounce back after the end of an epidemic crisis. 

How is Digital Technology Helping Businesses During COVID-19?

This is not the first time that any epidemic has shaken the world. We have seen it before. The difference between then and now is that we have technology’s resources to help us deal with any kind of epidemic. With the growing tech advancements, we can see how it is helping in the healthcare sector and yet how this same technology is helping small and big businesses to stay connected. Some of the major examples are- 

Remote Working & Distributed Teams

Now, remote working has become a buzz word and it has become a necessity to enhance work with remote teams leveraging virtual environments. Despite geographic barriers, every employee can communicate and meticulously via video conferencing tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts and track the overall progress. It is an effective form your company can modify the work in a long-term perspective and enhance business continuity strategy.

Telehealth Enhancement 

While many states are still struggling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic – one sector is seeing a growing popularity i.e. telehealth. As we know, the promotion of social distancing is crucial; both providers and policymakers are strongly motivated to use telehealth. In fact, the new guidelines involved all channels of communication with patients that leverage information technology platforms, including voice, audio, text, and digital data exchange, and most importantly allowed doctors to prescribe medicines.

Customer Focused Marketing

The lockdown has impacted the revenue stream to a great extent; due to this retailers will have to think marketing strategy while focusing on getting the customer back to their brand. In order to enable targeted marketing, companies can leverage cloud-based customer analytics solutions. It helps in getting a unified view of the customer by analyzing their transaction, loyalty, and campaign data from conventional and digital channels.

Remote Learning in Education Sector

The remote learning concept was known but was not widely used until now. Many universities have decided to adopt an online curriculum to support continuity. Additionally, students and teachers are forced to adopt the new technologies and tools required for learning.

Building a Human+Machine Workforce

Businesses should make transactional processes more digital and focus on value-led, proactive operations driven by data and analytics to reduce stress on operations. By creating a human+machine workforce, thousands of people can be reskilled and redeployed to ensure continuous operations while using analytics, AI, and real-time monitoring.

Concluding Note

Despite the issues going on with the COVID-19 pandemic, your business needs to keep running and assisting people with its products. These above-mentioned points are describing how to maintain your business during COVID-19 and ensure you continue to meet your customers’ needs. We at Successive, are faced with the clear objective of helping clients during this time of adversity and at the same time maintaining zero risks for the team and community. 

7 Hybrid Cloud Essential Security Elements

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

Globally, the emergence of cloud computing and cloud storage has changed the dynamics of how the organizations create, store, execute, and operate the data. It is well known that public cloud platforms allow organizations with little or no cloud structure to migrate to the cloud. But several organizations set up their private cloud networks as it allows them to protect their intellectual property more securely. 

Hybrid Cloud: An Intro

No doubt, security is a big concern for every organization. As IT applications and infrastructure move to the public cloud, the chances of a security breach can increase exponentially. But the problem isn’t the cloud service!

According to Gartner, public cloud services offered by leading providers are secure and identified the real problem as the way in which those services are used. The challenge, then, is figuring out how to deploy and use public cloud services in a secure manner. And hence the emergence of hybrid cloud is considered as the game-changing scenario as it offers the best of both the cloud platforms. 

Security Threats in Hybrid Cloud Platform

There are few security challenges which you need to address while working on the hybrid cloud platform. Check out these 7 most crucial hybrid cloud challenges here-

Adherence to Compliance-Regulation

With the rigorous data security norms such as GDPR coming into effect, the regulatory requirements for staying compliant have become even stricter. As the data moves from your private cloud network to the public cloud network in the hybrid cloud computing model, you need to take extra preventive measures to stay compliant.

Maintaining Data Protection and Encryption

Every database, workloads, and content in cloud must be protected from internal and external threats aimed at stealing critical data. In such a case, Encryption helps offset concerns associated with relinquishing data control in the cloud because it limits the chance of a breach and hackers won’t be able to decrypt the data. 

Ambiguity in Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

When you are opting for a hybrid cloud platform, you are also allowing the administration of the data to your public cloud service provider. There are also challenges that companies face with regard to the accountability of the data loss. It is important to make sure that the service providers have ensured the confidentiality of the data. 

Network Security

Managed network security services help simplify network security by reducing the complexity that evolves from managing different operating systems, network asset failures, and remote access queries. Software-defined network technologies and automation are increasingly being used with the hybrid cloud to centralize security monitoring, management, and inter-workload protection. 

Data Redundancy Policy and MFA

It is recommended that organizations must have a data redundancy policy in place to ensure the back-up in case there is only one data center. Moreover, organizations need to set up the multi-factor authentications methods to prevent any unauthorized access.

Workload-centric Capabilities

Since workloads can move between clouds, they need to carry their security methods with them. With workload-centric security, controls are built-in and stay with each workload wherever it runs. The plus point is that it can benefit DevOps as well, enabling security controls to be more easily integrated into new applications. Every time a new workload is provisioned, security controls are already there. 

Strict Monitoring of Regulatory Changes

With new mandates continuously in the action for cybersecurity and data protection, financial firms need a mechanism for proactively tracking these changes for betterment. Robust predictive analytics, such as those used by a controls database, is designed to simplify and accelerate the discovery of regulatory changes and can deliver actionable insights for rectification.

Conclusion

Before starting your organization’s hybrid cloud journey, think carefully about your long-term approach and what you will expect from your hybrid cloud environment in the years to come. No solution is perfect, though, so they need to keep the challenges associated with hybrid clouds in mind as they roll out their network deployments. By considering these seven elements of hybrid cloud security, you can help your organization transition smoothly between on-premises and cloud environments. Looking for the best cloud application development services? Do not hassle! Talk to our business consultants now.

Leverage AWS IoT Core for Connecting Devices to the Cloud

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

Technologies are consistently evolving with innovative enhancements to them every day. Connecting your devices to the cloud can be a complex situation and requires a skilled cloud app development company to get the best results. Also, managing several internet-connected devices, security measures, and reliability simultaneously can be a tedious task. 

To overcome this burden, a fully managed cloud service “AWS IoT Core” is introduced. The organizations can now connect their devices to the AWS cloud for improved security, interoperability, and clarity. Besides, the AWS IoT Core offers a centralized platform that promotes secure data storage, convenience across a variety of devices, and retrieval.

With AWS IoT Core, your application can be tracked and communicated with all the connected devices, 24*7, even when they are offline. It is easy to use AWS and Amazon Services with AWS IoT Core to create IoT apps that collect, process, examine and carry out the information generated by the connected devices without the need of managing any infrastructure. These apps can also be centrally managed over a mobile app.

How does AWS IoT Core Operate?

Connect and Manage Your Devices

AWS IoT Core allows seamless connectivity of multiple devices to the cloud and to other devices. It supports HTTP, WebSockets, and MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport), a communication protocol particularly created to support irregular and interrupted connections, lessen the code footprints on the devices and decrease the network bandwidth necessities. Besides, AWS IoT Core supports industry standards and custom protocols also devices using different protocols can intercommunicate.

Secured Device Connections and Information

Whenever a device gets connected to an AWS IoT Core, an end-to-end encryption is initiated throughout all the connection links so that the crucial data is never transferred between devices and AWS IoT core without having a proven identity. You can always authenticate access to your devices and apps by using granular permissions and policies. All thanks to the automated configuration and authentication policies provided by the AWS IoT core.

Process and Act upon Device Data

You can refine, modify, and act upon the device data depending upon the business rules you have defined. Also, you can update the set business rules anytime to implement new device and app features.

Read and Set Device State Anytime

The latest state of a connected device is stored within the AWS IoT core so that it can be set or read anywhere, anytime, even when the device is disconnected.

Key Features of AWS IoT Core

Below are the unique and robust AWS IoT Core features that provide a seamless experience to organizations while connecting to several IoT devices to the cloud:

Alexa Voice Service (AVS) Support

You can easily utilize the AVS for a regular management of your devices having Alexa built-in abilities i.e. microphone and speaker. With the AVS integration, it is quite easy to scale a huge amount of supported devices and their management can be done through voice controls. It reduces the cost of building Alexa Built-in devices by up to 50%.  Besides, AVS integration promotes seamless media handling for the connected devices in a virtual cloud environment.

Device Shadow

You can create a determined, virtual version or Device Shadow of every device connected to an AWS IoT core. It is a virtual representation of every device by which you can virtually analyze a device’s real-time state w.r.t applications and other devices interacting with it. It also lets you recover the last reported state of each device connected to the AWS cloud. Besides, the Device Shadow provides REST APIs that make it more convenient to create interactive applications.

Rules Engine

The Rules Engine empowers you to create a scalable and robust application that exchanges, processes the data generated by the connected devices. It prevents you from managing the complex and daunting software infrastructures. Moreover, it evaluates and modifies the messages published under the AWS IoT Core and delivers them to another device or cloud service.

Authentication and Authorization

AWS IoT Core provides industry level security for the connected devices as it allows mutual authentication and peer-to-peer encryption at every connection point. This means that the data is only transferred between the devices that have a valid and proven identity on AWS IoT Core. There are majorly three types of authentication mechanism:

  • X.509 Certificate-Based Authentication
  • Token-Based Authentication
  • SigV4

Devices connected using HTTP can use either of the above-mentioned authentication mechanisms whereas devices connected through MQTT can use certificate-based authentication.

AWS IoT and Mobile SDKs

The AWS IoT Device SDK allows you to connect your hardware device or your application to AWS IoT Core instantly and efficiently. It enables your devices to connect, validate, and exchange messages with AWS IoT Core incorporating the web protocols like MQTT, HTTP, or WebSockets. Moreover, developers can either use an open-source AWS SDK or can create their SDK to support their IoT devices.

The Bottom Line

AWS IoT Core empowers people and businesses to connect their devices to the cloud. It provides great assistance for web protocols like WebSockets, MQTT, and HTTP to facilitate seamless connectivity with the least bandwidth disruptions. Also, AWS IoT Core promotes smooth and effective communication between the connected devices.

Integrating Telehealth Solutions with EHR: An Innovative Approach

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

For a few years, we have seen a striking shift in the healthcare industry, the delivery of healthcare services started from in-person hospital/clinic visits to the virtual visits and now has moved on to remote patient monitoring (RPM). Healthcare Industry is the most evolved and technology-driven industry so far with new advancements and innovations added to the healthcare services quite often. For the majority of healthcare providers, the consistent workflow incorporates the EMR (Electronic Medical Record) a one-stop solution for care coordination, progress tracking, and medical data storage.

To provide a more convenient and pleasant experience to the patients, the experts have combined the use of EHR (Electronic Health Records) with the evolving Telehealth solutions. Healthcare providers are bracing themselves to use EHR applications to its maximum capacity, for minimizing patient congestion at hospitals and for diminishing the number of increasing patients.

Besides, we all are aware of the global pandemic caused due to Covid-19 and its impact on the world so far. Till now, a huge amount of people have been infected with the virus. Several EHR vendors and enterprises have come forward to help restrict the spread and influence of the Covid-19 virus by implementing Telemedicine as a mainstream and robust option.

Telehealth solutions are earning huge demand due to the overpopulated hospitals and limited options for treatments. The combination of the EHR system with telehealth solutions are providing great help to healthcare enterprises by improving clinical workflows and providing better treatment to the patients. Now, the EHR vendors are implementing an integrated telehealth solution, particularly designed to be integrated with EHR platforms, enabling seamless and easy transfer of patient data from one interface to another. Combing the telehealth and EHR systems can do the following:

  • Enhance the care delivery environment
  • Simplify the data collecting measures
  • Lessen the overhead costing
  • Decrease the fatality rates for chronically ill patients

How the EHR compliments Telehealth Solutions?

According to research, 30% of the doctors using telehealth services conduct their video visits through an EHR platform. Moreover, around 45% of the physicians access their telemedicine programs through a mobile/tab. Besides, the amalgamation of telehealth solutions with EHR brings the following key advantages:

Seamless and Automated Data Entry

Data entry becomes hectic when the number of patients is more, this often leads to inaccurate patient details and miscalculated visit records. Nowadays, doctors consult remotely with their patients and create a summary of their telehealth visits. The integration of EHR systems with telehealth has created higher efficiency and feasibility for the healthcare providers at the workplace.

It also discards the duplicate data entry scenarios. During a telehealth visit, the patient’s information is directly stored into their respective health records depreciating the chances of information mismatch/loss. In this way, doctors have more detailed, accurate, and latest information about the patients that helps in enhancing the treatment approach.

Synchronized Patient Insurance Information

Many insurance organizations have commenced covering telehealth services. In such a case, keeping a record of the telehealth coverage can be a daunting and challenging task for the healthcare providers, if they don’t have the access to patient’s insurance information at the time of visit. However, with the integration of telehealth solutions with EHR, doctors verify the patient’s eligibility even before signing them up for a virtual consultation.

This ensures the doctors are reimbursed for their services and time while skipping the costly and confusing delays.  Besides, EHR vendors link their systems to the insurance databases making it convenient and easy for the doctors to trace the patient’s eligibility and other benefits.

Streamlined Virtual Care Experience between the Patients and the Doctors

During the telehealth visits, doctors require access to a patient’s health records for evaluating their symptoms and performing relevant treatments. With the integration of EHR systems, doctor’s access to the patient’s health records directly, using the same system they are familiar with. Launching audio/video consultations right from present EHR systems creates seamless and simplified virtual care workflows that imitate the same authenticity as face-to-face provider/patient interactions.

Besides, patients gain a better understanding of their diagnoses and can view a simplified and easy summary of their medical history.

Conclusion

It is seen that both the healthcare and medical provides would be highly benefitted from the EHR and telehealth integration. The combination eases the flow of information, decreases the chances of errors (while updating patient records), enhances patient outcomes, and simplifies the billing process. With the growing trend of virtual patient care, doctors can provide a much faster, secure, and simplified service allowing the patients to get better and suitable treatment.

How DevOps is Propelling Business Growth

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

People often confuse DevOps with a tool or a team, rather it is a process or methodology that uses modern tools for improving the communication and collaboration between Development and the Operations teams and hence the term “DevOps”. Moreover, DevOps has come out of being just a buzzword, it is now covering the mainstream and has gained immense popularity at an extraordinary level forming an entirely new business world.

DevOps provides agility and continuous delivery that support organizations in dealing with real-world industry scenarios like growing speed and complexities. It further assists with both customer and business-level applications empowering digital transformation.

User-based applications demand variations and implementations based on the feedbacks in an agile timeframe. Also, business applications require exceptional performance and robust, automated development & deployment methods to stay in sync. with the consistently evolving market trends. Several organizations have started adopting the business version for ensuring the best strategies for enhancing the infrastructure and security measures. Speed is amazing until quality starts to degrade likewise quality is worthwhile only if the deliverables are reaching customers in a fleet and reasonable time frame. Hence organizations consider DevOps as the key component in software development as it bridges the gap between speed, efficiency, and quality.

DevOps Cycle: The Six Fundamental Cs

Continuous Business Planning: The initial step in DevOps revolves around exploring potential avenues of productivity and growth in your business, highlighting the skillset and resources required. Here, the organizations focus on the seamless flow of value stream and ways of making it more customer-centric. 

Collaborative Development: This part involves drafting a development plan, programming required, and focusing on the architectural infrastructure as it the building block for an enterprise. It is considered as a business strategy, working process, and an assemblage of software applications that promotes several enterprises to work together on the development of a product. Whereas, the infrastructure management incorporates systems management, network management, and storage management which are handled on the cloud.

Continuous Testing: This stage increases the efficiency and speed of the development by leveraging the unit and integration testing. The payoff from continuous testing is well worth the effort. The test function in a DevOps environment supports the developers in effectively balancing speed and quality. Leveraging automated tools can decrease the cost of testing and enable QA experts to invest their time more productively. Besides, CT compresses the test cycles by allowing integration testing earlier in the process.

Continuous Monitoring: Consistent monitoring maintains the quality of the process. Hence, this stage monitor changes and address the flaws & mistakes immediately, the moment they occur. Besides, it enables enterprises to effectively monitor the user experience and improve the stability of their application infrastructure.

Continuous Release & Deployment: This step incorporates monitoring release and deployment procedures. Here, a constant CD pipeline will help in implementing code reviews and developer check-ins seamlessly. This step incorporates monitoring release and deployment procedures. Here, a constant CD pipeline will help in implementing code reviews and developer check-ins seamlessly. The main focus is to depreciate the manual tasks, scale the application to an Enterprise IT portfolio, provide a single view across all the applications and adopt a unified pipeline that will integrate and deploy tasks as and when they occur.

Collaborative Customer Feedback & Optimization: Customer feedbacks are always important as it helps organizations to make adjustment decisions and actions that can enhance the user experience. This stage enables an instant acknowledgment from the customers for your product and helps you implement the corrections accordingly. Besides, customer feedbacks enhance the quality, decreases risks & costs, and unifies the process across the end to end the lifecycle.

Now let us move on to the how DevOps helps driving business growth but before that:

Business Benefits of Leveraging DevOps

Quick Development Leads to Quick Execution

DevOps have three significant and key principles: Automation, Continuous Delivery, and Rapid Feedback Cycle. These principles create a nimble, dynamic, productive, and robust software development lifecycle. Being an evolutionary extent of the Agile Methodology, DevOps uses automation to assure a seamless flow of software development. With the combined strength of the development and operations team, applications are promptly executed and releases are performed at a much faster rate.

Fewer Deployment Errors and Prompt Delivery

With DevOps, it is easy to execute a bulky level of codes in a relatively short period. Teams are enabled to share their feedback so that the errors are early recognized as well as solved early. This, however, results in shorter and robust software development cycles. 

Enhanced Communication and Collaboration

DevOps promotes a growing work culture and intensifies productivity, it inspires teams to combine and innovate together. To improve business agility, DevOps creates an environment of mutual collaboration, communication, and integration across globally distributed teams in an organization. It is because of the combined and collaborative work culture, employees have become more comfortable and productive.

Improved Productivity

Since DevOps is a continuous cycle, therefore it assures a quick development process along with minimal chances of errors. Efficient and seamless development, testing, and operational phases result in enhanced productivity and growth. Also, the cloud-based models significantly enhance the testing and operational stages in DevOps making it more robust and scalable.

New Era of DevOps: SecOps

SecOps is the effective collaboration between the Security and Operations teams offering best security practices for organizations to follow, a process to adhere, utilization of modern tools ensuring the security of the application environment. It enables organizations to supervise the analysis of security threats, incident management, security controls optimization, decreased security risks, and increased business efficiency. SecOps can be a social and transforming process for certain businesses demanding solutions for bigger security threats before the accomplishments of their objectives.

CRM Database: An Overview and Importance for Your Business

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

Customers are important, as no business survives without a solid customer base, but sometimes managing a substantial amount of customer data becomes a challenging and tedious task. Organizations who are leveraging the CRM platform, cannot imagine their business without it. A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software offers seamless management of your customer relationships- data, insights, and metrics all in one place.

A CRM platform help organizations in targeting multiple audiences, setting scores, and initiating alerts based on the customer’s activity. It is essential to routinely optimize the customer data for new business insights, CRM database is an effective CRM tool that amazingly monitors all the client related procedures and is the premise of client relationship admin frameworks.

What is a CRM Database?

A CRM Database is a resource containing all the client information collected, governed, modified, and shared across an organization. It enables you to effectively manage and store all the customer interactions into a shared company database. In such a way, users can quickly access key account and contact information.

CRM database incorporates robust sales and marketing reporting tools that are used for leading marketing and sales campaigns and enhancing customer engagement.

In CRM Database, the data is fragmented into three unique categories:

  • Operational CRM:  It focuses on streamlining business marketing, sales, and service-related tasks.
  • Analytical CRM:  It focuses on creating impactful strategies and approaches to enhance the customer experience.
  • Collaborative CRM: It shares customer information with various business organizations for targeting the relevant business audience.

For instance, Salesforce provides a highly customized platform that can be analytical, operational, or collaborative CRM depending upon the modules shortlisted by the Salesforce business customers.

CRM Benefits for Business

According to a customer survey, 80% of the users believe that their CRM software helped them in enhancing their businesses. A good CRM can get the right information from a reliable source to the right customer, at the right moment. Below are some of the benefits of a good CRM database: 

Collaborate Through Integration

Integrating data from various functions of a company helps you maximize and enhance your effectiveness through collaboration. For instance, the customer contact details on your website can be converted from Lead capture forms to the Hot Lead action lists in your CRM enhancing the collaboration between the marketing and sales teams.

Effective Pipeline Management

With proper visibility over your sales pipelines, you will gain better insights about the deals that require prompt attention and the deals that have gone stale. With frequent and keen monitoring over the deals passing through your pipelines, you can easily recognize and discard the areas of concern ensuring a smooth and reliable pipeline every time. Besides, the sales and marketing teams are always connected ensuring the high quality and clog-free leads in the pipeline.

Maximizing Productivity via Automation

Enterprises often execute multiple processes inclusive of a chain of redundant and monotonous tasks carried out by various users. Here, the CRM system helps you with automating such tasks to drive consistency and save time. You can automate the scheduling follow up activities, campaign mailers, and task assignments to certain teams, etc. Automation ensures that all the members of sales/marketing teams are following the same process from start to finish and no such task redundancy is there in the whole process.

Improved Engagement to Create Long-Lasting Customer Relationships

Nowadays, customers demand more than reasonable cost, high-quality products, or services. They want to get acknowledged and have the best engaging, personalized experience whenever they get confronted with the organization or vice versa. A CRM captures and stores every customer’s journey (from start to end). Customer advocacy is however the biggest catch, you can earn it by understanding your customer’s preferences, requirements and delivering them exactly what they want.

Increased Revenue and Productivity

Since the satisfied and long term customers bring increased productivity and value to the business. Thus, CRM helps you increase levels of customer satisfaction and retention. Besides, CRM automates essential business operations and promotes collaboration between various business functions that leads to saving time, decreasing the cost, and growing productivity.

Which one is best for your business? On-Premise CRM or Cloud CRM

Cloud CRM leverages cloud computing technologies to host your CRM application. It is a kind of Software as a Service (SaaS) that curbs the costing and timings required in dealing with the CRM technical set up and maintenance. Cloud CRM requires no hardware installation and is considerably more secure than many on-premise data centers. To meet customer expectations, organizations hugely need to consider Cloud CRM.

The Bottom Line

By maintaining high quality and high-performance CRM Database, enterprises can enhance their customer experience. A CRM Database should be highly capable of collecting, governing, converting, and sharing customer information. Thus it is highly recommended to select the best CRM application development company to leverage the exact CRM benefits. Besides, you can optimize your CRM database by a seamless data migration followed by standard data governance.

Cloud Migration and App Modernization: Role and Strategies

Thursday, June 11th, 2020

According to Gartner, for every dollar that is invested in digital innovation, three dollars are spent on application modernization. Also, 60% of the business face difficulties when migrating to the cloud, actually cloud migration is above the boundaries of technical expertise. Successful and effective cloud migration is inclusive of a complete transformation both culturally and organizationally.

Since the adoption of cloud migration practices, various organizations have started migrating to cloud-based services with an effective plan and strategy for managing and controlling their application ecosystem. According to a study, 95% of companies continue to use monolithic dedicated on-site servers with a combination of private and public clouds for application hosting.

Organizations are hugely evolving towards a cloud-based environment to become more cost-effective and to gain better operational competences. Cloud offers elevated agility, increased innovation speed, and higher response time for business requirements. By enhancing the availability of the applications and minimizing application outages, organizations can provide upgraded customer and user experiences, and not only this, enterprises can swiftly and flexibly gain new business roles and opportunities as soon as these evolve. Application Modernization to the cloud enables businesses to maintain a competitive edge in today’s rapidly growing marketplace.

Beware of the Stumbling Blocks

During the Hybrid Cloud Migration process, it is seen that many organizations quickly become affected by abrupt challenges. For instance, the on-premises application migration to a cloud-based environment can hamper the existing application integrations. The level of complexity and dependencies among the interconnected and diverse apps can ruin the overall cloud migration objectives and can lead to major impediments for your business.

This gives rise to the underlying questions:

  • How will the organizations best guide on the cloud migration journey?
  • How to address and resolve potential challenges and complexities?
  • How to ensure that your cloud migration and app modernization will meet the desired business goals?

Parameters to Ensure for a Successful Cloud Migration

In this blog, we will be answering the above questions as well as highlighting some pillars to ensure a successful and effective cloud migration.

Well Defined Your Desired Business Goals, Objectives and Outcomes

Your desired business outcomes should incorporate questions like how will the cloud migration and app modernization will enhance your business? How will this transformation bring more business value, enhance sales, improve customer services, and boost productivity? This will create collaborative insights and internal metrics that will help businesses to achieve desired business outcomes.

Find the Suitable Partner

Choose a third-party app modernization service provider with an accurate skillset and relevant expertise in cloud migration. Always ensure the provider’s abilities, experience in the relevant business, cultural fit, security, and scalability. The right partners can expand your sales pipelines, gain access to cost-effective infrastructure, and minimize the risk of hampering existing app integrations.

Leverage the power of Automation Tools

Automation will boost the monotonous and iterative migration process, in return will provide an error-free and more effective environment. Once the organization hosts its applications in the cloud, businesses can seamlessly and frequently add new software that means faster integration and quality testing. Moreover, the automation tools will increase the agility, performance, and desired business goals. 

Address the organizational and cultural changes

Cloud migration and app modernization demand vital coordination over several IT extensions. By creating interdisciplinary units across infrastructure, applications, and database personnel will help in reducing uncertainties and boosting recovery time for delays.

Bottom Line

The era of digital transformation has begun and therefore shifting to cloud-based services is vital. The right and suitable app transformation partner is the key to seamlessly and effectively managing your organization’s app modernization and cloud migration practices and also successfully driving the transformation methods.

Potential of 5G Enabled Edge Computing to Build IT Infrastructure

Thursday, June 11th, 2020

Today, advanced computer technologies can make a big difference for your business. It’s been a major fact that IT infrastructure has been advancing in leaps and bounds along with the growth of network resources focused on how to optimize technology infrastructure. In recent times, there is a lot of buzz about 5G technology.

The propagation of 5G networks, which will increase bandwidth extensively and make it easier to transmit high volumes of cellular data, opens up a number of opportunities for edge computing applications. Since 5G will help to fight latency with its distributed architecture, companies will be able to use these networks to expand their network edge and move data far proficiently. Here, you will infer the details on some huge benefits of 5G enable edge computing and how it provides many opportunities for IT leaders.

Getting Started with Edge Computing & 5G

In simple words, edge computing brings cloud resources- compute, storage and networking, closer to applications, devices, and users. It occurs by using small power cell stations to enable data to transport at high speeds. They capture data feeds to downstream processing systems located in core infrastructure, either in an on-premise data center or the public cloud.

With the massive interest in digitalization across all industry verticals – 5G is a key technology. 5G technology is important for consumers as well as businesses as we move into the Fourth Industrial Revolution and discover all that 5G has to offer. In fact, Edge computing is a crucial part of the 5G platform and provides a huge advantage for communication service providers in grabbing new business opportunities. Edge computing can enable 5G to deliver on its latency and bandwidth requirements. While 5G will increase the capacity of the network, and make it faster, edge computing will enable applications to be hosted physically nearer to the end-user.

Globally, cloud and IT providers are already deeply involved in the enterprise along with the telecom market, and sensing a chance to bolster sales across the board with the move the edge, have developed fairly complete edge narratives that incorporate 5G and hybrid cloud computing.

As per the statistics, “edge computing combined with 5G creates incredible opportunities for new products, platforms, and experiences in every industry. By 2025, 75% of enterprise data will be processed at the edge, compared to only 10% today.”

Key Trends Empowering 5G Enabled Edge

  • AI Based Network Management

As seen, enterprises are moving toward virtualization and cloudification which requires new levels of network automation. Today, workloads are increasingly becoming dynamic and many IoT applications are running require low latency. This would definitely warrant a shift to AI-enabled network management platforms that will open several new opportunities and provide ease.

  • Cloud-based virtualized networking

At present, the rising number of connections and demand for lower latency has created much requirement for some transformative strategies. Considering this, it became mandatory for businesses need to transition to networks with cloud-based virtualized networking. It allows for simplified management and extension of network capabilities, which help accelerate innovation, service fulfillment, and operations.

  • NFV and SDN technologies

It has been identified that both Network function virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) technologies are expected to demonstrate the highest opportunities in the 5G infrastructure market. The role of SDN is to make networks more flexible and agile. On the other hand, NFV replaces single physical network appliances with virtualized network functions which are linked together across virtual machines.

  • DevOps for Network Operations

As the adoption of cloud-based virtualized networks increases, the need for continuous development and operations (DevOps) methodology arises. DevOps methodology for network operations is crucial to future network evolution because it provides an environment for continuously engineering (the overall process includes building, onboarding, testing, and managing). 

Final Thoughts

There is no doubt in saying that edge computing offers several advantages over traditional forms of network architecture and will surely continue to play an important role for companies going forward. Implementing transformative network strategies and modernizing enterprise networks will help innovative businesses get the most from this opportunity and deliver new services at the edge. Ultimately, 5G enabled edge computing will help businesses to place their intelligence where it needs to drive superior business outcomes.

Why CRM Adoption Can Be a Gamechanger for Your Business?

Thursday, June 11th, 2020

In today’s era, new technologies come and go rapidly. Most importantly, it can be seen that there’s a new app or widget every week promising to make businesses and their sales reps more productive, efficient, and effective. Although some technology has proven to be more useful than others, one technology that’s surely here to stay is customer relationship management (CRM) software. Every business starts with a common motive, i.e. building a strong relationship with its customers. Customers are essential as no business exists without its client base. In fact, the way a company manages its customer database determines its business success. If you are thinking that your business is lacking in terms of customer relationships, then you have come to the right place! In this article, you will understand the value that CRM can bring to your business, how to know if your business is ready for CRM.

Getting Started with CRM Definition

We have all heard about CRM, which stands for Customer Relationship Management. Even if you have never used a CRM before, you’ve probably heard the term echoing through your industry. 

As the name suggests, Customer relationship management plays an increasingly important role in small and medium-sized companies for building relationships with customers. It is basically a software that you as a company can use to communicate with your customers – for administration, sales, and marketing. 

Who Should Use a CRM system?

if you sell a product, provide a service, or deal with customers or clients in any way, you probably do require a CRM software, especially if you want your business to grow. “The right CRM can help in the area of customer data and retention by simplifying the way you capture data from your sales team or anyone else who comes into contact with customers on an ongoing basis.

Here are some major barriers from the major departments, which has forged the need for CRM software for any organization:

Marketing

  • Disconnected messaging across various customer touch points
  • Inadequate customer data and insights
  • Incomplete 360degree customer view from first contact to post-sale and support

Sales

  • Inaccurate sales forecasts
  • High costs-per-sale
  • Overlooked sales opportunities

Customer Service

  • Fragmented historical views of customers
  • Multiple customer service channels
  • Extended customer issue resolution times and cycles

These points are really important to understand if you are going to choose a CRM software for the organization. Every business comes with challenges and the above-mentioned points are the biggest ones that you cannot ignore. But now, the solution is here. For a better understanding we have compiled a list of benefits CRM software offers! 

Top Benefits of Customer Relationship Management Software

When you choose the right CRM for your industry, business type, and customers, it’s simple to reap the many benefits from this software. Have a look-

Maintains a Centralized Database

CRMs allow your entire sales org to keep all prospect information, over any duration of time in a central database. This allows for quick cross-team access as well as the ability to easily manage all information via a shared location.

Better Customer Retention

A CRM system comes up with “customer retention” benefits: it will help you by reminding you about appointments or when to send follow up emails. When the team reminded about specific follow-ups, they’re able to schedule their contact at a point in time when their support is most helpful to a prospect. 

Create Sales Reports

CRMs allow your team to collect and manage data about prospects and deals using reporting features such as sales dashboards and reports. These allow representatives to better automate and manage their pipelines, deals, and contacts. Sales managers can use these sales reports to see how their team is tracking.

Customer Life Cycle and Segmentation

The top CRM software automatically tracks and segments the clients as they travel through the customer life cycle. This feature even allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your sales and marketing strategies in converting prospective customers into leads, closing a sale, and then deepening the client relationship post-sale.

Cross Device Support

Today’s business teams perform work across multiple devices. Due to this, modern cloud-based CRM platforms can be accessed from any device, which means your deals aren’t all stuck in the office. With mobile CRM access and smartphone notifications, salespeople won’t miss anything important, whether they’re on a plane, at a client site, or in a meeting.

Conclusion

CRM applications contain a vast array of capabilities beyond those reviewed here. If you are already thinking about whether or not should you for CRM solutions, the answer is a “Yes”! We at Successive understands that developing a fully-fledged Customer Relationship Management software is not an easy process. To successfully build a CRM that would fully meet all your business’ requirements, you’d need a team of skillful developers and business analytics. We have a rich experience of building cost-effective CRM solutions and can provide high-quality software for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and clients. Connect with us now!

Role of HR in driving the Agile Organizations

Thursday, June 11th, 2020

Nowadays, organizations consider strategic agility a revolutionary change for the business. Agile transformations modify the process of how people work, engagement with customers, and employee management. Businesses aim for efficiency, consistency, and productivity by actively managing the activities right from the top. They incorporate quality and standardized processes to forecast the requirements and design the systems to ensure the availability of resources at the right place and right moment.

For now, businesses need to quickly assemble and reassemble their employees in teams depending upon the evolving demands but, this won’t be enough to drive agility. The teams would be requiring more workers beyond the organizational boundaries like the Freelancers, Outsourcing Partners, and Strategic Partners. By adopting such an approach, businesses can more flexibly respond to rising opportunities and effective business operations.

During an Agile transformation, the teams become more concentrated towards the technology and process. However, creating an agile organization is a people-oriented effort. Ultimately, it is the people who are being asked to transform their thinking abilities, working process, and implement change. As a people-oriented method, it pays to include HR with commanding the charge and helping people adjust to the changes.

Successful Agile transformation recognizes the role of HR in executing change

As enterprises are reconfiguring their methods to make agility a top preference, however, the process will bring new challenges and responsibilities for the HR. Moreover, it will entirely transform the structured management of HR, and the techniques which they were implementing in their talent management & services. In this blog post, we will outline the parameters that HR need to adopt for effectively enabling agility:

Implementing science and fact-based analytics

For driving agility, HR should utilize the tools and empirical studies of data to perform analytics on their own workforces and use the resulting insights to make evidence based decisions regarding the workforce management.

Creating a learning organization

The HR practitioners should focus on assisting the workers often, creating new skill sets, and gaining new learning promptly. This will create a culture inclusive of continuous learning, peer to peer learning, fostering informal, and recruiting the people with a keen ability to learn.

Talent Management Processes

Instead of viewing people as a series of fragmented parts, for example, a portion that needs to be hired, a portion that requires learning, a portion that requires progress on a career path, HR practitioners should look at the whole employee and their requirements, strategically and customize accordingly.

An Agile Operating Model for HR increasing business focus, efficiency and effectiveness

HR in Agile Organization

Bottom Line

It is very important to involve HR at the initial stage if you have just started with the agile transformation. However, HR should also participate in conducting talent audits of the company to explore the skills and knowledge that is lacking. This would be very effective as HR will create a hiring plan accordingly to bridge the gaps.

In addition, auditing the talent and modifying the recruitment plans before the full adoption of Agile, will enable the organizations to staff and skill the teams proficiently. HR with clearly defined career paths can lead to increased talent retention rates which will benefit the organization. To match up with the pace of agile transformations, HR requires to correctly reinvent themselves and the practices they support.

Why Enterprises Need To Consider Application Modernization in 2020

Thursday, June 11th, 2020

At present, day by day evolving customer expectations, rising need for agility in businesses, and reliable & optimal use of Big Data and cloud-native technologies have resulted in the rise of application modernization solutions driving Digital Transformation across enterprises. In today’s world, digital transformation is not only just a buzzword; it’s a must to keep your business competitive in a rapidly changing technological landscape. Owing to this, business applications have a hard time surviving with it due to various downsides. In fact, it is almost impossible to thrive in the digital economy without application modernization. So modernizing it at the right time will give your business a strong edge over your competitors. A lot of businesses have already been adopting it in different ways.

This will be the point of discussion through this article, application modernization trends, its approaches, and why enterprises should invest in application modernization? Before getting started, it’s important to understand the meaning of Application Modernization. Have a look-

Application Modernization- An Intro

In a nutshell, application modernization means updating your legacy applications to scalable, cloud-native app environments by using modern technology stacks, making sure they are running fast and smoothly, on secure platforms. When businesses plan to modernize applications, it drives new processes and the necessary infrastructure which supports them. In fact, it enables you to optimize data, accelerate business innovation, and deliver exceptional customer experiences.

Some of the immediate benefits include

  • Enhance Developer experience- Quickly create and deliver new applications and services through the adoption of a cloud-native architecture and containerization.
  • Accelerate delivery- Adopt DevOps best practices to compel a culture of automation and transformation.
  • Deploy enterprise applications on hybrid cloud platforms- Advance efficiency by automating operations in your hybrid multicloud environments.

Regardless of benefits, there are still some challenges faced by companies, such as:

  • Lack of Agility
  • Data and App Security
  • Legacy Systems
  • Aging Infrastructure
  • Monolithic Designs

Considering this, it has been analyzed that in 2020 and beyond, business leaders will need to approach application modernization with a mindset of reimagining it from the ground up, with a focus on superior security, faster speed, and consolidated systems.

Top Strategies to Follow for Application Modernization

Many organizations still struggle to build a strategy around application modernization, and are often unsure of the approach to modernisation. Well the solution is here!

There might be many questions comes to your mind, for example- Does your application just need an update or a complete revamp? Is your current application not able to meet new business requirements? Is it too complex to manage for users? Is it not agile enough? Is the total cost of ownership too high relative to the business value it provides? Does it present security risks? To solve these queries, you need to consider these three strategies for your application modernization:

Re-hosting

Also known as the ‘lift and shift’ model, this approach involves moving your application’s underlying resources from an on-premise data center to the cloud as-is. In this option, the application codebase remains the same, the infrastructure is migrated to cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), including cloud-based storage, compute, and network resources. It is a low-cost modernization approach and at Successive, we can help you develop a total solution in the cloud using Microsoft Azure.

Rebuilding

To achieve the most substantial benefits of the cloud, and for any application that can provide a strategic or competitive advantage for your organization, we recommend rebuilding as a cloud-native application. It can also mean re-writing one or more layers of the application to add the features and functionality.

Replacing

If your application has become more of an obstacle than a business tool, you may want to consider reassessing your requirements and replacing it with a new solution. A simple example would be replacing an on-premise version of Microsoft Exchange Server with the cloud-based Office 365. The consumption of the services changes from a purchased license to a pay-as-you-go subscription.

Conclusion

2020 will be a gigantic year for application modernization. So, it’s essential you as an entrepreneur take steps towards optimum application modernization if you look out for prosperity based on current technological activities. The journey through the modernization of applications allows businesses to take advantage of these technologies and the Successive team is well-equipped to guide you no matter what stage you are in the process. To get started on your application modernization journey, contact us to learn how we can improvise your business processes.

Top 6 Business Benefits of Cloud Managed Services You Must Know

Thursday, June 11th, 2020

Over recent years, all of us have seen rapid advancements in cloud infrastructure that have given rise to a new wave of technology firms that are able to provide powerful software solutions to millions of customers worldwide directly via the internet. It’s a fact that cloud services are a supreme solution for companies who have been struggling to control and adapt to the market with no significant success. With the introduction of cloud technology, for the first time, companies were able to revisit and reanalyze the data in real-time to get instant strategic inputs. These benefits get multiplied when the cloud service is of a managed type. Yes, you heard it right! The benefits of the cloud become doubled with Cloud managed services. 

Today, more and more companies are choosing cloud managed services to take advantage of cost-effective and well-managed computing resources, as well as increased reliability and flexibility. As such, the cloud managed services market is witnessing a boom. This blog discusses all the major benefits of cloud managed services for businesses. 

Understanding Cloud Managed Services

Before we discuss the features, let’s take a deep dive into the topic of cloud managed services. It’s possible you haven’t heard of cloud managed services or know little about them. So first, let us explain.

Managed cloud services imply outsourcing management of cloud-based services to enhance your business and help you achieve digital transformation. In other words, These services are designed to automate and enhance your business operations.

Depending on your IT needs, a typical cloud services provider can assess and handle functionalities, such as:

• Performance testing and analytics on all cloud platforms

• Backup, security, and recovery

• Monitoring and reporting of current infrastructure and data center

• Training and implementation of new or complex tasks and initiatives

Isn’t this sound great? Most of the problems can be now solved with cloud managed services! If you’re thinking of outsourcing your IT management to a cloud managed services provider, you’ll want to read our top benefits of cloud managed services. Here it is-

6 Ways Cloud Managed Services Benefitting Your Business

  • Disaster Recovery

Now, it’s becoming more and more important to protect your network from cybercriminals and online attacks. By leveraging managed cloud services for disaster recovery, you can rest assured that your data will remain safe cross all cloud services and applications if disaster strikes. Thus, the core objective of business continuity is achieved.

  • Cost Savings

The best cloud solutions services team allows you to decide how much you are willing to pay for IT services by having a consistent and predictable monthly bill. By outsourcing your cloud managed services, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re in control of the costs associated process. Not to mention, you can even reduce costly network maintenance expenses.

  • Stay Up to Date

Depending on an in-house IT team for regular technology and software upgrades often consumes time, training, and additional resources as well. On the other hand, migrating to a cloud environment and depending on a cloud MSP keeps your data centers up to date with every possible timely technology update.

  • Centralized Services and Applications

The best part about cloud managed services is that it manages all applications and services at a centralized data center. Thus, there will be a lot of extent for remote data access, increased productivity, effective resource utilization, effective storage, and backup, among other advantages.

  • Avoid High Infrastructure Costs

Outsourced managed services allow businesses to take advantage of robust network infrastructure without the need to purchase expensive capital assets themselves. Cloud-managed service providers set up and maintain your network and take full ownership over things like a cloud migration plan, hardware assets, and staff training.

  • Quick Response Time

Addressing an issue locally is different in comparison to doing so remotely over the network. However, in the case of cloud managed services, the responsibility lies with service providers in ensuring quick response times in case of any issue. This can take more time if done locally.

Final Words

The above benefits will surely be a plus to your organization. If you are running a cloud environment and need help managing the cloud services you use, then its the perfect time to connect with the right cloud managed service provider. At Successive, we know how important it is to make sure your business runs smoothly. If you’re interested in learning more about cloud managed services, or any other services we provide, you can easily reach out to one of our business technology consultants.

Manual Vs Automation Testing

Thursday, June 11th, 2020

In this article we are going to talk about advantages of Automation Testing over Manual testing.

What is Manual Testing and Automation Testing?

Manual testing is performed by hand. Quality Assurance (QA) specialists ensure that applications work properly by following conditions written in test cases. Despite its primitive nature, manual testing is still important, as certain functionality simply cannot be automatically tested. For example, wearables and mobile devices can require field testing in a physical environment. Mobile applications often undergo ‘monkey tests’ that detect bottlenecks during unpredicted stressful conditions. For instance, what happens if a user forgets a mobile device in their pocket with an application running and they tap the screen unintentionally? Is it possible that they’ll crash the app? Only manual testing can account for these scenarios.

Automation testing is a Software testing technique to test and compare the actual outcome with the expected outcome. This can be achieved by writing test scripts or using any automation testing tool. Test automation is used to automate repetitive tasks and other testing tasks which are difficult to perform manually

Now let’s discuss automated and manual testing in detail.

Automation Testing:

As per Industry standards and specialization our QA team automates the following types of testing:

Unit Testing is a level of software testing where individual units/ components of the software are tested. The purpose is to validate that each unit of the software performs as designed. A unit is the smallest testable part of any software. It usually has one or a few inputs and usually a single output.

Functional Testing is Software testing performed in order to detect the actual performance of an application’s functional requirements. Functional testing usually considers accuracy, interoperability, compliance, security, and suitability.

Regression Testing is defined as a type of software testing to confirm that a recent program or code change has not adversely affected existing features. Regression Testing is nothing but a full or partial selection of already executed test cases which are re-executed to ensure existing functionalities work fine

Graphical user interface (GUI) testing of software interfaces to check if the GUI meets all requirements.

These are the most common types of testing that we automate. Manual testing requires people and time, while automated testing reduces the demand on both resources. Also, automatic tests eliminate the risk of human error, making code more reliable. Now let’s see what tasks we can solve by automated testing.

Why you need automated testing?

Automated Testing Saves Time and Money

Software tests have to be repeated often during development cycles to ensure quality. Every time source code is modified software tests should be repeated.  Automated software testing can reduce the time to run repetitive tests from days to hours.

To handle repetitive tasks. If you’re constantly adding the same features or executing the same operations in a project, then the flexible nature of automated tests can be a great time saver.

To eliminate human error. Since automated tests are powered by tools and scripts, the chance of missing a bug or a defect decrease. This makes the testing process more reliable and time efficient.

For advanced GUI testing. Automated GUI tests detect and record differences in behavior between platforms — for example, across different web browsers or operating systems. Also, automated GUI testing effectively finds regression errors.

To test load and performance. There’s essentially no manual alternative for testing load and performance. Automated tests simulate hundreds and thousands of simultaneous users.

Why do you need Manual Testing?

Despite the seemingly broad coverage of automated testing, manual testing shouldn’t be underestimated. In fact, you have to test software manually before you run automated testing. Even though manual testing requires much effort, without it you cannot be sure that automation is possible. One of the key testing principles is that 100% testing automation is impossible. Manual testing is still necessary.

Let’s see which tests cannot be automated (or would take too much effort to automate):

Ad hoc testing is executed without preparation and writing test cases. During ad hoc testing, a QA specialist randomly tests the functionality of the system; his aim is to be creative, “break” the system and discover flaws.

Exploratory testing is defined as simultaneous learning, test design, and test execution. It is an approach to testing that values the tester as an integral part of the test process and shares the same values as the Agile Manifesto: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools. That’s how exploratory testing differs from ad hoc testing: in exploratory testing, you rely on your personal experience and design test cases in the testing process. An ad hoc testing can be done by any person without preparation.

User interface testing – By executing user interface tests, a QA specialist validates the properties and states of interface elements. Also, the QA team ensures that design elements in the interface match elements in the final layout.

As we can see, some tests should be performed manually. This especially relates to tests that focus on user interfaces and usability. Although we could automate basically everything, manual testing still provides an effective and quality check of bugs and improprieties.

The cases where manual testing has no comparison

UI Acceptance- Manual testing comes in handy when you test user interfaces, especially their visual aspects. Automated tests simply cannot detect colors of images or links, font sizes, gestures, and highlighting. Imagine that your application has a bug that causes a link to be so tiny that you can barely see it. Manual testers will immediately detect this bug, but automated tests are not able to notice the defect.

Initial development stage- Manual testing helps testers to detect bottlenecks during the initial development stage which results in less time and resources being spent on fixing bugs. Sometimes it’s not rational to invest money and human resources in automated testing during an unstable phase of a product’s development. However, in some approaches to software development, automated testing is a part of the process at any stage.

Short-term projects-Even though automated tests are aimed at saving time and resources, it takes time and resources to design and maintain them. In some cases, such as building a small promotional website, it can be much more efficient to rely on manual testing.

Non-automatable cases-Some tests cannot be automated; this especially concerns hardware-related tests. Writing scripts for automated checks of sensors, touchpads, and screens are almost impossible and rarely viable. Also, some data can be tested only manually. For example, you can automatically test if printer prints, but checking the quality and content of printed images is best done manually.

Conclusion

Manual Vs Automation Testing each have their strengths and weaknesses. What we want to stress is that no matter how great automated tests are, you cannot automate everything. Manual tests play an important role in software development and come in handy whenever you cannot automate the process.

Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) Reimbursement: What’s New?

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

According to a study, by the end of 2023, the remote patient monitoring market is likely to earn more than $31.3 Billion. There are nearly 2000 healthcare organizations that use mobile applications to leverage RPM services seamlessly. Additionally, around 85% of the healthcare experts and care providers are investing massively in the RPM technology.

Trending and innovative digital technologies have enabled unique and robust ways of practicing patients care in the healthcare industry. Healthcare professionals across the globe are putting their best efforts to integrate such evolving technologies in Remote Patient Monitoring to seamlessly track and treat their patients effectively. Often termed as RPM, Remote Patient Monitoring is an extraordinary method of healthcare delivery that utilizes the modern advancements in the world of information technology to assemble the patient’s data.

For a few years, the RPM has attained a massive increase in its usage as the hospitals and care experts are exploring new ways to manage a quickly aging population with complicated chronic health requirements.

To encourage effective and holistic care management including the beneficiaries with a single chronic condition, CMS introduced CPT Codes. These codes are focused on the healthcare professionals who care for the patient’s unique health conditions and can be billed by any qualified care expert or trained healthcare expert who satisfies the code requirements.

In the year 2017, CMS (Centre for Medicare and Medicaid Services) published a 2-year study that sufficiently described how the program increased patient awareness and decreased hospital readmissions. The study proved to be a crucial part of the CCM (Chronic Care Management) program and it effectively helped the CMS to realize the value of RPM and hence they decided to make the services more accessible and flexible.

Later in 2018, CMS released CPT code 99091, a billing code for RPM reimbursements. The CPT code 99091 covered the entire explanations and collections of the physiological data, this data helped the care experts in enabling the payment process. The code includes neither the equipment set up cost nor the cost of the devices required to train patients. Additionally, it was mandatory for healthcare experts to give a minimum of 30 minutes to the patients regularly.

To overcome the costing involved in the equipment set up of medical devices and for training the patients. CMS modified the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) 2019 to added three brand new CPT codes for RPM reimbursement.

An overview of the new CPT codes

Through new CPT codes, healthcare experts have hugely incentivized providers to deploy remote patient monitoring effectively. The new codes have brought some relief for the physicians and other healthcare experts as they are no longer responsible for managing the programs solely, instead, the Medicare will pay for the initial equipment setup, the devices required for patient’s education, and ongoing management of remote monitoring programs. This hugely benefitted the healthcare experts and care provides as they can now increase their revenue without hiking the patient population. The new Chronic Care Remote Physiologic Monitoring codes are as follows:

CPT Code 99453 (Patient’s Education and Equipment Setup)

It includes initial patient training and setup. This is a onetime billing process per episode of care that stretches to 16 days of duration.

CPT Code 99454 (Kit Supply and Program Monitoring)

16 days of remote monitoring of physiologic parameters including respiratory flow, blood pressure, weight check, etc. Additionally, including the supply of RPM kit that is capable of at least daily recordings, programmed transmissions, and notifications. This is billed once per 30days with a minimum duration of 16 days as an episode of care.

CPT Code 99457 (Initial 20 minutes of Duration Tracking)

This code demonstrates that the first 20 minutes of the monitoring period of the clinical staff and other healthcare experts are within a calendar month requiring flexible communication with the patient. This is billed once per 30 days of duration.

The Essential Requirements for CMS Reimbursements

To qualify for CMS reimbursements for utilizing the RPM services efficiently, the service providers and hospitals need to ensure the following:

  • Medicare part B patients are imposed 20% of copayment (renouncing the copayments regularly can trigger penalties under the Federal Civil Monetary Penalties Law and also the Anti-Kickback Statute)
  • Patients must take the remote monitoring services and are required to monitor for a minimum of 16 days to be applicable for a billing period.
  • The RPM services must be ordered by skilled physicians or other qualified healthcare experts.
  • Data must be wirelessly synced for proper evaluation, analysis and treatment.

Conclusion

According to CMS, the new CPT codes reflects a wider admin strategy to create a healthcare environment that is efficiently accessible, affordable, standard, empowered with technologies, and innovative. Additionally, healthcare experts and the patients can stay connected, organizations can get paid for utilizing the trending technologies and reduces the chances of hospitalization by tracking the patient’s health without increasing the prices.

About the Author

Aashna Diwan is a technophile who creates innovative insights about next-gen technologies like AI, ML, Blockchain, ERP, Cloud, AR/VR, IoT, and many more.

Seven Important Steps to a Successful Salesforce Project

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

An overwhelming task list before starting a new project or implementing a new system can bring an unlimited number of meetings and plannings, this often leads to delay in achieving desired goals.

Utilizing Salesforce to attain your business goals in advancements are quite flexible. But where to begin with? This blog post brings you the seven astonishing steps that will not only help in achieving your long term goals but also will enhance your business productivity and revenue.

Step 1: Project Kick-off

The project kickoff meetings are a great opportunity to set goals and tasks in completing the work. It is the meeting of the client and designation project team that includes the basic elements required for the project and other vital activities.

Start the project by identifying the stakeholders, their roles, and requirements. Here, some of the key questions to ask at this stage:

• What are the potential data flows and workflows between Salesforce and the ERP?

• How do the data models of both systems are getting compared?

• What fields does every system leverage?

Step 2: Discover and Requirement Defining Stage

This phase includes an in-depth understanding of the Salesforce and ERP platform infrastructure, based on which highlight what other new and unique platforms or elements are required. Proceed by drafting a scope document highlighting all the inputs from the sessions, objectives, workflows, requirements, goals, etc. the order of integration between two systems. For better outputs, the process should be initiated in-house and reviewed by multiple Salesforce expertise.

Tip: Here you can choose a robust integrating platform or tool featuring in build connectors. These connectors can significantly reduce the operational and development time along with maintenance costs.

Step 3: Design

This stage is fragmented into sprints and field level physical information models are created accordingly. It helps in highlighting the Salesforce field maps and the ERP fields where development is required.

Step 4: Build

At this stage, DevOps plays a vital role. As soon as the developers finish a task, they commit their code to a shared code repository. Pulling request is made to merge the new codes with the shared codebase. It establishes a CI/CD cycle that offers cost-effectiveness and efficiency.

Tip: After successful completion of this step, run a unit test with the user team.

Step 5: Test

The test phase includes a dedicated and skilled QA engineer executing the test plan. They thoroughly test and determine whether the developed requirements and other IT solutions are ready for implementation. Only when the integration seems good, the QA team forwards it to the User Acceptance Testing phase where the end-users provide a suggestion, changes, and feedback on the developed system.

Step 6: Deployment

It is considered as the final stage as the application is put into production. After vigorous testing performed by the project team and several testing phases, the application is set to go live.

Tip: In the Salesforce environment, having an effective deployment strategy and robust lifecycle management approach is an essential element for boosting business productivity and revenue. Hence, the process needs to be flawless, scalable, and proficient.

Step7: Support & Maintenance

The support phase involves keen monitoring of the integrations, log analysis using modern tools, issue fixing, etc. The maintenance part involves hardware & software modifications, documentation to support the operational capabilities. This improves performance, boosts productivity, enhance security measures, and better customer experience.

About the Author

Aashna Diwan is a technophile who creates innovative insights about next-gen technologies like AI, ML, Blockchain, ERP, Cloud, AR/VR, IoT, and many more.

Why do you need to outsource IT managed services for your business?

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

Technology is ever-changing, and you have to adapt to those IT changes if you want to run your business efficiently. Hiring an IT team may not be a practical solution owing to the increasing complexity of IT. Also, you will need to pay hefty salaries to the IT workforce. Thus, outsourcing IT managed services is your best option. 

The market for IT managed services is huge, and it will be over 81 billion US dollars by the end of 2020. And the number can reach up to 356.24 billion dollars by 2025. Those stats show that IT managed services has an enormous market. Outsourcing IT managed services have numerous significant benefits, and you can read them below.

1 – Saves a lot of your money

You can save on a substantial amount of money by IT outsourcing. It can be a costly affair to hire an in-house IT team, and providing them with regular training is not economical. When you hire an IT service provider, then you will have to pay for services only when you need them. Many providers offer subscription plans, and you can choose an affordable plan for your company.   

2 – Enhanced security 

The clouds of insecurity may haunt you due to underlying risks like data breaching, cyber-attacks, etc. But, when you outsource IT managed services, then your provider will ensure that the enterprise data is secure at all times. They will timely update your software and security to keep your business network protected. And what’s more important than security for your business?  

3 – Emphasize on your primary business 

As your business grows, its IT needs are also going to increase. So, your employees might need to take on IT responsibilities apart from their primary work. With increasing IT responsibilities, the performance of your employees in their core work will get affected. By outsourcing IT services, your employees will be able to emphasize your primary business.  

4 – Better efficiency 

Your managed service provider will know the exact steps to run your business more efficiently. Your provider will also maintain and monitor your connectivity, networks, and back-ups. They will also provide a helpdesk for your users. They will redesign your workflow, automate tasks, and upgrade equipment as well. You will receive a top-notch technology to help you work seamlessly. And you can also stay ahead of your competitors. 

5 – Maintain compliance 

Nowadays, most industries need to meet specific compliance standards. If you don’t have extra support, then you may not meet the compliance, which will negatively affect your business. When you outsource IT managed services, then you can focus on your business growth and your service provider will do everything it takes to maintain compliance. 

On a final note 

Those were some of the substantial benefits of outsourcing IT managed services for your business. It will save you money and increase the efficiency of your IT services by large. Not to mention, you will have more security and maintain market compliance as well.  

Test Cases of HOCs containing Query Component using Jest

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

There are a plethora of articles on testing of react components using Jest and Enzymes, but there are fewer in which they talk about testing of complex components. However, this article will help you to walk-through the testing of complex components i.e HOC containing Query components.

The main focus of this article is to reach to the component on which we are able to find wrapper of that component using Jest

Implementation
Let’s take an example of the HOC with a basic query, which returns a new component:

Here we have passed Wrapped Component as an argument and when data is loaded HOC renders this passed component with new data and when loading is true it renders div component Loading… text, and if there is an error it renders div component Error text.

Testing

To test our HOCs I will be using Enzyme and Jest, you can easily add these to your project by npm or yarn task runner.

Click Here to know more

In withQueryDog.test.js, we have 3 test cases, loading, error and return a Component with new props. To check these test cases, we have used mount WithQueryHOC (loaded before each test with some mocked component) and we have used MockedProvider to mock (this allows the tests to be run in isolation and provides consistent results on every run by removing the dependence on remote data)

You may notice the prop being passed to the MockedProvider called addTypename, Reason this is here is because of how Apollo Client normally works. When a request is made with Apollo Client normally, it adds a  __typename field to every object type requested. This is to make sure that Apollo Client’s cache knows how to normalize and store the response.

When we’re making our mocks, though, we’re importing the raw queries without type names from the component files.You may also notice the await wait(0) line, it delays until the next “tick” of the event loop and allows time for that Promise returned from MockedProvider to be fulfilled. After that Promise resolves (or rejects), the component can be checked to ensure it displays the correct information.

About Author

Sagun Saluja is a technology enthusiast with 3+ years of experience working on  JavaScript projects using technologies such as ReactJS, Apollo Graphql, NodeJS, Express, Mongo, Jest.

What is an API?

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

API is an acronym for Application Programming Interface.

It enables communication and data exchange between two separate software systems. A software system implementing an API contains functions/subroutines which can be executed by another software system.

What is API Testing?

API Testing is entirely different from GUI Testing and mainly concentrates on the business logic layer of the software architecture. This testing won’t concentrate on the look and feel of an application.

Instead of using standard user inputs(keyboard) and outputs, in API Testing, you use software to send calls to the API, get output, and note down the system’s response.

API Testing requires an application to interact with API. In order to test an API, you will need to

  • Use Testing Tool to drive the API
  • Write your own code to test the API

Set-up of API Test environment

  • API Testing is different from other software testing types as GUI is not available, and yet you are required to set up an initial environment that invokes API with a required set of parameters and then finally examines the test result.
  • Hence, Setting up a testing environment for API testing seems a little complex.
  • Database and server should be configured as per the application requirements.
  • Once the installation is done, the API Function should be called to check whether that API is working.

Types of Output of an API

An output of API could be:

  1. Any type of data
  2. Status (say Pass or Fail)
  3. Call another API function.

Test Cases for API Testing:

Test cases of API testing are based on:

  • Return value based on input conditionit is relatively easy to test, as input can be defined and results can be authenticated.
  • Does not return anythingWhen there is no return value, the behavior of the API on the system to be checked.
  • Trigger some other API/event/interruptIf an output of an API triggers some event or interrupt, then those events and interrupt listeners should be tracked.
  • Update data structureUpdating data structure will have some outcome or effect on the system, and that should be authenticated
  • Modify certain resourcesIf API call modifies some resources then it should be validated by accessing respective resources.

Approach of API Testing

Following points helps the user to do API Testing approach:

  1. Understanding the functionality of the API program and clearly defining the scope of the program.
  2. Apply testing techniques such as equivalence classes, boundary value analysis, and error guessing and write test cases for the API.
  3. Input Parameters for the API need to be planned and defined appropriately.
  4. Execute the test cases and compare expected and actual results.

How to do API Testing

API testing should cover at least following testing methods apart from usual SDLC process:

  • Discovery TestingThe test group should manually execute the set of calls documented in the API like verifying that a specific resource exposed by the API can be listed, created and deleted as appropriate.
  • Usability Testing – This testing verifies whether the API is functional and user-friendly. And does API integrate well with another platform as well.
  • Security TestingThis testing includes what type of authentication is required and whether sensitive data is encrypted over HTTP or both.
  • Automated TestingAPI testing should culminate in the creation of a set of scripts or a tool that can be used to execute the API regularly.
  • DocumentationThe test team has to make sure that the documentation is adequate and provides enough information to interact with the API. Documentation should be a part of the final deliverable

Best Practices of API Testing

  • Test cases should be grouped by test category.
  • On top of each test, you should include the declarations of the APIs being called.
  • Parameters selection should be explicitly mentioned in the test case itself.
  • Prioritize API function calls so that it will be easy for testers to test.
  • Each test case should be as self-contained and independent from dependencies as possible.
  • Avoid “test chaining” in your development.
  • Special care must be taken while handling one-time call functions like – Delete, CloseWindow, etc…
  • Call sequencing should be performed and well planned.
  • To ensure complete test coverage, create test cases for all possible input combinations of the API.

Types of Bugs that API testing detects

  • Fails to handle error conditions gracefully.
  • Unused flags
  • Missing or duplicate functionality.
  • Reliability Issues. Difficulty in connecting and getting a response from API.
  • Security Issues
  • Multi-threading issues.
  • Performance Issues. API response time is very high.
  • Improper errors/warning to a caller.
  • Incorrect handling of valid argument values.
  • Response Data is not structured correctly (JSON or XML).

Tools for API testing

Since API and Unit Testing both target source code, tools/frameworks can be used for their automation.

  • Parasoft SOAtest
  • Runscope
  • Postman
  • Curl
  • Cfix
  • Check
  • CTESK
  • dotTEST
  • Eclipse SDK tool- Automated API testing

Check out top API Testing Tools List

Challenges of API Testing

Challenges of API testing includes:

  • Main challenges in Web API testing are Parameter Combination, Parameter Selection, and Call Sequencing.
  • There is no GUI available to test the application which makes it difficult to give input values.
  • Validating and Verifying the output in a different system is little difficult for testers.
  • Parameters selection and categorization is required to be known to the testers.
  • Exception handling function needs to be tested
  • Coding knowledge is necessary for testers

Conclusion:

API consists of a set of classes/functions/procedures which represent the business logic layer. If the API is not tested properly, it may cause problems not only in the API application but also in the calling application. It is an indispensable test in software engineering.

What is Appium?

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

Appium is an open-source test automation tool developed and supported by Sauce Labs to automate native and hybrid mobile apps. It is basically known as a Cross-Platform Mobile Automation Tool.

Features of Appium

  • Appium can run on a variety of devices and emulators making it an apt choice for mobile test automation.
  • Automating hybrid and native mobile applications for Android and iOS is a key function handled by Appium, a node.js server.
  • One of the main principles of Appium is that test codes can be written in any framework or language like Ruby on Rails, C#, and Java without having to modify the apps for automation purposes.
  • Most of those tools require an extra agent that needs to be compiled with application code so that the tool can interact with the mobile app. In Appium, extra agents are not required. It removes the problem that the app which will be tested is not the same app which will be submitting in the App Store. We need to remove those automation agent libraries before submitting the app.

Appium Architecture

Appium is an HTTP server written in node.js which creates and handles multiple WebDriver sessions for different platforms like iOS and Android.

It is almost the same as the Selenium server which perceives HTTP requests from Selenium client libraries, and it handles those requests in different ways depending upon the platforms. Each vendor like iOS and Android has a different way and mechanism to run a test case on the device so Appium kind of hacks into it and runs this test case after listening commands from the Appium server.

Appium Advantages

  • All the complexities come under the Appium server only and for an automation developer the programming language and the whole experience would remain the same irrespective of the platform he is automating (iOS or Android).
  • Same test would work on multiple platforms.
  • Appium doesn’t require you to include some extra agents in your app to make it automation friendly.
  • It is developed and supported by Sauce Labs and it is getting picked really fast within the WebDriver community for mobile automation.
  • It can automate Web, Hybrid and Native mobile applications.

Appium LimitationsWe can only run one instance on instruments per Mac OS so we can only run our iOS scripts on one device per mac machine. So, if we want to run our tests on multiple iOS devices at the same time then we would need to arrange the same number of Mac machines, which would be a costly affair.

But this limitation can be resolved if we execute our scripts in Sauce Lab’s mobile cloud which supports running scripts on multiple iOS simulators at the same time.

Prerequisite to use Appium

  • Install the Java Development Kit
  • Set Up Java Environment Variable Path
  • Install Android SDK / ADB on Windows
  • Install Android SDK Packages
  • Set up Android Environment Variable
  • Download and Install NodeJs
  • Install Microsoft .net Framework
  • Download and Install Appium Desktop Client
  • Enabling Developer Mode Options on Android Phone or Tablet
  • Set Up Appium Project – Add java client dependency for Appium

Run First Appium Test

  • Launch Appium Node Server
Appium1
  • Click on Android icon to open the configuration of the Appium run.
  • Select the check box of No Reset. This will ensure that the Appium will not install or uninstall App on every run.
Appium2
  • Click on General Setting icon and make sure that Server Address and Port is populated.
  • Do not alter the IP address or port number. Appium console starts at 127.0.0.1:4723 as shown in below.
Appium3

Click on the Launch Appium Node Server button on the top right corner of Appium window and wait for few seconds. Appium server started and running on your system.

Appium4

Sample of basic code

Appium5

Cross Browser Testing

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

What Is Cross Browser Testing?

Cross Browser Testing is a type of testing to verify if an application works across different browsers as expected and degrades gracefully.

It is the process of verifying your application’s compatibility with different browsers.

Many times, I have encountered an issue with a website and on calling the technical support, they simply tell me to try it in another browser? When I do, it works and I end up feeling like a total idiot, even though I earn my living working in the software industry. 

Introduction

We all might have observed that some websites are not properly displayed on some browsers and we just think that the website is broken. But, as soon as you open it on a different browser, the website opens just fine. This behavior explains the compatibility of a website with different browsers.

Each browser interprets the information on the website page differently. Thus, some browsers may lack the features that your website is trying to show and make your website look broken on that browser.

With the advancement in technology, there are several options available for browsers, and it’s not just enough to make a website work on one of the browsers.

Users should not be restricted to use any specific browser to access your application. Thus, it becomes necessary to test your website’s compatibility with different browsers. Some of the commonly used browsers include Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer etc.

Why Is It Performed?

For that matter, why is any kind of testing done?

  • To know what is wrong and be able to fix it.
  • To enhance efficiency and user experience and thereby, business.
  • To be informed of any possible pitfalls.

But specifically, if we think: What is the intent of cross-browser testing? – This is twofold.

  • The rendition or appearance of the page in different browsers- is it the same, is it different, if one is better than the other, etc.
  • The functionality and the working of it. (Of course!)

Who Performs cross browser Testing?

  • Are you thinking, “There are a million browsers, versions and platforms out there – which ones to choose?” This, thankfully, is not a decision that is the tester’s responsibility. The client, business analysis team and the marketing teams have a major role in this decision. Also, companies collect usage/traffic statistics to narrow down what browsers, environment and devices are mostly in use.
  • The entire project team should have an invested interest, time, money and infrastructure to support this endeavor.
  • The QA team can be involved in this process or it might be the design team who are keen on knowing how the application fares in multiple browsers.
  • Whether it is performed by QA or any other team- the results are interpreted by the design and development teams and the relevant changes are made.

How to Perform Cross Browser Testing?

First things first- is it done manually or using a tool?

It can surely be done manually- multiple machines, multiple OSs, Multiple browsers, multiple machines and but clearly, this leads to multiple problems, multiple investments and multiple challenges.

Manual Method

In this case, a business identifies the browsers that the application must support. Testers then re-run the same test cases using different browsers and observe the application’s behavior and report bugs if any.

In this type of testing, it is not possible to cover many browsers and, the application might not be tested on major browser versions.

Also, performing cross-browser check manually is costly and time-consuming too.

Automated Method

Cross-browser testing is basically running the same set of test cases multiple times on different browsers.

This type of repeated task is best suited for automation. Thus, it’s more cost and time effective to perform this testing by using tools.

So, lots of tools are available in the market to make this easier.

The tools help us with one or more or all the following depending on the tool itself and the licensing types:

  • They provide a VPN (Virtual Private machine) using which you can connect to remote machines and check the working and rendition of your JAVA, AJAX, HTML, Flash and other pages. Most of these are secure, but since you are submitting your information to a third party, a certain analysis on discretion is advised.
  • Screenshots are provided for the pages and links submitted of how they appear in multiple browsers. This is, of course, static.
  • Multiple browsers are synchronized with respect to operations performed on one and the results are presented browser wise.
  • Show the rendition of a page at multiple screen resolutions.
  • When a problem is encountered, a video or screenshots are recorded to transport the problem for further analysis.
  • Support generally is available for both web and mobile apps.
  • Private pages that require authentication to be accessed can also be tested
  • Local, within a private network/firewall pages, can be tested too.

When to Start this Testing?

The time to start Cross-Browser test completely depends on your testing methodology and your testing timeline.

1. As soon as possible:

Start this testing even when a single page is ready for testing.

Test that page on each browser. When the next page is available, test that also on multiple browsers. This will increase the efforts, but it will help to fix the errors as early as possible in the life cycle. Thus, fixing errors, in this case, is much cost-effective.

2. When the application is complete:

Start this testing when the application development is complete.

This will test the application on different browsers. Fixing the errors won’t be as cost-effective as in the above case but it will still help in fixing the errors before releasing the application to the users.

3. When the application is released:

This is the least favored time for performing a cross-browser test for your application. But it’s better to do it than to not do it and let the end-users have a bad experience.

After the application is released for the end-users, this testing can be performed, and bugs can be fixed as a part of the change requests in the application. This is very costly and requires multiple deployments depending on the bug fixes.

Rigorous cross-browser testing can only be done when the testing team members who have knowledge of tools do this testing. High level or checking some specific browsers can also be done by business users or even developers.

This testing involves testing the application thoroughly using different browsers. Testing thoroughly includes functional and non-functional testing of the application.

In most of the companies, a product team has separate teams for functional and non-functional testing. Thus, this testing needs to be performed by the team(s) who is (are) responsible for functional and non-functional testing of the application.

For this testing, a tester needs the browsers on which the application needs to be tested.

These browsers can either be provided to the tester as:

  • Locally installed on tester’s machine.
  • A virtual machine or different machines which a tester has access to.
  • Tools which provide their own browsers and their versions for testing.
  • On cloud – so that multiple testers can use the browsers as and when required.

This testing is independent of the deployment environments. Thus, it can be done in dev, test, QA or even production environment depending upon the availability of the application in each of these environments.

What to Test?

  • Base Functionality – Links, dialogs, menus etc.
  • Graphical User Interface – Look and feel of the application.
  • Response – How well the application responds to user actions.
  • Performance – Loading of the pages within allowed the time frame.

If your application works well on one browser, that doesn’t imply that it will work well on the other browsers too. Thus, this testing helps you to ensure that an application runs on different browsers without any errors.

To identify what breaks on which browser and to fix the website accordingly we need to perform this testing. If a browser is not at all supported, then the users can easily be informed about it.

To summarize “how” to cross-browser test:

  • Traffic statistics help determine what browsers to test.
  • A detailed analysis should be done on the AUT (Application under test) itself to determine what parts of the application or if all of it must undergo this. It is advisable that all of it be tested on multiple browsers, but again costs and time must be considered.  “A good strategy is to perform 100% testing on one browser per platform and for the other just test the most critical/widely used functionality“.
  • Once the decision of “What” to test and “Where (browsers)” is made- infrastructure decisions are to be made- do we acquire tools or perform this manually etc. Again, the cost must be considered. Viability, risks, security concerns, people to be involved, time, acceptance criteria, issue/defect fixing schedules/process – are few things that must be addressed.
  • Perform the testing. The regular functional testing test cases can be used when validating the efficiency of the system. For look-and-feel/rendition test cases are not necessary.
  • The operation I was talking about at the beginning of this article that failed for me was an online bank transfer. I logged into my bank account, chose the amount for transfer as about one lakh and tried to perform the transfer and a servlet error was showing up no matter how many times I tried.

So, if the transfer operation is chosen for browser compatibility testing, this is how the test script is going to look like.

  • Log in to the online bank account.
  • Select the account from which the transfer is to be done.
  • Enter the transfer amount: 100,000.
  • Select payee and click “Transfer”.
  • Expected result: The transfer should be successful.
  • This will simply be run on all the browsers chosen.

Again, please note that this does not look different to a functional test case. Please check this non-functional testing article for further information on this.

Report the results back to the design team, if they were not involved in the testing process. Change follows.

When is the best time to do this?

Any testing reaps the best benefits when it is done early on. Therefore, the industry recommendation is to start with it as soon as the page designs are available.

But it also can be performed when the site is fully integrated and functional.

If you have missed the bus on performing the cross-browser test during design, development and QA phases, it can still be done while the application is in production. However, this is the costliest of all and risky too.

Where is browser compatibility testing performed?

Usually, the answer to this question would be one of- Dev/QA/Production environments. But for cross-browser checking, this is not a definite and irrelevant (if I may say so). It can be done in any one or all of them.

Conclusion

A few points to note, 

  • Having been a QA teacher for a while now, I can tell what’s coming next and that is –the question, is it functional and non-functional testing? I think it is neither and both.
  • It also should not be confused with Cross-Platform testing, which is testing your application in multiple target environments like Windows, Linux, Mac etc. Although sometimes the two must integrate as some of the older browser versions might be compatible only with the older versions of the platforms.
  • It is also a continues to process as software environments, browsers and devices are evolving every day and to make sure there are no unpleasant surprises, this browser Testing should be added to the repertoire of regression suites.

As you know, each type of testing helps in improving the quality of the application and so does the cross-browser test too.

Cross-browser testing helps in creating a good impression on the users by providing them a consistent experience throughout the application irrespective of the browser or Operating system.

Fixing bugs is cost-effective during the early stages of the development lifecycle, and the same applies to the defects found as a part of this testing too.

This testing helps in improving your business which in turn results in Happy Customers, Happy You!!

This is yet another testament to the concept that QA field or software testing is a multi-dimensional field and there is something for everyone to excel in.

Benefits of Automation Testing

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

Test automation can bring many benefits to your testing cycles, allowing you to test better with less effort. It is less time consuming as well! Many companies still run only manual tests because they don’t know how to properly integrate automated testing in their development process.

Automated testing means that a machine does, what a human used to do, quicker, with less errors, 24/7. Does it sound familiar?

Then, machines started to take over all the repetitive and boring tasks. Humans quickly tend to lose concentration with that kind of work or to overlook things that weren’t right. Machines are more reliable and faster in this.There’s also an obvious big starting investment when introducing change, especially this kind of change. Usually the smaller companies are afraid that the returns won’t be as expected or if there will be a ROI at all.

Back then people needed this kind of automation to produce the exact same parts that match perfectly with other parts so that the assembly could be done in less time and thus enhancing the production.

Well, let’s have a closer look at the top benefits of automated testing.

Benefits of Automation Testing

1. Return on Investment

Let’s start from the beginning: the big initial investment. This may be a hold back for many, but it is proven that the return of that investment is a long-term one and it will also save time.

ROI – benefits of automated testing

2. Early Bug Detection: 

Unlike manual testing, bugs can be detected early during the development phase in an automated testing which saves a lot of time during lifecycle for both developers and testers.

Automation helps you find bugs in the early stages of software development, reducing expenses and working hours to fix these problems as well.

3. Running Tests Anytime, Anywhere:

No matter where you are in the world. You can start the tests when you leave the office and when you get back in the morning you can see the results and keep on working. You can even do that remotely if you don’t have a lot of devices or you don’t have the money to buy it.

4. Fewer Human Resources:

You don’t need a lot of people: you would need a test automation engineer to write your scripts to automate your tests, instead of a lot of people doing boring manual tests repeatedly.

5. Reusability of Scripts:

The scripts are reusable:

You don’t need new scripts all the time, even if the version of the OS on the device changes

It allows you to redo the test the same, without forgetting any steps

6. Testing Capabilities:

Automation testing offers an unmatched and huge testing capability. The mobile app needs to be tested on multiple devices, OS versions, screen sizes etc. which can be efficiently done through automated testing and not by manual testing. In fact, it is almost impossible to get perfect results through manual testing.

7. Reliability:

Automated testing is more reliable and way quicker when running boring repetitive standardized tests which cannot be skipped, ever, but may cause errors when manually tested.

8. Improves Accuracy:

We have been saying this time and again that automation testing overcomes the shortcomings of manual testing. It has improved the accuracy to a great deal by giving error-free results unlike manual testing where testing is error-prone, delays the delivery and increases the cost. It is especially a boon in stress testing where getting error free results in manual testing is almost impossible.

9. Simultaneously:

You can test more devices simultaneously resulting in comparative detailed reports generated in less time with the exact the same parameters, because the exact same scripts were run.

10. Better Test Coverage:

Test automation can easily execute thousands of different complex test cases during every test run providing coverage that is impossible with manual tests. It can only be possible through automated testing as it can run test scripts on multiple computers with varied configurations. It can look inside an application and see memory contents, data tables, file contents, and internal program states to determine if the app is functioning as expected.

11. Continuity:

Automated testing helps testers, such as automation engineers. They can see exactly what other engineers have done, what scripts he has already written and what tests have already been performed and what bugs were already found and fixed, through clear reports.

12. Additional methods:

One of these methods is the stress test in which the capacities of the application and operational infrastructure will be tested to its limits with stress test, which can’t be done manually.

13. Volume:

You can run your tests on more than 500 devices in automation testing which is impossible in manual testing. Testing all of them manually would be impossible!

14. Information Security:

The effectiveness of testing will be largely dependent on the quality of the test data you use. Manually creating quality test data takes time and as a result testing is often performed on copies of live databases. Automation solutions can help with creating, manipulating and protecting your test database, allowing you to re-use your data time and again. The time and cost savings in this area are potentially huge.

Conclusion

Automation testing not only helps in saving time and improving accuracy, it does value addition to all the stakeholders involved in the app development lifecycle. Although testing automation offers such huge benefits, but many organizations have not adopted it in its entirety because of its initial cost associated with its configuration. With Agile testing and DevOps methodologies being widely followed in the IT industry, it is advisable to automate your testing

processes completely with renowned automated testing tools to get the best results.

In conclusion there are benefits and drawbacks to both automated and manual testing. This article had the purpose to show how automated testing can help you to make your testing more efficient.

To achieve the best results, you will need a combination of both types: automated testing for repetitive, simple use-cases; and manual testing for reproducing specific bugs, complicated use cases and to ensure the best user experience possible.

Whatsapp has launched the much-awaited dark mode theme

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

Your most anticipated wait is finally over. Whatsapp has ultimately launched the dark mode theme for your favorite social media app for iOS and Android. Reportedly, the firm had been working for more than two years for this upgrade. Users initially had the beta version a few months ago; now the final version has been rolling out.

Salient features of the new theme

The dark theme is appealing to some users. Moreover, the darker shades are intended to give out less amount of glare in a dark environment like during the night. The light shades are known to emit more blue rays that can disrupt the user’s sleep patterns. Besides, even for day time users, looking at lighter shades for a more extended period may result in foggy-headedness.

The other essential feature of the darker shade is that with devices using AMOLED displays, the darker shades can help them reduce power consumption.

100% due diligence before roll out

Wonder why it took this long for the software and social media giant to finalize this? Well, Whatsapp did not want to make a spontaneous transition in their app. During their update process, they worked more keenly on two aspects; namely, Legibility and Information hierarchy.

Legibility  The spokesperson stated that they did not want the upgrade to involve colour choice causing fatigue or strain to the users? eyes. They wanted to use colours that resemble the default colours of iPhone and Android.

Information Hierarchy The designers wanted their users to focus their attention easily on each screen. They did this by choosing colours and other design elements to ascertain that the information stands out according to their importance.

Dark mode ? the new frontier in app UI?

Whatsapp has revolutionized digital communication because it offers chatting, video calls and audio calls too. Moreover, it gives an aesthetical feel to the users with customizable wallpapers, emojis, and so on. They have taken a farther leap with the introduction of the dark mode theme. They saw the preference in the pattern of choice pervading in much other software and digital fields.

After all, it depends on the users to decide how useful, outstanding and appealing the latest update is. Some users might have liked Whatsapp the OLED dark themes for Apple iPhone 11 Pro, and Google Pixel 4 XL; nevertheless, it looks regardless. In case your smartphone is on Android 10 or iOS 13, then the Whatsapp dark theme is controlled through the settings that control the device?s colour and light themes.

Whereas, if your device is on Android 9 or Apple iOS 12, or lower than you can change the settings through Whatsapp settings>Chats>Theme>Dark.

There is also a Whatsapp dark mode for desktop users. It is in the process yet. It has not been finalized; however, the surfacing images show that the palette of the desktop, i.e. Microsoft Windows version matches the Google Android and Apple iOS apps.

Ending Note

This was the information about the latest release of Whatsapp; i.e. the dark mode theme. It can help users reduce their eyes? strains, and it looks cool.

Five best mobile app development software

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

The year 2020 will witness approximately 3.5 billion smartphone users across the globe. That half the population of the world, and you might wonder how having your business mobile app can benefit you? Well, people spend 90% of their mobile time using apps.

So, it’s an excellent opportunity for your business to attract more customers and skyrocket your profits. There are many stellar mobile app development software available. By using those apps, you can create a seamless business mobile app for your potential customers. Below are our five best recommendations.

1. Appy Pie 

Appy Pie is a software that enables you to develop mobile apps without coding. The software provides numerous tools and options that allow creating the app easily. The process is pretty simple; you need to select an app design and add the desired features to it. Finally, you can publish it on the App Store or Google Play. The software offers you drag and drop editor, AI integration, training, and support too.     

2. Appian

Appian’s app development software focuses on enterprise apps. The software uses AI and automotive processes to present your company data most effectively. In the development process, you will need to use the visual editor to select the functions you want in your app. The software makes it possible to make complex tasks much simpler for the app user. If you run an enterprise, then Appian is your best bet.

3. Verivo 

Verivo is an app development provider, which offers you its AppStudio platform to create the app. You can comfortably develop an app, owing to the drag and drop interface. You can select the data sources of your choice and also use HTML 5 and JavaScript as per your requirement. The most significant advantage of Verivo is it offers faster development, flexible and extensible software, and you can create numerous apps by keeping the same base.    

4. Zoho Creator

Zoho Creator provides you with apps for multiple platforms; you can develop your app or use the ready-made one. The software is suitable for a business who wants to simplify their tasks by accepting more automation. It can provide you practical functions like event management, sales management, order management, logistics, etc. You can fully customize the app using drag and drop editor and various integration options.  

5. AppSheet 

AppSheet allows you to develop apps without coding and using spreadsheet inputs. With the data stored on your cloud in spreadsheet formats, you can choose a template and further pick the options and features you want in the app. You can integrate the data from Google Sheets and office 365 as well. AppSheet is not only easy to use, but you can develop apps using spreadsheet inputs and countless other features. 

Conclusion

Games are indeed the most popular mobile app category. But, you would be happy to know that the business apps with a share of 10.12% are the second most popular category on the Apple store. By having your business mobile app, you can indeed benefit your company. You can also consider hiring a development company.

Top five navigation apps while traveling abroad

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

You are bound to feel strong adrenaline at the mere thought of traveling to an exotic foreign location. But, as you are discovering beautiful places in the new city, the chances are you will get lost in a strange place. Luckily enough, technological advancements have come up with a variety of navigation apps. And you can roam across any corner of the city without the fear of getting lost. 

A mobile phone and an internet connection are all you need to direct yourself using navigation apps. And both the tools are increasingly common these days. There are countless navigation apps available on the play store and iTunes, but each app cannot deliver a superior quality experience. 

To help you have a seamless touring experience abroad, below are the top five navigation apps recommendations.

Google Maps 

Google Maps is undoubtedly the best navigation apps available. It’s also the most ranked app, with 154.4 million users in April 2018. And it’s still ruling the charts till today. The app is beneficial for international travelers because, along with road directions, it also offers multiple transit routes and options for public transport. You can also explore nearby restaurants, shops, hotels, etc. using Google search in the app.

MAPS.ME

MAPS.ME allows you to save the map offline. And it uses a unique compression method that reduces the size of offline downloaded maps. Although the file size is smaller, you still have access to highly detailed maps similar to Google Maps. If you are short of free space on your phone, then MAPS.ME can be your savior. It has tools like a map editor, location sharing, and bookmark sharing. 

WAZE

The WAZE app has amazing real-time features because it combines GPS navigation possibilities with social sharing apps. It helps you to receive the most updated traffic and traveling conditions. The app provides you with real-time updates, for example, cheap fuel prices, road detours, etc. It also allows integration with Facebook and the calendar.  

HERE WeGo

The app got launched by Nokia in 2013 named HERE Maps. You can download neighborhood, city, country, or even continent map for offline use. You can also have ‘collections’ which refer to different itineraries available for online or offline use. The drive mode of the app has helpful features like day or night mode, set route and road preference, speed limit alerts, and traffic data. 

SYGIC

The app features detailed 3D and 2D maps of all continents on the earth. It provides you with parking information, such as prices and availability. Another feature of the app is you can pair it with smart devices and wearable like Apple watch. It’s a high-end app and offers different levels of subscription to suit all your needs. 

Summing Up

Those were the top five navigation apps you can rely on while traveling abroad. You can reach wherever you want by using the apps above. They provide you with the utmost accuracy and most user-friendly interface.

Smart Home Automation Guide 2020

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

Home automation is building automation for a home, called a sensible home or smart house. A home automation system will control multiple electronics or gadgets to make the complete which includes lighting, climate control, entertainment systems, and appliances, home security like access control and alarm systems. When connected with the web, home devices play a crucial role to control the interior of things (IoT).

A home automation system basically connects controlled devices to a central gateway. The interface to manage the system uses both wall-installed terminals, pill or desktop mobile application, or an internet interface, which will even be accessible off-site through the web.

The Traits of a Sensible Home

Smart home automation makes life easier, and that’s why numerous people are pursuing it. As a general rule, any device in your home can hook up with an automatic network. This is often true as long as you invest during a device that’s “smart home compatible.”

Users control these devices via voice, remote, or an app on a tablet or smartphone.

While clever domestic automation was reserved for sci-fi novels, the era behind it has recently ended up very attainable, affordable, and accessible. Today, everyone can incorporate smart home elements if they want. It’s less difficult than ever before to attach and manage them all in one place.

Application and Technologies

  • Lighting control system: A “smart” network that incorporates communication between various lighting system inputs and outputs, using one or more central computing devices.
  • Occupancy-aware control system: it is possible to sense the occupancy of the home using smart meters and environmental sensors like CO2 sensors, which can be integrated into the building automation system to trigger automatic responses for energy efficiency and building comfort applications.
  • Indoor positioning systems-Like a GPS for indoor environments, IPS refers to the technology that helps locate people and objects indoors. That location information is then fed into some sort of application software to form the knowledge useful. As an example, IPS technologies enable a variety of location-based solutions, including real-time location systems (RTLS), wayfinding, inventory management, and first responder location systems.

There are many technologies that may be used for indoor positioning, five of which are listed below

  • Proximity-based Systems
  • WiFi-Based Systems
  • Ultra Wide-band Systems
  • Acoustic Systems
  • Infrared Systems
  • Air quality control. For example, Air Quality Egg(Automated air quality detector tool) is used by people at home to monitor the air quality and pollution level in the city which creates a map of the pollution.
  • Smart Kitchen and Connected Cooking. Nowadays we are managing kitchen appliances by using voice control devices like Amazon Alexa or Google.

Research and Markets

The global home automation and security manage market become worth $5.77 billion in 2013 and is expected to succeed in $12.81 billion by means of 2020; this marketplace is projected to grow at CAGR of 11.36% between 2014 and 2020

The demand for strength efficient solutions coupled with the rising worries for enhanced protection has spurred the marketplace for domestic automation & safety control. This marketplace, which initially began with wired technologies, has now entered the generation of wireless technologies with the emergence of technology together with ZigBee, Z-Wave, EnOcean, and others.

In home automation, which programming language is better to use?

To create the core(hub) of the software, where you might be making use of algorithms and AI, you have to use Java, Python or some other object-oriented language. To interact with the core (hub) you could make Android or iOS applications. 

There are several such software programs in the market. The fine known of those is OpenHAB, and try to establish not unusual interfaces and APIs in a clever home space that is still closely fragmented. Originally created by means of software engineer Kai Kreuzer, OpenHAB has advanced to end up the maximum mature open supply framework out there—with a passionate and developing community at the back of it.

Coding in Java and OSGi, OpenHAB was the result. It gives customers a vendor- and technology-agnostic open supply answer that is simple to maintain and in simply extendable. This approach not only allows you to operate OpenHAB with nearly any IoT device, but also you can control the end product with both devoted iOS and Android apps, along with any pc capable of running JVM—making Linux, Mac, or Windows all possibilities.

On top of OpenHAB’s other advantages is the truth that it is able to work offline—meaning that you don’t have to upload your own home automation facts to the cloud.

Reference Links:-

AI-based Hyper-Personalization in Fintech

Friday, March 13th, 2020

Have you experienced AI-based hyper-personalization? No? I bet you have. Remember the notifications from Swiggy, Zomato, or Uber Eats during your lunch hour, reminding you of your favorite dishes? It is a simple example of the use of hyper-specialization through AI. 

What is hyper-specialization?

It is a step ahead of the old school definition of specialization. Brands portraying that they know about you and care for your choices, preferences, etc. through notifications pop up reminders and specially crafted emails are hyper-personalization.

What is the role of AI in hyper-specialization?

AI helps in the functioning of the whole idea behind the hyper-specialization. It works through consumer data. Using consumer data like past experiences, reviews, purchases, and even clicks, the AI draws patterns and reaches conclusions that are further used by the companies in the hyper-specialization. 

Role of AI-based hyper-specialization in today’s world-

In today’s world, 81% of consumers want brands to understand them better and know when and when not to approach them. As they are tech-savvy and well informed, they want the technology to make their life easier. They prefer the websites and brands which show what they want exactly when they want that and, when this connection is poor, they move on to a better one. As per cmo.com, consumers are willing to pay even more for consumer-friendly experiences, which are speedy as well as efficient.

And, this advancement has not left the Finance industry untouched. Fintech companies have also started using AI-based hyper-specialization for providing better customer services and winning their trust. 

What is Fintech

It is a term used to describe the use of technology in rendering financial services to consumers. When a company uses software or other technology for payment and other commercial purposes, it is described as fintech.

Fintech and AI-based Hyper-Personalized

Everyone has a different source of finance, needs, and ways of using it. One structure cannot be suitable for all. Here is where data of financial institutions can be used to develop personalized structures as per the preferences and needs of the consumers. 

Today, what consumers want are not limited services but various options that show their needs, choices, and requirements covering more and more areas of their financial sphere. 

For example, financial companies use emails and notifications for advertising about insurance based on your age, nature of the job, and types of expenses. 

By drawing patterns and deriving conclusions, banks send notifications of car loans and home loans, etc. Even though there are numerous benefits of personalization through AI, according to The Digital Banking Report, only 6% of financial institutions say they are deploying advanced personalization technology. Nowadays, the consumers want their fintech providers as any other retailer which takes care of their needs and suggests relevant product and services. 

Nearly 90% of retail banking customers who are provided with personalization services are highly satisfied with the advice provided by their financial institution say they “definitely will” reuse their bank or credit union for another product. Time has come that the institutions develop themselves from personal connections to personalized connections to get the most advantage of the technologies and succeed in the game. It has become important that they rise above just basic transactions.

Guide to build Natural User Interface

Thursday, March 12th, 2020

Interface in layman terms is interaction with a computer. As the name suggests, the natural user interface attaches a natural color to it. Computers are known to work within a sphere of set codes and procedures. However, the natural user interface, as believed by Bill Gates, will aid computers to become accustomed to humans’ wants. 

So, what exactly is a natural user interface? It is a mechanism for interaction between humans and computers. This system operates through communication-based on everyday human activities. You might be liking your new mobile because of the feature commonly called a touch screen. It is because it makes your usage of the mobile more natural and more comfortable. It is the advantage of a logical user interface. iPhone and iPad gained popularity due to their right or left swipe features. Consumers felt connected with the actions they were performing on their respective devices. 

But there remains a grey area with the concept of the natural user interface. It is based on human usage. But all human actions are not equally natural for everyone. For instance, voice-over interfaces in cars or Siri in iPhones demand quiet surroundings to function correctly. 

Thus, the first task is to create a natural user interface that is natural to the consumer. Several factors have to be kept in mind while doing so.

Existing skills

It is better to learn about the abilities of potential consumers. You would then be able to design an interface based on their existing skills. Consumers will immediately feel comfortable with a system that won’t demand knowledge of new expertise. You can pick up the most general of social skills. This way, you would end up creating a mechanism that would fulfill the needs of almost everyone.

Try designing a touch user interface

This is the most accepted form of the natural user interface. People of every age have a basic understanding of handling this form of interface. You can become creative in designing new models of the same. For instance, it is well-known that people prefer using one hand to manage their mobile phones. Thus, avoiding unnecessary swiping features requiring the involvement of both sides can be helpful

Step by step feature

Take the example of the famous game Candy Crush. The difficulty increases as and when the level increases. It allows the player to understand the procedure systematically, and he enjoys the game. Design a natural user interface keeping this in mind. People tend to remember things if complex activities are broken down into smaller ones. Hence, an interface allowing them to learn one step at a time would be revolutionary.

Do not include unintentional human gestures

Meeting someone is ordinary for everyday life. But replicating the same on a computer or mobile would lead to ambiguity for different users. Hence, the inclusion of such things in a natural user interface should be avoided. 

The natural user interface is an innovative idea paving the way to future utilities. However, it should be carefully planned and designed. If not, the logical part of the interface would wither, and people won’t be able to connect. Thus, the simple steps mentioned above should be kept in mind while generating a natural user interface.


Six Benefits of Integrating ERP with Salesforce CRM 

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020

Enterprise resource planning or ERP is business process management software that enables the business to hand various aspects of business in one application, database, and user interface. The software also includes customer relationship management or CRM system, HR system, and office suites, etc. As estimated, IT expenditures on the enterprise software will grow to 462 billion US dollars. 

The following are the six advantages of integrating ERP with Salesforce CRM:

1. Better communication 

Owing to the integration of ERP with salesforce CRM, it passes the information quickly across teams. For example, when the finance team handles ERP, and it corresponds with the sales team, then ERP has all the information needed by the finance team and also the information that lives in salesforce. It enables finance and sales teams to have a more valuable exchange. 

2. Offers unified access from different systems

Some employees can understand one system is better than the others. The sales team will be good at understanding salesforce, and people on the finance team are better off understanding the ERP system. Due to the integration of ERP and CRM systems, users can process the information through their convenient system. Since the data gets synchronized, everyone can access it.   

3. Provides excellent customer service 

The integration of the two systems gives you a coherent picture of your customers. It shows their purchasing tendency, payment transactions, and choices to order history. It enables you to have better customer relationship management and helps grow your business. Maybe that’s’ why ERP and CRM together are the most prevalent type of business applications, with over 53% of companies investing in them on priority. 

4. Automation without coding

When you have integrated salesforce ERP, then you don’t have to outsource programming for workflows. Since workflows can get produced with a simple click, anyone can quickly transfer data, generate processes, and automate information transmission. The automation makes the business process very simple, and 95% of the businesses have experienced a seamless process after using ERP. 

5. Gives more precise data

Data from all ERP systems gets shared on the cloud ERP system; the software has access to more data to use for assessment and briefing per system. It results in giving out more detailed information about the customers. So, by integrating ERP with CRM, you can have access to more precise and high-quality data.

6. Prevents errors and time-efficient 

Typically, data entries lead to errors even if you are doing it by copy-pasting. Especially when your business is dependent on several systems, your employees will need to feed data into each one of them. It increases the chances of errors and data duplication. Further, it will consume a lot of time to tally the data in various systems. But integration ERP and CRM systems regularly check the data and stabilizes it.  

Summing Up

ERP and CRM software are going to have consistent growth until the next year and reach the market value of 95.4 billion US dollars. The number proves that how efficient and business-friendly are this software. So, those as above were the six advantages of integrating ERP with Salesforce CRM.

How to develop a food delivery app?

Friday, March 6th, 2020

The online food ordering business has witnessed some of the most rapid growths in the e-commerce segment. The food delivery apps, in particular, are the handiest choice for order food for hunger pangs. As an estimation, the food delivery business via apps in the USA reached up to 40 million users last year. Some forecasts say that by 2021 more than 1/5th smartphone users ought to have food delivery apps. Designing a food delivery app needs thorough planning and due diligence.

Factors like UI/UX of the app, its visual appeal, quick checkout process, and the biggest number of hotels and restaurants partnered up to provide a wide selection pool. An app that meets the customers’ requirements is the one going to stand apart from the rest in the market.

Here are some essential features that can help you get the best result from the app:

1. Business Models for Food Delivery

The current online food ordering market is based on two prominent start-up business models. These models have been developed by taking the customers’ convenience and benefits to the food joints and restaurants into consideration. Choosing the right model of business can help you in the right manner. The models are as follows.

a) The Aggregator Model 

The model of business in the food ordering app helps small firms to work as just vendors. The vendors are the mediators who manage the food joints and customers. They help customers to come to know about the different restaurants, their specialties, and prices. This is like having menus of all the restaurants on the phone itself in one place. Besides, one can view the restaurants’ reviews and ratings and can give theirs too. 

Once a customer using this app orders food, the data is sent by the mediator to the right food company or restaurant. The restaurant itself handles the process from there. 

b) Food ordering and delivery model

This model is more involved in the transaction and communication between the customer and the restaurant. Once the customer places an order on the app, the app company itself takes the payment and forwards it to the restaurant (subtracting its share of profit, of course) and handles the delivery to the customer. 

Aside from the ability for a customer to view the different restaurants’ food lists their prices, reviews, and ratings; the customers can also rest assured about the delivery time, one company handling the delivery can offer uniformity across times. Most small food joints and outlets can easily benefit from this model as they lack logistical support. Also, by not employing more workers, a company can have more profits. 

While choosing the right business model, give the necessary inputs like a centralized contact number for ordering or feedback.

2. The Essential Feature of the App

Although the food quality, quantity, price, review, and rating of the restaurants matter the most. The other aspects, like the menu loading time and the attractiveness of the website, can make the app the most preferred one. 

The following points can help an app be the preferred choice. 

a) Availability of data

The amount of data available on a food delivery app can help the customer to get more information. The information on the number of restaurants, their food items, calories, ingredients, vegan, vegetarian, halal or kosher certifications and the estimated delivery time can make a customer decide whether to go for it or not. 

The market for food delivery is all about convenience and speed. With rich informative data about the menu or different types of foods, you empower the users to make better choices in ordering the preferred type of food. Providing a list of filters to fine-tune the selection will elevate the overall user experience by several notches.

b) Payment options and integration

Ordering things on an app is like buying it online. Most customers like making a payment with inbuilt services like Apple pay or third party payment processing apps. The integrated payment methods give convenience to the customers of not carrying credit and debit cards. Besides, with touch or password-protected payment features, the customer can also rest assured of safe transactions. 

Some customers don’t prefer online transactions. They usually do not integrate their plastic with a payment gateway. They may prefer entering card details every time they buy something. Some customers, on the other hand, do still like only the traditional payment methods like cash on delivery despite their limitations. A rounded payment option can make you lead in the market. 

3. Include food delivery and tracking options

Customers ordering food on apps are at times time-bound, they don’t like waiting around and want precise estimates in their delivery time. Right from choosing the order if the customer gets the right evaluation of time, then they can make sure to select the correct order or manage time until the delivery arrives. If they can track their order in real-time and get the estimated remaining time, then they can plan out other sequences of their party. 

Delivering later than the quoted time can be considered misleading. With the display of accurate estimate time and traceability, you can build better credibility in the market; thus, patronize existing customers and attract new customers due to a positive word of mouth. 

Summing Up

These were some essential features of a food ordering app that can help you get the best result from the app. With these features, you can make sure that your app reaches every corner of the market and get the best response. 

Thumb rule of building mobile navigation

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

Building an app is about building it with design attracting the users. It is also about user-friendliness. The easy navigation of an app is going to make appealing to the users. Navigation is like a conversation. Besides, being catchy, the users don’t feel bored while using the app. An app should, therefore, be easy to use as well as attractive. 

Nowadays, there are apps for almost everything; naturally, an app that is easy in navigation and intuitive at the same time is the one going to persist in the market or crush its competition. Some business statistics also say that optimum navigation has given an almost 15.68% increase in sales. We shall discuss more in detail as to what the basics of building mobile app navigation are.

The thumb rules

A mobile phone is designed such that we can handle the device with our palm and other four fingers and the thumb is the tool we use for navigation. Even with smartphones with larger screens, almost 50% of people using only the thumb and therefore, nearly all smartphones have adjustable screens at a swipe. 

Navigation with thumb also makes the app ambidextrous; the users of right as well as left hands can use the app without any difficulty. For all these reasons, using the apps should be designed as easy to navigate only with the thumb. One of the ways to make the app thumb-friendly is by placing the essential tabs of the app closer to the thumb. This way, a user need not use the other hand and navigate only with one hand’s thumb.

Make the bottom bar noticeable

The bottom bar is the most central place for navigation. Most prominent companies are opting for adding tools there. A single bar can contain tools like search tool, home, ‘add to favorite,’ and compare. The bottom bar is also essential because it gives quick links to the app. We recommend you have a bottom bar with quick links for the centralization of the navigation. The bottom bar also makes the app more user-friendly with the thumb. 

Add the search tool

Looking up the information is far more convenient than looking around for it through different tabs. New app users or those who do not understand technology can find it difficult or daunting to search different tabs for the thing they need. Remember that for the ease of convenience, most people like looking up information on the search engine instead of directly logging on to a website. 

The search tool in an app has proven to be very useful, especially if the app has several tabs and a vaster repository of information. Also, the search results show results of a related search; once a user finds the information that he or she initially desired, then they can view the related search results to deepen their knowledge or extend it. 

The process of developing a mobile app from an idea

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

Mobile applications are software indented for use on smart-phones and tablets. As of now, there are more than 2 million apps are available on the Google store, while 1.83 million apps are available on the Apple store. The number shows an enormous availability of mobile applications across app stores. And if you have a fantastic idea that can simplify the lives of users, then your app may rank top in the list of million apps.

The number of mobile apps is increasing rapidly with each passing day; however, the user retention rate of mobile applications seems to be decreasing. Until last year only 32% of the users returned to the app at least 11 times or more.

The earlier retention percentage was 38%, and this drop is quite evidence that mobile apps are not helping people as much.  

If you want your app to work well in the market and get significant exposure, then you have to be meticulous at every step of the way to create the app. To begin with, you have to put your idea on paper by writing the application’s requirements. If your requirements have clarity and the right details, then the mobile app developer will be able to deliver the perfect app. 

How to process the idea from scratch?  

1. Pick a problem to resolve

If you already have an idea for the mobile app, then you can skip this point. But if you don’t have an idea, but you want to develop an app, then look around for problems. And the good news is problems are all around you. If you have noticed, then you will realize that every product and service that you know got created to solve a specific problem. 

You can start by listing down the problems you face in your life. Once you have a list of problems, you can start to think of a solution. Finally, filter out the most helpful solutions from others. Now, you have a problem and its optimal solutions, which can form the foundational idea for your mobile app. 

2. Validate your idea 

Validation from the potential user and other people will prove that the app will have an audience upon its release. In simple words, demand exists for your mobile application. You may use the Google keyword planner tool to know the number of people who are already searching for what you are planning to provide them.

You can also consider creating a landing page that mentions your idea for the app. And you can know how many users have the interest to use the app by incorporating email signup. When you validate the need, you will be more confident while making the app as you will be creating something meaningful.

3. Choose the operating system

It’s crucial to know that your app will run on which operating system. Android and iOS are two the most prevalently used operating systems out there. Are you developing an app for iPhone users or Android users? The answer to that will help your mobile app developer to design the app. 

Both the operating system works differently, and the process of developing an app will be different as well. Also, note that you can also have your app on both platforms.   

4. Describe the features and flow 

You need to put down your idea on paper with the maximum possible details. You should not only include the flow of the app, that is, how users will navigate through your app. But also include detailed features and functionality of the app. It will help the app developer to know your expectations. 

The standard features you can include are login page, menu, screen, fonts, link to social media platforms, push notifications, data caching for offline mode, payment gateway, app reviews and Geo-locations, and so on. You should include all the necessary features and additional features according to the need of your audience.

Conclusion

The revenues from in-app advertising and paid downloads of mobile apps are going to cross 581 billion US dollars in 2020. Indeed, the mobile apps industry is going to be massive.

When you use the tips above for writing mobile app requirements, then the developer will be able to create a flawless application that will earn you valuable profits. And then, you could also be among the leading mobile app revenue generators. 

Make an OAuth2 server using Laravel Passport

Monday, March 2nd, 2020

Laravel already makes it easy to perform authentication via traditional login forms, but what about APIs? APIs typically use tokens to authenticate users and do not maintain session state between requests.

Laravel Passport is a native OAuth 2 server for Laravel apps. Laravel Passport package comes with database migrations, routes, and middleware to ultimately create an authorization server that will return access tokens to allow access to server resources. It uses the League OAuth2 Server package as a dependency but provides a simple, easy-to-learn, and easy-to-implement syntax.

The source code to the todo application is available on GitHub.

This is not an OAuth or Laravel tutorial, so this article will focus solely on how you can use Laravel Passport to create an OAuth server on an existing application. If you want to learn more about Laravel or OAuth, you can look here and here respectively.

Installation/ Requirements

Before we start setting up, make sure you have the following requirements ready as they will be necessary to follow through this article:

Step-1. Getting Started

Let’s go ahead and create a brand new Laravel project first of all. Open your Terminal or Command Prompt and go to the directory where you want to create an app. You can use the following command to change directory.

First of all install the composer in your system and this command.

$ composer install

Use command to change directory.

$ cd Desktop/

Then, run the following command to create a new project.

$ composer create-project --prefer-dist laravel/laravel auth-app

Next, go inside the directory by running this command.

$ cd auth-app/

Run migration Database.

$ php artisan migrate

Generate a secure application key.

$ php artisan key:generate

Now, run your project after install successfully using this command on the terminal.

$ php artisan serve

Now, you get?http://127.0.0.1:8000?to click it and you see Laravel homepage.

Step-2. Installing Laravel Passport

Now let?s install Laravel Passport as well by running the following command.

composer require Laravel/passport

Step-3. Migrate Database

After Passport service provider registers, we require to run the migration command, after running the migration command you will get several new tables in the database. So, let?s run below command:

$ php artisan migrate

Create a User table

<?php
use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Schema;
use Illuminate\Database\Schema\Blueprint;
use Illuminate\Database\Migrations\Migration;
class CreateUsersTable extends Migration
{
     public function up()
  {
      Schema::create(?users?, function (Blueprint $table) {
          $table->bigincrements(?id?);
          $table->string(?first_name?);
          $table->string(?last_name?);
          $table->string(?email?)->unique();
          $table->timestamp(?email_verified_at?)->nullable();
          $table->string(?password?);
          $table->rememberToken();
          $table->timestamps();
      });
  }
  public function down()
  {
       Schema::dropIfExists(?users?);
  }
}

At .env file we have to manage database configuration.

DB_CONNECTION=mysql
DB_HOST=127.0.0.1
DB_PORT=3306
DB_DATABASE=Database
DB_USERNAME=Username
DB_PASSWORD=Password

Step-4. Passport Configuration at our project

In this step, we have to do the configuration on three place Model, Service provider, and config/auth.php file.

So you have to just follow the change on that file.

In the User model: We added Laravel\Passport\HasApiTokens trait,

<?php
namespace App;
use Laravel\Passport\HasApiTokens;
use Illuminate\Notifications\Notifiable;
use Illuminate\Contracts\Auth\MustVerifyEmail;
use Illuminate\Foundation\Auth\User as Authenticatable;
class User extends Authenticatable
{
  use HasApiTokens, Notifiable;
  protected $fillable = [
      ?name?, ?email?, ?password?,
  ];
  protected $hidden = [
       ?password?, ?remember_token?,
  ];
}

In app/Providers/AuthServiceProvider.php call Passport::routes

<?php
namespace App\Providers;
use Laravel\Passport\Passport;
use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Gate;
use Illuminate\Foundation\Support\Providers\AuthServiceProvider as ServiceProvider;
class AuthServiceProvider extends ServiceProvider
{
      Protected $policies = [
         ?App\Model? => ?App\Policies\Modelpolicy?
       ];
   Public function boot()
     {
     $this->registerPolicies();
     passport::routes();
}
}

In auth.php, we added an API auth configuration.

<?php
return [
   ?defaults? => [
        ?guard? => ?web?,
        ?passwords? => ?users?,
    ],
    ?guards? => [
        ?web? => [
            ?driver? => ?session?,
            ?provider? => ?users?,
      ],
      ?api? => [
          ?driver? => ?passport?,
          ?provider? => ?users?,
       ],
   ],
   ?providers? => [
       ?users? => [
           ?driver? => ?eloquent?,
   ?model? => App\User::class,
        ],
    ],
    ?password? => [
       ?users? => [
        ?provider? => ?users?,
        ?table? => ?password_resets?,
        ?expire? => 60,
    ],
  ],
];

Step-6. Set API routes

Create all our routes in routes/api.php.

<?php
use Illuminate\Http\Request;
Route::group([
     ?prefix? => ?auth?
], function () {
      Route::post(?login?, ?Auth\[email protected]?)->name(?login?);
      Route::post(?register?, ?Auth\[email protected]?);
      Route::group([
         ?middleware? => ?auth:api?
       ], function() {
           Route::get(?logout?, ?Auth\[email protected]?);
           Route::get(?user?, ?Auth\[email protected]?);
    });
});

Step-7. Create Controller

Now we need to create AuthController. Run the following command.

$ php artisan make:controller Auth/AuthController

Then, open AuthController.php and add this code.

In this code, we make 3 functions.

  1. Register Users
  2. Login users
  3. Logout
<?php
namespace App\Http\Controllers\Auth;
use App\User;
use Carbon\Carbon;
use Illuminate\Http\Request;
use App\Http\Controllers\Controller;
use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Auth;
class AuthController extends Controller
{
    //
    public function login(Request $request) {
        $request->validate([
             ?email? => ?required|string|email?,
             ?password? => ?required|string?
           ]);
        $credentials = request([?email?, ?password?]);
     // print_r($credentials);die;
     if(!Auth::attempt($credentials))
         return response()->json([
            ?message? => ?Unauthorized?
         ],401);
     $user = $request->user();
     $tokenResult = $user->createToken(?Personal Access Token?);
     $token = $tokenResult->token;
     if ($request->remember_me)
         $token->expires_at = Carbon::now()->addWeeks(1);
     $token->save();
     return response()->json([
         ?access_token? => $tokenResult->accessToken,
         ?token_type? => ?Bearer?,
         ?expires_at? => Carbon::parse(
             $tokenResult->token->expires_at
          )->toDateTimeString()
      ]);
   }
   public function register(Request $request)
   {
          $request->validate([
                 ?fName? => ?required|string?,
                 ?lName? => ?required|string?,
                 ?email? => ?required|string|email|unique:users?,
                 ?password? => ?required|string?
          ]);
          $user = new User;
          $user->first_name = $request->fName;
          $user->last_name = $request->lName;
          $user->email = $request->email;
          $user->password = bcrypt($request->password);
          $user->save();
          return response()->json([
               ?message? => ?Successfully created user!?
          ], 201);
   }
   public function logout(Request $request)
   {
        $request->user()->token()->revoke();
        return response()->json([
          ?message? => ?Successfully logged out?
}
public function user(Request $request)
{
            return response()->json($request->user());
}
}

Step-8. Now Adding CORS Middleware

Run the following command to create a new Middleware.

$ php artisan make:middleware Cors
<?php
namespace App\Http\Middleware;
use Closure;
class Cors
{
    Public function handle($request, Closure $next)
      {
        return $next($request)
         ->header(?Access-Control-Allow-Origin?, ?*?)
         ->header(?Access-Control-Allow-Methods?,
                   ?GET, POST, PUT, PATCH, DELETE, OPTIONS?)
         ->header(?Access-Control-Allow-Headers?,
                  ?Content-Type, Authorization, X-Requested-With, X-XSRF-TOKEN?);
}
}

Step-9. Register new middleware in app/Http/Kernal.php.

<?php
namespace App\Http;
use Illuminate\Foundation\Http\Kernel as HttpKernel;
class Kernel extends HttpKernel
{
     protected $middleware = [
     \App\Http\Middleware\CheckForMaintenanceMode::class,
     \Illuminate\Foundation\Http\Middleware\ValidatePostSize::class,
     \App\Http\Middleware\TrimStrings::class,
     \Illuminate\Foundation\Http\Middleware\ConvertEmptyStringsToNull::class,
     \App\Http\Middleware\TrustProxies::class,
     \App\Http\Middleware\Cors::class,
    ];   
}

Finally, Run the following command to run.

$ php artisan passport:install
$ php artisan serve

Tests

Now time to test the whole things are working properly or not, if you get an error please follow all these steps again.

We are simply tested by rest-client tools.

For Register New Users

Sending First Name, Last Name, Email, and Password in POST requests.

Now log in with your register email and password.

When you log in with register email and password you got token. You can store this token in local storage. This token is also stored in the oauth_access_tokens table.

We will be sending a GET request to your URL and we need to send it token as Authorization Header.

Conclusion

Above way we can do API authentication in Laravel Application with a passport. Laravel Passport makes it super easy and it takes only a few steps as we have seen in the article to make your application OAuth2 enabled. If you get any errors please follow the steps again.

NLOG with SQL Server and PostgreSQL in .Net Core

Monday, March 2nd, 2020

Here I am providing the steps to configure the Nlog for logging into the database in .net core.

  • Install NLog.Web.AspNetCore nuget package
  • Now, add a nlog.config file manually in the project and put all the configurations like file log path, database settings, etc. in this file. I have explained each in detail below.

We are going to use NLog with the database, so let’s create a table first in dB. The table structure is shown in the below screenshot.

Now, update your nlog.config file

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<nlog xmlns="http://www.nlog-project.org/schemas/NLog.xsd"
    xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
    autoReload="true"
    throwConfigExceptions="true"
    internalLogLevel="info"
    internalLogFile="c:\temp\internal-nlog.txt">

<extensions>
  <add assembly="NLog.Web.AspNetCore"/>
</extensions>
<targets>
  <target name="database" xsi:type="Database" connectionString="" >
    <commandText>
      INSERT INTO "NLogs" (
      "Application", "Level", "Message", "Logger", "Callsite", "Exception", "Logged")
      VALUES ( @Application, @Level, @Message,
      @Logger, @Callsite, @Exception,@Logged);

    </commandText>

    <parameter name="@application" layout="AspNetCoreNlog" />
    <parameter name="@level" layout="${level}" />
    <parameter name="@message" layout="${message}" />

    <parameter name="@logger" layout="${logger}" />
    <parameter name="@callSite" layout="${callsite:filename=true}" />
    <parameter name="@exception" layout="${exception:tostring}" />
    <parameter name="@logged" layout="${date}" />
  </target>
</targets>

<rules>
  <logger name="*"  minlevel="Debug" maxlevel="Error" final="true" writeTo="database" />
</rules>
</nlog>

Let’s discuss the nlog.config file layout.

Top-level elements

The root element is nlog in nlog.config file. The use of an XML namespace is optional but enables Intellisense in Visual Studio. We can set the internal log file path to internalLogFile. We can check the working log status in this file. So, if nlog is not working, you can check this file to know the issue.

NLog config is case-insensitive when not using a namespace and is case-sensitive when using a namespace.

You can use the following elements as children to nlog. Targets and rules are required in any configuration and others are optional and can be useful in advanced scenarios.

targets — defines log targets/outputs

rules — defines log routing rules

extensions — loads NLog extensions from the *.dll file

include– includes external configuration file

variable — sets the value of a configuration variable

The simplest configuration consists of one target and one rule (logger) that routes messages to the target.

Targets

The targets section defines log Targets. Each target is represented by a target element. There are two attributes required for each target:

name — target name

type — target type — such as “File”, “Database”, “Mail”, “Cloud”. When using namespaces this attribute is named xsi:type.

To know more about targets click on the below link

https://github.com/nlog/nlog/wiki/Configuration-file#targets

Here our log target is the database. So, inside the targets, we have defined our target as a database.

<target name=”database” xsi:type=”Database” connectionString=”” >

In the target tag, we’ll define the database connection string.

Note:- The default db provider will be SQL server if you are using any other database you will need to set the dbProvider.

<commandText>
INSERT INTO “NLogs” (“Application”, “Level”, “Message”, “Logger”, “Callsite”, “Exception”, “Logged”) VALUES (@Application, @Level, @Message, @Logger, @Callsite, @Exception, @Logged);
</commandText>

The statement inside the commandText is the insert SQL statement for inserting the logs in NLog table.

Now, declare all the parameters that are going to be inserted in the NLog table. The parameter node will contain the property name and Layout.

<parameter name=”@application” layout=”AspNetCoreNlog” />
 <parameter name=”@level” layout=”${level}” />
 <parameter name=”@message” layout=”${message}” />
 <parameter name=”@logger” layout=”${logger}” />
 <parameter name=”@callSite” layout=”${callsite:filename=true}” />
 <parameter name=”@exception” layout=”${exception:tostring}” />
 <parameter name=”@logged” layout=”${date}” />

To know about the layout, please follow the below link

https://github.com/nlog/nlog/wiki/Configuration-file#layouts-and-layout-renderers

Rules

The rules section maps loggers to targets and log levels.

https://github.com/nlog/nlog/wiki/Configuration-file#rules

Now, in .net core application update the below line in Program.cs .

public static IWebHostBuilder CreateWebHostBuilder(string[] args) =>
           WebHost.CreateDefaultBuilder(args).UseNLog()
               .UseStartup<Startup>();

The Logging configuration specified in appsettings.json overrides any call to SetMinimumLevel. So either remove “Default”: or adjust it correctly to your needs.

{
“Logging”: {
“IncludeScopes”: false,
“LogLevel”: {
“Default”: “Trace”,
“Microsoft”: “Warning”,
“Microsoft.Hosting.Lifetime”: “Information”
}
},
“AllowedHosts”: “*”
}

Remember to also update any environment-specific configuration to avoid any surprises. Ex appsettings.Development.json

Write logs

Inject the ILogger in you controller:

using Microsoft.Extensions.Logging;
public class HomeController : Controller {
private readonly ILogger<HomeController> _logger;
public HomeController(ILogger<HomeController> logger)
{
_logger = logger;
_logger.LogDebug(1, “Log Debug”);
}
public IActionResult Index() {
_logger.LogInformation(“Hello, world!”);
return View();
}

Note: If you don’t see any logging in db, please check the file internallogfile (path set in the nlog.config file). You can check the issue with logging in this file.

To configure the NLog with Postgres, we just need to make a few changes.

Change the db configuration settings for the postgres in nlog.config file.

<target name=”database” xsi:type=”Database” dbProvider=”Npgsql.NpgsqlConnection, Npgsql” connectionString=”User ID=;Password=;Host=;port=;Database=;” >
<commandText>
INSERT INTO public.”NLogs” (“Application”, “Level”, “Message”, “Logger”, “Callsite”, “Exception”, “Logged”) VALUES (@Application, @Level, @Message, @Logger, @Callsite, @Exception,@Logged );
</commandText>

That’s it, rest things will be the same as the above (NLog with SQL server).

Azure Bastion: Secure way to RDP/SSH Azure Virtual Machines

Monday, March 2nd, 2020

Microsoft Azure has recently launched Azure Bastion; a managed PaaS service to securely connect to Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) directly through the Azure Portal without any client needed.

Generally, we connect to the remote machines by either RDP or SSH. Before Bastion, if we need to connect to a VM in Azure we either need to expose a public RDP/SSH port of the server(s) or we need to provision a separate jump box server with said ports exposed and then connect to the private machines via the jump box server.

Exposing RDP/SSH ports over the Internet is not desirable and considered as a security threat, and with Azure Bastion, we can connect to Azure VM(s) securely over SSL, directly in Azure Portal and without exposing any ports. This also enables clientless connectivity meaning no client tool like mstsc is needed. It just requires a supported browser to access the VM.

Key points

  • Azure Bastion is a fully managed PaaS service that provides secure and seamless RDP/SSH access to Azure VM(s)
  • No RDP/SSH ports need to be exposed publicly
  • No public IP is required for VM(s)
  • Access VM(s) directly from the Azure portal over SSL
  • Help to limit threats like port scanning and other malware
  • Makes it easy to manage Network Security Groups (NSGs)
  • It is basically a scale set under the hood, which can resize itself based on the number of connections to your network
  • Azure Bastion is provisioned within a Virtual Network (VNet) within a separate subnet. The name of the subnet must be AzureBastionSubnet
  • Once provisioned, access is there for all VMs in the VNet, across subnets
  • Get started within minutes

Getting Started

  • Select the VNet, in which you have the VM(s), which you want to connect. Create a subnet on which the bastion host will be deployed. Make sure that the range of networks is at least /27 or larger and the name of the subnet is AzureBastionSubnet.
  • Now go to the Azure portal and create a Bastion service and fill in the required details.
  • Once the Bastion is provisioned, just navigate to the VM, you want to RDP/SSH and click Connect. There you will see an option to connect using Bastion.
  • Just enter the username and password and Connect. You can also login using a username and SSH private key for Linux if it is configured.
  • This is it. When connected, the remote session will start in the browser window.

Limitations

The service is not available in all regions, and the Azure folks are working on adding it to all regions eventually. As of now, the file transfer service is not available but we hope this feature will get added in the future, however, text copy-paste is supported. Keep visiting the service documentation for more details and feature updates.

Importance of User Research

Thursday, January 30th, 2020

User Research, the term brings to mind a complex looking image with stacks of paper, graphs and diagrams, computers, figures, and whatnot. If this is true for you too, then you are not wrong. It does in-fact consist of an infinitely straining series of events, each more complex than the other.

Then why do so many companies today invest so much in terms of money and manpower in setting up programs all based on one objective- user research?

The answer to this question is simple — it is impossible to launch a successful product or design without going through this tedious process, for it is nothing but this that gives the creators an idea of what the audience wants, how will it perceive whatever they have to offer and most importantly how much are they willing to pay in order to have it. It seems like a fair bargain, doesn’t it?

So let us begin by understanding what is this “user research”. If very loosely defined, it can be considered as observation techniques, task analyses and other methods of feedback aimed to procure an understanding of the user’s needs, problems, and behavior. It is carried out using various methodologies, both quantitative and qualitative and over the years has evolved into a near scientific method of analysis.

User research can be considered as an exploration mission sent right to the hearts of consumers. These become essential because every UX or UI designer needs the data provided by this to be empathetic towards the user’s needs. Many experts in the field unanimously stress on the need for empathy in design. They opine that without understanding the feelings, sight, and experience of others it is pointless to design anything. This makes perfect sense, after all, UX or user experience is all about satisfying the user, making him comfortable while using that given piece of technology and that can only happen once you know what makes that consumer happy, what makes him twitch, what annoys him and what relaxes him, User research gives you all of these things and more.

User research brings in data through ethnographic studies, usability tests, interviews, surveys, statistical analyses and serves it to the designer, it provides him a window to the user’s mind and finally gives him an inspiration so as to “what to create.” The first and foremost outcome is exactly that, it provides the designers with inspiration and paints them a clear picture of whether their idea is relevant or not. This goes a long way. The data and its analysis are used to demonstrate to the companies the importance of these designs and to attract investors, capital, and everything else that the designer needs to carry on. It even guides these big companies in the direction they should invest more in R&D. A classic example of the fact is Samsung TV. Before their embankment in the journey of user research, the global TV market was dominated by ostentatious boasting of their screen’s resolution, sound quality, etc. But Samsung’s research sung a different tale, it indicated that the audience cared much more about the looks and overall design of their television as compared to the technical feats it offered.

People thought of the TV more like a piece of furniture than anything else and wanted it to fit in inside their rooms along with other things and not glare around looking out of place. As a result, Samsung radically altered its designs and the televisions they produced were sleeker, better looking, and capable of merging in with its surroundings. Samsung’s share of the global TV market nearly doubled because of this endeavor. This and many more examples including those of Microsoft, Sony, Lenovo all giants in their respective fields had an epiphany that changed their profit sacks allowing their advancements in the field of User Research.

Another bright spot that this field highlights along with return on investment, relevance, etc. is in the arena of sales and advertisement. Advertising a product without knowing the user is the same as shooting an arrow in the dark and hoping it hits the bull’s eye. User research describes the demographics of the consumer in a way that enables the sellers to isolate the needs, necessities, likes, dislikes of a large number of consumers, and finally isolate their own target customer. The 21stCentury is scattered with examples of companies providing fewer benefits to the consumer as compared to a rival company and yet showing more in sales. All of this hinges upon one thing- understanding the user, and accomplishing that is next to impossible without a good quality, comprehensive user research.

Thus, on the importance of user research, we may simply conclude that, for a designer to get inspiration for a product he needs user research, for a company to understand the return on investment and the relevance of a product it needs user research and finally for a seller to fix the price and finally sell the product he needs user research. Every step of the journey a lot of things change, but what remains constant is the need for quality user research.

How Struggle Sharpens Your Ability to Innovate

Friday, January 24th, 2020

It has always been a source of immense amazement to me how every successful person on this planet has had a story filled with struggle, perseverance, and failure. Not one tall tale of success, have I ever encountered that was all about things being served in a platter to the guy and then someone holding his hands and walking him to success. Even the richest of businessmen are making their heirs attend the toughest of schools, have a life based on work and not to be easy going. This has got to mean something. As cumbersome and inconvenient as it may sound to you, I have to tell you that it is in fact one of the fundamental truths of life that struggle sharpens your ability to innovate, grow, and then ultimately become a success.

I don’t think philosophies are much cared for, by the millennium generation in general, but here’s the deal- when it comes to inspiration, I think the ancient thought if decoded from its erudite abode has a lot to offer, the experience drenched philosophies that the societies are etched with and that we so conveniently ignore all sing about how struggle helps us discover new things and innovate. Ancient thought has always tended to appreciate the struggle. We ourselves try to ignore it, or when undergoing this strenuous state of mind tries to hide it, are ashamed of it, or worse feel sorry about it. The reality should be the exact opposite. A number of philosophies dictate how the struggle is an opportunity to grow, how failure is an opportunity to learn and as the following discussion progresses I we will all start having a deeper understanding and appreciation of struggle and finally agree with the ancient thought and start embracing the struggle and not avoiding it.

Human history is filled with innovation and one of the major inspirations behind these innovations has always been- struggle. The struggle of a man trying to reach from one place to another led to the formation of the wheel, the struggle of men facing innumerable diseases led to the discovery of an entirely new branch of science- medicine. Similarly, the struggle of managing data, of getting work done quicker all these led to in the past and still lead to the innovations in computer technologies and software. The idea is to recognize that struggle and draw inspiration from it. Struggle provides us with empathy which in turn provides us the incentive to work harder, think harder, reach our maximum potential in whatever we are doing. Millions of inventions have only sprung out of the minds like that of Edison and Tesla because they recognized theirs as well as the struggle of those around them.

Another gift this thorny package provides you is humility. The more intelligent you are, the more likely you are to be overconfident and then ultimately commit blunders. But if you are struggling to let’s say create a particular piece of software, you will first, of course, try and execute your idea in one go, it didn’t go as planned. You try again and again, first checking if the process, the system is properly aligned, it still does not work. Then you will start taking a closer look at your idea, at the various sets of codes you had written to execute it, you keep looking and looking and almost every single time you come across a point where you realize- you could have done better or that merely there was an easier way to get the same things done. You solve these snags and behold- you have your software, ready to use, and better than ever.

Now, let’s take a step back. Just think of the said software would have been a success in the first go, would you have any incentive to look closely at all its components yet again? I didn’t think so. It was the mere fact that you struggled to run the software that you gave value and thought to its each and every component and in turn, created a much better thing out of them. This inside innovation would never have been possible if you hadn’t struggled in the first place. Thus, struggle gives you a whole new experience, a new window to look at the same thing and I think that is all that an intelligent mind needs for inspiration to innovate.

Lastly, I think struggle also gives you much more knowledge and experience than anything ever could. Reading books or knowing about how things are done is one thing, but when you actually sit down and start working on those “things” yourself, you start appreciating its every aspect, you start realizing its flaws and shortcomings, something which you need to experience first-hand to fully understand and once you do that you finally have both the opportunity and the knowledge to solve these problems, to develop new solutions to finally innovate.

Thus, it is important for all of us, especially those who have set out on a journey to discover and create something new to understand that there is no avoiding struggle. Instead of taking shortcuts or being let down by the struggle, we have to start looking at it as it is- a golden opportunity, a teacher that is there to teach you of millions of things that nobody else has ever even mentioned to you. So it is time now for us to start embracing this incredible opportunity sugar-coated inside with the word- struggle!

UI Android vs iOS UI

Friday, January 24th, 2020

User Interface (UI) as dynamic as it is, individually takes yet another turn in the diversity section when we come to Android vs IOS.

You must have heard sagas of the differences between the android and iOS users each pleading a case of how their operating system is better than the other. But what you may not know is that this isn’t new, it has been the case for ages now. And, on no account can you term it as superficial. Android users do have a very tough time adjusting to iOS and vice versa. The “why” to this problem has a lot of little aspects and one major aspect. The major one is the differences in the UI of the two. Think about it, for instance, a layman while comparing two devices with these two operating systems may ignore for once, the differences in the complex configurations behind the processors in the two, but what he will always keep in mind is “how does is screen look?” “which icon goes where?” “how do you navigate through different pages?” and all of these have only one thing in common- UI.

Thus, it becomes essential for us to understand the differences between the UI in the two operating systems so that if need be we can make an informed choice and in a more competent fashion.

Now that we have started, we need to know where all will we be able to spot these differences. The best answer to this is — “If you scrutinize the subtle, then everywhere.” These differences are present everywhere — in the navigation bars, toolbars, types of control, buttons, and whatnot.

Out of these hundreds our focus first, obviously goes to navigation. Android is based on the material design guidelines, which is something widely accepted and followed globally even google uses them while developing its own applications. iOS, on the other hand, is based on the human interface design. One of the most noticeable differences in navigation is how android uses a “universal navigation bar” present at the bottom of the screen but iOS uses a combination of gestures and the home button. It also presents itself with an inbuilt “back button” in almost every one of its apps to help with the simple retracing of steps. Now you may be able to see how even a simple action as “going back” becomes so different with a change of UI.

Similar to navigation is another aspect — Menu. In Android, they generally have it in the form of a sidebar where you just tap and pull and voilà — you will have five to six apps ready to access. iOS, on the contrary, prefers a tab bar, which is placed at the bottom of the screen. These tab bars though according to various consumer analysis reports are easier to use, provide a lesser array of apps to be at the user’s disposal at one point of time.

The search field too is not left behind in this gabble of differences. In fact, the amount of comfort drawn from a device has a huge dependence on the accessibility of the search field, and its placing and presentation in the two operating systems play a pivotal role in materializing the differences between the two. One of the most distinguishing in this arena is the placement. iOS demonstrates a certain amount of rigidity as the full search bar is placed at the top of the screen. Whereas Android provides its users with a little bit of flexibility on the matter. It gives the users an option to place the search bar on the top, which is majorly different from what was provided by iOS because this one only expands into a full search bar upon tapping the search icon. The second option enables the search bar to gain much-deserved mobility as Android presents the users with an option to access the search field in the form of a widget that can be placed according to the user’s whim.

Pages on the second or lower level of hierarchy use segmented control in iOS and a tab on the Android. Furthermore, all text tabs in Android are present in uppercase and in iOS as a title case. This coupled with a fact that Android UI comes with a “text-only” policy for these tabs, which allows no icons and texts to be present simultaneously on the tabs and that iOS has no such policy, gives another important point of distinction to the two operating systems.

Another fundamental difference between the UI of the two can be observed in the color and size of the apps provided, Android usually has a more multi-color approach, with icons which are big in size and have reasonable spacing in between, on the other hand, iOS prefers a black and white pallet with a more compressed outlook.

A large difference further exists in the form of buttons, dialogues, alerts, etc. But as we explore these and many more, we must also understand the fact that these are all very temporary. The general trend today shows enough cases that indicate that we are moving towards a more converging user interface present in Android and iOS. The addition of the “switch” option to Android from the exclusive domain of iOS being one of the many examples of the same.

So, after understanding the differences in the two UIs and analyzing the various trends associated to it, one may also draw a parallel conclusion that with the passage of time as the consumer becomes more knowledgeable and demands for more and more freedom in mobility, structure, and outlook, the products will begin to have more and more fluid user interfaces and thus skipping the boundaries drawn by the differences in the operating systems and ultimately being a junction of the two categories we see today!

Internet of Things (IOT)

Friday, January 24th, 2020

Internet of Things (IOT) is a vast variety of things encompassing machines, humans, animals, objects, etc. all transferring data on an inter-related network without requiring any human-human or human-computer interaction.

It can easily be derived that IoT has increased our efficiency and taken it off the charts in terms of saving time, accuracy, and precision. Started with a simple machine to machine (M2M) communication it was the great potential in this that it has so rapidly expanded to now being an irreplaceable part of the industry, it has crept into the manufacturing, consumer, enterprise and separate IoTs are present for each and more.

Another basic example to highlight its presence would be the concept of “smart homes” be it Amazon or other companies all are offering a continuous array of devices to add to your house that would automatically take care of your various needs like adjusting the thermostat. Playing music, recording a T.V show, setting an alarm, etc. These devices are some of the “things” in the IoT and constantly record and analyze data to identify customer needs, patterns, and then act accordingly.

Companies are actively using IoTs to monitor their business processes, improve and adopt new business models, and enhance customer experience by making it more immersive and with the least possibility of human error. This leads to the conclusion that not only are our lives irreplaceably dependent of the Internet of Things but it is also one of the greatest sources of income for companies involved in providing these services, and this is the case when the IoT ecosystem is new and underdeveloped but with more and more investment flowing in, its exponential expansion is now a reality. In fact, companies have gone on to predict both the near and distant future of IoT and both seem to be shining extra-ordinarily.

Companies like IHS Markit believe the number of connected IoT devices will increase by 12% annually to reach 125 billion in 2030. While McKinsey & Company estimates IoT will have an $11.1 trillion impact by 2025 and Brain & Company believes that the revenue generated from IoT hardware and software shall not fall short of $450 billion by 2020.

Significance of Iconography

Friday, January 24th, 2020

A picture is worth a thousand words” you must have come across these words more than you can recall, but when it comes to the market for the companies this picture can be worth much more than a thousand dollars too.

Iconography is the art of developing and using icons to capture audiences, remove ambiguity from concepts, and make the data provided easy to handle and more presentable. That must have sounded like too much for a picture, but believe me, all of these things and more do hinge upon the types of icons a company uses. Iconography today is playing a pivotal role in defining the good user experience and it is a testimony of just how germane this tool is that billions of dollars are spent annually by companies like Google, Facebook, Walmart, Samsung, etc. in this field.

The significance of iconography can be easily understood — just think of a brand, any brand. What are the first five things that come to mind? Several pieces of research conducted by experts in human behavior unanimously point out that it is the brand’s standard icon. For example, if I think of Gmail, one of the first things that pop into my head is that red M in an envelope. So, it is needless to say that the first and most primary importance of iconography is- assigning an identity to a company. The icons register in the brains of the users much easily as compared to any other feature and they have a higher chance of being identified when coming across randomly. The best example to demonstrate my last analysis would be the simple fact that how on any random web page when we see a little blue bird we know its twitter, even when no prior context is provided, same happens with the white f in a blue box or the white camera with a pink background.

Next on the list is — the implicit use of iconography. An icon does not just operate as an ID card for companies, they are also the tool that companies use to help navigate the users through the various pages present on their websites, etc. Suppose you want to read an article on sports and you open a news website then instead of scrolling through until you reach the desired section you can just click on the sports icon and directly reach it. Or suppose you just want to take a print out of the page, the print icon will be easily available and identifiable from the beginning and thus much easier to access if instead the word “print” was scribbled somewhere in the corner. Going back or forward on web pages, skipping pages icons make all these tasks much easy to perform owing to their easy to spot and convenient to access nature.

In a page full of text an icon provides perspective to the user. It draws attention to products, services, menu, and features. You would not have to comb through tons and tons of words to finally reach the place you actually wanted to see. The amount of energy and time wasted otherwise would be much more than what anybody can afford to waste in today’s day and time. Moreover, icons provide a compact display of information in a more attractive and user-friendly manner. For example, my taskbar is currently displaying a few icons — word, google chrome, files, music. Now just imagine if instead of showing these as icons my taskbar would have just had these same written down in words, or on your smartphone instead of the bright little pictures of all those apps, you would just have the said names typed in normal Arial, font size 10. How dull would all that be?

Our speed of using these devices would reduce considerably and we would not want to spend as much time on these devices as we do, for the simple reason that they won’t be as attractive or comfortable to use. But with icons, we have an inherent escape from these mundane problems. Moreover, with money flowing in from every crevice the R&D in iconography is so developed that all the colors, angles, edges, figures everything you come across in these icons are scientifically designed to provide you with aesthetically pleasing sensation. So they are not just helping you in all these other tasks they are also making your subconscious happier just by being there- how great is that?

It started since the 18th-century iconography has become an irreplaceable part of user-company interaction. It defines the user experience and plays a pivotal role in marketing and advertisement of products. Aside from conveying a tremendous amount of information in a compact yet comprehensive way it makes navigation faster by multiple folds. Adding to the attractiveness, comfort accessibility iconography provides an identity to a company. It is a burning ground in both electronic and paper operated industries and has reached a point where both the biggest giants in the industries as well as the feeble infants are pouring in large sums of money in developing icons and pursuing more and more dynamic and developed standards of iconography. A result of which can be seen all around on your desktops, mobile phones, billboards, etc. Where from every nook and corner there is one bright little icon peering over, grabbing your attention and holding your hand and taking you to wherever you want to go.

Progressive Web Apps

Friday, January 24th, 2020

In the era where our mobile phone devices have come to satisfy so many of our needs and have become so minutely integrated into all our daily functioning, it is only logical that the features of the older machines that we had all been such vehement users of, in the past be adapted and enhanced in these mobile devices. Just think about it- when was the last time you used your laptop or computer to run a quick google search or even perform any other simple activity that required the internet?

The answer to this usually is a long time ago, so now that mobiles have become our window to the internet it was almost essential for it to be evolved accordingly. While most of the mobile-internet interaction occurs via the usage of mobile applications, in this age of diverse dynamism it is simply impossible to store an app for every activity you want to do. The amount of storage space you’d need for that would just be a preposterous number! Hence comes access to websites on mobile phones and hence comes the PWAs.

PWAs or Progressive Web Application is a kind of software development methodology, they can be understood as a hybrid model of traditional web pages and mobile applications. In simpler terms, you may just say that PWA is the combination of the advantages and best features of mobile apps and web pages. It is this, that enables the browser to have a more mobile-friendly, more comprehensive and more immersive experience.

By now I think you may have come to realize the importance of PWA in our mobile-internet interaction. There is however much more that it brings to the table. As an example, think you have admitted one of the web pages opened in the browser to the home screen (the option is provided on the pages). Now every time you would open the home screen, you shall have a little badge of this web page, which upon clicking shall enable you to skip the tedious process of typing and take you directly to the desired web page. It is not just that, it starts providing you notifications and at times even hides the UI and the page actually does start functioning as an app. The web pages are easier to access, faster to load, and even have an offline presence. And with the onset of features like providing notifications and updates to the users, they have induced a much sought-after experience in the browser-user interaction. The best part is that it is not limited to mobile phones, it is also a feature just as actively present and exploited in your computers, bringing the two devices closer than they were ever before.

With an analysis of PWAs in progression, it is of absolute importance that we discuss the Service Worker. It is if loosely defined, a script run by the browser in the background, and it is that which enables PWAs to load almost immediately without any concern for the state of the internet connection or speed. They add the feature of reliability to the PWAs as they enable intelligent caching, push notifications, and other background functions.

The speed factor provided as a result of this entire charade should not be overlooked either. As numerous studies have suggested and you may yourself observe that as much as 53% of the users leave a website if takes more than 3 seconds to load. Thus, for companies developing such internet services, the use of PWAs may as well be one of the biggest arrows in the quiver with it ensuring high-speed loading of web pages even on the diciest network conditions.

Another way to assess the importance of this incredible feature is the results it has yielded since its onset in the recent past. Google Chrome seems to have grown to 1 Billion users from a mere 400 Million in 2016. This monstrous growth and that too the short time of just two years is indicative of how the integration of the PWA with the browser has moved the users. It is, in fact, being suggested by the most notable experts in this field that the earlier trend to abandon a website and open an app (as done by companies like Flipkart) has in reality backfired. The rationalization is pretty simple, that with PWAs already bringing in the ‘best of the applications’ going through the trouble to download an app and follow the entire arduous process and then at the end compromise the limited data storage space that we have on our devices seems not to be worth the trouble.

With such grand tales of the accomplishments of the PWA, it is important that in the end some flaws are pointed out as well. A major shortcoming would be that while many browsers like google and Samsung support this format, there still exist quite a few that don’t. Further, the competition between the mobile apps and web pages is still going strong and will take some more time to resolve, thus the inclusion of companies and users in this arena though on the rise, is yet to reach its true potential. Further, many of the added advanced features that are otherwise present in apps and devices like the fingerprint scanner are yet to make a notable presence in the PWAs.

Thus, its integration in every device still remains a question that can only be answered in time. Recent trends certainly give an optimistic result but at the same time, there is a need for PWAs to evolve constantly and immerse the latest of advancement that has become common in most devices and be even handier to its dynamic set of users.

Microservices

Friday, January 24th, 2020

The world we live in is dynamic, in fact, the only sure-fire constant that you may find in it is the fact that change here, is a rather constant set of affairs. When we narrow down our view of the world to software and technology this seems to take a whole other meaning, not only is change constantly occurring, it is occurring so rapidly that even the best of our brains have difficulty keeping up with it.

This brings us to a very interesting question- how can the various applications and other software on your electronic devices accommodate such a variety of change and that too this fast? This question lies in the mind of all developers, before they even launch a new application, for example, they build it already capable of inculcating new updates, etc. Now comes the question of rapidity. Earlier the applications used to have monolithic architecture. Under this, the entire application was built as one independent unit. This resulted in any induction of change to be an extremely time-taking and tedious process as any change affected the entire system- even the most minuscule modification to even a tiny segment of the code could require the building or deployment new version of the software.

But the world as we know it needed to be much faster than that, this where Microservices came and replaced Monolith applications. Microservice architecture or as it is popularly known- Microservices is today one of the foundation components of creating a good application aimed and precise and immersive delivery of service. It is a style of Architecture that designs the application as an amalgamation of services that can easily be maintained over a long period of time and deployed if need be both with one another or independently. It tackles the problems posed by earlier models by being modular in every single aspect. It is a rather distinctive method of creating systems of software that emphasizes the creation of single-function modules with strictly defined operations and interfaces.

Since there are no official templates available to either design or develop or even base microservice architecture upon, providers of these services often find themselves in a more creative space than usual, however over time there has come some uniformity in types and characteristics of services offered or how this architecture is developed. Topping the charts, of course, is its uncanny ability to be divided into numerous components with each being able to be tweaked and redeployed independently so if one or more service is to be changed, the developers do not have to undertake the gargantuan task of changing the entire application.

Another defining characteristic carried by it is the simple fact that this is built for business. In previous architectures the traditional approach with separate teams for User Interface, Technology layers, Databases, and other services and components was present. Microservice comes with the revolutionary idea of cross-platform teams, with each team being given the task of developing one or more very specific products based on any number of services (as available within the architecture) with the help of a message bus for the purpose of communication. It functions on the motto- “You build it, you run it.” Hence these teams are allowed to assume ownership of their developed product for its lifetime.

Another well-founded achievement of Microservices is its quality of resistance to failure. The probability of failure is extremely plausible since a number of services which on their own are quite diverse as well are continuously communicating and working together. The chance of a service failing is rather high. In such cases, the client should withdraw peacefully allowing other services around its function. Moreover, Microservices come with the ability to monitor over these services which exponentially reduces these chances of failure, and if and when one service or the other does fail it is thus well equipped to cope up with it.

As you may realize reading thus far, that Microservice architecture in all its application and potential seems to be a design capable of bringing a revolution in the industry, hints of which have already been seen as it has efficiently and rather completely replaced the traditional monolith models. It is an evolutionary design and it is an ideal choice for a designer who is unable to anticipate the types of changes that product may have to undergo in the future. In fact, it is built to accommodate unforeseen changes and that is why as development becomes more and more rapid a larger share of industry is switching from Monolithic to Microservices.

Some of the big players adding to its prestige are Netflix and Amazon. Both requiring one of the most widespread architectures possible in the industry. They get a number of calls from a variety of devices which would simply have been impossible to be handled by the traditional models they used before that.

One major drawback faced globally among Microservices enthusiasts is the fact that the logic, schema and other information that would otherwise have been the company’s intellectual property implicit their own minds now have to be shared across the various cross-platform services. But there is no way around it, in the world around us where most software is being developed over cloud environments this is more or less a philosophical question that whether we should even keep a secret. But along with this aby accepting regression tests and planning around backward compatibility a lot of such tricky scenarios could easily be avoided. Anyway, compared to the ocean of benefits that one receives from Microservice architecture it can remain a rhetorical question whether companies have any other options available. The pros outweigh the cons by far and in the coming times, this is going to be even more sought after model than it is now.

React Native vs Xamarin

Friday, January 24th, 2020

With an overly increasing market for mobile applications in both of its major platforms- Android and iOS, it is only probable that the developers continue to hunt for a faster, a more comprehensive way of creating these. This is where open source cross-platform frameworks like React Native and Xamarin comes to play. With both these frameworks topping the charts in their fields it is only necessary to closely examine and compare their features so that the user is better equipped to make a choice.

If simple facts are to be believed then React native has about three times more users than Xamarin, on the various platforms where the users of these frameworks form communities and interact we can see a wide disparity in the number of people committed to one of the two, be it Github or Reddit. But this does not necessarily indicate better technical process. What it does show is that Facebook is making extra efforts in securing a community for its framework, a field where Microsoft effectively lacks.

If we examine the technical aspects of the two, we see the amount of ease of usage that React native provides to its customers- basic knowledge of the Java Script and you are ready to develop mobile apps. Xamarin, on the other hand, uses the C# language, which is more popular with the native users of Android or iOS.

This also introduces to one of the areas where React Native falls short of customer expectations is that it has no provisions for the native features of Android or iOS, the need to be created from scratch every time you have to include them in your development process, this tedious task compels you to write in both Java and Objective C. On the other hand, Xamarin offers no such problems.

As far as the need for emulators is concerned, in Xamarin one has the compulsion to integrate them in order create anything, whereas React native can function without it, but for a better or more complex application your work has to be integrated with these external emulators at the end.

Another area where React native has not been scoring high is the lack of maturity in its framework, it is easily susceptible to damage and prone to attack via bugs, etc. It has taken a lot of public heat, since often, these bugs are hard to fix, and time taken in doing so might range to days.

So, while React native might appear to be more lucrative a strong proposition can be made claiming that Xamarin with its impeccable centralized support among other things is a better boat to sail in for the long term.

Google Analytics, Amplitude or Mixpanel

Friday, January 24th, 2020

Know the right tool for your Business

With the increasing emphasis on data-driven business optimization choosing an appropriate analytics tool has never been more important.

There are a bunch of analytics tools available in the market. These tools can all look the same, and some of the similar terminologies might be confusing.

Analysis of data is something every size of business requires these days. We will look at 3 of the most talked-about tools available in the market. Looking at just three might help you decide which one will work for your business or organization.

Say hello to Mixpanel

Mixpanel came into the market in 2009 and gradually it became popular. Mixpanel is a tool that majorly focuses on the post sign up of the website and the events performed by the various users, it tracks every event performed by the users. It allows focusing on each user specifically. Some of the major feature provided by Mixpanel is user analytics, create funnels, analyze retention cohorts and flesh out user journeys and many other recurring feature names you have heard of associated with analytical tools.

The analysis provided by Mixpanel has events that take place on the webpages of your site, like adding to cart or completing a form or downloads — anything that can be done, it can be measured.

Mixpanel divides the data in segments triggered by the events into the users who took this action. It certainly makes the bulk of data that can be collected into much more digestible chunks. This segmentation-first approach to the analytics of data is the main focus of the UI/UX.

A/B testing is a feature that you have heard of more often when it is about analytical tools, this feature allows you to measure the success of two variations of your site content, then implementing the most successful one. It’s a better solution than creating a page, giving it a week to measure success, and then amend it, and so repeating that until you’re satisfied with the results.

You can specify an event you want to measure, and Mixpanel will analyze data from user journeys that previously completed that event to predict the chances of future users completing the event at the end of the same user journey. It will provide you with scores for it.

Mixpanel can be sued by any beginner easily. Everything is crystal clear, and everything is pretty much where it is expected to be. It’s got the usual to see left-hand navigation pane, and all the menu titles there are largely self-explanatory.

When you first start off, you can have a tutorial video explaining each feature of the navigation pane, explaining what it does, and how it will help you when you’re trying to understand your data. It depends on the user whether these are useful or not — some people really just want to read about it with some screenshots.

Say hello to Amplitude

Amplitude is similar to Mixpanel, but their product has a more modern feel. Like Mixpanel, they focus on what happens after a user signs up and what users are doing inside your product.

They are a great option for e-commerce companies and companies who have cross-platform products. Amplitude also takes an event-focused approach to their data collection, and the analytical outcomes of this are many.

What Amplitude seems to take the most pride in though, is the visualization of the data it collects, in presenting you with bite-sizes of digestible and actionable information.

You can customize a lot of these chunks of information to suit yourself, but it does come with a bunch of default ones. I’m talking about things like customer retention, the ability to view real-time actions, and managing your analytics using a marketing funnel.

Amplitude’s usability and the interface can be best described as ‘positive.’

From the bright colors used in the design of the user interface, through to the tone of voice used in the instructions when you take the initial demo tour, it is easy to get to.

You know in a movie when they have Parallel universe or dream in dream sequence, where everything is all positive, to the extent that the subject gets suspicious? It’s like that, except I couldn’t find anything negative, and wasn’t pulled out of it with a shock.

It’s got the standard left-hand navigation pane, and the demo tour will take you through each one of those, explaining what they do. The various graphs and charts make great use of color to help with their clarity.

Say hello to Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a general audience overview, telling you top-level information, such as how many visitors your website overall has had, where they have been located and what language they’ve been using.

Besides the user-centric stuff, you can look at all kinds of things. You can check which pages on your website have been the most popular. You can get a breakdown of the sources from which people got to your website, so whether it was from an organic search, paid search, or social media.

From social media, you can drill down to the specific networks, so whether it was Facebook or Twitter or whatever.

You can get as detailed as you want with the data. For example, you could see how many people came to your website from Facebook, what time they did so at, their age and gender, and generally what they looked at.

One of the key features is the link to AdWords so that you can see directly how much money your Google PPC ad spend is generating in conversions. In a time when ROI is a repeated question from management, it’s good to be able to see it straight away

People new to analytics might be surprised by the depth of the data that can be gathered.

Google Analytics wouldn’t have such a high market share if its usability was like solving Rubik’s cube (of course at first), haha :).

The layout and navigation make sense. Google does offer certification in Analytics, which is useful for getting the most out of it.

By creating custom URLs and a campaign with Google Analytics, you can get more detailed information about who has been clicking through to your website from your email: where they were, what time they clicked through at, and what they did from there.

Doctor Strange stuff huh!

The main thing about Google Analytics is that it gives you all the information you need, but how it’s used will depend on the confidence of the person using it, and how much time the organization wants to allocate to data analysis.

Here is the feature and Integrations comparison between Google Analytics, Amplitude, and Mixpanel in the tabular representation so that you can give you an add-on to compare and decide which one is best suited for your data.

Conclusion

There are so many businesses can learn about their customers today. The amount of data that can be collected is enormous and the company which is willing to take advantage of it are making moves to be on top.

So, which tool you should use? Well, the answer is hidden in your business. Depending on the company — its size, audience, life stage, and goals — the data analytics suite that’s the best fit may be different from what the rival company or company across the street is using.

What made your favorite social networking site Google+ go down?

Friday, January 24th, 2020

Eight years after it launched Google+ with much fanfare, Google shut down its social network in April this year. Though the announcement to shut down Google+ comes after it was found that a bug that was present for more than two years led to the exposure of data of millions of users to external developers , Google+ was already dying.

And this is not the first time a social network has to be shut down.

In 1997, the first social networking site was launched, SixDegrees.com. At its peak, the site had around 3.5 million registered users. The platform was simple; users could send messages and share content by posting on bulletin boards. The network shut down just four years later in 2001.

Remember Orkut? Orkut was launched in 2004 by a Turkish software engineer and Google employee, Orkut Büyükkökten. Orkut was the result of the search giant’s failure to buy Friendster. Orkut, while not much of a success in the US, proved big in Brazil and India, its two key markets. Orkut had 19 million users in India and 34 million in Brazil when it lost the top spot to Facebook. Google finally shut Orkut on September 30, 2014. This site had a much longer tenure than SixDegrees but still ended up in the grave in 2014.

Another fallen giant was MySpace. It may be hard to imagine how big MySpace was. In 2006, it beat Yahoo and Google to become the largest website in the US by page views. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp had bought it the previous year for $580 million. Its valuation shot up to a staggering $12 billion in 2007 when it had 300 million users. But it was all downhill for the site from there as Facebook closed the gap with MySpace and became the largest social networking site. News Corp sold MySpace in June 2011 for just $35 million.

Obviously, social media has come a long way since then, and we’ve seen many social media platforms launch, experience relative success (or complete failure), then crash and burn a few short years later. While these sites went down, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Reddit have only seen upward graphs. So where did these companies lose the plot?

Why did they fall?

Facebook, the most popular social network on Earth, has over 2 billion users. Instagram has over 1 billion. If Facebook were a country, it would be the most populous in the world. This network shows no sign of slowing down, it seems the only limit left to its growth is the number of people on Earth who have access to the internet — something they are actively working on increasing.

So, why has Facebook succeeded where others have failed? What does Facebook have that MySpace and Friendster did not? For starters, Facebook maintained its scale as waves of users signed on and created accounts. Facebook focused more on the user offering unique features to connect and expand your circle while keeping in touch with older friends. Creating a timeline with life events, photo albums, videos, check-ins, events, and social gaming was something never seen before in the social networking space and contributed to the explosive growth and popularity of Facebook. Later on, support for businesses and marketplaces which gives them the opportunity to expand and attract customers also made sure that Facebook didn’t become redundant.

One aspect of Friendster’s downfall was that it was unable to keep up with how many members joined the site. As more people joined, the site grew slower and slower, so slow that people were forced to switch to Facebook or MySpace.

MySpace failed because it connected users to bands, celebrities, and strangers, rather than people you knew in real life. People wanted to interact with their friends and family to enhance and expand their existing social lives onto the internet.

iTunes Ping fell apart. Google+ offered integration with Gmail, hangouts, Drive and also introduced Circles, something which was new in the space but didn’t strike a chord with the potential user base. Users already had Facebook to accomplish anything that Ping and Google+ offered.

What is the takeaway from all this?

Staying Relevant

1. Successful social networks are original. New networks will not survive if they simply copy the concept of an existing service. They must build upon the services by fulfilling a need of the users, or introduce something entirely new that users did not even know they wanted.

2. Successful network scale. As social networks grow, they must be able to accommodate the influxes of new users. When platforms start to slow down and falter due to increased use, people will leave due to frustration.

3. Successful social networks evolve. As user bases grow, so do the wants and needs of those users. When platforms fail to address the feedback of their members, they provide an opportunity for another platform to step in and fulfill that need.

The Future of Social Networking

With the demise of Twitter and SnapChat looming on the distant horizon, the future of social media is up in the air. Facebook and Instagram will continue to dominate the market, but neither service offers everything that a citizen of the social realm looks for.

Facebook is great for news articles, updates from friends, and memes, but the enormous amount of content is overwhelming, and ads take up a lot of space in Newsfeeds.

Reddit is great for anonymity and non-censorship while sharing content but lacks the social part of media.

Instagram is the perfect medium for sharing photo and video but is an awful place to post a quick text update to your friends.

A Facelift to the Business World - Digital Transformation

Friday, January 24th, 2020

How is digital transformation reshaping businesses?

There is a fixed pattern or way in which businesses operate. When that changes its course from its traditional fons et origo due to modernization and technology, it is referred to as digital transformation.

“Change is inevitable. Change is constant.” — Benjamin Disraeli

Hence, digital transformation has made its mark in a wide range of areas like hospitality, automation, information technology, finance, and even medicine. It has carved a niche for itself in all kinds of businesses — be it small, medium or large. However, it’s being ubiquitous comes at a price. It needs to prove itself worthy to the customers and the employees and this can be achieved only by employing voguish business applications. Organizations should be able to churn these out at lightning bolt speed because it is the only way they can survive in the extant cut-throat competition.

The essence

The pith of digital transformation is a reduction in operational costs and enhanced customer experience. It does not just circumscribe around new innovative technologies but also revolves around a change in mindset and work culture. Thus, enterprises ought to cater to fluctuations in the business environment and business demands by inventing appropriate strategies.

“…the key to digital transformation in re-envisioning and driving change in how the company operates. That’s a management and people challenge, not just a technology one.” — Capgemini Consulting

The factors

It is hence, pivotal for the management to join hands with IT teams and cater to business needs, motor innovation and head towards continuous development. These form the core of digital transformation — progress in business activities, reduction in costs, improvement in marketing time and so on. Influenced by major factors like technological innovations, customer expectations and demands, market scenario and environmental changes, digital transformation is a force to be reckoned with.

Advancements in technology lead to disruptions. Those operating on obsolete and outdated computer systems are shunned for latest and more modern versions of the same technology. Cloud computing, big data, internet of things, machine learning and others have taken the limelight and if harnessed, are done throughout the organization for better results, higher efficiency, and lower costs.

In the case of customer behavior, it refers to the desires and expectations that they have from the business and from the technology being employed. Consumers want sophisticated and latest technologies but also want them to be handy and easy-to-use. They must be satisfied with the service and should be willing to speak highly of your organization to others. Hence, it is extremely important that these expectations of the customer and technology changes catering to business demand must be in sync with one another. Digital transformation, therefore, helps in the evolution of organizations towards being more customer-centric.

The aftermath

Now, let’s move to different aspects of a business model that digital transformation influences or is capable of influencing. It can affect the normal functioning of the business across different departments ranging from human resources to administration. It can also streamline business models, increase the efficiency of underlying processes and balance business ecosystems. Dealing with customers and information, the two main intangible assets of any business, also become much easier.

Back to the essence

Profitability, customer care and faster market time are key components of digital transformation. Large amounts of data can also be analyzed easily using the latest tech to make decision-making more efficient and improve overall performance. Due to its camaraderie with the business world, digital transformation is often also referred to as business transformation.

“Digital transformation is a journey for the entire company. It’s no longer just about marketing transformation. We’re entering a new phase where all internal stakeholders are involved.” — digitaltransformationbook.com

It is indeed reshaping the business world to transform not just operations management but also organization at all hierarchies. Taking the world by the storm, it is no surprise that a significant number of Global 2000 companies deem it a priority in their corporate strategy. So, watch out for this one!

Also, feel free to reach out to us in case of any query regarding the digital transformation of if you just feel like having a construction discussion regarding the same. We will be more than happy to help out. Thanks for reading!

Unit Testing React, D3 with Enzyme and Jest

Friday, January 24th, 2020

Introduction: — This blog is for how to test React component with Enzyme and Jest. In this blog, here we are discussing how to test react components which have d3 content with the help of Enzyme and Jest. This blog helps you to write test cases and also help you to choose the correct testing framework according to your requirement.

In this blog, I am going to cover some of the testing frameworks which are showing below.

  1. Jest
  2. Jasmine
  3. Enzyme

Jest

Jest is an open-source test framework created by Facebook that has great integration with React.js. It is a very powerful testing framework. The most known feature of jest is the snapshot. It is very helpful for testing.

Features of Jest:-

  1. Zero Configuration
  2. Fast and sandboxed
  3. Extensible Framework
  4. Codemods
  5. Snapshot

To know more about please go through with the below mention link:-

https://jestjs.io/docs/en/getting-started

Jasmine

Jasmine is one of the popular JavaScript unit testing frameworks which is capable of testing synchronous and asynchronous JavaScript code. It is used in BDD (behavior-driven development) programming which focuses more on the business value than on the technical details.

Features of Jasmine:-

  1. Jasmine does not depend on any other JavaScript framework.
  2. Jasmine does not require any DOM.
  3. All the syntax used in Jasmine framework is clean and obvious.
  4. Jasmine is heavily influenced by Rspec, JS Spec, and Jspec.
  5. Jasmine is an open-source framework and easily available in different versions like the stand-alone, ruby gem, Node.js, etc.

Suite Block:- Jasmine is a testing framework for JavaScript. A suite is the basic building block of Jasmine framework. The collection of similar type test cases written for a specific file or function is known as one suite. It contains two other blocks, one is “Describe()” and another one is “It()”.

One Suite block can have only two parameters, one “name of that suite” and another “Function declaration” that actually makes a call to our unit functionality that is to be tested.

Example:-

describe(“Hello World”, function () {it(“should Return Hello world”, function () {expect(HelloWorld()).toEqual(‘Hello World’);});});

Skip Block:- Jasmine also allows the developers to skip one or more than one test cases. These techniques can be applied at the Spec level or the Suite level. Depending on the level of application, this block can be called as a Skipping Spec and Skipping Suite respectively .we will skip a specific Spec or Suite using “x” character.

Example:-

describe(“Hello World”, function () {xit(“should Return Hello world”, function () {expect(HelloWorld()).toEqual(‘Hello World’);});});

Before And After Functions:- There are few before and after functions that are supported by jasmine.

  1. BeforeAll
  2. BeforeEach
  3. AfterAll
  4. AfterEach

BeforeAll:- Runs a function before any of the tests in this file run. If the function returns a promise or is a generator, Jest waits for that promise to resolve before running tests.

Optionally, you can provide a timeout (in milliseconds) for specifying how long to wait before aborting. Note: The default timeout is 5 seconds.

Example :-

beforeAll((done) => {
 document.body.appendChild(element);
 barGraph = ReactDOM.render(
 <BarGraph
 configuration={config.verticalNumber}
 data={config.data}
 />,
 element
 )
 setTimeout(() => {
 done();
 }, 1000);
 });

BeforeEach:- Runs a function before each of the tests in this file runs. If the function returns a promise or is a generator, Jest waits for that promise to resolve before running the test.

Optionally, you can provide a timeout (in milliseconds) for specifying how long to wait before aborting.

Example :-

beforeEach( async () => {
 if(global.ZFB_DOWNLOAD_INSTANCE) {
 await clickByIdAfterWait(global.ZFB_DOWNLOAD_INSTANCE);
 }
 });

AfterAll:- Runs a function after all the tests in this file have completed. If the function returns a promise or is a generator, Jest waits for that promise to resolve before continuing.

Optionally, you can provide a timeout (in milliseconds) for specifying how long to wait before aborting.

Example :-

afterAll(‘do logout’, async () => { 
 await clickByIdAfterWait(‘logout’);
 });

AfterEach:- Runs a function after each one of the tests in this file completes. If the function returns a promise or is a generator, Jest waits for that promise to resolve before continuing.

Optionally, you can provide a timeout (in milliseconds) for specifying how long to wait before aborting.

Example:-

afterEach( async () => {
 await wait(300);
 await clickByIdAfterWait(‘editor-button-policygroups’);
 await wait(300);
 await selectEntities(vportPG, entity, [global.PG_INSTANCE_ID_2]);
 });

Spies:- Jasmine spy is another functionality that does the exact same as its name specifies. It will allow you to spy on your application function calls. There are two types of spying technology available in Jasmine. The first methodology can be implemented by using spyOn() and the second methodology can be implemented using createSpy().

Example :-

spyOn(self.mockService, ‘fetch’).and.callThrough();VSDServiceTest.makeRequest = jasmine.createSpy(“makeRequest”).and.callFake(() => {
 return new Promise((resolve, reject) => {
 return resolve(‘Done’);
 })
 });

Enzyme

The enzyme is a JavaScript Testing utility for React that makes it easier to assert, manipulate, and traverse your React Components’ output.

Enzyme’s API is meant to be intuitive and flexible by mimicking jQuery’s API for DOM manipulation and traversal.

Before Installing enzyme please keep these below key points

  1. If you are using react 16.X than you need to install enzyme-adapter-react-16 and enzyme 3.X
  2. If you are using react 15.X than you need to install enzyme-adapter-react-15 and enzyme 2.X

Running Enzyme Tests:- Enzyme is un-opinionated regarding which test runner or assertion library you use, and should be compatible with all major test runners and assertion libraries out there. The documentation and examples for enzyme use mocha and chai, but you should be able to extrapolate to your framework of choice. If you are interested in using enzyme with custom assertions and convenience functions for testing your React components, you can consider using:

This is some overview of the testing framework. Now the time for the main topic.

Testing React and D3 content with the enzyme

It is very difficult to test d3 content with react because enzyme or any other testing framework only render the render method of React. When I was looking for the solution to this problem. I read many of the documents some are supporting d3 testing with jasmine without React and some documents are for jest and with enzyme for React component testing. For testing both react and d3 together I have found one approach. I have rendered the dom with the enzyme but in the enzyme rendering, I am not able to fetch the d3 content. To fetch the d3 content I have used .html() method which provides the HTML of the current component. I have found the HTML but now the question is how to manipulate the HTML and how to test both d3 and React content. After a lot of searches, I found one manipulating library which is Cheerio. It is just like the jquery library. With the help of this, I am able to test together d3 and React. This summary of how I have test React and d3 together. Now I am going to talk in detail how everything works for me.

Issues:- To test React and d3 together it is very complicated. I have faced many issues while testing d3 and React together some of the important issues I am covering here.

  1. The main issue is that d3 content is not rendering with Enzyme.
  2. Find the d3 content with .html() now the problem how to manipulate that html().
  3. The transition is used in the d3.
  4. How to perform click event
  5. How to call React lifecycle methods.

These are some major challenges that I have faced while I am testing the react and d3 together with enzyme and jest.

Solutions

The main issue is that d3 content is not rendering with Enzyme.

Solution:- To render content I have use Enzyme mount method. Mount is used for full dom rendering. In my case, there is one problem which is the d3 content because we are using d3 content with the react content. I am using Enzyme mount with the help of the mount() method I am able to get the React component but I am not able to get the d3 content because the d3 content is mount with the render after the react mounting is done. After a lot of searching, I have found one solution to this problem. I have first got the HTML of the mounted dom and i am able to get complete HTML of the dom.

Example : –

import PieGraph from ‘./index’;
import React from ‘react’;
import { mount } from ‘enzyme’;describe(“PieGrpah”, () => {
 let config;
 beforeAll(async () => {
 config = await getDataAndConfig(‘PieGraph’);
 });it(“OtherOption by Number”, () => {
 const pieGraph = mount(
 <PieGraph
 width={500}
 height={500}
 configuration={config.withoutOtherOption}
 data={config.data}>
 </PieGraph>
 );
 const html = pieGraph.find(‘svg’).html();
 });
 });

With the help of .html() method, I am able to get the d3 content but Now I have another problem that is shown below.

Find the d3 content with .html() now the problem how to manipulate that HTML.

Solution:- Now the problem is how to manipulate the HTML component to resolve the problem i have found one library that is Cheerio. The Cheerio is used for manipulating the HTML data. Cheerio is mainly used for manipulating the HTML content. It provides many cool methods. The Cheerio parses markup and provides an API for traversing/manipulating the resulting data structure.

To know more about cheerio please go through the below link.

https://www.npmjs.com/package/cheerio

Example:-

pieGraph.test.jsimport PieGraph from ‘./index’;
import React from ‘react’;
import { mount } from ‘enzyme’;
import { getDataAndConfig, getHtml, checkSvg } from ‘./helper’;describe(“PieGrpah”, () => {
 let config;
 beforeAll(async () => {
 config = await getDataAndConfig(‘PieGraph’);
 });describe(“OtherOption by Percentage”, () => {
 let pieGraph, $;
 beforeAll(async () => {
 pieGraph = mount(
 <PieGraph
 width={500}
 height={500}
 configuration={config.percentage}
 data={config.data}>
 </PieGraph>
 );
 $ = getHtml(pieGraph, ‘svg’);
 });it(“SVG Dimensions”, () => {
 const result = checkSvg(pieGraph);
 expect(result).toBeTruthy();
 });
 });
});Helper.jsconst cheerio = require(‘cheerio’);export const checkSvg = (component) => {
 const $ = getHtml(component, ‘svg’);
 const svgHeight = $(‘svg’).attr(‘height’);
 const svgWidth = $(‘svg’).attr(‘width’);
 return svgHeight == “500” && svgWidth == “500”;
}export const getHtml = (component, tag) => {
 const cheerioData = cheerio.load(component.find(tag).html());
 return cheerioData;
}

With help of cheerio, I was able to test most of the graph and also able to cover most of the cases but when I was testing the bar graph I was not able to get the HTML. After digging a lot, I was able to get to know what is the problem. The problem is mention below.

The transition is used in the d3.

Solution:- In some cases, they were using d3 transition for animation. Now the problem was that the d3 content was not ready at the time of mounting the component. So d3 content is not available into the HTML. This is a big problem to solve this problem I have used setTimeout. In the timeout section, I have updated the component. After updating the component I am able to solve this problem. I am able to get d3 content.

Example: –

barGraph.test.jsimport BarGraph from ‘./index’;
import React from ‘react’;
import { mount } from ‘enzyme’;
import { getDataAndConfig, getHtml, checkSvg } from ‘./helper’;describe(“Bar Graph”, () => {
 let config;
 beforeAll(async () => {
 config = await getDataAndConfig(‘DynamicBarGraph’);
 });
 describe(“Graph with Brush”, () => {
 let horizontalBrush, $;
 beforeAll(async (done) => {
 horizontalBrush = mount(
 <BarGraph
 width={500}
 height={500}
 configuration={config.horizontalBrush}
 data={config.data}>
 </BarGraph>
 );
 /* Delayed added because the bar is rendered with 300ms animation */
 setTimeout(() => {
 horizontalBrush.update();
 done();
 }, 350);
 });it(“SVG Dimensions”, () => {
 const result = checkSvg(horizontalBrush);
 expect(result).toBeTruthy();
 });});
});Helper.jsconst cheerio = require(‘cheerio’);export const checkSvg = (component) => {
 const $ = getHtml(component, ‘svg’);
 const svgHeight = $(‘svg’).attr(‘height’);
 const svgWidth = $(‘svg’).attr(‘width’);
 return svgHeight == “500” && svgWidth == “500”;
}export const getHtml = (component, tag) => {
 const cheerioData = cheerio.load(component.find(tag).html());
 return cheerioData;
}

How to perform click event.

Solution:- This is the most complicated problem for me because with the help of cheerio I am able to manipulate the HTML but cheerio is not provided the click event functionality. This is a blocker for me without this testing is incomplete. I had searched a lot then I found a solution. To checking the clickEvent I had use react-dom render. With the help of react-dom render I am able to test the click event. I had also used jest mock function for this.

Example:-

import React from ‘react’;
import { mount } from ‘enzyme’;
import ReactDOM from ‘react-dom’;
import PieGraph from ‘.’;describe(“PieGrpah”, () => {
 let config;
 beforeAll(async () => {
 config = await getDataAndConfig(‘PieGraph’);
 });
 describe(“Click Event”, () => {
 let pieGraph;
 const mockCallBack = jest.fn();
 const element = document.createElement(“div”);
 beforeAll((done) => {
 document.body.appendChild(element);
 pieGraph = ReactDOM.render(
 <PieGraph
 width={500}
 height={500}
 configuration={config.withoutOtherOption}
 data={config.data}
 onMarkClick={mockCallBack}
 />,
 element
 )
 setTimeout(() => {
 done();
 }, 1000);
 });afterAll(() => {
 document.body.removeChild(element);
 });it(“Click On PieGraph”, () => {
 element.querySelector(‘path’).click();
 expect(mockCallBack).toHaveBeenCalled();
 });
 });
});

How to call React lifecycle methods.

Solution:- we all already know that React has some lifecycle methods. All the lifecycle methods have some unique functionality and execution time. Some have been called after mounting and some are called before mounting. In the gauge graph, an animation is applied to the needle. All the work is performing into the componentDidmount method. It is very difficult to find the angel of the needle and the percentage because both things are performing into the componentDidmount method. After searching a lot I have found one solution. I have tested this thing with the help of react-dom-render. With the help of this, I am able to get all the content like needle angle and percentage.

Example:-

import React from ‘react’;
import ReactDOM from ‘react-dom’;import { getDataAndConfig } from ‘../testHelper’;
import GaugeGraph from ‘.’;const cheerio = require(‘cheerio’);describe(“GaugeGraph”, () => {
 let config;
 beforeAll(async () => {
 config = await getDataAndConfig(‘GaugeGraph’);
 });describe(“Initial Configurations”, () => {
 let gaugeGraph, $;
 const element = document.createElement(“div”);
 beforeAll((done) => {
 document.body.appendChild(element);
 gaugeGraph = ReactDOM.render(
 <GaugeGraph
 width={500}
 height={500}
 configuration={config.configuration}
 data={config.data}
 />,
 element
 )
 setTimeout(() => {
 done();
 $ = cheerio.load(element.innerHTML);
 }, 3000);
 });afterAll(() => {
 document.body.removeChild(element);
 });it(“SVG Dimensions”, () => {
 const height = $(‘svg’).attr(‘height’);
 const width = $(‘svg’).attr(‘width’);
 expect(height).toEqual(“500”);
 expect(width).toEqual(“500”);
 });
 });
});

How To Uplift Your Brand Using Chatbots

Friday, January 24th, 2020

A chatbot is a program, powered by rules and AI, which simulates a real interaction with users via a chat interface. In other words, a chatbot is a service that can have a conversation with you just like a real person. Chatbots are based on Machine Learning to gather conversational cadences that allow them to copy human conversations and react to written or spoken requests to deliver a service. They comprehend language, not just commands, since they use AI. Therefore, the more conversation chatbots have with users, the more intelligent they become. The purpose of chat bots is to support and scale business teams in their relations with customers. It could live in any major chat applications like Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, Text Messages, etc. They are changing the way companies and customers interact, helping to create powerful, engaging human-to-AI agent experiences.

The number of businesses using Chatbots has grown exponentially. Chatbots docked to Facebook’s Messenger have increased from 30,000 in 2016 to over 100,000 today. Every major company has announced its own Chatbot and 60% of the youth population uses them daily. These statistics prove that Chatbots are the new-gen tech. No more waiting for the right time to incorporate them into your business. By the year 2020, nearly 80% of businesses will have their own Chatbot. And shipments of virtual digital assistant systems are beginning to touch every industry, from the banking and financial services space to travel, retail, education, and more. It’s estimated to grow into a $7.7 billion market by 2025.

Below are some of the benefits of Chatbots.

1. Chatbots will excite your customers, keep them satisfied

“When the customer comes first, the customer will last.” — Robert Half

People are very excited about technology and love exploring it. According to an online survey, about 44% of U.S. consumers prefer Chatbots over humans for customer communication. Therefore, businesses excite their customers when adopting a new Chatbot.

Still, it’s the businesses’ responsibility to ensure a smooth experience. To be successful, they must ensure their Chatbots are: Professional and bug-free.

Aligned with the brand rather than just random affairs.

Providing good linguistics.

Providing well-defined tasks.

Answering queries with proper answers.

Working seamlessly on a variety of devices.

2. Always-Available Customer Support

According to research by Gartner, customer service is the most important factor in success. So, whether you are an international or a local business, having a good customer service 24/7 has a positive impact on your customer satisfaction.

Customer support process can be improved with the help of chatbots. Bots can be programmed to give automated answers to repetitive questions immediately and forward the request to a real person when a more complicated action is needed. This enables human customer service representatives to save time and assist more important cases rather than time-consuming simple tasks.

Additionally, with the help of chatbots, organizations can handle more tasks at the same time so that no customer has to wait. This will allow companies to scale up their operations to new markets globally without multiplying incoming requests to be handled.

3. Extensive Customer Assistance

A survey shows that 83% of online shoppers need support during shopping. So, your customers may require help trying to understand which products fit their needs/budgets any time of the day. Moreover, shoppers may not find what they are looking for due to navigation issues when they are on your site, they may have a registration, payment, checkout, and delivery questions or there may be a lack of information about a product.

In all these situations, chatbots can provide assistance real-time like a salesperson in a real store. Moreover, chatbots can offer interactive communication where they also ask questions to understand the real problem. Furthermore, along with text and voice, they can present customers rich content with product pages, images, blog entries, tutorial videos based on their responses that can help them through their journey.

4. Chatbots won’t replace the humans

The biggest Chatbot misconception is that they’ll take over services and automate everything so businesses wouldn’t need humans to function.

This won’t happen; at least not completely. While Chatbots may appear to replace apps and will minimize human efforts for more productive outcomes, they cannot completely replace people and services.

Chatbots merely interact with people to clarify their queries within the preset scope as much as possible. For issues outside the scope, Chatbots are still able to determine a customer’s initial query. A chatbot is more helpful when customer ask repetitive questions because all information required for further resolution has already been gathered, saving time and energy, resulting in more expediency and accuracy.

5. Chatbots help reduce costs

Every year, around 265 billion customer support requests are made and it costs businesses whopping $1.3 trillion to service them. These costs can significantly be reduced with the help of AI Chatbots. Implementing virtual agents or Chatbots can help businesses to save up to 30%.

Chatbots ensure lucrative productivity from the investment in agent or employees. Hiring agents for 24*7*365 and adding resources to give support to the customers round the clock can be too costly for the company. Virtual agents or Chatbots will be the first point of contact and for more complex queries it can be escalated to human agents, hence Chatbot helps in improving customer service and reduces cost.

6. Lead generation and pattern recognition

Users interact with chatbots in very personal ways, much like they do with friends and family, chatbots are able to ask much more personal questions as well — questions that would normally be intrusive and annoying coming from a company or brand. These can range from ‘What music do you like? to ‘Where do you like to go on holiday?’. The answers to these questions provide valuable data that can be referred back to in follow up conversations and offer ways to further personalize the experience the customer has with the brand. Chatbots can, for instance, offer special discounts on a customer’s birthday, or suggest songs as per the previous requests and genres.

A bot can ask the necessary and related questions, persuade the user and generate a lead for you. Chatbots ensure the flow is in the right direction to get higher conversion rates. Of course, this also raises privacy concerns, and companies will need to find a balance between privacy and their quest for increasingly extreme personalization.

7. Increased Customer Engagement

Needless to say, it’s important to keep your customers engaged with your brand. According to research, companies that engage with their customers on social media were able to increase the customer spend by 20% to 40%. While social media is doing its job, chatbots can contribute by making the engagement more interactive — usually with a great sense of humor!

A conventional customer service interface usually provides more information than it receives from the users. However, Chatbots, in contrast, give only a slice of information at a time and can lead the interaction based on the input the user provides at each specific time. Therefore Chatbots don’t bore customers with irrelevant and unnecessary information and keep your customers on your platform longer and keep the content flowing by maintaining the conversation.

8. Easier Approach to Global Markets

Whether you are already an international brand with customers all over the world or a local brand who is ready for global business, chatbots can solve your customer care problems in multiple languages and 24/7, 365 days a year. This allows your business to scale up its operations to new markets without having to worry about multiplying incoming requests to be handled.

6 Future Technologies

Friday, January 24th, 2020

There has been a huge increase in the technology involved in the daily life of humans in the past 50 years. From engineers feeding in 0s and 1s into a room-sized computer to a wrist watch reminding us to complete our daily goal of 20,000 steps, technology has come a long way. The common man hadn’t even heard of a smartphone 12 years ago and today it’s hard to spend even a few hours without it. The technological advancement seen in the last decade was unseen in human history and it’s natural that we will one-up ourselves in the coming years. With a lot of new tech being conceptualized developed and tested, the future looks more exciting than ever before. There are many exciting new technologies that will continue to transform the world and improve human welfare. Here are six of them-

1. Self-Driving Cars

Self-driving cars exist today that are safer than human-driven cars in most driving conditions. Google, Uber have been testing them for over 2 years now. Over the next 3–5 years they’ll get even safer, and will begin to go mainstream. The World Health Organization estimates that 1.25 million people die from car-related injuries per year. Half of the deaths are pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists hit by cars. Cars are the leading cause of death for people ages 15–29 years old.

Just as cars reshaped the world in the 20th century, so will self-driving cars in the 21st century. In most cities, between 20–30% of usable space is taken up by parking spaces, and most cars are parked about 95% of the time. Self-driving cars will be in almost continuous use (most likely hailed from a smartphone app), thereby dramatically reducing the need for parking. Cars will communicate with one another to avoid accidents and traffic jams, and riders will be able to spend commuting time on other activities like work, education, and socializing.

2. Virtual and Augmented Reality

Computer processors only recently became fast enough to power comfortable and convincing virtual and augmented reality experiences. Companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft are investing billions of dollars to make VR and AR more immersive, comfortable, and affordable.

People sometimes think VR and AR will be used only for gaming, but over time they will be used for all sorts of activities. For example, we’ll use them to manipulate 3-D objects.

To meet with friends and colleagues from around the world. And even for medical applications, like treating phobias or helping rehabilitate paralysis victims.VR and AR have been dreamed about by science fiction fans for decades. In the next few years, they’ll finally become a mainstream reality.

3. The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things has long been talked about amongst tech insiders as the next big innovation in-home technology. In recent years, IoT has begun to carve a niche for itself in everyday life with the growing adoption of systems like Google’s Home and Amazon’s Alexa. These devices will continue to integrate more aspects of the home into one harmonious system by utilizing the internet, allowing a user to control anything from the air conditioning to their security via voice command and a small personal assistant.

Apple has announced its plans to roll out the HomePod this year and Samsung is reportedly working on their Bixby technology in order to compete with the success of the Google and Amazon systems. You can expect that one of these devices will be simplifying life in your home and the homes around you by 2020.

4. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence has made rapid advances in the last decade, due to new algorithms and massive increases in data collection and computing power. AI can be applied to almost any field. For example, in photography, an AI technique called artistic style transfer transforms photographs into the style of a given painter.

Google built an AI system that controls its datacenter power systems, saving hundreds of millions of dollars in energy costs. The broad promise of AI is to liberate people from repetitive mental tasks the same way the industrial revolution liberated people from repetitive physical tasks.

Some people worry that AI will destroy jobs. History has shown that while new technology does indeed eliminate jobs, it also creates new and better jobs to replace them. For example, with the advent of the personal computer, the number of typographer jobs dropped, but the increase in graphic designer jobs more than made up for it. It is much easier to imagine jobs that will go away than new jobs that will be created. Today millions of people work as app developers, ride-sharing drivers, drone operators, and social media marketers- jobs that didn’t exist and would have been difficult to even imagine ten years ago.

5. Internet for everyone

We can’t seem to live without the internet (how else would you read sciencefocus.com?), but still only around half the world’s population is connected. There are many reasons for this, including economic and social reasons, but for some, the internet just isn’t accessible because they have no connection.

Google is slowly trying to solve the problem using helium balloons to beam the internet to inaccessible areas, while Facebook has abandoned plans to do the same using drones, which means companies like Hiber are stealing a march. They have taken a different approach by launching their own network of shoebox-sized microsatellites into low Earth orbit, which wakes up a modem plugged into your computer or device when it flies over and delivers your data.

Their satellites orbit the Earth 16 times a day and are already being used by organisations like The British Antarctic Survey to provide internet access to very extreme of our planet.

6. Cryptocurrency & Blockchain

After Bitcoin’s meteoric price jump in 2017, major tech players have begun to take cryptocurrencies seriously. Along with major Initial Coin Offerings that have hit major news outlets like Etherium, smaller companies are developing Stablecoins that provide an attempt to provide all the pros of cryptocurrency transactions without the price fluctuations that have plagued the system. As these coins begin to work themselves out and exchanges even out the fluctuations in prices, expect these assets to be mainstream methods of payment by 2020.

Blockchain, the decentralized ledger that holds together cryptocurrencies, has applications reaching far beyond financial transactions. Companies have applied the technology to everything, from simplifying tracking and access to information in academia to interesting and amusing games that use complex algorithms to create unique experiences.

You can read more of our blogs here.

MangoPay

Friday, January 24th, 2020

MANGOPAY is a payment solution that enables marketplaces to easily process third-party payments. MangoPay is a service for market places, collaborative consumption platforms, and crowdfunding websites. It allows them to have a payment solution and to manage the electronic funds, with as particularity the management of e-wallet in white label. The typical workflow is described below.

Typical marketplace workflow

PREMIUM FEATURES OF MANGOPAY

  • Payments become a breeze
  • Make payments easy for your users by allowing them to pay in multiple currencies and with various payment methods.
  • Automate all payment flows and commissions with one single contract so you can focus on the growth of your platform.

Designed for developers

Integrate their payment solution on your platform quickly thanks to the open-source SDKs (PHP, Java, Ruby, Python, and .Net), our WordPress plugin and the checkout libraries for web, Android and IOS.

Payment flows your own way

Create your own payment flow matching your business model thanks to their seamless payment solution.

Their white-label product allows you to setup e-wallets enabling you to manage the escrowing and splitting of funds between users.

Maximum security for minimum worry

Keep your payments and transactions safe thanks to multiple anti-fraud and money laundering prevention tools.

Concentrate on your business while they verify your users in accordance with the latest European and local regulation.

Accessible dashboard for real-time monitoring

Manage your transactions, commissions, users, e-wallets and financial reporting thanks to their practical and accessible dashboard.

Integration made simple

Integrate their marketplace payment solution easily thanks to a developer-friendly API, online documentation which includes dedicated case studies, check out libraries for web, iOS, Android and their open-source SDKs’: PHP, Java, Ruby, Python, and .Net.

Global payment solution

Accept the most popular local and international methods of payment and currencies with one single contract.

Transfer funds to your users around the globe. Thanks to their solid international banking network, we guarantee fast and reliable payments.

Compliance on all levels

Rest easy with the verification of your merchants and end-users from around the world. We take care of checking and declaring their identity to the banking authorities, as required by European marketplaces’ regulation.

Comply with all European Union and card industry regulations thanks to their banking license which covers marketplaces registered in the 31 countries of the European Economic Area. We guarantee that all sensitive data such as card details and user identity is handled securely, conform with PSD2, GDPR and PCI DSS.

White-label solution

Focus on giving the best experience to your users. Design and integrate your payment flow to ensure a smooth user experience within your web and mobile app.

Access all API functions on your personal dashboard and gain full control over your payments. Use this complimentary tool along with their API for operational and reporting purposes.

Rental Marketplace

Your platform facilitates rentals by connecting renters with owners.
Their marketplace offer is your solution to:

  • Collect secure deposits
  • Set up recurring payments
  • Verify the user’s identity

Merchant Marketplace

Your platform facilitates business by connecting buyers with merchants.
Their marketplace offer is your solution to:

  • Accept local currencies
  • Pay Merchants globally
  • Verify merchants’ identity

Community Marketplace

Your platform facilitates exchange between individuals as well as local businesses within a community.
Their marketplace offer is your solution to:

  • Split payments
  • Customize rules for transfers
  • Verify sellers
  • Crowdfunding

Integration made simple

Integrate their crowdfunding payment solution easily thanks to a developer-friendly API, online documentation which includes dedicated case studies, check out libraries for web, IOS, Android and their open-source SDKs’: PHP, Java, Ruby, Python, and .Net.

Adaptive workflow

Take advantage of the high degree of flexibility their technology offers to build the unique user journey your crowdfunding platform needs.

Escrow funds as long as you need and dispatch them easily thanks to their e-wallet technology and fluid payout system. We take care of executing the payment orders with the necessary banking institutions.

Provide your users with a unique IBAN directly linked to their e-wallet.

Compliance on all levels

Comply with all European Union and card industry regulations thanks to their banking license which covers marketplaces registered in the 31 countries of the European Economic Area. We guarantee that all sensitive data such as card details and user identity is handled securely, conform with PSD2, GDPR, and PCI DSS.

Work in all countries by signing one unique contract that is in accordance with your country’s own set of crowdfunding rules. We fulfill local legal requirements and will help you to be compliant within your sector of activity.

Secure payment environment

Rest easy with the identification of your contributors and beneficiaries. Whether it is a company, an association or an individual, we take care of the due diligence and declare them to the banking authorities, as required by anti-money laundering laws.

Secure your payment environment by using their tools to flag unusual behavior and block fraudulent actions.

White-label solution

Focus on giving the best experience to your users. Design and integrate your payment flow to ensure a smooth user experience within your web and mobile app.

Access all API functions on your personal dashboard and gain full control over your payments. Use this complimentary tool along with their API for operational and reporting purposes.

Donation crowdfunding

Your platform facilitates fundraising for personal, social and entrepreneurial projects.
Their crowdfunding offer is your solution to

  • Collect donations
  • Hold funds securely
  • Verify users and organizations

Equity crowdfunding

Your platform facilitates direct business investment opportunities in return for equity.
Their crowdfunding offer is your solution to:

  • Secure investment payments
  • Associate Ibans to e-wallets
  • Verify project owners

Loan crowdfunding

Your platform facilitates loans for new ventures by connecting lenders with project leaders.
Their crowdfunding offer is your solution to:

  • Manage deposits
  • Acquire mortgage payments
  • Comply with your local regulation

Adaptive workflow

Take advantage of the high degree of flexibility their technology offers to build the unique user journey your FinTech needs.

Escrow funds as long as you need and dispatch them easily thanks to their e-wallet technology and fluid payout system. We take care of executing the payment orders with the necessary banking institutions.

Provide your users with a unique IBAN directly linked to their e-wallet.

Integration made simple

Integrate their FinTech payment solution easily, thanks to a developer-friendly API, online documentation which includes dedicated case studies, check out libraries for web, IOS, Android and their open-source SDKs’: PHP, Java, Ruby, Python, and .Net.

Compliance on all levels

Comply with all European Union and card industry regulations thanks to their banking license which covers businesses registered in the 31 countries of the European Economic Area.

We guarantee that all sensitive data such as card details and user identity is handled securely, conform with PSD2, GDPR, and PCI DSS.

Work in all countries by signing one unique contract that is in accordance with your country’s local financial rules. We fulfill local legal requirements and will help you to be compliant within your sector of activity.

Secure payment environment

Rest easy with the identification of your users. Whether it is a company or an individual, we take care of the due diligence and declare them to the banking authorities, as required by anti-money laundering laws.

Secure your payment environment by using their tools to flag unusual behavior and block fraudulent actions.

Salesforce Integration with DocuSign

Friday, January 24th, 2020

Automate contracts without ever leaving Salesforce.

Salesforce integration with DocuSign allows companies to digitize their customer agreements completely, thus increasing efficiency and security and reducing costs.

Salesforce is a popular cloud-based CRM software that is used by companies worldwide. One of the most useful features that this platform offers is that it allows companies to automate contracts, thanks to its integration with DocuSign.

As a widely-used e-signature solution, DocuSign allows companies everywhere to digitize contracts by enabling legally binding electronic signatures on digital documents. It is extremely easy to use, secure, and reliable, and since it is integrated with Salesforce, it allows organizations to completely digitize their customer relationship management.

Using Salesforce integration with DocuSign, you can easily pull data from various Salesforce objects such as Lead, Account, Opportunity, Contact, and more. You can then sign the documents online, or you can send them out directly from Salesforce to get the required signatures. Once the documents are signed, they are returned to Salesforce and are then attached to their respective records.

Automating your customer agreement processes using technology like Salesforce and DocuSign, which are developed by top UX design firms, comes with plenty of benefits. Let’s take a look at these below:

Accelerate turnaround times

With Salesforce integration with DocuSign, you can easily cut down the turnaround time for customer agreements to hours or even a few minutes. This automation of the workflow allows for increased productivity since your employees can work out everything without ever having to leave Salesforce.

Cost reduction

With Salesforce and DocuSign, you can limit your financial expenses easily, since everything is digitized and on the cloud. This gives you the opportunity to invest your finances in other areas of your business with greater ROI.

Improved accuracy and efficiency

Since Salesforce integration with DocuSign automates processes of agreement development and signing, there will be little to no error. When you have employees manually working on the same tedious task, it’s much more likely that errors which could have been prevented would occur. Transactions are also extremely safe and secure, so you don’t have to worry about breach of important data.

Enhanced customer experience

With the security, accuracy, and efficiency that Salesforce integration with DocuSign provides, your company is capable of providing an overall enhanced customer experience. Your customers no longer have to risk security nor wait for long periods of time for their agreements.

Reduce paper waste

Another huge benefit of digitizing agreements using Salesforce integration with DocuSign is that you can reduce paper waste significantly. With the growing concern over environmental causes, cutting down on your reliance on paper and going digital enables you to do your bit in contributing towards more eco-friendly business processes.

Self Storage Application Service Request Workflow

Friday, January 24th, 2020

Introduction and background

For our client 10 Federal, which is a US-based company, our team had to work on a project known as Work Order. Work Order is aimed at self-storage facility operators who are in need of an efficient and effective work order system. Work Order would help them manage their day to day orders as well as maintenance tasks they need to complete in order to run their self-storage facility business.

The project required us to build an SaaS-based system, meaning that it will be a web-based, on-demand software that runs on the provider’s servers. It has been designed in such a way that it will have three major deliverables in it. These deliverables include –

A super admin web application

An all-encompassing web application for the admin so that they can run Work Order smoothly and work on complaints as quickly as possible.

A client-side web application

A web application that can be accessed by the clients so that they can use Work Order effectively and manage all their tasks from one platform.

A client-side mobile application

A mobile application for the clients to use so Work Order can be easily accessed from anywhere, anytime.

Challenge

For this project, our main challenge was that we had to work on Work Order, keeping in mind the complex processes involved in maintenance related tasks within self-storage facilities.

On top of this, we had to design the architecture of the system based on microservices to support SaaS model. The complex processes, combined with SaaS model was challenging our aim of building a system that is fast, smooth, efficient and user-friendly. Our team had to take time and learn to fully understand the complexities of the self-storage facilities processes so that we could deliver a practical, sustainable solution.

Solution

Dot Net or .NET was used to develop the Work Order system, including the admin web application, the client-side web application, and the client-side mobile application. Dot Net is a software framework that is developed by Microsoft and is used to develop software that can run on Windows-based operating systems.

A SaaS based solution was our approach so that the client can sell the software to clients, and clients can access it with ease. All they would need is a browser and an internet connection for the web application, and a smartphone with an internet connection for the mobile application.

After our team successfully completed the project and provided solutions for Work Order, the system was equipped with the following features:

Management of maintenance works

Allocation of tasks to property managers

Subscription management, and more.

Now, with Work Order, self-storage facility operators can organize their tasks better, and improve their efficiency and productivity. Put simply, the system helps them to run their business operations better.

Extended Reality (XR)  How It is Different from AR and VR

Friday, January 24th, 2020

Extended Reality is an umbrella term that encapsulates various immersive technologies that have the ability to merge the physical world we live in with computer-created virtual worlds. This means that top UX design firms combine various components of computer-altered reality including but not limited to Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR) to develop XR.

Also referred to as XR, the X in Extended Reality is a variable that can stand for any letter of the alphabet since the components of XR are not clearly established. It includes any technology that combines real and virtual environments, including future realities that we still have not developed yet.

In order to fully understand what Extended Reality is and what it can do, you need to understand the three main components, which are Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR). We explain these below:

Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented Reality or AR is when computer-generated content is overlaid on the real world we live in, thus enhancing reality using digital content like text, images, as well as animation. This experience can be accessed using either AR glasses or using smartphones, tablets, etc. The key feature of AR is that it is not completely immersive as the augment content does not merge with physical reality, which means that users can still be aware of what is going on around them and interact with reality.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality or VR is a technology that fully immerses users in a simulated digital environment. For this, A special VR headset or a head-mount display is required so that the user can have a 360-degree view of the virtual world created.

Mixed Reality (MR)

Mixed Reality or MR has elements of both VR and AR. While digital content is overlaid on the real world like in AR, this overlaid content is immersive and interactive, as is the case in VR. So, digital and real worlds are blended in real time.

Future Scope of Extended Reality

Recent research has revealed that more than a whopping 60 percent of the respondents believe that Extended Reality will become mainstream in the just the next five years. This shows just how rapidly this technology is being developed, and how willingly the public is ready to adopt it once it is ready and available in the market.

Indeed, Extended Reality has plenty of uses and could be employed in all kinds of fields such as retail, real estate, marketing, training, entertainment, and more. It can also be used by the best UI UX design services. The technology has the potential to completely change the way we live our everyday lives, as it will alter our very perception of reality.

Important Reasons to Redesign Enterprise Apps

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

It is a very well said proverb from Dr. Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, that “If you think good design is costly; you should look at the cost of bad design.”

With the help of user research, a well-designed enterprise app solves the actual problems of actual users. It very well understands the behavior of the user, its requirements and preferences, and the pain points that existing software is not able to address. Employees, organizations, and users are benefitted at large by a well-designed solution.

Here are some of the primary reasons why redesigning an enterprise application is essential.

1. Advantage in competition

To outperform the competition that deploys the legacy application, agile enterprise applications give organizations a competitive edge. A lightweight application that is well included in the different business departments is a better tool for revenue optimization than the legacy application that slows down the work pace.

2. Improves efficiency

Enterprise apps are designed not on how employees work, but it is based on how the organization wants the employees to work. The employment of a user-centric approach to design is done to bridge this gap. UX designs improve the efficiency of the task they perform by resulting in faster and better workflows that are easy on the users.

3. Forecasting and data optimization

To unlock the actionable opportunities and business insights, new age enterprise application utilizes significant data capabilities. Big data analytics is provided by most modern-day companies to build services and products closest to their needs and to understand the customer better.

4. Cost-effective solution

Employees need little to no training for easy to use intuitive interface. Even a flexible or design-driven system considers the technological aspects and scalability, ensuring that the maintenance cost and set-up are optimized to a great extent.

5. Reduces cognitive load

Many users struggle to find the information with ease as most enterprise apps have an excessive amount of data or information on the same screen. We can ensure that there are fewer errors, and critical data is accessed faster by designing the interface keeping in mind the ability of human beings to process and perceive the information.

6. Higher employee satisfaction

The systems are built and sold to make the life of users productive and more accessible. The simplified interface must be a part of the human-computer interaction. Users are willing to use a digital tool when it is assistive rather than being burdening.

7. Empowers field workers

Enterprises that initiate the use of smart devices, especially tablets, allow the workers to know the real-time insights into the process of which they are a part of. It also gives them the ability to enter first-hand data from the ground back to the enterprise. It is a recurring cycle that results in the data being analyzed continuously and then re-fed in the form of business intelligence to the device of the workers.

Conclusion

Designing an enterprise application sounds easy, but in practice, it is an extremely tiresome process. Designers that are willing to be a part of the enterprise app designing process should understand the patience, commitment, and endless hours it requires.

Facebook To End Android Dependency: Here’s How

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

The social media scenario has been developing over the years. The beginning was with Google’s hangout, then came along Orkut and along that line came the creation of Mark Zuckerberg. Yes, you are right! We are talking about Facebook.

This online social directory became available first to the students of Harvard and later, to anyone who claimed to be of at least age 13. This rule was in place since 2006 and still ongoing. Any person with an account on Facebook can share digital content; it can be text, photo, and other multimedia files in their profile. They can have conversations with other people who are their “friend”, comment on other persons’ posts and even have one-on-one chats. There are several in-built apps that can also be used to complete different tasks or serve specific purposes.

Climbing into stardom

The rise of Facebook to become “the” social media was not slow but not instant either. After changing the name from “The Facebook” to just “Facebook” in 2005, this social media channel was opened to the general public in 2006. Within the year 2009, the company had 350 million users joining in its list and in the summer of 2012, the number finally rose to the magic number of 100 million. By the end of 2018, the number had grown to 2.32 billion, which is more than half of the world’s population and they are all present in the program written in the Harvard dorm room. In 2019, the numbers are becoming less, but with an average of 52%, Facebook is still the top contender in social media sites. However, the introduction of sites like Instagram, Twitter decreased its popularity. Another favorite social media messaging service called WhatsApp has been recently acquired by Facebook. Still, novel services like Snapchat are gradually making their presence felt. However, the company is taking the necessary step to address this particular issue.

The range of devices

Unlike the programs of its predecessor companies, Facebook did not need the user to download or install any installer file in their device. Although in the time when the only digital device was computers, only an internet connection was sufficient to connect and use the social media program. Nowadays, with the advent of smartphones, tabs and other handheld digital devices, it has become necessary to download the app onto the device. Thereafter, the user has to input their information and can access their profile. In the case of security measures, the program or “app” in the new OS vernacular has made some major changes to ensure the security of the user data. Certainly, maintaining an appealing UI is a priority to drive user engagement that both Android and iOS have their own restrictions around. Still, in recent cases, the company has faced some serious problems in the matters of fake accounts, fake posts, and information with a debatable source. Facebook has employed third-party companies to perform the fact-check and other necessary data.

The operating systems

The main limitation the company was facing from the start was the dependence on other operating systems. From the start, it was either accessed from mainly Windows or the Macintosh operating system. When the era of the smartphone or handheld devices came into existence, it was either Android or the specific operating system of Apple Inc, the iOS. Being dependent on these operating systems posed two specific problems:

  1. The coding and the necessary programming tasks become complex when it comes to two different operating systems. Moreover, if only the example of the Android is taken, the OS essentially dictates Facebook about the hardware requirement it will need. Having to depend on a third-party OS makes it impossible to add features because it may or may not suit the specification requirement allowed by the OS.
  2. Facebook has been developing devices like Oculus, and voice-calling services like Portal, which are essentially the development of Facebook. Having to depend on the operating system like Android practically determines that the company cannot add necessary hardware as it may clash with the inherent limitations of Android. Furthermore, the development of new versions or upgrades of this operating system will force the social media company to change the specification of its devices every time, adding to the production and implementation costs.

To cope up with these problems and ensure the independence of its programs and devices from the operating systems of other parties, Facebook has announced that it is now going to build its own operating system from the scratch. According to the general pulse, this step was eventually coming, but the effect on the market and among its users is yet to be seen.

The changeover to its own

The bid to stand on its own two legs in terms of an operating system was abuzz in the grapevine of the computer technology world, and the news was confirmed by the company itself later. Facebook told its users and the general public worldwide that it is appointing one of the creators and developers on Microsoft’s Windows NT OS, Mark Lucovsky. The step taken was supported by the Vice President of Hardware, Facebook, and confirmed in the statement that the company is seriously considering the fact that the future generation should have space for them. In the light of dependency on third-party systems, especially operating systems, it may not be possible for Facebook to achieve the target in terms of penetration and digital presence. For that reason, they are thinking of doing it on their own.

Expert’s opinion

According to the experts also, this step was in the pipeline for some time. Development of VR devices, Other machines like Oculus, a voice-calling feature like Portal, and even the AI-enabled program the company is developing, depending upon OS by Google, or any other company would have been limiting. For one, the developments had to be done according to the changes happening to the OS, and secondly, the hindrance of faster development in the case of Hardware would surface; as the Other OS may not be compatible with the hardware specification of the new development by Facebook.

Signing off

The development of a new OS is certainly exciting to Facebook users, however, there are other factors to consider too. In the future, although not certain, Facebook can become the next Apple, where you have to buy their devices to enjoy their programs. With the world’s majority using android by Google and the number still increasing, the outcome of the project and the decision of the company regarding it will determine the fate of this development.

Tips on Designing PWAs to Boost User Experience

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Businesses want to make their services and products accessible to a large number of people possible. To achieve a high level of accessibility, technological capabilities, and bandwidth reliability have stood continuously as a hurdle. This scenario is where PWAs come to the fore. These are nothing but a website that looks and behaves exactly like mobile apps.

Companies like Forbes have used PWAs to great success. They saw 2x increase in average user session length and 20% more impressions. However, to get such exceptional numbers, it is important to focus on UI/UX of the PWAs to boost user experience:

Below are some of the tips on designing PWA to get a much better User Experience (UX).

Search giant Google recommends some tips to ensure that users enjoy rich, fast, reactive web experiences

1. Focus on loading time

  • PRPL pattern — This pattern optimizes minimum time interaction and makes sure it acquires maximum efficiency in caching.
  • Service worker caching — Even if the pages are not open, service worker caching is a script that runs in the background of your browser. As they are excellent in caching, it allows PWA to serve the instant response on slow networks.
  • Server-side rendering — when the JavaScript fails or is disabled, users can get faster content with server-side rendering. It even allows the search engine to index it quickly.

2. Makes it User-centric

Making the PWA user-friendly is the ultimate goal that too fast and efficient as possible. For instance, ensure that the progress of the user is shown for every significant interaction. Also, ensure every item in your PWA has a purpose. Less and useful things usually make better User Experience (UX).

3. Make it seamless

The things, instant loading, and providing smooth experience are both different. Ensure there are quiet and seamless transitions without any downtime, especially when users are processing payment and submitting forms. Users often bounce at clunky changes during these types of instances. So always keep this in mind when it regards your design.

4. Make it shareable

PWAs do not provide easily accessible URLs. Therefore you need to ensure that users could still share whatever page they are looking at easily. To apply this on PWA, you can have a share button that allows the users to copy the URL on the clipboard. Make sure the loading of the third-party JavaScript is delayed when sharing social buttons until the primary content of the page is loaded.

5. Ensure flawless touch interactions

As a thumb rule, communications must be implemented flawlessly or not at all. It is because it is disgracefully difficult to implement advanced touch interactions like swipe to dismiss and pull to refresh. You can instead use a bottom navigation bar that does not suggest the possibility of advanced touch interactions.

6. Be iconic

When the PWA is added to the home screen of the user, you will want it to blend well with the native apps. Along with making it a natural fit, you will also want to ensure that it is flexible to the requirement of different platforms like IOS, Windows, and Android.

Conclusion

When considering the low cost of building a single PWA for multiple devices and platforms, it makes a lot of sense for businesses. It is evident why PWA is the only one to replace traditional native apps in the upcoming future.

Don’t vex. Focus on UX!

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Even if you aren’t a technology junkie or a design major, there is one term that has been used so many times that it has carved a niche for itself in the back of your mind, much like a constantly buzzing bee — ‘user experience (UX).’ It may seem like a voguish trend but has in fact, been around for quite some time. With an increasing dependence on mobile phones and other devices, it has gained immense popularity in the last few years.

Aimed at increasing customers’ satisfaction towards a product by making it easier to use and access, UX Design has become an inseparable part of technology. All design and engineering must be carried out keeping in mind that at the end of the day, the product has to be used by the customer. As Steve Jobs says — start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology.

UX engineering encompasses better navigation, findability, usefulness, and credibility. Not just this, it focuses on content strategy, information architecture, interactive design, typography and much more. From small-scale benefits to vast influences, it also has a wide range of applications in business. Stay with us to know more about these!

1. Be the puppeteer

With more and more entrepreneurs and startups popping on the landscape, the business world is becoming fiercer by the day. Hence, one of the main motives of each enterprise is to rise above its competitors. For achieving this, it is essential to have user experience engineering skills in the arsenal as they can have a huge impact in mobilisation of prospective customers.

This is evaluated with the help of conversion rates (defined by Wikipedia as the proportion of visitors to a website who take action to go beyond a casual content view or website visit, as a result of subtle or direct requests from marketers, advertisers, and content creators). A case study by Masha Kokovina from Vintage Web Production highlights how they were able to improve conversion rates by 75% by just fixing minor UX problems. These can include placing the call to action button at the right position, having a video on the landing page, increasing the font size of the text, etc. Analysing why customers are leaving or being retained is pivotal to enhance the user experience and consequently, improve the conversion rate.

2. Smaller hole in your pocket

It is rightly said that a stitch in time saves nine. Instead of resolving an issue much after it has already caused damage, it is better to enhance usability and fix the problem during the design phase itself. UX engineering helps achieve this by incorporating the right set of features at the grassroots level through different usability testing tactics. Feedback obtained from customers at an early stage can be used to rectify errors using user-centered design processes. This leads to formation of an apt product and circumvents large expenditures.

3. Do you exist?

The first thing that entrepreneurs do when they have a light-bulb moment for a startup is go to GoDaddy.com and register the domain name for the respective website. From the biggest multinational companies to the smallest restaurants, official websites have pretty much become the existential proof of any organisation. They help businesses interact with customers by making information easily accessible to them at any hour of the day. However, since this has become a requisite now, just having a website does not suffice. It must be accompanied with an amazing user experience which hence, boosts businesses as explained above.

4. Oh, won’t you stay with me?

At the end of the day, what really matters is how content your customers are with your product or service. The success of your mobile or web app is interlinked with its ability to satisfy its users. Just because an application is built doesn’t guarantee that it will experience a surge of utilisation. With immense competition in the digital world these days, users are more than willing to switch to a different product or app if they are dissatisfied with the former.

Statistics have also revealed that organisations that focus on user experience tend to retain customers much more than those that don’t. The question ‘do i like using this product/service/app?’ bears much more weight than ‘what is its worth?’ or ‘is it even useful?’ Enhancing user experience is key. Happy customers also tend to spread a good word about your product and this helps in popularising businesses.

..

“User experience is everything. It always has been but it’s still undervalued and under-invested in. If you don’t know user-centered design, study it. Hire people who know it. Obsess over it. Live and breathe it. Get your whole company on board.” — Evan Williams, CEO of Twitter

My team and I are avid seekers of technology. We would be delighted to know what you’ve been doing to contribute to this evolving madness. Feel free to strike conversation with us!

Psychology and UX

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

You probably come across various billboards, hoardings, posters, notices, messages, letters or even just images and text on paper every day. Some of these may be important and would require your attention, and others would be just be something you saw while traveling to work, scrolling through your feed or going through a magazine/ newspaper casually. All these are just images for our brain to analyze, sort through and dispose of eventually. But some of these are a bit more interesting to our brain even though they don’t need to be. There is a reason to why particular designs or layouts catch your eye or get your heart pumping.

Enter Neuroscience.

Wait, did you just mention Neuroscience in a UX blog?

Let me explain. Cognition is complex, and many factors play into gut reactions or any instant and random impression. When you ask someone, “Why’d you do that?” there’s a high chance they won’t be able to answer or that you’ll misinterpret their response for a bias. The thing is, our human brain is lazy, repetitive and prone to shortcuts

While research methods like observation and interviewing often require the UX researcher and participant to make guesses, modern technology like eye tracking allows researchers to study nearly imperceptible reactions and preferences.

In the case of products with substantial traffic, seemingly tiny details like the width of a button or the color contrast of text can make millions of dollars of difference. That’s why tech giants like Facebook and Google are beginning to employ neuroscience-based techniques to study how people use their products.

Let’s start with a few design principles which harness the knowledge of neuroscience and psychology and can help designers by understanding the mind of the user.

1. Spoilt For Choice

psychological study was done at a gourmet market, in which people could choose from 24 different jam flavors at one stand, and only six jams at another. While 60% of customers were drawn to the stand with a bigger number of choices, only 3% of them actually made a purchase.

On the flipside, 30% of those who had only six jam options bought themselves a jar.

This is related to Hick’s Law, which states that people take more time to choose if there is a greater number of choices in front of them. UX design is about helping users get what they need — quickly. The best approach for your design is to present a limited number of options, rolled out at optimal points while they are browsing through your interface.

Avoid overwhelming your audience. Even though many people think they are great at managing multiple things at the same time, most aren’t truly adept multitaskers. And those are the people for whom you need to design.

2. Hack Into The User’s Mind

It is no secret that much of what drives human behavior is subconscious. In the milliseconds after a person encounters a new app or website, millions of neurons fire and the brain makes hundreds of subconscious decisions.

Am I in the “right” place? Should I trust this site?

A 2012 study found that people form aesthetic reactions to a web page in the first 17 to 50 milliseconds after exposure.

To put that into perspective, it takes the eye 300–400 milliseconds to blink. Your product may receive its trial, judgment, and sentence all in less than the blink of an eye.

For example, if a site loads slowly and the brain reads the first items that load as “off-topic” the user may navigate away immediately rather than wait for the site to load.

Companies like Facebook invest significant resources into studying load order of elements. If someone logs into Facebook and doesn’t see any notification badges, they may navigate away instantly. If the badges load first, they may wait while the content-heavy News Feed loads.

Human brain’s decision making can be classified into 2 simple categories

System 1: fast, automatic, frequent, emotional, stereotypic, subconscious.

System 1 thinking is reactive — responsible for complex but instinctive cognition like determining the distance between objects or determining emotional responses.

System 2: slow, effortful, logical, calculating, conscious, infrequent.

System 2: thinking is analytical and is applied to more complex scenarios, like determining appropriate social behavior or comparing two products with different prices and characteristics.

Since the brain doesn’t want to re-process information or make novel decisions every time it is faced with a new scenario, much of human decision-making falls into System 1, or “fast thinking.”

When making decisions quickly the brain can over-rely upon schemas or mental models — familiar patterns of information and interaction. When System 1 thinking is engaged, System 2 never kicks into effect. People may not be aware of their brain’s decision-making, but it strongly impacts their behaviors and perception of the product

3. Make It Standout

Everyone arrives at a website or an app with some expectation of what it should look like. Staying close to that expectation helps designers benefit from instant subconscious decision making.

The person who opens your app or website wants to know a) does this have what I am looking for; and b) is this high quality? Keeping designs simple and keeping brand, services, and products front and center help people orient themselves.

Putting some information front and center means keeping other information from crowding it out. Decluttering a design is just as important as re-arranging components.

These minimalist designs outperform more complex designs in task completion and visual clarity is shown to impact purchasing decisions on and offline.

It’s been scientifically proven that visually simple and clean designs perform better. The lazy brain can grasp the site’s purpose instantly and understand what action to take.

4. Organize and Profit

Eye tracking studies are able to follow a person’s gaze as they interact with a product. They can produce heat maps that show the length of time spent focused on one part of the screen, or maps of how the eye jumps around the page.

We know that, across industries and app types, the brain commonly scans for information in an F-pattern (or E-pattern). The person looks at the information at the top, reading to the right, and then scanning down the page for relevant information or icons.

Breaking the F-pattern — for example, putting important information in the bottom-right corner — will make it harder to find.

5. Go Easy On The Text

According to a study, people read only about 20% of the text on a page. Worse, on sites with more content, people dedicated only about 4 extra seconds for each additional 100 words of text.

In a world where people don’t read word-for-word, Nielsen Norman employs the following guidelines for scannable text.Highlighted keywords

Meaningful subheadings

Bulleted lists

One idea per paragraph

The inverted pyramid style — start with the conclusion

Half the word count (or less) of conventional writing

Color theory, weights, and contrast can be used to direct user attention. NASA’s cockpit design team uses luminance to help manage the pilot’s attention in an area crowded with competing for information. The cockpit design team uses color and contrast to give visual prominence to the most important elements.

Contrast and luminance are just a first step. Color theory suggests balancing your product’s colors by using the dominant color 60% of the time, secondary 30%, and accent 10%. This breakdown is consistent with the neuroscience behind what draws the eye. Because the accent color is used the least, it draws the eye the most.

Just as the use of bright color can draw the eye, use of more muted colors can help a user determine which information is secondary or less important. For example, most websites use footer areas with a more neutral color to show separation from the rest of the information on the page.

Your User’s Memory Is Complex, But Their Recall Is Limited

In order to remember something, the human mind reconstructs memories. This explains why you could get four different versions of the same event from four different people.

Translating this knowledge into UX design, you mustn’t force users to remember too many steps when they use your product. If there are too many steps to recall, they are bound to forget a few.

It’s essential that your designs respect the restrictions of the brain’s cognitive load. If a user is forced to think too much in order to complete a task, they’re likely to avoid it in the future or to forget steps and become frustrated if they do try it again. Frustration does not create an optimal user experience.

A common web design best practice is to provide no more than three or four steps in any given user task. If you over-complicate your tasks, you run the risk of unpleasant user experience. This leads to lower quality website signals, lower search rankings, and of course, abandoned carts and lead generation forms.

A good solution is serial positioning, or the human brain’s tendency to best recall the first and last steps in a process. This is why many popular apps position “home” and “profile” either to the far left or the far right.

Wrapping Up

Your task as a designer is to come up with an efficient design that will help your users solve problems. Psychology is an essential factor in delivering on that objective in user experience. You need to understand the human psyche: how people come up with different thoughts and ideas to solve an issue. This way, you can create designs with true meaning and exceptional usability.

Growing Revolution of Apache Cordova from PhoneGap

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Transformation is the core mantra of new-age businesses. Throughout their operational cycles, business strive to transform and turn into something better. Quite naturally, enterprises are always on the lookout for adopting new technologies that define innovation in a whole new way!

It’s here that we come across Apache Cordova, which also has been through a great transformation. This mobile application, previously known as PhoneGap, was a development framework created by Nitobi which was purchased by Adobe Systems in 2011. Then Adobe rebranded it as PhoneGap. In 2011 again, Adobe/Nitobi gave away the PhoneGap codebase to Apache Software Foundation, a mobile app development company in USA. At Apache, the application was renamed as Apache Cordova. PhoneGap was handed over to Apache to keep it an open source always and follow standards. AppBrain suggests that Phonegap / Cordova powers up 7.94% of the app market share overall. It is ranked #5 in app development frameworks.

So basically Apache Cordova serves as an engine to power the PhoneGap, similar to how a WebKit powers Chrome or Safari. These two frameworks are basically same; however, there are some noticeable key differences that will be useful to a developer.

What Are The Key Differences Between Apache Cordova And PhoneGap?

Since Cordova was born from the PhoneGap codebase, there are bound to be some similarities between the two platforms. However, one thing is for sure that Cordova and PhoneGap are both cross-platform frameworks. PhoneGap is powered by Apache Cordova. The PhoneGap is a product of Adobe that contains additional tools by Adobe that tie with other Adobe services. Therefore, an Apache project is not ideal for adobe services. However, PhoneGap is open source software, and will always be free to use and it will always remain a free distribution of Apache Cordova.

Another thing to note is that Apache Cordova lets you build apps suitable for android, iOS and Windows using web technologies like HTML, JavaScript, CSS and with PhoneGap you can do the same. However, Adobe might charge for added Adobe services integrated into PhoneGap codebase.

Other than this, there is not much difference between the frameworks. If you are a developer, you might want to use PhoneGap if you want to build apps in the cloud without installing any additional local SDK. Otherwise, you can use any of the two frameworks to build app. Note that Apache Cordova is always free to use and always will be distributed by Apache.

How The Transition Changed The Framework?

Apparently, there is not much difference between the two frameworks. Any developer who wants to build a cross platform application with HTML, JavaScript, and CSS can use PhoneGap or Apache Cordova — there will not be much difference in that regard since Apache Cordova uses the same codebase as PhoneGap. However, you will Apache Cordova if you want to contribute to open source project powering PhoneGap. If you want to improve the Apache Cordova codebase, you have to use the Cordova framework. Apache is preferred by big names like Salesforce and Facebook who have customized versions for their SDK and Apache Cordova helps them to enable this use case.

One of the reasons that might make you want to prefer Apache Cordova over PhoneGap is Ionic Framework. The Ionic framework is a distribution of Cordova as well but it comes with additional ionic services. It also includes a full set of native-like controls and user interface bindings. The features/services of Ionic make it much easier to use it with Cordova that ensures a smooth performing application across all platforms.

PhoneGap lets you build applications that are platform independent or hybrid. However, Apache Cordova also lets you build application for platforms like Windows, iOS, Android, Blackberry 10, Amazon Fire etc. Apache Cordova may be a little complex than PhoneGap, but it is much more reliable when it comes to application performance, it allows you more control and is more of an open source. You can test the features and develop your application using Cordova. Although you do need to test features for an iOS on an authentic Apple device, however, in terms of performance Cordova has become much more trustworthy. Basically, the transformation of Cordova from PhoneGap has made it more powerful in its execution.

What Apache Cordova Offers

Cordova is flexible in the way it lets the developer build the application. You can use and re-use codes across platforms when you are building application for different platforms or hybrid apps. Cordova also supports offline scenarios. It will help you build your application by letting you access native device APIs so that the app you build is compatible with the native device.

The tools Apache Cordova offers have a wide range of command tools, JavaScript frameworks and cloud services that augments Cordova. When you are using Apache Cordova, you will get tools like Adobe PhoneGap, ionic, Monaca, Onsen UI, Visual Studio, App Builder, Framework 7, Evothings Studio, NSB/AppStudio, Mobiscroll, Instabug that will allow you to build simple as well as complex application across platforms.

Currently Apache Cordova is favoured by developers who are trying to bring Webview, Web App, Plugins etc. The freedom Cordova allows developers to build across platforms or build focusing a single platform has popularized it. Embedding Cordova allows the app to be mixed with native components.

Signing off

From PhoneGap to Apache Cordova — the journey was short and full of changes. PhoneGap is currently owned by Adobe and Cordova is a product of Apache. To sum up, both the frameworks can be used to develop mobile apps from scratch and can be used to develop mobiles apps across different platforms. However, you can think of Apache as the more powerful version of PhoneGap. PhoneGap originally was not an open source framework, but now it is open source and free and it will always remain that way. While Adobe PhoneGap may charge you for extra Adobe services, there will be no charges to use Apache Cordova. Any leading mobile app development company in USA prefers Apache Cordova as it is flexible, promises smooth running of mobile apps and is easy to download and install.

The journey from PhoneGap to Apache Cordova has been revolutionizing. While PhoneGap began in a schizophrenic manner, Cordova is more orderly and well-managed and therein lies the success of Cordova.

What is Business Process Automation?

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

A smoothly running business requires a lot of effort to run efficiently. Several complex processes need to get assimilated in their functions and integration of those processes leads to the development of hitch-free operations. There are two types of processes in business operations; one, the repetitive, mundane jobs that only need practice and the latest information, and secondly, the jobs that need actual human intervention to get completed.

Categorically, the latter category is still to be pursued for digital transformation, but for the former category of jobs, there are now digital functionalities that can complete these processes by ease. This discipline is called Business Process Automation (BPA) and can simply be demarcated as the digital automation of complex business processes.

Business Process Automation Overview

You must be aware that a business needs several rule-driven, workflow-based functions to run smoothly. BPA can be used to implement the automation of these repetitive jobs that are governed by pre-set guidelines.

This functions to improve the workflow and develop the existing workforce to provide an output that is better in both functional and performance aspects. However, in many cases, it has been seen the complexity of systems in place is becoming a hindrance in implementing an effective automation solution.

Development from mechanical to processes

Now automation of processes is not uncommon in business, especially in the manufacturing sector. There have been robotic machines that were used to perform dangerous or repetitive tasks that ultimately produced a product with better specifications and the minimum amount of human error.

The reason for RPA and BPA is simple — organizations are losing a whopping $140 billion every year in wasted time, lost opportunities, and duplication of efforts. Plus, 90% of employees are burdened with repetitive or mundane tasks which can be automated to great effect

This means that BPA has the potential to not only cut unnecessary expenditure but also reduce the cost of getting the work done. This double upshot provides a massive impetus for organizations to go in for process automation.

At that time, the official processes were done solely by humans; with the application of computers, the process just became faster. Human efforts and labor were still there, only the calculation and analysis were done digitally. There was almost no digital involvement to manage the workflow of information.

New developments

With the advent of digital software and other programming assistance, the job became much easier. In recent times, the newly developed “software robots” are becoming useful in performing a double-pronged approach. Firstly, they are becoming instrumental in proficiently managing the data workflow, and secondly, they do not disturb the chain of work, but work in the background to complete tasks for the future, subject it to specified conditions and escalate it to ensure a greater sophistication and expansion of possibilities which were not possible through mechanical automation alone.

The benefits of BPA

The process of BPA is now becoming easier due to the application of “software robots”. The help they provide encompass the full process and the automation becomes stress-free. The advantages that this new approach of BPA offers to the business processes are;

Productivity

The foremost benefit that these software bots provide is the increase in productivity. This becomes possible because of two reasons,

  1. Efficiency gets a massive surge as these software programs work without getting tired, and does not commit any sort of mistakes.
  2. The software does not miss any deadlines provided the information required is correctly fed in the system.
  3. The completion of the assigned workflow becomes accelerated as the response time quickens to instantaneous.

Moreover, as the number of workers is reduced after the implementation of BPA; the company can save money on the overhead. Able-minded workers could be assigned to solving more complex yet unnecessary problems rather than wasting time behind a mundane repetitive process.

Precision and reliability of data

There is a popular adage, “machines do not make mistakes”. Quite true, as the machine blindly follows the person who gives it an order; either by vocal, switches or in the modern age, computer programming. This is also true for this new software bots. They never differ from their chosen actions, unless ordered to do so. This ensures better compliance with the existing laws and an audit trail. The inadvertent human error has less chance of occurring and the output of the process is guaranteed consistent.

Cost reduction and increased profit

Using this novel software tools ensure that the cost of completing a project goes down. When you can spare the cost of maintaining labors, the cost of overhead will go down. Additionally, the workers who were attached to these repetitive works could now be engaged in other high value and complex projects. Such a division of duties can be beneficial in the financial and work sectors. The workers feel their increased value and are subjected to a deeper sense of fulfillment.

Accessible and elastic

Being software, there is no chance of the human problem of achieving proficiency in a single subject. The software can be programmed to complete any type of job and it can perform the interlinking of two different jobs also. If the business requires so, the software robots can be commanded to work across departments, with a digital conversation across many projects, so that a single system can complete a lot of interrelated jobs.

Which functions can use BPA?

The jobs of every department are specific and are required to keep the company running. There are some functions which can be performed with these “workbots”. To know on which jobs you can apply this software, look for the following pointers in them;

  1. Tasks following a set of rules
  2. A job with anticipated inputs and outputs.
  3. Monotonous and/ or labor-intensive tasks.
  4. Tasks with high-volume of work.

Case in point, suppose you need to prepare a quotation for a client on-the-go. What are your steps to follow? These are more or less generating the quotation, letting your superiors know, getting approval, attaching the document, queuing it and sending it to the customers. To do each of these jobs will require considerable man-hours. With help from software used in BPA, the jobs could be done automatically and the person can concentrate on other complex targets.

To conclude

Although, the implementation of BPA in the existing system has to be done with care. First and foremost, it must be understood that the existing resources must be adapted to the working of BPA so that the cost of implementing a system from scratch is lessened. To add on to it, you must also ensure the assured chance of productivity improvement, error-free delivery, and scalable system of programmed job accomplishment.

What is Salesforce Billing & CPQ?

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

The modern business landscape is constantly growing and changing according to modern technological trends and customer demands. It is a market of tough competition and only on-point services to a customer can ensure a successful prospering business.

Traditional methods of maintaining and keeping track of customers have already started to fall short. To stay updated with the current tides, businesses have started to shift towards using software and automation to deal with the business transaction. Even customers now prefer to deal through online methods thus pushing vendors to upgrade their business with the integration of automation.

What Is Salesforce Billing?

When it comes to billing and customer subscription, companies lean towards automation as it is much easier to use and hassle-free. That is why keeping in mind your needs and requirements, Salesforce has brought for you automated billing. Through cloud salesforce billing you can create and automate the invoices, payments, and revenue.

Salesforce billing is an add-on package that uses the key records and information from Salesforce CPQ. After an order is placed under Salesforce CPQ billing picks up the order and generates a record for an invoice, payment, and revenue. Using Salesforce Billing requires you to integrate with Salesforce CPQ.

What Is CPQ?

The term CPQ stands for Configure, Price Quote. The CPQ is a sales tool for businesses to generate quotes for orders swiftly and accurately. Quotes generated with CPQ software automated according to rules that are set beforehand so that you can do pricing that is error-free and according to the product’s quantities, discounts, customization, and optional features. Automation in pricing means you will not have to manually calculate the price which is time-consuming and subject to human error, so you can maximize your profit while providing reliable service to your customer. CPQ is a software program that is useful for both big companies as well as small businesses.

You can avoid incorrect pricing, unapproved discounts, and all the hazards by using CPQ. CPQ allows the process of pricing to be faster and accurate and therefore avoid any conflict with your customers regarding pricing, configuration, etc. When you have done away with all the time-consuming process, you can spend more time with your customers. Even your sales staff will be free to approach and deal with more customers. Study shows that only 35% of a salesperson’s time is available for selling which means that if they were free they could utilize that time to make great sales. Good use of CPQ will immediately increase their efficiency.

CPQ can also help your business with savings and revenue. It will not only ensure an efficient sales process but will also help you to grow your profit margins. Users of CPQ have seen 4-fold growth in their net profit over 5 years. This increase was only possible because of time savings, limits on discounts and the ability to offer a variety of options to the customer.

How Salesforce Billing Works?

With salesforce billing, you can invoice an order and manage its balances through credit and debit notes. You can automate customer payments and process them through a third-party payment gateway. You can also maintain and keep track of all the transactional data into finance books and map that data into an ERP.

  1. Step one: Salesforce billing runs on several rules that decide when and how to create the transactional records. Many order products can look up to the same rule which in turn lets you manage groups of products under one rule based on how you want salesforce billing to handle them. Some of the important rules are:
  • Whether to create an invoice
  • How the invoice line’s pricing and date values influence the billing periods, dates, billing cycles
  • Whether to create a revenue schedule and revenue transaction
  • Whether to calculate tax
  • How to calculate tax based on tax integration and tax data
  1. Step Two: After quoting in Salesforce CPQ, you can create an order and a contract. The contract will be used for future sales transactions that will help users to create amendments and renew their subscriptions. When you create an order from a quote, its order products have an un-activated status. Keep in mind that only activated products can be billed. So you can provisionally keep a product un-active until it is ready for billing. Orders also lookup usage summaries that store information about usage-based products.
  2. Step 3: salesforce billing also lets you create and manage reports on your revenue for a product or service. It is a process of accounting for revenue for a product. You can spread your revenue over a set period, or you can use bundled products and services for calculating the revenue. Bundled product refers to all the products you deliver at once or overtime. You can add discounts or credit on your products. Add on orders, contract amendments, customer acceptance, and service deliverability, selling the product to new customers or new regions — all of these can be ways to report your revenue.
  3. Step 4: ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning platforms are complemented by salesforce billing by converting Salesforce CPQ’s data into transactional data. The ERP system will inherit the matching data which can then be used for creating general ledger and financial reports. This process helps salesforce billing and salesforce CPQ to manage customer financial touch-points. You can create an invoice, manage all the payments, revenue calculations, identify key stakeholders and do much more with ERP integration with your salesforce billing.

Conclusion

Therefore, in short, salesforce billing allows you to manage the billing order, see product ratings and processing status, helps you to generate the invoice, apply taxes where needed, manage payments, understand your revenue, keep track of financial periods and generate reports on a different stage of the billing process. The salesforce billing makes it so much easier, faster and efficient for businesses to manage the whole billing process. Thebest iOS app design company leverages salesforce billing to manage their billing process. So, if you are one of them, it’s time to embrace the power of Salesforce!

Future-Proof: Leverage Technology To Drive Innovation And Success In The 2020s

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Technology has completely taken over every aspect of our life. The business landscape is no different, and constant changes in the tech world have revolutionized business processes as well. Seagate said that 2/3rd of CEOs will start focusing on digital strategies to boost customer experience by the end of 2019. Also, IDG says that 44% of the companies have already begun their march towards a digital-first approach for customer experience.

It is clear that technology is coming up in a big way to drive customer experience. If you are not taking initiatives for digital transformation then you are bound to be outpaced by forwarding looking enterprises with a focus on stellar customer experiences.

Moreover, technology is not a static concept. It is always evolving, dynamic, and volatile. This is bringing about a paradigm shift in the way we think, act, buy, and make a decision. BE it genomics and advanced DNA for spousal choices or autonomous vehicles, the world is fast embracing digital. If you too want in on this high impact sphere of technology then the first step would be to know the different trends that will propel the digital transformation pace in 2002 and beyond. Read on to know what these trends are –

1. The Rise of AI

AI or artificial intelligence is no longer the stuff of science fiction novels and those bizarre shows. This is the age when machines are getting at par with the human brain. Developers and data scientists are coming up with new and interesting frameworks for AI. It started with the RP-ing games and has now ventured into the simple everyday aspects of our daily life. The AI system can control everything from our smartphones to GPS navigation. Companies like Amazon and Google have come up with their personalized AI models. You can have human-like realistic interactions with a machine.

The upcoming year would see further improvements in AI. The rise of supercomputers and robotics have further contributed to this trend. Smart homes, smart TVs, smart cars are no longer a dream. We have automated, digitized systems at our disposal.

2. All About AR/VR Reality

Augmented reality and Virtual reality were usually associated with video games in the Yester changes. All that changed when AR was introduced in mainstream media. Machine learning scientists and coders are constantly working at making our lives easier, convenient, and more time-efficient. AR or augmented reality is a concept that allows people to stream live content and get digital updates on any device connected to the network. Almost every platform has now become optimized for the mobile phone. Mobile e-commerce, app development, and database management have become very lucrative fields with a lot of scope for research.

Virtual reality, on the other hand, is a space where a person gets to experience a different world altogether. It is a complete audio-video holistic experience. This immersive exercise helps you shut out the real physical world for a while and enter a different sphere. In 2020, we can expect a mixture of these concepts. The rise of MR or mixed reality would be a framework that would allow for more transparent interactions with digital assets and machines. Microsoft’s HoloLens is a good example of how MR can change our lives.

3. Intuitiveness and Code-free Platforms

Every device or platform that we use these days is programmed to make things simpler and more value-adding for the user. A simple web store or a full-fledged application- intuitiveness is the bind that connects it all. Also, website development is no longer the domain of developers and software engineers. These days, anyone with an idea and an internet connection can build their website in a matter of minutes.

The rise of WYSIWYG website builders gives you a preview of how the content would appear on the user-end browser. You even get the provision of making real-time changes to the content with the on-site editor. And the best part? You can do all this and more without having to write a line of code.

4. One System to Rule Them All

Technology these days is all about fragmentation and yet having a distinct hierarchy. There are super systems, huge databases, and frameworks to control all the aspects of your business. This gives you better control and flexibility over the operations. It also boosts your reach, performance, and productivity. The rise of social media has changed the face of marketing. There are different updates on social media networks that allow developers to advertise their brands and get more views.

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have entered the eCommerce game with great gusto. Everyone wants to build a substantial social media presence to become more reliable and relevant. Trending on social media is a sure shot way to success. And in the forthcoming year, we have predicted more of content marketing and social media boost. The rise of influencers, bloggers, vloggers, and other internet celebrities bears testament to this fact.

5. Growth of the IoT Framework

IoT or the internet of things is a framework that gives developers space where they can connect multiple devices and platforms in a single network. This simplifies the data sharing and customization process. You can now access, share, and compute information quickly and conveniently. It also gives you better online visibility. SEO optimization, CRM systems, and content management are some of the biggest trends that show immense potential in the next year. Brands will try to make their services more user-friendly and relevant to the average web user. Gone are the days when a few big shot companies ruled the market. Today, the competition is ruled by demand patterns and market metrics.

The developers need to have an in-depth idea of the market, the competition and the techniques they’re using. IoT gives you a better grasp on things. It makes information more accessible. You have better control over the data you’ve collected. It also reduces the risk of cybercrime as you can set firewalls, antivirus programs, and encryptions to protect the information. IoT is being used by several companies these days, including industry leaders like Google and Amazon.

The Business advantage

Leading an enterprise and a team of talents isn’t an easy task. Technology can play the role of an indispensable asset. Whether it’s creating a unique enterprise infrastructure, designing a UI, integrating Salesforce into the existing system, or adopting web application security, technical upgrades are necessary for every enterprise.

As we say welcome to 2020, the latest tech trends are surely going to make a pronounced impact. Enterprise owners need to adopt these changes and make their venture future-ready!

Unique And Famous Apps Built On React Native

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Internet and Smartphones have become an inseparable part of our lives. We depend on our Smartphone for everything — from setting an alarm to scheduling a meeting or booking a table at a restaurant.

A smartphone is a phone that has a great number of utility applications for easy execution of your tasks. Not that all, business owners and enterprise leaders across the world are relying on smartphone apps to promote their products and reach out to target prospects.

However, behind these easy to use apps lies a lot of hard work. Developing a software program is not an easy task. A lot of time and energy needs to be invested in order to build a smooth-running, error-free application. Most importantly, the application needs to be user friendly and to do that developers need to make the User Interface or the UI simple and easy to understand for every user. If we are talking about building UI, React Native becomes an indispensable option.

What Is React Native?

React Native is a cross-platform mobile application framework that was created by Facebook. It is a JavaScript library to build user interfaces. React Native will combine the parts of native development with React. It can be used to edit the UI of your existing android or iOS apps, or you can simply build a whole new user interface with the help of React native.

The best thing about React Native is that it can create platform-specific versions of elements so that a single codebase can be shared across all platforms. Basically, two different platforms can use one common technology. React renders to native platform UI, so your app will use the same native platform APIs as other apps. React native also lets you build native apps that will not compromise with the user’s experience. It can also wrap existing native code and interact with native APIs using React’s UI paradigm and JavaScript.

React native has proven to be extremely useful when building a user interface. It contains a good variety of new features that other platforms lack. Therefore mobile app developers rely on React native to create mobile apps. It has become popular among both the android app developers and also iOS app developers.

React has contributed immensely to create many successful apps. Not only has it proven to be useful, but it also promises a good deal of future possibilities for app developers. Now React is used by many of the World’s top tech companies like Facebook and the best node js development agency. Here’s a list of few famous and successful apps that were built using React Native.

Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook Ads Manager was built using react native and it has proven to be extremely useful. This particular app enables organizations to keep track of and control their advertisement no matter where they are. This app lets you build your own Facebook ads very easily from your phone. You can use photographs and recordings on your phone to create your advertisement. The Facebook ads manager is smooth running and the UI is route natural, so it is very easy to make advertisements using Facebook ads manager.

Instagram

Instagram is another famous and successful app that is used by 1 Billion monthly users. Instagram was built using React Native, which has helped the app to build a super user-friendly interface. One can easily follow or unfollow an account, easily look up people they know, or follow pages and contents they like. It is extremely easy to like an Instagram picture — you simply need to double-tap on it! React native has also made it easy for Instagram users to upload and edit a photo. React native has made the app easy to use on both android and iOS platforms.

SoundCloud Pulse

SoundCloud is one of the biggest music libraries in the world with more than 150 million tracks and allowing new artists to upload new music all the time. SoundCloud is also built using React Native which lets you deal with your record, check your details, answer to remarks and so much more.
If you are an independent music composer, then SoundCloud is the right place for you to be. Here you can easily deal with your content and keep track of them. SoundCloud adopted the react-native model despite the difficulties they encountered because it is much simpler than unadulterated native methods.

Uber Eats

We all have used Uber Eats sometimes in our lives, whether to order lunch or to satisfy the midnight craving. Uber Eats is an extremely popular app all around the world. The developers of Uber Eats chose to React native to build the UI of the app which is used mainly by Smartphone users. The Uber Eats app used web application to render interface on client’s portable which often resulted in delayed or incomplete service. To get over this crisis, Uber Eats used to React native to give their client a better user experience.

Skype

Skype is a video calling platform where you can chat with your loved ones. Microsoft used React Native to make Skype available on Windows smartphones. React native not only lets you save money and time, but it also lets you use Skype more easily and swiftly so there is no hindrance in your important ongoing video conferences. React native has enabled Microsoft to integrate Skype in mobile phones in a way that voice calls, video calls, sharing photographs, and recordings are very easy.

Pinterest

It is another mobile app that has millions of users worldwide. Pinterest is used to search for any topic — from art, music, tv shows, anything, and everything. You can simply download, or save an image in your board, or create a list or pin a particular post you like. You can also add comments to the posts. React native has enabled the app to be user friendly so you can browse easily anything you want.

So, if you wish to leverage React native for your venture, getting in touch with the best node js development agency would be the best thing to do.

Drone Technology — Uses and Applications

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

A drone, also known as an unmanned aerial vehicle or UAV, is basically a flying robot that can be controlled remotely or it may have the technology to fly on its own using software-controlled flight plans which are embedded in their systems.

Drone technology is something that is continually evolving, with investments in it increasing year by year. This is because drones have a wide range of uses that are crucial for several industries. For example, unmanned aerial vehicles are commonly used in the military for gathering intelligence, for anti-aircraft target practice and more.

The military isn’t the only field where drones have irreplaceable value. Today, they are used in weather monitoring and prediction, traffic monitoring, in search and rescue efforts to reach places that are impenetrable by humans or larger machines, in surveillance, etc.

They are even used for personal and business purposes. Real estate and delivery services are among the industries which have really benefited from drone technology. When cameras are attached to drones, they are used for aerial photography and videography by photographers, filmmakers, real estate agents, etc. Many top UX design firms play an important role in the development of drones.

How does a drone work?

Drone technology works in conjunction with GPS and onboard sensors. Today, many drones have advanced features that make them extremely durable and intelligent, thus widening their scope of use. Below, we take a look at the different components of drone technology.

Radar positioning and return home

Modern drones are integrated with dual Global Navigational Satellite Systems or GNSS, which includes GPS and GLONASS. These drones can fly in GNSS as well as non-satellite modes. Radar positioning helps in accurate drone navigation and also displays the current position of the drone in relation to the controller. The Return to Home feature guides the drone back to the controller.

Obstacle detection and collision avoidance technology

High-tech drones come with obstacle detection and collision avoidance technology in order to ensure safety. These sensors thoroughly scan the surrounding environment, while SLAM technology and software algorithms produce the scanned images into a 3D map.

Gyroscope stabilization

Drones can fly smoothly because of the gyroscope stabilization technology embedded in them. In addition, the gyroscope also provides important navigational data to the central flight controller.

Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU)

The IMU is a technology that can detect the current acceleration rate using one or more accelerometers. It does so by detecting changes in various rotational attributes using the gyroscope.

Motors and propellers

These are technologies that enable the drone to move into the air and hover or fly in any direction. They let the drone either hover or fly based on the data received from the flight controller and electronic speed controllers.

API Testing and How to do it?

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Introduction

Before getting into what API testing is, it is essential to understand what an API is. An API (Application Programming Interface) indicates how two software programs should integrate with one another.

API (Application programming interfaces) testing is a kind of software testing that involves testing APIs directly and as part of integration testing and to determine if they meet the requirements of functionality, performance, security, and reliability. API testing is a form of Black Box testing and is conducted after the build is ready. The source code is not included here.

The Challenge

To test the APIs and the integrations, they enable a software system.

The solution

To perform API testing, a tool is required to structure and manage the test cases. Another requirement is full traceability of requirements and effective API documentation.

During API testing, certain bugs can be found. These bugs include:

  • Duplicate or missing functionality
  • Incompatibility of the error handling mechanism
  • Reliability issues
  • Security and performance issues
  • Improper messaging
  • Multi-threaded issues

The quality assurance team performs API testing. The testing is conducted after the build is ready. The source code will not be included here.

A request is sent to the API to analyze responses that include:

  • Accuracy of data
  • HTTP status code
  • Error codes of any errors that are returned by API
  • Results of non-functional tests like security and performance
  • Response time
  • Authorization checks

Use a test management tool that will help in API testing by letting you structure and categorize your test cases. The tool should also give you full requirements traceability along with high-level API documentation. During API testing, the following must be kept in mind:

  • The API must be tested to check what happens and what does not happen on a consistent basis.
  • Stress testing on the system must be performed through several API load tests.
  • The API must be tested for failures. Test the API consistently so that it fails consistently.
  • Group all the test cases by category.
  • Mention all the parameters that are selected in the test case.
  • Prioritize API function calls so that testing can be simplified and can be finished on time.
  • Make plans to perform call sequencing.
  • Create test cases for different and all API input combinations that are possible. This way, you can ensure that you get complete test coverage.
  • Reuse the test cases and also monitor the API when in production.
  • It depends on the manual and automated tests if you want better API testing outcomes.

API testing is a very important part of software quality assurance. With the right approach and the right tools, you can ensure it is carried out successfully. The more API testing is structured, the better will be the outcomes of the testing.

How Automation Tools Can Help in Digital Marketing?

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Today, digital marketing is quickly growing at an unprecedented scale as more and more consumers regularly interact with internet-connected digital devices. As this field grows, the need for automation increases too, to keep up with the growing demand.

Productivity and efficiency are increased by automating certain repetitive tasks that marketers have to carry out, such as posting social media content, email marketing, and so on. Clearly, automation tools developed by the best developers and the best UI UX design services provide plenty of benefits for digital marketers, which are explained below:

Improved productivity and efficiency

Digital marketing automation tools allow you to automate repetitive manual tasks, thus giving your marketing team more time to focus on other creative processes. For example, instead of having to worry about posting on various social media platforms and manually monitoring post performances, automation allows you to access and manage your social media campaigns from a single dashboard. You can even schedule campaigns and posts ahead of time.

Improved scalability

When you invest in automation for your digital marketing efforts, you are essentially investing in solutions that can support your business’ short-term and long-term growth. Marketers do not need to be reminded of how valuable a marketing tech stack that can support your long-term vision is. For instance, HubSpot’s marketing automation tool is a popular tool that can automate emails and other tasks. It enhances workflows using a simple yet powerful interface.

Improved collaboration and accountability between marketing and sales teams

Another great benefit of marketing automation is that it can strengthen the relationship between the marketing and sales team, thus encouraging collaboration and improving accountability. The more prospects the marketing team can reach, the more pipeline they create, which means that the sales team has more opportunities to close. Marketing will be happy with the reduction in costs and the increase in productivity, while sales will be happy with the increase in the number of closed deals. All this is made possible because of the right marketing automation solution.

Helps to target leads across multiple channels

With marketing automation tools, you can reach leads and customers in personalized manners across multiple online and offline channels. Depending on the stage where your lead or customer is on the customer journey, you can choose your channels wisely. Whether you use a tweet, a phone call, an email, a text message, or a postcard to reach them, you can be confident that it is the most effective channel for that particular lead/customer.

What is the Graphics Processing Unit Accelerated Computing?

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Graphics Processing Unit Accelerated Computing or GPU computing is the use of a graphics processing unit (GPU) as a co-processor for accelerating CPUs. This enhanced performance is utilized by the best graphic design companies for engineering and general-purpose scientific computing.

GPU was developed by NVIDIA in 2007, and since then, has aided in providing far superior application performance. It achieves this by removing process-intensive application sections. Today, GPU-accelerated computing can be employed in an array of rapidly-developing fields such as artificial intelligence, robots, drones, and autonomic cars.

How does GPU work?

The GPU enhances application performance on the CPU by offloading some of the portions of the code which are time-consuming and require plenty of computing, while the rest of the application still runs on the CPU. So, for the user, this means that the application runs much faster and smoother as it uses the massively parallel processing power of the GPU to boost performance. This is referred to as heterogeneous or hybrid computing.

GPU-accelerated computing has plenty of uses in all kinds of areas, including video editing, fluid simulations, medical imaging, and color grading, by the best graphic design companies and top UX design firms.

GPU vs. CPU

While a CPU is used for carrying out general-purpose work, GPUs are used for carrying out massively parallel operations. So, CPUs are commonly used in common devices we use today, such as smartphones, laptops, and washing machines. GPUs may be used for quickly taking the square root of all values in a region of memory. This makes them much faster in graphics-related and massively parallel jobs.

Another difference is that the CPU is made up of four to eight CPU cores, but on the other hand, the GPU is made up of hundreds of much smaller cores. The CPU and GPU then operate together to crunch through the data that they find in the application. Thanks to this massively parallel architecture, the GPU can carry out its high computing performance. As such, various GPU-accelerated applications are capable of providing an easy way to access HPC or high-performance computing.

Moreover, the CPU contains cores which have been designed for sequential serial processing, but the GPU’s parallel architecture contains smaller, but more efficient and powerful cores that can handle multiple tasks easily in parallel without any issues. As a result, GPU-accelerated computing performs sequential calculations in the CPU, while the GPU computes highly complicated calculations in parallel.

What’s New in Xamarin Image Editor?

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

The 2019 Volume 3 release of Xamarin.Forms Image Editor introduced several improvements, thereby allowing users such as top UX design firms an enhanced experience. Below, we take a close look at the new features which were added this year:

Image filter effects support

This effect enables users to choose from a wide range of color filters that can be added to their image. In other words, the original colors of the image are manipulated to achieve a different texture and color. There are six types of options that users have access to, including Hue, Saturation, Brightness, Contrast, Blur, and Sharpen. Users can apply these effects either by using the Image Editor toolbar or through code using the ApplyImageEffect method.

While the hue refers to the dominant wavelength of an image’s color, and its value ranges from -180 to 180, saturation refers to the intensity of the color. Its value ranges from -100 to 100. The brightness of an image represents how bright the image’s color is, with its value ranging between -100 and 100. The contrast of an image means the difference between the colors of an image. Its value ranges between -100 and 100.

Blur, on the other hand, means the clarity of an image, and its effect ranges from 0 to 6. Finally, the Sharpen feature is used for highlighting and enhancing the edges of objects found in an image. Its value ranges from 0 to 6 as well.

You even have the option of creating your own image color style in the new Xamarin Image Editor. All you have to do is apply a combination of various filter effects to your image.

Option for adding read-only text

The 2019 Volume 3 release of Xamarin Image Editor allows users to add read-only text to images. To do so, it restricts the text pop-up while you tap on an added text. If you want to add read-only text, you have to set the IsEditable property in TextSettings to false (which is set in true by default) before you add the text to the image.

Option to enable or disable resize functionality for added objects

Users now have the option of enabling or disabling the resize functionality for added objects, including images, shapes, as well as custom views. To do so, you have to use the IsResizable property of PenSettings, TextSettings, as well as CustomViewSettings in the Image Editor.

Apart from these main new features, there have also been several minor improvements made to Xamarin Image Editor, along with bug fixes.

NeTFacilities| An AMT Direct Company

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Product introduction

NETFacilities is a part of the AMTdirect group. The company helps businesses manage their facilities and assets by deploying efficient solutions. The company also provides companies with expert resources to manage their assets and facilities. NETFacilities has created the ultimate maintenance and management solution and now services more than 14,000 locations and thousands of users.

Domain: Service ERP

Platform: Mobile App

The aim of the project

The goal was to rebuild a Mobile App with the same functionality as a mobile forms app. We were to also include a tastefully-designed dashboard within the app. The app had to be created together with UI and UX professionals, who would be able to design the dashboard.

The mobile app was to be based on a subscription model as it contained certain features that were available only after payment or a paid subscription.

We were to create the Mobile ERP App from scratch while reusing the existing code of Xamarin Forms by converting it into Xamarin Native.

The challenges we faced

The first challenge that we faced was to create an entire platform right from scratch and automate certain processes. These processes were earlier managed and controlled via a mobile app at an enterprise level.

The second challenge was to reuse the existing code that was specifically written in Xamarin Forms. Xamarin Forms are especially used to build native apps. Reusing the Xamarin Forms code was difficult.

A third challenge was to frequently change the way we worked on the project, as the client was not familiar with the Agile framework.

Solution

We created a mobile app version of AMT direct using agile methodology, with scrum implementation.

We made additional suggestions to the client based on our understanding of their requirements. These suggestions were much appreciated and were taken on board.

We implemented Google Analytics that would help NetFacilities to measure the user bounce rate on the Mobile App, and also to help them boost their sales.

Since the end-users are in the minimum age category of 45–50, we developed the entire Mobile App from Xamarin Native to give the users a better and seamless user experience. The user interface was designed so that the end-user had no problems using the interface.

Project impact

We were able to do much more than just create a Mobile ERP App for NETFacilities. We also provided the company with ideas to manage the assets, assessments, domains, work orders through a well-designed dashboard. The dashboard is easy to use and sits within the app that boasts of an easy-to-use user interface and superb user experience.

We also included features like signature capture, offline/online sync, and on-the-fly sync to increase the usage and flexibility of the platform.

IoT: The Internet of Things

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Introduction and background

IoT, which stands for the Internet of Things, is a term that is used for connecting a bunch of devices we use in the real world to the internet. Today, many electrical devices such as tablets, smartphones, laptops, TVs, etc. are connected to the internet, thus allowing us to make use of the many benefits the world wide web offers. With IoT, the idea is to connect as many objects as possible to the internet, so that we can achieve a worldwide system of interconnected objects.

When objects have internet connectivity, it means that they are capable of transferring information. In other words, data can be sent and received from one device or system to another. This communication of information makes our life much easier and more efficient, and as the world progresses, we only going to rely more on the internet and objects with internet connectivity, also known as smart devices.

The aim of IoT is to connect multiple objects we use every day in the real world to the internet so as to make our lives easier.

Challenge

The main challenge in understanding what the Internet of Things is that it is so loosely defined. The scope is so broad that it is difficult for people to understand that such a concept is a possibility in the real world. When there are so many possibilities and examples of IoT, it can be tough to really understand what the concept is about.

Moreover, most definitions of the Internet of Things that you can find online are extremely technical, which only adds to the confusion. For a concept whose basics are pretty simple, the complex definitions and broad scope make IoT more confusing than it actually is.

Solution

The Internet of Things allows objects across the globe to be connected to each other using the internet. The great thing is that these objects do not have to have huge storage or a supercomputer embedded in them. They simply need to be connected to a supercomputer or super storage, and IoT does exactly this.

So, IoT aims to extend the power of the internet beyond just computers and smartphones to a whole range of other objects and processes. In doing so, it helps businesses and people gain better insight into the 99 percent of objects and environments which are still not connected to the internet. This, in turn, encourages higher-level work that is more meaningful.

Queuing Tasks with Redis

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Introduction and background

Redis is an open-source data structure that is used for in-memory storage and helps developers across the globe with the quick and efficient organization and utilization of data. Even though many developers worldwide are still struggling to decide which open-source software application to use, Redis is quickly growing to be a widely popular choice. Currently, more than 3000 tech joints, including our team, are using Redis.

Redis supports several data structures, including lists, sets, sorted sets, hashes, binary-safe strings, and HyperLogLogs. Our team uses Redis to support queuing in this project.

Queuing is the storing or deferring of tasks of operation inside a queue so that they can be used later. It comes into use for operations which are large in number and/or takes up a lot of time. Tasks can be executed in two different methods –

  • Tasks can be executed in the same order they were inserted, or
  • Tasks can be executed at a specific time.

Challenges

For this project, we needed to download large files, which is extremely time-consuming. To make the process more time-efficient, we decided to use queuing to effectively manage the download request. These download requests were added and served in the FIFO order.

Moreover, we wanted to retry the request in the time interval of one hour if it fails, until it fails three times. After this, the request is marked as failed and then removed from the queue. Our team soon found that manually creating and managing separate queues was rather inefficient, time-consuming, and troublesome, which hinted that we needed a new solution. This is where Redis comes in.

Solution

To create and manage separate queues more effectively, we put Kue npm package to the test. We hoped that it would make our task less time-consuming and more efficient.

And what exactly is Kue? Kue is a priority job queue package that is built for node.js and backed by Redis. What makes Kue so appealing for developers is that it provides us with a UI where the status of queues is displayed. This means that we can see the current status of the queues in real-time, thus helping us work better and smarter.

To use Kue, you have to first install it, then create a job Queue with Kue.createQueue(). The next step is to create a job of type email with arbitrary job data using create() method. This enables the return of a job, which will be saved in Redis using save() method.

Then, after the jobs are created, the next step is to process them using process() method, after which failed jobs should be removed. You can then add Kue UI if you choose and install kue-UI package.

With this, you will be able to store your request in the Redis queue and then process them in FIFO order.

Key Insights into the Future of Software Testing — 2020 Vision

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

With the growth of digital technology and the widespread use it has in our daily lives, the need for reliable and efficient software testing has also increased. Developers need to ensure product quality after an app design agency works on it and before it is rolled out into the market. As such, it is not an exaggeration to say that software testing determines the fate of a product.

Considering the huge role that software testing plays in the success of an app, it is important to know where the industry is headed to in the coming years. Such insights help us understand how better to improve the products that are put out most efficiently.

Before learning about future insights read another article about software testing from the link:- https://medium.com/@successivetech/getting-started-with-testing-react-component-e9e811856f3c

Below, we take a closer look at four main insights that are predicted to dominate the software testing industry in 2020:

Testing both the API layer and UI layer are equally important

Most professionals who are involved in software testing, such as developers, project managers, manual testers, and so on, test both the front and back-end of applications. This indicates that today, testing the API layer is equally important as testing the UI layer. Since testers are tasked with testing multiple layers of software, they must be equipped with the necessary tools so that they can test with ease. In the coming years, more testers will likely focus on both API and UPI layers.

Machine learning-enabled automated testing is the future

By 2020, the number of testers automating more than half of their API tests is expected to grow significantly. This means that automated testing will soon be the norm in the near future. Machine learning has already heavily impacted the way software is developed, and its impact on software testing is also expected to grow. For instance, machine learning can be used to optimize the test suite to search for excessive, or it can be used to predict the main test configurations based on previous checks.

Teams are working on shortening release cycles

Even though teams are not as agile as they wish to be, this trend is likely to change as they are continuously working on deploying more regularly. A huge number of software testers are expected to release either daily or weekly in the coming years, thus shortening their release cycles.

More focus on user experience

High-quality UX has grown to become one of the most important determinants of success for products in the world of software today. Regardless of whether the product is aimed at a simple user or for an experienced software developer, being user-friendly is a crucial key. This is exactly why testing user experience has become such a critical part of software testing, and the need for the best UI/UX design services is growing. This trend is expected to grow in the coming years.

Node.js 13 Brings Enhanced Programming Features and Worker Threads

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

In October, Node.js foundation released Node.js 13, much to the joy of Node.js developers across the globe. This release was significant because it marked the transition of Node.js 12 to Long Term Support (LTS). So, even though the new release from Node.js is now the current release, it is not recommended for production used by top UI UX design firms and others since Node.js 12 is still the Long Term Support (LTS) release.

As the latest version of the JavaScript runtime, Node.js 13 brings with it various improvements including programming enhancements, worker threads, as well as internationalization capabilities.

Although Node.js 13 may not be used by developers for production, it is still important when it comes to building and testing the latest features, as it allows them to see whether their applications and packages will be compatible with future versions that are yet to be developed.

In short, the new release is capable of delivering faster startup as well as improved default heap limits. It also includes updates to TLS, V8 engine and Http, and new features such as bundled heap dump capability, diagnostic report, and updates to N-API, Worker Threads, etc.

Below, we take a look at the key features that the latest release Node.js 13 brings:

Stable worker threads

With the new release, worker threads that are used for performing CPU-intensive JavaScript operations are stable in not only Node.js 13 but also in Node.js 12. Even though Node.js performs well enough with the single-threaded event loop, results could be improved with additional threads in some use-cases, and the new release bridges this gap.

V8 is upgraded to V8 7.8

The Google V8 JavaScript engine that Node.js runs on has been updated to the latest version, which is V8 7.8. The new and improved engine means that you can expect improvements in performance such as memory usage, object destructuring, as well as WebAssembly startup time.

Changes in HTTP communications

With the new Node.js release, data will not be emitted after a socket error anymore when it comes to HTTP communications. The legacy HTTP parser has also been removed, and the runtime of the request. connection and response.connection properties have been deprecated. Instead, request. socket and response.socket should be used.

Full ICU is enabled by default

Full-ICU (International Components for Unicode) is available as default with the new release. This means that Node.js now supports hundreds of other local languages, which will result in the simplification of deployment and deployment of apps for non-English deployments.

Understanding Conversational AI Technology

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Put simply, conversational AI refers to technology that can automate communication by using speech-based assistants, messaging apps, and chatbots. This helps businesses in creating a highly personalized experience at scale.

Today, conversational AIs are more popular than ever, and their rapid advancement points to a future where we are likely to become more reliant on this technology for our daily tasks. The best UI UX design services are requested time and again by businesses to integrate conversational AIs into their operations.

For example, you or someone you know may have Google Home or Amazon Alexa at home. These are two of the most popular speech-based assistants available in the market today. You can have conversations with these AIs, ask them to carry out certain tasks for you such as setting up an appointment, ask them to play music, etc., simply by talking to them as you would to another human being.

What makes conversational AI Technology so appealing to the masses is that they are driven by a language we are already comfortable with. Whether they are chatbots or speech-based assistants, you don’t have to learn complex processes to operate a conversational AI. They can either be engaged with using full sentences or using word options from a menu and can support two-way interactions with the user, thus connecting humans and machines like never before.

How conversational AIs can affect your business

It’s not difficult to see how businesses can benefit from the power of conversational AIs. One of the key appeals of this technology is that it can carry out personalized interactions with many individual customers simultaneously. On top of this, it enhances engagement and streamlines communication, thus providing an overall better customer experience.

By enabling businesses to hold seamless and synchronized communications with their customers on whatever channel the customers may be using, conversational AIs allow improved efficiency and better customer satisfaction. For example, a customer on a website using chatbots for a query can have any issue resolved in a matter of a few minutes, without having to wait to speak to a representative.

Customers today are already pretty familiar with conversational AI in its different avatars. The younger generation prefers to communicate over conversational AI-enabled platforms than other forms of communication such as phone calls.

Thanks to its ease of use and its efficient nature, conversational AI is gaining momentum, with many top UX design firms investing in it. This means that businesses can use this modern technology to automate customer-focused touchpoints on various channels including their website, social media, and even smart assistants like Alexa and Google Home.

Getting Started with Testing React Component

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Introduction and background

ReactJs is a very popular open-source JavaScript library that is used for front-end development. It is extremely flexible and user-friendly, which makes it easy for developers to play around with state and props in React Components. This, in turn, helps to make the app more attractive and interactive.

React is maintained by Facebook, along with a worldwide community of companies and individual developers. It is great for fetching data that changes rapidly and which needs to be recorded and is therefore used as a base in the development of mobile apps and single-page applications.

In simple words, React allows developers to create web applications that are capable of changing data without having to reload the page. The main advantages that React offers include ease of use, simplicity, and scalability. It is also very fast, making it highly efficient.

Challenge

When developers work on a React app, they often play with state and props to make their apps more interactive and appealing. During development, everything may seem to work fine, but in many cases, the app faces issues once it is rolled out into the market when it is used by real people in the real world. This is because, oftentimes, some of the use cases of the app fail.

When you develop a web application, and you don’t run any test, it means that the beta testers will be the users in the real world, which is extremely risky. Besides, if your app fails, you cannot blame others for not trusting an untested code.

Unit testing of apps is required for the following reasons –

  • To ensure that each part of the program is correct individually.
  • To check out input validation logic and data transformation.
  • To check any isolated operation.
  • It helps in writing a test-driven approach.
  • Make sure the right things render when they are meant to.

Solution

To carry out efficient and reliable unit testing, Jest and Enzyme are required. Jest is a JavaScript testing framework that is developed by Facebook, with its main advantage being that it is very easy to use while being fast and safe. Code coverage, great expectations, snapshots, and easy mocking are other benefits. Create React App is then shipped with a ready-to-use Jest setup.

The Enzyme is a JavaScript testing utility for React, which can be used for easily asserting, manipulating, and traversing the output of your React Component. It was created by Airbnb and is quite popular since it adds several additional utility methods that are used for rendering a component(s), as well as finding and interacting with elements.

So, Jest is used as the test runner, assertion library, and mocking library, while Enzyme is used to provide additional testing utilities to interact with elements.

Adobe Photoshop Launched on iPad

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Last October, Adobe announced that it would soon be bringing its extremely popular photo-editing software Photoshop to iPads. Roughly a year later, the company has followed through and has released Photoshop on iPads. Adobe Photoshop is used heavily by the best graphic design companies and the top UX design firms.

Users of Apple’s tablets can download Adobe Photoshop on their device for free, and the download comes with a 30-day free trial. After the free trial period is over, users are required to pay $9.99 per month via in-app purchases if they want to continue using the app. They also have the option of including the app as part of a full Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

What can Photoshop on an iPad do?

The tablet version of the Adobe’s software works just like the desktop version and is compatible with any tablet that supports iPad iOS, including iPad Air, iPad Mini, the latest iPad, as well any iPad Pro model.

Even though it works the same way, Adobe has announced that the iPad version will not have all the features that the desktop version has. However, Photoshop for iPad Pro and the more recent models do support Apple Pencil and also allows users to edit PSD files.

According to Adobe, the iPad version will have a subset of the features found in the main application on desktops on the initial release. The plan is to add more features over time. There is also a possibility that certain features may never be added on the iPad version of the software since, over the many years of its development, Adobe Photoshop has acquired different techniques to get the same results.

Adobe has said that for the first release, it has focused on features that will make the most of touch and the input from Apple Pencil. These features include retouching and core compositing tools, as well as improvements such as brush and mask support. Other features like smart selection, will be installed later.

In other words, to give users the best experience possible on the iPad screen, the interface of the software has been designed to be as similar as possible to the desktop application. However, Adobe has also considered features that will benefit most from touch and Pencil rather than keyboard and mouse control.

Thanks to its same PSD file format that is used in the desktop version as well, both the versions can share documents with each other. This means that the versions are kept in sync through the online Library storage of Creative Cloud.

The new release will definitely make the software more accessible, and will likely be used extensively by enterprises such as a creative graphic design agency.

A Beginner’s Guide to Progressive Web Apps

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

A Progressive Web App, also known as PWA, is a web app that “uses modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like experience.” It combines the best of both web apps and mobile apps. While it may be developed using web technologies, a PWA developed by a good app design agency feels and acts like a mobile app.

For instance, if you browse certain websites on your mobile browser, you might have come across a pop-up banner asking you if you want to add the website to your home screen. If you choose “Add to Home Screen”, then the “app” installs by itself in the background without you ever having to go to the app store in order to download it to your phone. After the installation is done, you can access the same content on the same platform in a similar experience, but this time through your phone without requiring a browser.

This is what a Progressive Web App is. It allows you to download a mobile app from a web application by combining the best of both worlds, and even works offline, similar to a native mobile app. This means that you can browse the content even if you do not have internet access.

What is the function of Progressive Web Apps?

Native mobile apps found in app stores are able to carry out certain functions like working offline, loading on the home screen, and sending push notifications. Apart from this, another key difference from web applications is that native mobile apps have that distinct experience of looking and feeling like an app.

However, browser mobile web apps, which can be accessed using a browser in mobile phones, do not have the qualities mentioned above. This is where Progressive Web Apps come in. When these apps are developed by a UI UX design company, a set of best practices is used to make web applications work and feel like native mobile apps from app stores.

User experiences are delivered through progressive enhancement by top UX design firms, which means that regardless of which system you use, you will still be able to access content easily and smoothly. Even if there are some features that may not be available, user experience is not compromised with a PWA. It allows the app to perform and function exactly the way it should.

So, in other words, the goal of a Progressive Web App is to be able to deliver an experience that is so smooth, seamless, and uniform that users cannot differentiate between a PWA and a native mobile app.

RCS Messaging

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

The Promising Successor to SMS.

Rich Communication Services Messaging, or RCS Messaging, is a protocol that is designed to enhance and succeed what we know today as SMS or Short Message Service. As a protocol between phone manufacturers and mobile operators, the goal is to eventually replace SMS and MMS so users can have a more enhanced texting experience designed by the best UI UX design services.

First formed in 2007, the GSM Association (GSMA) took over RCS, and in 2016, the members of GSMA, which are several mobile operators across the globe, agreed on a Universal Profile. This was a set of standards that every mobile operator, phone manufacturer, and software providers can follow to help implement rich communication services messaging on mobile devices.

What is the need for RCS messaging?

Despite its shortcomings compared to popular messaging apps like Messenger and WhatsApp, SMS is still very popular today. Many users, both individuals, and businesses continue to use it even though it lacks features like group messaging features, read receipts, and fun, animated stickers.

Text messages can only be 160 characters in length and not a character more, which means that you have to keep them short and concise. On top of this, if you don’t have a mobile signal, or if you are on roaming, you cannot send a text message since the service depends on a cellular connection.

Ever since SMS was first proposed in 1982 and developed in the 90s, they haven’t been improved much since today. Especially when you compare them to advanced and user-friendly messaging apps today that support all kinds of features, SMS seem to be a thing of the past. Yet, it remains the most commonly used feature on a smartphone since 97 percent of smartphone users still communicate using text messages.

This is where Rich Communication Services messaging comes in. It combines all the best features of popular messaging apps today such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and iMessage to give users a platform that will be the successor of SMS.

As a result of the work of top UX design firms, RCS will look very similar to iMessage and other popular messaging platforms we use today. It is more interactive than SMS, allowing users to form group chats, send high-resolution images, as well as audio and video messages. It will also have features like reading receipts and will show you in real-time when someone is replying to your message.

RCS messaging is championed heavily by the GSMA, as well as the biggest names in tech such as Google and Android, Samsung, along with many other mobile phone manufacturers and carriers.

Airbnb Now Bookable with Bitcoin and Lightning Network via Fold App

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

One of the most popular Bitcoin payments app Fold has recently announced that users can now book Airbnb using the app. The short-term rental giant is now a part of Fold’s rewards program known as Fold Kickbacks, which supports Lightning Network (LN), Bitcoin’s second layer. It allows users to buy gift cards for Bitcoin with a reward of 3 percent cashback.

This means that with every stay and/or experience booked on Airbnb using Fold, users can get 3 percent cashback in Bitcoin (BTC). The announcement is surely an exciting feature on the Fold Kickbacks rewards program, which already has some well-known brands such as Uber, Amazon, and Starbucks.

Currently, the Fold app only works in few selected countries such as the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Soon, Europe is expected to be able to use the app as well.

Fold facing new competition

The Fold may be among the oldest and the biggest Bitcoin shopping rewards apps in the market today, but it definitely isn’t alone app. There are several similar apps that have come up in recent years, offering users with an increasing number of options to “stack sats”.

One of the biggest competitors of Fold may be Lolli, which has partnered with Petco, a popular American pet retailer. In addition to this, the Bitcoin rewards shopping app also partnered with Safeway, a huge grocery chain in the US in order to provide users with an attractive offer of 3.5 percent cashback in BTC on all of the purchases they make at Safeway.

In an attempt to stay ahead of the competition and provide users with more payment options, Fold added a new feature that allows the app to accept fiat currency as payment at in-store and online retailers apart from Bitcoin. Users can do so by adding either their Bitcoin Lightning wallet or credit card. This new feature was added after the firm managed to raise $2.5 million in late September 2019.

Even Asia is not far behind and is rolling out Bitcoin rewards shopping options. Earlier this year, Amaten, which is the largest gift card platform in Japan announced that it partnered with Aelf, a blockchain network provider in order to issue tokenized gift cards to users.

With the growing popularity of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, we can expect to see more of similar services in the coming years with investors, tech companies and top UX design firms working together to bring improved services.

Connecting GraphQL using Apollo Server

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Introduction

Apollo Server is a library that helps you connect a GraphQL schema to an HTTP server in Node.js. We will try to explain this through an example, the link used to clone this project is mentioned below:-

git clone https://[email protected]/prwl/apollo-tutorial.git

This technology and its concepts can be best explained as below.

Challenge

Here, one of the main goals is to create a directory and install packages. This will eventually lead us to implement our first subscription in GraphQL with Apollo Server and PubSub.

Solution

For this, the first step includes building a new folder in your working directory. The current directory is changed to that new folder, and a new folder is created to hold your server code in and run. This will create the package.json file for us. After this, we install a few libraries. After the installment of these packages, the next step is to create an index.js file in the root of the server.

Create Directory

npm init -y

Install Packages

npm install apollo-server-express express graphql nodemon apollo-server

Connecting Apollo Server

Index.js first connects to the Apollo server. Every library is set to get started with the source code in the index.js file. To achieve this, you have first to import the necessary parts for getting started with Apollo Server in Express. Using Apollo Server’s applyMiddleware() method, you can opt-in any middleware, which in this case is Express.

import express from 'express';
import { ApolloServer, gql } from 'apollo-server-express';

const typeDefs = gql`
type Query {
hello: String
};
const resolvers = {
Query: {
hello: () => 'Hello World!'
}
}
`;
const server = new ApolloServer({ typeDefs, resolvers });
const app = express();
server.applyMiddleware({ app });

app.listen({ port: 4000 }, () =>
console.log(`? Server ready at http://localhost:4000${server.graphqlPath}`)
);

The GraphQL schema provided to the Apollo Server is the only available data for reading and writing data via GraphQL. It can happen from any client who consumes the GraphQL API. The schema consists of type definitions, which starts with a mandatory top-level Query type for reading data, followed by fields and nested fields. Apollo Server has various scalar types in the GraphQL specification for defining strings (String), booleans (Boolean), integers (Int), and more.

const typeDefs = gql`
type Query {
hello: Message
}Type Message {salutation: String}
`;
const resolvers = {
Query: {
hello: () => 'Hello World!'
}
};

In the GraphQL schema for setting up an Apollo Server, resolvers are used to return data for fields from the schema. The data source doesn’t matter, because the data can be hardcoded, can come from a database, or from another (RESTful) API endpoint.

Mutations

So far, we have only defined queries in our GraphQL schema. Apart from the Query type, there are also Mutation and Subscription types. There, you can group all your GraphQL operations for writing data instead of reading it.

const typeDefs = gql`
type Query {

}type Mutation {createMessage(text: String!): String!}
`;

As visible from the above code snippet. In this case, the create message mutation accepts a non-nullable text input as an argument and returns the created message as a string.

Again, you have to implement the resolver as counterpart for the mutation the same as with the previous queries, which happens in the mutation part of the resolver map:

const resolvers = {
Query: {
hello: () => ‘Hello World!’
},
Mutation: {
createMessage: (parent, args) => {
const message = args.text;
return message;
},
},
};

The mutation’s resolver has access to the text in its second argument. The parent argument isn’t used.

So far, the mutation creates a message string and returns it to the API. However, most mutations have side-effects, because they are writing data to your data source or performing another action. Most often, it will be a write operation to your database, but in this case, we are just returning the text passed to us as an argument.

That’s it for the first mutation. You can try it right now in GraphQL Playground:

mutation {
createMessage (text: “Hello GraphQL!”)
}

The result for the query should look like this as per your defined sample data:

{
“data”: {
“createMessage”: “Hello GraphQL!”
}
}

Subscriptions

So far, you used GraphQL to read and write data with queries and mutations. These are the two essential GraphQL operations to get a GraphQL server ready for CRUD operations. Next, you will learn about GraphQL Subscriptions for real-time communication between GraphQL client and server.

Apollo Server Subscription Setup

Because we are using Express as middleware, expose the subscriptions with an advanced HTTP server setup in the index.js file:

import http from ‘http’;…server.applyMiddleware({ app, path: ‘/graphql’ });const httpServer = http.createServer(app);
server.installSubscriptionHandlers(httpServer);httpServer.listen({ port: 8000 }, () => {
 console.lo;
});…

To complete the subscription setup, you’ll need to use one of the available PubSub engines for publishing and subscribing to events. Apollo Server comes with its own by default.

Let’s implement the specific subscription for the message creation. It should be possible for another GraphQL client to listen to message creations.

Create a file named subscription.js in the root directory of your project and paste the following line in that file:

import { PubSub } from ‘apollo-server’;export const CREATED = ‘CREATED’;export const EVENTS = {
MESSAGE: CREATED,
};export default new PubSub();

The only piece missing is using the event and the PubSub instance in your resolver.

…import pubsub, { EVENTS } from ‘./subscription’;…const resolvers = {
Query: {

},
Mutation: {…
},Subscription: {messageCreated: {subscribe: () => pubsub.asyncIterator(EVENTS.MESSAGE),},},};…

Also, update your schema for the newly created Subscription:

const typeDefs = gql`
type Query {

}
type Mutation {

}type Subscription {messageCreated: String!}
`;

The subscription as a resolver provides a counterpart for the subscription in the message schema. However, since it uses a publisher-subscriber mechanism (PubSub) for events, you have only implemented the subscribing, not the publishing. It is possible for a GraphQL client to listen for changes, but there are no changes published yet. The best place for publishing a newly created message is in the same file as the created message:

…import pubsub, { EVENTS } from ‘./subscription’;…const resolvers = {
Query: {

},
Mutation: {
createMessage: (parent, args) => {
const message = args.text;pubsub.publish(EVENTS.MESSAGE, {messageCreated: message,});
return message;
},
},
Subscription: {

},
};…

We have implemented your first subscription in GraphQL with Apollo Server and PubSub. To test it, create a new message on a tab in the apollo playground. On the other tab, we can listen to our subscription.

In the first tab, execute the subscription:

subscription {
messageCreated
}

In the second tab execute the createMessage mutation:

mutation {
createMessage(text: “My name is John.”)
}

Now, check the first tab(subscription) for the response like this:

{
“data”: {
“messageCreated”: “My name is John.”
}
}

We have implemented GraphQL subscriptions.

Advantages of Developing Modern Apps with ReactJS

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Reasons to build Mobile Applications in ReactJS.

React.js is a Facebook- and developer-community-managed, 2013-launched, JavaScript repository for building modern user interfaces. It can be used as a base to develop mobile applications or single-page applications. It’s viewed as a superb tool because it can do a great job fetching rapidly changing data that requires to be recorded. It’s so popular that companies like Netflix, PayPal, Apple rely on it, as do over 32,000 other websites that are built using this framework. So, what makes it so popular? Why do app design agencies prefer React.js?

React.js boosts productivity

Ask developers, what is the one remarkable feature about React.js, and they will swear that it’s the ability to increase productivity and facilitate maintenance. When applications have complex logic, changes in a single component can adversely affect the others. This makes updates a pain. Facebook has resolved this issue by extending the tool’s ability to reuse system components. This a great way to save development time.

React.js ensures faster rendering with virtual DOM

When creating a high-load application, it is necessary to ensure the structure will not negatively impact the overall performance of the app. Even minor changes at the upper layer can cause problems in lower levels. Now, developers can first make changes to the virtual representation of the DOM and then calculate the minimal scope of required DOM operations. Once done, the real DOM tree can be updated. By doing this, the developer can ensure better user experience and higher app performance.

React.js guarantees stable code

We know that HTML and JavaScript are two technologies that work side-by-side. React.js ensures that codes are reusable when these two technologies are combined. React.js also makes use of only downward data flow. So, even small changes made to the child structures will not affect their parents. When changing an object, developers have to modify their state and make the necessary change. Only the relevant components will be updated when this is done. This type of data binding ensures code stability and the continuous performance of the app.

React.js is SEO-friendly

Content is king. One of the relevant challenges that developers face is to ensure that an app is SEO-friendly. This is especially necessary for businesses in this day and age when there are several hundreds of apps out there, all vying to be the best. React.js ensures an app is SEO-friendly by effectively dealing with typical search engine failures to read heavily loaded, JavaScript apps.

Google Bert Update

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Almost five years ago, Google introduced a development known as RankBrain to its search system. Now, it has rolled out a new change known as BERT, and the company calls it “the biggest change of the last five years”. This means that BERT is the biggest change to hit Google’s search system since RankBrain came out, and we can only expect a huge impact on searches.

BERT, which stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, is a neural network-based technique for language processing. It is a Natural Language Processing (NLP) that has been pre-trained in the Wikipedia corpus and is capable of helping Google gain a better understanding of language, content, and queries so that it can serve better results to users, including enterprises such as top UX design firms and individual users.

Google said BERT helps better understand the nuances and context of words in searches and better match those queries with more relevant results. It is also used for featured snippets. What makes BERT unique is that it can use the context and relations of every word that is found in a sentence, as opposed to one by one in order. This means that simply by looking at the words that come before and after a particular word, BERT is capable of figuring out and understanding the full context of that word.

Understanding BERT better

With this new technology, Google can gain a better understanding of the full list of a query that a user has. To better explain this, Google even gave a very simple example that is easy to understand. If a user searches for “2019 brazil traveller to USA need a visa”, the word “to” and how it relates to the other words used in the query is very important if Google is to give relevant and useful results for the users.

Initially, Google did not have the technology to understand the context of the word “to” and so, it would provide results related to U.S citizens who are travelling to Brazil, rather than a Brazilian travelling to the U.S. In other words, it was not capable of returning accurate, relevant results which the user was looking for.

However, with BERT, the search engine will be able to understand these words in queries a little more like humans do, meaning that it is able to understand the importance of the word “to” in this particular query. Thus, with BERT, Google is able to provide enhanced user experience by returning highly relevant results.

Optical Character Recognition Implementation

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Introduction and background

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is the technology to read and convert typed, printed, or handwritten characters into machine-encoded text or a format that the computer can manipulate. As a subset of image recognition, it is commonly used as a form of data entry with the input being some sort of printed document or data records such as bank statements, passports, sales invoices, resumes, and business cards.

Android version

For this, the services/APIs which were used for implementation was Xamarin. Google Play Services. Vision, Our team, was successful in this project as the response rate to be expected in less than one second. The system will be able to read the text in grey and red color with a 65 to 75 percent accuracy in grey text and a 90 percent accuracy in red text.

The process flow includes the user opening the camera and placing it above the lock, followed by the camera detecting the surface. After this, it captures the text and returns the value after processing it.

The Android version of the application can have a custom camera that will capture the video stream of the lock, then divide it into frames, capture the text, and adding it into a list of text. This cycle will repeat until two texts are found to be similar. This procedure will increase the chances of correct detection of the lock instead of just capturing the image, detecting the text within the captured image, and then presenting the output. However, it will also affect the processing time/response rate of the complete operation.

The more efficient working of the application will depend on the latest version of the Xamarin.GooglePlayServices.Vision

iOS version

For the iOS version, the services/APIS used for implementation was text recognition. ML Kit’s text recognition APIs can help you recognize any Latin-based language. This translates into the automation of data entry for receipts, credit cards, and business cards.

With a response rate of less than one second, the system has the ability to read the text in grey and red color. With grey text, the accuracy is at 60 to 70 percent, while the red text is at 80 percent.

The iOS version is supposed to have a custom camera that can capture the lock’s video stream, which will be divided into several frames. From the frames, the system will capture the text and adding it to a list of texts. Until two texts are found to be similar, the system will populate it as the lock code does to the user.

One limitation is that accurate capturing of data depends on the lighting condition of the surroundings as well as the condition of the lock.

Google Ads Lead Form Extension- A New Way to Capture Leads

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Google Ads is doing it again — testing a new lead form extension so that its advertisers can capture more information about their customers. Will the new lead form extension work?

In 2010, Google came out with contact form extensions. Leads were sent to an advertiser’s email inbox. The contact form extensions never saw the light of day. In 2011, Google rehashed their plan and came out with cost-per-lead ads. Users could submit their phone numbers or email IDs directly from an ad to request more information. That idea didn’t work out well either.

Here’s the latest news. Google Ads is testing ways for businesses to capture customer information through lead form extensions. The extensions are currently in beta testing. These ad extensions help advertisers to capture leads from text ad campaigns.

Why it’s important?

The new lead extensions can significantly help advertisers generate more leads from search ads. However, the quality of these leads will remain questionable, and it is up to advertisers to ensure they follow up with these leads to find out if they are qualified leads.

The new lead form extension is designed to attract customers with exciting and innovative call-to-actions (CTAs). The CTAs can be in the form of a simple website link or as a direct download.

Businesses/advertisers can customize their lead forms using their unique title and description and then indicate what information they require from customers. Some information that businesses can ask for include:

  • Customer name
  • Phone number
  • Postcode
  • Email address

This might seem like very limited data to capture, but with the integration of webhooks, advertisers should be able to see an easy transfer of lead data to sales systems.

Better still- The new option is designed for mobiles as well

Why should we care? Simply because advertising on mobile can be super hard. Small screen sizes, slow connections, and customers’ short attention span make mobile conversion rates much lower than desktop conversion rates. The lead form extension will come up beneath an ad search on mobiles and tablets and allow a user to provide their contact information directly through an advertiser’s ad on the SERP.

What else can a business/advertiser do?

Businesses can design their own background images for each lead form to make them look more attractive.

Businesses can customize the message that appears once the customers submit their information.

What Google Ads support pages say:

A Google Ads support page states that these extensions can be integrated into the business’s CRM.

Another support page mentions that lead form extensions in search ads is a beta feature that is available to only some businesses. The page goes on to explain that other businesses may belong to sensitive verticals/sub-verticals that make it impossible to use these lead form extensions.

Salesforce Data Migration Best Practices

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Introduction

Salesforce data migration is the process of moving or migrating Salesforce data to other platforms. The migration is a way of cleaning the data. The data should be:

  • Complete — contain all the necessary details for all users
  • Relevant — Required information should be included
  • Timely — The data should be available when needed
  • Accessible — the data should be accessible immediately
  • Valid — the data should be in the correct format
  • Reliable — the data should be authentic
  • Unique — There should be no duplicate records

The challenge

To migrate data in Salesforce from one organization to another or from one division to another.

The Solution:

Define which method is best suited to import/export your data. Then, understand the most effective practices for organizing and migrating that data.

1. Begin by identifying the data that needs to be migrated.

Choose objects that need to be migrated.

You might want to migrate only the “contact information” from every account, or you might even want to migrate “account information” from a particular division.

2. Create templates for the data that needs to be migrated

An excel template must be created for each Object. This is done using a data export from Data Loader.

Objects have necessary relationships that dictate the order of data migration. So, identify the required fields for each Object.

3. Populate all the templates

Make sure to review the data before populating it in the template.

4. Prepare the destination org

You might want to create custom fields to store legacy ID information.

Optionally, you can give the custom field the “External ID” attribute, and it will be indexed. By doing this, relationships will be maintained, and you can build custom reports for data validation.

For data that is contained in non-standard fields in the old organization, consider creating custom fields.

5. Validate the data

The following techniques can be used to validate the migration:

  • Spot check the data
  • Review exception reports tracking any data that was not migrated
  • Create a custom report to validate record counts and provide you with a snapshot of the migration.

A few words of advice:

Before migrating the data with Salesforce, you should be sure of how the user IDs of the existing database match the new system.

Ensure you have at least a few licenses available for the old instance after the cut-off date. It will be a good idea to have a few months of accessibility left. So, if you face any issues with migration, you can always go back to the old instance and take your time to investigate the issues.

Keep an eye on the space that is being consumed.

Perform testing before rolling out the instance.

Finally, Salesforce data migration is a useful and important task to provide effective data solutions to an organization. However, it must be performed without affecting the quality of the data within the system.

Salesforce Lead Management Best Practices

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

One of the key factors that determine the success of any business is its lead management practices. Salesforce is among the top CRM platforms that business use, helping you to convert leads into loyal customers. Here are some of the best Salesforce lead management practices that you should follow.

Define what leadership means to your business

The first step is to know your leads and for this, you need to clearly define who the perfect lead is for your business. The perfect lead will be different for every business, which means that it is imperative for every member of your team to be absolutely sure who your perfect lead is. You have to clearly identify their interests, problems, their preferred communication channel, and other behavioral traits.

Attract leads with targeted content

After you have successfully established who the perfect lead is, it is now time to attract them with targeted content. A study has found that companies that publishing blog articles generate 67 percent more leads, which should be good enough reason for you to create well-written, search engine optimized blog posts. Doing so not only helps you attract the exact audience you want but also helps to establish your company as an expert in your area.

Have a standardized lead management process

It is important that your company has a standardized lead management process so that everyone is on the same page. This helps to minimize errors too. Bring the entire team together and put together a distinct and comprehensive process for your lead management from start to finish.

Make use of automation solutions

Today, it is important for a business to have the right tech stack to help them streamline their activities and automate processes. Lead management can benefit greatly from automation solutions, especially when you automate the best-performing lead channels. This increases efficiency and saves a lot of time.

Have a lead scoring method in place

Lead scoring is important because it helps in monitoring the behavior of your prospects and their level of interest in the products or services that you offer. This helps you plan your marketing strategy better as you will be able to determine the amount of time and effort to spend on each lead.

Plan and implement a nurturing process

The nurturing process is an important part of salesforce lead management as it helps in building successful relationships with leads, while also retaining the lesser qualified leads for future interest. The nurturing process is often neglected, but shouldn’t be.

Tackling Environmental Challenges with Technology

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Technology has permeated almost every aspect of our lives — from the way we shop to the way we communicate and even the way we work. It has made the world a much smaller place by empowering people with easier access to products, services, and each other.

Now, many experts believe that technology has the power to do more than simplify our lives — it can help us build a better future. Technology can help us tackle the growing environmental threats that we face today, and it already has to a certain point. Below, we discuss how.

Development of renewable energy

The clean energy sector is quickly growing as more and more companies realize how it can undo the environmental harm. As a result, a growing number of companies are investing in renewable energy sources such as solar, hydroelectric, and wind power, making them more easily available and more affordable year after year.

Going paperless

Companies, as well as individuals, are reducing their use and reliance on paper, as deforestation has become a huge environmental challenge. Every day, a huge number of trees are cut down to make the paper that we use for reports, bills, receipts, and so on. However, technology has allowed us to reduce our reliance on paper by digitizing our everyday lives. For instance, many businesses have moved their operations to the cloud, which drastically reduces paper usage. Top graphic designing companies help businesses create valuable digital content too.

Adoption of a smarter lifestyle

An important key to tackling environmental challenges is changing our lifestyle. For years, we have been accustomed to living as if our lifestyle won’t fail us, but in recent years, we have come to learn that the way we live is harmful to the very earth we live in. This means that we need to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle, and technology enables us to do exactly that.

For instance, technology has given us electric cars that do not have harmful emissions and smart homes with advanced sensors that help us to save energy. On top of this, the rise of the sharing economy through apps developed by the top UX design firms is also a huge lifestyle change.

Monitoring the environment

Environmental monitoring is another way technology is helping us tackle environmental challenges. Government agencies rely on tech-driven tools to ensure that companies follow environmental regulations, while drones are used to prevent animal poaching. Besides these, air pollution, water pollution, and so on are also monitored and measured using tech-driven tools and equipment.

Hooks Vision for Future

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

At React Conf 2018, Hooks was introduced by Sophie Alpert and Dan Abramov, followed by Ryan Florence demonstrating how to refactor an application to use them. While giving his presentation, Ryan stated that hooks are the vision for the future.

According to React, “Hooks are a new addition in React 16.8. They let you use state and other React features without writing a class.” To explain this further, hooks are a backwards-compatible function that allows you to ‘hook into’ react state and lifecycle from a function component without having to depend on

There are three different types of hooks. We discuss these below:

useState

useState is the simplest Hook that you can use. It does exactly what you would expect from its name. All you have to do is declare a variable (state) and a function, that is also called setter and this sets the value of that variable.

useRef

Sometimes, while coding, you may want to store a value for future reference in your component, but without triggering a re-render. This is a situation where useRef is used. It allows you to store a variable in the scope of the function, while still preserving its value across the renders. useRef receives an initial value and returns the ref variable.

In fact, useRef is a special case of useState. However, it allows you to set its value directly instead of using a setter function, which persists the value across renders without triggering a re-render.

useEffect

The useEffect hook may be tricky for you to understand if you think too much of it in terms of the old React class lifecycles. Although its subtleties are not immediate, they do make sense.

For example, if you have a component that fetches data in the form of a list by hitting an API, you would want the component to hit the API and fetch the data list once the component is rendered (mounted).

What are the benefits of Hooks?

Below, we list out several benefits of using React Hooks:

  • No rewrites to include or exclude state, just adding/deleting lines
  • No need to memorize lifecycle methods with useEffects
  • Customizable and reusable across components unlike class component state
  • Much cleaner code
  • No breaking changes

Put simply, React Hooks allows you to “hook into” React specific functionality such as its state and lifecycles, while also letting you keep your functional components as functions. It is not difficult to understand why it has so much potential.

Boost Your Marketing Strategy with Chatbots

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Bots have become an integral part of a good digital marketing strategy. Every smart marketer knows that with bots, you can do more in less time. By automating certain basic tasks using bots, a business can allocate their resources more efficiently, while also reaping all the benefits that bots can offer.

Below, we talk about these benefits and why they are worth considering for your digital marketing strategy.

Helps you understand your customers better

Bots help to gain a better understanding of your customers as they provide an interactive way of engaging with customers. Besides, people feel much more comfortable sharing information with a bot than a real person. After collecting valuable data, they can even monitor customer behavior and look into their buying patterns so that businesses can plan their marketing strategies accordingly.

Suggest and sell products

Today, more people are shopping online than ever before, which means there is a huge potential for bots in sales. In fact, many huge brands have already started using chatbots to suggest products and services to users based on an analysis of their purchasing patterns. So, in other words, bots can act as the user’s personal shopping assistant, suggesting products that they are likely to purchase.

For instance, H&M already uses bots in their app to suggest a personalized collection of products which a customer is likely to buy. Not only does this help increase sales, but it also reduces scrolling time for a customer.

Follow up and engage with customers after-sale

It’s not just answering queries and suggesting products that bots are good for. They are used for outbound digital marketing as well. Even after the sale, bots can be sued to send follow up messages to customers and handle proactive customer engagement. This helps to ensure that your customers are satisfied with the product they have bought. It also shows customers that you really do care about their experience.

Improves overall customer experience

Bots are great because they can be employed in so many ways that increase overall customer experience. When users land on your site, having a chatbot that can efficiently answer all their queries and help solve their problems is a huge plus. For this, it is important that you make the bot sound human while designing it. Bots also help to deliver a personalized experience to customers, which is a huge factor in the purchasing decision of customers.

How to Design Great UI for Your Website

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Website design UI is an intricate discipline that dictates how users interact with your website and your brand. A good website should always focus on the user while they are on the site so that they can deliver a smooth and seamless user interface.

Below, we take a look at how you can deliver such an experience for a web design project.

Everything users need should be easily accessible

One of the most important rules to follow is to make everything easily accessible for the users. When people visit your website, they should be able to find everything they need quickly so that navigating through the site becomes easy. Otherwise, they will likely get frustrated and leave your site, thereby increasing your bounce rate.

This means that you should organize your tools using tabs, hover tooltips, shortcuts, etc. every option or button should be clearly labelled so as to avoid confusion.

Be smart about element placement and design

All the elements of your website should be well designed and strategically placed so that it supports a smooth UI. A common rule is that the most important functions should be placed at the top of the page so users don’t have to struggle to find them. They should also be larger and generally more prominent. When users scan a page, they usually go from left to right, and top to bottom, so make use of this when it comes to element placement.

Color and contrast, and whitespace are also important elements that can help guide users through your page.

Help users understand what is going on by giving feedback

By providing your users with feedback while they are on your site, you help them understand what is going on. For example, if they press a button that downloads something, you can notify them that the button was successfully clicked on by making the button appear to sink into the page. You can also let them know that the download is in progress by adding an icon that shows the download progress. The idea here is to assure your users by acknowledging that an action has been taken.

Follow design standards

This may sound simple and silly but it is something that many designers need to be reminded of. If design standards work well, there is no need to try something completely different. Visitors to your site are already used to certain design standards such as certain icons standing for something or element placements, and it’s best to carry over these standards to your site as well.

Self-Driving Cars: The Road to a Driverless Future

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

The idea of driverless cars that can run on roads without requiring humans to control them seemed like something out of a sci-fi movie just a few years ago. It sounded like a far-fetched dream.

However, as we have witnessed, the world of technology and machine learning are making long strides rapidly, which means that many of the things we thought unimaginable are now very close to becoming a reality.

According to the SAE International, there are five different levels of automation for vehicles, which are outlined below.

Level 1 automation (Driver Assistance)

While navigation is controlled by the driver, small steering and/or acceleration tasks are handled by the vehicle, such as lane centering and adaptive cruise control.

Level 2 automation (Partial Automation)

This is where the driver controls the core vehicle but can make use of driver-assistance features simultaneously.

Level 3 automation (Conditional Automation)

A driver is still required at the seat, but certain safety-critical functions can be used under certain traffic and other environmental conditions. Otherwise, the driver must always be ready to take control.

Level 4 automation (High Automation)

Here, the vehicle can drive itself and can perform all navigational functions without needing a driver. However, the quality of navigation may suffer in certain road conditions, or severe weather, or an unmapped area.

Level 5 automation (Full Automation)

Here, the vehicle is fully automated, regardless of external conditions.

Top automotive companies make their predictions

Today, the major automakers in the world are investing heavily in self-driving cars because they know the potential the technology has. Ford expects to have true self-driving cars by 2021, which means a Level 4 automation. According to Ford, the vehicle will not need a steering wheel or a gas pedal, and drivers will not be required as long as you are in a predefined area.

Another car company in the self-driving race is General Motors (GM). Back in 2016, GM acquired Cruise Automation for a whopping $581 million and has since been working on integrating the self-driving technology into their vehicles. As of 2019, the company is testing its driverless cars in select cities such as California, Michigan, and Arizona.

Honda, too, is making news with its ambitious goal of having self-driving cars on the highway by 2020.

An important part of self-driving cars is the user interface, which means that the best UI UX design services are employed heavily by automakers.

Inside Google’s Recently Launched Products

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

When it comes to innovation, Google is a pioneer. It is a brand that is associated with advanced technology and smart engineering so much so that we have come to rely on Google products and solutions for many of our daily tasks.

The company releases a wide range of ground-breaking products regularly, and with each product, it seems like they take tech innovation to a new level. Let’s take a look at its most recent releases below:

Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL

Google Pixel 4 is a smartphone unrivaled in its performance. Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 and with a 6 GB memory, the phone is known not just for its fast and powerful performance but also for its high-quality camera.

The Google Pixel 4 XL is larger than the Pixel 4, dons a larger 90 Hz screen, and a better battery as well. Exciting features such as fast and secure facial ID and motion sensor control increase its appeal.

Google Home Mini

This smart speaker from Google is a market hit ever since it was released, and it’s no surprise. It is highly functional and versatile, as well as extremely affordable. It works as a voice-controlled speaker, as well as a smart personal assistant that can help you create calendar appointments, a shopping list, and more.

Chromecast ultra

The Chromecast Ultra is a video streaming device that you can use. It allows you to stream various video content from your mobile device to your 4K TV, including Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video.

Google nest hub

The Google nest hub, previously known as Google home hub, is a smart-screen that allows you to control all your compatible smart devices on just one single display, or using voice control. It acts as both a smart speaker and a smart display and has the Google Assistant built-in.

Pixel Buds

These are wireless, Bluetooth earbuds from Google that has a built-in Google Assistant. This means that apart from providing clear and immersive sound, the earbuds support web search and even real-time language translation.

Pixelbook 4

Google Pixelbook 4 can be a laptop or a tablet, or you can choose the tent and entertainment modes. This versatile device runs on a 7th Gen Intel ® Core ™ processor and has 512 GB of storage, making it ideal for both work and entertainment.

Stadia

Stadia is a soon-to-be-released cloud gaming service from Google. Set to be released on November 19, 2019, in select countries, it is integrated with YouTube. This enables a state share feature, which allows viewers of a stream to launch a game on the service on the same save state as that of the streamer.

Nest WiFi

This WiFi system from Google is like an upgraded version of your typical router, allowing every device in your house to enjoy a fast signal. In other words, range and coverage are extended and signal strength is made consistent.

Benefits of Cross-Platform Development

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

In this increasingly digital world we live in today, thousands of mobile apps are released every single day. Our reliance on our smartphones has made mobile app development one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, and businesses are investing heavily in it.

To reap maximum benefits from this investment, cross-platform app development is the way to go for businesses. Here are a few reasons why:

Reduced development costs and time

Any app design agency knows that cross-platform app development means quicker turnaround since there is only one app to be developed for all platforms. Rather than having to build multiple apps for each platform, which would take a lot of time, you just have to develop a single app that can function across platforms. Not only does this reduce development time, but it also reduces the cost.

Easier maintenance with reduced costs

The fact that there is only one app to focus on for all platforms is what makes maintenance and updates so easy. You can sync updates across all platforms, thus saving a lot of time and money. Besides, cross-platform apps can be updated automatically for each user since they are accessed using the internet. This means that users can have the latest version of the app at all times.

Ability to effectively reach the target audience

If you want maximum exposure to your target audience, then a cross-platform app is one of the best ways to go about it. This allows top UX design firms to make use of various platforms, whether Android or iOS, or even the web, with just a single app that is capable of running smoothly and efficiently on these platforms.

Reusable code

Cross-platform app development is a lot more efficient in all ways because you can use reusable code. There is no need for app design agency developers to write new and unique code for every platform. Instead, you can use a single code, again and again, thereby saving time and resources. For instance, Xamarin allows easy code sharing across platforms, making the entire development process a whole lot easier.

Simple cloud integration

Another reason why cross-platform apps are great for your business is that they can be easily integrated with the cloud for hosting services. This means that the app is more functional and scalable as the single code source can be coordinated with different extensions and plug-ins. For example, with nodeJS, you can build a cloud-native app very easily. In other words, a top UI UX design agency can give you an almost universally-compatible app.

How DevOps Changed the Face of Application Development?

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Today, the top UX design firms are investing heavily in advanced technologies that can help them in the faster development and delivery of products. As competition rises, the need to stand out from the crowd by delivering high-quality and reliable apps in shorter periods increases.

To achieve this, DevOps has emerged as one of the best technologies for the best app design agency developers, allowing them smooth integration and deployment. We discuss the benefits of DevOps below:

Better build quality

Through DevOps, companies can combine operations and development smoothly, thereby creating a suitable environment where build quality can be nurtured. It brings together development-centric focuses, including performance, features, reusability, and so on, along with ops-centric focuses, such as maintainability and deployability, thereby bringing together the best of both worlds to positively impact the build quality.

Accelerated time to market

With DevOps, apps can reach your target audience faster, thanks to Disciplined Agile Delivery. Rather than having the development team building and testing in an environment that is separate from the operations teams working on productions, DevOps allows every change to be delivered to a production-like environment, thereby ensuring that the code is deployed to the production environment.

This puts away any chance of complexities that arise due to misunderstandings and miscommunication between the two teams, thereby accelerating the entire production process. This allows the best UI UX design services to cut down release time so that the app can reach the audience faster, and you can stay ahead of your competitors.

Automated and reliable processes

With DevOps, you have access to various tools and principles that can help you develop apps through automated and reliable processes. This makes way for a better application quality as your teams can thwart many drawbacks of version control, continuous planning, continuous integration, configuration testing and management, deployment, as well as continuous monitoring.

Thanks to this automation, you don’t have to worry about the chances of errors caused by time-consuming manual processes. This means that you can develop, package, and deploy an app with increased ease, accuracy, and reliability.

Improved team collaboration

Last but not least, DevOps leads to improved team collaboration between development and operations. Initially, these two teams worked separately on their specific tasks, which was not very efficient or productive. Now, thanks to DevOps, both of these teams understand the other’s workflow and processes better, thereby enabling a culture of collaboration and increased efficiency within the app design agency.

Technology in Everyday Life

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

The Land of Techno-mo sapiens

  1. There is a lot of salagonitiation these days.
  2. Jake got a job in Tajikistan that pays him 5600 Somoni every month.
  3. Doesn’t this song on the radio sound like the one we sang at Thanksgiving last year?

Go ahead. Type ‘meaning salagonitiation’ in your Google search box. Convert 5600 Somoni to your currency. Check who the music director is for both songs.

It is often said that technology doesn’t change people’s basic needs or their natures. But if you monitor your everyday routine and notice carefully, you’ll realize that it has become indispensable. It does not change what you want but it does change how fast you can get it and with how much ease.

We have talked about Docker, Cloudinary and the stories of famous tech entrepreneurs but let’s scale it down this time. Let’s delve into our quotidian routines — from waking up in the morning to finally catching some Z’s in the night. How do we use technology in our day-to-day life? How deeply entrenched is it in our system? Are we controlling or being controlled by it?

Business and Communication

Gone are the days when your boss had to be in the same room as the rest of her team to discuss monthly sales targets or when you had to put your fax number below your phone number on your website. You needn’t coax customers into filling feedback forms and you needn’t sigh over the fact that you haven’t spoken to that professor from college for years. You don’t even have to tell your employee to keep mailing you the revised version of his work after every few days for you can keep a check at it in real-time — thanks to the Google Drive service! Money transactions have also become much easier via apps like Paytm and so has scanning of documents using GeniusScan or CamScanner.

It is all just a click (or multiple clicks) away. With technologies that allow us to connect to people via multiple social network platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, video conferencing, electronic mail, WhatsApp and much more, communication have become unrestrained and unbounded.

“Sharing is good, and with digital technology, sharing is easy.” — Richard Stallman

Education

Remember when your Aunt bought you the entire volume set of Britannica encyclopedias for your 10th birthday or when you used to carry a pocket dictionary in your bag? That doesn’t happen anymore. Students do not have to make flashcards anymore to learn vocabulary and universities have apps to keep a track of students’ attendance. Dropbox allows file sharing while the TED app provides motivational lectures. Examinations are shifting towards online mode from offline mode and YouTube has replaced a lot of teachers. With mobile apps and websites that allow you to access full libraries and venture into the vast realm of education, the world had transformed into a place where the only thirst for knowledge, not opportunities, determine ‘how much you know.’

Transportation

More and more ride-hailing companies like Uber and Ola are sprouting up with every passing day. Within minutes, app users can get a ride to a place that is 4kms away or 40kms away. Even metro users of different cities can know the fastest route and the respective fares by using apps like Next Stop Paris or Delhi-NCR Metro. However, a major facelift to the domain of transportation has been provided by web mapping services that process data from a geographic information system database. How long will it take me to get there? Should I take the bus or drive? Is there any traffic in the next street? Answers to all these questions and much more are provided by apps such as Apple Maps and Google Maps.

Entertainment

For a common man, advancements in technology have been the most detectable in this sphere. From buying movie tickets on Fandango or BookMyShow to buying apparel, books and much more on Amazon, everything is near at hand. Zomato, another game changer for gastronomes and epicures, gives information ranging from average cost for two to the menu for that particular restaurant. Operating in over 20 countries including India, United States, Singapore and Italy, it has become extremely popular over the years, especially among youngsters. Let’s say that you go watch a movie and then have lunch at a boutique café that plays jazz music. There is one particular song that you find extremely melodious and want to know what it’s called. Just Shazam it! Music, movies, food and more — technology has revamped all of it.

Woven into the fabric of daily life, it has definitely carved a niche for itself. One of the hottest topics of discussion, technology is no more a facility or luxury; it’s an arrant lifestyle.

My team and I are avid seekers of technology. We would be delighted to know what you’ve been doing to contribute to this evolving madness. Feel free to strike a conversation with us.

Voice Technology- The Next Big Thing

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Voice technology is a fast-growing concept that has become a daily part of our lives. At home, we have our smart speakers like Google Home and Amazon Echo, both of which make use of their respective company-developed voice technology.

We are all aware of Alexa and Siri — the two most common virtual assistants powered by voice technology. Even on our Android smartphones, we have Google Assistant. All this shows just how heavily incorporated voice technology has become in our daily lives in such a short period of time.

In fact, according to Econsultancy, as much as 40 percent of all internet searches will be activated using voice search by 2020. As more and more people use this technology, the demand rises, which means that technology providers will have to increase their investments in voice technology.

Voice Technology for Augmented Growth

It’s not just consumers who can make use of the power of voice technology; even businesses can harness their benefits. Although voice technology is definitely more popular among consumers than businesses as of now, it is likely that this trend will change.

While just 31 percent of businesses use voice technology at work compared to 46 percent of adults in the US, it is predicted that the first number will see an increase in the next few years. This is because major tech providers are already rolling out voice technology aimed at businesses, including:

Alexa for Business

Amazon is working on developing Alexa for Business, where the technology will store all-important business information related to user accounts, devices, skills, and so on, thereby enabling the virtual assistant to increase efficiency in the workplace. There is no doubt that this tool will be of great use in meetings.

Watson Assistant

With this white label tool from IBM, businesses can build conversational interfaces into any device, application, or channel. The best part is that you don’t have to be a professional technician to be able to use this. AI-powered assistants that use voice technology can be built by non-technical users too.

Voice technology is a melting pot for three different technologies, which are IoT, Artificial Intelligence, and UX, which allows users to make hands-free use of technology. Top UX design firms play an important role in the development of the best voice technologies today.

As more people understand its advantages, it is being quickly adopted by many sectors, including marketing, automotive, fin-tech, healthcare, and more.

Benefits of React Native vs Xamarin: An Easy Comparison Guide

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

React Native and Xamarin both offer their own sets of pros and cons when it comes to cross-platform app development. Which one is right for you?

Today, React Native and Xamarin are among the most popular tools used for cross-platform app development. But how do you know which one is the right choice for your project?

Using the right tools is critical for app developers because it affects the usability and success of the app. Especially for apps that are to be available on both iOS and Android, seamless functioning on both platforms can be achieved with the right tool.

To help you make the right choice, we compare React Native and Xamarin on various criteria below:

Availability

React Native is completely free, even for businesses. It is an open-source JavaScript-based framework. It also has a very large developer community compared to Xamarin.

Xamarin is also open-source. However, despite there being a free version, you need to spend for enterprise-level applications because the free version doesn’t do much.

Market share

React Native is widely used by tons of top graphic designing companies as well as corporations worldwide, including Fortune500 companies. The Guardian, Skype, Facebook, Walmart, and Tesla are just a few of the companies that use React Native.

For the past six years, Xamarin has been used by tens of thousands of companies everywhere, right from startups to huge corporations. Notable apps such as CA Mobile and Story have been developed using Xamarin. Top UX design firms have built many successful apps and websites using this tool.

Code compilation

For developing apps for Android, React Native uses JIT (Just-in-time) compilation. However, this is not applicable for iOS apps as Apple does not allow dynamically generated codes to be executed on its devices. So, React Native has no option but to interpret the JavaScript code.

When it comes to code compilation, a top app design agency would prefer Xamarin. This is because it uses C# as its codebase, which uses JIT compilation for Android apps while using AOT (Ahead-of-Time) compilation for iOS apps. Thus, compiling managed codes is much easier.

Development environment

React Native allows developers to use an IDE and text editor that they are comfortable with. It also has a Live Reload feature, whereby developers can see the effects of the changes they have made in real-time.

Xamarin is a winner here because of how user-friendly it is, allowing developers to write code on both Windows and iPhone app. The code can be later compiled on a Mac after writing on Windows.

Out-for-sure-cing! Outsource to Save Time & Resources

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Let’s go back to the old adage — ‘Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.’ We could argue that maybe self-sufficiency is a more important thing to learn and one must try to hone his or her skills until overall proficiency is achieved. But it is no surprise that this is better said than done and it is no surprise that indeed, there is power in joining hands.

You cannot be the best at everything but if you do know others who are masters in their domains, collaborating with them can lead to a successful and invincible association. That is how educational institutes work. Instead of hiring one professor who can teach both science and math pretty well, they hire a different teacher for each subject; such that their mastery cannot be challenged and to ensure that students learn from the best.

In business, similarly, outsourcing is the way or agreement through which one company entrusts its own internal activities to an external vendor or company. This involves any functions that can be carried out from an offshore location. They can be operational or non-core functions like manufacturing, accounting, call-center support, etc. or business functions like inventory management, transaction and payroll processing.

The concept, though seemingly absurd, has gained popularity due to the wide array of advantages it poses.

1. Cost and time zone advantages

One of the biggest advantages of outsourcing is cost savings. Many times, it is not cost-effective to expand operations internally due to inefficient equipment or inappropriate location. It may be possible that your business has grown to such an extent that you require a bigger office. In such a situation, you could either outsource basic operations to reduce the need for space or expand or relocate your base to a different place. The latter can prove to be much more cost-efficient and less troublesome.

“If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you’re putting yourself out of business.” — Lee Kuan Yew

When outsourced, a job can be done in a satisfactory manner and at a much lower cost. A major reason for this is the difference in wages between western and many Asian countries. Outsourcing to India reduces costs by almost 60% due to lower labor operation costs and lower overhead costs. Another important aspect is round-the-clock efficiency due to different time zones across countries.

Suppose an American firm outsources to a Malaysian company. The firm manager might be done for the day but will wake the next morning with tasks completed by the Malaysian employees. This is how outsourcing keeps things running throughout the day.

2. Access to skilled resources and increased efficiency

When the functions of your back office are complex and difficult to achieve given the current size of your company, outsourcing can be a breath of fresh air since overhead costs pertaining to a particular back-office function can be extremely high. When you outsource your business needs, the partner brings to the table immense experience, tactful business practices, and expertise.

They can handle a complicated project with much more prowess and understanding of the subject area. Basically, outsourcing gives businesses the ability to develop new competencies and skill-sets that can be used as a competitive advantage. This boom in productivity and efficiency would make businesses more successful, more equipped to tackle challenges and helps them streamline cash flow.

“The important thing about outsourcing or global sourcing is that it becomes a very powerful tool to leverage talent, improve productivity and reduce work cycles.” — Azim Premji

3. Better services and focus on core areas

Outsourcing certain non-core business processes like administration and back-office operations, that tend to expand during rapid growth periods, helps you focus on other important aspects by saving time and energy. This is because the expansion might start to sabotage those core activities that form the foundation of your company.

“Do what you do best, and outsource the rest.” — Peter Drucker

Moreover, in case of certain cost-incurring operations that are going haywire or are poorly managed, outsourcing helps to overcome such difficulties by bringing better management skills to the table. It allows you to focalize your in-house resources on building the brand, providing higher value-added services, research and development.

In case a firm receives a contract that would multiply its purchasing volume by a number of times in a short span, it should outsource this function so that its personnel can concentrate on the contract itself. Outsourcing helps companies provide better and faster services in this way leading to high-quality deliverables and lesser time for products to reach the marketplace.

4. Save on Infrastructure and technology

Outsourcing eliminates the need for investments in technology, infrastructure, and people. These form a major section of the capital expenditure that is incurred in back end processes. This is because the outsourcing partner is given the responsibility of handling the business process and is hence, solely responsible for developing the required infrastructure as well.

If a business has outsourced its creative design department, it is not their concern if the latest software is being used or not or how many UX/UI designers are working on a particular project. Their only concern is to see if tasks are being completed on time and accurately. Everything else will be taken care of by the outsourcing partner. Similarly, if a tech company has outsourced its catering, it does not need to worry about whether the stove is working or not or if there is enough ice in the refrigerator. This will be handled by the caterers now since it falls under their domain.

5. Staffing Flexibility

Through outsourcing, you can pick the best people to deal with your core activities, manage your manpower and have flexibility in staffing. A large project might require expertise or skills that your internal staff does not possess. In such a case, it is a good option to bring in contractors who know the requisite workers or people with the required skill set. Your internal staff, in the meanwhile, can imbibe knowledge and skills by working with them to increase their proficiency.

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, just wait until you hire an amateur.” — Red Adair

Moreover, certain functions in the company have seasonal or cyclical demands. Thus, external or additional resources can be employed when things are at a good pace and let go when not needed. This also helps save costs. As an example, an event management company might have a wedding department that is shorthanded for certain months of the year. Outsourcing a few of its responsibilities can help you with services during these few months at a fixed cost.

6. Continuity and Risk Management

Many times, due to one reason or another, the employee churn rate in some companies is quite high. This can cause instability and uncertainty. Outsourcing in such situations is a blessing since it helps maintain consistency and strike a balance because a substandard level of operation can jeopardize the overall functioning of the business.

As an example, if your account manager is on leave due to a family obligation for the next month and there is no one to take his place, it is wise to outsource this job since it will help manage the risk situation effectively for the time being. In this way, outsourcing helps your business sail through tough times.

Now, you know there really aren’t too many reasons against diving into this culture. Save time. Save money. Save energy. Increase your efficiency. Gain access to skilled resources. Cut down on your costs. Steer through sticky situations. Outsourcing has its set of disadvantages but as long as the advantages overpower them, it is a win-win. So, the next time you have a problem you think you cannot handle, outsource; finding it tough to keep the ball rolling, outsource; have too much on your plate, outsource…Getting the drift?

How To Choose The Right Outsourcing Partner

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Tech firms are increasingly relying on outsourcing, especially for software development to increase their productivity, reduce development time and tackle overall competition. And if all this can be achieved within the budget, it is the icing on the cake!

However, it is not as simple as it looks. There are a million other things that influence this outsourcing agreement, much like any other business strategy that is framed after due deliberation. For starters, what things should you keep in mind while choosing your outsourcing partner? This is not a frivolous decision but one that can greatly influence the firm’s future. So, sufficient time, energy and effort must be invested in the same to develop a fruitful association.

Why are you outsourcing in the first place?

This is the most important question to ponder upon since outsourcing is not a cure-all; it is only as efficient as the standard one sets. This is extremely crucial so as to set concrete goals. Something like ‘what is the current level of output or performance and what is desired?’ is a great thought to begin with. Hence, eliminate any vagueness or uncertainty in your overall expectations.

Evaluate your partner carefully

Joining hands with an outsourcing partner involves investment in both time and resources. You’ll spend energy to fill a team in on the working of your organization. But all this will go in vain if you end up concluding that they are lacking in skills and technical prowess. Similarly, you can find your ideal outsourced team but it won’t mean much unless it is able to stick around for a good number of months or years. Hence, don’t be reluctant and do ask hard questions to be able to choose an established outsourcing partner.

Choose the right size team

This might seem trivial but it plays a pivotal role in determining the strength of your association with the outsourced team. There is often a misconception that it is best to partner with the largest vendor but sometimes, this can have the opposite effect as well. For example — a large outsourcing provider might not be able to attend to each client with enough care; smaller clients might be neglected and made to associate with developers who are not as proficient. It is also likely to charge much more for its services on account of its brand name and good track record. Hence, a large vendor is apt only when it has to be assigned to a client that is large enough to command its attention.

Smaller partners are usually more flexible, have lower rates and attend to all clients with sufficient attention and effort. Their senior management is more involved in all the projects and this is a big boon. It is also an advantage that cannot be conferred in the case of large vendors.

Investigate

Bring out the Sherlock Holmes in you and carry out a background check. What projects has the outsourcing partner already worked on? What customers did it deal with? Ask for references to get firsthand information on what it’s like to work with that team. Is the outsourcing provider financially secure? Does it have sufficient infrastructure and technology to carry out the designated tasks? Know all this before bringing them on board.

Know the contract like the back of your hand

When partnering with an outsourcing provider, it is always a good idea to obtain legal consultation. In the case of software development, it is all the more crucial due to shared intellectual property that needs to be defined clearly. A non-disclosure agreement is also signed to prevent the outsourced team from leaking any sensitive or private information.

Communicate well

The entire work mechanism is based on a meshwork of efficient communication and collaboration. Hence, it is important to ask a few important questions that influence this. Where should the outsourced team be placed? Will communication be possible if it is an offshore arrangement? Do the qualities of a team in another continent outweigh the problems it poses due to being in a different time zone? Would it be easier to work with a nearshore team? All these points need to be taken into account for a successful partnership.

A simple six-fold strategy, it is a must to consider the aforesaid checkpoints so as to find your ideal outsourcing partner. As for a discussion about such trends in the business and technological world, you needn’t look for ideal partners. We are right here, feel free to reach out.

Beginner’s Guide to Blockchain Development

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

It is a human tendency to want to be where others are. We set trends. We follow them. We revere them. There exists a sense of hope under a veneer of reality that makes us what to pursue an opportunity. Will it be the big break I need in life or will it devolve into a sharp vicissitude of fortune? Should I delve into this right now or give it more time and see how things pan out?

But for those of you who are willing to take the leap, now would be a great time to explore the sought-after Blockchain Technology for it has immense untapped potential and a vast array of applications that put the word ‘multifaceted’ to shame.

The Dot-Com Bubble, the US Housing Bubble, The Dutch Tulip Bubble — we all know how they surfaced and made their way into the economy, lifestyle, and everything else. But unlike these transient fetishes, it seems like blockchain programming is here to stay. So, how exactly do you become a blockchain engineer? Can it really morph into a successful career?

You could look up an expert on LinkedIn and bombard him or her with a deluge of questions like these. You could buy the first edition of ‘Blockchain For Dummies’ by Tiana Laurence. You could also try your hand at different discussion forums OR you could just read ahead.

1. Understand the basic principles

  • Have a checklist of all the different concepts related to blockchain such as mining, decentralized applications, public ledger, cryptocurrency, consensus blocks, etc. — This will help you translate geekspeak to English and truly understand what this technology is all about.
  • Know the difference between the three types of blockchain networks — public, private, and consortium blockchain.
  • Learn from authentic sources and accounts of those already in the field rather than relatively imprecise sources — For example, Ledger, the first peer-reviewed peer-reviewed academic journal that publishes articles on the subjects of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, would be a great source.

2. Learn how the process works

  • Play around with cryptocurrency to be able to understand the intricate technicalities of the system.
  • Explore different platforms like Bittrex, Coinbase, LocalBitcoins, Kraken, etc. to weigh their pros and cons.
  • See how exchanges, wallets work, and basically how the entire framework is structured.
  • Check out relevant MOOCs on Coursera, Stanford platform, Udemy, EdX, etc.

3. The technical know-how

  • Programming in C++, Python, and Java to acclimatize to the ecosystem of Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.
  • Web development to deal will the front-end aspect of blockchain development
  • Proficiency in data structures like stacks, queues, linked lists, etc.
  • Basic knowledge of cryptography
  • Understanding of the concept of distributed ledger technology

4. Draw a distinction between important blockchain platforms like Ethereum, Blockstack, Hyperledger, MultiChain, etc.

  • What are their different features?
  • Which ones are open source and which ones are not?
  • How stable is the community base?
  • What advantages do they have over each other?
  • How rapid is the deployment?
  • What do they primarily cater to? — Smart contracts? B2B cooperation? Initial coin offerings?

5. Lay emphasis on Smart Contracts

  • Read about how smart contracts act as a medium between the buyer and the seller.
  • Know why it is said that these contracts can take the place of lawyers in real life.
  • Understand why Ethereum is used as the platform to encode smart contracts.
  • Know the different features of a smart contract — deterministic, terminable, isolated.
  • Learn about Solidity, a contract-oriented programming language for writing smart contracts, and how it compares to JavaScript.
  • Differentiate between different development platforms Solidity is available on like Remix, Microsoft Visual Studio, Consys Enterprise, etc.

6. Hustle, Hustle!

  • Start working on blockchain development and get feedback from other developers to improve your skills.
  • Work on different blockchain-related open source projects.
  • Figure out how this technology can be applied to a wide array of fields such as banking, healthcare, etc.

7. Know how to make money as blockchain developer

  • Which sector or what kind of firm (private sector, government, big tech, etc.) should you work in? What would suit your area of expertise and working methodology?
  • Be well-versed with the nitty-gritties of currency speculation as it can be quite lucrative.
  • Build your own startup or work on remunerative open source projects.
  • You can also build a career as a decentralized blockchain application developer.

8. Know what’s going on!

  • Network with as many professionals, firms, and blockchain experts.
  • Keep tabs on what developments are happening in this field.
  • Go through online discussion forums and pages that center around blockchain technology.

All you have to do now is follow these 8 simple steps to tread on the path to becoming a successful blockchain developer! Hope this helped you. For any further queries, reach out to us.

Marketing Strategies You Should Avoid To Have A Striving Business

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Business marketing has been developing from the days when early humans bartered food and clothing. Since those far off times, business marketing had developed and evolved over the centuries to reach the position it occupies today. It has become a sophisticated beast with many arms and methods to achieve its end. There is no predefined formula to tame such a beast but there definitely are some strict NO-NOs when it comes to dealing with it( Just metaphor for marketing guys, get on with it ).

There are a lot of successful marketing strategies and even more are the poor ones which are destined to harm your business. Days of flyers and sign holders are over. Even clickbait ads on websites don’t work as the consumer is predetermined to focus while browsing and ads are seen as distractions. Interruptive marketing doesn’t work anymore.

Huge budgets are wasted on these outdated techniques and the people responsible have nothing to show for it. It’s time to get on with the newer and smarter techniques and ditch the older and failed ones.

Marketing Techniques to Avoid:

1. Mass Printing Physical Advertising Materials

When was the last time you picked up a flyer and acted on it? Before the internet, brochures, pamphlets, and posters were important in reaching a large audience. Nowadays, they’re more likely to end up in the recycling bin than on the kitchen table. Printed advertising materials are becoming relics; there’s no longer a need to spend significant money to print thousands upon thousands of brochures. Instead, post your information on your website, where interested consumers can find it.

2. Filler Advertising: Creating Content Just for Content’s Sake

Nothing can be more of a waste than putting advertisements out just because you think it’s required. By creating content without direction, you are doing more harm than good. You are creating a marketing campaign based around nothing, and though your customers may not remember the ad, they may remember your company name in a bad light.

3. Spamming = Junk Mail

No one likes junk mail. It’s just a pile of mail you have to sort through to find the letters you actually wanted. The same goes for email. It’s up to you to attract and hold the attention of customers. By bombarding them with unwanted or unsolicited emails, you are tearing down your company’s reputation. If you must email, make sure that you do it on a monthly basis or less. It will make your potential customers more apt to open your email and save them the frustration of filtering through products they have no interest in buying. And it’ll end up in the spam folder anyway

4. Cold Calling is useless

Cold calling is dead. At some point, the prospect of calling potential customers to obtain sales was somewhat lucrative, but today, it couldn’t be more of a waste. Telemarketing is a surefire way to anger customers and annoys them to no end. If you have to call customers, make sure that they signed up for your call list and make sure to call at an opportune point in the day. Nothing is worse than sitting down to dinner and being bothered by unsolicited phone calls.

5. Not Marketing Your Website

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen very smart business people come to us with the naïve idea that when the new website is live, it will somehow magically market itself, and visitors will flock to the website by the millions. There are over 1 billion websites on the Internet today. What are the chances of someone stumbling upon your website? Just as your company’s sales will dry up without marketing, your website will also have little or no traffic without marketing. Without traffic, your website is a dead weight in the digital universe. There will be no visitors, no leads, and no sales. Regardless of your website’s purpose or objective, proper marketing is always the key to its success.

6. Ignoring Trends: Making Yourself Invisible to Clients

In the modern age of technology, social media spreads the latest trends. By not paying attention to what people are talking about or what websites they are using, you are hurting yourself and wasting valuable resources. Make sure you know what people want and where they would go to find it.

Bad marketing is something many companies suffer from, but that doesn’t mean that you have to. With just a little forethought, you can turn your advertising into something that’s well-received. If you don’t feel you have the resources to manage your marketing, hire a professional company to do the work for you, and take the hassle out of it. You can be your best friend or your own worst enemy. It’s up to you.

7. The marketing team is working solo

Your marketing manager maybe Superman or Superwoman but to make a business successful — working solo is not the answer. To drive the growth of a business, different teams need to work together, for example, your sales team, product team as well as the customer service team should be involved in the marketing process. For instance, your marketing team generated lots of qualified leads but only a small percentage became paying customers. For a case like this, you may want to have a look at your sales funnel, product, and customer service team performance.

8. Don’t keep up to date with search engines and social media algorithm

Your website was SEO optimized when it was launched and then you just sit back and relax — this mistake could cost you a fortune.

Search engines and social media platform change their algorithm from time to time. Recently, Google is gradually rolling out mobile-first indexing. If your website is not responsive or the mobile version does not display full content as its web version, your website’s ranking could be affected because of this algorithm update.

Similarly, Facebook has changed its algorithm and the new updates prioritize content from friends and family as this kind of content usually creates meaningful conversation and interaction.

If you stick with your old SEO and social media strategy, you will never win the ever-changing marketing game.

9. Marketing to Anyone and Everyone

Most companies make the mistake of focusing exclusively on the number of visitors when analyzing traffic to their website. If the traffic is growing, they are happy, and they will do anything to bring more visitors to the website, regardless of whether these people will become customers. In reality, your website needs the “right” traffic. You need visitors that can be converted into customers. When I refer to the “right” visitors, I am not referring to only demographic parameters. You should be marketing to a niche, not a demographic.

10. Not Measuring Returns on Marketing

Neglecting to measure your marketing results is one of the worst sins in marketing. How can you know if something is working if you are not measuring results? You can’t. Yet, many businesses make this mistake. They sporadically pour time and money into different forms of marketing, and as long as their traffic stays the same or grows, they are happy. Implementing marketing strategies blindly without measuring return on investment is a terrible way to spend your company’s money. This means you are not in control. You are relying on luck and gambling the money away. Another common problem is that most companies who measure results do so incorrectly. They look at “vanity metrics” like traffic or overall leads or sales without an in-depth understanding of how individual marketing campaigns contribute to these numbers.

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