Azure the Public Cloud Computing Platform

Overview

Azure a public cloud is Microsoft’s application platform. Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that enables one to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network. You can build applications using any language, tool and framework. And you can integrate your public cloud applications with your existing IT environment. Windows Azure is an open platform that supports both Microsoft and non-Microsoft languages and environments.

Azure the Public Cloud Computing Platform

What is Azure?

Windows azure is cloud services operating system that allows developers to run applications and stores data on servers and owned by Microsoft. Azure is Microsoft’s flexible cloud computing platform that supports applications, data, and infrastructure in the cloud, together with a cloud marketplace. Azure is Microsoft’s cloud solution.

Features of Windows Azure

1. Automatic OS

Azure enables you to build and run highly available applications without worry about infrastructure. It provides automatic Os and service patching, springing back to original in case of hardware failure and network load balancing

2. Open for any language tools and frame work

Azure gives facility to use any frame work, language or tool to build applications. The Azure client libraries are available and open for multiple programming languages

3. Unlimited size and storage

Azure enables you to scale your application to any size. It allows you to grow and shrink resource as per your needs. So, no need to worry about storage to build the application
You can use resource dynamically and you only pay for the resources your application uses.

4. Flexible cloud Platform

Azure provides a flexible cloud platform that can satisfy any application need. It enables you to reliably host and scale out your application code within compute roles. You can store data using relational SQL databases, NoSQL table stores, and unstructured blob stores, and optionally use Hadoop and business intelligence services to data-mine it.

Advantages to Using Windows Azure

There are many benefits to using the Windows Azure solution, but here some are based on Windows Azure’s own characteristics.

1. Focus on development not on infrastructure
No need to buy servers or dedicated resources for infrastructure management. Azure has automated service management like hardware failure and routine maintenance.
2. Wide Distribution
Data is distributed over a large number of smaller machines. That’s really the essence of cloud computing.
3. Performance
In terms of performance, Windows Azure ensures that performance is not based on how much data are stored. Performance is remain as it is no matter how much data they are stored
4. Replication
All data are replicated more than once. It increases performance, scalability, and overall service.
5. Consistency
Writing code for Windows Azure is simple. When you update the projects you are working on, all future API calls will see those changes. Windows Azure updates immediately.
6. Geo distribution
If you had your data on one server in that location, then it was lost. Geo distribution allows you to distribute your data geographically. it allows you to store your code close to the teams that need it.
7. Scalability
Pay as you go, you can always be assured that you will have more than you need. There is unlimited size and storage available. You can grow and shrink resources as needed

Disadvantages of Azure

1. Limitation in OS
You cannot have your own OS installed and run, since the OS is already there, irrespective of your choice on windows you have to use it.

2. Tedious task to find fault
Only windows centric applications are supported by Microsoft for technical assistance; hence it could be tedious task to determine where exactly the fault is on a open source application running though windows Azure

3. Load-balancing between the instances may interrupt stateful applications
With Windows Azure, there are at least two instances of each role that the application needs. This may be a problem with some applications that need a stateful connection with the user. A stateful connection is one in which some information about a connection between two systems is retained for future use.

Conclusion

Azure was designed to facilitate the management of scalable Web applications over the Internet. Windows Azure can be used to create, distribute and upgrade Web applications without the need to maintain expensive, often underutilized resources onsite. You can use Azure to build massively scalable applications with lots and lots of users. Because the platform offers a wide range of services, all of these things-and more-are possible.

 

iPhone or an Android app- Which to Launch first!

iPhone or an Android app- Which to Launch first!

Mobile apps are on a boom with aspect to development as well as usability. Every smartphone user is more focused on exploring and downloading the most trending and useful applications to their day to day needs. With such crazy response by the Smartphone users, the developers community and large corporate, come up with useful and outstanding applications on iPhone and Android.

When there is talk about having a mobile application for business or entertainment, the big confusion is which platform should be targeted first for development. In 70% cases, the corporate client is interested in developing first for the iOS or iPhone platform and then taking up the Android platform development.  Even for cases where both platforms are being developed simultaneously, the first preferred platform is iOS for testing the user interest and app functional features. Only in rare cases do we hear from clients that they would like to start with an Android app for their business.

iPhone and Android are competitors and lead the Smartphone market in terms of Users, Revenue and Applications on the store with iOS ahead in number of Apps and Revenue while Andorid is ahead in number of users. Despite of having higher number of users thus leading the market, it is surprising that Android still remains second choice for App Development and thus lags in Revenue and number of Applications in the market place.

Few reasons as why iOS is the first choice of development platform:

  • App Revenue

An iOS app generates higher Revenue compared to an Android app.  Market survey of 2013 done on top 200 Apps from both stores states, Android leads iOS by 10% -15% in app downloads but iOS nets in 5 times the revenue generated by Android App sales. Therefore, those that aim to generate revenue from Smartphone Apps tend to choose iOS over Android as the preferred platform.

  • Development Time, Costs and Delivery risks

Android has more than 1000+ devices in the market with varied resolutions, screen size and OS variants while Apple has 4 to 8 variants. Thus development especially UAT of apps on Android takes more time and pushes the costs northwards. Also Android OS has more releases over the period of time making it a high risk delivery at time of launch.

The biggest risk of Android App deployment is; even if a app is launched with multi device UAT, it is difficult to promise a bug free app on all devices as each device needs separate fixing for the app to work on a particular device. There is never a surety of having 100% quality app on all the Android devices in the market.

  • Developer preference

The development team developing the mobile apps prefers to develop an iOS app ahead of an Android app. iOS development is easy to develop in terms of features Apple comes up with periodically. Secondly iOS has more libraries available for integration compared to Android due to iOS’s wide acceptability over the years. iOS has ObjectiveC as the base platform which is more powerful and intuitive compared to Java for Android.  iOS has a better Integrated Development Environment (IDE) namely Xcode which has advanced features compared to Eclipse of Android. iOS sports an inbuilt (in xcode) memory lickage detection while in Android we have to use Test-n-Study methodology, thus consuming high time for stabilizing an application post development.

  • OS Fragmentation

OS Fragmentation is one of the biggest problem in Android, 70% of iPhone users are using latest iOS version while less than 10% of all Android users are running the latest version of Android OS. Apple adopts a consistency and efforts to make the user upgrade their device OS. This also makes easier for developers to decide app compatibility to OS version. In Android, more than 50% of the users are still using OS ver 2.3 which was launched way back in 2010.

iOS and Android stands equal in terms of app availability but even today after 7+ years of Smartphone wide availability, Android today still misses some popular iOS apps in its Play Store. Widely used Instagram was launched on Android 18 months after its success on the iOS platform. Android does stands ahead when it comes to app downloads and market share however iOS app generates better revenue and provides a better option for Go-To live of a new concept.

Reference : www.macobserver.com

e-Commerce sales will increase by 20.1% in 2014 | Building an eCommerce Store with VirtueMart

An eCommerce Web Store is a good medium to sell your products to a worldwide audience. A webstore lets you do your business without the barriers of Time or Distance. As per a survey in 2013, 83% of users made online purchase using a web store. According to eMarketer’s latest forecasts, worldwide business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce sales will increase by 20.1% in 2014 and outreach to $1.500 trillion.

Many options are available for designing and developing an eCommerce web store. Before developing a web store two things should be known:
1) Common Functionality and Features that are a must for running your eCommerce store?
2) Technology or Framework to be used @minimum cost?

Start Ups, Small and Medium size business groups sell their products online using the best and cheapest options as it saves lots of $ at start and still provides a framework that makes business possible. VirtueMart is an open source extension of Joomla CMS developed in PHP framework and is a widely chosen by these businesses.

In this article we will discuss about the important features of VirtueMart that your eCommerce store must include, out of the many available. Below is a comparative table of must required eCommerce features and their availability wrt VirtueMart framework.

Features

VirtueMart Compatibility

Searching & Filtering By default searching feature is available in VirtueMart extension.

For further enhancing the filter option one can integrate readymade plugins of VirtueMart.

Shopping Cart VirtueMart provides default feature of Shopping Cart Management.

Customization to default functionality is also possible in shopping cart as per your needs.

Featured Products Requires integrating an Extension for Featured Products.
Related Products Need to integrate Free Extension for Related Products.
Checkout For easy & fast One Page Checkout, you can use VirtueMart’s readymade extension.
Payment Gateway By default VirtueMart provides Authorized.net and PayPal payment gateway integration.
Mobile Compatible Site For making your website mobile compatible you can integrate 3rd party extension with your store.

Another way is to customize coding through HTML & CSS.

Social Media Presence Integrate social media extension for various social networking sites.

Following are the important functionality that must be included for an eCommerce web store:

1)      Searching & Filtering:

  • Searching & Filtering are significant features for your eShop makes more user-friendly website.
  • Searching functionality gives the facility to search any product by its name, brand or manufacture details.
  • Filtering facility gives user to refine their search by more product attributes such as product type, color and size.
  • By default searching is available in Virtuemart. For filtering feature you can integrate readymade 3rd party extension with your webstore.

2)      Shopping Cart:

  • Shopping Cart is the most important and necessary functionality for your eCommerce website.
  • It helps customers to collect their interested products into one place (i.e. in Shopping Cart) and make combine payment for all products in the cart.
  • VirtueMart provides default feature of Shopping Cart. You can also make customization in default functionality of VirtueMart Cart as per your needs.

3)      Featured Products:

  • By displaying featured products on your home page or on the side columns of your site that informs your customers about featured & special products.
  • The products can be top selling and special offered products or it can be general products.
  • To include this feature on your webstore requires an extension available as free.

4)      Related Products:

  • It is a great up-selling feature shows your customers about related products they can purchase along with the main product.
  • You can display meaningful related products that actually help your customers for using the main product.
  • For example, you can put Mobile Flip cover and Headphones with Mobile products that will insist your customers to purchase those products also.
  • To include this feature on your webstore requires an extension available as free.

5)      Checkout:

  • If shoppers have committed to buying a product then your job is to get them through checkout as quickly as possible.
  • In Checkout process customers have to fill their Personal, Shipping & Payment details to place the order.
  •  Most online stores assume the best way to modernize purchases is to reduce the number of steps in a checkout, hence the popularity of “One-Page” checkouts.
  • For “One-Page” Checkout you have to integrate 3rd party readymade extension.

6)      Payment Gateway:

  • Choosing the perfect payment gateway solution for your site will give assurance about your products to customers.
  • By default VirtueMart supports Authorized.net and PayPal payment gateway. For other payment gateway you can integrate 3rd party extension with your webstore.

7)      Mobile Compatible site:

  • Now a day, most of the people are using smartphone devices to purchase the products online
  • To the year 2013, mobile ecommerce has grown from $1.2 billion to $11.7 billion.
  • With the help of Mobile compatibility customers can place orders and make payment through their smartphones.
  • For making your website mobile compatible you can integrate 3rd party extension.
  • Another way is the coding customization in HTML & CSS part of your website.

8)      Social Media Presence:

  • Let your customers know that you are available on social networking sites, by having Social Media integration on your site.
  • Some companies also use networking sites as their customer support systems, interacting with their customers for enquires related to their orders.
  • Having a good social media presence will boost your online presence and brand.
  • Require 3rd party extension to integrate social networking site with your webstore.

 

Conclusion:

Other than above mentioned features, a web store should contain user-friendly navigation, good graphics, special discounts and offers for User Groups and Newsletter functionality. For increasing sales via online business you have to provide order delivery in right time & right place.

You have to assure your customers about your products by providing good return policy. For backend reports of orders, customers, visitors you can take help of Analytics reports to take pictorial representation of the same.

Guide to Marketing your mobile application

Guide to Marketing your mobile application

Developer’s role does not end on developing and deploying the apps to their respective app stores. In fact, the actual effort starts once the app is live on the store. Now is the testing time where you need real people to download, install and use your app. Without users using your app and posting their feedback you never know whether your development effort was worth it.
There are around two million apps available on various mobile app stores like iTunes, GooglePlay, Blackberry App Store, Windows Marketplace and others. Each app is developed with an aim to best serve the user needs in different verticals and get accolades by being helpful or intuitive or intriguing or entertaining etc. as the case may be. With such a challenge, it’s very difficult to say if, your application will survive and perform as per your expectation in market after deployment?
For an App to be successful, a well laid our marketing plan is very useful. Below are few points that can lead to a successful marketing plan:

- A sales pitch

Developing a good idea is never enough as one needs to create an effective sales pitch for your app. The sales pitch has to be based on the targeted market for your app, age group and geographic location. On the basis of these factors, a sales pitch and marketing strategy should be made. A sales pitch that sounds appealing enough for the targeted group of people should then be used effectively in Social or Advertisement medium.

- Store Description

It’s often noticed that applications have lengthy descriptions which becomes quite troublesome for users to read and understand. Most users either move on by reading a few lines and misunderstanding or just install without knowing how to use your App. This skip in reading long app description is a leading cause in Bad Comments, Low Downloads or High Bounce ratio. To overcome this, be more precise and short in description; try explaining the features using the Screen Shot Images instead as visual medium is always more effective. Last but not least use precise keywords as punches that should be helpful for users to understand and know your app features easily.

- Social Media:

Maintain your strong social media presence on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Pininterest etc. Be conversational and approachable to the user community. Get engaged with users, talk to them as colleagues, and reply to their queries promptly. Encourage users to share their experience with your app and if they are positive ask them to spread the word in their circles. Ask them for suggestions of how you can improve your app with new features and also reprogram current features. The users will feel indulged in your app and give you positive response.

- How-to video:

Create a video illustrating the functionality of your app with a step-by step guide and voice-over. Post the video on videos channels like YouTube, Vimeo, Metacafe etc. This will ensure your application gets referenced to first time users. The video will also ensure you don’t have frustrated users as they can see how to use the app beforehand and thus not have any functional anxiety. The video should be small and more focused on apps unique features then basic and elongated that every user knows.

- A Website:

Build a supportive website for your app with effective marketing strategy. The website should be as unique as your app. The web site should have detailed description and answers to most normal queries an eager user may have. The web site will also act as a tool to promote your app, but provided you have the basics well covered. A Few elements your website should have are:

  1. Good metadata – The web site metadata should be sound and elaborative. Good Metadata will ensure you have direct visitors from Google Organic search.
  2. App Images- Add attractive visuals and graphics that help users to understand the application usability.
  3. App store links – App store links of your application should be large Call-to-Action buttons so a user is easily able to identify them to visit the App store. You can also place QR codes on your web site, using which the user can directly go to the web store using their mobile QR Code reader. It’s efficient and smart.
  4. FAQ – Always have a detailed FAQ section, so a user can easily identify potential answers to common usability concerns they may have. FAQ section should be always evolving and as detailed as possible. This will help garner more users to use your application- most out of curiosity!
  5. Support & Feedback- Add support and Feedback form with email address, so users can connect directly with you and get necessary clarifications.

- A big launch:
If you have the budget; than plan a big launch covered by the Media and Press.
Else send newsletters as a pre-launch post to everyone making them aware as to some unique and useful app is coming their way.

As a conclusion, no specific strategy leads to success of your app, unless you put in the little extra effort of spreading the word and adopting a multi fanged marketing strategy. Every App has its own unique market so harness the best of your resources to reach out to it. Adopting the right direction will lead you to a fruitful result.

Building Innovative Applications With Hire a Developer

Building Innovative Applications with Hire A Developer

Tailor made applications have been making their mark ahead than those traditional applications these days in the market. Since open market offering “Hire A Developer” have been so good at their own specialized areas that their market has brought the magic in! Early in those days, while your friend ventured into new business, it was difficult to search for a genuine yet professional web developer for making a website. This was one of those tough tasks which were to be taken into consideration largely. But now with the entrance of IT companies with conventional view, it has provided complete flexibility by offering option of hiring a website designer/developer for particular period of time. Fixed projects are taking their names out from the list where as a group of web developers and designers are placed instead which ensure smooth, timely and expert touch to give an extra edge to your business.

There are number of web portals where skilled people display their work and you can hire them once after reviewing their work. Not only Indian companies, but also companies having their locations spread globally have this option open, where the audience has the liberty to choose the best from the array of options given and hire them on project basis. When you hire a developer, you can surely cut down on the other expenses which usually occur counting on the part of resources, man power etc. At times, it becomes implausible to get people who can really work upon your requirements in right way and produce best results. You can choose those whose work is impressive and their talent can make your dreams come true! Hire a developer term hasn’t been a pristine idea in the market, but we have been watching companies hiring full-time employees as they can then reply upon completely and track the working hours accordingly.

Hire A Developer from Silver Touch Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Silver Touch Technologies Limited., being a goal-driven IT company offers solutions related to IT field to small, medium and large sized companies while delivering unparalleled value to a wide spectrum of fields existing in the market at global level. Since its inception year 1992, the company has developed its own performance measurement systems while having business development centers spread over: UK, USA, France, Australia, Sweden and Germany apart from India. Moving an extra mile in keeping our commitments towards work quality, timeliness and upgraded technical aptitude has helped to maintain long-term and healthy relationships with our clients.

 

When you hire a developer from Silver Touch Technologies Limited., you can get the following benefits:

• Full-time Dedicated Developer
• Smart Development
• Follow Agile Methodology
• Cost-Effective
• Direct Communication
• Support Services Availability

They help the clients to develop smart web and mobile based applications for their business whether it is huge enterprise or an up growing one! Although fix scope software projects are becoming irrelevant in today’s fast area, hire a developer option works much better while you need customization and quick delivery options. Control over complete procedures can ultimately deliver faster work, incur budgetary expenses, faster turnaround time for queries and provide support services till the end step of project execution helps you to frame a high-end working solution for your business.

What can you achieve after hiring a proficient developer of Silver Touch Technologies?

• Freedom of scalability
• State-of-the-art Infrastructure
• Huge range of Service offerings
• Best Allocation of Resources
• Multiple technology Experts to select from

Suits in the Best

When you hire a website developer or mobile developer of Silver Touch Technologies Limited., you can get rest assured as our developers analyze your business requirements, prepare a plan and then proceed towards building it after your approval. When you plan for the super amazing things to get done, it is vital to get people who are aware of nicheness and new innovations of the field.

Check on the Capabilities

You can personally check on the skill-set of the developer before you plan to hire him/her. This power to choose one among the already best developers would enable you to share every small requirement to the developer while you hire them on hourly, weekly or monthly basis.

Advantage of Smart Features 

For e-Commerce online shopping portals, you can hire a developer from Silver Touch Technologies Limited. you get paramount of experienced people who can really prove very helpful in developing website, right the same as you’ve dreamt of!

Summary:

Silver Touch Technologies Limited. offering pilot project run free of cost when you first hire a developer from their resources. And this has been termed a must try model for enterprise clients as they have huge scaled projects to be done in the best way and with expert team. The passionate web developers of this company have years of experience in development static to complex leveled websites and being facility of dedicated virtual team for each project, we endow the clients with improved solutions within their given cost lines.

Why Custom Software when Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Product are available?

Why Custom Software when Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Product are available?

COTS are ready to use software which is developed for any specific industry or business process keeping standards and general norms as the perspective. Your next question will be, then why should I require custom software for my business process requirement? Here are two main compelling reasons for why should you invest in a custom software development:

  • No COTS software available in the market does exactly what you need- every business has its own need and style of functioning.
  • The Ownership and Control of the software / application that is going to run your business is prime requirement or essential as a strategic asset.

Either one or both of the above reason may apply to your situation, and within these main reasons there are additional factors which we can consider. Let’s discuss at both of these reasons in a bit more detail.

Nothing Fits Perfect:

If you buy COTS Software, it is possible that you may have to make changes in your business process to accommodate with the Product Model you are purchasing. Readymade Product may have features and functionalities similar to your requirements, but nothing in the world provides 100% exact solution for all of your vital and important functions. At the end you will find yourself paying most of the product cost for the features that you don’t require or you are never going to use it. The time efforts and cost of modifying / customizing readymade (COTS) products could be much more than the cost of the product itself. In some of the cases, modification / customization in the readymade software / product can also exceed the total cost of custom built software.

You basically have below two choices while selecting readymade product which is not 100% perfect match:

  • Alter your current business processes to accommodate the product.
  • Customize the product to suit your business requirements and processes.

If you look at the first option, you will find it attractive; and it may also help you to improve your business. In the case where your business process is very close to the readymade software, it could be very sensible decision to accommodate the readymade software by doing minor changes into your business process. But, where there is a major gap between your business process and the readymade software; changes will be extraordinary, unrealistic and might affect your business badly. In such cases implement changes in your business process to accommodate the readymade software would be great troublesome.

In other hand, second option is most of the time not feasible because nearly all the readymade software is customizable. If still we try to customize it; then the results we get could be dissatisfactory and costly.
Here are the top 5 points to be considered when there is a possibility of customization:

  • Feasibility: Is there any possibilities to mould the readymade software to fulfill your necessity?
  • Gap: Difference between the working of the readymade software and how it should work as per your business process?
  • Friction: How much your software supplier is willing to or capable to incorporate your business requirements?
  • Cost: How much efforts in terms of time as well as money are required to adjust the readymade software to your requirements?
  • Future: What would be the support cost and man power required to keep the customization intact in case of new versions of the product are released?

COTS Software would win over custom developed software where readymade software is closely matching with your business process and customization cost is under acceptable level.
You can also take into consideration below if your industry is very much generalized such as Insurance, Banking or Pharmaceutical. In such case, it would be the perfect option to select readymade software without any customization. Here you will get all the latest updates from the software vendor accommodating regular changes in general laws or government policies; as you using readymade software without any customization.

From other side of this story:

Custom built software solution will be the best suitable option, if readymade software is not compatible with your business process and there is no appropriate readymade software available in the market and above all you want your business process must work as per the way it is meant to.

Customized Software / Application as a Strategic Asset:

In most of the cases where the software is specifically developed as per your business process requirement provides very smooth operation and you can get significant advantages for your operations. It also increases your efficiency in terms of operation and gives long term advantage to your business. Here are some examples:

  • Everything is under your control and you can get more faster response on the changes and get positive effect on your business.
  • New processes can be added easily.
  • Most of the time to get reasonable advantage, custom software can be modified as per your business requirement compared to using readymade software which cannot be altered easily.
  • As source code is with you, it is also easy to alter it with your own software development team (if you have any) or it can also be done by your preferred software development company.
  • Custom software understands your requirement in a better way as it is developed as per your business requirement. Due to this implement process will also become fast and smooth.
  • You will also get less resistance from your staff as they don’t have to change their current working process a lot.

Summary

Taking decision of whether to go with readymade software or to develop custom software would be very crucial for your current and future business. Following factors need to be considered and evaluated against your business requirements:

Ready-made software:

  • You may require making changes in your business process according to the software.
  • The offering will cost less, but customization in the same (if at all possible) may add significant amount to your budget.
  • Resistance from vendor for making changes is also to be considered.
  • If vendor stops support or upgrading the software, you will need to start searching for replacement.

Custom software:

  • No need to change your business process.
  • Initial development cost for customized software could be higher, but in long run it will be much lesser than support, customization and business tailoring you will do on the readymade software.
  • You will get what you wanted compared to readymade software where you sometime get unwanted features which you may never use.
  • You can upgrade and make it compatible with your business as your business grows.

Magento: A good e-commerce solution

Introduction

Magento is an open source e-commerce web application that is built using Zend Framework of PHP and Entity attribute value (EAV) database model to store data. Magento has rich features which offer users an unparalleled flexibility to manage the content, looks and functionality of their e-Commerce store. It is designed to allow merchants to create a totally unique site, customized as per their unique business requirements. It is tailored specifically to suit business with robust marketing tools, search engine optimized page structure and easy catalogue-management. Magento is now solely owned by eBay Inc.

Magento a good e-commerce solution

 

Features of Magento

1. Open Source Platform

Since this is open source software, it can be downloaded for free. Developers can modify the source code and add features and functionality by creating or installing add-ons and plug-ins as per the business requirement.

2. Easier Site Management

All the sales and customers can be managed from a single database. This saves a lot of time of placing orders and managing sales. It also has other features such as multi-language, multi-currency support, product browsing, shipping, order management etc. Magento can even operate multiple stores from single installation and helps to manage them from one admin panel.

3. Scalable Platform

Magento is highly scalable and flexible that can be customized to serve any business model. Magento can be molded as per the requirement for a small business or complicated and sophisticated requirements very easily.

4. User Friendliness

Magento can display the products of the store easily, which gives the people a great buying experience. Effective layout helps people in site navigation, hence helps to easily search products they are looking for. Zoom-in capability, product reviews, multiple images of a product are some of the features that make Magento user friendly and inspires the visitors to make a buy and revisit the website.

5. Search Engine Optimization

Magento creates very clean URLs with keywords, tags and descriptions that are SEO friendly. This directly helps in placing the URLs in organic searches for prominent search engines. As the URLs are prominently placed, the chances of the page appearing in search increases, which invariably increase sales and revenue of a web store.

6. Analytics and Reporting

Magento supports Google Analytics, Google Base and Google Checkout. This helps to keep track of the site visitors and generate reports on shopping cart abandonment, search terms used within the store, most viewed products, etc. This reports help in further optimizing the process for increased revenue.

7. Security and Payment Option

Magento is a secure platform, the implementation of SSL security and dedicated IP is easy for PCI compliance. Magento supports various standard payment methods, like PayPal, Authorize.net , PAYBOX PAYONE, Braintree, First Data, WorldPay etc. Magento has inbuilt feature supporting offline payment methods like check and money order.

8. Magento API

Magento application can accesses the resource by sending an HTTP request to the Magento API server. The server replies with a response that contains either the data are requested, or the status indicator, or even both. Magneto can be easily integrated with a lot of major third-party sites such as Google. Similarly, Magento is also supported by some of the most popular shipping companies including UPS and FedEx.

9. Supports Mobile Commerce

HTML5 capabilities are integrated into Magento Community and Enterprise editions. With this, Magento store owners can offer better mobile shopping experiences across multiple web browsers and show the mobile-optimized version of the site and provide either the full site catalog or a smaller selection of products tailored for the mobile customers.

10. Magento for Premium Users

Magento has an Enterprise Edition for premium users which comes with a yearly license fee and is not open source. This package includes two production server licenses and one development server license to accommodate complex product catalogs and high-volume transactions. The Magento Expert Consulting Group (ECG) provides support from architectural advises to reviewing the code for optimizing the store. Magento U, a professional training unit provide development skills and ways of customizing the look and feel along with knowledge on daily usage of the store.

11. Wide Community Support

Magento has a catalogue of 10000+ ready extensions available in the Magento Developer Community. The Extensions extends the Magento framework further at zero or very little costs. The Magento developer community keeps updating and releasing new extensions with advanced features, thus making working with Magento easy and smooth. Magento has ready avauiable low costs extensions to connect with most ERPs, CRMs. Accounting Systems, Payment Gateways, Shipping APIs and also for porting Magento store as Native Applications on Smartphone’s like iPhone and Andorid.

12. Regular updates

Being an open-source platform, Magento is constantly updated by a team of developer’s continuously striving to improve the user experience. The Magento developer program ensures an efficient and smooth update to the existing framework enhancing features and functionalities at regular intervals.

Conclusion
Although every ecommerce solution has its definite advantages and disadvantages, it is important to have a clear concept of own prime business priorities while choosing the right platform for the e-commerce website. Though Magento is a feature rich platform but its maintenance cost is high as compared to other open source platform. Magento sites are SEO friendly, Robust and scalable platform with having wide range of extension support as compared to other available open source frameworks.

10 reasons why one should develop an Android App first

10 reasons why one should develop an Android App first

1. Biggest Addressable Smartphone Market:

There are more Android devices in the world than iOS as Andorid devices are much cheaper than their iOS counterpart. A research indicates that the Android platform is larger and growing faster than iOS, as of today, Android holds 48% of the smart phone market according to Nielson. According to another research, there are nearly 1.3 million Android devices activated each day.

2. Open Source:

Android is an Open Source, thus a developer can learn about Android Application development without a cost. An Android app development service provider has professionals at hand who master and understand the nuances of technology, and also have latest updates on the OS. Android app development outsourcing can be beneficial because trained professionals can understand your needs perfectly and tailor the app accordingly. Android app development service providers are experienced and have the expertise to give quality work. Also for developing an application on Android platform user doesn’t have to purchase any special licenses or hardware.

3. Open marketplace for distributing your apps:

Google Play is a premier free marketplace for selling and distributing Android apps. When you publish an app on Google Play, you reach a huge user base of Android. The app can be quickly deployed as Google does not have App Review policy and your App becomes visible on the store on 2 to 4 hours. Beyond growing your customer base, Google Play helps you build visibility and engagement across your apps and brand. As your apps rise in popularity, Google Play gives them higher placement in weekly “top” charts and rankings.

4. Excellent Graphics Support:

This great platform offers high built-in support for powerful 2D & 3D graphics that help business & other organizer to attract million of users to their mobile applications. As we all know that high quality graphics plays a very significant role in Applications. High graphics allow developers to expand application with maximum number of features.

5. Greater Flexibility:

Android is a highly flexible OS that allows developers immense flexibility when it comes to developing android applications. Android offers more flexibility with its apps by allowing Firefox, Opera & Chrome to run. Also Open Source libraries can be used within the framework without worry of rejection.

6. Cost-Effective Rates:

Android developers save money, because the platform is not licensed. However, there are numerous programs presently coded in the platform as its devices are utilized by various people worldwide. It allows using different programs without paying any certification fee.

7. Low Acquisition and Marketing costs:

An App is not going to sell on its own, without marketing efforts, you are just like a small fish in a big ocean and you will remain unnoticed and would eventually die or get eaten by other fishes. So, to have a successful app, requires promotion and marketing resources. Here, the less crowded market provides has an edge – it is significantly cheaper to acquire a new customer on Google Play. Fiksu recently conducted an analysis of available advertising inventory which revealed that Android is able to deliver 12 percent more ad inventory than iOS.
Android has a standard mechanism for marketing that resembles with the desktop marketing mechanism. Android automatically provides referrer information that anonymously identifies the source of a download, so the solution for tracking performance through analytics is already build in.

8. Reliability of Ad Attribution:

The word ‘attribution’ in the App world refers to the measurement of how user activities or actions such as installs, downloads, in-app purchases, repeat launches and many other features are prone to effect by marketing activities. Apple is no longer accepting apps that access Unique Device Identifier (UDID) technology and reports suggest it is also rejecting apps that use HTML5 cookie tracking. iOS uses several matching mechanism to match the user data between Ad networks and marketers. Android automatically provides the referrer info and its mechanism is explicit.

9. Transition to Other Platforms:

Android applications can be easily transited to Amazon & Nokia X App platforms. Amazon’s app store is based on Android and therefore it allows developers to easily submit a build to Amazon for approval. What is particularly interesting here is that recent research shows the Amazon store users monetize better than the App Store and Google Play.
Also Nokia X app store allows 75% android apps without change in code. All android apps can be deployed on the Nokia X app store with very little modification to the Android code.

10. Perfect playing ground for Newbie’s:

One who has the ability to evolve is more likely to survive in the App world. Google Play serves as the perfect playground for all those developers who are in new in this business; it allows developers to react to customer feedback quickly and enables them to update their App in a few hours. On the other hand, apple’s app store frequently consumes around a week to get an App updated, and sometimes it requires resubmission of an App. Hence, Google Play is a heaven for all those who wish to update their app rapidly in accordance with customer feedback. The android allows you to test and refine your app so that you can get the maximum output.

 

Understanding of the Options For Deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Introduction of CRM:

CRM is the abbreviation for “Customer Relationship Management”. It describes all aspects of interaction that a company has with its customer, whether it is sales, marketing or service (help desk) related. CRM is most commonly used to describe a business-customer relationship. Many organizations turn to CRM software to help them to manage their customer relationships in more efficient manner. CRM software is offered on-premise, on-demand or through Software as a Service.

Introduction of Microsoft Dynamics CRM:-

Microsoft Dynamics logo

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a customer relationship management software package developed by Microsoft. MS Dynamics CRM is basically a Client – Server application and developed using .NET technology. Client can access MS Dynamics CRM either by using a web browser or by a Microsoft Outlook plug-in. The current version available in the market is Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.

Deployment Options for Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Microsoft Dynamics can be deployed on-premise or in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model.

1 Microsoft CRM On-Premise
• Microsoft CRM can be installed directly into your IT environment (on-premise), regardless of the size of your organization
• You need to have the necessary hardware infrastructure on-premises for deployment.

2 Microsoft CRM On-line, software-as-a-service (SaaS)
• Microsoft CRM can be deployed using Cloud technology offering simple deployment; for anywhere & anytime access
• This option contain subscription based pricing
• You do not need the hardware infrastructure for this; you use the Microsoft cloud.

Important Modules of Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Following are the major modules that MS Dynamics CRM contains:

1 Sales Force Automation
• Sales department can track sales related activities by this section
• Sales department can,
• Manage Leads
• Manage Accounts & Contacts
• Manage & track quotation, orders & invoice
• Manage & track communication activities with the customer
• Run various Campaigns and measure their success
• Create and manage Product related database

2 Marketing Automation
• Marketing department can manage marketing related activities by this section
• Marketing department can,
• Plan and work with campaigns
• Create and manage marketing lists
• Understand campaign response
• Manage lead generated from specific campaigns

3 Customer Service Management
• Customer support and Product support department can manage customer service related activities by this section
• Customer and Product support department can,
• Create and track individual cases
• Share common problems and solutions in knowledge base
• Create and manage customer contracts

4 Appointment based Service Scheduling
• Customer service representatives can manage service scheduling activities by this section
• Customer service representatives can,
• Define and manage service related information
• Manage and identify available resources for service activities
• Define and Manage work schedule for resources

5 Reporting and Analysis
• Generate reports and analyze data as per the user’s requirement
• User can generate following types of various reports,
• Run a default given reports
• Create an ‘Advanced Find’ query to find a filtered set of required records
• Create a custom reporting using Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services or other reporting tools
• Export the record (filtered) list for further analysis or use in other departments.

6 Customization Capability
• System administrator can customize MS Dynamics CRM to fit the needs of their business
• Using the customization capabilities of MS Dynamics CRM, user can,
• Create new Microsoft Dynamics CRM entities, attributes, and application forms as per the need of their business / organization without custom programming
• Customize forms and views for enhanced integration with other Web applications, portals and business systems
• Apply form validation and add client-side business logic through scripting

7 Workflow
• User can use additional workflows in the MS Dynamics CRM to further automate their organization’s business logic
• User can make workflows available as on demand workflow or automatic workflow

8 Help
• Help provides conceptual overviews for each area and step-by-step procedures for performing the necessary tasks
• Help is updated periodically
• User can check for a more recent update by clicking on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Help menu, click ‘Help Updates’

9 Resource Center
• User can view articles explaining how to do common tasks, and also includes links to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM community newsgroups, blogs, and trainings in the resource center section
• The Resource Center is updated regularly by the community

10 Documentation Feedback
• In every given help topic, user can rate regarding whether it was helpful to them or not
• User can provide their feedback in English language only
• User’s feedback will be useful for make improvements into the Help Section and provide necessary content delivered to the Resource Center

Further Reading Reference:

  1. http://www.microsoft.com/en-in/dynamics/crm.aspx
  2. http://www.crmsearch.com/microsoft.php
  3. http://www.manasyst.com/MicrosoftDynamicsCRMObjectivesIntroduction/tabid/294/Default.aspx

 

CRM: A Solution for Success

Customer Relationship Management (CRM), is a system for managing a company’s interactions with customers. It involves using technology to organize, automate, synchronize and analyze sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support. CRM is the backbone on which the Customer Services are managed and delivered.

                                      “Customers are assets of any organization or company”

The best CRM platforms are customized powerhouses that can bring together data from all corners of an organization as well as outside of it, to provide a view of the business’s customers and consumer interaction. CRM is used for managing all communications with customers, clients, and sales prospects, so as in the future every data is available to help generate new business.

 
Why CRM?

CRM is not easily recognizable to most organizational taskforce, but there are several benefits of using it, as listed below:

• Build stronger customer relationships
Bringing all Customer details in a single location with easy access helps in unifying the data, which in turn helps in building a stronger relationship.

• Increased Productivity
The Productivity of the team will be increased on implementing CRM as the team will spend more productive time with strong leads rather than wasting time on cold leads.

• Reduced costs
CRM technology provides various tools inbuilt that helps the sales team in increasing their accuracy and effectiveness. It eliminates the time to spend behind correcting the errors.

• Enhanced communication
Communication within the sales team is critical when it comes to customer management. CRM application is a great way to help increase communication between the sales force and sales management.

• Organized Data
Using CRM the team members can manage their task with priority and get optimized output.

• Comprehensive  view of your customers
CRM technology provides a complete picture of all of your Past, Current and Potential clients

• Useful for customer service
Businesses can use automated CRM applications to analyze customer complaints, or compliments, and change the business processes accordingly.

• Increased customer satisfaction
CRM technology can help to increase customer satisfaction by analyzing the customer feedback collected by the team members. Customer satisfaction leads to increased loyalty and increased profit margins.

How CRM impacts on the organization

CRM impacts an organization through:

  • shifting the focus from product to customer
  • integrating the customer’s needs and requirements
  • improve business by effectively doing cross-sell and up sell more
  • effectively close deals, retain customers and better understand where your business is.
  • provide better customer service and increased business

Benefits of Effective CRM Solution

There are significant business benefits which accrue from an effective, integrated Customer Relationship Management approach. The biggest benefit an organization realizes when moving to a CRM system comes directly from having all your business data stored and accessed from a single location, the others are:

  • Reduced costs, due to wide accessibility and availability of data for all
  • Increased customer satisfaction, because they are provided with required services
  • Growth in numbers of customers
  • Maximization of opportunities
  • Long term profitability and sustainability
  • Inter Departmental collaboration
  • Efficient, automated and improved business processes
  • Conclusion

    For any business, to be successful in this competitive business world, Customer Relationship Management has become an important tool. The Customer expectations are increasing and to service these expectations, a unified CRM system helps in consolidating these businesses. CRM makes it easy for an organization to connect with their customers and therefore serve them better. Businesses with a successful CRM strategy can generate increase in sales, customer satisfaction, and overall business.