Thu Truong Gets Real About Mobile

Thu Truong Gets Real About Mobile
Thu Truong Gets Real About Mobile – http://buff.ly/1UVJCig

Our guest on this segment is changing the way business thinks about MOBILE. Thu Truong, WW VP, at SETA International http://seta-international.com/ has helped hundreds of small businesses to succeed.

– Why it’s important

– The role of Millennials

– How Google is effecting mobile for small business

– Examples of cost effective ways to grow via mobile

– How to ensure payments are secure and the secret behind forming a relationship with a premium service provider

SETA-Internation is also an AVUMO TECHNOLOGY PARTNER

which translates to solutions that provide responsive design – adaptive (to the device you are on)

AMP – action related, mobile optimized content.

A look at Small Business Apps – 7 Rules

secret-of-mobile-appsIf you have decided that your small business would benefit from creating an app, it’s most likely that you won’t be doing it yourself. There are experienced development companies that will guide you in the right direction, and probably enhance the experience with suggestions. We recently found a good article on Business2Community with some important rules to follow when it comes to putting your first small business mobile app into development. Here’s a recap:

  • Have a clear goal of what you want the app to do and how you expect it to maximize sales
  • Understand your audience and know how they engage with your product
  • Keep the app as simple as possible. This will save on battery life of the user’s device and maximize speed and efficiency
  • Make sure it’s available in iOS and Android to reach the most number of potential users
  • The app should have unique features and give users a reason to download, use, and keep on their phone
  • Test, test and test again.
  • Monitor terms of audience interactions, conversions and user behavior

5 Ways to Cut Small Business Costs with Technology

man-touching-cloud-icons

Last week we took a look at the evolution of collaboration and the benefits of technology for getting things done. This week we would like to expand on that thought and focus on the cost benefits, plus give our thoughts on a few more.

1) Collaborate in the Cloud . Paper is slow and can incur high costs in terms of supplies and lost productivity. Cloud systems that allow you to collaborate and share files securely, save time and money, and also remove distance and time zones. Not all cloud collaboration solutions are alike. When reviewing options, small business owners will want to make sure the solution will connect across platforms, increase user participation, improve the quality of meetings, support mobility, ensure security, and drive improvements.

2) Here’s an unexpected one – light bulbs. Light bulbs often symbolize a good idea, yet this tip is not just a symbol. Businesses can save millions of dollars annually from investing in eco-friendly technologies. Incandescent blubs use up to 75% more energy than CFL and LED lights. Over its lifetime, a CFL bulb can save up to $80 in electricity bills. Multiply that by an office’s total number bulbs and see amazing results with little effort.

3) Outsourcing is a great way to reduce costs. Often shifting responsibilities of certain business practices to an outsourcing model can save money, and also create blocks of time to pursue more initiatives that grow your bottom line, such as going after new business, developing new products.

4) Modernize your data storage. Application vs. data sprawl is a constant battle being waged by Enterprise IT organizations. Modernizing data storage infrastructure can result in direct and indirect savings for enterprise IT organizations.

5) An ounce of prevention. The reality is that you might be saving money by not having regular IT maintenance, but when something goes wrong it is going to cost a lot more in terms of repairs and down time. Regular IT checks can identify and address problems before they occur, prevent unnecessary downtime for repairs, and give piece of mind that your business and your client’s business is in good hands.

Does Paper Prevent Small Business Collaboration?

Young adult working on a digital tablet

 

Catching up on some software solutions news, we came across an interesting article in Small Business Computing about whether or not paper was killing small business collaboration. Do workers print as much as they used to? What is it about the printed page that we like so much? A survey by Nitro and the PDF Association, recently surveyed 1,200 professionals and found that 31% of respondents said they use a printer, copier, or scanner 10 or more times a day—and 25 percent said they use one such device at least once a day. Only 1% said they never had to print, copy, or scan during the average workday. Some interesting statistics!

According to the article, paper is “subject to the friction of the physical world.” An interesting catch phrase describing the comparatively slow and can incur high costs in terms of supplies and lost productivity.

The article goes on to describe three ways to increase productivity and collaboration, and lower supply costs.

  • Go for the cloud. “Cloud systems that allow you to collaborate and share files securely.”
  • E-signatures speed the process. Accepting e-signatures radically increases the speed of business and can lead to “an 80 percent reduction in turnaround time” in deals, product deliveries, or service contracts.
  • PDF it. “The ability to convert PDFs back to editable formats opens up opportunities to annotate, optimize, or remove content. Repeat the process a few times, and a proposal or marketing campaign sails through the approval process without leaving stacks of paper in its wake.”

As an international company, SETA International certainly makes use of several cloud collaboration tools, and agrees that it can remove time zones and distances. We also work closely with dozens of small businesses that have focused on the cloud for countless business solutions. While this blogger finds printing is less than in years past, there’s something we just can’t give up about the printed page.

Small Biz Resources Feature: 4 Reasons Why Mobile is the Key to Small Business E-Commerce Success

mobile-devices-752x483SETA International is thrilled to be featured on Small Biz Resources.  Check out the story here or read SETA’s tips below.

The year 2015 marked some dramatic changes in E-Commerce and it can be argued that the biggest impact came from mobile. Consumers spent $69.08 billion online during the 2015 holiday shopping season, with $12.65 billion via mobile devices, according to comScore data.  Forrester Research estimates that 64% of American adults now own a smartphone of some kind.

The popularity of E-Commerce through mobile devices makes it shocking to discover that 93.3% of small business websites are not mobile compatible according to SCORE, a nonprofit supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration that helps small businesses nationwide.  It is imperative for small businesses to understand the importance of providing a mobile shopping experience.  A lack of action will result in losing customers and facing obsolescence quickly. Concerned with costs, manpower, and technical know-how, entrepreneurs may shy away from implementing a mobile strategy.  An understanding of some key ideas can help small businesses take advantage of the cost-effective technologies for mobile sites and the increased sales that will result from a solid mobile action plan.

#1 Mobile is driven by Millennials

Millennials are the largest demographic group in history, according to the US Census Bureau, with a reported 80 million in the USA.  Raised almost exclusively in the digital media age, they are very comfortable with everything digital from consuming media, financial transactions, communicating with one another, and more. Impatient and needing instant gratification, mobile payments offer the highest levels of convenience.  It is estimated that by 2025 this group is expected to generate 46% of all US income.  That’s a lot of purchase power!

#2 Google has optimized its infrastructure to be mobile first

On April 21, 2015, Google launched a new search algorithm, retooling search rankings and give greater weight to sites that are friendly to mobile devices. The new algorithm only applies to searches performed from smartphones and other mobile handsets, but considering more searches take place on mobile vs. desktop, it’s essential to have a mobile friendly site. Luckily, it is easy to find out if your site meets the criteria by typing in a site’s URL here.

#3 Technology has made mobile cost-effective, efficient, and with several options

There are several ways for small businesses to create a mobile friendly site, even from an existing site.  Depending on your needs, a software solutions provider can help and there are other solutions that are available, depending on your company’s needs.

  • Mobile First – A mobile first site starts with the development of a mobile site first! A new company that offers cutting-edge technology and easy development of mobile first sites is Avumo. Good for the DIY set and development firms, the intuitive platform will get a site mobile ready in minutes.
  • Responsive Design – These sites are built using flexibly sized elements, controlled by style sheets, javascript and HTML. No matter what size screen the user is viewing with, the text, images, navigation and graphics will size fluidly. Responsive design can sometimes be harder to develop, but a major advantage is that it offers the same user experience on no matter the device.
  • Adaptive Design– Much like responsive design, except that an adaptive website detects the device and delivers the appropriately sized website for the device being used.
  • Mobile App – If a company has large volume and shoppers are visiting often, a business will likely develop a mobile app.

#4 Premium Secure Payment Tools are for Small Businesses too!

Some may feel that mobile transactions do not offer the same level of security as desktop, or that working with a premium payment provider is only for large companies, and expensive.  Small Businesses that work with an experience software solutions provider can take advantage of services geared to the needs of growing companies.  The software solutions provider works with other small businesses and has the purchasing power to facilitate agreements with even the largest and most respected payment tools. Businesses seeking to accelerate their growth with the more secure payment tools can have access to premium services through the right channels making mobile shopping easier for your customers.

 

Small businesses seeking to grow, and in many cases survive, need to look at mobile as one of the most essential elements to their business.  Shoppers are changing the way they make purchases, each year more consumers use their mobile devices, and search engine tools are promoting sites that are mobile friendly.  The right technology and a good plan can help small businesses accelerate their growth and reach new markets successfully.

The future of IoT Technology – A Top 10

 

internet-of-things-650

Browsing the web, we came across an interesting article on ZDNet that we wanted to share about the Top 10 IoT technologies in near term.

Over the next two years, the 10 key technology areas for IoT deployments include security, analytics, device management, short-range networks, processors, wide-area networks, event-stream processing, platforms, and communication protocols. That’s according to analyst firm, Gartner. But don’t start making changes yet. Many technologies are still evolving and changing, making planning difficult for now.

Something you can plan for is that the technology will run into Google, whether it’s for analytics, networks, or operating systems. That prediction is made based on the fact that Google appears five times across the top 10 technologies.

Interestingly, Microsoft is not mentioned in Gartner’s report. However, Gartner notes that the company under Satya Nadella is making the integration of machine-learning tech with its products a key priority.

If you are checking out the report, a Gartner spokesperson told ZDNet that not too much should be read into the report’s omission of any specific vendor and that the report was not intended to rank how critical vendors are to IoT.

The Future of Mobile and 5G

5G image

 

We are still at the beginning of the year, and that’s when the predictions are in full swing. This article on 5G caught our attention based on the recent Mobile World Congress, held in a Barcelona. Who doesn’t love the idea of greater speeds, lower latency, and lower costs!? It’s the promise of 5G.

Some reported developments include:

  • Korea’s SK Telecom has already carried out 5G radio demonstrations and is currently building 5G testbeds through its Virtual Experience Center.
  • Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao noted the mobile tech will dramatically accelerate what he called “the gigabit society”
  • Qualcomm Technologies executive vice president and CTO Matt Grob said, “5G is much more than just faster” as it will enable “a new type of service we haven’t seen yet”.
  • Deutsche Telekom CTO Bruno Jacobfeuerborn said, “5G is not about another connectivity; it’s about managing consumers’ digital life”

It’s estimated that the technology won’t be ready until 2020, which gives a lot more room for reports on what the future holds. There are several areas to overcome including the fact that by 2025, there will be 100 billion connections globally. Yet, as of now, 99% of equipment is still unconnected.

“Before 5G, we need to better understand the needs of verticals, support them during their integration, thus driving forward a digital revolution,” Huawei deputy chairman and CEO Guo Ping said. “It’s important to act rather than wait for a new technology.”

According to the report, “Ping also pointed out the need to shift from a supply-driven business model to a demand-driven one, and the necessity to support a software-defined architecture, spawned from software-defined networking and introducing a certain level of virtualization between software producers and consumers.”

 

 

4 Common Misconceptions About Software Solutions Debunked

 

 

myth truthMYTH #1: It is too expensive for small businesses

TRUTH: Every case is different, but overall, developing custom software is cost-competitive. Add up the fees and frustration from customizing off-the-shelf software packages and you can end up with a big bill that you were not expecting, including fees for per-seat and per-license.

 

Custom-built software is built specifically for your business’s needs, not on the number of users. The price agreed upon with the development company, would be the total cost for all employees. Another important benefit is that custom software is built for specific processes and procedures, so staff won’t have to force their work into an existing program.

 

MYTH #2: Premium services are only for Fortune 500 companies

TRUTH: This is not the case, especially when working with a company that is focused on helping small businesses. For example, if a growing company wishes to work with a large online payment solutions provider, they might be seen as too small. However, if the small business works with a software solutions company that has other small businesses as clients, resources are pooled together. The result is that even growing companies can work with premium services cost-effectively.

 

MYTH #3: Only certain industries need custom software solutions

TRUTH: The benefits of custom software are for businesses of every size, industry and market. Because the software is built for a specific purpose, it can optimize efficiency, productivity, help create new revenue streams and offer an enhanced customer experience. Experienced development companies understand how to design products that allow businesses to streamline processes and save time.

 

MYTH #4: Mobile sites are not that important, a website is all we need

TRUTH: According to Google, half of all Internet searches are done on a mobile device. When hiring a software development firm, make sure you have a conversation about mobile, especially if it is related to eCommerce. There are several options on how this can be done, from a responsive site to an app, and your development team can help you make the best decision for your compan

 

Millennials and Mobile Payments: Shaping the Future

Multiethnic Group of People Socail Networking at Cafe

Mobile payments is a much talked about topic, and we thought it would be an interesting time to take a look at how Millennials are influencing mobile payments. Just as a refresher, most researchers and commentators use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s to describe a millennial. It turns out that this group is a strong supporter of new modes of payment technology.

 

Raised in the Digital Age

In many ways, their support and adoption of mobile payments is due to the fact they have been raised almost exclusively in the digital media age. They are extremely comfortable with a range of platforms, and one can argue that they couldn’t live without it! This has impacted everything from toys to the way we consume news. Because this transfers over to the way they research, manage money, and communicate, it is a natural to accept mobile payments as part of their lives.

 

An Influential Group

According to the US Census Bureau, there are over 80 million Millennials. This is the largest demographic group in history, and they have the buying power to prove it. They also have enormous direct purchase power and yield a tremendous influence over the purchases of their parents and grandparents. By 2025 this group is expected to generate 46% of all US income.

 

Convenience and Instant Gratification

Impatient and needing instant gratification, mobile payments offer the highest levels of convenience. Leave your wallet at home – or maybe a smart watch will take care of it all. From showing ID, to taking the train, and paying for a drink, it can all be done on a mobile device. Approximately 86% of people age 25-34 use a smartphone, demonstrating the influence of the device and its potential to help businesses grow.

 

Learning from Likes

At SETA International, our team has developed dozens of mobile payment tools for businesses, and we’ve learned a lot about Millennials. Here are some best-kept secrets:

 

  • They like a smooth and easy experience
  • Alerts are great and expected.
  • Make it easy to gather information on the fly

 

Want to find out more? Contact us at www.seta-international.com
.

App Attributes: What Consumers Want in Custom Software Applications

Custm Soft

 

How many days can you go without using an app? If days seem unfathomable, how many hours? At one time time it felt like a novelty or luxury to use an application to complete an everyday task. Today, it is a regular part of the daily lives of most consumers. According to some sources, nearly half of all consumers worldwide have used apps in the past six months. We’ve come to rely upon them and even have heightened expectations for their performance and capabilities.

Still, there remains some distance between the expectations that consumers have about their app experiences and what businesses are providing. Consumers regularly browse for products that they are considering, make those purchases, watch videos, do banking transactions, interact on social media, and play games. However, while many feel that they should expect a seamless experience, few businesses and organizations have actually reached the point that they are providing it.

Research has found that to meet the needs of modern-day consumers, apps need to provide:

  • A proper balance between appealing design and efficient practicality.
  • A design with flexibility that allows the user to use and customize the app with creativity in order to personalize the experience to his or her needs and wants
  • A software that is built as a foundation for what is to come, so that the next generation offer a neat fit
  • An attractive design that is visually striking, but not to the point that it sacrifices functionality
  • An experience that offers the consumer a relevant interaction that he or she will consider to be valuable and worthwhile

Adoption of software applications and the management of changes is notably simpler when there is excitement about its use. Overall, people feel the greatest amount of comfort when they are using something familiar. Therefore, to be able to convince people to change the way they are currently doing something, they will need to be given an exciting and appealing reason to do so.

Among the best ways to be able to do this is to develop custom software applications that customers actually want. Finding out what exactly that entails involves working closely with the individuals who will actually be using it. This makes it possible to get a feel for what is working, what is not, and what is adequate but could be improved in some way. The outcome is an app that a consumer will be drawn to adopt and that he or she will be able to fit quite naturally into a current lifestyle or schedule.

Robert Chang is Director of Engineering at SETA International, a global software solutions company. SETA is a top consulting firm, which specializes in custom software and application development, onshore-offshore model staff augmentation and quality assurance testing. Read more from Robert on the SETA blog.