Thursday, 8 September 2016

How Mobile Devices will Continue to Affect Businesses in the Future

                                                                           Image Source: cdn.moveoapps.com

In today’s digital driven culture, people are becoming smarter and more tech-savvy when it comes to the use of a mobile application. Mobile commerce sites (also known as a M-Commerce website) have become the unambiguous focal point of this trend. People in general love the fact that they can purchase items and shop remotely on their cellular-devices. And due to the rise in consumer demand more and more businesses are investing in this segment… But why? What does this direction towards improved user innovation mean?

M-Commerce Trend


According to Pew Research Center, 72% of adults in the United States own a smartphone. This contributes to around $104.05 billion U.S. mobile commerce sales in 2015, up 38.7% from 2014, but this is just speaking for the Unites States. Global regions are also experiencing a huge growth as well. The combined sales of 14 Asian retailers ranked in the 2016 Mobile 500, grew over 249.3%. This movement towards a smartphone driven approach is not a fluke. More companies are becoming aware of technological innovations that enhance cell and tablet application usage and because of this, are gearing their businesses towards enhancing consumer experiences.

How M-Commerce is Helpful for Businesses


In today’s modern age, people are becoming more comfortable with technology than ever before, thus inevitably increasing the amount of mobile shoppers. This said, the amount of business opportunities has also taken a large increase. According to internetretailer.com, the combined monthly mobile visits of all 378 U.S. Mobile 500 merchants grew 68.3% to 3.03 billion in 2015.  People love shopping with their cell phones, because it’s easy and convenient! There’s no hassle like sitting at a computer or worrying about finding Wi-Fi for your laptop. With a smartphone you can shop anytime and anywhere. They also function as an intermediate tool for businesses and customers. Smartphones allow consumers to look at reviews before purchasing items, find local businesses through map navigation applications, and call businesses by simply clicking a button. According to The Huffington Post, 76% of smartphone users rely on their cellular device to find a store to make a local purchase at. It’s apparent just how big of a role mobile plays and how it provides companies with the opportunity to keep their consumers captivated in purchasing decisions.

                                                                      Image Source: static.pexels.com


How to Increase Business Sales with Smartphones


Businesses and consumers are beginning to realize that e-commerce is changing and the numbers are there to prove it. In 2016, U.S. mobile device sales are expected to be 33% of total retail e-commerce sales. This number is expected to increase to 37% by the end of 2017. Investing in this movement of increased smartphone sales, is almost necessary for companies that want to remain relevant in today’s business market. Putting money into the development of cell applications can prove to be a beneficial step in the right direction. Internetretailer.com reports 180 U.S. merchants in the 2016 Mobile 500 have one or more mobile application, and the combined sales from those apps increased 44% to $40.58 billion in 2015. These applications act as a medium to connect with consumers on an intimate level and therefore cause sales to boom. M-commerce also offers businesses the opportunity to engage with their consumers through innovation. This innovation can range anywhere from location specific deals, ease of payment through credit cards or PayPal, to the simplicity of navigation through the application. As early as 2012, a study from Google proved that mobile friendly sites are a key influencer in purchasing choices for consumers. They concluded that 67% of mobile users, said they are more likely to buy a product from mobile-friendly site and 50% said that even if they prefer a specific business, they will buy from them less often if the website isn’t mobile-friendly. This only stresses how important customer guidance is with cellular device integration. With a good looking user interface and consumer targeted optimization, M-commerce sales and overall production definitely increase business value.

There’s no way around it, m-commerce has been and will continue to be the future of online shopping. Mobile application development is taking lead as the most important aspect of this movement and can separate a middle of the road retailer, to an industry leader. John D. Rockefeller Jr. said: “The secret of success is to do the common thing uncommonly well.” Businesses should feel the need strive towards innovation. The key to m-commerce is to be as connected with your consumers, as they are with themselves.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Mobile Business Intelligence: How Companies Are Using it and What You Can Learn


                                                                                   Image Source: pexels.com

With the fastly increasing use of mobile technology, leveraging mobile business intelligence (MBI) grows in importance to reach and benefit consumers while providing business growth. As an integral part of their lifestyle, there is a great deal of useful information which can be gathered from MBI. Here are some companies that have integrated MBI successfully into their business models, what we can learn from them, and how other businesses can leverage this powerful marketing tool to provide value to existing and potential target markets.

What is Mobile Business Intelligence


Business Intelligence defines mobile business intelligence as a term that refers to applications that make business intelligence available on mobile devices, giving users access to key business information whenever and wherever they need it.
Simply put, it is the intelligent information that can be gathered from applications installed on mobile devices and leveraged for key business takeaways.
In an era where cell phones hardly leave their owner’s side, it’s easy to see how this information can provide extremely valuable insights into target market demographics, behaviors, lifestyle and more.

Examples of Companies Successfully Using MBI


To get a better idea of what kind of information can be gathered from MBI, here are some innovative companies maxing out on mobile information and how they wield it to achieve success.

Uber


Perhaps the leader in leveraging mobile information technology, Uber has built their entire business premise on full integration of MBI into their consumer-centric technology. Bringing in a new era of mobility, cabs suddenly seem dated with this application that allows users to request for car service, track driver location and make payment all directly through the Uber mobile app. How is this possible? Uber gathers location tracking MBI through their app for both the individual seeking a ride, and for the driver that will pick them up. Based on an algorithm of distance and available drivers, a driver may choose to accept the rider, meet them at the location they’re in (with mobile location tracking) and take them to their desired location using the integrated GPS function.
Their payment system is also easy and allowing users to save card information within the app, and drawing payment automatically once the trip has been completed. No cash, no physical transaction at the moment the service is provided – just a one-time convenient feature creating an elevated user experience for drivers and riders alike.

                                                                                 Image Source: fortune.com


GrubHub

Another great example of MBI being used in business is GrubHub. GrubHub is a food service that (much like Uber) provides consumers with extreme convenience through the use of mobile intelligence. People looking for local delivery can use the app location services to determine restaurants in the area with delivery options, browse menus and place orders directly in the app.


Fitbit


A more advanced use of mobile business intelligence can be seen with fitness trackers such as the Fitbit, which gathers even more complex information from their mobile app including location, activity level, heart rate and more. This smart technology has revolutionized fitness awareness by being able to provide users with smart information about themselves.

How your Business can Leverage MBI


So how can you leverage this technology? Where are your customers now? What are they doing? This kind of information can be easily gathered with MBI, and understanding this knowledge will help you know exactly what can your business can provide to help or benefit your target market. Here are some specific categories of information which can be gleaned from mobile app technology that can be leveraged as a powerful set of tools added to your professional arsenal.

Location Services


Think outside the box on how your business can incorporate MBI on location services. Not only can you use it to provide on-location products and services to your consumer, you can also learn the geographical demographics of your target audience, stores and businesses they frequent and other location habits – helping you to hone in on the “where” of your client base or provide your “where” to your client base.

Streamline Sales Process


Traditional check-out processes are almost a think of the past. With technologies like Apple Pay or other in-app purchasing options, consumers have learned to prefer the convenience of this streamlined sales process. Through this service, you can also request for email, phone or other information from your client base in order to complete the purchase.

Provide On-Demand Services


One of the most used purposes of MBI being leveraged by companies today is to provide on-demand products or services to consumers. Innovation is often derived from a need of increased convenience. This is the ultimate form you can provide your customers by going to them – rather than asking them to come to you.

Track User Information


The sky is the limit as far as the elements MBI can be programmed to track for application users. It’s not just navigation, location or other more obvious benefits one can receive from mobile information. A smart company can tailor an algorithm to gather it’s own set of intelligence from a mobile app development. Be encouraged to think outside of the box.

                                                                                   Image Source: pcmag.com

"Mobile analytics has grown up and moved out. It's no longer just an interface to legacy BI products. In 2015, products with a fluid, mobile-first experience began to emerge. Working with data out in the world is going from being a chore to becoming a dynamic part of the analytics process." – From Tableau's Top 10 Business Intelligence Trends for 2016
Get creative, and start incorporating these proven industry techniques of leveraging mobile business intelligence to connect with your target audience in a powerful way like never before. Information is a powerful thing, and the resources at your fingertips with MBI is an open door.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Quality-Assessment Items in Technology


Image Source : researchgate.net

The world is constantly striving for standardized tests in order to compare the quality of similar people or businesses. Software designers utilize numerous testing techniques to debug their programs. There are no definitive statistics to measure if software is performing at its maximum capabilities. Instead, an agency has their own set of standards to meet their customer’s needs. 

The good of quality-assessment items

One of the strengths of standardized testing is that all of the information is available to the user end. This allows them to become familiar with all of the material and make their own conclusions. There is also a sense of accountability because both parties know the standards that are used. So, if an application or software does not work, there is a clear-cut way to discover what is not operating appropriately. But what if these standards do not always measure the full quality of something?

Subjective vs. Objective

The problem with using a homogeneous set of standards is they do not always properly measure the quality of software. For instance, when an agency is grading a program, in many occasions there are subjective elements to their guidelines that can disguise how well software’s performs. For example, a programmer could consider their application easy to use, while a normal consumer could think it is impossible to operate. So, the performance grades are only as good as the organization that supplies them. If the clients do not trust the agency’s analysis, the score does not matter. This is true of many industries that utilize quality-assessment items to review their products.

In the tech world

When software designers create a new product, quality assessment checks are vital in fully developing the software. A business can fail without the analysis because their product will not be able to perform correctly. As a consumer’s needs change so do the quality-assessment items. The process is never ending in order to make sure the excellence never falters. There are various types of tests that companies use such as web application testing, mobile app testing, B2B and B2C portal testing, and business process automation. These tests have different techniques that are implemented in order to correctly debug the specific program or application.


Image Source : kse.cis.unisa.edu.au


Different quality-assessment item techniques

In the world of technology, there are various ways to test software and web applications in order to confirm it will work properly. However, there is no one set of guidelines to software evaluation. Based on the customer’s needs, there are different ways to evaluate software such as script and usability testing. An engineer utilizes script testing, when they want to identify if their software is functioning correctly. When a company employs usability testing, they are attempting to see if a person who has never seen an interface before can accomplish a certain task. This allows developers who are intimate with a certain program to hear fresh perspective about their product.

Analysis

Consumers want to make informed decisions and rely on an agency’s standards to help make their choices. Many businesses outsource their software development, meaning they rely on a third-party to create a program or application at a high level. Some industries that utilize these developers include banks, entertainment and media companies, and e-commerce companies. Many technology firms have different sets of standards for their products. However, there are common sets of principles for a high-quality assessment item. The item must have clear targets, be able to function properly, run on its expected operating systems, and meet the client’s goals. If a method can meet the basic requirements of a quality-assessment item and is tested and proven to work, then it can have a positive effect on a business.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

What’s next in the post-app world?

If someone wants to look up the weather or book a flight, they open an app on their phone. Mobile applications are supposed to make people’s lives easier. However, a person only uses five apps 80% of the time. With the decreasing use of apps and the advancement of virtual assistants, many experts claim that we are about to be living in a post-app world.

Messaging Apps



The app store is full of messaging applications. Each one has a slightly different interface and retains a distinctive user group. The problem some experts’ raise about messaging apps is that there are too many, which can make it harder to contact certain people because everyone is on various applications. Although, what some experts ignore when they critique apps is they forget a cellular phone can receive text messages and phone calls. This type of seamless integration has been around before the Apple Store and the simplicity of it is going to fuel the post-app world.

What’s next in the post-app world?



Apple went all in on apps, whether it was with the Apple TV, the IPhone, or IPad apps are extremely prevalent on the company’s assorted platforms. They also have invested seriously in Siri, an intelligent assistant that can help a user throughout their day. Siri will soon be on all of Apple’s devices marking a shift in the tech giant’s app heavy strategy. Even Google has tried to combat the application revolution by creating it’s own artificial intelligence assistant named Google assistant, which is integrated with all of Google’s products.


The virtual assistant



With the invention of smart watches and devices that have AI and machine learning capabilities, apps are going to become less prevalent. An Apple Watch is small, so fumbling on the screen with your fingers is time consuming and frustrating. Comparatively, the ease of asking a virtual assistant to look up the weather instead of accessing an app makes much more sense. Also, as screens become less prevalent, the typical single purpose apps located in the Apple or Android Stores will become less needed because a virtual assistant will have the ability to do everything.

People should come first



Smart devices like Google Home or Amazon’s Echo showcase artificial intelligence’s competency. Both companies want to seamlessly blend their products into a person’s life. For instance, the Amazon Echo (Alexa) is moving business from screens to the virtual assistant. There are studies that show consumers have an emotional connection to when key performance indicators are presented by the friendly voice of Alexa.


Problem Solving



The post-app world will only become a phenomenon once consumers can completely trust their virtual assistant. Google’s search engine is used because it is a trusted central location of information but once there is confidence in virtual assistants, there will be no need for people to visit Google. Instead, Siri, Alexa, or Google assistant will access the information it’s user wants and display it in an easy and convenient fashion.

Conclusion



Countless technological advancements have been made with human convenience in mind. The post-app world is the next step in making everyone lives’ less complicated. However, people also want to enjoy the same features they are used to having. Devices must maintain a high quality if the walls between apps and devices are going to be successfully taken down. People just want results and they do not care how they get them. Buzz words and fancy developer conferences will not drive the average person into wanting to change how they interact with their devices. Instead, the new technology must make the transition into people’s day-to-day activities as seamless as it is supposed to make their lives.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Facebook’s AI Initiative to Make the World a Connected Place


These days, companies are turning towards all technology advancements such as Artificial Intelligence or Virtual Reality to make new inventions and establish a strong hold in the tech world. Facebook is on the top of the list of such companies. Recently, the company announced its decision to connect mankind through the medium of internet.

Facebook has used all the possible means to make the internet accessible to maximum number of people either through the use of drones or satellites. But, now it is all set to take a more substantial step in this direction. Instead of relying on the old data about the density of population in different countries, Facebook is launching the concept of its own detailed maps that will be able to fetch data more precisely than any other medium.

Facebook’s Detailed Maps
Facebook’s connectivity lab has collaborated with the Center for International Earth Sciences Information Network at Columbia University to develop a global map that can tell the exact figures of the human density on different places. It will also help to determine the best ways to make internet accessible to those who are still offline.

Artificially intelligent technologies are able to identify patterns and images, and Facebook is using its own expertise to clearly distinguish between man-made structures and natural properties. The analysis is going to be so accurate that Facebook’s resolution is going to beat all predictions and provide the closest estimate, only of 500 meters. Facebook will be able to closely analyze the situations in which people are living, and also to understand which medium will be the best to make internet accessible to people that still need a connectivity medium such as internet.

Different mediums of making internet accessible include tower connection, drones, traditional wired medium or wireless.

As of now, the company has generated maps for 20 countries including Nigeria, South Africa, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, India, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Uganda, Turkey, and Tanzania that cover 21.6 million square kilometers across different countries.

Other Advantages of Facebook’s Global Map
The uses of Facebook’s global maps are not only confined to the analysis that needs to be done by the company, instead these global maps will serve many other requirements as well. Some of its other advantages are given below:

1.These detailed global maps will be very helpful in extracting the accurate information about a certain place for accelerating socio-economic research and growth.
2.This data is going to be very helpful for observing the ruction in natural properties such as rivers to notify about any natural disaster in advance.
3.Better satellite imagery will be available with the new improved detailed maps.
4.This map’s preview will help governments to invest in a more qualitative manner than before in the fields such as infrastructure, healthcare, and education.
5.It will help different departments to react in a better way during emergency situations.

In a press release Facebook said that “This data will give us a greater understanding of how populations are dispersed, so governments and others can prioritize investments in infrastructure, from transportation to healthcare and education. It can also help rapid-response times during emergencies and other disasters and inform our understanding of the ecological impact of growth.”

Other Fields in Which Facebook is Utilizing AI
Artificial Intelligence is not a new field for Facebook. Apart from global maps, the company is also involved in doing many other projects as well that are based on AI. An introduction of some of them is given here:
Facebook’s Internet Drones - Facebook internet drones are produced by the company to bring internet access to all the people on earth who don’t have it.
Teaching machines to see and understand – It is a Facebook initiative to make the lives of people easier.

This is not all. There are many other fields as well in which Facebook is keen to show its expertise in Artificial Intelligence such as natural language processing, security and privacy etc.

Conclusion
Artificial Intelligence has grown up to many folds in recent years & is making some breathtaking innovations regularly to help mankind move a step further. What this technology is holding for the future is an interesting thing to see, but the pace with which it is growing seems unstoppable. This recent achievement of Facebook will help in making the lives of people better. Those who are deprived of basic facilities will get their access on the global data and thus help the respective government to serve them better. So, though the company is making detailed global maps for its own good, for spreading Facebook’s access to maximum number of people, but it will benefit mankind in many other ways as well. We all are excited to see the future progress of this project, so you just stay tuned with us and we will bring you all the updates.