How to Build a CRM System from Scratch

By Guest Contributor on October 21, 2019

Every seasoned entrepreneur knows—or should know—how important it is to apply technology to Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

A CRM system allows companies to build a more enduring relationship with your customers, increase their loyalty and provide them tailored services.

Therefore, saving your hard-earned money and valuable time becomes easy if you have built an effective CRM system.

Here are the 5 easy and essential steps that can help you build a CRM from scratch.

The foremost thing you should bear in mind is that the CRM system you are going to build should be user-friendly, particularly when you combine it into your business and when you make a report from data it gathers.

  1. Specify your business needs and objects

Different companies may follow a diverse approach for different business needs. For example, the plan for staff augmentation services is not similar to the employee retention one. Therefore, this is the most pivotal step as it oversees how your CRM system works and how your business can benefit from it.

  1. Make a list of important features for your custom CRM

Once you have specified your business needs and objectives, you have to plainly define the types of CRM systems which are best tailored for the company based on the objects and approach recognized. You should comprehend 3 types of CRM to choose the features appropriately.

  • Operational

If you want to improve output in your business and reduce expenses, operational CRM systems will help you rationalize your workflow including sales, customer service and marketing.

  • Analytical

Analytical CRM systems let you gather data on your customer interactions in order to augment their gratification and loyalty. Since your clients are not aware of being seized and examined, you will be provided with the most reliable data. Those collected data can help you make predictions about customer drifts or the existing market situation.

  • Collaborative

True to its name, collaborative CRM systems are created to reinforce engagement and hasten customer interaction via channels of communications like phone, email, web etc. in order to augment customer retention.

  1. Decide how to develop your CRM system

These three methods can help you decide how to develop your CRM system.

  • Outsourced solutions

They are perfect solutions as the providers can bring you a modified product that can totally satisfy your requirements. However, this will cost you a fortune.

  • Off-the-peg solutions

This is the most economical option at the early stage of your business. All you need to do is buy a CRM software with current packages and use it.

  • In-house solutions

If your business has exclusive requirements which can’t be met through any CRM systems, this is the ultimate option for you.

  1. Educate the end-users on the functionality of your CRM system

Only a handful of people can comprehend and have full skills in using the CRM system. Therefore, you ought to educate them before they’re ready to use in order to ensure steadiness and synchronization.

  1. Review CRM efficacy

Evaluate frequently to know whether the objects set before execution have been satisfied or not. If not, you ought to make some changes to the system.

Benefits of Custom CRM Development

The question that comes to one’s mind is why you ought to build CRM from the word go when there are so many turnkey solutions on hand.

Here is the detailed answer to this critical question.

  1. Perfect Fit to Your Needs

Have you ever tried to find a pair of glasses for yourself in someone else’s closet? It’s not only hard, but almost incredible to find the ones which would fit all your parameters. The same is the case with CRM. They all appear to be reasonable, but what’s the assurance a selected CRM will have the essential functionality when the company scales up?

Innovative CRM developers often struggle to pack their software with all sorts of features trying to encompass the bigger market.

A CRM system should contain only the features required by you and your team. Else, you end up paying too much for a ready-made platform, waste years educating your staff to work with it while losing significant information in this heap of features and functional divisions.

Evidently, the custom solution is a perfect match, since it’s created precisely for your company and can be scaled whenever you need.

  1. Business Processes Improvements

Creating a CRM from the beginning can do much more for your company than the turnkey solutions. It is particularly seen when you want to integrate the platform throughout different departments.

Typically, all unique CRM system features are explicitly designed for only one department. In the event that you make your own CRM software from the word go, you can choose what department and processes you want to include and systematize.

If your business already employs some software to streamline business processes, it’ll be hard to combine them with a turnkey platform.

In contrast, it is quite easy in the case with a custom platform, where you get a smooth data transmission from one department to another, fast processing and distribution. This not only helps you save plenty of time but also improve inter divisional communication in your company.

  1. Scalability

Customer Relationship Management can work as a separate piece of software or can become a fundamental part of your enterprise software.

You can use CRM as a foundation to build additional applications for different divisions with a single database. If you choose to make such a trick with the turnkey solution, you’ll need to firstly find a vendor which provides an API for developers.

Ways to Choose a Highly Effective Travel Management Software

By Guest Contributor on September 23, 2019

Making corporate travel savings may seem like a challenge particularly if you have bunches of workers traveling to various areas at various times. While there are approaches to minimize your costs without settling on traveler security or services. Technology presently saturates each part of the travel industry, similarly as it does each other piece of our lives. So it does not shock anyone that software explicitly designed to streamline and improve corporate travel management is presently likewise pervasive.

The wide accessibility of the internet has given another shape to each industry. Because of increased technological advancement, the travel industry is honored with travel script and advanced business solutions concentrated on expanded benefits and consumer satisfaction.

Ways to choose highly effective travel management software

Travel cost software mechanizes the procedures that you already have. It should streamline data input and review, decline manual labor, and give full permeability and transparency of the worker cost trail. Over that, an effective TEM solution will make cost-sparing opportunities increasingly evident and will naturally control cost tracking.

  • Excel-paper based reporting

Manual tracking tools are straightforward and well-known. But at the same time they’re very error-prone. For organizations that are simply beginning to manage travel, Excel spreadsheets may work fine, however at some point or another, as you develop and your employee begins to travel more consistently, you need to embrace a superior way to deal with delegate routine activities to technology and permit managers to invest their time more adequately. Individuals store their receipts in wallets and envelopes, and albeit a large portion of them take cost tracking responsibly, they essentially don’t think enough about existing solutions or their organization’s approach to try something different.

  • Enterprise resource planning applications

ERP software enables associations to deal with the majority of their business forms, including bookkeeping. These solutions are not nonexclusive spreadsheets, yet advanced tools enabling organizations to automate financial operations and guidelines. They can and do work for travel management, help with reporting, reimbursement, and budgeting, however, their customization opportunities are constrained. If your customers start traveling more regularly, you’ll soon notice the requirement for more travel-related capacities and appointed staff to deal with them.

This likewise doesn’t lessen a significant part of the manual labor that employees and agents need to do to gather paper receipts and add data to the system, and they additionally don’t allow for tracking costs continuously. Devices from Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle, and other resource planning software are not wired for T&E and make superfluous complexities for agents and travelers alike.

  • Mobile-first/cloud solutions

At this stage, traveling employees are empowered with explicit mobile applications enabling them to catch receipt information with their smartphone camera, keep everything in one spot, and consequently sync the information with an organization’s cost record for the best straightforwardness. A large portion of the current corporate travel script software falls under this classification.

Solutions like Deem, Coupa Expense, or Rydoo Expense (prior Xpenditure) enable travelers to get receipt information through a photograph, track mileage if they’re utilizing a vehicle, and incorporate corporate credit cards.

  • Platform ecosystem

A superior created approach would utilize tools that give more opportunity for employees to manage various parts of travel by themselves. The present travelers are progressively alright with settling on their own travel decisions. The downside is that more often than not their decisions don’t follow an organization’s approaches. Besides, in this way, they don’t utilize favored provider rates to get discounts for flights and hotel rooms.

A widely inclusive environment like the ones provided by TravelPerk, Concur, or NexTravel enables representatives to appreciate self-rule without sacrificing transparency.

  • Predictiveprocesses using advanced analytics

The last phase of TEM development suggests profiting by your organization’s involvement and anticipating costs before they even occur. Data-driven management, machine learning, and smart reporting abilities help you settle on more astute choices, see bottlenecks more obviously, and invest less time examining spreadsheets of information.

The solutions empowering AI, chatbots, or big data are still constrained. One of such models is Fyle. It gets receipts from email, creates statistics and trends dependent on your spending, and notification policy infringement. Wipro Holmes is another tool that perceives patterns in information to hail suspicious cases, diminishing as long as 15 days time typically spent on case processing. Agree is investigating AI for different projects also. There’s still an opportunity to get better yet the eventual fate of corporate cost announcing is with AI.

Integrate with highly effective travel management software

  1. Define the problem that you need to solve

  • Confusing policies– To exclude confusion, prevent potential extortion, and save time you need exact and precisely written approaches with solutions to most basic inquiries.
  • Unstructured and non-transparent data– You should know the average sum of money that an employee spends on transportation and food in various areas. You should track and be prepared for unexpected buys.
  • Lack of automation– Paper receipts, severely organized Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, manual data input – all debilitate the travel management procedure.
  • Late reimbursement– If your organization takes a long time reimbursing worker costs, it might significantly influence trust and cause them to stay away from corporate travel altogether.
  1. Identify your technology needs

At this point, figure out what your prerequisites are, and the kind of solution that will accommodate your ideal necessities best and what those prerequisites are.

  1. Think of your budget opportunities

The value you pay for integration, customization, setup, support and the product itself depends intensely on the type of solution you’re prepared to invest into. We can recognize three potential solutions:

  • On-premise
  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
  • custom implementation
  1. Collect employee feedback

Ask your representatives legitimately how they currently monitor costs and what they’d like to see improved. Travel agents will disclose to you what slows the endorsement and reimbursement procedure down the most and what can help to avoid these bottlenecks.

  1. Assess your present cloud infrastructure

Ordinarily, the greatest worry about utilizing new cloud systems is the way to coordinate them with internal procedures and other cloud services. So, first, evaluate what associations you can make and how to open a recently integrated software is to more linkage later on.

  1. Prepare for legacy data storing

Relocating your old Excel spreadsheets to another T&E system will take impressive labor and time, particularly regarding the measure of adjustment and preparation you’ll need to make. Nonetheless, you should still store legacy data precisely.

  1. Get ready for remote technical implementation

When looking for a software provider, ensure they have an expert way to remote project management, thorough rules, and FAQs that will enable you to manage technical issues by yourself.

About The Author

Code Wilson is a Marketing Manager at AIS Technolabs which is Web design and Development Company, helping global businesses to grow by Travel Script Services. I would love to share thoughts on Social Media Marketing Services and Game Design Development etc.

Top 6 steps to extensive Titanium App Build Automation

By Guest Contributor on September 23, 2019

I have started my career in building Titanium app from three years. Inside Titanium mobile development projects at Hopinfirst, we, for the most part, create modules for bringing or potentially upgrading existing native SDKs to Titanium. Furthermore, to make that much more straightforward, Appcelerator presented Hyperloop. Hyperloop enables you to get to native code straightforwardly, dispensing with an extra intermediate module layer. You’re sponsored well for creating mobile apps with Titanium. 

But enough discussing the development part. There are some other significant parts inside the mobile application lifecycle, for example, testing and launching, we should discuss 

Testing and launching aren’t tedious or complicated. 

Test and app launching steps are not critical, but they can be tedious just as complicated. Testing and launching don’t need to be like this. This report will give an abnormal state review of an advanced mobile application build automation process models that enable one to increase efficiency and prepare various tested builds created from broke down and validated codebases 

Mobile build automation, an abnormal state diagram 

Usually, an abnormal state perspective on a build automation process with Titanium apps can go this way (given information given by ACA Mobile): 

Prepare codebase (Jenkins) 

Unit testing (TiUnit) 

Examining codebase (sonarqube) 

UI testing (AWS) 

Archiving and sharing artifacts (Sonatype Nexus) 

Notifying individuals 

1.Setting up the codebase 

Our journey starts directly after the build procedure is triggered, ordinarily consequently by a clock (two times every day) or physically by a designer. Our automation server (Jenkins) guides the entire procedure by setting off a Maven build. Contingent upon the configuration, the correct condition properties are infused inside the Titanium codebase (for example backend URL, application variant, and investigation ID in our config.json). This all occurs inside our Mac Mini (OS X) we designed as our Jenkins CI Slave. We picked a Mac Mini for a few reasons, but for the most part, because it offers the required mobile tools (particularly Xcode for iOS apps) for building apps. 

2.Unit testing with TiUnit 

When those factors are set up, unit tests are triggered and run consequently. We depend on TiUnit (which we created) for composing our unit tests. TiUnit, given Jasmine, enables us to compose and run tests madly quick without having to rely upon the Titanium runtime. You can discover more about TiUnit on our GitHub. After those tests, a code coverage report is produced. We’re utilizing Istanbul as our code coverage tool. 

3.  Dissecting the codebase quality

 Alongside the code coverage reports, a SonarQube code quality check is performed. SonarQube is a platform for persistent investigation of code quality to perform programmed surveys with a static examination of code to detect bugs, code scents, and security vulnerabilities.

4. UI testing on real devices 

When those tests succeed, and reports are created, at that point the build (slam) scripts trigger the Titanium CLI to build the application (both Android and iOS). Directly after the builds are available, they’re pushed to simulators and physical devices for UI testing. Since there are impediments on simulators/emulators (for example no iOS camera on a simulator), we incorporated with Amazon Device Farm to test our apps on real devices. With this Amazon joining, we can run UI tests and validate the behavior of our apps on intriguing/old Android devices, which is now and again challenging to accomplish with emulators. Additionally, purchasing every one of those Android devices wouldn’t be a sound alternative in any case. 

5. Archiving and sharing the artifacts 

When we get our test results from Amazon alongside gadget logs and video/pictures, Jenkins triggers our build scripts again to start the (test) dispatch. Given the configuration, development, specially appointed or discharge/production builds are created and marked. After the marking, the builds (.ipa/.apk) documents are pushed to our interior Nexus Repository Manager for archiving. 

If wanted, those builds can be likewise consequently distributed to our welcome based beta distribution tool for giving apps to clients to beta testing. 

6. Sending notifications

If all goes well (or seriously), our development group is notified by email and additionally by an Atlassian Hipchat notification concerning the build status, which can likewise be forwarded to our smartwatches.

Author Bio:-

Merry Waren is a Marketing Manager at AIS Technolabs which is Web design and Development Company, helping global businesses to grow by Node Js Development Services. I would love to share thoughts on Titanium mobile development and Game Design Development etc.

How continuous integration reduces integration risks in software development

By Guest Contributor on September 5, 2019

Continuous integration is a coding philosophy encapsulated into a set of practices whereby development teams implement small changes and check in code to version control repositories frequently, to ensure error-free development. The development team integrates code into a shared repository on a consistent basis, even multiple times a day, after setting up an automated build upfront, to detect any problems in the code.  Development teams working under conventional models defer integration until the last, invariably magnifying the number and severity of the inevitable merge conflicts.

Continuous integration (CI) is now mainstream, thanks to the host of benefits on offer. Identifying issues as and when it occurs, and mitigating it on a timely basis reduces risks, improves code quality, and speed up project execution. It is easier to identify and resolve glitches, quality, and other issues on smaller code differentials rather than over code developed over an extended time. In addition, developers spend less time backtracking and more time building new features.

Here are the specifics on how continuous integration reduces integration risks in software development.

Create a Version Control Repository

One of the first tasks in the Continuous Integration approach is creating a version control repository and placing all code and database artifacts in it. A unified master database capable of updating changes in real-time is another essential requirement.

The code working perfectly fine in some systems, but not in other systems is commonplace. The problem compounds in Continuous Integration, where all iterations pose such a risk. The solution is to eliminate tight coupling between the IDE and the build processes. Use a separate, exclusive machine to integrate the software, and add everything required to build the software to this version control repository.

Another common issue faced by developers is the inability to synchronize with the database, or recreating the database quickly during development. This is mainly owing to poor collaboration between the database development team and the development team.

Deep collaboration is the backbone on which the continuous integration approach sustains, and as such, tight integration of Dev, Ops, QA, and the wider IT team is an essential prerequisite for Continuous Integration. Development teams need to collaborate effectively on technologies and develop a consensus on the approach.

Placing all database artifacts, including scripts, procedures, and other assets, in the unified master database of the version control repository ensures the development and testing teams have access to everything required to develop database creation and data manipulation scripts and recreate database schema, stored procedures, and triggers.

Create a Continuous Integration Server

Side-by-side with the version control repository creates a Continuous Integration server, to keep track of changes in the version control repository and to run the project build script on changes to the repository. Provision the Continuous Integration server with adequate capacity to run the build through various tests, perform inspections, and deploy the software in the development and test environments.

Rebuild the database and data from the build script by dropping and recreating the database and tables. Next, apply the stored procedures and triggers, and finally, insert the test data.

Build a Test Suite

Continuous integration requires continuous testing, in the form of a set of automated regression, performance, and other tests, as a core process. In fact, the effectiveness of CI depends on the stability of this testing suite.

Build a proper testing suite and write test scripts upfront. Configure the continuous integration server to run regression testing automatically whenever there is any major change to the software code. Regression tests are however just the start. Effective CI requires automation of performance testing, API testing, static code analysis, security testing, and other testing forms, and triggering these tests as well, through command line or web service. Make sure all the deployed tests return success or fail status codes.

Ensure the test cases are complete and test all code paths. The test cases not covering the entire functionality of the code renders the process meaningless. Also, make sure the tests are not just repeatable, but actually performed continuously in virtualized systems, replicating unavailable testing environments.

A unified testing suite, however, is not a universal solution. In some cases, the developers would have to create custom database-specific tests. Multiple developers make changes to the source code always raises the possibility of a defect manifesting itself only much later. As such, even though checking in code takes place frequently, implementation of features and fixes take place on both short and long periods.

Adopt the Right Version Control Strategies

Development teams practicing continuous integration use different techniques to control the features and code ready for production.

Version-control branching is one of the common techniques. Here, the development team selects any branching strategy such as Gitflow, to define protocols on how to merge new code into standard branches. The approach entails creating additional feature branches for features taking longer development cycles. On completion of the feature, developers merge the changes from feature branches into the primary development branch.

Feature flags, another popular technique, entail wrapping features under development with feature flags in the code deployed with the master branch to production, effectively turning off the code until ready.

One best practice is to use cloud environments and containers such as Docker and Kubernetes. Containers allow the development team to pack and ship applications in standard, portable ways and also scale up or tear down environments with variable workloads. DevOps teams may use automated database integration, local database sandbox, and version control repository to share database assets.

Continuous Integration offers the best opportunity to develop quality code from the ground up, in compliance with the architectural standards tailored to the specific requirements of the enterprise. However, integrating several iterative builds invariably cause quality issues and defects. DevOps teams need to assess the integration project for potential defects on a continuous basis and adopt a proactive approach to tackle any underlying issue as early as possible.

Author Bio:

Girish R, Programmer for 17 yrs, Blogger at Techathlon.com, LifeHacker, DIYer. He loves to write about technology, Open source & gadgets. He currently leads the mobile solutions team at Fingent.

Why Schools Should Invest in Admission Management Software?

By Guest Contributor on July 31, 2019

With the advent of time, technology has rapidly integrated into major parts of our lives. This is true for all facets of our life. Technology has made our lives simpler, and in the process, has also improved the way we do things significantly.

Hence, it’s obvious that all sectors, be it business or education, have to be up to date with technology. The education sector has to keep up with technological improvements so that it can provide its students with the best learning environment possible. It’s no secret then that technology has a huge role to play in our classrooms and schools.

Before the start of every academic year, most schools have to go through the hassle of conducting a long and stressful admission process to admit students in their school. Given the complexities of this long process, it’s no surprise that it consumes a lot of time and effort of the school.

Add to that the pressure of getting everything right when doing all the tasks manually. These tedious tasks can stress any sane person and leave him too tired to focus on any tasks that could potentially improve teaching quality. Better teaching quality is known to improve the effectiveness of student learning outcomes and improve student performances.

The manual process of admissions can consume a lot of school resources that could otherwise be used in more productive tasks or to improve education standards. In other words, this tenuous process eats up a lot of resources which distracts the schools from their main purpose, which is to provide students with a better learning environment and to inculcate better values.  These manual tasks can easily be delegated to technology. There are now admission management software that allow you to automate the admission process to a great degree.

This in turn allows schools to focus on the education of the students. There are plenty of advantages for a school to opt for school management software. Below we discuss some reasons in detail so that you can get a better idea as to why your school should invest in admission management software.

A Paper-Free Solution

The whole admissions process consumes a lot of paper in the form of brochures, pamphlets, admission forms, and receipts and so on. Using soft digital copies for each of these things can be very convenient and efficient. It reduces the need for paper to a great degree and significantly reduces your printing expenses. Handling digital copies instead of paper is not only simpler but also easier and less time-consuming.

The use of document management software can also make your life very simple. Such software makes it very easy for anyone to edit, track, organize and compile the soft copies instead of wasting time on the hard copies. For example, online admission forms, made using the software, can be uploaded on the school website so that parents can fill in the required information themselves from the comfort of their homes. The reduction of paperwork simplifies life for both parents and schools.

Significant Reduction in Effort

With the introduction of the management software in schools, the effort required to carry out the admissions process is greatly reduced. Before the software, all tasks used to be done manually by the staff. These tasks would include everything—registering students, collecting and organizing student information, answering parents’ queries in person, and managing appointments.

All these tasks would overwhelm the staff and the teachers, leaving them with no energy to invest time into improving their teaching quality. Now the software handles most of these tasks and significantly reduces the manual work that is required.

Reduces or Eliminates Long Queues

Automating the admissions process eliminates the long queues that schools and parents witness during the admissions process. The complex nature of the process, which further increased the waiting time for people standing in the lines, can be reduced if schools opt for admission software.

In this day and age, when every parent is busy and can’t afford a day off to wait in lines, it becomes crucial for schools to install management software so that these queues are greatly reduced. This is done by allowing parents to complete the process from homes and pay the fees online.

Reduce Time Wastage

One of the obvious advantages of using a software for the admissions process is that it saves time. Time is the most valuable resource that anyone has because once it’s wasted, you can’t get it back. Not to mention that some things are very time sensitive. So, for example, the admissions process only occurs for a certain period every year after which the academic year begins, so the school has a time limit till which it has to finish the process.

If time is saved using the software, it can greatly reduce the resources used up by the school. These resources can then be redirected towards the students and teachers. Also, when time is not wasted during the manual process, it can be used to prepare for lectures and school improvement projects that would otherwise keep getting sidetracked.

Reduction of Temporary Staff

For the admission season, the schools have to hire more temporary workers to handle the large inflow of parents. This is because there is a lot of work to be done during this period.

The manual process requires running multiple counters to cater to parents that come to the schools. If the process is automated, the need for these workers is eliminated as most of the work can be done by the software. This allows the school to save money that would otherwise be spent on employee wages.

These savings will likely outweigh the costs of installing these management software and make the school more efficient.

These reasons should be enough to convince every school owner to implement changes in their respective schools so that they can take advantage of this management software.

Author Bio:

Brandon Harris is the vice president of Smooth Solutions founded by his father Michael Harris, who has been a pioneer in document scanning industry for over 35 years. A leading Document Scanning Company in Lodi, N.J., they are experts in providing document scanning services, document management software, workflow management software,  affordable book scanning services and Convert Microfilm to Digital. They scan paper files, large format drawings, digitize books, convert microfilm to digital, etc. Prior to that, Brandon owned and operated a small bakery. Other than working to grow and improve his business, he enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and family.

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