Differences between Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform

Businesses around the world have moved from self-hosted infrastructure to public cloud configurations. While most businesses will always need on-premise technology, they are developing their applications directly in the cloud. This allows development teams to focus on the product, rather than having to work on the infrastructure to support the application. By moving to the cloud, companies have an existing physical infrastructure that is continuously maintained and updated. This gives them more resources and time to devote to the mobile app development project at hand.

Currently, there are three major cloud platform providers that occupy most of the market share. They are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). While Azure and GCP are growing steadily, AWS remains the clear leader in market share. Each platform has its own features and pricing which may match the development requirements of your mobile applications. Read on how each platform compares to each other. Ice providers offer high-quality services, with high reliability, high security, good performance, and with good customer support. So the market is dominated by the three main providers: Amazon Web Services, Heroku, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.

Each CSP provides a number of products that cover everything you may need for your online operations. The three providers differ, not only in pricing but also in the way each provider group their services. Below, I show you the most common elements: infrastructure, auto-scaling, security, monitoring, and much more. The goal is to help you identify by crossing the different services provided by each CSP so that you can easily identify the ideal services for your business.

Amazon Web Services

 

The Amazon cloud platform offers nearly all the capabilities of the cloud computing industry. Their cloud services provide easy access to the processing power, data storage, or other functionality needed by app developers. AWS has many products that fall into many categories. In addition to the features mentioned above, they offer development tools, management tools, mobile services, and application services. As you can imagine, application services combined with IT and database infrastructure are critical components for a successful enterprise mobile app development team.

In addition to a wide range of services, the AWS cloud has been adopting cloud computing pricing since its inception in 2006. Their pricing is very competitive with all other cloud providers. Prices for their cloud services have continued to decline due to competition and pricing structures. AWS offers free service levels for startups and individuals. It is an easy way to try before your purchase. Additionally, development teams can purchase servers by the second rather than by the hour. Depending on the services your team uses, you can definitely find a reasonable AWS pricing structure that is lower than the cost of all the infrastructure investment.

Microsoft Azure

Similar to AWS cloud services, Azure offers a full range of solutions for the needs of app developers. The platform gives you the ability to deploy and manage virtual machines at scale. You can process and calculate at any capacity you need in minutes. Plus, if your custom software needs to do large-scale parallel batch processing, it can handle it too. This is actually a unique feature of AWS and Azure via Google’s cloud platform. Comprehensive Azure capabilities integrate into existing systems and processes, delivering more power and capacity for business development.

When considering Azure pricing, you need to keep in mind that costs will depend on the types of products required by the development team. The hourly cost of the server can range from $ 0.099 per hour to $ 0.149 per hour. Of course, if you measure costs by instance only, the prices may not seem consistent. However, the prices are quite comparable to AWS when you factor in the price per GB of RAM. As leading enterprise cloud service providers compete for your business, pricing remains competitive across the board.

Google Cloud Platform

Once again, Google Cloud Platform has a plethora of developer services. As an enterprise mobile app development team, you may be interested in the App Engine product. This allows an app developer to build applications without taking care of the server. It is a fully managed solution for agile application development. Plus, you can perform high-level calculations, storage, networking, and databases with GCP. These are all great products to use depending on the type of app development you’re working on. Although Google has some cheaper services than the competition, you can find all the requirements for mobile application development projects.

 

Where GCP can lag behind in additional features, it makes up for cost efficiency. The platform also has to pay by price, billing the “per second” of use. By separating GCP, it offers discounts for long-term use starting after the first month. This is great if you are starting a new mobile app development project and want to keep costs down. Conversely, it may take more than a year to get long-term discounts on other cloud service providers. Clearly, Google is putting pressure on competing cloud providers to keep market prices lower.

 

Computing

Amazon with its EC2 proposal (Elastic Cloud Compute) allows you to select the computational capacity, the memory, the number of cloud servers, and the operating system, choosing from a whole series of ready-to-use AMI images. Amazon also provides the ELB service of load-balancing between the different VMs and allows the self-scaling of computational capacity and DNS failover.

Google is not that far from the same type of offering, but unlike Amazon, Mountain View’s computing proposals were released starting in 2013. In the same year, in May, Microsoft’s cloud computing proposal arrived. , first with the name of Windows Azure and then simply renamed Azure. Amazon AMIs are the VHDs that represent the images with which to create the different cloud servers.

Storage

AWS offers a temporary storage service that is allocated when an instance is launched and can be attached to the instance itself or kept apart. The object storage service takes the form of the well-known S3 proposal, while long-term archiving takes place with Glacier.

Google offers both persistent and temporary cloud storage through the Cloud Storage service, while Glacier’s antagonist for long-term archiving, called Nearline, has been launched in beta these days.

Azure, for its part, offers temporary D drive storage and Page Blobs block storage, while object storage is provided through the Block Blobs and Files serve services.

Networking

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) and Azure Virtual Network (VNET) both allow you to manage isolated networks in the cloud, choosing the network topology, the presence of subnets, and much more. Google also offers more or less the same services, so in the networking field, it can be said that the real difference between the three big providers is the DNS Route 53 service offered exclusively by Amazon AWS.

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Why plugins are becoming so critical for website

A plugin is a program that does not act autonomously but supports other programs with the aim of improving and expanding their functions. They are pieces of code or programs that interact with other programs. For example, the most used and known plugin is the one, usually inserted at the end of web pages, which allows users to leave comments, but many others can be listed and for any type of category. Furthermore, they can be both free and paid.

Depending on the programs and software platforms, plugins are called with different synonyms:

  1. add-in
  2. add-on
  3. extensions (e.g. the extension architecture for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox web browsers).

The ability of software to support plugins is generally a great feature because it makes it possible for third parties to extend and customize its functions relatively quickly and easily. This favors, on the one hand, the lesser obsolescence of the software and on the other the greater diffusion, the more numerous and functional are the plugins written for a specific program or according to a specific standard: an example is the commercial success of the audio production software of Steinberg, linked to the widespread use of VST standard music plugins. To facilitate the task for third-party developers who intend to create plugins, the software company or creator of the standard distributes – often free of charge – systems called Software Development Kits (SDKs), which contain features, examples, and developer documentation.

In the web environment, if we hear about plugins, it is very likely that it is a WordPress plugin, some other CMS (Content Management System), or a plugin for Javascript or PHP languages.

We can find plugins for the management of photo galleries, for the creation and operation of contact forms, for SEO optimization, for the creation of sliders or galleries, and for another infinity of functions.

Plugins save developers tons of time by giving them the ability to use code already written and tested by other developers.

Even plugins can have their disadvantages:

  • they must be kept constantly updated (or you can risk malfunctions or, worse still, breaches in the security of the site) are
  • not always free and in some cases, there is such a wide choice that it can be difficult an evaluation
  • in some cases, you can create conflicts between plugins

Disadvantages, however, manageable with a little forethought and marginal compared to the benefits that can be obtained.

Internet Explorer 5 in 1999 offered its users the possibility to install additional toolbars and other small utilities, Firefox was the first browser to exploit the potential of extensions.

The ability to customize the browser through extensions, offered to Firefox users since 2004, was one of the factors that led Firefox to become one of the most popular browsers in the world.

To date, Firefox offers almost 3 thousand extensions including AdBlock Plus (to block video ads on web pages), Video DownloadHelper (to download videos to your computer from websites), Firebug (useful for those who develop and want to check the code in pages), each used by millions of people.

Chrome also has a considerable park of extensions, numerically equal (if not superior) to that of Firefox.

Here are the 10 WordPress plugins that make life easier, improve the time it becomes more productive. They carry out their work in a silent and automated way.

There are so many WordPress extensions that many features are developed by multiple plugins at the same time, but they are not duplicates, only extensions that can improve some aspects rather than others.

You can find free or paid plugins, but there are also those defined as freemium and that is free ones with additional advanced features and available only for a fee.

Best WordPress Plugins

The best WP plugins you need to have cover different topics as mentioned above. In particular, these categories are SEO, security, site speed, and marketing. Installing the WordPress plugins referring to these categories ensures you a safe, fast, SEO friendly site and basically suitable for any need.

1 – JETPACK

The name suggests the potential of this extension. Jetpack automates many functions such as security, site performance, facilitates traffic growth, optimizes images, an aspect that is becoming increasingly important, and more.

With Jetpack you are immediately in contact with the main search engines in order to maximize indexing and ranking in the rankings. Automatically generate a sitemap.

The security it offers against brute force attacks is also important. Always pay attention to this specific point, since especially at the beginning you tend not to take it into consideration. Over time your site will become more visible, not only to good intentions, we understand each other!

2 – AKISMET

This extension comes with all WordPress packages, even the basic ones. It is an anti-spam, it checks all comments and filters them automatically.

If you have entered the comments function of your blog, then Akismet will help you to learn more about those who leave, or rather, would like to leave a post. The moderator of the site has the possibility to have an overview about who comments and what they write, and then approve it or not. Not infrequently comments are used to insert a URL for advertising purposes, Akismet identifies and blocks them. This plugin is free, but for commercial sites, a subscription is required, as it activates advanced security features.

3 – YOAST SEO

One of the absolutely necessary WordPress plugins if you want your posts to have the winning features to climb the rankings. SEO has become increasingly important and knowing how to optimize a post is the key to reaching the top. It is one of the reasons why WordPress has taken up so much space.

It is a companion that helps you write in an SEO friendly way, suggests where you need to improve and how users will read your post.

With Yoast, you choose a keyword to focus the post on. On it is based the understanding by search engines about the topic you are dealing with. It allows you to enter a summary which will then be displayed in the preview. It gives you a score for readability. Warn about alt tags to be given to the images you insert. Finally, it allows you to give an orderly structure to the post by choosing the appropriate titles and subtitles.

4 – USER REGISTRATION 

User Profile, Membership and More by WPEverest

The title is a bit long, I preferred to insert it all since there are several with similar names.

On WordPress, you can activate the user registration function. What does it mean? each user can join your site simply through a registration form that you make available. This feature can be activated from the WordPress control panel. Click on Settings, in the drop-down menu that follows, press General. Now you can put the checkmark on: “Anyone can join”.

This method of joining via email and username is not exactly the best in management. And here comes the suggested plugin. It makes this feature user friendly and simple for users who want to sign up.

5 – GOOGLE XML SITEMAPS

This too we can define a WordPress plugin specific for SEO. With this extension, you are sure that the main search engines are able to index your site.

After downloading and activating it, an automatic XML sitemap is generated. The entire structure of the site will therefore be easily retrievable by the various search engines. It is interesting the automatic notification function that acts every time you publish something, without the need to do it personally.

Unfortunately, if you already have Yoast there may be some conflict.

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Prop Tech – The biggest tech innovations in Real Estate during COVID

What does PropTech mean?

The term PropTech, Property, and Technology, has grown significantly in terms of Google search volumes. Since 2016, the phenomenon seems to explode worldwide, with peaks in popularity in Singapore, in the United Kingdom, in Switzerland.

Protects are high-tech startups that exploit the opportunities offered by digital, artificial intelligence, and big data to create innovative products or new models to conquer the real estate market.

The difference between the companies listed above and the proptechs is that for the former, technology is a nice accessory, but their activity remains fundamentally analogous; for the latter, technology is the basis of business.

No wonder then that Proptech is the concept behind the revolution that is turning the real estate industry upside down around the world.

Selling a house: why rely on a PropTech?

The sale of a house has many variables that must be taken into account. The valuation of the property alone, at the base of the entire process, is carried out by taking into consideration a very large number of objective factors, but which cannot be precisely measured without resorting to modern technologies.

An online real estate valuation algorithm (such as the one developed by Homstate) is able to cross in real-time data on demand, supply, valuation of properties with characteristics similar to that to be valued in the area of ​​interest with a margin of minimal error – and that is further refined over time.

Before the advent of proptechs, traditional agencies based their assessments and decisions only on analog processes and experience data – with an even significant margin of error.

A proptech instead exploits digital processes and makes decisions supported by big data and algorithms in order to offer the customer a more transparent, more performing and more advantageous service.

The proptech companies also make use of digital native property management systems: this simplifies the interaction between intermediary and customer, guaranteeing a certain freedom for the former and a good level of control for the latter.

Leasing: if PropTech also reinvents renting the rental

Proptechs are also making a difference in the renting sector, bringing together supply and demand with speed and precision unknown until a few years ago.

AirBnb is the most striking example of how the birth of a single proptech can change the cards on the table.

On the other hand, the data confirm the growth in the demand for leases compared to that of the sale of properties: this phenomenon is to be attributed to the repercussion of the crisis that has upset the real estate sector in the past decade and to the change in consumer habits.

If before the house was in fact a good to invest in – in Italy above all the brick has always been a form of saving – the last generations tend to favor the use of the property over the property, therefore the lease over the purchase: Millennials and Generation Z undoubtedly prefer sharing.

Proptech: technology at the service of the real estate sector

For some years now the real estate sector has undergone an important evolution due in particular to a process of digitization and technological innovation. This transformation is often referred to with the term “Proptech”, which derives precisely from the merger between “property” and “technology”.

Although the definitions attributed to it over time are different, almost all experts agree that all the technological innovations developed and implemented in the real estate sector, but not only, are attributable to the Proptech concept. The term Proptech also refers to the industry itself, the business sector contaminated by this wave of innovation.

The aim of this new phenomenon is to improve the real estate sector under various aspects, optimizing the processes and properties themselves, moving in a digital and innovative environment, in order to obtain greater efficiency.

According to the report “Innovative technologies, tools and services for Real Estate” published by the Proptech Monitor established by the Politecnico di Milano, there are three main areas of interest for Proptech:

  • Smart Real Estate, which facilitates operations and management of real estate assets at different scales, using high-tech platforms and systems,
  • the Shared Economy, which defines the property considering how is used, such as sharing a house or workspace,
  • Real Estate Fintech, which includes activities such as brokerage, crowdfunding, investments, and auctions.

In addition to those listed, there is also another category, generally included more in the construction sector than in the real estate sector. This is Contech, mainly aimed at the design and construction phases of buildings supported by the use of technology.

Real estate and the digital turning point

Traditionally, real estate has always been a very slow sector to evolve and to follow new paths. The last forty years, however, have marked a break with this attitude, mainly thanks to the strong technological development that has changed almost all sectors of the economy.

At first, the approach was to use computers and information systems to manage property data more efficiently. Over time, the uses have been more and more numerous and different from each other until, more recently, we talk about online real estate crowdfunding platforms and blockchain technology applied to real estate transactions. It is now a must to talk about “digital real estate”, since most of the activities related to the sector are now carried out online, from trading to financial investments.

This rapid evolution of the real estate sector has raised many concerns in terms of regulation, given that until now real estate has always followed a well-framed regulatory framework. All the new realities that revolve around the concept of Proptech have led the legislators to move towards the definition of new laws suitable for including and implementing these innovations. However, if for some technologies, such as blockchain, some discussions are still underway, for others there is already a dedicated discipline. In Italy, crowdfunding platforms, which allow capital raising and investment in real estate projects, already have their own specific regulations and can therefore offer greater protection to investors.

Homepal, pioneer of Italian Proptech

Thanks to the advanced use of technology and big data, Homepal offers its private users a series of solutions to manage digitally the sale, purchase, or rental of properties in total safety, full awareness, and with great savings compared to the costs of traditional agencies.  

Homepal is led by a group of managers with important complementary experiences in the company and in consulting: Andrea Lacalamita, Founder and President, an expert in marketing and strategic planning, with a background in the banking sector, such as Mediolanum and Unicredit; Monica Regazzi, CEO, finance and business strategy consulting expert, former partner of BCG – Boston Consulting Group; Fabio Marra, Founder, and Chief Commercial Officer, customer service and CRM expert in the telecommunications sector, in particular in H3G.

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Which are the key trends in Adtech

What are the main trends in ad tech and the best marketing strategies to guarantee exclusive shopping experiences, retain existing customers, and reach potential ones through multiple digital channels?

Tactics that work

Marketers face three main challenges in conversion campaigns: being able to unify fragmented data, due to the variety of channels and devices used, overcoming the difficulty of measuring return on investment and other metrics, and developing a greater ability to connect online and offline consumer data.

The best strategies for ensuring the success of a campaign are optimizing ads on high-quality sites and promoting special and unique offers for consumers.

The secrets of re-engagement

The sales success rate for an existing customer is between 60-70%, while for a new customer it is between 5 and 20%. Returning loyal customers can generate up to two-thirds of the brand’s revenue.

Existing customers spend more on average than new shoppers, and shopping app users have high retention trends. Irresistible discounts, personalization, and innovative ad formats with attractive designs are three of the most effective tactics for successful re-engagement campaigns.

The GDPR emphasizes the link between trust and privacy

With the European GDPR law and the ongoing scandals on Facebook, privacy will be the biggest challenge for GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple). Consumers want to be able to shop anytime, anywhere, but they don’t trust platforms at all: “How will they use my data?” This question involves all consumers because there are still so many aspects of this law that are still unknown. Information has great value and companies know it well. This is why transparency and privacy are at the heart of the debate. According to GlobalData, data privacy will be the first challenge for GAFA, who will face the emergence of new regulations in the coming years, while user privacy will remain the key element.

Beyond the GAFA, privacy is a global issue that affects all players. This is where user trust is at stake: we will finally find a balance between privacy and the need to track customer behavior.

Walled Gardens Will Undergo Stricter Controls

Following a series of data breach cases, the tech giants (walled gardens) have undergone more thorough checks on how they share and protect user data. In 2019, Facebook, Google, and Amazon are expected to introduce new data sharing and user privacy policies. This will allow for even stricter controls on user data and the information they share with advertisers.

Investments in video ads will grow, including on apps

Marketers will invest more in video advertising, improving the display of ads on high-quality sites through programmatic advertising channels, and will use Private Marketplaces (PMPs) to access higher-quality inventory. On smartphones, video content is mostly displayed via apps.

The power of data

More and more companies are using data in their digital marketing: the potential of data is essential to know what every consumer wants. However, a question remains: how are companies moving to face this new challenge? In addition to acquiring new tools, more and more brands are starting to collaborate with adtech-savvy vendors to regain control of their digital marketing. Years ago, we spoke of data as the “black gold” of our age. Everyone knows the importance of Big Data in the era of e-commerce. Now it is no longer just a question of collecting data, but also of understanding them in-depth to reduce operating costs, produce innovation, and improve the relationship with users through data-driven marketing.

The Growth of Social Media

Snapchat had no idea how much its ephemeral content could appeal to consumers and other social networks as well. The trend created by the application to upload images has been followed by other social networks such as Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and even LinkedIn, the most professional of the networks is thinking of betting on the format. And it works. There is no doubt that Instagram offers interesting opportunities for marketing and sales: the “buy now” button takes us to an online store with a single click. And for the business sector, WhatsApp has finally found a new channel for B2B (as the old solutions on the market were not considered legal). Businesses have to think about how they want to communicate with their customers because the differences between an “intrusive advertisement” and a “useful advertisement” are subtle and subjective. In this context, it is worth highlighting the role of private messaging and its active function in the growth of the business which will mark another new trend for social media.

Artificial Intelligence Towards Maturity

When asked “What is the main trend in the industry today?”, Surely the answer is still artificial intelligence [AI]. Artificial intelligence is transforming e-commerce processes, improving user experience, and generating more revenue. Applying AI to e-commerce could give a big boost to online store sales.

Will artificial intelligence improve digital advertising? Brands and agencies see this technology as a great opportunity for the sector. It is a lever to face new challenges and a powerful anti-web fraud tool that allows you to safeguard the web reputation of brands in their online campaigns.

Artificial Intelligence still has a long way to go. Another point worth noting is that the AI ​​debates this year felt much more realistic than in previous years. That the topic is entering a new phase of maturity?

Not everything we saw during this edition was completely new: what we noticed, however, is an evolution of the themes.

The use of voice and visual technology 

The use of visual and voice technology in digital marketing will become more evident in 2021. With voice search, engagement becomes even more convenient and meaningful for both marketers and consumers at every stage of the purchase path.

According to Gartner, brands that redesign their websites to support visual and voice search and provide more interactive and engaging experiences will see eCommerce revenue increase by 30% by 2021. Brands and retailers who will optimize their websites with voice and visual search will be able to get in touch with buyers looking for instant information even on the move. Furthermore, they will generate more effective interactions with consumers.

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How fintech is changing the payments industry

Cash is currently the most common form of payment, but with technological evolution and new approaches in the banking world, the growth of digital systems is accelerating. Forecasts speak of an increase in global volumes of 10.9% by 2020, the year in which 726 billion transactions will be reached.

Home automation, always-on mobile connections, Fintech service channels for users are substitutes for the classic ATM or credit card, for example, Google Wallet. The sum of all these factors facilitates the adoption of digital systems for purchases by people. The digitization of B2B payments also has a positive impact on the supply chain, thanks to electronic invoicing and digital signatures, that allows us to speed up, monitor, and safeguard the entire business chain.

The amount of data generated by the transaction processes can be classified as Big Data. Volumes of data that can be used in the business intelligence and analytics of companies that will allow those who own them to design new models of interaction between banks, financial services, and customers.

In addition to digital transactions, other factors fuel Big Data volumes: such as the growing adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning systems.

Artificial intelligence is starting to become a tangible and applicable reality in the creation of new models of interaction with users and customers, especially towards younger ones. Within the banking institutions, an awareness of the value of data management increases, which pushes the search for figures capable of interpreting Big Data.

The large digital platforms have for some time been looking with interest at some services until now reserved almost exclusively to branches. Alibaba is already a major financial player. Amazon has a lending service, aimed at businesses that will then sell their products online. And Facebook got a license that would allow Mark Zuckerberg to make loans. Bankers’ protests, however, have grown stronger in recent weeks after the European PSD2 directive came into force on January 13, which – among other things – requires banks to make customer data available to third parties. There are two main effects: payment services will be able to manage transactions without going through the “green light” of the institutions. And, above all, that these “third parties” will have an enormous amount of data at their disposal, to be exploited to offer and suggest customized services to users.

The practical translations of Tecnofinanza are numerous, for example in Italy 25% of the population between the age of majority and 74 has used a FinTech service at least once: probably one of the most common such as platforms dedicated to mobile payment (PayPal, Satispay or Apple Pay), applications dedicated to the management of prepaid cards (such as PostePay or Hype) or by interfacing with the online portal or through real digital branches to your bank.

Moving from the single user to group users, the services dedicated to Crowdfunding have proved to be particularly effective where entrepreneurs, inventors, artists, and designers take advantage of the possibility of publishing and advertising their project, receiving in exchange funds from various entities from individuals who want to see the project carried out or by companies that are interested in participating or sponsoring the idea.

Obviously, a sector in such rapid growth and still relatively little explored is destined to attract several Start-ups that represent the perfect corporate form both to explore the potential of this market and to welcome its benefits.

With regard to already established and more branched companies, FinTech represents the possibility of reaching new customers or increasing the number of purchases by loyal customers through dedicated apps or new methods of purchase and e-commerce.

In this segment, new banking institutions stand out without physical branches and prepaid cards which, through direct control from a dedicated mobile or desktop App, have attracted many new users.

But Apps and e-commerce are only the “public” side of FinTech which, thanks to more refined software, is starting to use increasingly complex algorithms capable of unpacking and analyzing in detail impressive quantities of Big Data as well as using increasingly sophisticated forms of artificial intelligence such as, for example, robo-advisors, or rather complex automated mathematical systems capable of managing small financial portfolios and providing advice on investments.

The Blockchain

The blockchain is a shared and immutable data structure. It is defined as a digital register whose entries are grouped into blocks, concatenated in chronological order, and whose integrity is guaranteed by the use of cryptography. Although its size is destined to grow over time, it is immutable since, as a rule, its content once written is no longer modifiable or eliminable, unless the entire structure is invalidated.

These technologies are included in the broader family of Distributed Ledgers, ie systems that are based on a distributed ledger, which can be read and modified by multiple nodes on a network. The nodes involved are not required to know each other’s identity or trust each other. In fact, to ensure consistency between the various copies, the addition of a new block is globally governed by a shared protocol. Once the addition of the new block has been authorized, each node updates its own private copy: the very nature of the data structure guarantees the absence of its future manipulation. The characteristics that the systems developed with Blockchain and Distributed Ledger technologies have in common are data digitization, decentralization, disintermediation, traceability of transfers, transparency/verifiability, immutability of the register, and programmability of transfers.

Thanks to these characteristics, the blockchain is therefore considered an alternative in terms of security, reliability, transparency, and costs to databases and registers managed centrally by recognized and regulated authorities.

Blockchain technology has great potential to transform business operating models in the long run. Blockchain is more of an underlyned technology, with the potential to create new technologies and new foundations for the global economy and social systems, rather than a destructive technology that attacks the traditional business model.

The use of blockchain promises to bring significant improvements to global supply chains, financial transactions, accounting assets, and distributed social networks. This new technology can be integrated into different areas and its protocols make it easier for companies to use new methods to process and manage digital transactions.

Examples include payment systems and digital currencies that facilitate crowd sales, implementation of the prediction market, and generic governance tools.

The blockchain can be used as a tool to certify the certain date of a document and it’s not having undergone any changes. This application of the blockchain, obtained by inserting the hash of the documents to be certified, is called notarization. An example of this use is the notarization of the movements of trucks transporting the land of a construction site to ensure compliance with environmental restrictions and standards.

It can meet the need for a trust service provider, ensure less litigation capital occurs and has the potential to reduce systematic risk and financial fraud.

Automate various processes that previously took a long time to perform manually, such as enterprise integration.

Most blockchain applications include cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Blackcoin, Dash, and Nxt and blockchain platforms such as Factom as a distributed ledger, Gems for decentralized messaging, MaidSafe for decentralized applications, Storj and Sia for distributed cloud storage, and Tezos for decentralized voting.

The new distribution method is also usable and available in the insurance field such as peer-to-peer insurance, parametric insurance, and microinsurance.

Banks are also interested in this new technology due to the fact that they speed up the back office settlement systems.

Other fields such as the collaborative economy and IoT can benefit from blockchain technology as they involve many peers in collaborating online voting applications as well.

It can also be used to develop information systems for doctors, increasing their interoperability and safety.

Several blockchains have also been developed for storing data, publishing texts, and identifying the origins of digital art.

Banks such as UBS have opened research centers dedicated to blockchain to explore the various implications that this new technology can have in financial services and to increase its efficiency and reduce costs.

A further application has been suggested to ensure spectrum sharing for wireless networks.

Revolut and Monzo

Revolut and Monzo are digital banks This new service has revolutionized the bank-customer relationship, giving many more advantages to the latter, it is the ideal service for those moving abroad, as it clearly simplifies the process necessary for obtaining a current account abroad. 

The advantages of both are:

  1. Ease and speed in opening a current account
  2. Control of your budget and access to the list of individual expenses
  3. Piggybank function, which allows you to round up the expense every time
  4. Ease and speed of closing the account

Among the differences there are: 

  1. If you want to send money overseas, Revolut is the cheapest option. Monzo offers the Mastercard rate.
  2. If you want to make a profit, Monzo offers interest with its current account.
  3. For ATM withdrawals, with Monzo, you can withdraw money for free from all ATMs in the UK. With Revolut you can only withdraw £ 200 per month for free

. Your choice must be based on your needs.  

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The five most dangerous cybersecurity threats for businesses during COVID

The experts of Libraesva, a leading Italian company in the development and supply of advanced email security solutions, had identified the first attack on a large scale. A phishing email campaign with a link inside that boasted insights into the Coronavirus but led to a phishing page. It was then the turn of Check Point Research, which through the Global Threat Index of January 2020 warned that the coronavirus already became a vehicle for the spread of malware, and in particular the dreaded Emotet. SophosLabs highlighted a massive spam attack last week, spreading Trickbot malware, which steals sensitive data and passwords.

The Ministry of the Interior also raised the alarm on an email with a compressed Excel file attached that downloaded the RAT malware called “Pallax” to the computer of the unfortunate. It allowed hackers to take control of the device.

The precautions to be taken in order not to fall into the trap are the same in all cases.

If the subject of the message touches on a problem that is of great interest or that worries the public, the alert must be maximum. Cybercriminals know that the emotional component increases the success of a criminal operation.

Sender: Never assume that the sender is truthful. Any name can be entered arbitrarily in the “from” field of the emails.

Mistakes: Spam emails are often littered with grammatical or spelling errors. It is a detail to look for carefully and it is an unequivocal sign of a scam. The same goes for logos that are out of focus or with some minimal difference from the original.

Links: You should not click on links contained in emails. If the topic in question really interests, better conduct research independently, without clicking anything from the email. Look-are often used alike URLs– web addresses that resemble the original, except for one more or one less letter.

Personal data: Never enter personal data, especially passwords, on a site. In general, this is not a move to make, unless you are linked to a well-known login page.

Who has realized that you have entered your credentials on an insecure site, hurry to change your password promptly, before scammers can use it

Fake news

The above is even more valid when information arrives via social media. Concurrent with the COVID-19 epidemic, there has been a proliferation of fake news via WhatsApp. Thanks to the fact that news shared from group to group become viral in a few hours, the social network has become a vehicle for digital infection. In addition to completely unreliable news, false messages at best generate completely unwarranted fear and panic at a time when keeping calm is imperative. 

The only reliable information is published on institutional websites. When your contact or a group disseminates information, it is, therefore, a good idea to check it before taking it as true. If it is not, or if it is not possible to verify it, it is good to appeal to your civic sense and avoid “making it run”.

Smart Working

Another potential source of income for cybercriminals is Smart Working. COVID-19 has made many Italian companies discover that employees can work from home. Those that already applied smart working policies have extended them to the entire working week until a date to be decided. It is an opportunity, but it is also a risk.

Without the right tools, cybersecurity problems can arise. Here’s what companies should do to lower the risk of cyberattacks.

  • VPN: Provide employees working from home with a VPN that allows them to securely connect to the corporate network. This should lower the risk threshold for computers that have always been connected only to the corporate network, and are now connected to home networks.
  • Security Software: Equip all PCs with appropriate security software. In addition to protection, they must give the possibility to delete sensitive data in case of theft or loss of the mobile device.
  • Updates and Access: Operating systems and software must be updated to the latest version. Updates often close security holes that can make you vulnerable.

Restrict the access rights of people who connect to the corporate network. In the absence of a pre-existing configuration, this requires a lot of extra work from the IT staff. However, by implementing these techniques, the damages in case of violation are limited.

  • Spam: Make all personnel aware of the risks of replying to unsolicited messages. The reference is to targeted spam and phishing, therefore to emails with malicious attachments or links.

Ransomware Phishing Campaigns

RiskIQ security experts highlight ransomware campaigns targeting companies based in areas affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Cybercriminals would be implementing a well-known technique: phishing campaigns that exploit COVID-19 to infect victims. In this case, the malware used is AZORult.

The attacks mainly affect large companies, which work in markets or with supply chains in areas affected by the coronavirus. AZORult could be used to distribute ransomware. Cybercriminals target people who are tired or overworked, who can click on links in an absent-minded manner. The invitation to prudence and mistrust is therefore renewed.

Spear Phishing and Disinformation Campaigns

FireEye security experts have detected COVID-19-themed spear-phishing attacks globally. They are aimed both at carrying out espionage operations conducted by China, Russia, and North Korea against a series of targets and at carrying out disinformation campaigns. FireEye believes there will continue to be a use of Coronavirus-themed lures by opportunistic and financially motivated attackers due to the global relevance of the issue.

Instead, FireEye detected campaigns that use sending email attachments promising health information about the coronavirus. Too bad the files hide malware like Sogu and Cobalt Strike.

Proofpoint instead reports phishing emails spreading the AgentTesla keylogger and the NanoCore RAT. Both can steal personal information, including financial information.

Fortinet finally indicates “a significant increase in both legitimate and harmful activity based on the Coronavirus”. The malicious activity includes emails that appear to give Coronavirus updates from trusted sources, including governments, news agencies, and more.

the Android ransomware riding the coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity that cybercriminals are using to target Android users as well. Thanks to the constant and frantic search for information on the pandemic, and the fact that many consult the news via smartphones. What you need to watch out for is the Covid 19 Tracker app, which promises continuous updates on the spread of the virus in the area where you are. Instead of informing, it installs CovidLock ransomware, a known threat that triggers a screen-lock attack, on your smartphone. The result is that the smartphone is locked and a ransom payment of $ 100 in Bitcoin is required in order to access it again.

Researchers advise to be wary of coronavirus-themed apps, and as a precaution to set a screen lock password. They also remember to rely only on official information sources for news about the pandemic.

“CoronaVirus” ransomware “CoronaVirus”

malware is a new type of ransomware discovered by CyberArk researchers. It spreads through the malicious website WiseCleaner. Best, which automatically downloads the WSHSetup.exe downloader. It is programmed to download and launch other malicious files, including Kpot and CoronaVirus ransomware. The latter encrypts the victim’s data and demands a ransom of 0.008 Bitcoin, about $ 45. This is unusually low for ransomware.

The general tips to prevent bad situations are: 

  • Do not click on links that you are not sure of the origin
  • Do not enter your data on sites you are not sure of
  • Change your password often

In any case, the only official information comes from institutional sites, be wary of everyone else. 

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The most popular Project Management tools in software development

Teamwork plays a fundamental role on a professional level. The more employees work together on a project, the more important it is to achieve good coordination and communication. Only when all the tasks are optimally distributed and the exchange between the various collaborators works effectively, will it then be possible to achieve the best possible result.

Equally decisive is the fact that all interested parties have the necessary means and information and that they are promptly informed of significant changes. To optimize the process, more and more companies are using project management tools that often allow them to work more productively, particularly facilitating remote work.

What are project management tools?

A project management tool or software offers several functions for project management. The aim is the optimization of the work process, whereby the individual tools are suitable for fields such as planning, organization or analysis. For example, a tool of this type can be distinguished by the following characteristics:

Mind mapping: many tools help teams when it comes to finding ideas and therefore engaging in creative work. Mind mapping tools, as well as other brainstorming functions, invite project members and collaborators to share their ideas and actively shape the project. In this way you can also easily involve the client in the creative process, as long as you want to and have been given the right access to the tool.

File sharing: One of the most important basic thoughts of project management software is that users can share their tables, documents and other data with others. Many tools offer a main storage platform and the ability to define custom access permissions. This way all important files are always available wherever you are. Project managers or project administrators thus decide who has access to specific data.

Real-time communication: Project management tools often include several functions for real-time interaction between all users. Commenting functions allow you to quickly and easily discuss unclear tasks and other related issues. Many applications implemented are also based on established forms of communication, such as video telephony, instant messaging and e-mails, or have interfaces to classic programs, such as Outlook or Skype. In addition, most vendors rely on storing tables or text documents in the cloud, so that multiple users have access to them at the same time.

Calendar: it doesn’t matter if you have a team meeting scheduled, important business calls await you or you have a deadline to meet: emails, phone calls or chat messages are a good way to inform attendees about all those upcoming events that are often quickly forgotten. The more dates there are, the harder it will be to stay in control. For this reason, the project management tools provide calendar functions through which all important shared appointments can be viewed at any time.

Work management functions: Good project management software is characterized by the fact that the team leader or project manager can optimally plan and keep the different work processes under control. In this way, the components are made available through which resources can be optimally organized and divided. In addition, many tools offer solutions for documenting and evaluating work processes and progress. So if these applications are used throughout the company, they also facilitate communication between individual departments.

Which project manager tool to choose?

Jira is a suite of proprietary bug tracking software developed by Atlassian that enables bug tracking and agile project management. The product name is a truncation of Gojira, a Japanese transliteration of Godzilla.

According to Atlassian, Jira is used for problem monitoring and project management by more than 75,000 customers in 122 countries.

Jira is divided into four packages:

Jira Core is designed as generic project management;

Jira Software includes core software, including agile project management capabilities (formerly a separate product: Jira Agile);

Jira Service Desk is intended for use by IT or corporate services desks;

Jira Align is a team-wide data aggregator for real-time work sharing.

Jira is written in Java and uses the Pico control inversion container, the Apache OFBiz entity engine, and the WebWork 1 technology stack. For remote procedure calls (RPC), Jira supports REST, SOAP, and XML-RPC. Jira integrates with version control programs such as Clearcase, Concurrent Versions System (CVS), Git, Mercurial, Perforce, Subversion, and Team Foundation Server. It comes in various languages ​​including English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish.

Jira supports the Networked Help Desk API for sharing customer service tickets with other problem tracking systems.

Asana: is a work management software usable on the web or on mobile devices created in 2008 by Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook, and Justin Rosenstein, programmer and former engineer on behalf of Google and Facebook.

The creators worked in the first place to improve the productivity of Facebook employees: only in 2012 they thought of launching Asana commercially, proposing it as a simple system to help teams manage everything with a single tool.

With Asana teams of dozens of people can create projects, assign tasks, specify deadlines and communicate new activities.

Asana allows you to create digital workspaces, or workspaces, within which you can create projects and gives the possibility to have a complete overview of all the activities concerning the project that will be carried out.

Asana allows you to create Tasks, or tasks that team members can carry out and monitor together or individually. To make the workspace even more functional, Asana allows you to integrate other productivity tools.

Trello: It’s a tool for digital workers but it’s actually so much more. When we approach these new services to improve the workflow we think they can only be suitable for those who have a digital project. Trello has garnered so much success because companies and brands around the world, both online and offline, have started using this safe and simple platform. To tell the truth, there are more and more testimonials from those who also use it as an organizer of their private life or a holiday.

Monday: is a web and mobile application for team management. The product is a cloud-based web platform and mobile application, designed to manage activities, tasks, customers, track projects, deadlines, and optimize the collaboration of work teams. The product is customizable and meets various needs and business operations, including research and development, human resources, marketing, sales, product and customer management.

Case Studies

Hack Reactor: Read here how using Asana wall-to-wall has been crucial in helping Hack Reactor scale. 

Kickstarting Creativity: How Trello Powers Communication At Kickstarter: This case study explain how using Trello improve communication inside Kickstarter

How a $1 Billion Company Used monday.com to Create a Killer Company Culture: This is the story of how Avishai Abrahami, the CEO of Wix, overcame the company’s growing pains by creating a culture of transparency.

Each software has different features that can be adapted to the needs of the company. To make the right choice, you need to carefully evaluate what the needs of the company are.

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The impact of tech in the fashion industry

Technology and fashion, two sectors that seem to have nothing in common, instead technology has had a great impact on fashion and making fashion.

Here are some technologies that have changed fashion.

  • CAD programs: Hallowed to reduce the spaces used in the fashion industry. To make a pattern, you needed large boards, rulers, and squares. Now with programs such as Inkscape,Seamly you just need a PC. Inkscape is an open-source CAD program, open to users who can help improve its performance, the same applies to Seamly. Pro2CAD instead is paid and designed only for Windows.
  • Applications Even the design of fashion sketches have gone from manual to digital with applications such as Prêt à Template with which you can draw on ready-made sketches and pass the design via email to the model maker.

POLYVORE: An application that I recommend for “fashion beginners”, available for both Android and iOS because it creates outfits by mixing the items sold by the main online stores, perfect because it combines the love for fashion and online shopping, outfits created are basic, but always perfect, for those who are always in a hurry and do not want to make a mistake with outfits for a special occasion.

STYLEBOOK: Invented by a former Vogue intern, it will help you dress up according to the season and the event you have to attend, just upload photos of your wardrobe, to make a database available to the application to consult and organize according to needs. Very useful because it becomes a sort of catalog of your wardrobe, sorted by color and fabric, to always carry with you and view when you go shopping, so it will never happen again to forget those lovely trousers at the bottom of the wardrobe to discover, at home, to have bought an identical one.

  • 3D Printer The use of 3D printers has given a strong impetus to the fashion industry since it enables the realization of shapes and patterns are impossible to create with traditional manufacturing techniques, due to the 3D printing head is processed with software and sent to the machine which makes it real immediately, eliminating multiple steps, from cutting to packaging.
  • The use of the Internet of Things (IoT): used to make the single item of clothing a means of communication between retailer and consumer, as well as helping the latter to understand how the product itself is made and can be customized.
  • Big data and Artificial Intelligence: true marketing revolution of the second millennium, Big data analysis, and artificial intelligence systems, especially when combined, can improve both customer service and provide them with an experience that is always innovative and as close as possible to specific needs. of the customer, even noting the urgency in customer requests based on the tone of voice, the language used, and the emotion expressed during customer service calls, both bring a distinct advantage to the brand. Not only that: on the customer’s side: they can also allow him to subject his body or face to analysis to obtain precise answers on clothes, make-up, accessories, or other, more suited to his physiognomy; on the brand side, they can be very useful allies in the elaboration and programming of market strategies, production processes and analysis of results, ensuring a much shorter response time to critical situations than traditional methods.
  • Augmented reality (so-called Augmented Reality, or AR): the advent of AR has, in fact, made it possible to create real digital dressing rooms, which allow, by means of a simple camera, to view the product ( on a mannequin or on oneself), helping the customer who is too busy or too shy to choose the most suitable solution for him in the comfort of his home and / or office and obtaining, in return, greater loyalty and satisfaction of the same, which feels fully guided and involved in the product selection process. The customer will have fewer problems in trying on a garment, especially when it comes to t-shirts or shirts (of which often the size does not vary from garment to garment unlike trousers) just use the application or the virtual mirror present in the store or in the store application.

These are brand extension or co-branding marketing strategies, which exploit today’s technologies, starting from the Internet of Things to get to augmented reality, to modify the traditional interaction with the customer, and make the experience with the brand unique and differentiated. starting from the message that the company wants to spread (by means of multiple communication channels, especially social media, a true bulwark of fashion 4.0, and of subjects, belonging to them, specifically chosen to represent the ideal image of the customer of a certain brand), phase in which the user assumes a pre-eminently passive position, up to the personalization of the real shopping experience, which instead places the user in a position of active dominance with real use of technology at the consumer service, and not vice versa.

So that users feel included, understood, and fully satisfied, being able to interact with the brand, experiencing custom-made experiences based on their needs, feeling they can in some way also influence the choices of the brand they are most affiliated with. The satisfaction deriving from such an experience determines in turn, in a customer-customer and no longer brand-customer chain, the voluntary advertising of the product, and the true global success of the brand, with enormous benefits for sales.

.

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Flutter Vs Angular vs React Native: differences and use cases

Today we will talk about the main differences between Flutter, Angular and React Native

Flutter 

Language: Flutter apps are written in a language called Dart, which is relatively easy to learn and understand and is a language promising to program for cross-platform development. However, it doesn’t have the same popularity as JavaScript. A developer starting with Flutter should first learn Dart. Generally, developers with a C ++ / Java background can relate to Dart better than JavaScript developers.

Test: Flutter is the news when it comes to frameworks. Testing a new framework can be challenging, but Flutter uses Dart, which provides a great unit test framework. Flutter also provides an excellent choice for testing widgets on a headless runtime at unit test speed

Performance – there is no JavaScript bridge in Flutter to initiate interactions with native device components, which dramatically accelerates execution time and speed of development. Flutter’s animation standard has been set at 60 fps, which indicates its high performance. Finally, because Flutter is compiled into native ARM code for both iOS and Android, it never faces performance issues.

User Interface: Flutter incorporates elegant integrated Material Design and Cupertino, such as advanced motion APIs, iOS-style widgets, smooth scrolling and platform awareness. Flutter has its own individual UI components, adaptable widget sets, and material designs along with an engine that helps render them on iOS and Android.

Community Support: Flutter’s community support can be seen in its 98,000 stars on GitHub, 47.6k user subreddit, and on Stack Overflow. While Dart didn’t get much admiration in the Stack Overflow developer survey, early blog posts provided positive feedback on using Flutter. Furthermore, their documentation is very complete and answers all questions asked in an acceptable time frame.

Usage Cases

1. Google Ads (Utility)

The Google Ads app allows users to view campaign statistics on an Android smartphone. The app displays campaign details such as real-time alerts and notifications, allows you to call a Google expert, take action on suggestions to improve your campaign, add / edit / remove keywords, and more.

2. Alibaba (eCommerce)

The Alibaba.com app is a wholesale marketplace for global commerce and incorporates Flutter to power parts of the app. The app allows its users to purchase products from suppliers around the world, all from the convenience of a mobile app.

Angular

Language Angular uses TypeScript, which is a superset of JS created for larger projects. TypeScript is relatively compact compared to JavaScript. This makes it easier to navigate and makes the code refactoring process easier and faster. Angular is a rewrite of AngularJS, a JavaScript framework, which has been enhanced for more intuitive TypeScript usage.

Test: In Angular, testing and debugging a complete project can be done with a single tool, such as Protractor, Jasmine or Karma. Another great tool that debugs your app in development mode is the Augury browser extension.

Performance: AngularJS is recognized for its moderate performance while dealing with complex and dynamic applications. React and Flutter apps are faster than Angular apps of the same size. However, some new versions of Angular are a bit faster than React.

User Interface: Angular has an integrated Material technology stack. It comes with many pre-built material design components. This makes configuring the user interface extremely agile and simple.

Community Support: Angular is constantly and actively supported by Google, which continues to advance the Angular ecosystem. Since 2018 it also provides a framework with LTS (Long-Term Support). According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, the number of developers working with Angular is greater than those working with React and Flutter.

Usage Cases

  1. Gmail

Developed by Google (the company that created Angular and continues to support it) and launched in 2004, Gmail has a subscriber base of over 1.4 billion people and is the most widely used free email service. Gmail currently supports 105 different languages.

  1. YouTube TV

Created with Angular 2 and launched in 2017, YouTube TV is Google’s alternative to AT&T TV Now and Hulu + Live TV, offering affordable basic access to a myriad of live shows. The service is available on Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku OS, and Xbox One. It also works with smart TVs from market leaders like LG and Samsung.

The YouTube TV Cloud DVR offering allows you to record as much content as you like, which can be archived for up to nine months, ending the storage limits imposed by most competitors.

React Native

Language: React is based on the ES6 + JavaScript language along with JSX, which is an extension of the JavaScript syntax that makes mirroring JavaScript code written in HTML. Developers find it easy to write code in JavaScript, and in turn, learning React is very easy for any JavaScript developer.

Testing: Developers using React have all JavaScript frameworks available for unit-level testing. However, when it comes to UI and automation testing, conditions aren’t that good. While you may find many third-party libraries available, there isn’t a clear picture.

Performance: Ideally you will need a bridge in React to call Swift, Windows, Android, or Mac APIs. Developers face problems when building hybrid apps, but rarely encounter performance issues for native apps. React offers uninterrupted performance in all typical cases and is highly reliable.

User Interface: React App Development uses third party libraries since it does not have its own library of user interface components. React Native Material Design and Shoutem are two examples of user-accessible UI libraries. React Native is similar to using HTML without a CSS framework. Compared to Flutter, the React Native UI relies more on native components for both iOS and Android. It also provides a more pleasant user experience (UX) when a user logs into the operating system.

Community Support: React was released as open source on GitHub in 2015 and is the most popular framework on Stack Overflow. It’s supported by a huge community, with over 89,000 stars on GitHub, 58.4k users on its subreddit, and great support on Stack Overflow. This is why they have more third party libraries / plugins than Flutter.

Use Cases

1. Facebook Ads Manager

Ads Manager is the first cross-platform React Native app created by Facebook. The Javascript framework perfectly handles the difference in ad formats, date formats, currencies, time zones, etc. It has a clean interface, intuitive UX and simple navigation that guarantees an amazing experience for users. 

2. Bloomberg

The app provides users with global business and financial news. Before the Bloomberg team adopted React Native for mobile app development, they had to spend a lot of time developing and updating individual versions of the iOS and Android apps. Through in-depth tests of the prototype built with React Native, the technology for simultaneous updating of cross-platform apps was adopted.

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Java vs. Kotlin vs. PHP: differences and use cases

What is Javascript? 

JavaScript is best known as a scripting language for web pages, it is also used in many non-browser environments such as node.js or Apache CouchDB. It is a prototype-based multi-paradigm scripting language that is dynamic and supports object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.

Pro 

  • Usable in both frontend and backend
  • Lots of frameworks
  • Fast and light

Cons

  • Too unpredictable
  • There is no way to control memory usage 
  • No output in case of error

Uses of Java 

Applications 

Let’s start by emphasizing that the Android operating system is strictly based on Java and that Android phones consistently garner more than 85% market share. Add to this the fact that most mobile app developers call Java their official programming language. Java is compatible with app design software such as Kotlin and Android Studio. Java Platform, Micro Edition (alternatively called Java ME or J2ME) works as a cross-platform framework for building applications that run on all devices that support Java.

GUI Applications

stands for Graphic User Interface and Java allows GUI development via resources such as Abstract Windowing Toolkit (AWT), JavaFX, and Swing. AWT has several predefined components such as buttons, lists, menus, and several third party components.

Java web servers and application servers

The robust Java ecosystem has given rise to numerous web servers and Java applications. The web server space hosts servlets such as Apache Tomcat, Project Jigsaw, and Rimfaxe Web Server (RWS). Meanwhile, servlets like WebLogic, WebSphere, and JBoss EAP have a solid foundation in the commercial application server space.

What is Kotlin

Kotlin is a static programming language for JVM, Android, and browser, 100% interoperable with Java

Pro 

  • Interoperable with Java
  • Official Android support
  • Concise

Cons

  • Frequent use of keys {}
  • There is no standard code
  • The community is not very friendly

Uses of Kotlin

Kotlin for Android 

Kotlin is supported as a first-class language on Android. There are hundreds of applications that already use Kotlin for Android, such as Basecamp, Pinterest, and others.

Kotlin for server development

Kotlin is 100% compatible with JVM and as such, you can use any existing framework such as Spring Boot, vert.x, or JSF. Also, there are specific frameworks written in Kotlin such as Ktor.

Kotlin for web development

In addition to using for web backend, you can also use Kotlin / JS for the client-side. Kotlin can use DefinitelyTyped definitions to achieve static typing for common JavaScript libraries and is compatible with existing module systems such as AMD and CommonJS.

What is PHP

Fast, flexible, and pragmatic, PHP powers everything from your blog to the most popular websites in the world.

Pro

  • Very large community
  • Easy to use
  • Fantastic frameworks

Cons

  • inconsistent API
  • Not very secure
  • Community too fragmented

Uses of PHP

Server-side scripting

This is the most traditional and main field for PHP. It takes three things to make it work: the PHP parser (CGI or server module), a web server, and a web browser. You need to run the webserver, with a PHP installation attached. You can access the PHP program output with a web browser by viewing the PHP page via the server.

Command Line Scripting

This type of use is ideal for scripts that are run regularly using cron (on * nix or Linux) or Task Scheduler (on Windows). These scripts can also be used for simple word processing tasks. 

Writing desktop applications

PHP probably is not the best language for creating a desktop application with a graphical user interface, but if you are very familiar with PHP and want to use some advanced PHP features in client-side applications, you can also use PHP-GTK to write such programs. You also have the option of writing cross-platform applications this way.

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The main tools used in graphic design

Graphic design is a profession in which professionals create visual content to communicate messages. In today’s article, we will talk about the main tools

Software 

Here are some of the most used software

  1. Procreate

This app made exclusively for the iPad is a brilliant tool because it simplifies the steps of a graph. It’s super intuitive and has a great selection of brushes.

Procreate allows designers to use the Apple Pencil to draw directly on the screen, you can save your work as a .psd or .pdf which fully integrates with Adobe.

finally, it allows you to draw on different levels making it easier to modify the work later.

  1. Pixlr

If you are able to use Photoshop, then “Pixlr Editor” will be a simple alternative. It can open .PSD files and keeps all layers creative, making it a beautiful alternative to Photoshop. Pixlr is a great one to use for those who want to make easy edits [cropping, resizing, etc.] you can also have the functionality you need without worrying about a software license.

  1. Adobe Photoshop

It is one of the most popular photo editing software tools on the market in a package that offers excellent graphic design skills.

Here are some of the key features: 

Design Tools: Offers many design tools for both mobile and web apps

Creative Cloud: Its synchronization with Adobe Creative Cloud offers many unique features.

User Interface: Adobe works continuously to provide a more customizable user interface. 

Open source GIMP software: If you don’t want to spend it, you can install this software for free. Consider installing it on a powerful machine to avoid lags and other performance issues.

  1. Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign is an indispensable software tool if you work in the publishing industry. It offers excellent capabilities for designing magazines, information sheets and brochures by easily exporting them to PDF or HTML.

Easy to use: Unlike PhotShop, InDesign requires a low learning curve. This means that new users can quickly learn how to use it.

Adjust Layout: The “Adjust Layout” feature allows the designer to change only the template text and the design is automatically adjusted

Sensei Technology: Adobe’s AI-based Sensei technology ensures the automatic resizing and arrangement of images.

Adobe InCopy: Designers can leverage InCopy to work with other team members by sharing text, colors, and graphics.

  1. Myfonts.com

Myfont.com can:

  • Provide the archive with a very large collection of fonts (many are free, some can be purchased)
  • Track the origin of a particular font by uploading it to the WhatTheFont tool Many

features can be found on myfonts.com or you can download the free WhatTheFont app on your smartphone. Many of the fonts are free, alternatively, you can subscribe.

  1. Adobe Illustrator

From drawings to logos to photos, Illustrator generates all kinds of images. Digital artists love the ease with which they adjust levels and boards in this vector graphics editing program.

Adobe Illustrator can create:

  • Graphics
  • Logos
  • Cartoons
  • Fonts

Hardware

In addition to software, the hardware is also important, here are some of the most used. 

  1. MacBook Pro 

One of the best tools for a graphic designer is the MacBook Pro, even better if it is with a touch bar and touch ID. 

MacBook Pro 15 “features:

  • 3.9 GHz processor
  • 512 GB of storage space
  • Minimal environmental damage
  1. Datacolor Spyder5ELITE

A properly calibrated monitor is essential to ensure that the screen displays colors as accurately as possible. Windows and macOS include both. own calibration tools, but for the best results, you can’t beat a hardware calibrator like the superb Datacolor Spyder5ELITE.

This calibrator is a particularly good choice if you need to calibrate multiple displays on a single target configuration, be it a laptop, desktop monitor, or a mix. 

  1. Nikon D5300

the Nikon D5300 is a DSLR ideal if you are looking for something that works well and provides many years of reliable service. Along with a versatile lens, kit will help you get great shots without spending too much.

This is definitely a DSLR entry-level and cannot record videos in 4K, but it’s still images are super sharp (in part and due to the absence of an anti-aliasing filter) and the new EXPEED 4 processing engine means that noise is well controlled, even in dark images.

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Difference between standard and bespoke CRMs

Today we will talk about the main differences between standard CRM and bespoke. 

Pros and Cons of Bespoke

CRMs A bespoke CRM system allows business owners to automate certain business processes that were previously manual.

Pros

  • You can build a system based on exact specifications. If there are any extras you need, just pin them. There is a need for a team of skilled web developers and software architects who can convert the needs into a live system that does what it takes.
  • Some industries handle sensitive information, such as financial services. If you need to manage information of this type, a custom crm can help a lot.
  • Many companies often want to integrate all their software to ensure communication and collaboration between staff. Many third-party software companies allow just enough integration. If you have other custom software and are looking to integrate them all together, it is an advantage to create a custom CRM.

Cons

  • You really have to start from scratch. Without a basic structure to get started, you build everything from scratch and it’s a time-consuming process. 
  • The cost of designing and developing custom CRM software is almost always greater than the subscription costs and this is one of the major drawbacks.
  • Subscribing to a CRM service takes away any maintenance burden, however, if you create a custom CRM, you will need to maintain the software throughout its life cycle. This leads to post-development costs and other technical requirements.

As you can see there are pros and cons to using custom CRM, it is recommended to create one if you need a functionality that is not offered by third parties if you need to protect confidential customer information, or want to integrate CRM software customized with other business tools.

Standard CRM

Standard CRMs, unlike customized ones, are ready-made software. Here are some pros and cons.

Pros

  • Most CRM vendors provide training for their software as the programs can be difficult to use if you are a beginner. 
  • Prices are more competitive, especially the initial registration fee.
  • Software companies will offer you time to familiarize yourself with the software. This usually comes in the form of a free trial.

Cons

  • Customer support is relatively poor 
  • As you develop your knowledge or your business expands, you will experience limits with your CRM, the problem is that it cannot be customized
  • . You will find yourself not using a lot of the tools that the CRM, and this brings us back to not being able to customize the software.

Microsoft Dynamic 365: 

With Microsoft Dynamics 365, you can analyze the performance of a company to develop an effective marketing strategy and create a personalized customer-business relationship. Additionally, this software can be used to:

  • Generate and send messages containing automatic replies based on customer actions.
  • Customize workflows based on the company’s requests and needs;
  • Target customers before setting up an email campaign.

This software offers a wide range of features including marketing, customer service, field services, project management automation, and more.

Oracle CRM 

Oracle CRM offers email functionality. Marketers can use this software to develop and execute marketing campaigns, set up workflows, and perform comprehensive and accurate analytics to get a clear view of marketing actions.

Sales teams can use Oracle CRM’s advanced contact management capabilities to:

  • automate sales processes,
  • improve interactions with customers and prospects,
  • predict sales more accurately.

Salesforce Sales Cloud

With Salesforce Sales Cloud, you can create personalized and targeted emails based on customer profiles to help the company connect with customers and potential customers. 

Here are some of the Salesforce features

  • Create custom workflows to tailor responses based on customer actions,
  • Intelligent Customer Service, to respond faster and more accurately to user requests,
  • Reports and analytics presented in the form of custom charts to track trend of the campaigns.

The database is updated automatically, it is entrusted with the management of contacts. This database allows you to:

  • Access customer and prospect data in lists segmented according to selected criteria,
  • Remove potential duplicates with an account and the contact merger function,
  • Monitor customer and prospect data to have a clear view of opportunities and of the actions to be taken,
  • Access a detailed history of exchanges between customers and the company.

So what to choose? 

A pre-made software has the advantage of having everything ready, the cost is low and can be used even without specialized knowledge. The only problem could arise with the growth of the company, which could lead to needs that a ready-made software would not be able to fulfill. 

Customized software has high costs right away and you need to have very in-depth knowledge, but it brings the advantage of having everything you need. 

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The Evolution of Bots in E-commerce

What are E-commerce Bots

Recently, more and more companies are turning to bots to transform the traditional consumer experience into a rewarding and personalized interaction. Engaging consumers has always been the priority in companies’ marketing plans, and now the use of digital channels is becoming the norm for faster and easier purchases.

Currently, one of the dominant trends in e-commerce is the fusion of online shopping and messaging applications. This model is called “Conversational Commerce” and is literally changing the way people shop online.

Chatting with a virtual store assistant adds personalization to traditional online shopping. Customers appreciate it for the new experience it creates.

Benefits of Using Chatbots

  • No other apps download: This is one of the main benefits, as today’s users are tired of having an application for every little thing. Most chatbots are built on existing messaging platforms, so if you have a Facebook Messenger installed, for example, you’ll have all Facebook-based chatbots within the same app.
  • No registration: Linked to the previous point, many chatbots are connected to messaging platforms to which you are already registered, so there is no need for yet another registration
  • Information in one app: All the information you need is in the chatbot, just ask
  • Increase in sales:  Many brands have noticed an increase in sales since they use a chatbot that guides customers to buy.

A brief history of chatbots 

How did chatbots come about? 

ELIZA is considered the first chatbot in the history of computing developed by Joseph Weizenbaum at MIT. It was in 1994 that the term “Chatterbot” was coined. ELIZA operated by recognizing keywords or phrases and then producing a response using those keywords from pre-programmed responses.

In 1995was born ALICE developed by Richard Wallace. Unlike Eliza, ALICE’s chatbot was able to use natural language processing, which allowed for more sophisticated conversations.

These bots were the basis for everything that came after, below we leave you some examples of how chatbots are used now.

Business examples 

A chatbot is a computer program that simulates the conversation with users to complete a service.

Chatbots for e-commerce are typically designed to:

  • Complete shoppers’ purchases
  • Offer customers product recommendations
  • Provide support

Here are some examples of how chatbots can help e-commerce:

Sephora


Sephora’s chatbot on the Kik bot platform offers users makeup tips and provides product recommendations based on their quiz answers. It also redirects users to the Sephora app or site to complete purchases.

H&MH&M

The clothing brand has created a Kik chatbot that asks users questions about their style and offers photo options for users to select. With this information, the bot creates a profile of each user to make suggestions and direct the user to purchase.

Technologies for chabots

Technology is developing rapidly, below is a list of tools with which you can create a chatbot:

CHATFUEL

With Chatfuel you can have a complete chatbot in 10 minutes without programming.

Companies like Adidas, MTV, TechCrunch, BuzzFeed, British Airways, and ABC News have all used Chatfuel to create their chatbots. Currently, the platform has 17 million users around the world who have created 360,000 chatbots.

TELEGRAM BOT

Telegram is an instant messaging service created by the Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov which, in addition to using the cloud, is free. This platform has always been at the forefront of technological innovation and wouldn’t be outdone with chatbots. Telegram bots are like ordinary accounts, with the difference that they work through computer programs. Thanks to Telegram’s comprehensive HTTP bot development interface, creating a chatbot is very simple. 

CHATSCRIPT

The name of what is often referred to as the best tool for chatbots is ChatsScript. It was born in 2009 when Bruce and Sue Wilcox started working on a project to create interactive game characters.

Since then, ChatScript has evolved to include many advanced features. Thanks to this tool, Bruce Wilcox has won the Loebner Award for Artificial Intelligence three times. This project is open-source, written in C and C ++, and publicly accessible on GitHub for anyone to study and use. It is especially perfect for chatbots designed to have natural conversations with the user.

Analitycs

For advanced metrics, consider using a third-party analytics service to integrate with the bot. These vendors focus solely on analytics, so they can track a lot of insights into the bot. 

Here are some analytics services:

Chatbase: Google’s chatbot analytics platform, Chatbase shows basic metrics, such as active users and conversations, as well as advanced metrics, such as a Funnel report to indicate conversions. 

Dashbot: This analytics provider supports chatbots on Facebook Messenger, Kik, Slack, and Twitter, as well as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants. Dashbot offers a free plan with a report covering engagement, user demographics, retention, and more. It also offers bot transcripts to analyze individual conversations.
Botanalytics: This analytics service supports 13 platforms and assistants, including Facebook Messenger, Kik, and Twitter. It takes a deep dive into basic metrics by identifying the best re-engagement times for users and the most commonly used conversation phrases.

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What is a Framework and what are the most used technologies

In today’s article, we will talk about one of the fundamental things for a developer, the framework

What is a framework

For a developer, it is essential to know the frameworks because within them there are lines of code already made and ready to be used, in order to speed up the work of the developers.

The work of developers can be very repetitive, which is why frameworks were born.

But what exactly are they? 

The frameworks are a kind of frame, a distributed system of folders, and in the form of some pre-established code portions.

How to choose a framework

The first questions to ask when choosing a framework concern the programmer’s knowledge and the availability of the infrastructure. 

The programmer’s previous knowledge is fundamental in choosing the frame to use, as the choice is very wide, even if only considering the most used languages ​​(PHP, Java or Python)

Technologies used 

  1. Ruby on Rails: Usually called RoR, Ruby on Rails has emerged as a firm favorite among developers. Since its launch in 2005, RoR is still completely free, is open source and runs on Linux. It’s fun and fast to work with. Some of the biggest websites that have been built using RoR include Hulu, Airbnb, Basecamp among others.
  2. Symfony: This is one of the more stable frameworks and is ideal to use for more complex projects. Using this framework, developers gain the ability to create websites that can change as business requirements evolve. It includes a set of PHP components, a community, and an application framework that can work very well to help websites achieve their goals.
  3. Angular JS: One of the most popular and well-known frameworks – Angular.js comes from the digital giant of the time, Google. It is essentially an open-source JavaScript framework that can help you build applications on a single web page using a Model-Controller-View (MVC) architectural model. 
  4. React JS: React.js is an open-source JavaScript library managed by Facebook while being supported by a massive developer community. Although it is an ecommerce website development tool, React.js is particularly useful in UI development for website applications.
  5. Cake PHP: CakePHP is a PHP framework probably best suited for website development e-commerce and is a favorite of most developers when it comes to choosing one of the best tools in the PHP format. CakePHP is built on the Model-Controller-View (MCV) model. What makes CakePHP particularly interesting is that the code for all of your old projects can be reused across it.
  6. Asp.net: This is probably the most popular framework built by Microsoft and has managed to earn the respect of developers all over the world. Founded in 2002, Asp.net is particularly popular due to its ability to build rich and dynamic websites, web pages, and even web portals. In fact, a large number of companies around the world prefer Asp.net and consider it the best technology for website development.

Case study

Towards adaptive Web sites: Conceptual framework and case study:  From the abstract: “Today’s Web sites are intricate but not intelligent; while Web navigation is dynamic and idiosyncratic, all too often Web sites are fossils cast in HTML. In response, this paper investigates adaptive Web sites: sites that automatically improve their organization and presentation by learning from visitor access patterns. Adaptive Web sites mine the data buried in Web server logs to produce more easily navigable Web sites. To demonstrate the feasibility of adaptive Web sites, the paper considers the problem of index page synthesis and sketches a solution that relies on novel clustering and conceptual clustering techniques. Our preliminary experiments show that high-quality candidate index pages can be generated automatically and that our techniques outperform existing methods (including the Apriori algorithm, K-means clustering, hierarchical agglomerative clustering, and COBWEB) in this domain. “

React in a business prospectiveThe report for C-level executives implementing or planning to implement React or React Native in their organizations.

This is obviously only a shortlist of the many frameworks available, the choice is wide and there is a suitable framework for every situation. 

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What is Augmented Reality

Today we will talk about augmented reality. It is a technology that uses the displays of various devices to add information to what we see.

What is it?

This system acquires a scenario through a video camera and, through algorithms, shows more information about it on the screen. For example, you can frame a television with your smartphone, and information such as price, where to buy the television and technical characteristics can appear on the display. 

Augmented reality is also used for some games such as Pokemon go, in some cases special helmets and glasses are used.

Examples of Augmented Reality

Disney

In 2015, Disney developed technology that made characters in a coloring book come to life as they were colored. This is one of the examples of how augmented reality can be integrated into a fun activity. 

Here is the video 

L’Oreal

L’Oreal, in partnership with Perfect Crop, have integrated the makeup with the YouCam Makeup app. The aim is to meet the needs of consumers, allowing them to try on makeup by looking in an app. 

In fact, thanks to these apps you can often try and buy products directly. 

IKEA

IKEA, thanks to its IKEA place app, allows you to choose any piece of furniture from the catalog and see it as it would look in your home. 

Pokemon Go

You could not fail to mention Pokemon Go. This app has been a big hit for a long time and allows you to catch pokemon while walking. Pokemon appear on the screen as you walk. 

How AR can be useful in business

Try before you buy: Augmented reality can help the consumer to try a product before buying it, without leaving home. You can use apps that allow customers to try on a dress without leaving home, or place tablets in the store to allow customers to “try on” what they want. The same concept applies to many areas, for example, when building a house, augmented reality can be used to show customers what the house will look like.

Increase the interaction with the brand: Thanks to augmented reality, customers will feel closer to the brand and will have much more desire to interact and to return to buy.

Explanation of complicated concepts: Sometimes it is difficult to explain certain concepts to clients, for example when building a house it can be difficult to explain to the client how it will come in the end. Augmented reality helps a lot in this, as it allows the customer to see the final result with his own eyes.

Training: Bringing AR technology into a classroom can make education more engaging, interactive, and make even the most boring subject fun. By downloading and accessing the apps on their phones, students can get more detailed information and instructions and, most importantly, a better understanding of the topic.

Augmented reality is a big step forward in technology and, when leveraged, can lead a business to take a step forward. 

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React Native Vs. flutter

Some time ago we talked about Native-app and Cross-Platform apps, React Native and Flutter are used to build cross-platform apps.

There are many companies that need their app, and many companies prefer to make cross-platform apps because, in terms of costs, they are less demanding. 

In this article, we will talk about these two platforms.

What is react native 

React Native is a framework designed by Facebook and made open source since 2015. It is used to make cross-platform apps.

React Native uses Javascript, which is a very popular language at the moment and can be used without problems with a little training. Also, almost anything can be done with Javascript.

So React Native is effective for: 

  • Cross-platform app development Building
  • apps using the JavaScript language
  • Application development for both Android and iOS using a single code base
  • Using the same design as React

Pros and Cons

Pros: 

  • Fast updates: Whenever you change something in the app you can enter the code directly on the working app, this allows the developer to see the changes immediately, without having to rebuild the app from scratch.
  • Being a cross-platform app framework, it allows you to use code to build apps suitable for both IOS and Android
  • Stability: This framework has been around since 2015, so Facebook developers have had plenty of time to stabilize the API

Cons: 

  • Not è Native: Obviously the experience of a cross-platform app is not the same as a Native one, so developing an app with React Native, the experience will be similar to a Native app, but not identical. 
  • Freedom of choice: It can be an advantage, but also a disadvantage as it can take a long time to decide which shades to give to the app.
  • Applications Larger Than Native: Applications written in React Native must be able to execute Javascript (JavaScript Virtual Machine) code. Android does not have this feature by default, which means that applications must include a library that supports JavaScript code, so the apps will be larger than their native counterparts.

What is flutter

Flutter is a project born in 2017 by Google and is an easy way to develop apps for mobile, web and desktop. 

Flutter is free as well as open-source. Furthermore, it is based on DART, a programming language developed by Google, it is relatively new and easy to learn, especially for those who already know Java and C #

Pros and Cons

Pros: 

  • Fast: From the point of view of developers, Flutter is fast and very dynamic. Also, you can make changes in the app and see them right away. 
  • One code: Even with flutter you can develop cross-platform apps, this means that with a single code you can make apps for both IOS and Android.
  • 50% fewer tests: The process to test the quality of the app is much faster and up to 50% fewer tests can be performed. 

Cons

  • Community: Flutter is very recent so the community is not very large, also Dart is not a very used programming language. 
  • Support: There isn’t much support for CI platforms like Travis or Jenkins for now.
  • App size: Apps developed with Flutter are very large compared to Native apps.

Case Study 

Flutter vs React Native vs Native: Deep Performance Comparison: We compare the performance of FPS, CPU, memory, and GPU of the most popular development tools for mobile devices. 

Cross-platform Mobile Development: Flutter Vs React Native Development Comparison and Performance Checks: What’s behind these two frameworks? Why are they popular? Which is more effective? How can Flutter be better than one of the already established technologies like React Native?

Flutter vs React Native: What to choose to build your mobile app in 2020? (developer insights): What is the best framework from a developer’s point of view? 

Which one to use of the two? 

React Native and Flutter are very similar to each other, in general, the advice is to understand what your needs are and make a decision. React Native has the advantage that it is more mature, Flutter has the advantage of ease and speed.

In any case, for the development of cross-platform apps, these two frameworks are really valid. 

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WordPress Vs. React: how to choose the best CMS for a website

In this article, we will make a comparison between two CMS: WordPress and React. 

Let’s start by understanding what a CMS is.

CMS

CMS is the abbreviation of Content Management System, that is, a system that allows you to manage the contents of a website without having to have specific technical skills. In other words, a CMS allows us to create a website from scratch without having to know how to program.

A CMS consists of two parts: 

  • CMA (Content Management Application): the part that allows you to add content on the
  • CDA (Content Delivery Application) site: The backend process that allows content to be visible to visitors

WordPress

WordPress is an open-source content management system licensed with GPLv2, anyone can use or edit WordPress software for free.

Years ago WordPress was used only to build blogs, but now it is used to build sites of all kinds, blogs, e-commerce, and business portals. 

What are the advantages of using WordPress? 

  1. Easy to install to start building a website
  2. You learn to use it easily if you want to build a site with basic functions, WordPress is very suitable. 
  3. Plug-ins and themes that allow you to customize the site very easily. 
  4. SEO: WordPress SEO plugins are among the best. 

React 

React is a Javascript library for creating user interfaces. It can be used for creating applications or websites.

What are the advantages of using React? 

  1. Speed: Websites made with React are very fast, users really like speed
  2. Native apps: Once you learn how to use React, you can start using React Native to create an app. 
  3. Free libraries and support: Almost all the libraries are free and there is a very united community ready to give all the advice you need.

Case Studies

RollingStone.com – A WordPress Migration and Redesign Case Study                               Rolling Stone is a brand exceptionally loved by millions of readers. When Penske Media Corporation (PMC) made a strategic investment in the property, he partnered with XWP in 2018 to migrate the site to WordPress, while updating the brand’s website design.

Case study of SSR with React in a large e-commerce app, In this case, study it is presented how the Server-Side Rendering (SSR) with React was implemented in an e-commerce application for one of Norway’s largest telco brands, Telia.

Which one to use of the two? 

Before launching a web development project, it must be remembered that React and WordPress are different solutions, therefore it all depends on the type of site and the knowledge available.

In general, in the absence of specific coding knowledge, it is better to turn to WordPress. In any case, nothing prevents you from using React to build the theme to be used for the site and to use WordPress to manage all the data. 

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How to Use Python

What is Python 

Python is a programming language. Its high-level integrated data structures, combined with dynamic typing and dynamic association, make it very attractive for rapid application development. It is easy to learn, versatile, and very stable and is used for a wide range of problems. It is also suitable for most applications. 

Some areas where Python can be used are: 

  • Web and software development: Python is very easy to read and allows you to use little code compared to other languages
  • Game development: Despite being a little known thing, python can also be used for the development of the games. For example, a game developed with python is Battlefield 2. 
  • Machine Learning: Python has a huge library on machine learning, like Pandas which is constantly updated and everything is very easy to learn.

Why use Python

Here are some reasons why you should use Python.

  • Python is readable and sustainable: Thanks to Python you can develop customized applications without adding code, the readability of this code allows you to maintain and update the software without too much effort
  • Compatible with the major platforms: At the moment Python is supported by the major operating systems, and you can use the same code on multiple platforms without having to change anything. 
  • Large Library: The Python library allows you to choose from a vast amount of modules according to your specific need. 
  • Open Source Tools: Being an open-source programming language, Python allows you to significantly cut software development costs. Using the available open-source resources it is possible to shorten the development time without increasing the time. It
  • simplifies the development of complex software: Being a programming language for generic use, it can be used both for the development of desktop and web applications.

Python frameworks

A Web framework is a collection of packages or modules that allows developers to write Web applications or services without having to manage low-level details such as protocols, sockets, or process/thread management. Given the ease of reading and writing, Python is present almost everywhere, it also offers many frameworks. 

Here are some:

  • Django: Django is the most used and easy to use, it is perfect if the app you want to do is simple, because it allows you to skip some initial steps that are required with other frameworks instead.
  • Flask: Unlike Django, Flask does not carry on the philosophy of a complete package, it is more a glue among the various libraries. It is light and easy to use. 
  • Bottle: This framework is also very light and depends only on Python, it is perfect for prototyping or as a tool to learn how to use Python.
  • Pyramid: Pyramid is a framework that is best used for complex and more particular projects, unlike previous frameworks which are perfect for more standard projects.

Who uses Python

As mentioned above, python used by many companies. Here are some examples of 

  • Google: Google has supported Python from the beginning. Google’s founders initially decided to use Python where possible and C ++ where Python could not be used. This meant that C ++ was used where memory control was indispensable and low latency was desired. In other facets, Python allowed ease of maintenance and relatively fast delivery.
  • Facebook: On Facebook, Python is the third most popular language for the social media giant (right behind C ++ and their proprietary PHP dialect, Hack). On average, there are over 5,000 commitments for utilities and services on Facebook, infrastructure management, binary distribution, hardware imaging, and operational automation.

The ease of use of Python libraries means that production engineers don’t have to write or store multiple codes, allowing them to focus on real-time improvement. It also ensures that Facebook’s infrastructure is able to scale efficiently.

  • Spotify: The streaming giant is a big fan of Python, which uses language primarily for data analysis and back-end services. On the back end, there are many services that all communicate on 0MQ or ZeroMQ, an open-source network library, and a framework written in Python and C ++ (among other languages).

The reasons that made Python the most used programming language in the tech world are therefore evident and with its vast library, it is possible to develop both simple and complex Apps.

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How To Improve UX

holding mobile phone

In today’s article, we will talk about the UX (User Experience) and why it is so important for an application.

What is the UX 

The user experience, also known as UX, is what the user experiences using the app. Therefore, when it comes to designing mobile applications, UX always has a very high priority.

The user experience includes every aspect of user interaction with the app. The idea of ​​the UX is to gain users’ trust by developing an app that is simple to use but also leaves the user satisfied.  

Why is it important? 

Have you ever downloaded an app and found that besides being aesthetically ugly, it was also difficult to use? 

That was an app built without considering the UX. 

When developing an app, there are several aspects to consider, one of which is that the app gains user trust. To do this, the app must be simple to use, fast, and running smoothly. 

An app that crashes often or that is too difficult to use will not win user trust, which is why it is very important to rely on very competent developers. 

UI what it is and why it is important to talk about it

You cannot talk about UX without mentioning UI. UI stands for User Interface, and it is the way in which the user interacts with the app, therefore it concerns all the control elements of the app (buttons, blocks etc ..)

UI and UX go hand in hand, without a pleasant and easy to use interface, the user will not have a good user experience.

Tips on how to design an app

But what are the important things to know to draw a nice app? 

  1. Uniformity: Maintaining a uniform design throughout the app is very important. The buttons must be the same as the colors for the whole app. 
  2. Fast loading: the app loading must be fast, so don’t make a too heavy design. The user wants to save time, so an app that loads slowly will not give a good UX
  3. Use familiar elements: Use elements similar to those that are used in most apps, this will help the user quickly understand how to use the ‘app. Your users don’t want to waste time understanding how an app works, so keeping a familiar design is a very important point.
  4. Interactivity: An interactive app allows you to create a deeper connection with the user. So it is much better to make it easy to navigate from one window to another.
  5. Simple and linear design: The design must remain very simple and linear, it is useless to make an app with too many elements and a particular design because it could dismiss the user who would have a bad User Experience.
  6. Search button: it is very useful to insert a search box in your app, in order to allow the user to quickly search for what he needs. 
  7. Testing: Before launching the app, test it in order to receive feedback and improve it. 

Useful Tools

  1. Sketch: With Sketch, you can make prototypes in no time, it is also equipped with many plugins that integrate without problems. Available for both teams and freelancers.
  2. InVision Studio: InVision offers a series of tools that are easy to use and that simplify communication with collaborators. The free version can be downloaded from the site.
  3. Axure: With Axure you can create prototypes very easily and has a sliding interface that allows you to document everything gradually. A trial version is available on the site, the paid versions range from $ 29 per month.
  4. Wireframe.cc – Thanks to this tool you can draw, share, and add notes to projects.
  5. Draw.io – It integrates with various tools such as Google Drive allows exports in different formats, but you can not do usability tests 

The best apps for UX and UI 

  1. Paypal: On this app the password is simplicity. Very easy to use and very simple design, which is always useful for an excellent User Experience
  1. Eventbrite: This app allows you to easily find events in your area. The design is very simple to use and visibly pleasing. The interface is convenient to use both for those who organize the event and for those looking for.

The UX evolves every day, so it is important to stay updated on the latest news. 

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How to write the perfect CTA

What is a CTA

A CTA or Call-To-Action is a phrase or word that encourages the reader to take a specific action. 

CTAs are used to invite people to visit your site, read an article on your blog, share content on social networks, download a document, etc … 

As you can imagine, writing a CTA that converts is very important, and it is precisely this that we will talk about in this article. 

How to write a CTA that converts 

Your target audience most likely knows something about marketing, so writing an effective CTA is more important than ever. 

But how do you write an effective call to action? 

  1. Benefits: In the CTA it must be written what kind of benefit the person acting in a certain way can have. For example, the invite to subscribe to the newsletter to receive all the blog updates. 
  2. Keep the promise: it is very important that the reader immediately receives what is described in the CTA.

An effective CTA is also made up of specific words. Let’s see what kind of words should be used:

  1. Action: As we have seen, a call to action must tell you what to do. For example “Sign up here” “read the post” etc …
  2. Scarcity: This means letting the reader understand that he has to hurry before that thing disappears. You can trigger the FOMO (Fear of missing out) with a simple countdown. 
  3. Avoid friction words: These are words that invite the reader to do something he doesn’t necessarily want to do. For example Download, Buy, Order. Nobody wants to download or buy, but everyone wants the benefits. We must focus on those. 

Where to put the CTA?

Top of page: Putting the CTA at the top of the web page attracts the reader’s attention before he starts reading your page. 

At the end of a blog post: Usually in this case the CTA invites you to share the post on social media. 

In the middle of the post: If you are talking about something relevant in the post, in the middle you can put a CTA that invites you to download something related to the topic you are talking about. 

At the end of the lead magnet: At the end of the page where you describe the lead magnet, you can put a CTA 

Design of the CTA

The important things to remember when doing your CTA are few: 

  • The button must be large enough to be seen, but it must not be too intrusive
  • Must be visible, so use colors that contrast with the page.
  • Test everything

The last point is very important. 

Testing your CTA is essential to find the one that works best for you, so test everything from the colors to the sentence to the size of the words. 

No business is the same, so the results cannot be the same for everyone.

Examples of CTA 

  • Evernote: The CTA is: Sign up. the button is on the left, well highlighted in green, there is also written what benefit you will have by registering and simplifying the work.
  • Uber: Their CTA is Sign up to drive. Uber focuses on the income that you will have once registered. Here the button is at the top of the page, clearly visible and clearly written the benefit.
  • Spotify: Spotify from two options: “Go Premium” or “Play Free”. Spotify prefers to highlight the possibility of having a premium account, that’s why there’s the “Go Premium” button is green. 
  • Instagram: Instagram focuses on downloading the app, initially it invites you to log in or register, at the bottom of the page there is an invitation to download the app.

Types of CTA 

Here are some types of CTA that you can use for your site: 

  1. Try it for free: If a person has just arrived on your site, the best thing to introduce yourself is to offer something for free. For example A pdf, an e-book or a free trial of a course.
  2. Read more: You can put it at the end of a preview of a post, so that people are sent back to the whole post on your blog. 
  3. Social Sharing: At the end of a post, you can invite people to share the content on their social networks. it is a good way to make yourself known. 
  4. Contact me or Buy now: When a lead is ready to buy, you can use a CTA that invites you to do so. You can ask to contact you for information on the product you sell, or you can write directly “buy now”. Be careful where you put this CTA, better put it at the end of a sales page or on the page where you list your products. 

The CTAs that can be used are many, it is very important to understand the benefit that the reader will have and from there you can start to find the CTA that best suits your business. Don’t stop at the technique, be creative.  

Finally, it is very important to remember to test all the CTAs, what works for someone is not said to work for someone else, so the password is to test. 

We hope this article has been helpful in clarifying some aspects of the CTA. 

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Difference between cross platforms apps and native apps

Native apps vs Cross platforms has always been a hotly debated topic. In today’s article, we will see the main differences between the two and the pros and cons of each. 

Before the birth of an app, you have to choose which platform to do it for. Android and iOS are the most used, but there are smaller platforms to consider. In general, you should choose the one where your target audience is.

Let’s start by understanding what is the main difference between Native apps and Cross Platforms app. 

Native apps are applications made exclusively for a platform, therefore, for example, apps that exist only on Android and not on Ios, this allows developers to take advantage of all the features of the platform. Cross-Platform applications are made for all platforms, generally, they are made for the two main platforms, Ios and Android using HTML or CSS.

Native Apps: 

Performance: Certainly the performance for native apps is fantastic, as the app is made for a specific platform, taking advantage of all its peculiarities. The app is therefore faster and with very few errors. 

Features: The developers in this case have the advantage of being able to exploit all the potential of the platform that they will use.

Practicality: In this case, the Native apps are not very practical. They are more expensive to maintain and develop, moreover, often more apps must be created for the different platforms, therefore the costs for updates and maintenance increases. 

Creating a Native app has many advantages, but it can be an expensive choice which is why sometimes the cheapest option is chosen, i.e. the cross platforms app. 

Tool For Native apps

For IOS the tool to use are:

  1. XCode: It includes everything you need to build incredible apps 
  2. AppCode: AppCode takes care of routine activities and saves you from additional typing

For Android among the options there are:

  1. Android Studio: It offers the fastest tools for creating apps on any type of Android device.
  2. IntelliJ IDEA: intelligent coding assistance and ergonomic design make development not only productive but also fun.

Cross-platform apps:

Performance: Having been built for all platforms, this type of app may have problems on some devices. 

Features: Despite the convenience of having the app on multiple platforms, you cannot use all the potential of all the platforms, as the apps would risk not working on many devices. 

Practicality: Cross-platform apps are the cheapest to develop and maintain, you have to be careful of the bugs that may arise on some devices.

Cross-Platform Tool:

  1. React Native: It is used to develop applications for Android, iOS, Web and UWP allowing developers to use React together with the functionality of the native platform.
  2. Xamarin: A platform for developing Android and iOS apps with .NET and C #.

Case studies

  • A Case Study of Cross-Platform Web Application Capability: From the abstract: ”This study applies the existing knowledge on native and web applications to a specific case study. We compare the strengths and drawbacks of native applications versus web apps with emphasis on cross-platform functionality. 
  • Comparison of Native, Cross-Platform and Hyper Mobile Development Tools Approaches for iOS and Android Mobile Applications: From the abstract: “To take a position in the competitive mobile application market, most of the Information Technology (IT) companies have to develop the same application for various mobile operating systems. To solve this issue, Cybercom provided a thesis topic and a project which decreased development time by sharing the same core functions between Android and iOS applications. 

Which option to choose then?

Choose to develop a native app if: 

  1. The application requires access to phone services
  2. The application must be fast
  3. The application must be updated and must remain valid over time.

Choose a cross-platform app if: 

  1. It’s okay if the app is a bit slow
  2. The application does not have too complicated features (for example animations)
  3. You have little time and budget to develop the app

In any case, the choice must be made in view of the end-user, as each market has its own peculiarities.

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Payment Systems for Mobile Apps

With New Digital Payment we mean the set of digital payments made through the use of innovative technologies. These can be further classified based on the purchase situation and on the type of device used.

This category includes payments made via smartphones which are further classified into:

Mobile Remote Payment: mainly used for online purchases and for P2P exchange via mobile site or mobile app and which require payment by debit card, telephone credit, or e-wallet.

Mobile Proximity Payment: mainly used for in-store payment which requires a debit on a payment card, e-wallet, or directly on the bank account, thanks to technologies such as contactless credit cards, payment via smartphone or QR code.

In recent years, the use of digital payment methods in Italy and Europe has been growing rapidly, also thanks to the increase in consumer confidence in this type of payment method. 

Below we have compiled a list of the most used payment apps

1.Stripe

Stripe is a perfect platform for all those who want to create a marketplace, accept payments, or just want to create invoices for customers. 

The payment options are designed to reach a global audience, in addition, Stripe is a constantly evolving platform with new technologies also in terms of security.

2. Square 

Square, in addition to accepting online payments, also becomes a POS for payments in person, in fact, you can buy their hardware for in-store payments from the site. The big advantage of Square is that the configuration is very simple, all you need to get started is in your dashboard. 

3. PayPal

Paypal is one of the most popular payment systems, which allows you to store credit card and bank account data on secure servers, so you never have to share this information with anyone else. 

PayPal offers various types of accounts, if you have a marketplace the account you are interested in is the Business. It allows you, among other things, to have multi-user access and to have various tools for merchants.

4. Apple wallet

Apple pay accepts various credit cards depending on the geographical area in which you are located. In order to accept Apple Pay, you must already have a POS enabled for contactless partnerships

. Transactions with Apple Pay are safe as it uses a specific device number and a unique transaction code.

You can integrate this payment system into your apps, website, and business chat.

5. Paymill

Paymill is perhaps the least known on this list, but it is still very good.

Paymill is available worldwide and accepts different types of payment, credit cards, SEPA transfers, SOFORT, and PayPal. 

Additions can be made to accept subscriptions, and payments via mobile or web. Paymill offers three types of subscription, Basic, Professional, and Enterprise. 

The Covid-19 has forced us to change many habits, one of which is to start using paperless and cardless payment methods, therefore payments over the phone. According to an estimate, 85% of transactions are still carried out in cash, lately, things are changing, more and more shops are calling on you to pay by card or by phone. 

Cash payment is likely to end checks, The Nilsen Report talks about a 46% decrease in check usage between the year 2013 and 2018 (the study is from 2014).

Online payments are safe, trackable and much less expensive for consumers, which is why are such a great opportunity for businesses

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Most popular e-commerce in 2020

The largest and most famous e-commerce are Amazon, Shopify, WooCommerce, Ebay, Facebook marketplace.

Amazon is perhaps the most famous e-commerce, created by Jeff Bezos on this store you can find anything. Not only products that are in Amazon warehouses, but it allows stores to have their own showcase and reach a greater audience than a simple e-commerce spread on the web.

The Shopify Inc.is a Canadian company based in Ottawa, Ontario that develops and markets the e-commerce platform of the same name, the Shopify POS point of sale system and marketing tools dedicated to businesses. Shopify’s idea is to allow other entrepreneurs to sell online without programming. Shopify allows the creation of e-commerce stores without the need to know how to program. The platform offers different subscription plans according to various needs. In addition to the basic features including the simplified loading of product data sheets and the ability to accept online payments with cards, there are features that can be expanded with the apps available on the various App Stores. The shop design can be customized by downloading free or paid themes. Shopify also offers free tools and initiatives dedicated to entrepreneurs such as webinars, training courses, and networking events in the main cities of the world, the Shopify Meetups.

WooCommerce is a flexible and open-source eCommerce solution based on WordPress. WooCommerce is designed to allow store managers to manage their eCommerce website independently, without the need for intervention by web developers.

eBay inc. is the most popular online auction site in the world. To sell it is not necessary to be a professional, a private citizen can also do it and can choose between the auction mode or buy it immediately. The rules are simple, just have a PayPal account.

Facebook Marketplace, born in 2016, initially was only a section of the site where you could sell on Facebook privately by publishing lists of items for sale, and friends or group members could interact with the post if they were interested. Now allow users and businesses to sell vehicles, hire service providers, and post real estate listings. It also allows all users within 150km to view posts.

There are many, too many MarketPlace/e-commerce open to all and to be able to sell your product in the best way, it is useful to rely on companies such as Artecha that will integrate the portals and dashboards external to the various marketplaces and help the entrepreneur to choose the most suitable marketplace. How simple they will do: once the suitable marketplace has been identified, the sales performance will be optimized. 

Before relying on a specific marketplace, consider carefully the price and what is offered to you. Some marketplaces ask for a subscription, others instead ask you for a small fee for each advert or for each product sold. The advice is to evaluate what type of product you have and how much you plan to sell, before choosing.

Selling on marketplaces is, therefore, less obvious than it might seem, but the advantages are many, especially if expertly inserted in a wider web marketing strategy that leads us to grow on the web at 360 °, and Artecha can help you with this.

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The fastest-growing apps during coronavirus

Everyone stays at home! Sars-Cov2, known as Covid19, has forced millions of people around the world not to move and stay in their homes. Avoiding contagion, during what may be called one of the worst pandemic in history, has been a prerogative of all. In less than a month our habits have changed, our way of interacting with the world and living it.

Fortunately, technology is our help. Video calls, messaging apps, games, and streaming services make the days at home less heavy and even the distance with friends and loved ones is at least partially canceled.

There has been a boom in messaging apps, used for both smart-working and distance learning (e-learning), and takeaway food apps have also been used a lot. Now here is a list of the 10 most downloaded apps:


1 Ranked first WHO MyHealth The World Health Organization has created an app to combat the spread of fake news about the coronavirus. The new application, announced by WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on his Twitter account, is called WHO MyHealth. It will provide notifications and information about the Covid-19, communicate to those who use it if it is in a high-risk area or if someone in the area has declared to have contracted the virus. There will also be tools to help people self-diagnose if they have symptoms similar to those of coronavirus. Available in English, French, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic and Russian. And it will support COVID-19 Tracker. Useful and free, it allows the user not only to view the spread of coronavirus in every part of the world in real time, but also to auto-report the symptoms if he is positive for the virus.

2. In second place on the podium is Google Meet and Hangouts . Free of charge, they allow you to chat and write instant messages, exactly as it happens for Whatsapp, and make video calls and VoIP calls. Their advantage is that they can be used from multiple devices and also from a PC, by accessing the Gmail box or the Google Chrome extension. In the smartphone version, the app is made up of contacts and chat.

3.  Zoom Just like Hangouts, Zoom can be downloaded for free on mobile phones, tablets, and PCs and allows you to make video calls between multiple users – and therefore create real meetings – where you can share your computer screen. Its stock market value during the pandemic period has increased by 300% to surpass General Motors.

4. Teams from Microsoft. The application, functional for those who are in smart working mode these days, is the hub for Office 365 teamwork. Meetings, apps, files, and team conversations: it’s all gathered in a single shared workspace, which you can access anywhere using the mobile device you prefer. Teams facilitate work and relationships between colleagues.

5 Google Classroom. One of the most useful Google apps for distance learning, Classroom helps teachers create and organize assignments quickly, send assessments and comments efficiently, and easily communicate with their classes. Students can use Google Classroom to communicate directly with teachers and classmates and to organize, complete, and deliver their work on Google Drive.

6 Apps for streaming movies and series. Among the most useful apps, there are certainly those that allow you to stream movies and TV series. Two in particular: Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

This app helps to spend long days at home, allowing us to do TV series marathons or preview movies, to watch on smartphones, tablets, computers, and smart TVs. Arrived in Italy on March 24th there is also Disney + which has had an excellent launch and, thanks to the quarantine, people rushed to subscribe

7 HouseParty. Among the most useful free apps in everyday life, there is HouseParty, a social network where you can meet friends online, on video, to party in a virtual house. It works as a group video chat service that allows you to make video calls up to eight people at the same time. It can be considered a “synchronous social network”: communication between users of the same “room” takes place in real-time.

8 Youper. One of the most useful apps to download right now is definitely Youper, which uses artificial intelligence to help people reduce their anxiety levels, manage their mood, and improve their sleep. You can use it by conversing digitally with the app, or to listen to the sounds of sleep, monitor your emotions with the mood tracker, learn more about anxiety and depression and take a personality test to better understand your personality. The application is exclusively in English but it can be an opportunity to keep your knowledge of the language in training.

9 Nike Training Club. Can you stay in shape at home too? Of course yes, thanks to several apps dedicated to fitness. Nike Training Club dedicated to fitness enthusiasts who want to experience intense sessions with many workout options. The application offers 185 free workouts, strength and endurance exercises, yoga, and mobility under the guidance of a renowned Master Trainer. In the coming weeks, in addition, many workouts, nutrition tips, and expert help will arrive on the NTC app, to help you come back stronger than ever.

10 ONE! One of the most downloaded and used apps is the famous card game. You can play Uno but you can also choose to participate in tournaments and events that will offer the opportunity to win prizes and climb the rankings.

This period of quarantine has shown how important and sometimes human interaction and contact are taken for granted; never as in the past in this complex period, technology with its tools has been of help both from a social and working point of view, trying to innovate our ways of communicating and filling gaps whenever possible.

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Video Conferencing Services

team work

What is a video call? 

A video call (or even video call and video conference)is a call made with programs or apps that provide video as well as audio support. In this period, with Covid-19, their use has literally exploded, today the communication platforms are used by private individuals to communicate with friends and relatives, and by schools to make video conference lessons and by companies to communicate with collaborators who work remotely.

There are many platforms available on the market. The most famous are certainly those of Microsoft such as Skype and Teams followed by those of Google such as Zoom and Hangout and that of Zoom in strong growth. Among young people, the most used, however, is definitely WhatsApp. Those who are members of the Facebook social network have certainly downloaded Facebook Messanger and Live Chatroom. It is interesting to see the positioning and usefulness of the various platforms.

Google Hangouts

The most reliable video conferencing app is definitely that of Google Hangout. The best example of consumer-oriented software, widely used for years in the business sector. Allows full integration with all other Google applications: Gmail, Google Calendar, etc. The only flaw is that it allows a simultaneous connection of only 10 users. In the revised version of Google Meet (now free), however, it is possible to make an audio and video connection simultaneously for up to 250 people.

Advantages: Integrated with Gmail, Google Calendar, it works with Chrome through plugins.

Disadvantages: It does not support two streams simultaneously, some users complain about the quality and reliability of the connection.

Skype

The Microsoft app offers tools for both private users and businesses. Videoconferencing is possible from computers and mobile devices. It is possible to connect, also in this case 10 users at the same time, there is the possibility of accessing a directory of people where it is possible to search for all registered users of the service.

Advantages: familiar user experience, for anyone who uses Skype to connect with family members, additions of additional users that can be connected in the paid versions

Disadvantages: requires downloading an application, it can be considered unprofessional because it is widely used for private conversations, advanced features available upon subscription of premium subscription

Zoom

Zoom offers a reduced service for group video calls quite satisfactory. Allows the choice of different types of plans. With the Basic plan, it allows users to make 40-minute calls with few features like screen sharing, local recording, meeting rooms, and camera filters. in the second quarter, with the increase in the Covid emergency, Zoom reached 200 million meetings per day!

Advantages: simple registration, includes basic registration, supports calls to 100 users simultaneously.

Disadvantages: requires a downloadable application, uses only the English language, all calls are not encrypted, calls have a maximum limit of about 40 minutes, no possibility to check spam or bandwidth

Lifesize

Lifesize is a widely used software for video conferencing. For its use it is necessary to open a free account, you can use a video conferencing service that allows the maximum participation of 25 users, without the need to download or install software.

Benefits: No download or installation required, unlimited conference duration, screen sharing, high video quality, based on a global cloud network, end-to-end enabled security and encryption by default.

Disadvantages: integrations for video conferencing systems in 4K are available but included in a paid subscription.

Webex

Webex is a Cisco Systems platform perfect for large companies, and full of tools.

Advantages: Easy to use interface. Users can easily share the screen, documents and much more. 

Disadvantages: The default browser is internet explorer, so if you use firefox or chrome you have to change the browser setting before clicking on a shared link.

Case Study

Fortune 100 Enterprise Doubles Video Communications While Cutting Costs With Zoom: Deployed 25,000 Zoom accounts with webinar, large meeting, and H.323/SIP connectors

Applying role-playing strategy to enhance learners’ writing and speaking skills in EFL courses using Facebook and Skype as learning tools: a case study in Taiwan: English as a foreign language (EFL) instruction faces many challenges in Asia because of many cultural and environmental factors, such as the lack of interactive speaking environments, emphasis placed on test scores, and foreign language anxiety. The purpose of this research is to conduct an EFL instructional course by integrating Facebook (asynchronous online discussion) and Skype (synchronous online discussion) as platforms through which students perform role-playing based learning activities and to observe the effects of the course on the challenges mentioned above.

The platforms that bring online classes

The platforms for e-learning They don’t stop at large groups. The Italian one that reaches most teachers and students is WeSchool. Founded by Marco De Rossi under the name of Oilproject, it helps teachers to “bring their classes online and make their teaching digital.” They are about 2 millions of students who access the Library section every month, populated by video lessons. 

Moodle is an open source platform used by companies for training, but also by teachers to digitize part of the educational pathways. Edmodo gives the possibility to organize the class work, both on the benches and in the chair. It offers resources for schools, teachers, students and even for parents. 

Redooc, rather than as a digital version of the classes, is an “online alternative to repetitions” and is focused on “mathematics, physics, Italian, financial education and logic games”. The Miur cites Bricks Lab, a Milan based platform that “allows you to create multimedia lessons” and “personalized educational constructions”. Resources can be shared by teachers with students, but also with colleagues, “so as to pool their work and benefit from that of others”.

What’s in the future of conference calls?

In the future, all players will focus on the quality of the service by offering 4K experiences. Making a conference call will be like shooting a movie, web cameras will be more and more efficient and cheaper so you can have many in the room, which could be very convenient for conference calls where a person has to stand up to do a presentation. In this sense, we are also working to integrate artificial intelligence, so that it can automatically frame the person who is going to the blackboard and attend meetings with 3D holograms. 


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CRM vs. ERP: what startups need the most?

What is CRM:

CRM or Customer Relationship Management is a strategy for managing all the relationships and interactions of a company that take place with potential and existing customers. A CRM system helps companies stay in touch with customers, simplify processes and improve profitability.

When we talk about CRM, we usually refer to a CRM system that is a tool used for contact management, sales management, productivity and more. The goal of this system is simple: to improve all the interactions underlying the business.

A CRM system helps companies to: 

  •  keep customer contact details up to date, 
  • monitor every interaction with customers and manage their accounts. 
  • improve relationships with customers and also their lifetime value (CLV). This aspect is fundamental, given the high amount of data generated by companies on a daily basis.

The issue of customer data represents a challenge to which CRM systems have been created. Whenever someone answers the phone and talks to a customer, they go out to meet a potential customer or follow a promising lead, learn something new and potentially valuable.

A CRM system essentially provides a central point where companies can store actual and potential customer data, as well as monitor customer interactions and share this information with colleagues. It allows companies to manage customer relationships, helping the company grow.

Using a CRM system, each question, service request, preference and past contact data of each customer is available immediately, which means that each new interaction should always be personalized, relevant and updated.

In addition to keeping track of every phone call, email, meeting and presentation, CRM systems can also be used to add notes, plan follow-ups and organize next steps. This ensures that opportunities to close deals or grow customer accounts are not wasted.

Key features of a CRM system

Key features of a CRM system typically include contact management functionality, dashboard-style presentation of information and reports that analyze pipeline activity, as well as communication tools such as e-mail. integrated mail and internal instant messaging:

  • Contact
  • management Lead management
  • Sales forecasting
  • Instant messaging among employees
  • Email monitoring and integration with Outlook and Gmail
  • File and content sharing
  • Dashboard-based analytics

Evaluating and comparing the various types of systems CRM

When evaluating and comparing CRM systems, three types must be considered: desktop, server and cloud. A desktop system is suitable for a single user who simply needs an electronic version of a Rolodex to manage basic customer contacts, so for most companies the key question to answer is: server or cloud?

The three basic types of CRM systems include:

  • Desktop systems that run on a single computer
  • Client-server systems that have a central database stored on a server, usually hosted autonomously with software installed on each user’s PC or laptop so that it can access it
  • Cloud-based systems provided and hosted online by a third-party provider and accessible anywhere via a connected device

 As technology evolves, the way we work and connect with customers also evolves. Advanced systems go beyond the obvious functionality of CRMs, to respond to developments such as remote work and artificial intelligence. Cloud-based CRM systems are at their best in this area, as they can be updated as new technologies become the norm.

Mobile CRM for remote work

Some CRM systems such as Salesforce now offer mobile CRM functionality, which allows salespeople to access crucial information wherever they are and to update that information immediately after a meeting while still in the field, so that colleagues can follow the customer with the latest information, before the competition.

With mobile CRM, you can manage an entire business from a phone, without being tied to a desk: closing deals, customer support and even implementing 1: 1 marketing campaigns. This feature can also support work from home and even allow companies to reduce the size needed for offices.

Social Media Integration

Today’s CRM platforms can help companies get the most out of social media as a source of new leads, data about potential customers and information for customer support workers. All these new social data flows are integrated with the rest of the data available to a customer, to provide the widest possible image and a series of new information with practical value.

Leveraging artificial intelligence

Some CRM systems can use artificial intelligence (AI) to learn from available data in order to make recommendations based on business processes. In this way, the system improves constantly and automatically, becoming more intelligent and more targeted to customer needs.

Here are some ways in which artificial intelligence can enhance a CRM:

  • Transcribing and analyzing sales calls: the transcription of calls can be useful to highlight which are the most interesting topics for the customer, or to improve sales performance. For this purpose there are software such as Chorus that can be integrated with Salesforce.
  • Identify what all support tickets have in common: This can be used to advise which is the best answer and halve the time. Some software such as Digital Genius help automate responses and halve problem resolution times. 
  • Speeding up content production thanks to a natural language generator: Creating content for websites, social networks and landing pages takes a lot of time and resources, but software like Wordsmith can produce content for articles, social content, landing pages and much more. It produces content using the language suitable for your audience, greatly reducing the time. It does content in 15 languages ​​and can be integrated with Zapier

https://unsplash.com/photos/7okkFhxrxNw foto 

CRM software

Here is a list of some CRM software 

  • Monday: This is one of the most famous software, it has 14 days of free trial and you easily integrates with tools that are commonly used by many companies (for example Slack). 
  • Zoho is a cloud based CRM, usable by businesses of all kinds. It supports more than 26 languages ​​and is very easy and fast to use.
  • Salesforce is one of the main cloud based CRM tools / software in the world that provides creative CRM solutions that can be used effectively for all companies with business needs, from large size to small start-ups.
  • Dynamics: It contains everything a company needs. Very easy to use, and has integrations with other systems such as Social Engagement.
  • HubSpot: It has all the basic functionality of a crm, without being as complex as other platforms.

What is ERP

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) refers to a type of software that organizations use to manage daily business activities, such as accounting, procurement, project management, risk management and compliance and supply operations chain. A complete ERP suite also includes enterprise performance management, software that helps plan, quantify, predict and communicate an organization’s financial results.

ERP systems combine and define a set of business processes and guarantee the exchange of data. By collecting shared transactional data from different sources in the organization, ERP systems eliminate duplication of data and ensure its integrity through a single reliable source.

Nowadays, ERP systems are fundamental for the management of thousands of companies of all sizes and belonging to different sectors. For these companies, ERP is as important as the electricity that powers all systems.

ERP systems are based on a single defined data structure (schema) which generally shares a common database. This ensures that the information used throughout the company is normalized and based on common definitions and user experiences. These main constructs are then interconnected with business processes driven by workflows between corporate departments (e.g. finance, human resources, engineering, marketing, operations), connection systems and the people who use them. In a nutshell, ERP is the vehicle for integrating people, processes and technologies into a modern company.

For example: consider a company that makes cars by getting parts and components from multiple suppliers. It could use an ERP system to track the demand and purchase of these assets and ensure that every component of the entire procure-to-pay process uses uniform and clean data related to integrated business workflows, business processes, reporting and analytics. When ERP is used correctly in this automotive manufacturing company, a component, for example, “front brake pads”, is identified uniformly by component name, size, material, origin, batch number, part number vendor number, serial number, cost, and specifications, along with a host of other descriptive and data-driven articles. Since data represents the lifeblood of every modern company, ERP facilitates the collection, organization, analysis and distribution of this information to all individuals and systems that need it to perform their role at best. and their responsibilities.

ERP also ensures that these fields and data attributes are entered into the correct account in the company’s general ledger so that all costs are tracked and represented correctly. If the front brake pads were called “front brakes” in one software system (or perhaps in a set of spreadsheets), “brake pads” in another and “front pads” in a third, it would be difficult for society car manufacturers understand how much he spends annually on the front brake pads and if he has to change supplier or start a negotiation to get better prices.

One of the basic principles of ERP is that of centralized collection of data intended for wide distribution. Instead of numerous standalone databases with an infinite inventory of disconnected spreadsheets, ERP systems bring order into chaos and allow all users, from the CEO to the administrative staff, to create, store and use the same data deriving from common processes . With a secure and centralized data repository, everyone within the organization can be assured that the data is correct, current and complete. Data integrity is guaranteed for every activity performed within the organization, from quarterly financial statements to individual credit reports, without using error-prone spreadsheets.

It is impossible to ignore the impact of ERP in today’s corporate world. Since business data and processes are integrated into ERP systems, companies can align different departments and workflows, with significant savings in terms of profits. Examples of business benefits include:

  • Optimized business insights from real-time information generated by reports
  • Lower operating costs through simplified business processes and best practices
  • Greater collaboration between users who share data in contracts, requests and purchase orders
  • Better efficiency through a user experience common to many well-defined business functions and business processes A
  • consistent infrastructure from the back office to the front office, in which all business activities have the same “look and feel”
  • Greater adoption rates by users with common user experiences and designs
  • Reduced risk through greater data integrity and financial controls
  • Lower operating and operating costs through uniform and integrated systems

ERP

  • Oracle JD Edwards : Oracle JD Edwards software meets the demands of a modern and simplified user experience. Its innovative approach increases productivity and allows companies to work smarter and faster.
  • SAP It has an ERP system tested to streamline processes in all business areas: procurement, production, service, sales, financial management and HR. 
  •  SAGE Designed as a management system for small businesses, Sage offers an ERP system capable of adapting to the growth of your company and the changing needs of your business.

What is the difference between ERP and CRM?

ERP and CRM are not the same thing, even if someone sometimes confuses them. Let’s start with the acronyms. 

ERP: stands for “Enterprise Resource Planning”: the literal translation would be “planning of enterprise resources”. It 

  •  is a management system, technically an information system, which integrates all the business processes of a company: from sales to purchases , from inventory management to accounting and so on. 

CRM, however, is for Customer Relationship Management

  • in which case we speak of a management strategy for all interactions that take place with customers, and prospects.

not really same thing, then. On the one hand the company resources, on the other the customers; on the one hand the organizational flows, on the other a database of names (to simplify). 

Your priority is an ERP if:

  1. You have to manage complex warehouses , times of the production department
  2. Administer the accounting
  3. Coordinate the distribution chain (in slang supply chain) 

Your priority is CRM if:

  1. You have to automate customer management and profiling processes, 
  2. Manage rep arts sales and analyze the results, but above all 
  3. If you want to optimize the internal processes and centralize the information of your company in a single tool.

The combination of a CRM with an ERP instead is Targeted Operating Model (TOM) once the business has reached SME size.

Artecha develops custom built ERMs, CRMs to clients including ad hoc solutions such as integration, business intelligence and automation.

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Everything About Data

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Data is the set of techniques and methodologies that have as their object the extraction of useful information from large quantities of data through automatic or semi-automatic methods and the scientific, corporate / industrial or operational use of them.

The statistic can otherwise be defined as “extraction of useful information from datasets”.

The concept of data mining is similar, but with a substantial difference: statistics allow you to process general information about a population (e.g. unemployment rates, births), while data mining is used to look for correlations between multiple variables relative to individuals individuals; for example knowing the average behavior of the customers of a telephone company I try to predict how much the average customer will spend in the near future.

In essence, data mining is “the analysis, from a mathematical point of view, performed on large databases”, typically preceded by other stages of preparation / transformation / filtering of data such as data cleaning. The term data mining became popular in the late 1990s as a shortened version of the above definition; today data mining has a double value:

  • extraction, with cutting edge analytical techniques, of implicit information, hidden from already structured data, to make it available and directly usable;
  • exploration and analysis, performed automatically or semi-automatically, on large quantities of data in order to discover significant patterns (patterns or regularities).

This type of activity is crucial in many areas of scientific research, but also in other sectors (for example in that of market research). In the professional world it is used to solve different problems, ranging from the management of customer relations (CRM), to the detection of fraudulent behavior, up to the optimization of websites.

Among the techniques most used in this area are:

  • Clustering;
  • Neural networks;
  • Decision trees;
  • Analysis of associations (identification of products purchased jointly).

Another popular technique for data mining is learning by classification. This learning scheme starts from a well-defined set of classification examples for known cases, from which it is expected to deduce a way to classify unknown examples. This approach is also called “supervised”, in the sense that the learning scheme operates under the supervision implicitly provided by the classification examples for known cases; for this reason, these examples are also called training examples, or “examples for training”. Knowledge acquired through learning by classification can be represented with a decision tree.

The actual data extraction therefore comes to the end of a process involving numerous phases: 

  • the sources of data are identified; 
  • a single set of aggregated data is created; 
  • pre-processing is carried out (data cleaning, exploratory analysis, selection, etc.);
  • the data is extracted with the chosen algorithm; 
  • patterns are interpreted and evaluated; 
  • the last step goes from patterns to new knowledge thus acquired.

Data management:

But what is a data management strategy and how to implement it? What are the key elements for data management to be truly effective? Here are all the latest technological innovations that support companies in this delicate task, even if, as we will read, to implement an effective data management system, technology is not enough but processes, skills and governance skills are also needed.This is a fundamental commitment to take full advantage of the growing amount of information already present in the company and all those collected gradually, also in real time, which must be analyzed to understand market trends, the needs of company stakeholders and therefore to provide the most correct and, above all, information useful to business decision-makers to increase performance.


What are Big Data:

The definition big data refers to both the world of statistics and that of information technology, in fact, it indicates the collection of such a quantity of data (characterized by a large volume, but also by a wide variety) to make it necessary to use specific analytical methods and technologies to be processed and to ensure that value and knowledge are extracted there. In computer science, the meaning of big data extends to the ability to relate heterogeneous, structured and unstructured data, with the aim of discovering links and correlations between different phenomena and then making predictions.

Big data management cannot be approached as in the past when the priorities were ‘reduced’ to the governance of the data at the It level and to its use by some ‘restricted’ users.

Data sources continue to evolve and grow: ‘waves’ of new data continue to be generated not only by internal business applications but by public resources (such as the web and social media), mobile platforms, data services and, always more, from things and sensors (IoT-Internet of Things, just think that according to the Internet of Things Observatory of the School of Management of the Milan Polytechnic, the adoption of IoT in sectors such as the Smart Home and Industrial IoT grew in 2018 52% and 40% respectively, this means that the data generated by the devices located in these areas will increase exponentially). “The Big Data Management strategy cannot fail to take these aspects into account, often linked to the characteristics of volume, speed and variety of Big data in continuous growth and evolution. For companies, it becomes essential to succeed, according to a logic of continuous improvement, in identifying new sources and incorporating them into data management platforms. “

In the era of big data, therefore, it is essential to be able to ‘capture’ and archive all the useful data and since their usefulness is often not assessable a priori, it becomes a challenge to be able to have them all available (some data that could be irrelevant in the current business context, such as for example the mobile data of the Gps, could actually be relevant to the objectives of future business). “Until a few years ago the efforts and costs to be able to capture and maintain all this data were excessive”, reads the Forrester report, “but today innovative and low-cost technologies such as Hadoop have made this approach possible”;

The goal of big data analysis is not to report on what has happened but to understand how this can help make better decisions. This means changing the big data analysis model by opting for so-called ‘descriptive’, ‘predictive’, ‘prescriptive’ approaches, i.e. taking advantage of big data analytics through which to generate ‘insights’, knowledge useful for decision-making processes (for example anticipating the needs of the customer knowing their preferences and habits in real-time). Success in this goal requires new skills, starting with data scientists; moreover, it means using artificial intelligence techniques, big data analytics technologies, machine learning algorithms, advanced visualization tools, data mining, pattern recognition, natural language processing, signal processing and implementing the most advanced hardware technologies to create the technological platforms that they try to imitate the human brain: all this generates useful and ‘not obvious’ information in support of the company’s competitiveness and profitability;

release data quickly and freely to all those in need: it may seem obvious but we know well how the history of IT has shown how much the ‘silos’ approach also applies to data, often residing in non-shared and difficult databases to be

integrated.

Big Data Technologies:

Hadoop Ecosystem:  It is an open source framework for the distributed processing of large data sets. It has grown large enough to contain an entire ecosystem of related software, and many commercial big data solutions are based on Hadoop.

NoSQL Databases: NoSQL databases store unstructured data and provide fast performance. This means that it offers flexibility by managing a wide variety of high-volume data types. Some examples of NoSQL databases include MongoDB, Redis and Cassandra

 Blockchain: Blockchain is mainly used in payment functions, commitment and can speed up transactions, reduce fraud and increase financial security. It is also the distributed database technology that is under the Bitcoin currency. An excellent choice for Big Data applications in sensitive sectors because it is highly secure.

Business case 

An Open Source Approach to Log Analytics with Big Data In the Trenches with Big Data & Search – A Blog and Video Series  Searchtechnologies.com says: Companies had used registries for Insight long before big data became the next interesting thing. But with the exponential growth of log files, managing and analyzing logs has become so daunting that it becomes almost impossible. How did we leverage open source big data to process over 600 GB per day for faster, more accurate and cheaper log analysis? ”

Top Five High-Impact Use Cases for Big Data Analytics: “This eBook outlines these use cases and includes examples from real customers of how other organizations have used Datameer’s big data analytics solution to unlock the value of their data and deliver true commercial value. ” From datameer.com


Cloud:

In computing, the English term cloud computing indicates a paradigm of provision of services offered on demand by a supplier to an end customer through the Internet network starting from a set of pre-existing resources, configurable and available remotely in the form of a distributed architecture.

By using various types of processing units (CPUs), fixed or mobile mass memories such as RAM, internal or external hard disks, CDs / DVDs, USB keys, etc., a computer is able to process, store, recover programs and data.

In the case of computers connected in a local (LAN) or geographical (WAN) network, the possibility of processing / archiving / recovery can be extended to other remote computers and devices located on the network itself.

By taking advantage of cloud computing technology, users connected to a cloud provider can perform all these tasks, even through a simple internet browser.

The cloud computing system has three distinct factors:

  • Service provider (cloud provider) – Offers services (virtual servers, storage, complete applications (eg cloud database) generally according to a “pay-per-use” model;
  • Administrator customer – Choose and configure the services offered by the supplier, generally offering added value such as software applications;
  • End customer – Use the services properly configured by the administrator customer.

Although the term is rather vague and appears to be used in different contexts with different meanings,can be distinguished three basic types of cloud computing services:

  • SaaS (Software as a Service) – It consists in the use of programs installed on a remote server, that is, outside the physical computer or the local LAN, often through a web server. in part the philosophy of a term today in disuse, ASP (Application service provider.)

Market Solutions: Microsoft Office 365, G Suite apps, Salesforce

  • DaaS (Data as a Service) – With this service, only the data that users can access through any application are made available via the web as if they were resident on a local disk.

Market Solutions: Xignite, D&B Hoovers

  • HaaS (Hardware as a Service) – With this service the user sends data to a computer which is processed by computers made available and returned to the initial user.

To these three main services, others may be integrated:

  • PaaS (Platform as a Service) – Instead of one or more single programs, a software platform that can be made up of different services, programs, libraries, etc. is executed remotely. 

Market Solutions: Microsoft Azure, AWS Elastic Beanstalk

  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) – In addition to remote virtual resources, hardware resources are also made available, such as servers, network capacity, storage systems, archive and backup. The characteristic of IaaS is that resources are instantiated on demand or demand when a platform needs it.

Market Solutions: AWS, Microsoft Azure, Cisco Metacloud

The term cloud computing differs however from grid computing which is instead a paradigm oriented towards distributed computing and, in general, requires that applications be designed in a specific way.

Business cases: 

  • Cloud-Based Analytics: A Business Case For CFOs: According to Digitalistmag.com : “The emerging technological advances resulting from today’s digital reality are penetrating all corporate fields with impressive speed, including financial operations. Cloud-based analytics is one of the contemporary innovative digital resources for financial operations that must be assimilated into the strategy of any competitive market operator. “
  • Creating the Cloud Business Case: Scovering the fundamental commercial levers that AWS offers to its customers; work through a framework to help identify the possible benefits of moving to the cloud; and outlines the steps necessary to create a Cloud business case.

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What is Telehealth?

What is Health Tech:

Health Tech is the set of medical and IT techniques that allow the treatment of a patient from a distance or more generally to provide remote health services.

In the context of clinical diagnostics, it is possible for a doctor to make the diagnosis on a patient who is not physically in the same place as the doctor, through the remote transmission of data produced by diagnostic instruments. The second medical opinion is one of the most common applications in the field of telemedicine: it consists in providing a remote clinical opinion supported by acquired data sent to a remote doctor who analyzes and reports them, effectively producing a second clinical evaluation on a patient. Telehealth techniques in fact also favor distance learning applications, in which the remote doctor can help doctors who ask for a second opinion on a clinical case through e-learning techniques.

The most common classification tech is carried out starting from the medical sector to which it is applied:

  • Telepathology of health: branch of telemedicine which provides for the transfer of macroscopic and microscopic digital images for diagnostic or educational purposes using computer technology;
  • teleradiology
  • telecardiology: remote transmission and reporting of an electrocardiogram;
  • teledermatology
  • Tele neurology
  • telerehabilitation: provision of rehabilitation services through telecommunication networks and the internet;
  • teleconsultation: visits between the doctor and the patient through video-conference systems.

Health tech does not replace traditional medicine but supports and integrates it with new communication channels and innovative technologies, with the aim of improving healthcare and helping citizens to access and obtain the best possible care. Telemedicine can be considered one of the key components for improving citizens’ health.

How it works:

Health tech involves the use of telecommunications and virtual technologies to provide healthcare outside of traditional healthcare facilities. Telehealth, which only requires access to telecommunications, is the simplest component of eHealth, which uses a wider range of information and communication technologies (ICTs).

Health tech examples include virtual health care at home, where patients such as chronically ill or the elderly can receive support in certain procedures, staying at home. Telehealth has also facilitated communication between healthcare professionals in remote environments and professionals to obtain indications in diagnosis, treatment and patient transfer. Sometimes training can also be achieved through health tech programs or associated technologies such as eHealth, which use computers and the internet.

Properly designed health tech systems can improve access and health care outcomes, particularly for the treatment of chronic diseases and for vulnerable groups. Not only do they reduce the request for assistance in already crowded structures, but they also help save costs and make the healthcare system more flexible.

Eliminate geographical barriers

Obtaining the best diagnosis and treatment is a right for all people regardless of where they live. Health tech comes to the rescue especially for the population living in remote areas, such as in the high mountains, on islands or in areas with poor hospital coverage, to compatriots who live abroad or who are abroad for travel, to people who work on ships or oil platforms, and to all people who for physical, family or work reasons cannot move from their city of residence.

Regardless of distances, health tech can be an excellent tool to speed up the diagnosis and treatment process, reduce stress and discomfort, wherever possible, without having to go to health facilities.

Health tech shortens distances and virtually brings health care to your home and allows patients to seek medical advice from doctors operating in other regions or countries without having to travel.

Health tech is dynamic, fast, accessible even in remote areas, it reduces waiting times, allows for multidisciplinary discussions, avoids travel, can be used comfortably from home, saves time, avoids long waiting times in waiting rooms, guarantees equal access, the doctor can use it wherever he is and at any time, space and time are no longer a limit. It also facilitates and facilitates the interaction of different specialists in a single case, regardless of the structure or country in which they operate.

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Smart working: How to organize it better

With the Covid-19 emergency, it has become necessary for many companies to activate the smart working mode. In this article, we explain what it is and how it works

What is Smart Working:

Smart Working is a new managerial philosophy based on giving people back flexibility and autonomy in choosing spaces, times and tools to be used in the face of greater responsibility on the results.

How Smart Working works:

Smart Working is a new way of working that allows a better balance between quality of life and individual productivity. Therefore also the result of wise use of digital innovation to support strategic approaches that focus on integration and collaboration between people, in particular, and between organizations. In all this technology plays a key role, because when we talk about Digital Transformation in the workplace we also think about the application of advanced technologies to connect people, spaces, objects to business processes, with the aim of increasing productivity, innovate, involve people and workgroups.

Pros and Cons of Smart Working:

Pros:

  • Autonomy: the worker independently manages schedules and commitments. .
  • Don’t get lost in traffic: no traffic or crowded buses/trains
  • Avoid quarrels and small envies between colleagues: the privilege of working alone, in your own studio, in your own tranquility.
  • Flexibility: with smart working you have your own spaces and timing to carry out a specific task, avoiding to respect the times of the ticket.
  • Goodbye extra expenses: petrol, public transport tickets, parking, and the like will no longer be a problem.

Cons:

  • Making a career is more difficult: those who work in smart working have fewer career opportunities.
  • There is no comparison with colleagues: poor interaction with the work team and they would like to have back those moments when they meet with colleagues, even just for a coffee and chat about the work done.
  • Working every day, even on holidays: In smart working, there is complete autonomy of times and days. If you don’t know how to organize, you may find yourself doing nothing on Monday, but being super busy on the weekend to meet deadlines.
  • Too many distractions: the working environment is the same as the domestic one. It is difficult to separate the two and above all to carve out moments of true solitude.
  • Always be available: not having timetables means that others could call you at any time of the day, or worse than the evening. Saturday and Sunday included.

Collaboration platforms for smart working:

G-Suite: G-Suite is a suite of software tools and productivity and collaboration tools. It includes Gmail (for e-mail), Google Drive (the cloud service for storing content and synchronizing it online), Google Hangouts (the system that offers, thanks to Meet, the possibility of online video conferencing, but also messaging instant and Voice over IP), Google Calendar and Docs (free programs to prepare text files, spreadsheets and so on).

Cisco Webex Meetings: It is the platform that allows you to conduct online meetings and video conferences. Not only that, but this solution also allows interaction between those attending the meeting thanks to the fact that it allows the sharing of various types of content, from texts to audio/video. In other words, the teams have a solution that allows them to have everything they need, having the guarantee of being able to count on enterprise-level data security.

Microsoft Teams: The Redmond house offers a smart working platform for unified communication and collaboration that combines chats, video conferences but also application integration and file storage. In practice, the Office 365 collaboration hub allows you to work by promoting maximum engagement from wherever you are operating.

Slack: the software for business collaboration designed to send messages instantly, uses specifically dedicated channels and can be integrated with productivity tools. Within the platform it is in fact possible to use Google Drive, Trello, GitHub, Google Calendar and many other popular and used applications.

Trello: It is a management software in Kanban style (the Kanban method, aimed at avoiding overlap between the work of the various employees, starts from the assumption that the processes are carried out from downstream to upstream and each activity carried out only when there is really need) and allows each user to create their own data sheet indicating the activities to deal with, exchange it with others, etc.

Working in smart working with a VPN:

VPNs or Virtual private networks, help to circumvent the geographical restrictions imposed but, above all, to keep web browsing private and consequently they are increasingly crucial in a period where hundreds of thousands of workers are forced to access corporate networks remotely, perhaps limited by restrictive firewalls.

One software for this purpose is OpenVPN, an open-source system available for every device and operating system.

Smart Working how to control workers:

Companies can proceed with the control of the performance of smart workers, respecting certain rules and regulations. The legislation states that the employer has the right and duty to monitor the correct work of employees, all in compliance with articles 2, 3 and 4 of the Workers’ Statute.

The employer has the right and also the duty to check the correct work of workers and also of smart workers. However, the Workers’ Statute must be respected, therefore the checks must be targeted and carried out critically:

  • They must concern the company assets supplied to the employee, such as the computer and company e-mail, without violating the employee’s privacy;
  •  Before any professional relationship, the employer is obliged to inform the worker about the prohibition on using company work tools for personal purposes, as these could be subject to checks;
  • For smart working, it must be remembered that in the work agreement stipulated between employer and employee, the control procedures to which the smart worker could be subject must be contained. Furthermore, any disciplinary sanctions are also stipulated in this agreement.

The employer can make checks to verify specific hypotheses of offenses.

The basis for a good job in flexible mode is to have a good organization. If done professionally, it could be a way of working that can also be used in the future.

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How important is Design and UX for a mobile app

The visual and practical navigation experience is a factor that has a lot of grip on people and directly affects the conversion possibilities. For this the sites should take care of both the user experience and the user interface, to ensure users a pleasant and intuitive browsing experience.

What is UX Design

UX Design (User Experience Design) includes those processes aimed at increasing user satisfaction by improving ease of navigation and making the consultation of web pages more intuitive.

UX Design, therefore, “sets the rules” for the correct implementation of the functions and elements that a site or app should have to meet the public’s satisfaction.

UX Design is a very important aspect, because the first impression that accessing a site or app arouses in the viewer affects the chances of completing the conversions.

The User Experience is essential, to help users find answers to their needs as quickly as possible, such as quickly finding product models, solving problems in loading orders, easily requesting information, etc.

The study of the User Experience contemplates all the changes, in terms of graphics and programming, to make a web product pleasant and inviting for users.

It includes various disciplines including:

  • psychology: the psychological factors that lead to appreciating or rejecting an element
  • interaction design: intuitiveness in the way people interact with the product/service

The user experience is fundamental in the purchasing processes, to make them more intuitive and immediate. Thanks to studies aimed at improving usability, the activities are optimized to become simpler and faster to complete.

What is UI design

UI design (User Interface Design) is the “visual rib” of UX design and includes the way the web product is presented, primarily the interface from the visual point of view.

UI design studies the interaction between man and device and aims to make browsing more inviting, in accordance with the style and communication of the brand.

The UI includes the elements that act as an interface between man and the content and inspires their realization in a coherent perspective from the user’s point of view.

UI design pushes to make the best choices in terms of language and style and to make them coherent with the brand identity. This discipline guides us, to the adoption of pleasant and effective fonts and colors for users, to placing the elements in the most easily identifiable positions and to making the retrieval of information quick and intuitive.

Here are the basic points:

1 Information ArchitectureInformation: Architecture makes sure that the app’s core business is actually achieved: the app can be very beautiful and very responsive, but if it does not lend itself to the purpose set by the company, it serves no purpose.

Interaction DesignInteraction Design: takes care of how the user will use the app, and how to guide him in using it. It is important to stress that “interactions” do not refer only to those that start actively and passively from the user.

3 Usability is that feature of the app to be user friendly. In general, an app is user friendly when the user is able to independently understand how to use the app, ergonomically, efficiently, and in a memorable way. The app must be easy to navigate, the information easy to interpret, and in the event of errors, these must be intelligible.

4 Wireframing: Wireframing, therefore, tests all the features of the app and in general also the look & feel, except for any details, finishes and graphic-content contents. Where there are no graphic content elements, wireframes are used.

5 Visual Design: Taking care of Visual Design is like putting the icing on the cake: in this phase, animations and feedback are finalized and refined, to influence user behavior.

6 Create customers: The most popular apps have a very high number of users. Applications such as Instagram, Facebook or Candy Crush, one of the most popular games for smartphones, have an exceptional UX that has attracted millions of people. It is the satisfaction of the user experience that makes them faithful to the app, making sure that they do not uninstall it in a few days but, on the contrary, dedicate a constant spot on their mobile phone.

Software for UX / UI Design

There are many software for UI / UX Design, today we will consider 3 of them: 

  • One of the most used software for UI / UX Design is Sketch: with its intuitive interface you can create and collaborate to make your ideas become real, it’s a mix between Photoshop and Illustrator. The only flaw it could have is that it is only for Mac
  • Another widely used software is Figma: Unlike the previous one it is from Windows, this also has a very intuitive and quick to use interface. This software has both paid and free options.
  • The last software I want to talk about today is probably also the most famous, I speak of Adobe Illustrator: One of the best tools to create logos, graphics, applications, websites, etc … It is available on both Mac and Windows

In short:

  • Use conventional elements, So don’t use too complex fonts or icons that on other apps have another meaning;
  • Maintain a certain uniformity in the interface: graphics, colors, spaces;
  • Do not hinder the efficiency of the app with functions that are not really needed and that risk confusing the user or moving him from the ideal navigation path;
  • Make your application as interactive as possible;
  • Don’t complicate what can be simplified.

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The most common Cyber ​​Security risks for companies in 2020

Cyber ​​risks increase with the increase and spread of legacy systems and data centers, public cloud services and SaaS applications.

In 2020, the main cyber risk carriers will continue to be emails and applications open to the Internet. According to experts, computer viruses conveyed by email are evolving rapidly and hackers find new methods every day to evade traditional security solutions. Each company must, therefore, equip itself with the most advanced protection systems in line with the evolution of cyber risks and cyber attacks, and also be supervised by external professionals able to offer advice on the implementation of information system protection measures.

Cloud, SaaS applications, brute force attacks

The most serious threat expected is partly new. More and more companies are adopting serverless platforms to reduce costs and integrate cloud applications, which use storage space accessible anywhere. These are the now widespread SaaS applications.

Switching to serverless does not solve security problems. Web application security is often overlooked because most organizations lack the skills and resources needed to manage these solutions. Many companies assume that the necessary protection is provided by their hosting service, which however hardly offers adequate coverage.

For these critical issues that are not addressed, cloud-based collaboration and production software are among the targets preferred by hackers. Given the frequent phishing campaigns, the focus remains on compromising accounts that can be used for future attacks. Traditional brute force attacks on cloud services, which gain access to an authorized account to crack encrypted data and steal information for fraud purposes, will also continue in 2020.

Email Phishing

Conversation Interception, Counterfeit People’s Voice, and Attacks Highly targeted will make BEC attacks even more convincing. Spearphishing easily draws in deception, seen pointing at one person, the so-called spray phishing, a mass attack that tries to involve as many victims as possible and is less personal and credible.

An example of pishing is fake emails from Netflix, in which they say that the account has been blocked due to a non-payment.

Complex Infection Processes

In 2019 email attacks were done via dangerous URLs to distribute malware. Users are warned against opening documents received from unknown senders, but the growing use of applications and cloud storage has accustomed them to click on various links to view, share a multitude of content and interact. Cybercriminals will take advantage of these developments because URLs can mask even more difficult to detect infection processes.

Emails may seem like simple messages from colleagues who want to share documents, but they can hide a serious danger. An example can be read in this article

Ransomware

Ransomware is primarily aimed at high redemption operations to unlock servers and endpoints, but they play a secondary role compared to infections that use Trojans and RATs, making prevention and defense essential. Firms that will be affected by ransomware have already been compromised by a host of malware that creates future vulnerabilities and puts them at risk of losing data and intellectual property.

Privacy and GDPR compliance

In 2020, IT security managers in the company must be fully aware of the proliferation of privacy and compliance laws that are implemented all over the world. The GDPR is just the beginning: you need to be ready to adapt to the introduction of similar regulations, with huge and increasingly complex implications especially for companies operating on an international scale. An increasing number of companies rely on public cloud infrastructures and solutions, it is also true that human error will continue to be the leading cause of violations, especially for incorrect configurations or unresolved vulnerabilities.

Training must be a central asset

Automated systems can protect mailboxes from many threats, but users are the final line of defense, especially with regards to voice and SMS phishing. Consequently, training is an essential component of security. Often even in cases where it is organized, organizations are very selective about the users to be involved, due to the limited resources dedicated to employee training.

An extended cyber risk

Summarizing the biggest threats to cybersecurity will come from the continuous proliferation of the network, from the transition to cloud systems and from the extension to critical infrastructures and industrial control systems.

In an interconnected world, an attack against a company soon extends to the whole chain. Supply chain vulnerabilities were the protagonists of attacks on major retailers in the years 2013 and 2014. Cyber ​​attackers took advantage of the supply chain for every type of business, from the theft of credit card credentials to compromised business email and techniques of attack will become even more sophisticated later in the year. Companies must more carefully select the partners to rely on, also based on their email protection system, to avoid risks of compromise and exploitation of vulnerabilities. The spread of the 5G network will allow attackers to steal data from compromised devices. Managing the problem in an inadequate way risks having excessive impacts on business continuity and company profits.

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Why Pyhton has become such a popular language

Python what it is used for

Python is a language for machine learning. Most machine learning courses have been written using the Python language and coding education as a whole has adopted Python as the language to be learned, with extensive use in small computer courses such as Raspberry Pi (AMD) or others core.

Instagram is the largest site Django is running, which is a Python web framework: a back end.

Django is a robust and elegant framework, and therefore the problem does not lie in its shortcomings intended as lack of features.

Pygame is the resource main for learning Python and game mechanics. Some good games have been written in Python.

Thanks to its highly readable nature and intuitive syntax, many find it easier to learn Python.

Python for artificial intelligence

Python is a glue language for applications that recall machine learning modules suitable for creating so-called AI systems. Indeed, for machine learning and deep learning, Python offers, despite being an interpreted (slow) programming language, some advantages:

  • Python can access many external libraries (modules) with useful functions for scientific calculation. This avoids having to develop them from scratch. External Python libraries are often developed with other high-level compiled languages ​​such as the C language and Fortran. Therefore, they are very fast in execution.
  • Python language is similar to natural language (English language).
  • It is much easier to use than other programming languages ​​such as C or Java

Python and the main libraries for machine learning.

Python is a high-level, object-oriented programming language, suitable for developing distributed applications, scripting, numerical computation and system testing. It was conceived by Guido van Rossum in the early nineties. The name was chosen because of van Rossum’s passion for Monty Python and for their television series Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

The most immediately recognizable features of Python are the untyped variables and the use of indentation to define the specifications. Other distinctive features are the overloading of operators and functions through delegation, the presence of a rich assortment of basic types and functions and standard libraries, advanced syntax such as slicing and list comprehension.

Although Python is generally considered an interpreted language, in reality the source code is not converted directly to machine language. In fact, it passes first from a pre-compilation phase in bytecode, which is almost always reused after the first execution of the program, thus avoiding to reinterpret the source each time and increasing performance. It is also possible to distribute Python programs directly in bytecode, totally skipping the interpretation phase by the end user and obtaining closed source Python programs.

This is also possible thanks to the large set of libraries, that is, sets of routines and written functions that perform a certain task, which it possesses and can recall as needed. Libraries are often confused with the terms framework and packages.

Libraries

Python has an extensive standard library, making it suitable for many uses. In addition to the modules of the standard library, others written in C or Python can be added to meet your particular needs. Among the modules already available there are for writing web applications: Mime, Http and all other Internet standards are supported. Modules are also available to create GUI applications, to connect to relational databases, to use regular expressions. The standard library is one of Python’s strengths. In fact, it is compatible with all platforms, with the exception of a few functions, clearly indicated in the documentation as specific to a particular platform. The library can be viewed as a set of modules where each module contains simple instructions and definitions. The combination of various modules, therefore of instruction code, constitutes a library. Often the modules have already been written by other developers, and there is no need to start over every time. Their purpose is to simplify tasks, helping developers write only a few lines instead of a large amount of commands. The library code calls classes and methods that normally define specific operations in an area of ​​the domain. For example, there are some math libraries that can cause the developer to simply call the function without repeating the implementation of how an algorithm works.

Packages

To understand what packages are, you can imagine the structure of directories where files are stored on the computer disk. Usually we don’t store all our files in the same location. We use a well-organized directory hierarchy for easier access. Similar files are kept in the same directory, for example, we could keep all the songs in the “music” directory. Like this, Python has packages for directories and modules for files. Since a directory can contain subdirectories and files, similarly, a Python package can have sub-packages and modules. To make Python treat a directory as a package, it must contain a file called __init__.py. This file can be left blank but generally the initialization code for that package is placed in this file.

Framework

Unlike libraries, framework means “an abstraction, in which the software that provides generic functionality can be selectively modified by additional code written by the user, thus providing specific software for the application”. The framework can be considered as a software tool that provides a way to create and run web applications and to do so it often makes use of libraries and packages. Using a web framework it is not necessary to write code on your own and waste time looking for possible calculation errors and bugs. At the beginning of web development, all applications were hand-coded and only the developer of a particular app could change or distribute it. Web frameworks have introduced an easy way out of this trap. Their variety now works well for both static and dynamic web pages. We can have two types of web Framework:

  • Server-side: also defined as a back end framework, they are software applications that facilitate the writing, maintenance and scalability of web applications. They provide tools and libraries that simplify common Web development activities, including routing URLs to appropriate managers, interaction with databases, support sessions and user authorization, formatting output (e.g. Html , Json, Xml) and improving security from web attacks.
  • Client-side: also called the frontend framework, it consists of a package consisting of a structure of standard code files and folders (Html, Css, JS documents, etc.). It essentially deals with the outward-facing parts of a site or web application. In short, what a user sees when they open the app.

There is a third situation (called the Full-stack Framework) which is the combination of both the frontend and backend ends. A full stack developer is an all-rounder. They are responsible for all levels of development, from how the server is set up to the CSS related to the design. It must be said that it is complex to manage both sides.If you also want to know the list of web frameworks written in Phyton language you can see the following Link (one of the most popular is Django).

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The most successful apps in the circular economy and in clean tech

Circular economy, what is it? 

The circular economy is a generic term to define an economy designed to be able to regenerate itself. In a circular economy, the flows of materials are of two types: biological ones, capable of being reintegrated into the biosphere, and technical ones, destined to be re-valued without entering the biosphere “. In practice, it is a zero-waste economy, where any product is consumed and disposed of without leaving a trace.

Renewable energies are very important as the modularity and versatility of the objects, which can and must be used in various contexts in order to last as long as possible.

The circular economy presupposes a systemic way of thinking, which does not end in the design of products intended for a single purpose. It is an economy that not only protects the environment and saves on production and management costs, but also produces profits.

The circular economy involves the development of a real economy to be opposed to the linear one that goes from the production of a product to its becoming waste.

Cradle to cradle. This theory eliminates the concept of waste, because “waste is nourishment”; it is based exclusively on renewable energy and respects man and the environment, going to preserve the health of ecosystems and the impact.

• Performance economy. Walter Stahel added to the C2C theory the “closed-loop” approach of the production process which includes four main objectives: to extend the life cycle of products, to create durable goods, to carry out product renewal activities and to avoid waste.

• Biomimicry (imitation of life), ie the study of the best ideas of nature and the imitation of designs and processes to solve the problems of human beings. Three the most important principles: study and emulate nature; use an ecological standard to judge the sustainability of our innovations; evaluate nature not to understand what to get out of it but what we can learn from it.

• Industrial ecology. Industrial ecology, also considered the science of sustainability, is the study of matter and energy flows through industrial systems. 

• Natural capitalism, which refers to the whole range of natural assets, including earth, air, water and all living things. It is based on four pillars: to radically increase the productivity of natural resources; acquire models and production materials inspired by biology; a business model aimed at guaranteeing a sequence of services; reinvest in natural capital.

• Blue economy. Or “use the resources available in a cascade system, where the refusal of a product becomes the input to produce a new waterfall”.

• Regenerative design, which has become the frame of the circular economy.

Cleantech – 

The world, without defined boundaries, of clean technology (cleantech), includes all the technologies that serve to ‘make it clean’, that is to limit (or even where possible to eliminate) the environmental impact of a given production process.

Today, the use of clean technologies includes practices such as recycling of waste, the use of renewable energy sources (wind, solar, etc.), the rationalization of transport and lighting sources, the reduction of packaging volumes and, in broader sense, all environmental choices that aim to drastically reduce the use of natural resources, and cut or eliminate emissions and waste.

Circular Economy and sustainability in a few years have become absolute protagonists of the Tech industry both in B2C and B2B. Below are some examples of the most interesting projects in this regard:

– Agricolus: an Italian platform that operates in the precision farming area, offering various cloud applications to farmers and agronomists, thanks to which these professionals will be able to follow the production process at 360 ° and make data-driven decisions, reducing costs, improving and ensuring higher quality of the agricultural product, with a view to sustainability.

Junker: Mobile application for smartphones that helps citizens to correctly and quickly sort household waste, helping to reduce the fraction of unsorted waste. It has been included in the European Parliament’s circular economy white paper.

– FruitsApp: worldwide B2B marketplace for the purchase and sale of fruit and vegetables. The platform offers several tools to help the parties to conclude deals: chats, bargaining systems, profiling. It has been accelerated by the Startupbootcamp Foodtech Accelerator

Timealy: this application allows the daily unsold of fresh food to be offered at a paltry price to residents and commuters. The platform is currently being launched in London.

Technology also has a strong potential for the development of the circular economy between companies in B2B. An example is the Liam robot, which with its 29 arms can disassemble a discarded iPhone in 11 seconds, recovering a large part of the reusable materials of which it is composed, thus avoiding huge waste of value. But also the Loop Rocks platform created by the construction company NCC, through which secondary construction materials are made available at low cost between construction sites, thus reducing disposal costs, waste and costs for the purchasing companies.

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Understanding CRM Automation

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CRM Automation 

Customer Relation Management and Software, these two seemingly independent words have with the dawn of the internet and the rise of online business become so incredibly intertwined that whenever we mention CRM, it almost always includes Software. 

CRM Origins 

Pinpointing when exactly CRM was first invented is a challenge. If we talk about the acronym itself, we can zoom-in on the 90s. And more specifically to former Oracle employee, Tom Siebel. Siebel who failed to convince his superiors to sell their SFA (Salesforce automation software) as a standalone product left Oracle and started his own company, Siebel Systems. 

Siebel Systems became the lead SFA solution on the market, and its contact management system closely resembled that of modern CRM solutions. As it was a new product it did not yet have a standalone name, being referred to as CIS (Customer Information System), Enterprise Customer Management (ECM) and CRM. Eventually, though CRM won. 

The end of the 90s marks also the rise of the first primitive SaaS (Salesforce), which was largely left to its own devices by the other vendors. When the “dot-com” bubble hit, the CRM industry took a massive hit before returning to force in the second half of the 00s. Microsoft introduced Dynamics CRM and Oracle (Siebel’s former employer) acquired Siebel Systems. 

Eventually, in 2007 the modern CRM was born when Salesforce introduced its Cloud-based Force.com, proving that Cloud solutions could be tailored to various needs. 

In today’s article 

The value of a proper CRM system has at this point become almost legendary if you are seeking higher customer retention rates, better customer tracking, and data organization you will want CRM software. With the rise of AI and the prevalence of Marketing Automation – there is a new trend on the rise, CRM Automation. 

What you will find out by reading this article:

  • What is CRM Automation;
  • The role of Marketing Automation and;
  • The Pros and Cons of CRM Automation;  

Depending on the nature of your business you may just be starting with your search for CRM Software or you may be willing to take the next step, let us be your guide. 

CRM Automation – what, how and why? 

Automation refers in this case to the ability of a given CRM software to be able to execute repetitive manual tasks without the continuous involvement of an employee. Having an automated CRM tool enables your business to save time when handling your customers and allows your employees to engage in more in-depth relationships with potential and existing customers. 

The software is often enough powered by AI to ensure that it can automate its tasks. In most cases, it requires some prior set-up so that it can execute its tasks. But you will find that plenty of CRM solutions already automate a lot of tasks for you. For example, if connected to your email account, they will automatically track interactions between your salesforce and your customers, as well as adding customers directly into your database. Find out how Artecha can help you with your CRM automation. 

Automating your CRM has the added benefit of simply removing the hassle of engaging in continuous mundane tasks for your team. However, here are six more reasons as to why you should engage in CRM Automation.  

The case for CRM and Marketing Automation

A great example of a company that automates both its CRM and Marketing is Sephora. Sephora is renowned for its beauty products and it has an outstanding reputation for when it comes down to its customer service. A Sephora shopper spends an average amount of $33.17 on skincare products, these are mostly recurring customers who are part of Sephora’s Beauty Insiders loyalty program. With the fact that it sports over 17 million members, it has to rely on automation to provide its loyal shoppers with their rewards. The icing on the cake here is the fact that 80% of sales come from its loyalty program members. 

Automation as such is used for the maintenance of continuous customer relations between the business and the customer. Having to do so manually, would be a time-draining task that would require multiple employees, by automating Sephora not only lowers its personnel expenses but also maintains better relations. 

In most cases, CRM software is developed in a web framework, such as Ruby-on-Rails. Other options include Python/Django and Node.js. When developing a CRM solution it is important to understand the nature of the business for which it is designed. At Artecha we can create a CRM solution tailored to the specifics of your business. Schedule a call with us – to talk about your business and how CRM Automation could benefit you.

The key takeaways here are: 

  • Recurring customers are worth more
  • Automating your CRM and Marketing will drive long-term benefits
  • Loyalty programs are great for automation 

The role of Marketing automation 

Let us start off by stating a crucial point. Marketing automation is NOT CRM Automation. The two co-exist and both play a vital role in your business, but they are not the same. With that being said, let us dive into the differences. 

Marketing Automation is mostly focused on the top and middle of the Marketing Funnel (or Sales Funnel), whereas CRM Automation focuses almost solely on the bottom of the Funnel. In this case, marketing automation, of course, does for Marketing what CRM Automation does for Sales. It automates mundane and repetitive tasks. Nowadays though Marketing Automation is not just the process of automating Email campaigns – it also integrates with Social Media to help you schedule your posts and much more. That is, however, its key aspect, campaigns. 

Marketing is still about generating leads, for that purpose you can run various campaigns to find and acquire those leads, but at some point, you will need to move those leads further along the funnel – and that is where CRM Automation comes into full-force. 

CRM Automation helps take the information from the automated Marketing campaigns and begins to qualify its leads by providing a rating. The more information is fed into the CRM system the more it will be able to assess the value of a potential lead obtained through the automated Marketing process. 

This is why the best CRM Automation software integrates with the best Marketing Automation software.

Benefits of CRM Automation 

The amount of value you can obtain from implementing CRM Automation within your business depends on a lot of factors, but it can be summarized in five cohesive points.

  1. Save valuable time by automating repetitive time-consuming tasks
  2. Help qualify and zoom-in on better prospects 
  3. Improve sales conversion rates
  4. Positively impact the general customer satisfaction rate
  5. Boost company Profits 

As you can see the points do follow a chronological order, and this makes perfect sense. As your Sales Reps can automate tasks they can focus on obtaining more information from potential customers with the time they gain through automation. This, in turn, allows the CRM Automated software to obtain more information about said prospects, which can identify which prospects are more likely to convert. That helps with better conversion rates, whilst also helping out your Customer Service at a later stage. All-in-all it boosts your company’s profit! 

B2B and CRM Automation 

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Artificial intelligence to optimize the relationship with customers

working on computer

Artificial Intelligence is no longer something remote and from science fiction, it has become part of our lives and will increasingly be a daily tool both in businesses and in personal life. 

Real-time artificial intelligence is a way of completely transforming the customer experience. The highly personalized customer interactions are theoretically the optimal approach. AI allows a better understanding of customers in different contexts and channels, it can detect certain signals and understand the unique intent of each customer before he acts. Based on real-time data, AI is able to provide customized offers automatically or guide customer service operators to propose the most suitable offer at the most appropriate time. In highly regulated sectors, artificial intelligence can be a valid transparency tool to demonstrate why you are presenting a specific offer to specific customers.

In order for artificial intelligence to bring significant results, it is useful to clarify the meaning of customer experience as a sequence of brand-customer interactions through different touch points along the way, throughout its life cycle. It is a matter of managing everything in the best way since the impact of these interactions are crucial to guarantee a better experience, capable of generating more loyal customers and ready to promote the brand externally. 

Marketing can align content with the indications that come from AI and innovate the strategy, thanks to models based on both company data and external information. Thanks to the knowledge of customer behavior, it is also possible to carry out predictive and more effective target analyses to convey online content closer to the customer’s interests and e-mail campaigns, messages on smartphones and advertising.

A fact that will amaze, customers prefer to solve their problems themselves. In 2012, a Forrester research reported that 67% of people used online FAQ guides in that year, in 2015 Forrester repeated the search and in just 3 years, the percentage increased to as much as 81% and is in continuous growth. In the digital age, nobody wants to wait and for an answer by waiting on the phone and with the chatbots, voice bots and virtual assistants it is possible to avoid these bad experiences related to waiting. 

You can land on the brand’s website, open the chat and get the answer you are looking for automatically, the same with a call with the voice bot. They are not perfect yet, but these customer support tools improve every day by learning from layered questions, nuances of writing styles and tone of voice. 

Generic content and communications no longer work, consumers today are much more selective than they used to be and are constantly looking for experiences tailored for them that perfectly respond to their needs, preferences, and objectives. Research has shown that 49% of consumers confess that they are more likely to buy on impulse if they receive a personalized message from the brand. Artificial Intelligence platforms do not suffer the stress of everyday life, they can be programmed to always be positive, even when dealing with a very demanding or nervous customer. 

Keep in mind that 82% of consumers are willing to leave a brand if the customer service is not good enough, so investments in artificial intelligence are essential. According to recent research, 52% of consumers still have difficulties finding the product they are looking for online, therefore 68% choose the second choice if the first one is not available or not present online. 

Customer Experience today must embrace new technologies and adopting Artificial Intelligence tools means making the customer support process simpler and leaner. This ensures that we prioritize and respond effectively to customer needs. At the same time, buyers feel encouraged to connect with your brand.

Insights are obtained from the analysis that allows you to predict what customers will want and expect – and even prevent them. Accenture has found that 89% of customers are frustrated by having to repeat their problems to multiple agents, so knowing in advance what customers want is a powerful tool. AI, analytics and automation can help offer customers this experience, using predictive engagement.

Predictive engagement tools allow you to understand in advance what customers think, so you can interact with them when, where and how they want – even before they get in touch. Analytics can show that customers who have had a specific problem tend to have another type of problem as well. 

The use of predictive involvement allows you to ask questions and verify the second problem in the same chat, reducing calls, improving the effectiveness of the first contact and overall customer satisfaction.

The best customer service is preventive and is based on knowing what customers think. 

Predictive analytics and engagement concern the prediction of customer behavior, arriving early when necessary and offering agent support to customers browsing the site and improving the overall experience by identifying and interacting with potential customers and at the time and through right channels. About 67% of customers motivate their abandonment with the poor customer experience, but only 1 out of 26 dissatisfied customers actually complain: the others simply leave. Therefore, good customer experience is critical to reducing customer loss.

That’s why AI can help a lot to increase customer satisfaction and therefore also your turnover.

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Machine Learning as a new brain for the business

software development

We currently live in the data era, in which a large amount of it is collected and stored every day.

In the time this article was written:

• There are 4,156,513,325 users on the Internet, it would take more than 128 years to count them.

• 1,755,606,975 websites on the Internet.

• 168.673.726.872 e-mails sent only today.

• 4,723,747,823 Google searches 

• 4,033,234 blog posts 

• 4,553,543,234 YouTube video views today only.

This is a lot of data to manage, even for computers. 

Machine Learning is a branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that offers computers the possibility of learning without being explicitly programmed.

In the field of computer science, machine learning is a variation of traditional programming in which a machine has the ability to learn something from the data independently, without receiving explicit instructions about it, in essence, learns from experience.

ML is a field of study that exploits the principles of computer science, automation and statistics to create statistical models and to further improve the performance of an algorithm in identifying patterns in the data


These models are generally used to do two things: 

1. Forecasting: predicting the future based on past data 

2. Inference: discovering patterns in the data

Difference between ML and AI: there is no universal agreement on the distinction between ML and artificial intelligence (AI). Artificial intelligence usually concentrates on programming computer to make decisions (based on ML models and sets of logical rules), whereas ML focuses more on predicting the future.

They are highly interconnected fields and, for most non-technical purposes, are the same.

The rudimentary algorithm with which every Machine Learning logoic starts is a linear regression algorithm.

Regression is a method of modeling a target value based on independent predictors. This method is mainly used for predicting and researching the cause and effect relationship between variables. Regression techniques differ mainly based on the number of independent variables and the type of relationship between independent and dependent variables.

New technologies have forced companies to change the way they interact with their customers.

Machine learning is also used to have very detailed data on its customers, in order to be able to meet their needs in the best possible way.

B2C

People from different disciplines are trying to apply AI to make their tasks easier and more efficient. For example, economists use AI to predict future market prices to make a profit, doctors use AI to classify whether a tumor is malignant or benign, meteorologists use AI to predict the weather, recruiters human resources use AI to check the candidates’ resume to see if the applicant meets the minimum criteria for the job, etc.

One of the ways to use machine learning is to improve the online shopping experience, personalizing it as much as possible.

Sales processes can be easily automated through chatbots that act as if they were human beings, guiding the customer and giving advice.

An example is Netflix, which recommends TV series and films based on what has already been seen, or the use of chatbots that interact with the potential customer as if they were human beings.

Healthcare

AI applications can provide personalized medical and radiographic readings. Personal health care workers can act as life coaches, reminding you to take pills, exercise or eat healthier.

Manufacturing

AI is able to analyze corporate IoT data while streaming from connected equipment to predict expected load and demand using recurring networks, a specific type of deep learning network used with sequence data.

Retail

AI offers virtual shopping features that offer personalized recommendations or present the different purchase options to the consumer. Technologies for inventory management and site configuration will also be improved with AI.

Sports

In this field, AI can be used to capture and analyze game images, provide coaches with reports on how to better organize a team, for example, including optimizing positions on the pitch and strategy.

The most common languages ​​and frameworks used nowadays or software development with regards to Machine Learning are Python and R with the support of HTML as browser.

B2B

Another advantage in the use of machine learning is also that of being able to have more and more updated information on existing customers and potentials. With machine learning, it will always be easier to have a list of potential customers knowing already how to interact with them, as you will already have all the necessary data.

 Taken as a whole, Machine Learning can have multiple uses and can be very useful if combined with a strategy that aims to optimize the company on all levels.

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Best development languages in 2019

laptop software development

Dart and Flutter ranked #1 and #2 for the fastest-growing language and open source projects.

Over the past year, worldwide developers collaborated in more than 370 primary languages on GitHub.  Among the top 10 programming languages, C#, Python and Shell climbed the list this year, while Ruby and Java fell in popularity. That’s according to the code repository’s annual Octoverse report, which also reveals a massive increase in the use of Flutter.

Flutter was launched by Google in December 2018. Version 1.12 was released at the Flutter Interactive event in December 2019.  Over the last year Flutter has been the second-fastest growing project on GitHub. Contributions rose 279 percent over and Flutter is now the third largest project by contributors, with over 13,000 contributors. While it’s relatively new, more than one million developers are using Flutter at beginning of 2020.

Flutter is a free, open-source Software Development Kit (SDK) for crafting interactive, natively compiled applications for mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase. It is a cross-platform framework that enables developers to write native mobile apps in Dart a programming language, created by Google. It benefits from Dart and can be compiled into native code and communicates with the target platform without bridge and context switching. For some developers, Dart is similar to Ruby, while others find the resemblance to Java.

What’s new?

While releasing version 1.12 Google announced that Flutter was the first UI platform designed for ambient computing.  Ambient computing is a term that incorporates several distinct concepts. It is a combination of hardware, software, user experience, and machine/human interaction and learning. The idea is that developers need to code their apps just once using Google’s Dart programming language and have them run flawlessly across all of those platforms, without needing to change the code for each version.

What Is Exceptionally Good about Flutter Framework?

Flutter has proprietary UI components of Flutter UI builder, already adapted to native mobile operating systems. For iOS, it’s a Cupertino widget set, while for Android, it’s Material Design widgets. Moreover, everything from classes to layout structure is a widget. Without traditional WebViews, developers can code much faster and obtain fully-customizable designs by changing each element in whatever way possible. By implementing a widget once, it will work just the same on different devices, which gives programmers more confidence in their products.

The other unique feature that sets Flutter apart from the rest is that:

  • Flutter has a thin layer of C/C++ code, and it implements most of its operations (compositing, gestures, animation, framework, widgets, etc.) in Dart
  • Flutter can be compiled to JavaScript and can be executed by browsers.
  • Dart allows code reuse between mobile apps and web apps.  App Store demands applications to be dynamic and Dart perfectly deals with the task using Ahead-Of-Time (AOT) compilation strategy. It is also capable of using a Just-In-Time compilation in the course of the development process. Stateful hot reload (necessarily in debug mode) gives a programmer the ability to make changes and see the result on the emulator in under a second. AOT compilation allows the applications written on Dart to launch faster, take up less space, and save battery life.

With Flutter Google is paving the way to the future of cross platform development. Developers often need to compromise between productivity and quality. They choose to develop separate apps for iOS and Android or turn to a cross-platform solution that fails to deliver native experiences. Flutter was designed to bridge this gap.

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3 steps to Cyber Security for your business

steps to cybersecurity

Every year the Internet is being used by more people and with the IoT, Machine Learning and RPA uprising businesses are more eager to innovate and digitize in order to remain competitive. At the same time companies face the risk of cyber attacks to their own Intellectual Properties and Sensitive Data. Developing a cyber security strategy and a control framework to mitigate any operational and IT risks is crucial in today’s markets. Companies need to improve enterprise’s IT security system so that sensitive data does not leak. Thinking about the safety of an enterprise in advance by involving employees and training them is crucial. We have prepared our set of steps to cybersecurity.

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What does security really mean?

steps to cybersecurity for business

What do we understand today under «security» and «informational security»? Security is a state without any threat. Information security is the practical protection of information. If an enterprise has a customer database, it is considered very sensitive information, that needs to be protected.

Here are 3 aspects of informational security:

  • Confidentiality – no one has access to the data from the outside, no one who does not work at your enterprise and to whom such access is not provided;
  • Immunity – no one could discreetly change the existing data in the system;
  • Availability – so that employees and authorized clients can access the necessary information at any time;

On the way to implementing cybersecurity strategy there are some steps to follow:

First step: understand the structure of the information system of an enterprise and identify the most effective ways to improve it. This will take time, but it will contribute to the further successful development of the enterprise. It is important to pay attention to information assets. They always have to be highly protected from external attacks by hackers. For small and medium-sized enterprises, the three most important information assets are as follows – customer data, various lists, and contracts. This sensitive information must be carefully protected, as dishonest competitors may try to hack into the customer database.

Second step: risk assessment test. It will help to understand which data is sensitive within the enterprise. What measures should be taken to protect them? Such an assessment will also lead to a deeper understanding of cybersecurity issues among staff and management. Any company, before starting cooperation with any third party, is always recommended to conduct a risk assessment test. For example, an enterprise attracts a supplier, whose task is to develop a mobile application. In order to realize the task, the enterprise must give the supplier access to its IT system, and this creates a certain risk zone.

Third step: regular employee training. An important role is also played by employee training, so that potential attacks on the IT systems of an enterprise can be timely prevented. Training for employees can be carried out with the help of the IT department and attracting IT consultants. Recently, it has become popular to organize so-called «hackathons». These are intensive 48-hour technology marathons devoted to security and IT topics. While shaping the internal culture of a start-up enterprise, the support of management is very important. If security is important for the leader, it will be important for employees.

Conclusion

In order to create an effective culture of cybersecurity at the enterprise, you need to constantly think about risks and talk about them with employees. The founder of a new enterprise must act consistently and thoughtfully. If there is not enough attention paid to the risks, at some point the data leak may take place. Being vigilant, investing into security and shape an enterprise culture in which cybersecurity is a value is a way to cybersecurity.

Artecha team with help you implement the right cybersecurity strategy.

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The difference between Fintech & Techfin

FinTech and TechFin difference

The banking industry is evolving at an increasing pace. For the past few years, banks and financial organizations have gone through drastic changes. Recently financial institutions and FinTech startups initiated their cooperation that will bring them to some economic growth. At the same time, dozens of Tech companies are offering various financial solutions that are helping the financial industry to grow. Let’s discover difference between FinTech and TechFin companies.

Giant financial corporations implement an innovative approach and become customer-oriented companies, with modern technologies in use. At the same time, we have traditional institutions, that obtain enough resources and financing. According to the World FinTech Report 2019, an open ecosystem is setting the course for the future of the financial industry, as well as a new partnership between classical banks and FinTech startups.

«The traditional bank must progressively move from a position of ‘universal bank’ to a position of ‘universal partner’ to support customers beyond strictly banking products. Indeed, financial services are at the crossroads of customer journeys. This is an orientation towards a more useful but less visible bank.»
Laurent Darmon
CEO, La Fabrique by Crédit Agricole


The bottom line is the difference between FinTech and TechFin. Between a company based on financial technology and a company that uses technology in its financial activities. The traditional bank is a TechFin company: it sees technology and tries to fit it into existing structures and processes

FinTech Companies – create new digital processes that, in the analog world, function partially or not at all. TechFin companies – digitize processes in accordance with the capabilities of technology, that can function both in the analog world and in the digital one. The traditional bank, which acquired the application, simply added it to its old systems.

A digital bank is being built from scratch and actively uses modern technologies. It functions in a completely different way. Perhaps the best example would be a large bank. A bank like this has branches, staff, history. It notices a new technology and tries to integrate it into its complex structure. A digital startup bank starts from scratch and poses the question differently: «How do we rebuild our financial services based on new technologies?»

Difference between FinTech and TechFin

FinTech and TechFin difference

We need to consider the difference between a company based on financial technology and a company that uses technology in its financial activities.

A traditional bank is a TechFin company: it sees technology and tries to fit it into existing structures and processes. A startup is a FinTech company: takes technology and on its basis creates products for financial markets and structures. The first continues to focus on a physically distributed organization, that exists in the form of many departments, where employees work. At the same time is trying to insert all this technology above all the existing processes.

The second starts with the digital distribution of data on the Internet. Then determines whether it needs offices and employees for work. This is a completely different approach to the problem, and it is inaccessible to most banks since they don’t have anyone from their management, who could make such bold decisions.

So here we have :

As a result, it turns out that FinTech companies think on the basis of existing technologies, revises the structure, and build both – old financial services and new ones. And alongside create disruptive innovations.

TechFin companies think the opposite, how can technology be used in an existing company and service structure. During this process, they create supporting innovations.

In conclusion, both FinTech and TechFin institutions make sure to satisfy the overall winner – the customer. Overall it doesn’t matter what customer chooses – a more traditional or innovative approach. But we c cannot deny the fact the industry keeps changing and most likely technology implementation will be inevitable. Artecha team will gladly let you know about more details.

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Problems and opportunities for banks in the digital era

bank digitalization

Today we live in a global era when the banking system is already starting to fail. Banks are local, and the network is global. This requires a certain digital step from the banking industry. Digitalization means rethinking the bank in the realities of the Internet era. It is changing the business model and corporate culture of the bank, which are now built on the basis of digital platforms.

Think about this for a moment

Since mainly bankers are at the head of banks, this could be a problem for bank innovation. The top management of most banks does not have an engineer in their team. This has to be a person with a digital technology background. A person in charge of digital on-boarding. Therefore, the leadership of such banks believes that digitalization is a project. In each business area, some digital project is created, a leader is assigned and the task of the digital reform is set. This person gathers a team, receives a budget, completes his project, and everything returns back to normal. This has nothing to do with real digitalization and is nothing more than patching holes.

bank digitalization

Re-build financial services

Digitalization requires a total rethinking of the bank in the realities of the Internet era. It is changing the business model and corporate culture of the bank, which are now built based on digital platforms. It requires re-imagining how banks will provide high-tech financial services. Bankers see the situation exactly the opposite. They ponder how to apply technology to an existing financial services structure. Why is that? Because bank executives are knowledgeable about risks, government regulations, compliance, accounting, postings, and money. What they don’t understand is technology and the future of banking technology.

Technology expertise

How can a bank be re-built technologically, if no one is aware of technology from the top management? This is a matter of principle, which is why there are many digital projects and no company leaders from this area. This should be at least a member of the board of directors. Almost everyone, who is involved in digitalization is subordinate to the operating director or IT director, but not the leader in digitalization. Again, in this case, banks underestimate the need for digital transformation and a person responsible for such reforms. The director of digitalization should be the only top manager directly reporting to the CEO. It can be even the CEO himself if the company is seriously counting on the success of the digital transformation.

At least a quarter of the Top management should be taken by people, who have made a career in digital technology. Today, in senior management, almost 90% of banks do not have a single professional in this industry. This is the path to disaster, especially considering that the banks have no more than five years reserved for structural transformation. Taking into account the EAEU digitalization agenda until 2025.

Advanced in Fintech

If the management team of the bank remains the same, and the employee sincerely believes that the future is behind digital technologies, severe changes need to be made to the work processes of any bank. These can be banks or start-ups led by technologically advanced specialists. Digital vision will not arise where there are no leaders who understand digitalization. Most of the top managers in banks try not to change the ABS because they do not have a common vision. As long as the ground beneath their feet does not burn, you can evade them. Most IT directors have no time to explain things to management. All their resources are used to ensure that the bank continues to function (80% of the budget is spent exactly on this).

Therefore, who will form the concept of digital technologies in the bank if there are only bankers on the board of directors and there is no one to object to them? Key to success is to implement FinTech resources and let the bank industry transform digitally. Artecha expertise allows us to implement these technologies to life and help financial organization digitalize smoothly. Let us know if need any additional information and let you financial company lead the fitter market of banking industry.

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Key Project Management Methods for software development

project management for software development

The success of any serious project depends on the methods used to manage it. All projects are unique, and there is no universal project management methodology yet. Each software development team has its own approach to project management. And there are no methods that are suitable for any team. However, over a long time that project management has existed, specialists have created quite a few standards and approaches, and we will introduce you to some of them. By comparing key project management methodologies we will help you decide which of them are most suitable for your needs and how you can organize your software development process.

Project management methodologies overview:

Scrum

A very flexible method. It is recognized by the Agile family as the most structured one. According to Agile principles, in Scrum, the project is divided into parts. It is suitable for instant use by the customer in order to get backlogs of products. Subsequently, the received parts are assigned according to their priority.

The most important parts are first selected for execution in the sprint (sprints in Scrum are iterations, that last from 2 to 4 weeks). As a result of the sprint, the customer receives the working increment of the product, i.e. ready to use parts. Once one sprint is completed, the project team starts the next sprint. The duration of sprints is always the same, but the team always sets it itself, evaluating its performance and project features.

Advantages of Scrum:

  • Suitable for projects, that require quick results;
  • Easily adapts to changes;
  • Suitable for use by teams, where there are employees with little experience since all team members actively interact with each other;
  • Allows you to make “quick mistakes”, i.e. receive almost instant feedback from ongoing actions thanks to sprints;
  • It allows you to quickly correct errors and improve the efficiency of your software.

Disadvantages of Scrum:

  • High demands on the project team (it requires a team of 5-9 people, and all team members must have needed competencies. This will secure a smooth software development process);
  • All employees must be able and willing to work in a team, be capable of self-organization and actively take responsibility;
  • Not suitable for all organizations and teams.

Lean

According to Agile, the project should be broken down into small sub-projects and work packages, but it’s not clear how to develop these sub-projects and work packages. The Lean method complements the principles of Agile with its workflow scheme for the high-quality execution of each iteration.

At Lean, work is broken down into small work packages, which are then implemented independently of each other. But unlike Scrum, each package has its workflow with stages. Such stages are planning, supply, testing, development. The main thing is that these stages are important for the high-quality implementation of the project.

Advantages of Lean:

  • Suitable for projects requiring clear execution and even quality, since it has all the appropriate tools;
  • Combines structuredness and flexibility.

Disadvantages of Lean:

  • It involves a detailed and rigorous study of all the tasks and stages of the project. This includes head-to-toe guidelines from the customer.
  • There is no clear workflow for the implementation of individual parts of the project, which negatively affects the speed of the entire project (this problem can be solved thanks to clear communications management within the team).
  • Like Agile, Lean is not so much a method as a way of thinking and a concept with which you can independently create a project management system that will satisfy all your requirements.

Kanban

If the “Lean” method seems somewhat abstract, combined with Kanban, it becomes an excellent tool for building an effective project management system. The Kanban method involves transferring the product increment from stage to stage, as a result of which the finished product appears at the output.

Kanban allows you to suspend the execution of one task at any stage if other urgent tasks have appeared or the priority of the current one has changed. Incomplete edition, suspended dates, indefinite part of the function – for the Kanban method this is the norm.

Advantages of Kanban:

  • Ideal for cohesive teams with established communication;
  • Missing Deadlines;
  • Significantly saves resources and allows you to comply with the budget and deadlines, because involves an accurate calculation of the burden on the performers, the correct placement of restrictions and focus on continuous improvement.

Disadvantages of Kanban

  • It is more suitable for teams, whose members have overlapping skills, otherwise, the effectiveness of the method will significantly decrease;
  • Not very suitable for implementing projects with hard deadlines;
  • In cases where you have to deal with clearly defined deadlines, it is best to use the Scrum method.

Conclusion

Project management is a science, but not the most accurate one. There are no universal solutions in this area. If you manage to find a method, ideally suited to your project – you can consider yourself lucky, because less successful managers have to make efforts to create and configure their project management systems. Here in Artecha we can easily adapt to your needs and offer you the best project management approach. Being business-oriented, we are interested in the successful completion of any software development project we deal with.

Let us know what is your idea to grow your business and we will bring it to life using the best approach.

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Natural Language Processing changing Healthcare industry

Natural Language Processing

As a technology, natural language processing has developed and came into life with products such as Siri, Alexa and Google’s voice search. Employment of NLP helped to understand and respond to user requests.

Today’s natural language processing systems can analyze unlimited amounts of text-based data without fatigue. And make the industry more efficient in a consistent and unbiased manner. NLP is an attractive way to provide the necessary clinical information. Thanks to the voice recognition system physicians will be able to dictate their reports in a usual way. Natural language processor, in it’s turn, will translate the textual report into a structured encoded form. The coded NLP system could be stored in real-time along with the original text in a clinical repository. This would enormously increase the functionality of the voice recognition system. Moreover, further advance the healthcare IT market.

natural language processing

The Healthcare IT Market is expected to be $390.7 Billion by 2024 and is growing at a faster rate than the GDP of most countries.

Thanks to NLP Processes we will have more information about the treatment of the patient. This will be crucial to attract more patients and reduce costs for hospitals. Artecha has been actively involved in providing software solutions to the health care market to further advance the research.

NLP as an Attitude

Uses a keen sense of curiosity about people and approach to others. It also considers each experience as a rare and unprecedented opportunity to learn.

NLP as methodology

is based on a way of interacting with people, that reveals a startling and revolutionary premise. Behavior, communication, and change have a structure, as does every human endeavor. In particular, a structure that we can be model, learn and teach.

NLP as a technology

with innovative, reliable and proven techniques, that allow one to organize the perceptions and behavior to get an extraordinary and ecological result.

At Artecha we curate, implement and develop sophisticated text mining applications. They help to further advance the research within the medical field. We are also actively involved in providing software solutions to the health care market. Our aim is to further advance the research process with specialized clinics and boutique dental practices in the UK.

Artecha now is more and more in the healthcare industry, so If you have any question, will help your inquiry.

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Agile methodology: Advantages and Disadvantages

agile methodology

Agile, which appeared as a method of software development in a small team 10-15 years ago. Today it is becoming a new cultural management system for companies. Agile methodology is an innovative rethinking approach to creating a new product or service. It is based on a very simple idea: each participant of the process, each employee should be involved in the process of rethinking their tasks. Also everyone can make rational suggestions.

When comprehending Agile, it is important to know both the positive and negative aspects of this methodology. Let’s start with the pros.

Advantages

First of all, it is worth noting that Agile management is very flexible. The traditional methodology indicates specific stages of work. Agile, in it’s turn, easily adapts to the consumer of the final product and customer requirements. Therefore, the number of defects in the final product is minimized. All this is done due to a thorough quality control, which is carried out at the end of each stage.

In addition, Agile launches quickly, responds easily to changes, and allows the development team and customers to keep in touch in real time. The advantages are obvious, but let’s also talk about the cons.

Disadvantages

The disadvantages of the methodology are that, first of all, constant feedback can lead to the fact that the deadline of the project will be transferred all the time, thereby creating a threat of infinitely ongoing work. If the customer sees, for example, only the results, but has no idea of ​​the efforts required to achieve them, he will always demand improvements.

The second drawback is the need to adapt the project documentation to the changing conditions of the project. If the team is not properly informed of changes or additional functions, documents with functional requirements or architecture may not be relevant at the current time.

The third significant disadvantage of Agile is the need for frequent meetings. Of course, they contribute to increase work efficiency. Nevertheless the constant distraction of team members can affect the process negatively. Mainly because people’s attention is systematically moving away from the tasks being solved.

In conclusion, theory and practice are two different things. The Agile methodology involves the participation of the whole team in the software development process, leaving participants with familiar competencies. Such an approach will allow to understand that they all work for the same ultimate goal – a quality product for their customer. New methods and technologies and their implementation is a kind of challenge to the team. And how to come to greater efficiency is always an individual matter. Agile is not a panacea or a guarantee of success, but it allows you to set the right course and find landmarks on the way.

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Best approaches how to monitor software development projects

team work

Knowing how to correctly evaluate the duration of the project will help to maintain a stable development process. On the stage of the formation of the project framework and analysis of requirements, this knowledge will be very helpful. Let’s take a closer look at best approaches for time-management. They will help you monitor your software development project.

Progressive JPEG method

Your project is ready for preview at any time. This means that the tab of the basic minimum functionality (draft with basic buttons) is developed at the very beginning, and then refinement only takes place. This approach performs well when the customer wants to see some work progress in three weeks. He saw your draft, thought it over and talked to you. Therefore it turned out that half of the functionality, agreed upon earlier, was no longer needed at all.

CPM (Critical Path Method)

The purpose of the method is to search within the project for such work sites, that cannot be performed simultaneously. For instance – a comparison of two pictures (the original and the processed one) can occur only after the comparison logic works. There is little use for a finished page in a browser with a container for pictures, a header and a block for social networks. It is these places in the project, that affect its execution time. The calculation of the cost of segments executed in parallel will allow you to understand how much resources are required for optimal work on tasks, and get an approximate project duration.

Expert Judgement


The method consists in attracting third-party specialists to derive the required values. Experts in the right field issue their verdict on the topic of cost or time frame. After that, you can average all the proposals, or you can try to come to a common solution during the discussion. The involvement of experts in the discussion of options is certainly more effective and will give a more accurate, reasoned and tested assessment.

Three Point Estimation

software development project
analogous estimation

One of the most common and simple methods. In it’s framework optimistic (O = Optimistic), pessimistic (P = Pessimistic) and realistic average (M = Middle) estimates are first determined. The values ​​of P, M and O are determined expertly (in hours, days, $), for example, during a discussion within the project team. Further, the obtained values ​​of P, M, and O are substituted in the formula:

(O + 4 M + P) / 6

The result of the calculation gives an average estimate. Such a formula makes it possible to take into account possible positive and negative scenarios on the one hand. On the other hand to “smooth out” their influence and obtain a more realistic value of the assessment.

Analogous Estimation

Here, completed projects or experience in evaluating large works will play into your hands. Firstly, you need to remember what you did similar to the current project, what nuances there were. Seconfly, how much it cost per unit of time, how similar tasks were solved. To evaluate a large project, it is necessary to break it into smaller parts, using the principle of decomposition.

In conclusion, knowing all these approaches and implementing one of them in practice will help you monitor your software development project. Organize processes smoothly and reach all the desired outcomes. Do you use any of these approaches and what are the results?

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Customer interaction in the software development process

customer interaction

Every aspect of business requires customers to make use of services to survive. Customer involvement is considered as one of the key factors for successful software development projects. Customers interact by giving precise requests, giving constant feedback to developers and testing each software release. Being an agile software development agency, we understand the importance of customer participation in each stage of the software development process. By looking through the key stages of an agile-based project we will see a customer’s direct impact on each part of the process.

Requirement Gathering

During this stage customer will be sharing with the team and developers, in particular, their vision for the project, expectation, and functionality. All the user requirements are gathered in user stories. This makes it easier to understand and maintain the value of the business throughout the whole development process. After all the requirements are gathered, the team moves on to the next stage and comes up with working prototypes.

Iterations conduction

By this stage, there are all the necessary materials gathered, and the problem to be solved is defined clearly. During this stage, the idea starts to be brought to life. First of all, everything has to be planned and then, again, agreed with the customer. Once agreed, developers implement all the features that were listed during the planning process. Customer will need to assess the product and initiate changes that will need to be implemented during the next step of the iteration. This process takes time since it will also require a lot of testing to be conducted. Again, without the customer’s participation, it will not be possible. Everyone needs to make sure that the customer will get working software with all the features initially requested.

Product delivery

Once all the QA (Quality Assurance) testing, internal and external training and documentation development are finished, the project finally can be released. A software product can also see a few releases before the final version. This helps the customer to see how the product will work after all the development part is finished. After every release customer needs to pay a lot of attention to the product, make sure all the requirements are included, and everything works smoothly.

Conclusion

Despite all the challenges and time-consuming processes, customer interaction in the software development process helps the development team to understand better all the needs of a customer, and deliver high-performing software. Implementation of agile methodology helps getting desired customer participation throughout the whole cycle. It also leads to a release of a decent software product, that meets all the initial requirements and has all the needed features.

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Internet of Skills: a new vision of remote communication.

Internet of Skills

With the introduction of 5G technology, everyone is now talking about the Internet of Things, Internet of Information. One of the other branches, where 5G can be of great use is the Internet of Skills. Projected to be a key component of the future digitalized world, Internet of Skills will enable human beings to teach, be taught and execute any actions remotely.

Internet of Skills enables you to transmit your expertise in real-time, by using robotics and haptic feedback. Modern technologies can recreate a sense of touch, by applying certain forces, vibrations to the user. For instance they can trick our skin into thinking that what we touch in a virtual world is real.

How is it currently used?

Currently, implementation examples include remote interactive teaching and remote repair services. For the Internet of Skills to become a fully integrated reality, a combination of machine interaction methods and extended communication capabilities is required. Both industry and consumers certainly show a great interest in using capabilities, that Internet of Skills can bring.

What makes the Internet of Skills work?

Short latency capabilities of 5G are essential to make the Internet of Skills work, by providing instant action-reaction. The response times on 5G are 400X faster than a blink of an eye (1 millisecond). Without the availability of 5G technology globally, this system will lack audio, visual and haptic technologies. According to Mischa Dohler, a professor of wireless communications at King’s College London, it will take another 10 years for the Internet of Skills to be fully implemented in reality.

Future of IoS

In conclusion, Internet of Skills will be an essential tool in our digitalized world. By enabling remote skill delivery it will democratize labor globally, essentially the same way as the Internet has made knowledge public to any user in the world. In the future, 5G technology in combination with sensors, tactile gloves, and virtual reality technologies will allow us to “digitize” and transmit physical skills of experienced specialists over long distances. It is projected that by 2023 there will be more than 1 billion 5G connections in the world. Therefore, we can safely prepare for the fact that the “Internet of Skills” will become the same everyday thing as the familiar Internet of Things.

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Top 5 technologies in the software development world

software development

New technologies and gadgets are spread at a terrifying pace. But not always it has been like this. Today we would like to talk more about what technologies, that are shaping the software development industry. Emerged technologies revolutionized the industry in the last decade, and here are our Top 5 technologies:

JavaScript

Being the only programming language to run in web browsers, it keeps improving over time. JavaScript is a provider of a path for front-end developers, that helps them to become full-stack developers. Mainly JavaScript is improved by developers, who load its applications with more capabilities and interactions than before. JavaScript has a great advantage – it has reliable execution environment. This is what makes this technology widely used, and constantly improved.

Python


According to the TIOBE Programming Community Index, Python is one of the top programming languages in 2019 and is not going to lose its positions. Python is used for desktop GUI applications, website and web applications. By having quite simple syntax rules, Python makes it easier to keep the code readable and the application maintainable.

ReactJS


ReactJS is considered as one of the best JavaScript framework candidates. Its main strength is to offer help in building software that operates at scale. ReactJS helps teams of developers to clarify how they can work together and build some reusable components, and make them easier to maintain.

Security


The more data appears in the tech world, the more vulnerable it may get. Cyberattacks have managed to bring down companies and destroy careers. One of the key tasks of any software developer to make sure the product, they create is secure and protected from any malicious attacks. This is why all the security measures are treated seriously and companies are investing actively to protect their data.

IoT


Internet of Things is one of the important technologies, that are shaping our future now. Today, IoT devices are Wi-Fi-powered, programmable, not at a high cost, and useful. Developing this technology can help us solve our customers’ problems, and be implemented in UX/UI designs to make them up-to-date.

There is still a lot to be discovered among new, emerging technologies, that are constantly changing the software development industry. Here, in Artecha, we keep learning new ways how to provide our customers with best and modern solutions.

For more information contact us!

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Next-generation. What 5G Technology is bringing to us?

future with 5g technology

The modern mobile network now is way more than making phone calls or sending SMS. 5G network is the next generation of mobile internet connectivity, offering faster speeds and more reliable connections on mobile devices and desktops than ever before.

5G networks are already starting to appear and are expected to be launched globally by 2020. Recently it’s speed has reached a record number of 15 Gbps in Sweden. With its low latency feature, 5G allows transmitting data in real-time without any delays. This technology is bringing vast changes to every industry. Let’s see how some of them will change.

  • Industry. 5G will increase the speed of industrial robots and will unify the whole infrastructure, that will increase overall performance.
  • Agriculture. 5G will enable remote control of the agricultural machinery and will help to monitor fields and herds.
  • Education. 5G will enable learning through VR-broadcast of the process from master’s/teacher’s point of view.
  • Medicine. 5G will let doctors from all over the world carry out remote real-time operations and gather consultation to come up with a solution for treatment.
  • Communication. With the implementation of 5G people will be able to use interactive virtual reality. Users will be able to interact remotely as if they were together in reality.
  • Entertainment. Possibility of fast wireless transmission of ultra-high-definition video ( 4k, 8k ), translations of the various events with the implementation of VR technology.

First trial 5G network was launched on 23rd of April 2018 in metropolis Chongqing, China. Since then 5G technology is being implemented in various metropolises all over the world. It is projected that by 2035 the infrastructure of 5G network will be supporting 22 mills. workplaces all over the globe.

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Main web development Trends in 2020

working on computer

Technologies do not stand still and are constantly evolving, and what was used several years ago may already be irrelevant today, or what they could not do several years ago has already become a reality. There are more modern tools that help you create web and mobile applications faster and better. Let’s look at the latest web development trends.

PWA (Progressive Web Applications)

Progressive Web Applications combine the best from browsers, websites and mobile applications. Most brands that have switched from websites to progressive web applications and have significantly improved conversions. Therefore, PWA has every reason to remain the leading trend in 2019.

Augmented data analytics

Augmented analytics –  area of augmented intelligence which uses machine learning to automatically analyze large amounts of data, get new information from them and visualize it. Software using augmented analytics will be embedded in existing business applications of enterprises and will soon begin to help in optimizing solutions.

Push notifications

Thanks to the tremendous success they have brought to countless mobile applications, push notifications have become extremely important components of most websites. Push notifications are rapidly replacing mailing lists, as they are easier to manage for both users and developers.

Cyber Security 

IT professionals are most concerned about data leaks, data privacy breaches and privacy breaches. Most organizations are preparing to defend against an unprecedented wave of cyber attacks. As a result, cybersecurity should remain the dominant trend in web development in the near future.

Single Page Applications (SPA)

As the name implies, a single-page application is a long web page, free from complex menus and navigation. Since it is easy to work with them, they look ready to increase their popularity. With the simplicity of their design and download speed, they are gaining an increasing number of users.

Chat bots

The popularity of chat bots has increased significantly. Some bots are designed to answer basic questions, but there are others that can easily answer complex ones. Integrating the bot with the site will help generate more user traffic and make the resource attractive.

Sure enough, all these leading trends are designed to  provide more opportunities for web developers, as well as for companies and the end users. Contact Artecha (Art & Tech) to implement the latest web trends for your idea or business. 

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Progressive Web Apps: Why does your business need it right now

holding mobile phone

It’s amazing how quickly technology changes. Yesterday, everyone was amazed at the rapid development of native mobile applications, and today we are witnessing a new evolution.
Let`s talk about Progressive Web App technology which was announced by Google in 2015, but becoming a popular trend nowadays.

This is a technology that adds application functionality to the site. In the desktop browser, the progressive web app. And when it comes to a mobile browser, it’s PWA turns into a mobile browser.

Progressive Web App is very easy to detect, just like a regular website – just google it, click on the link to open it, and everything, you have an application on your device, ready to be shown.
The user enters the site and gets an offer to add it to the main screen. If the user accepts the offer, the site icon instantly appears on the screen of the mobile device.
After installation, PWA creates a site cache. This solves two problems: it increases download speed and makes the site available offline. That is, thanks to PWA technology, the site can be used even without an internet connection.

Important: the functionality of a progressive web application does not interfere with using the site in the usual way.

The advantage of PWAs over mobile apps is that they consume much less data. While native apps reside in the user’s phone, PWAs are only accessed when users go to the website—the only time when data is used.
Another advantage of Progressive Web App is that any page or screen on your PWA can have its own shareable direct link.
The feature of pushing notifications allow users to get timely updates from sites they love, enabling you to effectively re-engage users with customized content.

Why should business use progressive web apps?

This technology benefits both customers and users. Such an application can be developed several times cheaper and faster than the native one, which opens up many new opportunities for small companies.

PWA helps businesses:

  • Get to the user’s mobile device bypassing Google Play and other app stores. 
  • Make the site available offline. This even works for online stores, but information about executed deals “flies” into the store when the user has an internet connection. 
  • Increase website loading speed on mobile devices. 
  • Send notifications to users. 

Implementing PWA gives measurable results

Here are some examples: 
The Pinterest.com image search platform uses PWA. The results were spectacular: the number of active users increased by 103% over the week, the number of new subscribers increased by 843%.

Thanks to technology, Tinder has reduced page load times from 11.9 seconds to 4.69 seconds. PWA Tinder is 90% easier than their native application. 

PWA Uber weighs almost nothing and loads in 3 seconds even in 2G networks.

And there are many such examples. Soon, the presence of PWA will be simply necessary for any serious business, and the absence will be perceived as a significant drawback. Contact Artecha (Art & Tech) in order to create your Progressive Web App and help your business to keep up with tech trends.








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Shaping Software into a Piece of Art

blue big data

A lot of people seem surprised that someone interested in computers would also be interested in art. People seem to think that software development and artists are very different kinds of work, that development is cold, precise, and methodical, whilst art is the hectic expression of some primal urge.
Both of these images are wrong. Developers and artists are most alike. What developers and artists have in common is that they’re both makers. Along with composers, architects, and writers, what developers and artists are trying to do is make good things.

Abstract thinking

Artists can take a blank canvas and use their creativity to draw something from scratch. It requires lots of abstract thinking, trying to connect things and creating something with their minds and hands.

Developers often do something similar, for instance when it comes to working with a start-up. They take an abstract problem, come up with a solution and portray it through code.

Fine-Tuning

Paintings are often created by gradual refinement. They usually begin with a sketch and gradually the details are filled in.

Developing a piece of software often starts out with a sketch on a whiteboard, iterating on the idea, developing the concept, backtracking when it goes down the wrong route, identifying the features and ultimately ending into a prototype.

Inspiring and taking inspiration

Many famous artists have been deeply influenced by work done before their time. The ideas artists are exposed to through other people and media inevitably influence them.

Van Gogh studied the works of many artists including Rembrandt, and his Rest from Work was clearly inspired by Millet’s Noonday Rest.

Developers are inspired through work done by others, as well. People Google-search to see if a problem they’re trying solving has been solved before and reuse it, often saving days or weeks of work. Most developers use and contribute to open source projects in GitHub or they get ideas from fellow developers on Stack Overflow. This is a common practice in the software development community.

Focus

There’s a reason why developers wear headphones. Coding often requires deep concentration and focus. It’s often when they are at their most productive. Developers are moving codes around trying to get a piece of software into perfect shape or design, very similar to sculpting a piece of art using clay with their hands.  Time passes and brilliant solutions appear, complex code with numerous pieces that interact are created and it all just flows out automatically.

Artists are also known for getting in the zone, often spending hours or even days working continuously on a project looking for the perception.

Perseverance

Great pieces of work often take weeks or months, whether it’s creating a painting or coding a software system.  Some artists are lucky and create that great piece of work quickly, but for most others, it takes perseverance and a long time. It supposedly took Michelangelo more than 25 years to create the Sistine Chapel.

Creating a great piece of software can often take weeks or even months until getting to the final product. Like an artist, developers might get stuck, however, unlike a piece of art that is unveiled in the gallery, the software is best when it is first launched as an MVP and then followed up with many subsequent releases.

Forever young

Pieces of art decay over time. That’s why there are art restorers. Software is known to decay over time too, first incurring technical debt and sometimes eventually turning into legacy code. Code that is not maintained, pruned or updated degrades over time. This is why developers refactor code, to keep it up to date and remove technical debt. Refactoring is the fine art restoration of the digital world.

Many developers are artists

Many developers are actually artists, literally.

Leonardo da Vinci was a painter and sculptor. He was also an engineer, architect, mathematician, and inventor.

The Ruby community is well-known for having many developers who are also artists and musicians. Jonathan Gillette, was a writer, cartoonist, artist, and computer programmer most notable for his work with the Ruby programming language.

For many developers today, the line between programming and art has become increasingly blurred. Today’s web developers are required to have design skills, be able to use Photoshop, style pages and content, and understand web aesthetic and responsive web design.

Artecha

To conclude, Software Development can be perceived as being analytical, scientific, precise, but it’s some of that. Development requires inspiration, creativity and technical ability.

Artecha (Art & Tech) was ideated with the mission of combining these skills and embed them within one team of specialists coming from different backgrounds with the common driver of developing digital solutions and launch them into the market same as a work of art.

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