Technology

How to choose the right outsourcing partner
Culture, Technology

How to choose a software development outsourcing partner

Hiring in the top talent to develop software for your organization can seem easy enough, as you will quickly realize that you have a diverse choice of potential partners, spread across the globe. The problem is narrowing that down. How do you pinpoint the organization that is ‘best fit’ for your business needs and goals?

Sifting out the winning solutions is vital. The marketplace is peppered with empty promises and inflated claims, including what appears (on the surface) to be inexpensive software development, testing, and maintenance services.

Finding the right partnership is not about the cheapest or quickest fixes. Software that builds successful businesses is part of a long-term plan and requires an outsourcing partner with the coding vision and technical expertise to dovetail effortlessly with your current and future goals.

Also, you need a partner able to interpret your specific brief intuitively and intelligently.

Clearly, a collaboration with a relevantly skilled software outsourcing team that understands your organization is crucial. However, how do you find the right software development partner for your business?

Evidence of relevant, recent experience

The first step is to seek out providers of software development outsourcing who can provide clear and tangible proof of their credentials. This needs to pivot on recent projects. Their portfolio can be broad – and doesn’t have to focus on your business field as long as they can show a strong track record for responding to briefs with versatility and precise results.

Talking through recent projects with them should give you insights into their problem-solving abilities, and the way they marry together technical expertise in coding with a genuine appreciation of real business’ pains and gains’.

An authentic partnership approach to software development

The next step to tracking down the right company to your meet programming needs is harder to quantify and depends partially on how you work as a decisionmaker.

You have to find a company that genuinely appreciates the importance of clear communication and collaboration. One willing to ‘listen’ acutely to the brief and call you out if they see flaws, issues, or improvements you have missed. A software development outsourcer should keep you informed at every step, while still being proactive and using their own initiative when needed.

A lot depends on being offered an Account Manager/Lead for your software project who is authentically interested in delivering the right results, on deadline and on budget, which can often involve them getting deep into your company culture and operational realities, as well as your long term business goals.

You can gauge much of this during your negotiations. If it looks or sounds like an ‘off the shelf’ software development solution and sales patter, you would be best advised to walk away!

Do they practice what they preach?

One of the best ways to be sure that a potential software development outsourcing partner has what it takes to understand your business properly is to see how they do business!

Check whether their ethics, working practices, and personnel support offer synergies with your company mission.

Also, the pillars of any positive business partnership are competence and warmth! If they respect their team and show a degree of corporate responsibility, it suggests that they care about their reputation and culture.

From this, you can grow your confidence in their ability to care about your results and effectiveness as a company.

Planning and delivery infrastructure

You can also test the merits of a software development outsourcing partner by asking for a structured plan for how your coding project will be envisaged, approved, and delivered. This needs to be a step by step and highly transparent framework.

A company that offers you a structured process with key milestones is far less likely to be ‘all talk and empty promises.’

It could be that within this planned response to your brief, they offer methodologies and measures to go above and beyond your original aims. Your potential partner could already be looking for ways to find greater efficiencies and more agile alternatives for your business functions and processes.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, you are likely facing new challenges, including having to adapt to remote working conditions, dealing with more reduced internet connections, and fielding remote security concerns from your staff. Therefore, it’s important to choose an outsourcing partner who understands this and is capable of successfully delivering complex software, no matter where you’re based or how you’re working.

Can you give software developing outsourcers a ‘test’?

If your software development project is a substantial one, with heavy investment implications and considerable business risk, then a sampler project could be created.

This would be a minimum value product that tests both the company’s response and its ability to work well with you. Not only does this give you a trial run for the big contract, but it also provides your hired-in tech team with an important introduction to your organization and its expectations.

Ask around

If could be that one of the best ways to choose a software development partner is to seek out recommendations from organizations that are enjoying clear successes. Yes, this partnership needs to be individualized to your goals, and you need faith in an instant rapport and insightful collaboration.

However, testimonials can help you narrow down options into a shortlist. Including building your understanding of which companies have the credibility and reliability, as well as the capacity to handle the type of project you need.

What is ‘nearshoring’ software development?

Doing your research to select potential partners for outsourcing software development could create diverse options, including overseas agencies that appear to stack up on many of the important features outlined in this guide.

However, the rule of thumb is that using a software development company close to your field of operations manages risks better and makes communication and collaboration tasks easier and seamless.

Well, finally, it all comes down to doing enough homework and drilling down on what exactly you will get in return for your investment. It also pivots on finding a software development outsourcing partner who delivers effective, scalable solutions, not just a persuasive sales patter!

How to outsource software development
Technology

How to outsource software development

Software development is an essential part of many businesses, from commercial websites to large service or retail organizations or engineering and construction companies.

However, software development is not always something you need to resource at a consistent level. That’s why creating in-house software development teams can be inefficient, inflexible, and very expensive. Whether you want to increase your in-house development team’s capacity for a specific project, or don’t have an in-house capacity at all, you might want to look at using the services of a software outsourcing company like FusionHit.

FusionHit can offer a whole range of services in all areas of development, testing and maintenance, and for services in sectors as wide-ranging as automotive, sports, insurance, financial, logistics, and more.

Here’s how to go about outsourcing software development:

Make sure you’re getting a knowledgeable service.

A key to good software outsourcing is industry knowledge, and FusionHit prides itself on broad knowledge and experience in a range of technologies. So whether it’s Java, Ruby on Rails, Python or WordPress expertise you need – and indeed many more technologies – you’ll find it in abundance with FusionHit’s team.

Ensure you have regular feedback

Communication is key, so make sure you set out clear expectations with all stakeholders about how any projects will be managed, as well as the frequency and nature of feedback sessions. You will want to ensure you get commitment, agility, and transparency when it comes to software development and the delivery of outsourced services.

Set common goals

The setting of common goals between the outsourcing team and you is crucial, and excellent communication is vital here. What do you want to achieve from a particular project? What is the timeframe for achieving this? What are the metrics for success? You need to ask all these questions before you begin any project, and you need to agree with everybody involved. If your outsourcing team doesn’t tell you when a goal is likely unachievable, nobody wins. At FusionHit, transparency and integrity are fundamental principles of the company, so everybody knows at all times the aims of every project.

Know the scope of your project

Before you begin what you want to achieve from an outsourcing project, you need to understand whether it’s likely to have an end date or be open-ended. That way, you and the outsourcing team will better understand what’s needed from a project, and you’ll end up with a more successful working relationship.

You need to go with a company you trust

It can be hard to entrust an important part of your business to a third party. Even when it makes pragmatic business sense, you need to know that you can trust any contractor or outsourced asset with crucial information on your business or organization. Often, software development is at the heart of sensitive information. That’s why FusionHit believes passionately in delivering software development with a culture of honesty, integrity and commitment.

amazon-alexa
Technology

Why Every Company Needs An Amazon Alexa Skill Strategy

Business organizations of all sizes are beginning to appreciate all the benefits of Alexa voice command technology. Just some of the ways this technology improves the work and home environment are by way of calendar management, internal departmental queries and contacts with home to switch household appliances and devices on and off.

You can source lots of Alexa Skills information on Amazon, including details about Alexa for Business.

Reasons for businesses to adopt Alexa Skills

The Alexa voice interface can be used with Amazon Echo, Echo Show, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap and Echo Look devices and users are finding it’s quick and natural to use voice activation to carry out a variety of humdrum tasks. Some of the reasons your business needs to develop Alexa Skills include:

1. There were more than 10mn Alexa devices sold by May 2017 and the Alexa Skills marketplace has grown from 1,000 skills to 15,000 in about a year. Business analysts are now predicting that Alexa will be a $10bn industry by 2020 and it’s likely around 30% of all human-machine interactions will take place via voice command.

2. The Alexa API is open source, so any developer can build Skills by way of third-party apps. This offers businesses incredible opportunities to seize a share of this lucrative market.

Some of the ways Alexa Skills are benefiting organizations

There are lots of ways Alexa is already benefiting businesses. Workstation employees find that use of Alexa makes it easier to focus on the most important tasks and build heightened levels of productivity. Tailored Alexa Skills development helps workers keep track of calendars and to-do lists and can also be used to set reminders. Voice commands also make it easier to direct dial into conference calls and make telephone calls. When voice commands are pre-set it’s also possible to quickly access business information, such as warehouse and inventory date or sales data.

In conferences

Used in conference settings, Alexa voice commands can easily be integrated to present information, use remote controls, control equipment and appliances, and take over conference presentations. Maintaining ambient temperature and lighting in meeting rooms is a truly simple matter, when one voice command can handle all controls. What’s more, just one quick voice command “Alexa start my meeting” will begin your meeting.

Workplace understanding

Use of Alexa Skills allows you to add voice-enablement to an entire workplace. This could be used for directing visitors to destinations or helping workers carry out routine tasks. New hires and visitors to your workplace will find it much easier to get around buildings when Alexa voice-enablement is available for guidance.

Alexa can voice-enable a brand’s products and services

Some of the most popular hospitality providers in the United States are already using Alexa to make guests and diners more at ease. Alexa instructions can help guests and diners in a lot of ways, including playing their favorite music tracks when required or assisting with room service orders. You can develop Alexa Skills to suit your product or service and offer the sort of customized support that provides users with the best solutions to their problems. It is also a unique marketing tool for any organization. You will find that tailoring Alexa Skills to suit your own business offerings will truly redefine your customer interactions and help ensure continued popularity of your business and products.

Millennials and Generation Z consumers prefer voice command interactions

It’s already been shown that over 50% of millennials would rather use voice commands for interactions with smart devices. While the post-millennial Generation Z organically use voice as a primary form of interaction with any type of machine.

The modern working environment is moving towards the type of workplace appreciated by millennials and it’s considered to be only a matter of time before Generation Z workers in the business sector will necessitate even greater use of voice commands throughout the industry.

Alexa Skills are still new to the marketplace and organizations have lots of time to experiment with this interface and develop the best types of interactions to suit employees, users and customers. You can make a start right now by augmenting all existing mobile apps and web apps with these Alexa voice-enabled interactions.

progressive-web-apps-min
Technology

Will Progressive Web Apps Replace Native Mobile Apps?

Most modern businesses recognize there is a need to target their customers via mobile devices, but are unsure which solution to choose. Basically, there are several ways to target mobile customers, these are: building a responsive website, developing native mobile apps, hybrid apps or creating progressive web apps.

These solutions are discussed below:

  • Responsive websites, although these are easy to reach, they do tend to offer an incomplete user experience.
  • Native mobile apps offer the best user experience but are only available for certain devices so there are huge barriers to their adoption. Basically, native apps need a download so consumers really do have to buy into the concept which means they are not an impulse behaviour solution.
  • Hybrid apps are fast and much easy to develop since it provides a single code base for all platforms but it lacks in speed, performance and overall optimization in comparison to native apps for instance.
  • Progressive web apps are the ideal solution as they combine the best elements of the three mentioned above. Let’s go more in deep with this approach.

PWAs defined

The simplest definition of a progressive web app (PWA) is that it is a mobile app that is delivered via the internet. It functions in similar ways to a native mobile app, due to the fact it utilizes an app shell which allows for app-type gestures and navigation. One major difference, though, is the fact it does not need to be downloaded from an app store. Progressive web apps run in a self-contained fashion within the web browser. Service worker scripts ensure these apps are loaded instantaneously, even when connectivity is low. While pre-caching maintains the validity of the app and ensure it is up to date as the latest version will be launched each time.

Efficiency and economy of PWAs

As noted above progressive web apps really are far more efficient than native mobile apps. They are an on-demand solution that will not be off-putting to users at all. What’s more, they are always available but don’t use up any memory or data on smart devices. These apps mean that users consume less data and a good example of progressive web apps are Twitter Lite, The Washington Post and Litefy (Shopify). progressive web apps.

Native mobile apps are really convenient for users, and progressive web apps offer similar user utility without the drawbacks associated with native apps. It’s easy to save a progressive web app to a mobile home screen without any need for a time-consuming download.

For consumers the improved user experience and fact there’s no need for any type of buy-in, makes these apps far more preferential. After all, with any native mobile app, the user first has to make the conscious decision and commitment to downloading and saving the app and the same can be said for uninstalling. With progressive web apps, there’s just one simple click on a link, making it a far easier user decision, and there is no lengthy wait for downloads or any requirement for installation on devices.

What do developers think?

From the mobile development perspective, progressive web apps are quicker to build and upgrade, so much more economical overall. It’s possible to build just one app which will display in an identical fashion on any device. This isn’t the case for native mobile app development, which is a segmented market requiring separate apps building for Android and Apple devices. Progressive web apps feature a uniform build design that works on the browsers commonly used by smart devices. And, of course, given all the above, it’s not difficult to appreciate that progressive web apps cost far less to build than native mobile apps.

Challenges of PWAs

Progressive apps may seem too good to be true, but just like everything else, they are not flawless. Depending on what smartphone you have either Android or iOS, there are many device features that progressive web apps cannot access on the device, which makes it lag behind native apps. Progressive web apps cannot access a device’s Bluetooth, advanced camera controls, geofencing, proximity sensors, contacts and others.

Also, being out of the app store represent a missing opportunity. There’s a significant traffic of users who still primarily search on the app store which leads to potential traffic losses.

The future of mobile apps

Although native apps took the market by storm when they were first launched, consumers now seem to be turning their backs on them. Recent stats highlight that most consumers don’t load any apps in a month. Progressive web apps were first introduced in 2015 and are gaining in popularity. Some of the popular apps include Starbucks and Twitter, and when Tinder switched over to progressive web apps users found their load time was halved which in turn led to longer user sessions on site.

 

There are lots more advantages to progressive web apps, including increased ad clicks and conversion rates. Ultimately, it has to be said that progressive web apps place the mobile user at the forefront, so if you don’t already have native mobile apps for your site you would be well advised to look at progressive web apps as they are likely to be the most popular option hereon. Many brands that do already use native apps are making the move to progressive web apps as they really do offer the best solution for any business.

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Technology

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Many apps don’t turn out as planned. That’s because not everyone follows a proven process. There are critical aspects of creating an app that will increase your chances of success. Here are seven of them.

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What’s ASP.NET Core?

ASP.NET Core is basically a revamped version of the good old ASP.NET Framework that developers have been using for quite a while now. One of they key features that Microsoft wants out if this new version is being able to create your applications from anywhere you want, making the Framework cross-platform and open source. For this, Microsoft not only created ASP.NET Core, but also included a new IDE (Visual Studio Code) for non-Windows users to play with, which you can check out over here.

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What is .Net core?

The .Net core is basically an addition to the already very popular .NET framework. It extends the use ability of .Net framework by allowing several new tweaks, which weren’t there before on .NET platform. Let’s have a look how .Net core is different and more compatible compared to other similar framework’s.

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Google’s AngularJS 2 Release

Since the mid 1990s, JavaScript has been a common programming language used as a basis for the creation of dynamic websites and applications. It’s simple enough for even those with basic programming knowledge and understanding to use, yet it is quickly evolving and becoming the fastest way to create all kinds of functionality across a multitude of platforms and devices.

Recently, Google has released Angular 2, a new version of the conventional Angular tool whose purpose was to unify the creation of apps using JavaScript. Six years ago, Google released the original Angular to enable coders to create apps within the browser but this new version, Angular 2, will enable coders to create apps without the browser restrictions.

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