Top 5 reasons for startups to outsource product development

Gartner in a recent report stated how growth is the most important sustaining factor for software product companies. Hardly 1% of software product companies have the consistent growth rate required to win business and stay afloat in the market. According to them growing and sustaining growth is really hard. For startup companies to grow it is always challenging as they are always in resource crunch scenario. Adding talent to the team on a regular basis increases their fixed costs. Product Development involves lot of iterations based on customer feedback and this could lead a startup company to be involved in the release cycle of products rather than on the consumer and market. For Startup companies to have a defined focus for their product, it better to choose outsourcing product development over in house team building, so that the company can focus on the customer and market.

Following are the top 5 reasons for product development outsourcing.
1) Flexible Resource Models.
2) Frees up time for customer facing work.
3) Updated with latest technology options.
4) Converting fixed costs into variable costs.
5) Faster Product releases.

Author of this post is CTO of iView Labs, who has helped many startups to build their products.

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MWFM ( Mobile Work Force Management) Increasing field operations by 4X and bringing down cost to 6X on Human resources.

Code, Coffee and tracking 2m Users ..

How we helped our African friend to break the ice and board 2m Voters?

Tracking 2m+ voters and 3000+ agents

Day 2 at Hannover messe was a bright sunny day. I was gathering my thoughts and plans for the day, as we had couple of meetings and presentations lined up on this day. At sharp 11:30 AM I gave my presentation on HealthCare Product www.prapp.in (a platfrom for health engagement connecting patients to doctors). As soon as my presentation was over, there were some folks who were interested in doctor-patient engagement platform. There was absolutely no breather in between. I just grabbed my cup of coffee and headed towards my booth.

I observed that day 2 was a rush rush at Hannover. Lot of delegates from different countries were visiting the fair. Suddenly some African folks in a team of 3 dropped by at our booth and here starts our conversation:

Mr. Bamaba: is this Sid from iView Labs

me: yes , I hope you are doing great! How may I help you!

Mr. Bamaba: Do you do location tracking and mapping?

Me: Sir, I would like to hear the problem that you are facing..

Mr. Bamaba: We need to map all the voters of Africa on the map. We want to verify their identity and address. To do these we send agents on the field who do it manually and all these data gets centralized. Since its a manual process we were having lot of data issues and productivity. We are here looking to solve this issue

Me: Ok Sir, I understand your problem. So, what these agents would be carrying with them to verify the voter.

Mr. Bamaba: These agents will be carrying our assigned tablets for verification. Look we have 3000+ Agents who are in field of collection of the electoral census and here we need to observe their day to day actions as per the geographies they are moving. Can you develop me a platform where in I can see all these agents in real time? I have to catch the coordinates and want to see the efficiency and methods they are adopting to do this quick exercise. Also I want to assign the further tasks of Route Optimization

Me: In a nutshell, I was completely able to understand what my friend was looking to build. Me and My CTO was there and we explained him our methodology of working and strategy of building this solution.

After all the explanation, he seemed convinced to do business with us and finally we were able to strike the deal with our African friends.

As the project kicked off, my technical team started brainstorming about the project and came up with the complete technology stack and architecture for the project. For this solution, we knew the crux of the entire solution would be accurate position mapping, path tracking and real monitoring of agents. Also, the tricky part here was about offline position tracking due to network connectivity issue in small villages and data pruning as position mapping of each agent for each second would generate enormous data in the application.

With the technical risks identified, we started working on the project and were very thrilled to work on this as we saw that how this solution could be used for various industries who has a mobile force or field force. We realized the scalability and reusability of this project, hence we made this in a modular form where entire location tracking module is an independent module which could be rightly fitted into any industry.

We started working on day and night on this project to get this all right. We send our guys on the field to test in all various conditions such as speed variance, location variance etc.

Finally we were able to get all the systems in place and deliver it to our African friends.

The entire data of the application rests on AWS ( Amazon Web Services) cloud.

With our approach to take software development as the Lego and Brick Building job we were able to deliver this solution in span of 3 months.

With over 2 million Voters on Board of eCampaign and 3000+ agents on the admin side the eVoting, this was a huge success for our mobile workforce management solution.

Admin Panel( Operations Guys) for tracking the field force :-

08

Android App ( for the field force/Agents in the fields) : –

01

Here the entire Platform does the following job for the African government : –

1. Task management
2. Task allocation
3. Task control
4. Voters geography tracking
5. Agents tracking
6. Task completion
7. Real time visibility

Data analytics per Agent and Voters

Business benefit to our African friend:

  • 50+ Nos of Men power reduction by Using the eVoting eCampaign solutions.
  • Improvement in HR process to know the real productivity by real time tracking on faily field activities.
  • Cost savings to a multiple times and bringing in lean business.
  • Perfect tracking of census with error free data.
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Is DATA the new energy?

I think we should stop looking at data in the form of petabytes, zettabytes etc rather we need to have a new perspective to look at data in the form of energy. An energy which is renewable in nature and can be used in multiple forms to serve more than one purpose. An energy can be generated from multiple sources such as sun, wind, geothermal, biomass etc. in the same manner Data energy can be created from multiple sources. Data in the raw form is of no use unless it is extracted, processed and refined to make it to use. In the similar manner we need to extract and process the energy to have its maximize use.

Data uncaptured, unprocessed is a loss of energy for businesses to build insights which can help them make sound decisions. The value of the data in a business keeps on growing with the new pieces of information added. Critical insights of the business can be drawn with the right technology in place to refine your data.

Energy storage is capture of energy produced at one time for use at a later time. This is so relevant and apt if we draw an analogy for the same in terms of data. Data is also captured at a given time to make it to use at a later stages. We need huge storages to store large amount of energy and same is the case is with data. These data storages are huge in terms of processing power to manage BIG DATA. Energy storage involves converting energy from forms that are difficult to store to more conveniently or economically storable forms. The question here how we can apply the same principle for data being stored? How we constantly churn raw data from these data storages into different meaningful forms.

Unlike other energies, the biggest advantage of Data is we don’t have to worry about its depletion, we only have to worry about its refinement and extraction with the desire to improve efficiencies and make informed decisions.

Of course, lot of analogies can be drawn between energy and data for us to handle our new digital age of IoT sensors. In every ecosystem, there is a main producer of the energy and there are different levels of consumers and producers which co-exist in the system. In the digital Age of sensors and devices, we need to make devices intelligent enough to coexist as a data consumer & producer to create a meaning out of the ecosystem.

We at iView Labs are constantly thriving to create that coexistence of data energy consumer & producer.

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Journey of an intern at iView Labs

Name: Pankti Dave
Position: Junior Software Developer

‘Sometimes it is the journey that teaches you a lot about your destinations’. Something like this happened to me, when I started my journey with iView Labs. iView has made me believe that even a layman like me can sail into the deep world of coding and technology. My experience was as similar as a sapling growing under the shadow of enormous trees. Every day is new for me as each day I have a new challenge in front of me. Learning about the future technologies makes me leap into the future. Being a newcomer in the industry I got to know so many new things about the technologies that I have never heard of. Things like Augmented reality, multi touch applications have always drawn my curiosity, but iView turned my imaginations into reality by giving me this wonderful opportunity to work on the finest of the technologies.

As the roads that leads to beautiful destinations are never easy, my journey is a bit challenging, where each day I struggle to explore and learn new technologies but nevertheless at the end of the day I have a good sleep making me feel content of the work done for the day. At initial stages, it was difficult but now I have learned to overcome challenges on my journey and find optimal solutions to conquer the situations better.My journey would have never been so flawless without the due support of the “TECHNICAL GEEKS” here. The atmosphere here is so inspiring that each day I leave home with a positive feeling of reaching closer to my goal.

“A team becomes more powerful when it is led by a skillful midfielder”. The best part here is the open mindedness and the freedom that you get to put forward your own views. The Leaders here believe in making creators and not followers.

I feel very proud to be an intrinsic part of this team “iView Crafters”, where we craft technology. It has made me believe that even a small fish can sail in the big ocean.

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NDDB Adopts Augmented Reality For Content Delivery

Business Challenge

NDDB, a leading co-operative organization is on a mission to enhance milk production in India. NDDB’s team were exploring innovative ways to increase dairy farming education. They were looking for solutions to educate dairy farmers about professional dairy farming. To make dairy farming sustainable and viable, it needs to have right propagation and education. For sustainable development, youth needs to be educated about dairy farming concepts. NDDB’s team sought various mediums of content delivery but none gave them the required benefit and a direct reach to the farmer.

NDDB’s team visited iView’s office and we brainstormed about innovative ways for reaching out to farmers with the dairy farming methods and techniques. After a lot of discussion and brainstorming over a coffee, we came up with a solution of mobile content delivery with augmented reality.

We did a proof of concept (POC) to test the Augmented Reality content delivery platform. We invited few farmers to NDDB center and tested the app with them.We got very interesting responses from farmers. Some were surprised and for some it was just “MAGIC”. This experience completely validated our POC and it helped us to understand the need more clearly. This entire journey made us realize that “When digital innovation creates MAGIC, it touches lives”.

NDDB AGR

Client
NDDB
Industry Public Sector (Dairy Farming)

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Why enterprises should have chatbots?

What are Chatbots?

Chatbot are simple text based services powered with artificial intelligence designed to interact via a chat interface. This can be used as for functional or fun purposes like virtual assistant siri, Cortana etc.

What is chatbots?

Why are chatbots better than apps?

No downloads are required, they reside in the messaging apps. They are easy to build and upgrade. They can be used instantly. This helps in faster user activation which helps them to grow fast. Also one more major advantage is that they don’t choke up on mobile space.

Why chatbots are such a big opportunity

You must be wondering, why there is so much noise about chatbots..
“People are now spending more time in messaging apps than in social media and that is a huge turning point. Messaging apps are the platforms of the future and bots will be how their users access all sorts of services.” — Peter Rojas, Entrepreneur in Residence at Betaworks

Messaging Apps Have Surpassed Social Networks

In the first quarter of 2015, the four biggest messaging apps surpassed the four biggest social networks in terms of monthly active users.

How chatbots can help enterprise?

As the adoption of voice and messaging technologies continue to grow in the enterprise, so does the potential for chatbot solutions. However, in order to be adopted in the enterprise, chatbot platforms will need to provide capabilities in areas such as Customer relationship management, integration, security, management, or monitoring, which are essential elements of enterprise solutions. However Enterprise chatbots should have a natural language learning system to provide a strong user experience. Specifically, enterprise-ready chatbot platforms should include some of the following capabilities:

• Integration with messaging platforms
• Natural language learning systems
• Chatbot store
• Monitoring
• Integration with enterprise systems
• Testing
• Security

Enterprise Chatbot platform

Messaging platform vendors:

Slack, Facebook, Skype, HipChat, etc. are all platforms that actively support the implementation of chatbots.

Voice platform vendors:

Platforms such as Amazon Echo, Cortana, Siri, or Google Now are some of the main catalysts for the emergence of chatbots.

Chatbot platform startups:

Many startups trying to become the chatbot platform by offering AI on saas model.

Industries adapting chatbots

• Healthcare
• E-commerce
• Travel
• Hospitality

Future of Chatbots

For the first time bots will let us communicate with the world of information instantly. This is the new beginning of internet, mobile and user interface.

References

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/how-a-bunch-of-indian-startups-have-taken-an-early-lead-in-chatbots/articleshow/52592715.cms
https://chatbotsmagazine.com/the-complete-beginner-s-guide-to-chatbots-8280b7b906ca#.rk3c185yd
https://medium.com/@tedlivingston/the-future-of-chat-isn-t-ai-b07f65bc252#.5sh8cefz2
http://www.cio.com/article/3053603/mobile/what-do-chatbots-mean-for-the-enterprise.html

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How a Startup Real Estate Company Sold Rs. 400 Cr. worth of Assets using iView Labs’ – iBlock tool

Do you believe the age old saying survival of the fittest ? This ideology no more exists and with time it has evolved. So this is now to be believed as survival of the fittest and most innovating. In today’s world you just cannot be fit in business however you have to be the Game changer and the innovator. Innovator term just doesn’t mean that you are able to pour in more money in the business and product marketing and sales or brand building. To sell today it takes more effort and pain to understand, know and tailor your customer’s need.

Customer in today’s world is no more similar than one he use to be in 90’s. The customer today is more informed and before he comes to make in the purchase decision he or she is well aware of 10 different products in the market. Thanks to the eCommerce industry which is able to bring virtually all the products on our mobiles handsets.

Customer today is much much passionate about buying since he is very elemental in his choice and with each decision he has his emotions attached to it. Especially with the house and home where he / she is investing the whole family savings there takes a good wise thoughts for him which makes him take this decision.

One of the real estate companies driven by the millennial folks were very keen and passionate about what they were going to built for their home users. They had this fine , state of art property coming up in the sub urban part of Surat Gujarat, India, which they wanted sell to the people. They had all the basic amenities for ultra modern living with all necessary automation and green living required in their property. Nevertheless they were very focused on delivering a best customer experience to their customer. However best they created the paper based collaterals and marketing tools, they knew that they would have a tough time for sales in current property market and economic scenario. In the same vicinity, where they were coming up with the 40 apartments – their neighbourhood was full of newly constructed 240 units of township and modern living apartments. They knew – selling wont be easy because customer would be learning all around them and therefore it would take lot of time for them to understand their needs and pitch the right set of 2, 3, 4 BHK apartment. This ability to see and foresee the challenge was the key point where they started discussion with IT consultants like us to leverage the business on technology to create the wonderful experience for the prospective customer. The consultants of iView Labs understood their needs sketched the entire customer experience imagination for them, before they came up with the vision to have the interactive sales and site offices. We suggested them to go virtual and online with CRM enabled systems to know their demand and remember their likings of their prospective customer. Since while buying a house the individual always makes a multiple visits to check the new apartment and also he / she comes with their close family members for their opinion. Not only this – for any kind of customisation in the newly built property of the visitors, it is very important for the Property developer to know and remember the need of their prospect. In such cases they were in real need of a Platform which could help the sales managers at the site offices to give the presentation and record each and every minutes of meeting held with customers. The very basic need became their prime agenda of sales and corp communications for their clients and prospects. We at iView Labs suggested them to make a Presentation Suite which comprises of their all Pictures, Images, Video, 3D files, Panorama, Plans, elevation and locations coordinates, EMI calculators and PDF files for property specs etc.

All the necessary assets required for configuration were programmed and bundled in one software application iBlock Sales presenter for Real Estate Industry (Real Estate) which was then enabled with the tailor made CRM (Customer relationship management) software in the backend.

Now when the tools and platforms were powered by most innovative tech the next thing was to present it to the customers and visitors who were then mesmerised with the content and the entire presentation of the property. Therefore post each visit the customer gets a text message and the mail of all the collaterals for which they had their interests. This idea of personalised promotion helped the customers and visitors get the only interest information related to their need. Also this helped them to get the day to day updates from the CRM campaigns and text messages. The visitors to a large extent were saved from the spam messaged moreover the relevancy of the information was the key which kept them engaged to the platform. To much of the surprise the right choice of asset corresponding to the customer’s interest area and timely updates and communications with right servicing helped the users gained the confidence in the real estate player and this helped them in their decision making. Its been 3 years and close to 500+ apartments have been presented on this platform and close to INR 400 Cr (US$ 80m ) have been sold using this platform.

Recently we have centralised the backend of CRM to an extent where any inquiry coming in from the Website, Multitouch desk (interactive surface) and walking can be captured in the CRM and therefore this helps them a religious customer interaction and engagement.

Since the system database grew big and huge and therefore management and board of directors where looking forward for some kind of analytics. The questions of how well the sales offices and sites offices are functioning and how many customers they were able to capture was an information much essential for them to know without knowing the MIS (Management Info Systems) reports. So we planned the Mobile app for the stake holders wherein they can get the information on live sales nos. and leads happening at site offices. This helped them to make the strong ties and relations with Brokers and Customers by practising the transparency.

We at iView Labs are people who are driven by the passion to solve challenged at the fundamental level. We don’t see technology, however we see solutions which can empower the people to realise their productivity, quick sales, preventing loss of information by making our customer adopt smarter ways to do business.

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