How to Meet IT Project Deliverables?

At DAS Solutions we often work with our partners on creating a project plan and project-related documentation. One of the first things we do before starting the project is discuss the IT project deliverables.

A deliverable is an item produced as a part of the project. As the project moves forward, deliverables are further defined and specified. Deliverables can be tangible or intangible. For example, if you need to implement a system that tracks orders, your key deliverables will include tangible (the system itself) and intangible (training sessions for employees) items.

The most important thing to do to meet the IT project deliverables is to define them.

Clearly stated deliverables will help you see the project strategically. Once the deliverables are identified, they serve as a foundation for the success of the project. That is why it is crucial that project managers take enough time to gather and analyze all relevant information.

The deliverables need to meet the following criteria:

  • Have a detailed and clear description for all team members involved in the project;
  • Specify the operations and functionalities that will be performed by the software;
  • Ensure alignment with all requirements provided by the customer;
  • Clearly establish the client’s expectations;
  • Secure the client’s consent and acceptance;
  • Serve as a measurable basis for deliverables’ testing and review.

Keep the documentation updated

Updated documentation written clearly will help avoid any confusion. Make sure that all those involved in the project have a copy or can easily access it, because everyone has to be on the same page. Efficient coordination of the information will ensure that the deliverables are met.

Master the management of IT project deliverables

  • Assign your team tasks that have a work result. It can be a short script that allows to add new items in the bag, or it can be something more complex such as user manual.
  • Be clear about task delivery intervals. A specific date stimulates the team member to focus on the result. At the same time, don’t set too broad intervals, for example a month or two months.
  • Monitor and record the progress of larger deliverables. If something goes in the wrong direction you will be the first to notice. This will give you the opportunity to come up with a different plan.
  • Implement a formal acceptance and review procedure, this will help you avoid misunderstandings.
  • Gather a dedicated responsible team of developers and encourage knowledge-sharing between them. In case someone decides to move to a different project, you need to ensure that all deliverables for your project will be completed on time.
  • Don’t make assumptions. If something does not seem clear enough, discuss it with the team members and the stakeholders.  It is better to spend 30 minutes on making sure that there are no ambiguities left than to spend hours on re-working.

When you have a reliable and professional partner it is an exciting process of meeting project deliverables.

We recommend reading the guide on how to build a software development project plan as well.

Moving forward,
DAS Solutions Team. 

5 Benefits of Having an Intranet Portal

Intranet portals are usually used by big companies, but small and medium enterprises can benefit from having them as well. Even if your company is not big yet, this blog post will show you five advantages of having an intranet portal.

1. Improved communication

With an intranet portal both staff members and managers can easily share appointments and alerts. Ideas can be posted on discussion boards along with relevant information. Also, when many people from different departments work on the same project, an intranet portal will help keep the information up-to-date. The intranet portal is a good place to recognize performers.

2. Streamlined processes

A good intranet platform improves internal processes. The accessible nature of an intranet portal will reduce questions and phone calls regarding common issues that may not be available (or hard to come by) otherwise.

3. Managed data

The intranet portal is a place where you can update corporate documents, procedures, guidelines, protocols, and resources in one click. The intranet website can serve as a place where online training content is hosted and served. You will see that knowledge is easily maintained on intranet portals. An intranet website significantly reduces print and distribution costs.

4. Cross-platform usage

Intranet websites can be easily accessed from different operating systems and browsers which is a tangible advantage especially if your IT team uses PCs that operate on UNIX, while your designers use computers that work on Mac.

5. Gradual growth

You don’t need to have something sophisticated right from the start. Your intranet portal can grow along with your business. When there is a need you can invest in a robust web-server and have more information and software available on the intranet.

If your company does not use this tool, think about how it can solve communication or document storage issues in your company. Also consider giving your intranet a different image and structure from your customer-facing website. It will give your internal communications team their own identity and will strengthen the company’s culture.

It is important to handle the implementation and adoption of the intranet with the help of professionals. Get in touch with us and we will help you go through the process of getting an intranet portal.

Moving Forward,
DAS Solutions Team.

Top Features of an Effective Claims Management System

Claims are a critical part of the insurance business. Even if your insurance company is not as big as Axa or Allianz, you need to have an efficient claims management system. Clients’ mindset and expectations are different from what they were 10 years ago. A recent survey called Insurance 2020: The digital prize — taking customer connections to a new level  has brought to light some fascinating facts:

  1. 71% of consumers made an online research before buying an insurance product.
  2. 68% of respondents were willing to download and use an app from their insurer in order to access services.
  3. 50% (!) stated their readiness to additional personal and lifestyle information so they can get the best deal for insurance services.

Insurance must thus move quickly to become more customer-centric and to improve customer experience. For successful communication, your customers and team members need to have access to an intuitive claims management system. In this post, we’d like to highlight some features that would be welcomed by both your customers and your staff.

Features of a claims management system appealing to customers:

  • A simple submission process from any device

Users need to have the possibility to complete a short and simple form using their smartphone or tablet. Claimants’ basic info, such as first name and last name (as well as other contact information) should be  filled in automatically when the customer decides to submit a claim. This should be easy to do since the info is already in the carrier’s database. In addition, the claims process will be easier if customers understand intuitively how to attach photos of receipts or invoices to their claim.

  • Tracking claims progress

Claimants need to be able to track the status and decision of consultants regarding their claim, further steps they have to take, as well as the final outcome.

  • All documents in customer’s pocket

When the customer uses their insurer’s app, they need to store their paperwork such as copies of their ID, driving license and policy documents on their application.

  • Online claims payments

Clients can save a lot of time if the transaction of claims can be done online. It also adds transparency to the process because both the customer and the consultant have access to the final decision of the claim.

  • Simplicity and security

For fast and easy access one can log in with a PIN code that is easy to remember. Any claims information entered must not be lost until submitted. At the same time all personal data must be secured via encryption. It is also useful if most of your app’s features are available even if the user is offline.

Your team will thank you for the following claims management system’s features:

  • Reminder function

This is a useful feature because it enables a consultant to stay on top of the tasks that require a timely response. The reminder feature facilitates the service provided by the insurance company.

  • Handling different types of contracts

It is preferred that the claims management system can handle various types of standard contracts. Furthermore, as the clients and the consultants might introduce amendments to the conditions of the standard form of contract it is critical that the system is able to deal with changes.

  • Keeping documentation up-to-date

Some claims are more challenging to prepare because more documentation is required. Thus claims managers need to have a system to help them keep an up-to-date documentation, prepare the claims, and prevent them from losing relevant documents.

  • Extended search capabilities

The agent needs to have the possibility to search virtually any data within the claim, including claimant, address, policy number, phone number, check number, etc. This function makes searching easier.

  • Centralized database

If you have several offices across the country it is better to have a centralized database so that the management can have access to the files, templates for claims and any other information. A reporting tool will help them analyze the outcome and status of claims.

So here we are! Ten features that a claims management system should have to improve your company’s performance. All in all, the app has to address your customers’ and your employee’s needs, which is why it is so important to choose a system with a user-friendly interface that fits well with your specific needs. Contact us and lets custom build it for you business. 

Moving Forward,
DAS Solutions Team.

4 Benefits of a Reservation System for Your Hotel

An online reservation system is a must-have for hotels these days. The booking process must be flawless and user-friendly to attract more customers and increase sales. Consider getting an online reservation system because it will give you many benefits, on top of those mentioned below.

Two-Factor Authentication Best Practices

A second layer of data protection is always a good idea, especially when you want to keep your customers safe from intruders. Authentication mechanisms that require only a username and a password are no longer intrusion-proof, as can be seen by the experience at some internet giants who shall remain nameless. Your users will be safer if you implement a two-factor authentication system using an SMS gateway, and send customers one-time passwords (OTP) to enter your system.

Typically, one-time passwords are four- to eight-digit numerical codes that are valid for a short period of time, and only for one interaction, session, or transaction. They make authentication safer, because they are sent directly to the customer’s mobile phone. Authentication via OTP gained popularity across industries because it’s a cheap, easy to implement, and ubiquitous way to communicate with customers. The user does not have to install a third-party application to receive the one-time passwords, so it is also a very user-friendly option.

To set up OTPs, you will need an SMS gateway that supports this authentication method. It is configured to generate and send one-time passwords for the user via text. Some OTPs are generated based on time-synchronization, while others use mathematical algorithms.

Text-messages can be delivered in two ways: (1) you can attach a GSM modem to your server with a data cable, or (2) you can send messages through an SMS service provider. If you decide to go for the latter option, text-messages will first be sent to the short message service center (SMSC) of the service provider, and from there, based on connections with other SMSCs, the text-messages get sent to your recipients. For security reasons, setting up a VPN channel between the SMS Gateway and the SMSC of the service provider is always a good precaution. The first option is usually more secure because it is integrated in your infrastructure and does not require an internet connection. The second SMS delivery option is a good choice if you need to send a high volume of text-messages.


SMS-based OTPs are an Option if You Operate in One of these Industries

Everyone understands text messages. Thus implementing two-factor authentication using SMS will not introduce a steep learning curve for your customers. SMS-based OTPs can be implemented regardless of your industry. Here is an extensive list of industries already using this type of authentication successfully!

  1. Education and Training
  2. Food industry
  3. Retail
  4. Travel and Tourism
  5. Healthcare and Hospitality
  6. Web Design
  7. IT and ITeS
  8. Oil and Gas
  9. Real Estate
  10. Media and Advertising

Two-Factor Authentication Use Cases

  • Registration

Ask for a user’s phone number during the first registration attempt. Display a message where it is clearly explained that their phone numbers will be used only for verification procedures. Afterwards, send a one-time password that will allow the user to access their new account.

  • Password Reset

Fraudsters get into user accounts by phishing email addresses, so verifying new passwords by via text OTPs add an extra layer of security.

  • New Device

If the user logs in from a different device, a new IP address, or even a new country, you can add extra verification steps like SMS OTP or by answering qualifying secret questions.

  • Unusual Behavior

Usual behavior such as making a lot of purchases in a short amount of time, or in different timezones can serve as red flags. Prevent fraudulent activities by verifying whether the actions were performed by the user.

  • Changing Account Information or Settings

Set up additional verification steps when the user requests certain changes that could put their information at risk, such as changing the account name, or phone number. You could encourage users to opt in to extra verification steps by rewarding them for choosing to add the second security layer (some companies offer discounts if their users protect themselves in this way).

When Is It Better to Use Multi-Factor Authentication Technology?

With the rise of fraud attacks such as Emmental that affected banks in Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, and Japan, banks are looking for alternatives to OTPs through SMS. During Emmental operation, millions were stolen from both consumer and commercial bank accounts.

Cybercrooks mislead people into installing fake applications on their devices. There were cases where such apps waited for text-messages from banks that contained session tokens, and silently hijacked communication, forwarding the info to attackers’ servers. Cybercriminals are keen on finding ways to undermine SMS OTPs, but this is still an infinitely safer alternative to the ID and password-only option.

SMS two-factor authentication verifies a user’s identity in a fast, easy, and non-disruptive way. It is relevant for a range of industries, it is cost effective, easy to implement and works on a global scale. Reach out to a telecom consultant and discuss your two-factor authentication needs.

Moving Forward,
DAS Solutions Team. 

Ways Automation Can Improve Your Business Processes

Continuously changing market conditions, high speed in decision-making, multitasking in asset management and the need to reduce risks require modern approaches to the work processes within any business. It allows you to free up precious resources for strategic planning and concentration of management in key areas of the company. Business automation is the partial or complete translation of repeatable, time-absorbing operations and business tasks under the control of a specialized system. As a result, you get to increase productivity and effectiveness of strategic management.

Automation is usually conducted in two ways:

– Automation of the basic business processes: for example, sales management or work with clients. In this case, it is carried out to directly increase the volume of sales, the number of products produced and increase the profitability of the entire business as a whole.
– Automation of supporting processes, such as accounting, reporting, records management. Such automation does not directly affect the increase in revenue, but helps reduce the time and costs of daily work execution.

The main tasks of business automation are the following:

– effective support of operational activities of the enterprise, control and organization of accounting
– preparation of any documents for partners/clients, including invoices, bills and business proposals
– quick receipt of reports on the state of affairs in the company for any period of time
– optimization of staff costs, increasing the efficiency of working hours by freeing employees from routine/habitual work
– minimizing the negative impact of the “human factor” on the most important business processes
– secure storage of information and data
– improving the quality of customer service

Automation of business processes can significantly improve the quality of management in the company and the quality of its product. For the enterprise as a whole, it gives a number of significant advantages like:

– Increase the speed of processing information and solve repetitive tasks
– Increase business transparency
– Increased coherence of staff and the quality of its work
– The ability to control large amounts of information
– Reducing the number of errors and improving management accuracy
– Simultaneous resolution of several tasks
– Rapid decision-making in repetitive situations

As a result of automation of the business processes – the management receives much more information for analyzing business processes in the form of detailed analytical reports and is able to direct the company qualitatively taking into account external and internal indicators.

Find out more about how an automation can help and grow your specific business, or if you have any other software development questions – just contact us at [email protected] or by filling out the Contact Form.

Moving Forward,
DAS Solutions Team.

software business tools

Your Business Can Be So Much More With the Right Software Tools

Companies are looking for a strategic partner that provide software platforms which impact their day-to-day business workflows and will positively affect their bottom line.

insurance software solutions

Core Functions of a Custom Insurance Software System

In today’s competitive environment, an insurance software system should connect your business to the most advanced technologies and prevent you from staying behind the competition. Moreover, it should be easy to use and maintain, able to withstand all your requirements, and be easily expandable with a modular design so that new functionalities are easy to integrate. Old systems are no longer sufficient as a result of unprecedented volume of operations; consolidation is needed to get businesses more agile.
Challenges & Issues
The main two issues of the industry are related to cost savings and compliance with legal regulations. 
  1. Manual processes and the paper-based documents are costly and unwieldy, slow and prone to errors.
  2. In addition, they are hard to manage and difficult to comply with risk management guidelines and directions.
A custom piece of software can be focused on improving the entire process by:
  • Eliminating paper, redundancy and errors.
  • Hosting and integration of transaction-based or the collaborative processes.
  • Adopting compliance standards across the organization.
  • Shortening workflows.
The overall benefits of a custom solution:
  • Lower cost of processing the loan.
  • Processing multiple loan files without a proportional increase in staffing.
  • More efficient processes – eliminate duplicates, improve service performance.
  • The person processing the request can access all the files as needed – this means providing an overview of the client – both for data and for documents.
  • The possibility to grow the business without the need for additional storage spaces, which can be costly.
  • Protecting the goods and information in accordance with the storage and maintenance policy on a single platform of the entire content (email, enterprise data, records, photos, etc.), a useful function in audit cases, based on a common model of security.

Find out more about how an automation can help and grow your specific business, or if you have any other software development questions – just contact us at [email protected] or by filling out the Contact Form.

Moving Forward,
DAS Solutions Team. 

Become an SMS aggregator

Three Ways to Become an SMS Aggregator

Setting up your own business as an SMS aggregator is a great and at he same time challenging project. This profitable business creates value for telecom companies, entrepreneurs from other industries, and, ultimately, end-users. You can go for one of these three options if you decide to become an SMS aggregator:

  • Become an owner of an SMS Gateway (Acquisition mode)
  • Rent an SMS Gateway (Cloud mode)
  • Become a white-labelled reseller of an existing platform (Reseller mode)

The first option is recommended for those who have already been in touch with the telecom industry. Otherwise, renting or reselling are good alternatives to risky investments, because these options will give you the time to understand how the industry works. Eventually, you can decide if you want to switch from renting an SMS gateway to owning it.

In this blog post, we’ve highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of the three options.

If You Acquire a Custom SMS Gateway Software

Advantages Disadvantages
Profit is not affected by OPEX Experience in the industry is required
Control over the connectivity & hardware Higher implementation cost and CAPEX
Features flexibility An infrastructure is required
The system can be provider independent Practical know-how in signing beneficial contracts with MNOs and carriers
Control over costs and capacity as per demand At least one employee is needed to perform technical support tasks

If You Rent an SMS Gateway

Advantages Disadvantages
Reduced CAPEX and time to market Experience in the industry is a plus
Control over connectivity Increased OPEX (Monthly recurrent renting costs)
Upgrades assured by the provider Stable connectivity with a strong back-up is required
Level 3 support assured by the provider Practical know-how in signing beneficial contracts with MNOs and carriers
Control over costs and capacity as per demand At least one employee is needed to perform technical support tasks

If You Become an SMS Aggregator by Reselling an Existing Platform

Advantages Disadvantages
No need to be an expert in the industry Smaller profit net margin
It’s easier to become a reseller No control over connectivity options
No need for an infrastructure Smaller price flexibility
Technical issues are resolved by an external tech support Limited features
Requires smaller initial investments The system may be lacking scalability
Short time to market No influence over updates

 

These lists cannot be perceived lopsidedly. Someone can consider the expertise in the bulk SMS industry a huge advantage. The other will be satisfied by the limited number of features because those completely suffice current business needs. The perception of the lists is subjective and depends on the final goal.

If the goal is to sell big SMS packages to others or to offer a feature that other SMS aggregators don’t have, then you should explore the option of acquiring or renting a custom SMS gateway software. Alternatively, if the aim is to sell smaller SMS batches to clients that don’t use SMS extensively, then it makes more sense to become a reseller of an existing platform.

ROI, competition, pricing and client support are among business challenges you will have to face. You need to be prepared to deal with them.

ROI

This is the most important challenge. The ROI you will get is influenced by a set factors such as a well-developed strategy, the ability to grow volumes, networking, control over OPEX, CAPEX investments. Professionalism and level of your and team’s commitment will also influence your profits.

Competition

Good clients are not attracted only by the lowest price on the market. The level of support should be high for the customers to stay with you. Sign, and most importantly, stick to a detailed SLA with your customers to gain credibility and outrun your competition. In addition to that, follow industry trends to identify areas for innovation.

Pricing

Offering the lowest or the highest price without any strategy behind is not viable. Always aim for a price that is in line with market trends and your service quality.

Client Support

As mentioned above, professional support is a must for an SMS aggregator. If you decided to become an SMS aggregator by using a custom SMS gateway software, make sure that you train your customer-facing team members sufficiently because these people are the face of the company to a customer. Existing customers need to be so impressed that they will recommend your team to their business connections. If you enter the bulk SMS business as a white-labelled reseller, then make sure you choose a platform that has an experienced and responsive support team.

In case you decide to become an SMS aggregator, develop a detailed business plan that you can refer to when needed. Besides that, hire a strong team of professionals with a problem-solving mindset. And last but not least, as in any other business, be prepared for a lot of work that requires commitment and creativity.

Moving Forward,
DAS Solutions Team. 

Our Approach to Your Project

Whether it’s a small task, functional system or app creation, we know that our best work happens when our clients and team speak the same language.
 
Building something significant for our clients properly, takes a weighty amount of effort. Yet how exactly do we go about getting everyone in sync?

We always encourage our clients to be active right from the start. We ask every client and their team to be as involved as possible for a successful discovery phase. We want not only in the ultimate product, but the process itself to be interesting, creative, clear and gratifying. For some clients it’s their first time teaming up with a software development company. Thus, we believe it’s meaningful that their experience runs with ease. 

1. Thoroughly Planning 

At this starting step there is knowledge transfer and research. Understanding both business and user goals. Together with the client’s team we are carefully reviewing and analyzing our findings and planning out the overall implementation strategy. As gatekeepers of projects and timelines, we help set reasonable forecasts for delivering your asked end result.

2. Diminish Drawbacks

We want to cut down the learning curve when you get on board with our team. The project itself already requires your time and regard, so why make the process more difficult? One way we diminish drawbacks is by using simple project management tools. We like YouTrack, it lets you track and manage issues from the moment they’re reported to the moment they’re fixed. Information is continuously exchanged over YouTrack and quick questions are answered in real-time on Skype.

3. Building Trust

Defensible, the most important ingredient of any successful relationship. We are as invested in your success as in our own. DAS has a consultative approach and client oriented – we always consult our clients and advise them the best ways of achieving their business scopes. We are always trying to be aligned culturally, and are focused on partnership. Our clients and companies aren’t trophies, they’re friends we’ve met on our journey. That’s one of the motive we advocate transparency throughout each phase of our process. Check out some more details how we do that here. After all, our tagline is “The Code You Trust”, explains a lot, huh? 

Whether you are a client or an agency, creating clear expectations on both sides helps foster trust and confidence. Nonetheless, save time and money, and let’s face it – brain cells. 

Want to plan an industry-designates project with us? Get started with an experienced team – contact us here. If you are more comfortable getting in touch by email, reach us at [email protected]  

Moving Forward,
DAS Solutions Team.