Can Mobile Apps and VAS Get Along?

Mobile apps and VAS (Value Added Services) are competitors in the race for subscribers. According to research conducted by J’Son&Partners Consulting, MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) are making less profit from voice, SMS and MMS traffic. This happens because:

  1. The competition between MNOs is very high;
  2. The consumption model of communication services by subscribers has changed.

In order to diversify, mobile network operators use mobile apps and VAS. However, application markets have been winning the game so far.

Mobile apps help solve various problems in everyday life.

Thousands of applications are launched in app markets such as the App Store and Google Play daily. As a result, MNOs that previously distributed content via VAS need to integrate in the new model of content distribution via apps.

In a white paper published by a consultancy, N. Dobberstein and Soon Ghee Chua argue that MNOs should be “smart enablers”. The key to MNOs’ success is in the encouragement of collaboration between different multimedia market players and in provision of insights of customers’ behavior as well as in offering tailored solutions and recommendations to customers. MNOs have to incorporate mobile apps in their offerings to strengthen the relationship with subscribers.

VAS will always be more expensive than mobile apps. Alan Knott-Craig says that this happens because “mobile operators will always take too much revenue share. In SA [South Africa], MTN keeps about 40%, Cell C about 30%, and Vodacom about 20%.” On the other hand, he also mentions that Visa and MasterCard take from 1%-7% of the revenue share when people buy applications from stores. Another thing that makes the VAS model more expensive is that it relies on costly advertising, such as TV ads.

VAS are not as intuitive as mobile apps and are hard to discover. In order to use the service, the subscriber has to know the exact short code of the service.

The shift toward mobile apps is beneficial for end-users because data is cheaper than SMS, MMS or voice. At the same time the trend is favorable for developers who do not depend on MNOs and can market their services globally without any integration with carrier billing. This allows applications to reach more people than ever before.

Mobile apps and VAS continue their battle for the ARPU (average revenue per user) and it is far from over.

At DAS Solutions we follow the standard Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) to develop various mobile applications. We develop for Android, iOS and Windows Phone platforms. The choice of picking one platform or technology over the other depends on the customer’s specific requirements.

Financial IT Services Give You a Competitive Advantage

At DAS Solutions we understand that financial companies need solid IT services to stay competitive. That is why we provide you with custom financial IT services that help you get closer to your business goals and align with your budget.

We develop fintech solutions in the following areas of the financial industry:
• Banking
• Financial Services
• Capital Markets
• Investment Management
• Investment Banking

Here are some financial IT services and solutions we can potentially provide for you:

1. A platform that can give your customers the possibility to respond to your SMS-receipts. With this option you will have the possibility to listen to what your customers have to say and adjust your services accordingly.

2. Secure online payment systems that will eliminate long queues and improve the customer experience.

3. A web-based application which makes the connection between a bank and an insurance company that generates documents, calculates the sum of the insured objects, keeps track of all sales and generates reports regarding agents’ activity.

4. A solution that will let your customers take loans online based on their credit history. You can decrease the interest rate for those who use the online system to make it more appealing in the promotion phase. The procedure does not require a lot of resources and does not involve tedious bureaucracy.

5. A crowdfunding platform that will help both new and well-established companies to identify new business opportunities and diversify.

6. An application for mobile phones and tablets that will allow one to pay for services using mobile devices.

7. An application that will give wholesale and retail merchants the ability to sell their products in credit without long discussions with banks. Such an option will significantly increase sale rates.

8. A budgeting tool that will help you track expenses and income for your business.

9. An online stock trading platform and application that will allow its users to trade in an easy and enjoyable way.

10. A peer-to-peer lending platform where rates are low, the application process is simple, and lending decisions are made quickly.

These are only examples of what can we develop and implement, we can create any solution based on your needs. Contact us directly to find out how our financial IT services and solutions can help you save time, resources and most importantly, bring you additional revenue.

Moving Forward,
DAS Solutions Team. 

You Need Customer Relationship Management Software

Customer relationship management software (CRM) is used by businesses in different industries. No matter in which area you work, a CRM solution will improve the way you communicate with customers. Surprisingly, only 1% of firms have implemented customer relationship management solutions. Some companies use out-of-the-box software that can be limited or hard to integrate with other systems you use, which is why a custom solution is often the best choice. Here are some of the benefits of acquiring a tailor-made customer relationship management software.

  • A bespoke CRM system puts you in control, because it is created with your business processes and workflow in mind. It gives you a competitive advantage, especially in comparison with those companies that use off-the-shelf solutions.
  • Automation tools in your CRM make your work effective. For example, you can use email notifications that will help you keep tasks on track. Also automation decreases the levels of human error. At the same time, automation tools must be manageable so that you can be agile.
  • A custom CRM system will develop as your business expands. Additional tools, capabilities and reports can be added  when you need them. You will not need to buy a completely new system when the old one no longer meets your needs.
  • The system is flexible, you can install it on as many computers as you need, so that employees from different departments can be efficient at work.
  • Custom-made CRM software helps you understand your clients’ needs and requirements.This will inevitably lead to increased customer satisfaction and additional profit.
  • The customer relationship management system is secure and works on different devices which is handy in case of emergency or if some employees work from home.
  • A good software development team will create a highly-usable customer relationship management software. You won’t need to waste weeks on training your team on how to use the system.

Learn more about bespoke customer relationship management software, email us or give us a call. DAS Solutions will create a system that is right for you and will help you stay competitive.

Moving forward,
DAS Solutions Team.

What Everybody Ought to Know About KPI Dashboards

KPI dashboards assist an organization to define and measure progress toward organizational goals and objectives. Once your organization has analyzed its mission and defined its goals, it needs to manage, control and achieve its goals. It takes time and effort to monitor KPIs, which is why it is important that appropriate metrics are chosen to address the specific needs of the company. KPI dashboards help you analyze up-to-date data and save resources.

The question is how do you get good KPI software?

Here are some options:

  1. You can develop it in-house;
  2. You can buy an off-the-shelf solution;
  3. Hire a software development company to create it for you.

If you choose to create a KPI dashboard in-house, the process will be costly, considering that your IT team will need to come up with a development plan beforehand. In fact, they might not have the knowledge to do this at all, which would also lead to increased spending.

In case you decide to buy an off-the-shelf solution, it may not have all the features and tools that you need. Custom features and maintenance involve additional costs, and those services can be extremely expensive. Additionally, you never know when the vendor is going to update the software, which makes you dependent. Generally a lot of time is wasted in the process of trying out the various existing solutions.

If you choose to hire a trusted software development company, you will get a KPI dashboard that will have all the tools that you need and you will be provided with 24/7 support and maintenance.

Your company will greatly benefit from having an efficient KPI dashboard, because:

  • You can get information from different sources, such as Google analytics;
  • You will be able to create and customize the KPI dashboard according to your needs;
  • You can access the dashboard online from different devices and share it with other departments;
  • Your team will understand better what they need to do and as a result they will become more effective at work;
  • You will be able to compare the performance of your employees;
  • Many different departments can use KPI dashboards in their work;
  • You can create reports faster and easier.

KPI dashboards can help identify business opportunities or problems early on. They will show if you are meeting your business goals and if the strategy you have chosen is successful. Also, meeting KPI goals will motivate your employees.

Contact us and discover how your company can benefit from using custom KPI dashboards developed by DAS Solutions.

A Software Development Company Can Help You Grow

Many businesses can run smoothly on off-the-shelf software, at least until they grow, or experience some other changes. Companies that encounter roadblocks with off-the-shelf software packages should consider choosing the right software development company. Let’s take a look at four critical things a software development company can do for your firm.

  1. Create custom software that addresses your specific needs.

If you are a user of custom software, you will see a dramatic increase in the efficiency of your internal operations. Custom software reduces costs, minimizes human error, and increases profit. Additionally, custom software addresses the need to securely share information with your customers, vendors, and associates. A good software development company (such as DAS Solutions!) creates a piece of software that is not aimed at mass market, therefore the solution performs strictly and flawlessly the tasks YOU need. When you have a long-term agreement with the software development company, your requirements will always be met, and you won’t worry that your product will become vulnerable.

  1. Offer excellent levels of feedback and communication.

A professional software development company will focus on your business processes and operations. They will listen to you carefully, and will provide expert guidance and solutions to the problems and issues you are experiencing. The consultation and project estimate (in terms of cost and timeline) should always be free of charge.

  1. Provide support and maintenance services.

A good software development company is dedicated to its product, that’s why its team will always do their best to provide you with the highest standard of support and service. Make sure you ask about the support and maintenance services that follow the successful completion of a new custom software!

  1. Help minimize future investments in software solutions.

When you own your software, you can update it and add more functionalities as needed. Moreover, your employees go through a training process in order to use it well. On the other hand, when you buy an off-the-shelf software package and then realize it does not have the functionalities you need, you end-up wasting more money on yet another off-the shelf product. The indirect costs associated with this “software testing” exercise within your company are enormous (both in terms of time and money).

A professional software development company can provide you with many things that will have a beneficial impact on the development of your business. By deciding to invest in custom software you invest in the future of your company. Send us a short message and get a quote for your project today!

 

Secure Software Development and Its Importance

With the emergence of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, it is crucial  that employees use secure programs and applications on their devices.

Cyber criminals can break into networks in various ways and one of them is through third-party applications installed on workers’ personal devices. If the software solution is vulnerable, it can be exploited with costly consequences. Companies in the financial sector are especially at risk, but companies in the insurance and lending business are usually high on the target lists as well.

According to a recent study on mobile travel apps  developers have been more focused on the usability of applications than on their security , leaving sensitive data vulnerable to breaches. Many companies recommend to their employees that they download only those applications (used for work, and otherwise), that come from certified Android or iOS app stores. Moreover, employees should use the latest versions of both OS and application and should be careful while using unsecured wireless networks.

Taking into account the ever-changing ways to bypass security, companies’ IT teams should be responsible for InfoSec inside a company, therefore it is their duty to raise this question in discussions with upper management. If the company has a consistent security policy where all employees understand the importance of usage of secure applications provided by trusted vendors then the likelihood of successful attacks decreases.

Flaws are inevitable in the process of creation of new software products. At the same time, secure software development is a practice that ensures that the code and processes used while developing applications are as secure as possible.The secure software development lifecycle takes into account security considerations at each step of the software development process: requirements assessment, design, coding, testing and deployment.

If you consider purchasing software for your company make sure that your vendor follows secure software development principles.

Five Benefits of Software as a Service Solutions

Software as a service is a way of delivering applications over the Internet. One can simply access the application from the browser, freeing themselves from complex software and hardware management. The solution is owned, delivered and supported by a software provider. Below you will find five benefits of software as a service solutions:

  • Cost

One can eliminate many expenses by using the services of a software provider. For instance, instead of spending huge amounts of money on hardware, software as a service applications can be easily accessed online. Moreover, the software provider is responsible for installation, maintenance and upgrades. Small businesses in particular should consider using software as a service, because they can use powerful tools that might have been inaccessible otherwise.

  • Customization

Software as a service solutions allow customizations that are unique for a company’s business needs. New software can always be produced from the ground-up around the specific needs of a company. Additionally, existing open source solutions can be customized and made more powerful with the additions of exact features that are needed by a business.

  • Fast deployment

Software installation can be expensive, but it is often also a lengthy process. With software as a service solutions, installation costs are significantly reduced, and access to the internet and a web browser are the only requirements to use the product. Furthermore, your IT team won’t need to spend its time on such tasks as software installation since employees will be able to use the solution immediately.

  • Compatibility

Software as a service also resolves another critical and often annoying aspect of software development. By using software as a service, you are certain that regardless which operating system runs on your employees’ computers, the software will always behave correctly. As long as the vendor is responsible for upgrades and they are performed remotely, one can be sure that employees will always use the latest version of the software.

  • Accessibility

SaaS can be accessed from any mobile device that has an internet connection which means that users are able to access their data and work efficiently from anywhere.This  makes life easier for home-workers or for those who are responsible for monitoring and must have access to the software in case of emergency.

After deciding to use software as a service, make sure that you choose a trusted vendor that maintains and upgrades the solution in a timely manner.

IT Solutions Can Change Your Company’s Workflow

Regardless how big or small a business is, one is not able to control and follow up on the entire daily workflow that takes place in the company. Information technologies come in handy, because they help to analyze the performance and predict sales rates. IT solutions providers can develop the right software for your business which can help you in the following ways:

1. Streamline business operations

The optimization of business processes begins with the measurement of the current business process. Software can give you the opportunity to collect data such as wasted materials, the time required to complete a task or assemble a piece of equipment. You need to analyze the data and come up with a plan that will solve the problem. But what if you have a piece of software for order entry, another for accounting and the third for client relations? A good team of IT solutions providers who will be able to create a personalized integrated platform where you are able to conveniently keep track of all business operations.

2. Increase and measure your team’s productivity

A user-friendly application where employees can complete and follow up on tasks can significantly improve the company’s work processes. With new software your employees will spend their working hours more efficiently, which will save the company a lot of resources in the long run. Being able to see the tasks completed by workers during the day, one can rapidly identify problems in the workflow and cope with them.

3. Communicate more effectively with customers and business partners

Every business that works with clients must have a piece of software where information about interactions with customers and partners is held. It is vital for the business development and a growing sales rates. Besides information on previous interactions with the client, it is always nice to show some timely attention to customers or partners on birthdays or work anniversaries. IT solutions providers can develop a software that is going to fit your business objectives.

4. Minimize paper processes

Leveraging the latest print device technology can significantly impact the workflow automation by shifting from printed pages to electronic documents and thus minimizing human error. New technologies can be used to improve, fasten and automate your current manual business practices.

In case you identify a problem in the workflow of your business, address it to a professional team of IT solutions providers who will evaluate your needs and come up with a piece of software that will help your company grow.

Moving Forward,
DAS Solutions Team.

A Good Software Engineer Will Identify These Two Problems

In today’s world of rapid development of new technologies, an idea is often all it takes to completely reinvent the way we produce, consume, and live! The life cycle of new ideas follows a predictable pattern: birth, testing, development, testing, implementation, and testing again. Every step of the way, new ideas should be discarded if unfeasible, but the further down this life cycle they get, the more valuable the new project becomes to its “parent.” Similarly, a new idea may not be entirely thought out (often because of a lack of expertise or adequate advice). This can bring a lot of problems in the future and may cause the collapse of a project altogether.

Software engineers call these two problems babies & horses and they cannot be overstated when it comes to software development. A good software engineer will provide adequate advice regarding a new project, paying particular attention to these two issues in the software development life cycle. Here is a quick guide to help you identify the two problems as soon as they arise.

We All Love Babies (and are very afraid to drop them)

We often have the tendency to treat our new idea (or product) as our baby. We nurture it, we help it make its first steps, we protect it vigilantly. We get to a point where we are so completely in love with our idea that any suggestion becomes an attack, and any assistance is seen as a threat to its life. Of course by this point, our ability to view the new idea critically is close to zero. We are blinded with love and are unable to see the drawbacks involved this idea of ours. We cannot objectively calculate the real benefits it will bring either. The responsible software engineer should be able to tell you when a new or existing product should be reconsidered or eliminated altogether. A good product is one that was not spared every possible revision, and all the testing and debugging it could get.

Horses Need Grooming (and the right stable! — says the software engineer)

The “horse” project is equally critical to be identified early. Consider for a moment that you own a horse and one day decide to bring your horse into your second-floor apartment. Sure, it may be possible to do, but it will not be the most feasible plan. The helpful software engineer will tell you that your project is a horse; and the horse is a very specific type of animal. It requires constant grooming, a special type of diet, and the adequate lodging to keep it happy. You will need to plan for its upkeep ahead of time, and you will need the infrastructure to be appropriate — especially if you plan on acquiring new horses in the future!

So there you have it, two problems with new projects that can have serious consequences if not identified in a timely manner. Is your project a baby or a horse? Seek advice from a good software engineer today.

Communication Is Key to a Trustworthy Relationship

Finding the right partner (business or otherwise) involves establishing a relationship based on trust. Effective, regular, and honest communication is the key element in building trust in any relationship. This is particularly the case in long-distance relationships between outsourcing software development companies and their clients.

We’ve conducted a short survey among potential clients asking what would make them hesitate when choosing a software development partner. One of the biggest reasons quoted was bad communication. This was either out of a general perception that outsourcing companies lack clear communication skills, or it came from previous (mediocre) experience.

Honest Communication Makes Perfect

Here are three tips to ensure that the communication with the company you choose to develop your next software is productive:

  • Set clear expectations for outcomes. This may sound obvious, but setting clear expectations is critical for the success of your project. Meet with your team and write down the problem that needs to be solved. This must be comprehensive and as clear as possible. Note any possible solutions you see, but ask for feedback from the software development guys. They should advise regarding alternative solutions to help cut costs and plan ahead. Software development is no different from construction – if you plan on adding additional floors, you should have a solid foundation. Also, the floors themselves should allow for more floors to be added later (or the design and function of each to be modified). Make sure you know what the purpose of the solution is in the long-term. This will allow for advance planning and minimize surprises down the road.
  • Expect and ask for regular updates and progress reports. Once the project has begun, make sure you keep in touch with the developers. Progress reports, regular meetings and updates are a must when the process has started. This ensures that the project runs smoothly and problems are identified early. Clarifying questions, issues that were not initially planned will always come up. Regular feedback helps keep the project on-track.
  • Expect honesty. As the deadline approaches, having all the information will help you plan accordingly and act fast. If something goes wrong, you should know about it as soon as possible. Overly-optimistic deadlines, capacities, or price estimates can surely turn your project into a disaster. Setting incremental deadlines, milestones, and Skype calls will ensure that the project is moving forward. However, honest feedback cannot be underestimated.

Until that trust is built between you and the developers, you can only plan ahead, ask for regular progress reports and make sure that the incremental deadlines are being met. Honest software development companies will make sure that you have all the information. If you feel something is off, it may be time to make some changes.