Infosys experts share their views on how digital is significantly impacting enterprises and consumers by redefining experiences, simplifying processes and pushing collaborative innovation to new levels

March 22, 2017

How and where Salesforce trumps Competition - II

As promised, I am back with a more detailed point of view on things to consider while choosing your CRM on Cloud Solution. If you missed the first part, please do read here before delving into the below.

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How and where Salesforce trumps Competition

Now that I am all caught up in the arguments for and against Salesforce compared to other CRM on Cloud offerings in the market, I decided to pen down my take on the same, albeit with a bias towards Salesforce. A neutral view on this topic is too much to ask for given that all the Product stacks has their own pluses on specific areas and so it really boils down to what exactly the Customer wants to achieve in their line of business. My intent behind this blog is to wear the critic hat and try to identify where it is that Competition lacks in when it comes to Enterprise level transformation programs from On Premise to Cloud.

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February 3, 2017

Is SugarCRM a right choice for the Education sector?

Educational Institutions are always under pressures such as increased competition, decreased funding, inviting top companies for hiring drives, students dropping out etc. On the other hand, Students are facing challenges due to, increased tuition fees, tough job markets and developing newer skills to name some. To overcome the challenges in this digital era, we need a system to analyze trends from various sources such as social media, surveys and other resources. This system, most importantly must help to improve the relationship between Institution and student and provide 360° view of the customers' (Students) data to improve the service and benefit mutually.

Institutes require to build such a system in an economically viable fashion and must be delivered in a short duration just by doing some configurations set up with minimal code changes and the system should have the capability to extend the service with existing legacy systems.

Yes, SugarCRM would be the best fit available in the market that would satisfy all the above needs and will help institutions to improve their admissions and manage students and alumni in a better way.

The modules or components available in SugarCRM out-of-the-box (OOTB) are meant to provide support to improve business during the major phases of Marketing, Sales Automation and Customer support.

SugarCRM provides key modules for various stages involved in the CRM life cycle.  In addition, it provides out-of-the-box features such as calls, meetings, activity management, role management, access control, process/work-flow management and in-built Rest API to integrate with other systems, import and export features, different types of reports and a simple tool to administer and manage configurations and much more.

Marketing : Campaigns, Leads, Email Marketing, Web-to-lead form

Sales : Accounts, Contacts, Contracts, Opportunities, Quotes, Forecast

Support : Knowledge Base, Bugs, Cases, Self-service Portal

Let's design a customization for a University,  

Marketing - Campaigns, Prospects, Applicants

In this phase, campaigns would be capturing various marketing activities and the expenditure. It could be Road shows, Email marketing campaigns etc.. Similarly prospective student information and Application information would be captured specific to the level of information. Applicants may appear for pre-qualification evaluations; this information would be captured in the Applicants module.

Admissions - Enrollments, Courses, Payments, Academics

Applicant will become student in this phase, similar to how lead turns customer in general CRM flow. So the data related to Students such as enrollments, courses, payments would be captured in this phase.  This phase will have a 360° view of student data. In addition, this would capture on-going academic data.

Alumni - Alumni, Events, Donations

Post to graduation students will continue as alumni to the institution, Events can be planned and communicated to alumni, donations are most important to institutions to their development towards skill oriented research and operational cost.

Integration, Workflow/Process, Document management

In a case study, SugarCRM was successfully installed and being used at the FORDHAM UNIVERSITY, NY USA and it has over 15 service integrations including an ERP system.

Shaya Phillips, IT associate vice president, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY, says "Sugar's modular nature and ease of customization makes it ideal to integrate with other businesses and academic software"

Workflow or process management would help to automate the process, for example, fees notifications can be triggered if the due date is arriving.

Here, Students will have 360° views of various stages' data from Prospects to Donor. Staff, Student relationship with Institutions gets mutual support and benefits. In addition, integration tools are available to the extended solution by integrating different system with SugarCRM such as ERP, Billing System, Document systems etc.

Thus, SugarCRM accomplishes this vision with most of the features by 'OOTB configuration' and minimal custom code changes for extended modules and entities which would make customer (student) and University relationship extraordinary.

December 30, 2016

JavaScript - Today's Ruler of Web Application Development

Author: Smita Makwana-Technology Architect, Manufacturing-Application Design and Maintenance

Introduction 

Today, JavaScript is the most talked buzzword of Web Application Development. Open source JavaScript frameworks has overcome major browser fallbacks. JavaScript popularity has led to a very vibrant ecosystem of frameworks, libraries and technologies.

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December 6, 2016

APIs for Every Business

  Sometime ago, a bunch of guys thought of renting a car for the first time in their life and travel from London to Isle of Skye, Scotland during the Christmas weekend. They did a random search, found only 1 renter who was available; so paid a premium, got a black Ford Focus and embarked. During the journey, the car broke down and since there is no business during Christmas, it took almost 2 days to get a replacement car while stranded in a nearby youth hostel. Since the provider was a web-site (agent), there was a chain of calls to get to the car replacement agency.

Consider this scenario instead - Those bunch of guys posted their requirement on digital media and in response, multiple sellers (renters, agencies, brokers) poured in with their offerings with messages on how their services are “different and better”.

Additionally, an app provides a neat checklist and alerts - car’s condition based on the different sensors and simple list of phone numbers to call with an instant response time for any situation (from fender benders to something serious).

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November 9, 2016

Blockchain, Decentralization and its impact on Insurance and HealthCare - Part 2

Author: Arshad Sarfarz Ariff, Technology Architect

In my previous blog, "Blockchain, Decentralization and its impact on Insurance and HealthCare - Part 1", we explored the notion of Smart Contracts, Oracles and Dapps and how they can empower the insurance and HealthCare industries. In this blog, we will look at how Ethereum provides a platform for developers to build applications easily and sample use case on how a Dapp would provide value spanning multiple industries.

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Blockchain, Decentralization and its impact on Insurance and HealthCare - Part 1

Author: Arshad Sarfarz Ariff, Technology Architect

The mysterious inventor of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto never saw the use of Blockchain technology limited to Bitcoin only. His vision is already turning into reality as industries and enterprises around the world are analyzing the use of Blockchain for various scenarios. As we all know, Bitcoin has already revolutionized the financial industry with the help of its underlying engine, the Blockchain.

Let us take a step backward and see why Bitcoin has become so important and how Blockchain made this possible. The unique selling propositions of Bitcoin are Trustless and Decentralization. Transactions for many ages involved a central party called a bank on whom we lay our trust for safeguarding our money. Bitcoin introduced the phenomenon of storing, securing and performing transactions without the need for a bank. Instead of relying on people and rules, Bitcoin uses cryptographic techniques to guard the money and the transactions.

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November 7, 2016

Steer through JavaScript Framework Churn

In this Digital Era, need for more responsive user experience is more prominent. Open source JavaScript frameworks have gained broad acceptance. We are observing rise in the number of JavaScript frameworks in the market and almost weekly major release (instead of months or years). New leaders are emerging with recent rapid changes in JavaScript frameworks landscape. Recent evidence suggests that uncontrolled usage of multiple JavaScript frameworks in the enterprise is a far more pervasive problem than most people realize. Today's shiny new JavaScript Framework will become legacy in 2-3 years and it will difficult and costly to maintain legacy JavaScript frameworks. Governance will be key to manage this situation.

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November 5, 2016

Are your Enterprise Applications Ready for Cloud Deployment? "Let us identify and gear up"

Author: Jitendra Jain, Senior Technology Architect (HILife - Architecture & Design Group)

Introduction

Cloud computing can be defined as "usage of high end remote servers and other virtually hosted network services over the internet to efficiently manage, process and store the data in highly scalable fashion". Cloud computing make it possible for enterprises to use highly computable network remote infrastructure and fully scalable environment for mission critical complex business applications. Resources like virtual machines (VMs), storage units, shared utilities, intelligent applications, network and infrastructure are some of the computing resources provided by cloud computing environment.

 

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September 26, 2016

Mobile Apps Security-Is it a challenge?

Author: Jitendra Jain, Senior Technology Architect (HILife - Architecture & Design Group)

Introduction

Mobile app security is one of the biggest talk of the current digital arena where we have seen a phenomenal traction. This major shift in the security landscape has drawn an utmost attention by mobile app vendors, mobile app developers and almost all small and big mobility enterprises including Google, Apple, Nokia, Samsung, Microsoft etc. Mobile app security can be defined as a way by which we protect mobile or smart devices from any kind of soft attack by the attackers or Hijackers from malware, harmful viruses and any other kind of illegal activities. Consequences of a mobile attack can be very severe in some instances where complete device data and controls are in compromised situation.

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