5 Cloud Collaboration Tools To Increase Team Productivity

In recent years, the professional environment has evolved into an always connected, increasingly mobile place. This shift paved the way for freelancers and remote workers to thrive, and for some, to even become the lifeblood of business.

A Gallup poll says around 37% of workers in the U.S. have at least tried telecommuting, while staying as productive as other employees. The research also revealed that the average worker telecommutes at least two days in a month. Nowadays, work-from-home setups and distributed global offices can be as successful as your regular Wall Street conglomerate.

In order for your business to stay afloat even in the absence of a physical workplace, you need to harness the power of communication tools that places great emphasis on collaboration capabilities. Your usual devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets count as your main tools. Your broadband internet connection and your internet-powered communications provider serve as your actual gateway to your workplace.

If you’re on the lookout for a cloud platform that lets you collaborate with other team members within a virtual office environment, consider the following tools as your options.

Hubbion

Hubbion is by far the only completely free collaboration tool that offers unlimited collaboration among an unlimited number of users with no restriction whatsoever on the file sizes. Also, unlike a number of other collaboration tools in the market today, Hubbion does not restrict communication to one team of users. Instead, users may interact with multiple teams simultaneously and all projects that they are involved as a project creator, assignee or just as a participant are aggregated and may be viewed over one dashboard.

Glip

Acquired in 2015 by cloud communications leader RingCentral to complement its already powerful platform, Glip has made it easier for people to participate in team conversations via simple text chat and through typical collaboration capabilities such as instant file sharing, task management, calendars, and more. This online tool offers a free version, but existing subscribers of the RingCentral Office suite can also extend their phone system’s capabilities through click-to-call and quick directory controls that can be used in conjunction with Glip. It earns plus points for its intuitive, dedicated app that runs on virtually everything – on a desktop app, on Android or iOS devices, and yes, even on browsers (for those who hate installing stuff).

HipChat

This tool is particularly geared towards users of Atlassian products (especially JIRA). However, it can also be enjoyed by most collaborative teams since it offers simpler, cheaper pricing than most of its competitors. Users also praise it for its numerous integrations not normally found on other tools and the seemingly unlimited cap on file uploads. The UI also feels pretty much straightforward, and some have noticed how the tool keeps its “web-based” look and feel regardless of the client used. For simple team chats, HipChat could be a top contender.

Slack

On other team collaboration tools, users have to log out and log in each time they want to switch teams. Slack has found a way to address this so it’s become very ideal for freelancers who work on multiple projects or companies at a time using the same email address. Slack also gained the nod of several teams for its powerful search capabilities that even extends to file attachments. To top it off, Slack has a ton of investors behind it. Although this isn’t a product feature, you’re assured that the company behind it has the money for research and development – which usually translates to more features.

Zoho

Zoho offers an array of business productivity tools claiming that it’s your “operating system for business.” It delivers sales and marketing apps and business process apps, but its strength lies in its modular email and collaboration offering that makes project monitoring a whole lot easier. Although its features may sound too high-level, they’re pretty simple to use. You can plan projects with milestones, task lists, recurring tasks, subtasks, and the like. It can be very ideal for complex projects because the tool allows you to break them down into subtasks to make them more manageable. There’s also a dedicated bug tracker so you can tag and fix issues faster, making it more ideal for developers.

As with any other paid business solution, the perfect cloud collaboration tool for your team can’t just be based on what’s popular in the market right now or the cheapest among the lot. Some of the products mentioned above have certain advantages over another, so you have to carefully examine your options and find one that will work well with your existing workflow.

Author’s Bio:

Ronald is a digital marketing specialist for RingCentral, a leading cloud phone system solution. Over the years, he has developed a keen interest on small business trends because of the nature of his work. You can find him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Serverless Cloud Computing And Its Benefits

Serverless computing provides a platform which allows the developers to execute code in response to certain events without facing any complexity in building and maintenance of cloud infrastructure. These codes are usually used in conjunction with codes written in traditional server style, like microservices. For instance, part of web application can be written as both as microservices as well as serverless codes. These serverless codes are activated with the help of specific events such as registration with Amazon Cognito or can also be activated by configuring to run behind an Application Programming Interface (API) platform.

Even though there is a word “serverless” in the term “serverless computing”, but it should be remembered that this platform does require servers to run the code. The word “serverless” is used to signify that, the organization or an individual does not need to purchase, rent or provision any server or even virtual machines to develop an application.

One of the attraction of serverless computing deployment is that the cloud customer need to pay, only for the service usage and not for any of the cost associated with idle time or down-time. 

Benefits of serverless computing

It is important to understand that despite the old way of computing which works fine, why would a developer go through the trouble of building a software through serverless computing. The following benefits are the key reasons which can provide an explanation for this.

Simplified management of operations

Serverless computing platforms are meant to provide clear distinction between the infrastructure services and the applications that are running at the upper end of the platform. Thus, the automatic scaling functionality of serverless computing (also known as Function as a Service) not only helps in reducing the computing cost, but also helps in reducing the operational management overheads. Thus, it allows the System engineers and the Software Requirement Engineers to focus on managing and running the underlying platform along with the core services like load balancers and databases.

Packaging and deploying a serverless computing system is easier as compared to the deployment of an entire server. As serverless computing system has no requirement of continuous delivery, continuous integration, and containerization tool thus, enabling the developers to write the code directly in the vendor console and therefore, there is no need of system administration in case of fully serverless solutions.

Reduction in operational cost

Serverless computing saves money, in terms of both, the computing power as well as the human resources. For a developer, it is important to understand that in case of serverless computing you need to pay only for the time your function or functions are running and since, you don’t run the app 24/7, this is a considerable cost saving.

From the perspective of a big company with the huge collection of apps, APIs and microservices, there is continuous resource utilization, no matter whether those resources are currently in use or not. With the help of serverless computing, the company can execute the function for any number of apps in demand and share all the resources, without running the apps 24/7 thus, it reduces idle time to almost zero and provides a fast response time. Therefore, with the introduction of serverless computing, the days of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for servers are gone.

Ease of innovation

Serverless computing has alleviated the problems of system engineering and its underlying platform, thus making it easy for product engineers to innovate at a rapid pace. This less time for operations translates into a smooth application of agile methodologies.

Serverless computing can handle the regular concerns of the internet facing applications such as identity management, storage, etc. Thus, with the ease of innovation through serverless computing due to its various features, it’s not a dream but the reality that product engineers can thereby focus on developing the actual business logic of the application.

An interesting fact about serverless computing is that, it is not meant to replace the existing delivery models rather, it complements them. The world’s largest online media streaming provider, Netflix planned to reduce the rate of errors and save time by replacing the inefficient processes and use AWS lambda to build rule based self-managing infrastructure. Thus, serverless computing seems to provide a promising future in the betterment of computing scenario.

Quantum Cryptography: The ‘Key’ To Perfect Security?

Since the dawn of the computer era with the Apple I, the need for security has been crucial. Although simple encryption was strong enough to fend off some of the first real hackers, the popularization and advancement of technology in our society has made even the strongest means of encryption all but null in comparison.

However, for the last few years scientists have been working on what they believe to be the future of encryption, and a way to ensure encrypted files are completely unhackable no matter what they face. Although some skeptics speculate that this form of cryptography has its flaws like any other, the future is bright with this new means of data security, and the likelihood of a brighter future is all but sealed in exchange. However, to know just how this form of encryption could alter the way we secure our data forever, we must first know exactly what it is, determine whether it truly is unhackable, and back these statements with evidence presented through testing of the actual encryption itself.

What is quantum cryptography?

Quantum cryptography is the science of exploiting quantum mechanical properties to perform cryptographic tasks. One of the most popular forms of quantum cryptography is quantum key distribution, which is where two parties use a shared secret key to encrypt and decrypt messages between them.

The main reason that this form of cryptography is so effective is the fact that it allows the completion of multiple cryptographic tasks that were otherwise proven or conjectured to be impossible using other forms of non-quantum communication. There are multiple different ways that this form of cryptography can be used, including quantum commitment, quantum coin flipping, bounded- and noisy-quantum-storage model, position-based quantum cryptography, device-independent quantum cryptography, and post-quantum cryptography.

However, although many have claimed that these different procedures are utterly unhackable in the past, many of these systems have been proven to be flawed in multiple ways, leaving them completely open to even the weakest hackers out there in a matter of seconds. The main reason for this is the fact that the code can be easily written incorrectly and, in turn, can quite easily lead to a data breach.

In fact, despite this seeming to be a completely unhackable, tried and true solution to the issue of data security, it appears to be far from it at this point in time. However, the question remains: if it were done correctly, would it actually be unhackable?

Is it actually unhackable?

In short, the answer is simply “no”. However, this does not mean that this will be the case indefinitely. In fact, many scientists believe its flaws all come in the form of simple careless human errors in the basic code that creates these cryptographic methods. For instance, on the subject, physicist Renato Renner from the Institute of Theoretical Physics in Zurich stated, “If you build it correctly, no hacker can hack the system. The question is what it means to build it correctly.”

Although we have quite a ways to go, testing continues to occur and, as with all technological advancements, things are certainly looking up for the fans and advocates behind this rather innovative form of data security. In fact, in September of last year, a group of scientists, engineers, and pilots tested quantum cryptography using photon detection in an airplane. These scientists were able to receive encrypted messages through photons from the ground below with ease, making them the first to prove quantum cryptography’s success when used in long distance situations. This test further reveals its ability to be used for things other than point-of-presence technology, as it makes its way towards military applications.

Therefore, although this form of encryption may be currently hackable due to weak keys and mistakes in coding, the likelihood of this form of encryption becoming the norm is extremely high. In turn, the world may be changed forever, and the safety of our most personal information may be an afterthought in the long run.

How can it impact our world?

Although the use of this form of cryptography in the military is already an important factor to keep in mind, this is far from the only way that quantum cryptography can be used. Another massive industry that may be positively affected by this form of data encryption is the job industry. For big companies, the data they receive is not only private, but also highly valuable as well. Because of this, the way this data is secured is extremely important. For instance, if an individual chooses to utilize a system such as FileMaker in the cloud, this completely opens up their company and all of their data to cyber attacks. However, using quantum key distribution, these pieces of data being transferred back and forth can be quickly and meticulously encrypted to ensure their security — no matter what the case scenario is. Because of this particular use, quantum cryptography is an amazing example of workplace cyber security.

Similarly, some scientists believe they can utilize this form of encryption to create networking equipment dedicated to the security of any and all transferred messages throughout entire companies. Although this is a technology that appears to be something we will not successfully achieve until much further in the future, the idea of being able to encrypt messages without doing any work in the process is yet another way that this form of cryptography makes for a highly enticing security future.

Lastly, another way that this form of security may be used in the future is for telemedicine and various other technologies in the healthcare industry. Recently, the use of technology and advancement in healthcare has become an issue of much concern, as multiple individuals have feared that connecting the health of individuals to the cloud could lead to hazards, and even deaths, in the process. From heart monitors leading to the instant death of multiple individuals, all the way to VR attacks on headsets used specifically to rehabilitate stroke victims, quantum cryptography could eliminate these deadly possibilities.

The use of encryption to secure a patient’s information and forms of healthcare is what makes quantum cryptography so enticing to healthcare professionals. By encrypting forms of healthcare which utilize technology such as heart monitors and VR headsets, and by examining the technologies used to create things such as medical images and store personal patient information, quantum cryptography can completely transform the way we look at healthcare as a whole.

In the end, these are only a few examples out of many. The truth is that this form of encryption could very well lead to a brighter future for our country, if built correctly. After all, it takes one big idea to change the world forever, and even the smallest of people can make the biggest of dents.

Innovative Technology – Are Lasers Really A Mosquito-Zapping Gizmo?

Laser technology has come a very long way. Many industries use it for various different purposes. From using lasers in medicine and printing all the way to killing mosquitoes, there’s no doubt that the technology has advanced tremendously. For many centuries we’ve dealt with the burden of catching mosquitoes using different devices. In underdeveloped countries, the issue still persists because mosquitoes are the cause to one of the world’s most t dangerous diseases: malaria.

Mosquito laser technology, or the “bug zapper”

A recent report issued in The Wall Street Journal, talks about a new project that involves using laser to kill mosquitoes of all sorts and kinds. Dubbed the “Weapon of Mosquito Destruction” (WMD), the project aims at making the technology go mainstream. This way, lasers can be used to eradicate mosquitoes and stop the spread of malaria. A venture company called Intellectual Ventures, sponsors the “photonic fence” project, and it strongly believe that it will succeed. Former CTO at Microsoft, and owner of Intellectual Ventures, Nathan Myhrvold, calls the laser system the “bug zapper”. Basically, the technology is based on locating mosquitoes, and then lasers are fired in their direction and “toasts” them.

The project’s research team is currently working on perfecting the technology. It still need proper target algorithm optimization so as to detect mosquitoes in time, before they can get contact with the human body. According to the developers, the goal is to use the laser system to set a perimeter defense, thus protecting everyone within that perimeter, and completely banishing mosquitoes from going in.

Why a mosquito-zapping gizmo might be better than malaria vaccination

The makers of the “bug zapper” emphasize that above everything else, they are hardcore inventors. They do it for fun, for profit, and for a need to make a different and help tackle a very specific issue. In this case, malaria, which is a very serious disease. With the “bug zapper”, they believe the number of deaths in underdeveloped African countries can be severely reduced. The bug zapper was made in a femtosecond laser lab. Basically, it creates very short light pulses (femtosecond pulses).

One of the core purposes of the bug zapper is to protect the clinics. Since many are packed with people already suffering from malaria, the laser technology can protect it by killing mosquitoes before they go in. The system can also be used for other purposes. Farmers can use it to protect their farms, and ordinary people can have it installed in their homes to protect their crops, backyards and loved ones.

Since the bug zapper is still a prototype, the makers argue that the technology used constantly changes. They want to perfect it and use nonlethal lasers to listen to a mosquito’s wing beat frequency. Then it measures the size of the bug and shots to kill.

Hunting mosquitoes with lasers – a brilliant piece of technology that might change the world

The beauty of IVL’s mosquito-zapping technology is the manufacturing costs involved. The makers claim that it’s very cheap, and yet so powerful. The fence-like laser system only makes use on non-lethal lasers that are completely harmless in humans. It is smart enough to monitor the type of bug entering the perimeter, and if the insect spot is not in the system, it is left alone.

Using the technology to control the mosquito population can mean a lot to the health industry. The spread of malaria is stopped, and if they manage to achieve their target, the laser system can be perfect for a wealth of other purposes. At this point, humanity faces many severe challenges – hunger, poverty, health, energy, and more. Laser technology can help tackle some of these concerns.

From laser engraving and etching to keep track of medical equipment to laser devices that perform more precise surgeries without putting the health of the patient in danger, there’s no doubt that the industry has advanced. Increasingly more companies are seeking a laser engraving service to ease production and craft better products. The future is bright for this sector, and if the bug zapper goes mainstream, other companies will probably expand on the idea, and use it to kill other harmful insects, not just malaria-causing mosquitoes.

5 Myths About Mobile Apps And What Makes Them So Untrue

Come 2020 and the mobile industry will grow to reach 189$ billion and with the time that the world is now spending on devices, going mobile is not really an option anymore. For a business to survive, it will have to tap the app market to its full advantage. The market has established itself as the symbol of a business growth and success.

Now even after making itself a requisite for bringing a brand to every fingertip, globally, there are some businesses that still doubt its worth falling to the myths that have been created over time. So let’s talk about the elephant in the room once and for all. Here are five myths surrounding the mobile app market and how to steer clear of them for the sake of your business growth.

Myth 1

Users are not installing apps anymore

There have been talks that because of the low mobile space or simply a lack of newness, users are not installing apps anymore.

Truth

In 2016, the number of app downloads globally crossed 90 billion all across Google Play and iOS. The stats presents a 15 percent annual growth, which makes up to a yearly increase of more than 13 billion. In U.S. alone people installed 12 billion apps previous year, which was roughly six per month, according to the App Annie data. And it is only back of this data, that the world is seeing a rise in successful app development companies, worldwide.

So businesses that fall for this myth will only lose in to the competitors and will taint their brand.

Myth 2

App store is only for Big Players

Some think that only big publishers like Facebook, Rovio, and Whatsapp can survive in the concentrated app market, small players don’t hold a chance.

Truth

A quick glance of any of the app store will show you how there are so many new entrants in all the fields – from banking to games and fitness to AR. Who had heard about Pokemon Go prior to the last year? Or the Super Mario app? Nobody. But we all witnessed how they changed how we interacted with our devices to an altogether different level.

Truth is, as long as your app is offering something new to the world or is answering to an untapped market, it will be in demand.

Myth 3

The more your app is downloaded the more successful it is

It is believed by many that what makes and app successful is the number of downloads or installs it has.

Truth

While it is true that there was a time when the success of an app was measured by the number of downloads it got but today the focus has shifted 180 degrees from the number of downloaders to the percent of engagement happening on the app.

Today what matters is your retention rate, bounce rate, and how satisfied your users are with the service they are getting.

Myth 4

Apps will be replaced by Bots

Every second report around the world is suggesting how chat bots are the next big thing in mobile.

Truth

While it is true that chat bots are the next big upcoming thing in the mobile world but it is definitely not something that would replace apps on users’ devices. Chat bots will only come in the interaction process, everything before that – keeping users engaged, the visual experience, and all the factors that keep a user hooked will be handled by apps, alone.

Myth 5

Having an app is a want not a need

People belonging to old school of thought believe that having an app is not a need, a business can grow perfectly even without it.

Truth

This myth couldn’t be farther away from the truth. For a business to grow to its highest capability, in today’s competitive market, it will have to reach its users, wherever they are. And mobile is the one market that is same, globally.

So the second a business gets on mobile, it opens its horizon to cover more market space and meet a greater customer base.

With the market getting mature every passing second, businesses of all sorts can get the perks of a carefully-designed app. Nevertheless, by paying attention to these misconceptions, many of us are letting go of the opportunity to bring themselves at world’s fingertips. Equipped with these truths, any business — from entertainment to logistics – can be prepared for a very long-term growth.

Author Bio: Currently writing for ChromeInfotech, India’s leading iPhone App Development Company, Tripti has written on relationships, career, and real estate in her past. But now she is focusing on decoding the mobile world with Ed Sheeran playing on a record in the background.

Benefits of Using Intranet Software To Build Knowledge Base

Companies with a large number of employees need to find an easier way of communicating, collaborating and sharing information. The best way to do this would be by using a knowledge base. Managing everything through this software would make the workflow quicker and better.

But how do you build a knowledge base? Well, a secure – and a highly beneficial – way of doing it would be by using intranet software. This is a private and safe website that enables communication, productivity tools, and many more things for your employees to use. This way, only your employees would have access to it and it helps ensure security. Also, the software is hosted online, and maintained as such.

It is obvious that intranet software has a plus side, and could benefit your company. Having said that, here are a few advantages of using it to create a knowledge base.

Access everything via the internet

With a SaaS knowledge base software all the information you have will be stored online. Whether it is a financial report, employee information, FAQ page or any other content, it can all exist in the online format; there will be no need to have physical copies, which only require extra storage, and work.

Moreover, the SaaS provider will be the one maintaining the software, including the performance quality, access or functionality. There is no need for any hardware or additional software when everything you need exists in one place. More importantly, the only ones who could get to your valuable documents are the persons granted the access, no one else. This fact makes a great case for using this type of knowledge management, because there is no risk of having your information leaked or misused.

Another benefit is the ability to access the cloud via any device, and from any place or any time. It is a great tool for remote workers, those who are traveling or need to get something while they are not in the office.

You can separate corporate and customer services

Knowledge base can be used for providing customer service with manuals, user guides, as a replacement for a call center or as an online FAQ software. It is a rather convenient tool with which you can share these documents on your website, all with the aim of helping your clients. However, knowledge base can be used as a corporate tool, as well – a tool that would be used only by the employees, not outsiders.

This option provides privacy, even within the company. For instance, you can have several knowledge bases. One would be for the clients, another for the employees, and one more for superiors or for separating different projects. Certainly, having two separate bases would be the best, as you avoid various risks, like the theft of confidential documents.

Easier co-working, and learning

As previously mentioned, online storage of documents enables simplified co-working, and cooperation among workers. With the ability to upload single files or whole folders to the cloud, they create a chance to edit, read or comment on them while online. No longer will the workers need to download and then upload again. Moreover, this can be done from anywhere and whenever.

Furthermore, if only a specific number of people are working on one project, that single group can upload the project online, and work on it directly on the cloud. What they are offered is flexibility, which is much needed in any line of work.

Another thing that benefits from intranet knowledge base is your company’s learning program. For example, if you hire a new batch of employees, or need to teach the old ones something new, you will need to organize a training program. This, of course, requires tons of work. Additionally, it could require extra tasks to be done by some people, or even require you to hire new ones. The point is that a lot of new, unnecessary expenses could arise, as well as too much work for your already busy employees.

In order to avoid this, create a training program that you would upload online. From there, each employee could access it, learn and participate whenever they have time for it. A knowledge base learning center provides a way for speedy knowledge acquirement, sharing of that same knowledge, as well as some other benefits. For instance, things like participating in discussions or answering questions.

Lastly, with this online working space, there would be no more repeated tasks, same questions asked over and over again, because with the easy search option any information can be found and retrieved quickly. This increases productivity, as it is highly efficient, and it also saves your workers’ time.

In summary, there are a lot of benefits coming from creating a knowledge base with intranet software. Not only will you have everything in one common place, shareable within the company, but the efficiency and quality of the work would be much better. More importantly, everything on this cloud is kept private and secure, which is important for any business. Therefore, it is time to start using this, and make your company a superior one.

Author Bio:- Robin is a Technical Support Executive with a combined experience of 6 years. He is well acquainted with various Knowledge base tools and is currently associated with ProProfs. In his free time, Robin enjoys reading and traveling.

10 Tools You Must Explore For Android App Development

We field tested these tools and believe that they will bring you appreciable, time-saving results and offer real value.

If you are keen to take your mobile app development company to the next level, then it is critical to start building a library of tools with your developers to help streamline the development process. But, mobile tools should be simple to use and add value to the development process. So, if you find that a favored tool does not deliver consistently good results, then it is time to consider other options.

To help you consider your options, we put together a list of the top 10 tools (both free and paid) for Android app development that every mobile app development company needs to know about. We field tested these tools and believe that they will bring you appreciable, time-saving results and offer real value.

GenyMotion

If there is one thing that most Android app development companies can agree on, it is that the official Google emulator is somewhat painful to use. This is where GenyMotion proves useful.

Geny

It is a fast booting emulator with seamless integration with the two most popular development platforms, namely Android Studio and Eclipse. Testing your app has never been simpler

MobiCart

iPhone app development companies have their hands tied when developing sales apps through their platform. We are lucky that Android development is not tied up in the same Apple-related issues. If you have a client who wants to integrate PayPal into their app, MobiCart offers simple-to-use shopping cart integration for Android.

Material Design Icons

As one of the simplest tools for any mobile app service, Material Designs is a useful tool that does exactly what it says on the box: It helps you create your material design icons quickly and simply. It is a multi-platform tool and so it can be useful to iPhone app service providers as well.

Android Debug Database

If you are tired of running your Android app services over and over again to try to find that one glitch, then this is the tool for you. It is incredibly simple and allows you to collate and view your databases and shared preferences right in your browser.

SwebApps

Another tool that is as useful for tracking iOS app services as it is for Android apps, SwebApps allows you to create your app online and then update the content in real time. This is a paid tool and so there is a one-time development fee alongside hosting costs. But, the native tracking abilities are well worth exploring.

LeakCanary

Concerned about memory leaks in your app? Considering hiring a mobile app developer just as a Beta tester? LeakCanary steps into the breach. This nifty tool detects issues in both Java and Android.

Android asset studio

This tool may well prove to be the last asset tool you will ever need as it offers a plethora of options. It can assist you with icon generation, internal app styling, and more, making development simpler, easier, and more satisfying.

UserTesting

UserTesting offers you real-time video feedback from a team of testers assembled by the app. As a Beta testing tool, it performs remarkably well and offers a host of detailed metrics to assist you in the final improvement of your product.

UserTesting

App Annie

If you are not a fan of detailed math, but still want to access all the juicy data hidden in your app’s store metrics, then App Annie is the right Android app tool for you.

You will receive analytics of your app’s performance and downloads alongside the store data. It can also cater to international app stores.

Apptimize

Apptimize offers A/B testing for both Android and iOS, allowing you to securely test your ideas before a public launch. It also offers full Android libraries to ensure a seamless user experience and reports user behavior in real time.

There is no longer a need to hire iPhone app developers just to migrate apps to a safer platform. Android is getting better in leaps and bounds and, with the help of these nifty tools, your custom mobile app development goals have never been easier to meet.

Have you found a particularly useful Android app tool that did not make the list? Why not share it with us below!

Bio:

Shishir is the founder of ChromeInfotech., a well-known name in the Indian mobile app development and designing industry. With years of experience in the domain, he has now acquainted himself with all the nitty-gritties of what goes into making an awesome app in the least possible time.

Stealing data via a desktop telephone?

Data protection is a hot topic. In many countries worldwide new data protection laws are implemented. These laws are created to ensure that personal data as stored and processed by companies and organizations will be protected against theft and modification.

A well-known example is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as approved by the EU last year, which will become active in 2018. It will become law in all member countries. It is not a directive which can have different interpretations and timelines per country but will be the same law in all member states.

Data protection regulation is relevant when data can identify or provide information about a specific person. Personal data can be anything. Names, addresses, etc. of course. But also photos, financial documents or medical data. And – taking the European laws as an example – not just for the data owner, but also for third parties processing the data (e.g. cloud service providers) on his behalf. It also means that most regulation crosses international borders. The EU regulation applies to all companies who process personal data of European citizens.

What does data protection regulation cover? Typically, companies need to have a proper administration of which data are stored where (including local spreadsheets with customer data). They also should make it possible for customers to have their data erased and the design of their systems should guarantee data protection (called ‘privacy by design’). Finally, they have to inform the regulator and public about data breaches that occurred and penalties are increased to the level which can mean a serious financial risk for a company.

However, it is not just about your data infrastructure

Of course, everything is data nowadays. Also, voice telephony is a data service, and that is specifically the case for VoIP infrastructures and services as deployed in many companies and organizations. We noticed however that the key focus of many data protection projects is on traditional ICT infrastructures. VoIP is often a blind spot.

While…it is also about voice communications

Ignoring VoIP could mean a serious mistake, however. Let’s have a look for example at a medical institute. Patients definitely don’t like the idea that their information becomes public. Nevertheless, the phone can provide easy access to these data. First of all, a modern desktop telephone provides access to the complete contact list of the user of that extension. A customer list, or – in the medical institute – the list of patients for example. This is just a beginning. The desktop phone also gives direct access to the voicemail system, which may disclose some very sensitive information. For example, if one medical specialist shares his diagnosis with a colleague. The biggest risk is however that office phones are the perfect social engineering tool. If someone has unauthorized access to a business telephone, just his caller ID makes him a trusted person to other employees of the organization as well as staff from other organizations. This trusted personal contact is the best way to acquire sensitive information and other personal data.

So, are your business telephones secured?

Most people think that advanced business desktop telephones can be secured by a PIN or something similar. Which is true. However, this security is often not used. The security mechanism most of the time means that employees have to enter a username (for example an email address) and PIN via the very basic keypad of their telephone, which is a very inconvenient procedure. So in many occasions, once logged in, people keep their phones logged in as long as possible. Or the login mechanism is disabled completely. There are examples of professional service managers actually giving such advice to their end-users.

The impact is that many office telephones provide open access to private and other sensitive data. Not at a level that millions of customer or patient records can be downloaded at once. But still, via the telephone, private documents and other information can be stolen from your organization right now. Therefore, protecting your office telephones may be an essential step in your companies data security plans.

Cloud Computing Trends To Watch Out In 2017

Over the past decade, cloud computing has evolved to become a ubiquitous tool for developers and users alike. Businesses of all sizes have migrated to the cloud over the past few years, whether they choose to use private or public cloud solutions. But now that the cloud has become a widely accepted component of our daily computing lives, what is the next step? In 2017, you can expect to see cloud computing evolve and become increasingly efficient. Here are a few of the top trends to watch for this year.

Greater enterprise migration

Forrester research envisions that the biggest trend this upcoming year is an increase in enterprises. Boosts to security and an array of benefits for businesses means that the cloud is prepared for enterprises. Enterprises have larger budgets, complex applications, and correspondingly complex needs. While in the past cloud platforms were still growing in scope, this year they’re mature and secure enough to please even the most cautious enterprises.

Services on a regional level

Although more enterprises will be migrating to the cloud this year, they may not necessarily commit to one provider. Many users are opting to work with a variety of different providers in order to create a more personalized end solution. This means that there will be an increased demand for cloud services at the regional level, as well as the larger companies. The public cloud market is expected to grow at a rapid rate, including services from tech giants like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. Yet at the same time, smaller providers will be there to fill in the coverage gaps to ensure all enterprises benefit from customized solutions.

Shift to containers

A major trend from 2016 was the use of containers to help manage software code for cloud apps. These Linux containers will be an integrated component of most public and private cloud platform throughout next year. This allows developers to manage their own micro-services, which is useful on many levels.

Integrated security

Cybersecurity is at the top of everyone’s wish list when it comes to any new application. Major telco cloud providers like Nokia Networks have vastly improved their ability to provide security at all levels, and smaller providers are following suit. Expect to see all cloud solutions offering built-in, fully integrated security features with a data-centric focus.  Security features must be built into each layer of cloud infrastructure to protect users from costly breaches.

Reduction in costs

Finally, along with the growth of ever more efficient, secure cloud services comes a drop in pricing. This will open up the cloud to nearly everyone. As it becomes more cost-effective to create cloud services and apps, consumers and enterprises alike will reap the benefits. Because there’s a blend of both big-name public cloud service providers and smaller niche providers, you can mix and match these offerings and scale them up or down as needed. Cloud costs should be more readily contained in 2017, helping the industry to grow even further.

Why App Reviews Are Essential to Designers

You’ve finally launched your app, and you’re waiting for the five-star reviews to start loading. Why wouldn’t everyone else love your app as much as you do? And with app use on the rise, it makes sense to jump into this market. The only issue- it’s a saturated market.

Both Google and Apple applications have just over 2 million available apps each. So, how can you gain more visibility from your app? One way is through the reviews and ratings you receive. And, despite what you may have seen or heard, the more–the better. In today’s market, consumers have a preference for individualized, real reviews over advertising. Of course, good reviews will make your app stand out even more. Nonetheless, we will explain why app reviews are essential to designers.

For discovery

Reviews and ratings are used as metadata for search. Depending on the types of news stories breaking in the tech world this week, ratings may even categorize your app in search results. When a customer types in a keyword such as “crossword puzzle,” you can imagine that all of the crossword puzzle games–with the most reviews–will start to populate the search engine results.

Moreover, you’ll see the ones with the best ratings on top. Search engines want to provide their users with the best experience–this means giving them the best products and services first.

App Reviews

For downloading

When you search for new apps, which ones do you download? Do you download the one with no reviews or the one with multiple reviews? When two apps are similar, most consumers will download the app with either the most reviews and/or the best reviews.

As those stars light up, so do your chances of getting more downloads. It gets your app noticed. If you have the same or a similar number of ratings as another app, then the average user will download the app with the better ratings.

How reviews affect your app ranking

As an app designer, you might read your reviews on a daily basis. It’s essential to being discovered, downloaded and purchased. Not to mention, reviews and ratings help you to show up for relevant key terms. As a result, apps with ratings lower than 3 stars had a much lower ranking that more highly-reviewed applications. Here is a breakdown of what affects your app ranking in both the Google and Apple app stores:

  • The quality of ratings and reviews
  • Number of uninstalls
  • Number of reviews
  • Number of downloads
  • How much your app is used
  • Landing page keyword density
  • App growth

Ratings by system

  1. Google–Reviews are local but star ratings affect average rating value, regardless of the location of the user. As a developer, you can reply to all reviews and they are visible to everyone in the Play Store. The only caveat is reviews will never expire, even those for an older version of your app.
  2. iOS–Reviews and ratings are version-specific. This means that when you publish an updated version of your app, most of the previous reviews disappear. Reviews are local. This means that reviews given by Japanese users are only visible to Japanese users, for instance. The rating is also local. To illustrate, the same app might be a 3.5/5 in the United States and 3.0/5 in Japan. You can’t reply to any of your reviews.
  3. Windows–You can reply to all reviews. Replies are also private and sent directly to the reviewer’s email address. The average rating is local and only visible to a specific country’s users. Reviews never expire.

App Reviews

Feedback helps to improve your work

Certainly, you wouldn’t publish an app unless you thought it was amazing. If only everyone else felt the same way. While you may have many fans, there will be critics. And, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Your app is supposed to appeal to your target audience. If it isn’t doing so, then you’ll find out quickly. This is especially true if users get specific such as reporting bugs or even having issues with a crashing app and a battery drain. These are important issues that you should fix if you find an overwhelming number of reviews discussing the same problems. Otherwise, you will continue to get bad reviews.

Then, there are the positive reviews. We’re not talking about the one your mom or dad wrote. These are good and real reviews showing you did something right, and you provided something your users actually want. It’s always nice to get positive feedback. Since user retention is so critical in the app world, you might encourage users to return by regularly adding exciting new features.

Final Thought

Even with the best intentions, we can sometimes fall short. On the other hand, we can knock our app out of the park. Regardless of how well your app is received, don’t be afraid of reviews and ratings. You need them for rankings and to help make the most of your work.