Before You Hire a Custom Mobile App Company, Consider These 5 Things

More than any other time in the past, having a mobile app has become extremely important for today’s companies. The business challenges that entrepreneurs have faced in the recent past have made it necessary for companies to create mobile applications.

These days many consumers want to make their purchases without visiting your website. Mobile applications make this possible. Therefore, mobile apps play a vital role the profit making process of most companies. In fact, they have become golden opportunities for businesses to tap into new revenue streams.

When looking to work with a custom mobile app company, it is important to take into consideration the process and the things you need to decide on before contacting a custom mobile app company. Most custom mobile app developing companies have a set of questions which they ask those looking to new apps before even starting to develop them.

You should always be ready to answer the questions before speaking with the custom mobile app companies since this can help to speed up the development process and streamline your communication. There are 5 things you ought to know before you hire a custom mobile app company according to the Entrance Sharepoint Developers (who also specialize in app development besides an expert in sharepoint services). These are:

Estimated budget

Before contacting the development companies, you need to determine the amount of money you are ready to devote on the application. This will assist you to know when a company’s bid will be out of the estimated budget.

Make sure that you have realistic expectations of the development costs. It is possible for you find an app developer who can undertake your app development project for much less but they cannot offer the expected level of expertise and quality.

A realistic budget will help you to negotiate with companies and see if you app can be developed within your budget or the app’s features will need to be limited so that the app can be developed within the estimated budget.

Reasons why you want to developing the application

You need to ask yourself why your company needs to develop its own app. Why do you want to develop the app? Is it to market your business? Is it to enable you to sell your products? Is it to assist the customers to know your company’s information?

The goal of your app must be very simple so that it can be designed with its purpose in mind. This in turn will guarantee that the custom mobile app company you have chosen can concentrate on the features of your app that will assist you to meet your targets and grow the business.

The preferred communication method

Do you have a preferred way through which the custom mobile developing company can contact you? In which channels would you prefer the progress your app development to be communicated to you during the entire process?

Most development companies will prefer their own processes to communicate the development progress while others will opt to contact you in the same way you would contact them. It is important to indicate to the company the preferred methods of communication before signing the contract.

Time frame prospects

What is the time frame for the app to be developed? Can the app development firm assist you to make sure that the whole process does not take longer than the time you have set? You should develop a time frame and prospects and objectives in regards to the app development. However, you should also be willing to review those prospects to meet something achievable for the company you contract.

Sometimes it can be a bit difficult for you to approximate the time a particular project will take especially if you don’t have the experience in app development. It is therefore to have a timeframe in mind but be willing to change it in order to allow thee app company deliver a quality product.

Your end-users

Who are the end-users of your custom developed app? Where do you want the app to be published? Which mobile platforms do you want it on? Do you want it to be an Android app, or would you like it to be available in on iPhone, iPad or Windows Phone? This is very critical since each platform will require its own custom development and this will indeed modify the scope of your project considerably.

Monitoring, Managing and Problem Resolution for Chosen IT Systems

There is no limit to the type of labor the service providers can do. It could be anything: accounting, finance, auditing human resource, tailoring, cleaning services, auditing among others. Once hired, they take care of their tasked responsibilities on behalf of their employer to realize the set goals. They will do their tasks independently with their employer overseeing the same from a ‘safe distance’. Depending on what the one who employs the service providers desires, there is a wide variety of MSPs. To give a clear picture of how they work, we will take a look at those that specialize in IT manager edmonton.

managed services

In many organizations/firms /offices/institutions every once in a while need arises for one to offload specific IT operations to a service provider, otherwise known as Managed Services Providers in tech parlance. Once this wheel is set in motion, the monitoring, managing and/or problem resolution for chosen IT systems and functions responsibility is transferred from you to them. In simple terms an IT MSP conveys network, application, system and e-management services through a network to many enterprises.

Some of the benefits of this kind of outsourcing include:

  • Improving operations
  • Cutting expenses
  • Keeps an enterprise efficient and up to date on technology
  • Improves the quality of service
  • Addresses risks

Services offered by IT MSPs include but are not limited to the following:

  • Alerts
  • Security
  • Patch management
  • Data backup and recovery for different client devices: desktops, notebooks, servers, storage systems, networks and applications

Email hosting, customer relationship management (CRM) applications, storage, backup and recovery and network monitoring are some of the services that are triggering companies currently to venture into IT MSPs. These IT service providers generally complement rather than replace internal information technologists’. The trade association established that six-in-10 respondents that regard their technology usage innovative are using an MSP for physical security services.

In today’s market customer experience is the new battle field among competitors. Since MSPs work in a specified field their efficiency in soliciting for customer feedback and working to improve the clients’ feedback is impeccable. They have enough time to:

  • Arrange face–to–face meetings with clientele
  • Concentrate on digital feedback such as: suggestions mail box, feedback links, social media posts, and surveys
  • Scheduled calls

Pontoon has been recognized as one of the finest provider of Global Managed Service Programs. Actually according to HRO it is the #1 Provider of Global MSP for now for the second year running. Pontoon placed number one in Quality of Service (268.29) and Size of Deal (7.86) and also led in the field with an overall total score of 592.94. It is a global human resource outsourcing company majoring in improving an establishment’s workforce based in Florida and operating in nearly 100 countries and around 1,500 colleagues worldwide.

The service providing business is not without its challenges. One of the big elephants in the room is standardization. What is the bare minimum? Is there a point of reference? Let us take for example IT service providers. Wipro and HP may manage their services slightly different. Without standardization this variance may cause a significant complexity for the client.

A Look into Managed IT Services

Managed It service, which is very much related to IT support, is now becoming a resolve for many businesses that are seeking to go the technology way. What exactly are managed IT services philadelphia? These are services that enable a business to release all their IT operations to a managed service provider (MSP) who takes over the responsibility of 24/7 management, monitoring as well as problem solving of all the IT systems in the business.

Managed IT services actually began with the break-fix services whereby an organization would wait until the system broke down then they would call the break-fix company who would try and get the problem fixed. With time, the support people developed a system and programs that involved periodically coming on-site for a routine system review, checking for a hint of any issue and correcting it before it became a major problem. The main disadvantage here was that the support people only saw what happened on that given day and incase an issue occurred later, they wouldn’t know unless the client called them. For this reason, the systems were prone to breaking down at any time.


This is how Managed IT services came to be. In fact, there is a Managed Services software that is in place which enables the providers to look into achieving two main goals:

Any symptom of risk in your network is detected before happening or when it is happening, and an alert is sent, notifying your MSP about it. Every alert received by the MSP is important as well as has to be addressed.

A close achievement of these goals means a more effective managed service and better chances of avoiding an emergency.

Similar to large companies, smaller businesses require technology for an efficient operation and better competition. However, there are limited resources for supporting their IT needs and these can quickly get depleted. At the same time, it is crucial that the business keeps up with patches, security and backups otherwise they will be faced by a serious IT outage.

The advantage of Managed IT Services over the break-fix system is that you are able to prevent the occurrence of any IT issues such that they will not cause any disruption in the running of your business. The good news is, considering the downtime cost, managed services can actually be cheaper and more efficient than the break-fix services!

Managed services have quite a number of benefits for your business. These include:

Problems will be discovered and fixed before having any negative impact on your business. It ensures proper running of your computer network. Due to the fixed charging rate, you will be in a position to control and minimize on your business’ overall spending. Due to the 24/7 monitoring, you will have an increased level of security and comfort. Reduced downtime. An overall increase in efficiency.

MSPs usually offer their services at a fixed monthly rate. The price usually depends on services counted in the given program and the number of devices.

The Need for Professional Services Branding for Start-ups

The number of IT start-ups today is quite overwhelming, and with that comes a great deal of competition for the market. Many of these start-ups are now realising that to stay ahead of the competition and stand out from the crowd, they need much more than just a great product. This is why professional services branding is taking route in the tech innovation industry.

Natasha Thornsworth a branding expert says many startups have tried to carry out their own branding but after a number of poor results they end up coming to her for help. “It is a pity that they have to waste their money to realise that they actually need a professional to do the branding for them,” Thornsworth said.


The mistake many IT companies make is thinking that they can simply put a unique colour and have a website that stands out and they will consider that to be great branding as they concentrate on coming up with a product.

Harvard Business Review advises that professional services branding should be used to ensure that a company is able to influence public perception of itself and create an image that is in line with a company’s mission and all that it stands for.

If you look at the companies that have hired professionals to handle their branding, you will realise that it is not some random set of activities but a well thought out systematic strategy that influences far more than the image of a company, but stretches farther to the conduct of the people that work at the company.

Investment in professional services branding is helping start-up tech companies grab a foothold in the market and focus on growing a brand that will bring return on investment. Natasha Thornsworth says it may be hard to present a product or service as completely unique but when you add professional branding to the mix, you make your product stand out and more appealing to your target.

“Branding is a key marketing tool, it can be the difference between making that big sale or losing out to the competition.” Ms Thornsworth explains. She adds that branding helps a start-up company get the target customers to understand what their product or service is and how it helps them as well as associate it with particular things.

What may seem like a simple logo for a company is really the result of careful planning, understanding of a product and extra attention to detail.

Experts indicate that one of the reasons a number of great innovations fail to make it far in the market is the lack of professional branding. Many of these may have good services or products but they fail to let the market know that these products exist or to stand out effectively from the crowd and in the end a product that may not be as good but has the benefit of professional services branding will be more successful.

Branding done by professionals can in some instances help a tech company improve its product because it would need to live up to the image created by the professionals so that it does not turn out to be deceptive.

Fleet Tracking App: Have You Heard About Mileage Tracking?

fleet tracking app

When tracking mileage for your business, you may have used scraps of paper, notebooks, or even the napkins you get from fast food restaurants. Most probably, a lot of you have tried any or all of these. After you record the mileage, you may even have tried to calculate on your watch calculator (assuming you have one) or your phone, in order to determine the difference between your ending and beginning points.

Fortunately, modern technology has provided us with special fleet tracking app mechanisms that can make the procedure for tracking mileage, fleet management, and reporting expenses so much easier.

The following are some of the benefits of using fleet management and mileage tracking app for your business:

1. You will be able to make IRS Compliant Reports

A certain fleet tracking app such as the vehicle mileage log for taxes made by TripLog enables you to generate reports that are in line with IRS rules. It allows you to subtract $ 0.575 for every mile. However, to be able to claim the deduction (and save a substantial amount of taxes every year) it is important that you keep a thorough record. The IRS is requiring every business to save all the receipts related to operations or vehicle expenses beyond $75. With the help of a tracking app, you will be able to take a snapshot of your receipts and then upload them to the cloud storage for safekeeping. This application is capable of creating IRS compliant reports that will assist you in claiming the highest amount of exemptions.

Vehicle expenses may include parking, fuel, tolls, insurance, maintenance, registration, etc., while other business expenses may include lodging, travel, meals, gifts, along with various other business related expenses.

2. Capability to function on a Mobile Device

Rather than giving your employees bulky and expensive laptops, applications enable them to use a tablet or mobile phone to track the mileage. Apps can be connected via a Bluetooth device, and then it will automatically start recording mileage, and will also stop the recording automatically as the vehicle stops. Users will also have the ability to track locations with GPS. Another feature of having a tracking app on your mobile device is that you can sync data between a mobile device and web services. These apps also have the ability to record the route taken and show it on maps. However, it is best to be aware of the laws in your state regarding the use of a mobile device while operating a vehicle. You may also and provide your drivers with a hands-free device or a dash mount.

3. It Connects with Accounting Software

With the help of a tracking app, you can be spared of the painstaking effort of manually inputting data into the spreadsheets. Instead, you can connect with and upload the expense and mileage data straight to Intuit QuickBooks. You may also be able to upload additional expenses such as parking receipts. This allows you to quickly and easily reimburse your employees for mileage.

Other fleet tracking apps that are available include those that will keep your employees safe while driving so they will be kept from accidents and keep insurance costs at low, which will ultimately save you both time and money.

IT Asset Management: The Best Practices For Amazing Business Results

IT asset management

When it comes to IT management, there are essential terms to keep in mind. Life cycle for one, is described as “what you do;” asset tracking records refer to “what you’ve done;” and process is “how you do it.” In all IT asset management, process plays the most vital role.

Definition of Process

The process is a series of exercises and tasks for the administration or management of assets through specific stride in the life cycle. Right processes give consistency, control and exactness. Effective and efficient processes are intended to accomplish particular objectives and goals, standards and procedures, take into account corporate polices and are demonstrated into a proven industry best practices. In most organizations, well-defined processes that are highly enforced, structured and automated in supporting tool became the foundation for successful IT asset management success.

The advantages of Best Practice

Best Practice means capturing effective and proven know-how and having it applied to information technology asset management processes for better results. When it comes to automated processes which are not under human supervision, the quality of implementing processes in support for asset management program becomes critical.

Aside from the specialized 19770 ISO standards created for efficient software management, basically there is no available or recognized framework for asset management if to be compared with IT managed frameworks like ITIL and Microsoft Operations. However, there are good sources for satisfying best practices.

Whether or not there is an existing asset management program, practices was already in place to perform the IT management function. In many cases, these practices have been refined over time to become more effective and better matched to organizational needs. There is no substitute for first hand learning. Taking time to formally record, identify and successfully institutionalize existing methods is the most basic and vital source of the best practices.

Whether there’s preexisting information technology asset management program, practices and procedures are prepared to accomplish IT management functions. In many cases, most of these practices are actually enhanced to get more effective and superior, matched up to help organizational needs. There isn’t any replacement for direct learning. Spending some time to identify, institutionalize successful methods and record are an imperative part of an asset management program to achieve best practices.

Best tool to support Asset Management Processes

In order to have successful asset management programs, organizations must have effective tools. These tools are identified through contractual and physical data, manage financial areas, and integrate with business systems and adjacent IT management tools and support automation and implementation of IT asset management processes within the organization.

The four key tools to effectively support IT asset management program:

  • An IT asset management repository;

  • Integration with adjacent IT and business systems; and,

  • Hardware and software inventory and usage information;

  • Data import.

The principal component of an asset management system is known as a repository. It serves as the main store for required contractual, financial and physical data. However, what determines the effectiveness and quality of the tool is the functional ability of the repository to perform IT asset management activities and tasks supporting across the life cycle based on best practice.

Industrial Security – A Sound Business Investment

industrial security

In business investing in a robust industrial security system always pays off. The level of security each type of business requires may differ, but all of them require some form of industrial security system to protect not only their personnel and but also their resources.

The worst thing a business owner can do is to procure security equipment and get them installed without the advice of a security professional. There is always a danger of getting a system that cannot handle the perceived threats or obtaining a system that is far more sophisticated than is necessary. Both result in waste of valuable resources; the former because it will not work properly, and the latter because a simpler and cheaper version would have sufficed.

What To Look For In Security Systems

Security systems are made up of detection, alarm, surveillance, monitoring and recording equipment. The entire system is coordinated by software which is the main component of security system command and control centers. The following are the basic features of industrial security systems:

  1. Access control systems: This is made up of ID cards and badges which contain access permissions and card/badge readers deployed at entry and exit points as well as elevators in a building. Access control systems are set up for two main purposes: to keep unauthorized personnel out, and to monitor entry and exit of a company’s own employees. Both result in greater security for the facility, personnel, and the company’s resources.

  2. Intrusion detection & security alarms: This is made up of sensors and alarms deployed at strategic locations within a facility which are designed to detect entry of unauthorized persons into restricted areas. There are many types of detectors which can be used, and these are chosen based on the nature of the threats a company faces. Glass break detectors, motion detectors, heat detectors, pressure change detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors are a few of the most common types

  3. Video surveillance cameras and recording equipment: Video surveillance deters people from stealing from the company; it deters people from outside the company as well as its own employees from doing anything illegal. Keeping video footages also protect the company and its staff from false claims made by its clients. It also provides a fair and reasonable way of settling disputes.

  4. Monitoring system: Some companies prefer to hire their own security personnel to monitor the entire security system. In such cases the control center is usually built onsite and is powered separately from the rest of the facility. Some industrial security control centers are as simple as home security panels, while the most complex control numerous cameras, sensors, and alarms through several large screen monitors. The most complex systems are controlled externally by the staff of a security company on 24/7 basis.

  5. Remote access: The proliferation of laptops, tablets and smart devices make it desirable to be able to access an industrial security system through the internet. This ability enables better and faster responses to any incidents.

The above are only the basic. Companies who work on sensitive US defense department contracts, for example, are required to adhere to stricter security standards. Carefully choosing an appropriate security system is always a smart move.

Open Frame Touch Screen – What Is It Really?

openframe touch screen

There are many open frame touch screen models available in the market. These screens use different technology, but the most common are projected capacitance (ProCap), infrared (IR), and surface acoustic wave (SAW). A small open frame touch screen is most likely to use projected capacitance technology.

 But what are open frame monitors and what are they normally used for? An open frame monitor has a screen plus enough support to house the electronic components for such screen. A structure needs to be provided to support such types of screens. Open frame monitors are usually designed to be the viewing and interactive part of certain pieces of equipment, thus most of them are small.

 You may have seen some of these monitors built onto the cabinets of arcade games. Some may be used in the information kiosks that you often find in museums, hospitals, exhibits, and trade shows. Industrial applications include the viewing and input screens of various types of usually automated machinery.

 Larger open frame touch screens are usually of the infrared and surface acoustic wave types. These have to be integrated into supporting framework, such as cabinets, recessed into walls, partitions or tables. Their size makes them ideal for a greater number of useful applications, such as:

Advertising Billboards: Large size touch monitors make an ideal platform for creating an impressive display of offered products and services. They are especially effective when used indoors or partially sheltered outdoor locations such as covered walkways with high foot traffic. When intended for use by prospective clients, who may not know how to properly use them, the monitors need to be appropriately protected. You may ask for a tempered glass covering, software that rejects palm touches, and security enhancements to limit access.

Work Collaboration: These touch monitors may be embedded onto walls or tables to create a place to interact with colleagues or clients. This is especially effective when discussing engineering projects, advertising campaigns and exhibition particulars with clients. Feedback can then be instantly recorded and acted upon, tremendously increasing work efficiency. Large touch monitor frames embedded in conference room walls are great at facilitating presentations and discussions.

As Teaching Aides: It is not only professionals who benefit from the interactive qualities of touch frame screens, students also do. While not all students are verbally articulate, such screens enable majority of students to fully express their ideas on the spot. For young students especially, the attraction offered by interactive screens is very effective in facilitating both learning and retention.

In Arcade Games: Large multi touch monitor frames used on arcade game consoles take gaming to higher level of interaction and enjoyment. Multiple players can use such screens either as a team or as protagonists. If arcade games are to pick up again, using large touch monitors may just be the thing that makes it happen.

Whatever size open frame monitor you need, it is probably available in the market and organizations like the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) can help you find them. When you don’t need your touch screen monitor to be able to stand alone, open frame touch screens are great alternatives.


ACD Call Center Can Handle Large Volume of Calls

acd call center

The telephone provides us with a convenient way to communicate. Companies are only too glad to have an easy way to reach their clients.  Their clients took advantage of easy communication links to convey their concerns to companies which provided them some form of service or product.  Soon there were so many incoming calls seeking information or issue resolution that companies were forced to hire multiple people to handle them.  When calls still continued to grow call centers offering specialized call handling services to every type of business became popular alternatives to hiring in-house phone receptionists as they were called then.

But even professionally trained call center agents have limits.  When calls became more than their agents can handle, the first impulse of contact centers were to hire more people.  There were problems with that:  it is hard to find and train good call center agents, and hiring more people is a very expensive option. So the call centers turned to better training and equipment they were seeking to improve call handling efficiency so they will require less skilled people.  While they succeeded initially, the proliferation of phones soon had them scrambling to find a way to handle the volume of incoming calls from clients.  Industry associations like the Contact Centre Nova Scotia are never satisfied and seek to continuously improve call center performance.

The most effective way contact centers have found to handle large volumes of incoming calls is to use what is known as an acd call center, a type of inbound call center solution ; acd is an acronym for automatic call distribution. Now it seems the call centers have found a relatively inexpensive way to accommodate calls from thousands of clients with ease.

With automatic call distribution software incoming calls are routed systematically at a pace much faster than humans can achieve on their own. ACD uses a complex algorithm to route calls to call center agents.  The software takes into account information from or about the caller, the phone line the caller dialed, the caller’s are code, availability of call center agents, the skill level of the agent and rules provided by their client company.  Calls are more accurately distributed using these data, allowing the call center to respond confidently to the client.  Learn more about automatic call distribution by visiting

The acd call center is often complimented by interactive voice response (IVR) and computer telephony integration.  IVR aids in speedy routing of calls to the right person by allowing the client to narrow down the choices based on his needs.  This is usually done by asking the client to punch a series of numbers that correspond to the type of call, product or information he requires.

Computer telephony integration helps the call center agent resolve issues faster.  The feature provides the agent information about the client, previous call history and other previously collected data during the duration of the call.  Armed with the information the call center agent is able to sound authoritative and completely aware of the client’s concerns; the shorter duration enables him to handle more calls.  This is how software helps handle large volumes of incoming calls.