Altabel Group's Blog

Archive for December 2013

When people want to start up a company they dream of having something like such global giants as Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc. but it isn’t easy and a lot of factors should be taken into account, including the country traditions, the government general policy in the field of entrepreneurship, the public attitude towards the innovative ideas, the existence of the precise set of tools to stimulate innovation, human capital and research, infrastructure and many others. Why is it easy to set up new companies in one country and difficult in another? To answer this question I investigated the experience of Scandinavian states in this field. Why precisely Scandinavia?

Nordic countries seem to be in the forefront of this development. Having given us Ericsson, Skype and Spotify Scandinavia has become a global leader in IT, mobile and multimedia development, and the pace of innovation shows no sign of slowing. The list of prosperous start – up companies itself is inspiring: Spotify, iZettle, SoundCloud, Klarna, Uber, Fishbrain, Sticky Wrapp in Sweden.  I needn’t even mention such giants from Denmark as the app developer Podio and Unwire, a mobile platform provider which enables the hosting of TV content on mobile phone. Or let’s take Bird Step from Norway which continues to bring a raft of leading-edge mobile connectivity products to market. By the way, Sweden is currently No.1 in the world for IT, according to the latest Global Information Technology Report. In fact, all three Scandinavian countries are among the top 10.

I think, the reasons why start ups are so popular in Scandinavia are the following:

-political and economic factors play a key role.  Scandinavian strong welfare system makes people feel safer and enables them to take risk to start their own company. Government support for tech innovation is evident in basic conveniences such as free Wi-Fi, and each administration has introduced specific measures to encourage tech development;

-clustering– the pooling of ideas by a group of organisations for common gain. Vivid example of this is creation of the Movation innovation partnership by 7 Norwegian tech companies in 2006 and the Nordic Tech Five linking universities in Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden. It has become possible due to the compact nature of the region which encourages a shared sense of purpose and a willingness to help each other out.

 – tech culture and general positive attitude of Scandinavians to innovation is the biggest factor in Scandinavian supremacy.  Scandinavian people pick up trends quickly. The same goes for new markets and technology. Common people are willing to embrace new technology, specifically regarding IT and communication. In 2009, a survey in Denmark found 72% of the population used the internet every day, people are not afraid of the internet in Scandinavia, everyone buys online. Isn’t it a dream for any country when old Nordic grannies surf the net, school children use laptops in exams and parents allow their kids online without fearing for their safety? It is a nation embracing IT.

history and tradition play a crucial part in start-up trends, too. This enthusiasm for innovation, particularly mobile innovation, goes back decades. Sweden, for example, is very strong in engineering, from building the first telephones, to the global expansion of Nokia. Engineering has always been sought after, and tech is just the latest manifestation of that.

strong support of tech talents and fierce competition for talents. All top-ranked Nordic universities enclose student incubators that offer everything from free working space to specific courses and mentor programs to encourage and foster virtuous entrepreneurship. To start a company Scandinavian entrepreneurs could find world class engineers and designers.

 – scale advantage. The small scale of the Scandinavian market is used by Nordic start-ups to their advantage. They are more organized, disciplined and mobile.

nation’s infrastructure – telecommunications, education and institutions – has helped deliver high broadband and mobile penetration and a tech-savvy population. The Internet in Scandinavian countries is pretty ubiquitous, affordable, and the average speed for both down- and upload is good.

– rapid globalization of Scandinavian start-ups. Nordic people have got more international quickly which makes it an advantage. Moreover, most Swedes, Norwegians and Danes are skilled English speakers which is a big advantage for start-ups to become international.

great informal network which unites experienced and new entrepreneurs. The amount of knowledge sharing among community members is huge. The advice websites for start-up businesses are really popular. People help each other and share best practice information.

availability of Venture capital helps start-ups make a good start, too. The amount of Venture capital available in relation to the GDP is higher in Scandinavia than in the rest of Europe. 

–  accelerator programmes for startups developed in Scandinavian countries are a relatively new, ‘modern’ breed of business incubators which attract small teams and provide a number of technology companies with seed funding, mentoring, training like SICS and Bonnier’s Accelerator in Sweden, beta FACTORY in Norway, Startup boot camp Mobility and Accelerace in Denmark.

–  long, dark, and cold Scandinavian  winters encourage people to stay inside and noodle away at creative endeavors, such as programming or gaming. So, when Scandinavians don’t chop wood they sit in front of the internet and consume. 🙂

As a conclusion, I’d like to say that there are probably many more aspects. And we don’t deny that Scandinavia has its challenges as well. Not everything is perfect, and there are exceptions to every rule. But simply judging from the quantity (and quality) of its entrepreneurial outcome the climate for starting your own company seems to be pretty good there in the north. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s why Scandinavia is winning. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments!

 

Kate Kviatkovskaya

Kate Kviatkovskaya

Business Development Manager

E-mail: Kate.Kviatkovskaya@altabel.com
Skype: kate.kviatkovskaya
LI Profile: Kate Kviatkovskaya

 

altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

At all the times healthcare stands as one of the most challenging and pressing sectors of our society. Passed through centuries, wars, incurable diseases, and natural catastrophes, limit of food and water – all these things make us more perceptive to value our life more and give us everyday pressure to think how to improve health sector: to raise the level of our medical knowledge/education, implement innovative materials and technologies, invest in research programs and funds to save one’s life.

Since we have travelled a long way in healing knowledge from experiments and treating with herbs to highly effective medicine till now we continue to search for new methodologies to make the medicine more progressive and effective, to improve patience safety and satisfaction.

Technological and social changes taking place in recent years are affecting the way of presenting and transferring medical knowledge. In the era of IT and high capacity of computers new paradigm has entered in education process- e-learning and its impact becomes more visible and important in the field of medicine.

Nowadays it is hard to imagine healthcare sector without modern information and communication technologies (ICT). Presently, many medical universities and institutions utilize e-learning to make the continuing education process more effective and easy. So, let’s see what the key of E-learning is and what e-learning methods are used in medical education.

E-learning or also called web-based learning, online learning refers to the use of interactive technologies to support and improve teaching and learning process. Historically there were two common e-learning types: distance learning and computer based learning. The first one was used to deliver information to remote locations and the second one uses computers to deliver information. The integrating element of both modes became Internet that implicated multimedia (was one of preceding components before birth of Internet).

E-learning broadly includes different forms/types of delivery of education and teaching components/material to those who connected with this sector on professional or personal level. The delivery of information could be synchronous or asynchronous. It includes a range of technologies from CD-ROM to electronic whiteboards or online simulations. Among popular ones could be mentioned virtual classrooms, audio and video conferencing, digital learning of subjects through digital lectures, digital libraries, animation, textual notes, web based learning platforms, portals, Internet chat forums etc.

Traditionally medical education considers combination of didactic instruction in the classroom with further learning in clinical setting. Later was increased the impact of problem –based learning discussions in order to integrate the science knowledge and clinical decision. E-learning the methods and tools added many dimensions to the educational process and helps to overcome some problems/gaps with traditional education:

–          Flexible learning: remote access to digital materials that are unavailable locally, internet access to the didactic material to lectures and other material.

–          Possibility of collaboration: it helps teachers and students from different universities, countries, which allow exchange of knowledge and experiences;

–          Multimedia helps to transmit training/education video, medical research animation, and simulations of scientific systems;

–          2-D and 3-D computer animation helps in research and educational aims. They help to demonstrate surgery, human anatomy, and more;

–          Instant access to Internet help to stay up-to-date with medical knowledge and achievements;

–          Reduces travel costs and time;

Thank to grow of Internet and educational technologies the number of e-learning resources available to educators extremely increased. Within medical education established repositories and digital libraries provides access to e-learning materials. There are also multimedia online resources that collect links to online learning materials, along with annotations such as users’ reviews and assignments. In addition there is tendency to implement in educational system online learning management systems that help to track and monitor learners’ knowledge, attitude and skills.

Let’s see what are E-learning programs are used to educate patients (customers) and specialists with the use of IT and Internet. They could be of general assignment or specialized ones. For example there are online resources that help patients to understand their disease process, how to prevent infections, it also helps to get information about different medicine products, or get online consultation from doctors on specialized medicine portals care and therapy programs and nursing ones for future mums and babies, training programs. At professional level simulation software helps doctors to prepare for difficult operations virtually; software for medical image interpretation helps to diagnose diseases and prescribe treatment etc. Besides, with the help of video conferencing software systems doctors can share experience and knowledge and being connected/closer to long-distance, disabled or elderly patients. With the popularity of mobile devices the development of mobile tracking applications that traces human activity, sport applications with training exercises and right nutrition allows to take right health decisions and follow balanced healthy life. Promotional video inspires healthy eating; environmental awareness and fitness as a way of life raise the level of wellness and healthcare beyond kids and adults.

Applying new approaches in healthcare sector may empower people to take greater control of their health by supporting healthy lifestyle, improving health decisions. Better Delivery of information also improves emergency preparedness, quality and efficiency of care. As the result it should be said that e-learning is the most effective tool in case of epidemic break-out or any national emergencies it is the most practical and fastest method of passing information to educate the public.

As the result of our small research we may come to the conclusion that healthcare sector is a fast-growing and its integration with IT brings numerous benefits. The knowledge integrated with advanced information and communications infrastructures call changes in all structural spheres, including healthcare. Besides improvements of medical equipment and solutions it brings possibility to develop social connections and helps to solve environmental problems by changing health habits and decisions (when people begin to think over what products they eat and in what environment they leave their attitude of treating the world changes). It modernizes traditional educational/learning systems of different countries and universities, at different educational levels especially of those where people are geographically dispersed to transmit knowledge, skills and learning/teaching styles. E-learning cultivates culture of innovation and productivity in our lives. And how do you think e-learning could benefit in healthcare?

Thank you for your attention and hope to be useful! 🙂

 

Katerina Bulavskaya

Business Development Manager

 

altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

Working with many startups I was wondering recently why Python and Ruby are so popular and common with young and promising startups, especially Scandinavian ones as my experience shows. I am curious if anyone has analyzed the trend towards Python over Ruby with startups? Also I would like to find out what are the advantages of Python over Ruby if they are so?

I think a lot about choices and decisions at startups. Picking the language/platform to use at a startup is one of the harder decisions. Here I would like to mention the fact that most of startups today make their choice toward Python or Ruby over PHP or Java. From what I have read, PHP is just an inferior language to Python and Ruby. Even though a lot of people are using PHP because it is easy to get started, it seems to be easier to develop bad habits with PHP. Why jump on a bandwagon when you obviously know is broken? I’ve come to realize that the main reason why PHP gets into trouble with the purists is that there are just so many ways of doing one thing — it is not that standardized. I think it became the most popular language only because it’s so easy to pick up!

Python/Ruby win over Java on speed of development, and conciseness of code. This generally makes Python/Ruby a better choice for small startups for whom speed to market, and ability to implement new features matters most. Most of the modern sites chose Python when they were small startups. Only later did they have to scale. Websites tend to be horizontally scalable, meaning that for a surprising range of volumes of traffic you can just throw more webservers at it and the bottlenecks will be at other layers (for instance the database).

Searching for relevant information to compare both Pyton vs Ruby languages and analyzing customers’ demand on the software development market I found out that Python appeared to be the more popular choice for startups trying to get a minimum viable product launched and seek out potential venture capital.

This has less to do with the merits of either language and more to do with the philosophies of the frameworks represented by either language. RoR really can’t be beat as a rapid application development framework, and developers discussing Ruby on the web are generally referring to RoR. Django purports to do the same, but the overall philosophy of the python community is more minimalistic – python developers generally prefer to make their own selection of tools such as ORMs, Persistency layers and libraries.  A lot of people start Python web development with Django but move on to something more minimalistic like Flask, simply because the community seems predisposed to building its own stack in this way. RoR is more opinionated, and developers who are more predisposed to hitting the ground running, especially in the startup field, often take the Ruby fork in the road.

There is a “coming of age” point for startups coming from RoR or PHP, however.  I’ve heard about several companies who had this exact same experience and ended up moving towards something like Python or Scala.  I’m not certain this is specific to python, but I can say that as startups grow and become more ambitious, they move into problem domains poorly represented strictly by web frameworks/languages.  Search features and data extraction increasingly rely on advanced data mining techniques utilizing things like natural language processing and find they need to reengineer their stack a little to accommodate new ideas. Increasingly I see companies not abandoning their RoR/PHP/Django frontends, but creating separate REST APIs that almost always use bare python or a JVM language to take advantage of more complex computation outside of the HTTP req/response model.  Ruby could be used for this kind of offline processing, but the toolkits are just better and more mature in other languages since RoR is so prevalent in the Ruby community and consumes a great deal of the mindshare.

The fact of the matter is that most web startups represent feature sets early on where development speed is the prime concern, and so the language/framework with the biggest potential hire base and best RAD features typically win out early on.

As my personal point of view that no single language can answer every problem satisfactorily, and it is foolish to stubbornly stick to a single language for every case. Nevertheless a lot of our clients stick to Python when starting up their business. Let’s try to see what are the advantages of Python over Ruby?

The two are more similar than they are different, in everything from design to disadvantages to common uses – you can’t really go wrong either way, and shouldn’t base your decision on syntactical differences.

As Ruby developers say, Python’s main advantage has nothing to do with the language’s features. It’s more subjective: it seems that Python has more momentum amongst serious computer scientists. It’s increasingly popular in academic and scientific applications, and a lot of the technologists I respect the most seem to prefer it. By comparison, the Ruby community feels more designer-y and relatively more novice.

What this means is that while the Ruby world has very slick out-of-the-box product solutions, the Python world seems to produce more exceptionally well-written components like Tornado (web framework). Combined with it being used at Google and the potential for stuff like LiveNode to be released as open-source, I’d cast my lot with Python if I were starting today.

Thinking Python may be the best choice of startups, what is your opinion on this?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

 

Polina Mikhan

Polina Mikhan
Polina.Mikhan@altabel.com 
Skype ID: poly1020
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

Healthcare advances have been occurring at a rapid pace over the past two decades. Advances in technology have impacted all aspects of healthcare. These advances are not limited to only drugs and devices but may also include new surgical procedures as well as new applications of existing technology. But what impact will these changes have on medicine and overall care delivery?

Without doubt, medical technology is very important for people’s health and improvement of quality of their life. It also contributes a lot of money to the economy. There are many advantages that innovative technology brings to the table when it comes to healthcare.

The impact of technological innovations on our life:

For example, the widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHR) has resulted in significant savings in health care costs as well as improved patient health and safety. In more and more healthcare facilities, patient files are being kept in databases that can be accessed from anywhere in the facility. This doesn’t only save time but also results in better data coordination and management.

It is also technological innovation that has opened the door to more non-invasive procedures. Diagnostics have never been easier and more accurate, especially due to advancements in areas like nuclear medicine. Nowadays numerous methods of imaging allow technicians and physicians to examine a patient’s anatomy without needing invasive procedures to form a diagnosis.

Minimally invasive surgeries, especially cardiovascular and thoracic surgeries, have also become more common in recent years. The development of better instruments and more advanced technology have allowed surgeons to perform procedures in minimally invasive ways that just wasn’t possible a few years ago.

Technology can also bring hidden dangers if you aren’t careful. The internet in particular is known for this. Though some would disagree, the infinite flow of medical knowledge available online is not always a good thing. Though some websites can be a great resource for living a healthy lifestyle, but they should never be used to replace your physician. Self-diagnosis is a dangerous thing. At best you’ll scare yourself into thinking something is seriously wrong when it isn’t. At worst you’ll misdiagnose yourself and cause serious damage to your health and wellbeing. In the long term, however, it may cost you much more than you ever expected.

Predictions for How IT Will Impact Healthcare in 2014

 Undoubtedly, information technologies have had an immense impact on the current state of healthcare and their influence is only increasing. And what could we expect from the next year for the healthcare IT sector? Is it going to be a big year for upheaval in it? Current research reveals exciting possibilities as technology and healthcare continue to advance. Here’s a look at some technologies revolutionizing the medical field:

  •  Tablet use and healthcare apps will continue to grow

 As well as doctors’ shifting from paper toward an electronic era, the use of tablets will continue to increase. Mobile devices have optimized practices throughout the country, and their capabilities are ever growing. Quoting Bill Ho, the president of Biscom (a company that provides enterprise fax and secure file-transfer technology), “Doctors and other healthcare professionals will not only be able to access patient records, but they’ll be able to sign off on treatments and prescriptions without being tethered to their offices or the hospital”. Similarly, healthcare apps are becoming increasingly popular amongst both patients and physicians. These apps allow patients to find local physicians or hospitals, learn about symptoms and treatments, and exchange healthcare questions and answers. In today’s digital age, the use of both tablets and apps for healthcare will continue to grow and flourish.

  •  Practices will travel to the cloud

Many practices have chosen to take all of their digital information to the cloud while choosing an EHR system. These cloud-based EHRs are easier to integrate into a practice’s existing workflow. Cloud technology will enable healthcare providers to improve services and more easily share technology without needing to invest in hardware infrastructures and maintenance. The technology will contribute to the access and sharing of patient data and records between healthcare professionals in real-time. Patient care will become more personalized and thorough as healthcare providers can focus less on accessing data, and more on patients themselves.

  •  Telehealth

Telehealth is health-related services or information being delivered through telecommunications technologies. This can range from physicians speaking amongst themselves, or to patients via the phone, to robotic surgeries being performed between facilities in different parts of the world. In a time in which medical additional payments increase in cost, many corporations have begun to encourage their employees to connect more easily with physicians through telehealth services. Also, for patients willing to pay for convenience, virtual visits via video increased in quality and accessibility. Telehealth has grown to focus not just on the curative aspects of healthcare, but also to the preventative and promotive aspects of medicine.

  •  3D printing:

California-based research company Organovo has printed human liver tissue to test drug toxicity on specific sections of the liver. Although printing organs for transplants may still be far off, this technology could be used in the near future with individual patients to test their toxicity reactions to specific drugs.

  •  Artificial intelligence:

IBM’s Watson (an artificially intelligent computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language) is just the first step toward using artificial intelligence in medicine. The supercomputer, which defeated two human champions on the quiz show “Jeopardy!”  in 2011, is now being used to diagnose and manage lung cancer treatment. Imagine a computer that could evaluate and analyze a patient’s entire genome, biometric data and environmental and personal data, including diet and activity level. The quantity of information could be too much for a person to analyze efficiently, so adding an artificial intelligence component could help achieve a new level of understanding.

  •  BCIs and BBIs:

As brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) become more advanced, healthcare will incorporate more complex human-computer connections. The uses range from helping people manage pain to controlling robotic limbs. Harvard University researchers recently created the first brain-to-brain interface (BBI) that allowed a human to control a rat’s tail — and another human’s movements — with his mind, proving that controlled robotic limbs have far-reaching possibilities for patients.

  •  Robotics:

Robotics are quickly advancing medical treatment. Ekso Bionics (the company which develops and manufactures intelligently powered exoskeleton bionic devices that can enhance the strength, mobility, and endurance of soldiers and paraplegics) has already launched the first version of its exoskeleton, which enables paraplegics to stand and walk independently. This revolutionary technology allows a person who has spent 20 years in a wheelchair to stand on her own. This holds huge promise for the next generation of robotics.

Advances in technology have already made healthcare better, easier, more accurate and more efficient for physicians, patients, hospital staff and administrators. All these advances translate into one main objective: improving patient outcomes. With access to more powerful tools that are cheaper, faster and better than their predecessors, patient outcomes are certain to improve. People will become increasingly responsible for their own health. This will lead to more effective care, as people will be able to detect problems much earlier in the process. Patients will no longer put off appointments for years because personal health will be ever-present. This will reduce healthcare costs on several levels and change the type of medical professionals the industry needs most.  We can’t even anticipate much of what will come after all of this, but the possibilities for technology and healthcare really are endless.

And where do you see Healthcare Technology standing in the next year and beyond? What are your point of view about the challenges and opportunists of Healthcare IT Industry in the coming years? Please feel free to share your thoughts!

 

Yuliya Tolkach

Yuliya Tolkach
Yulia.Tolkach@altabel.com
Skype ID: yuliya_tolkach
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

Blacklisted apps and password protection issues remain a top security concern for organizations with a mobile workforce.

Password protection and application security are high on the list of security concerns as more organizations move to mobile first and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategies.

Creating app blacklists and whitelists

File sharing apps are the most common blacklisted apps in the enterprise. The top five blacklisted apps include Dropbox, SugarSync, Box, Facebook, and Google Drive. Figure A shows the top 10 list of blacklisted iOS and Android apps amongst Fiberlink customers:

Figure A

Figure A

The top concern for most corporations is knowing that their data is safe and always in the right hands. Blacklisting can play a role, but we find that there are both right and wrong times to restrict apps. For instance, restricting an app for no reason is a quick way to get your BYOD deployment to backfire. Even corporate-owned devices with blacklisting apps can make employees unhappy.

Right now, blacklisting occurs on 10% of the devices, prohibiting a specific app or apps from running. This means that IT is trying to ensure the intended use of the device and prevent the loss of corporate data, which is considered a major security risk.  It’s recommended blacklisting and even whitelisting where appropriate.

Figure B shows the top 10 list of whitelisted iOS and Android apps:

Figure B

Figure B

First, define the purpose for creating the blacklist. Many assume that blacklisting is a practice predominantly utilized for security purposes, but businesses also blacklist time-wasting applications — such as Angry Birds — to manage employee productivity. Blacklisting can also help with those apps that dramatically increase data-transfer demands on the network, such as Netflix.

Second, create a rubric for scoring apps or criteria for deciding which apps should be blacklisted. Once it has been decided whether the focus is to compliment security or to decrease distraction among employees, define success criteria and establish the rubric. For example, if the concern is employee productivity, one may want to allow (not blacklist) file-transfer apps similar to Dropbox. But if security is the key driver, Dropbox would typically be blacklisted.

Third, consider whitelisting instead of blacklisting. If security is the main concern, whitelisting is the better option, as it allows businesses to have absolute control over which apps employees are approved to use. With blacklisting, all apps are allowed, except a few that are specifically forbidden — thus, there is more room for employees to work around restrictions and simply utilize apps that aren’t on the blacklist. In that sense, blacklisting is the Maginot line of app security. With whitelisting, on the other hand, only approved apps are allowed to be used and all others are forbidden, which makes for a more secure position, but can be politically difficult to manage in the enterprise.

It is also recommended that the policies must be communicated to the enterprise. In particular, employees need to know why the restrictions have been put in place and how they will benefit the company. Clearly communicating these policies is key to making employees feel comfortable with the restrictions.

Improving password protection over mobile devices

Bellow your may find the following best practices for employee passwords:

  • Require employees to create passwords that are at least 10 characters in length and to use the widest character set possible, including alphabetic (upper and lower case), numeric, and special characters (punctuation)
  • Mandate that employee passwords not include words or names, because anything that can be found in a dictionary can be cracked in minutes (even when the word is part of the password — like “James123” — it’s easily discovered with modern computing power)

Manage and protect passwords by employing salted password hashing. Hash algorithms are one-way functions that turn passwords into irreversible, randomized letter combinations. The passwords are stored in a form, which is impossible to reverse. When employees create an account and a password, the password is hashed, the hashed result is stored, and the original plain text version of the password is never stored in the system.

When the employee tries to login, the hash of the password they entered is compared to the hash of their password in the database. To further protect the password, the hash is salted. Salt is additional complexity added to the hashing process, so that if two people have created the same password, the two hashed versions stored in the database will be different. With salting, if a hacker figures out one employees’ password, they can’t determine other passwords by looking for matches in the database. Salting also makes the process of reversing a hash much more complicated and time consuming for hackers.

Here are some of best practices for passwords on employee mobile devices:

  • Limit the amount of time an employees’ password can exist
  • Require users to have different passwords on different devices, accounts, or systems
  • Create and enforce a corporate policy that sanctions employees for sharing their passwords with others

Here are best practices for governing passwords:

  • Encourage employees to have device-level passcodes. Even if this is for personal benefit and not mandated by IT, employees should have some protection for the personal information on their devices. On some operating systems, creating a passcode also enables encryption.
  • Require a passcode to access corporate information, such as corporate e-mail and documents. These passcodes can be more complex than the basic four-digit pin at the device level.
  • Enforce advanced passwords when accessing very important information. If an employee is accessing a network resource, like SharePoint or their network folder to access a Word document, you should prompt them for their Active Directory credentials. This goes beyond the security level of a four-digit pin.
  • The combined approach of these passcodes and passwords will help ensure the device, data, and apps are protected without being overbearing to the employees.

Conclusion

Hope here you’ve found some good, actionable advice for enterprises of all sizes about implementing application blacklists and whitelists, plus improving password protection over corporate and BYOD mobile devices.

Does your organization have a passcode requirement, or has it implemented mobile app blacklists and whitelists? Describe your experience in the discussion thread below.
 

Kristina Kozlova

Marketing Manager

 

altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

E-commerce sector has been in fashion and on boost for a while now. That’s why there are many debates over choosing the right open source solution for it. Let’s try to figure out why nopCommerce could become your choice. If you are an ASP.Net developer, you might want to graciously add and/or argue with something. In any case, welcome aboard 🙂 and let’s get to the point.

“NopCommerce is among the top 5 featured e-commerce apps on Microsoft Web Matrix, downloaded more than 395,000 times from there and witnessed more than 883,142 source code downloads from Codeplex.”

The main feature of this software is that it is very easy to manage and quite user-friendly. This was the reason why nopCommerce created a buzz in the market soon after it was launched. Unlike others, nopCommerce is not written in PHP or Pearl rather, it is completely written in ASP.Net 4.0 and nopCommerce developers have provided the backend of SQL 2005 which even today is considered as very powerful database management platform.

NopCommerce is an open source e-commerce solution that contains both a catalog front-end and an administration tool back-end which is easy to work with for anyone with basic computing and administrative skills.

The various features that have made nopCommerce so popular are notification via sms, live chat, multiple language support, one page checkout procedure which ensures a low bounce rate, billing and shipping detail, mapping the products in the appropriate categories and sub categories. You have control over features such as discounts, coupons, wish lists, tax options, shipping methods and much more.

Speaking about other Nopcommerce features that seems quite prominent to me, they are:

• availability of exchange rate system that is based on the real time prices and multicurrency support (this has greatly helped the shoppers across the globe to shop freely irrespective of their current location);
• multi-store and multi-vendor support (this also allows online store owners to sell their products without the need to stock inventory and ship orders);
• drop shipping (enables the assignment of vendor details to a product).

Additionally NopCommerce is one of those few open source solutions that have been built keeping Search Engine Strategies in consideration with the use of friendly URLs, properly structured content and products to enable potential customers to find your store.

And last but not least nopCommerce is supported by fastest growing user community which has increased the technical as well as informative aspect of the solution.

With so many advantages listed, inadvertently a question arises if there are any pitfalls with this solution. And for sure there should be some. For instance it appears to have heavy server requirements and tends to require more design and development expertise than other shopping carts.

And what are your thoughts about nopCommerce? Please share your experience of using this e-commerce solution. Many thanks in advance!

 

Aliona Kavalevich

Aliona Kavalevich
Aliona.Kavalevich@altabel.com
Skype ID: aliona_kavalevich
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

Despite ongoing concerns about compliance and governance, the public cloud offers tempting benefits for some use cases. Here are the ones worth serious consideration.

Public cloud solutions remain mired in a sea of distrust because of their inability to overcome enterprise governance and reliability concerns. Yet, these solutions are still finding inroads into enterprises if they can present specific business solutions to line of business managers who are championing them. In today’s business settings, where are public cloud solutions most likely to succeed, and what can public cloud providers learn from this adoption to enhance their chances for future adoption?

First, offer a solution that delivers economy that enterprises can’t resist!

Several public cloud solutions are gaining traction in this area. Among them are:

#1 Application testing and staging

Public cloud IaaS (infrastructure as a service) enables enterprises to forego building new data centers or expanding existing ones. They do this by offloading their application development, testing and staging to third-party cloud providers. Since they can pay a baseline subscription that increments or decrements on a pay-as-you-go basis, enterprises incur no new capital expenses and they also reduce the risk of resources that sit idle during times when application development, testing and staging activities are slow. As long as a cloud provider has governance and data protection policies that meet enterprise standards, outsourcing is an option that can be extremely attractive to CIOs and CFOs.

#2 Temporary processing and storage needs

During peak processing times like the holiday retail season, enterprises can increment processing and storage by “renting” the resources they need from the cloud. The financial benefit is much the same as it is for application testing and staging.

#3 Data archiving

Again assuming that the cloud provider can meet corporate governance standards, some enterprises are opting to offload historical data from their data centers to the cloud. This assumes that the data will not be needed for big data trends analytics, and is for long term storage purposes only.

#4 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

The jury is still out on VDI, which began as a “hot” idea to reduce office software licensing fees, but resulted in both performance and management issues for VDI–but it is still on corporate CIOs’ radars.

Next, offer a solution that solves an issue that enterprises can’t solve on their own!

#5 Supplier management

ERP (enterprise requirements planning system) was designed for internal processes and operational integration within the walls of the enterprise. Unfortunately, businesses going global need to manage thousands of suppliers worldwide through a series of external business processes and data exchanges that their internal systems are ill-suited for. A number of cloud-based providers are making a splash in the supply chain area by offering integrated networks of suppliers and companies—all with secure access to a uniform data repository.

#6 Back-office optimization

So much work has gone into revenue generation that enterprises still find themselves losing on profit margins because of inefficient back-office operations that eat up profits, and that they can’t seem to fix. Especially in industries like brokerage and financial services, there are now cloud-based analytics solutions that determine where back-office “profit bleed” is occurring—and stop it.

#7 Sales force management

Field-based operations like sales are another example of an external business function that is difficult for traditional enterprise systems to address. A plethora of cloud-based solutions are being utilized by enterprises that enable real time access to sales management and customer relationship management systems, giving everyone in sales, marketing, service and the C-Suite 360-degree visibility of the customer and of sales progress.

#8 Project management and collaboration

Project management activities in enterprises have suffered for years because of inefficient and monolithic project management systems that depended on a central project administrator to keep tasks updated as information came in. Needless to say, the accuracy of project status suffered—often spelling disaster for project timelines and deliverables. Now there are cloud-based solutions that link together every project participant and stakeholder, enabling real time updates to projects and real time collaboration that project managers have never seen before.

While these use cases are promising for public cloud providers, it doesn’t change the fact that many public cloud providers are still struggling to attain the market shares they want because of continuing enterprise skepticism over the strength of their governance—and their ability to deliver solutions that are significantly better than what the enterprise already has. No doubt, these perceptions will continue to haunt public cloud providers in the near term. This makes it more important than ever to fill a need that enterprises can’t meet—or to deliver a cost savings proposition that is so compelling that it is impossible to ignore.

 

Lina Deveikyte

Lina Deveikyte
Lina.Deveikyte@altabel.com
Skype ID: lina_deveikyte
Marketing Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development


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