Fingent Designated as a Great Place to Work-Certified™ Company
Fingent is proud to announce that we have been Great Place to Work-Certified™ by the prestigious Great Place To Work® Institute.
The award recognizes the best workplaces and company cultures based on employee responses to the Great Place To Work® Trust Index© employee survey conducted by Great Place To Work® Institute.
In today’s dynamic and competitive talent environment, culture and workplace values are the critical criteria that distinguish a company from its opponents. To hire faster, bring more capable players on board, and retain niche talent, companies need to establish and sustain a strong culture. Good people drive successful collaborations and enable companies to exceed customer expectations. Our people are our greatest asset, and our outstanding hiring practices have constantly led us to success.
That’s why we are super excited to announce that we’ve been officially recognized as a Great Place to Work-Certified™ organization.
They say, “Truth should come straight from the horse’s mouth.” True to this adage, the Great Place to Work certification is purely driven by employee feedback. It’s a research-backed survey in which the Great Place To Work® Institute gathers opinions straight from the people of all roles at an organization. The certification will be issued if a minimum of seven out of ten employees share a consistently positive experience at work. Fingent has ranked well above this average, with most of our employees testifying the company as a Great Place to Work.
“At Fingent, we strive to create an environment that makes people feel engaged, appreciated, and motivated to succeed. The Great Place to Work certification proves the trust employees have in us and encourage us to deliver our promises better,” says Samuel Varghese, Chairman, and CEO at Fingent.
Our vibrant culture is built on the four pillars of influence that drive our people, work, purpose, commitments, and decisions at Fingent. We define the four pillars of influence as Customers, Peers, Family & Self, and Society. The ingrained core values and culture followed by us drive success across these pillars, defining our approach and behavior in what we do.
Great Place to Work® is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. We are so proud to be on the Great Place to Work list this year and will continue to work towards making Fingent a Great Place to Work in the coming years!
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Medical Virtual Reality offers excellent opportunities for healthcare providers, practitioners, researchers, residents, patients, and chemists. Here’s a brief overview.
Virtual Reality: Increasing success rate and establishing trust in medical education
In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated a shortage of approximately 7.2 million health care professionals worldwide. The report also stated that this shortage is expected to reach 12.9 million by 2035. Besides the deficiency and disproportionate distribution of healthcare workers, the inadequacy of training programs also affects the delivery of uniform healthcare services worldwide. Leading healthcare organizations have been focusing on developing strategies that can increase the number of healthcare workers and enhance the quality and relevance of medical training.
In recent years, several modes of eLearning have been used to disseminate information and impart training to medical students, out of which Virtual Reality Applications deserve a special mention. Virtual Reality Environments (VREs) allow users to experience real-life scenarios via simulated counterparts and gain practical knowledge that would otherwise be difficult to comprehend in a real environment.
Here are a few examples of how VR improves medical education standards and how it enables novice medical personnel to learn concepts in environments that replicate real-life scenarios.
1. Reduce stress and anxiety among medical students
Medical and traumatic emergencies can be daunting and stressful, especially for the early-career medical personnel. Preparing novice doctors to respond effectively to medical emergencies before being confronted with a real scenario is challenging. Unnatural or high-cost training modalities fail to replicate the stress and gravity of real-world trauma management realistically. Immersive virtual reality (IVR) may provide a unique training solution.
VR-based medical training recipients report better learning of anatomical positions, reduction in surgery time in the real environment, increase in the safety of both physician and patient, positive psychological effects on learners, reduction in training costs and efforts, and overall improvement. 68% of nursing and 58% of medical interns reported that VR-based training has significantly reduced their anxiety about occupational needlestick or sharp injuries (NSI) prevention.
2. Ensure uninterrupted in-hospital training
During April-July 2020, when most countries went to stringent lockdown measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, several medical colleges and universities adopted virtual reality to supplement the traditional in-hospital medical training. Due to in-hospital access bans, the training providers offered students virtual patient-based training, debriefing, and simulated clinical scenarios on a case-by-case basis, all via virtual reality environments.
A recent report on students’ perception of VR-based medical training found that:
- 77% of medical students considered VR training to be a trustworthy platform for initial clinical assessments
- 94% remarked that VR is ideal for diagnostic activity, and 81% appreciated its usefulness in treatment options
- Furthermore, 84% of students felt that the scope of VR training would move beyond apprenticeship at a patient’s bedside
3. Immersive VR environments help develop empathy
The most significant advantage of virtual reality is that it allows users to experience any situation from any perspective. In that way, it can be called the “ultimate empathy machine.” Patients suffering from traumas such as memory loss, physical or mental abuse, age-related health issues, Alzheimer’s disease, drug addiction, and other ordeals need a soothing atmosphere and reassuring words to recover quickly. Immersive VR training is an effective teaching method to help medical students develop empathy towards such patients.
An educational project conducted by the University of New England (UNE) successfully used VR to teach empathy to medical and health profession students. The project used a VR tool called “Alfred Lab app” – to teach students about macular degeneration and hearing loss from a 74-year-old African American man’s perspective. Realizing an aged and ailing patient’s thoughts and concerns enables the residents to develop empathy towards such patients.
4. Improve practitioners’ skills, speed, and mobility in operating rooms
From rote memorization of theories, the modern medical training practice has evolved to imparting skills in life-like environments using virtual reality simulations. Even in the absence of faculty, VR systems enable students to learn practical surgical concepts when faced with a given patient. VR systems make medical training access more broad-based and flexible. Medical professionals can use VR to visualize the human body’s interior and learn better about human anatomy.
According to a study published by the Journal of Advances in Medical Education & Professionalism, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has proclaimed that residents need to be trained by simulation tools before attempting any patient interventions in real life. The board also finds immersive VR training to be effective in mechanical ventilation and invasive hemodynamic monitoring.
Dr. Dimitris Stefanidis, professor and research scholar at Indiana University School of Medicine, concluded in a study that surgical residents who underwent training in laparoscopic suture using video simulators had reported improved operative performance, speed, and mobility at the end of the practice. Performing surgeries that require vast experience and sensitivity, such as an osteotomy (bone-cut surgery), can be simplified for surgeons through virtual simulations. Immersive simulations along with tactical feedback are safer and cost-effective than traditional teaching methods.
5. Impart health education and awareness among patients
In addition to practitioners, patients also can gain awareness of their medical conditions and treatment principles using VR. Clinical professionals can use simulated environments to communicate the impact of unpleasant lifestyle practices such as noxious drug usage, metabolic dysfunctions, obesity, growth of certain tumors, the effect of smoking and drinking on lung and liver functions, etc.
Chronically ailing and hospitalized patients can use VR goggles or headsets to experience their home in an immersive environment and chat with their family members. By installing a 360-degree camera in their home, the patient’s family can make sure that the patient experiences the interaction just like how he/she used to feel it while at home. During the COVID-19 pandemic, VR was highly applied in remote sites to facilitate telemedicine, control the spread of infection, plan, treat, and provide proper awareness to people regarding this disease.
Getting started with VR
Medical VR is no more a sci-fiction. VR-trained surgeons report a 230% boost in their overall performance compared to their traditionally-trained counterparts.
VR can help you conduct engaging medical conferences, help women get through labor pain, train surgeons and medical residents, reduce pain and anxiety among patients, and expedite recovery in physical therapy by tailoring exercises to patients’ therapeutic needs.
If your next question is how to start with VR, Fingent helps you develop these virtual simulators:
- ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support System)
- Accident Trauma Care Standard Operating Procedures
- Orthopedic or Cardiac surgical procedure that involves using complex tools
- Neo-Natal Resuscitation Simulator (GOLDEN MINUTE PROTOCOL)
Would you like to discuss that with our expert? Drop us a line, and a member of our team will get back to you shortly.
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What comes under the scope of digital transformation? How does it differ from digitization and digitalization?
Digital Transformation vs. Digitization vs. Digitalization: Decoding the Concepts
The term digital transformation captivates every enterprise leader. Given the hype from software vendors and analysts, it’s hard to find an enterprise technology today that doesn’t self-endorse as a critical component of digital transformation.
While everyone seems to agree that digital transformation involves employing technology to accomplish business goals, there are differences of opinion among companies on what digital transformation is and isn’t. For a few, it means getting into e-commerce or moving into a cloud database. Some consider digital transformation as the adoption of advanced technologies like the Internet of Things or Artificial Intelligence to become more competitive.
With a lot of uncertainty prevailing on digital transformation’s scope and purpose, let’s take a closer look at what digital transformation means and not.
Digitization, digitalization, and digital transformation: Don’t confuse them
An excellent example of digitization is the conversion of paper-based forms and documents into electronic spreadsheets. Digitization enables businesses to cut costs to become more efficient. However, that’s the only competitive advantage it offers, either getting better or cheaper. Exactly what Microsoft Office did during its initial days by helping us compose and save documents easily.
With Big Data, Cloud Computing, and DevOps becoming ubiquitous, digitalization advanced businesses’ need to expand their online presence. A field service provider who never relied on software to run her company is now using an FSM suite to manage accounts, send invoices, create and schedule work orders, and generate reports. A digital strategy- such as a website or a mobile app- is inevitable for a business to stay connected with its customers in this digital world.
In addition to cost reduction and differentiation, digitization and digitalization are intended to simplify what a business does without drastic augmentation.
Digital transformation shifts the focus from the engineering mindset to the experience mindset. Peloton bike that offers an immersive cardio experience is a recent example of digital transformation. Peloton’s latest $2300 exercise bike streams customized workout content to its users through the large 22″ touch screen attached to it. Peloton applies user data tracking, engagement, and experience to replicate the studio-grade experience. This appeals to a vast customer base.
When most of the outdoor gyms were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Peloton transformed the indoor exercise experience for their customers with personalized content streamed live as well as on-demand.
“Digital transformation can simply be defined as the application of new and emerging technologies to make fundamental changes to your business model.”
Digital transformation: Three areas of focus
“It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change,” wrote Charles Darwin in 1809. For businesses, keeping up with the change is no longer an option but a condition. How can business leaders seize the opportunity and lead the change?
1. Build and deliver customer-centric experiences
Digital transformation reimagines and redefines the customer experience. It isn’t easy to find a sector that is not disrupted by technology today.
Dairy farming, one of the most traditional industries that still follows farming practices passed down from generation to generation, is now embracing emerging technology to get smarter.
“Connected cows” – cows wearing pedometers and Fitbit-style necklaces to monitor feeding habits, acid monitors to detect digestive problems, and other cow-monitoring mechanisms to oversee milk production, smooth calving process, and ensure cattle health is an example of digital transformation in a traditional industry. The “connected cows” farming has led to greater crop yields and simplified the management of larger livestock herds.
Doesn’t emerging technology improve the farmer’s experience who first checks out her mobile or PC before heading to the stable in the morning?
2. Make the best of advanced technology
The early IT activities were focused on cutting costs and reducing human efforts by building relatively simple applications. With the growth and complexity of computing platforms and software applications, businesses have been showing the hunger to find the next big thing in technology that can enhance not just what they deliver but how they deliver. The ubiquitous digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Google Now, and Amazon’s Alexa can understand and recognize the context and enable businesses to improve customer interactions by not just being responsive but proactive.
Oncologists and pathologists use machine learning to discern patterns in symptoms to detect cancerous tissues or analyze bodily fluids. Mixed reality (MR) technology that breaks the barrier between physical and digital worlds is now getting mature enough to take digital data and place it in our actual environment. Ohio-based Case Western Reserve University uses Microsoft HoloLens devices to study human anatomy where an entire class can view the same life-sized 3D image at once. IoT applications that gather data continuously are programmed to improve the quality and productivity of life, society, and industries.
Robotic Process Automation, Blockchain, Augmented and Virtual realities, Artificial Intelligence- are all emerging technologies that enable digital transformation by enhancing customer experience. With numerous open-source libraries made available by tech providers like AWS, IBM Watson, Google Cloud, and various other vendors, it’s now possible for anyone to experiment and create POCs free of cost. The democratization of technology accelerates digital transformation.
3. Culture, organizational structure, and processes
“Transformation isn’t a plan or program; it’s a chain reaction of experiments,” says Joris Merks-Benjaminsen, Head of Digital Transformation at Google.
Fostering an environment of openness, business leaders can create a culture that allows ideas to flourish. Fluid structures, tools, and workplaces encourage employees to think outside the box and embrace change. Predictive models solely based on past experiences will only have a short-term impact. If you can offer more flexibility in the design and logic of a business case, people are more likely to invest their time, effort, and skills in things that matter for transformation.
Enterprise leaders can make way for transformation by:
- Supporting people focus on the future by establishing a stable long-term vision that includes well-defined challenges for them to work on.
- Implementing tools that facilitate cross-team collaboration and encouraging everyone to connect irrespective of hierarchy or position in the org chart.
- Adopting a “test and learn” approach, including “learning from mistakes” and rewarding experimentation. Small gestures of appreciation like awards and incentives inspire employees to practice acts of innovation.
Passionate leadership that cares about the customer and stimulates forward motion by encouraging entrepreneurship will successfully ride the transformation wave.
What digital transformation means today
Before Netflix, we used to scour shop racks in search of tapes, discs, and DVDs. Today, Netflix has transformed our content consumption experience by leveraging AI-driven content recommendations, live streaming, and endless libraries of digital content served upon our personal devices, topped with personalized suggestions, reviews, and attractive subscription options.
Digital transformation is not about how your business can sell more products to more people. It’s about making your customers spend more than they would otherwise. Rather than repositioning your brand as a seller of your products, you should aim at transforming to be a solution provider that helps solve your buyers’ woes and enhance their experience. If the first wave of transformation brought businesses online, the current wave of transformation requires businesses to innovate their selling process and offer new services and products that can solidify customer loyalty.
Need help with your digital transformation goals?
Fingent is setting up practices to actively leverage third-party developer innovation to reduce the time-to-market for our customers and us. One of our products, InfinCE, is empowering small businesses to achieve digital agility without the need to own infrastructure or an IT practice. ReachOut, another product, has digitized several field service businesses through automation of manual operations, digital inspection forms and checklists, and intelligent scheduling.
Fingent’s team is highly experienced in helping businesses solve their digital transformation challenges. We have partnered with businesses worldwide in their digital transformation projects. We can help you define your vision and create robust digital transformation plans that enable your business to transform and grow. To take advantage and get the ball rolling, please get in touch with Fingent.
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A Complete Guide to Understanding Offshore Software Development
- What is offshore development?
- What is the difference between onshore, nearshore, and offshore?
- What makes offshoring software development so popular?
- How does offshore development work?
- What are the advantages of offshoring software development?
- What are the disadvantages of offshoring software development
- What are the latest trends in offshore software development?
- How to choose the right offshore software company?
- Best practices to follow while offshoring software development
- Final thoughts
What is offshore development?
Offshore development simply is synonymous with outsourcing. It means you’re sending your software development to be done remotely by people who are located in different geography. Though ‘offshoring’ is perceived as risky in ROI, many software companies are considering offshoring software development as it can actually help a lot. Often, the main reason for outsourcing is the lack of human resources required for software development or lack of needed qualification level.
From simple coding to custom development, mobile application development, software support and maintenance, and website design and development, you can outsource tasks to a third-party offshore software development company.
Offshoring development will spare you from the challenge of hiring and training new staff and at the same time ensure you get the best quality software delivered to you in a short time. Offshore application development is used by many of the world’s largest and most famous corporations, so there is no question about its effectiveness.
In 2019, the global IT outsourcing market was valued at USD 333.7 bn which is only expected to grow further in the coming years. The inevitability of digital transformation is motivating organizations worldwide to offshore their software development needs. Offshore development companies thus become an extremely important part of the global economy.
What is the difference between onshore, nearshore, and offshore?
Onshore: Onshore outsourcing is when you decide to hire software developers within your country. Most companies find this option convenient and approachable.
Nearshore: Nearshore outsourcing is when you decide to outsource to developers from countries with a similar time zone. Typically, customers count on geographic proximity and cultural similarities.
Offshore: Here, the company of the service provider is located in a different country from yours. It can even be in a different continent with a notable time zone difference.
What makes offshoring software development so popular?
The main reason for its popularity is financial profitability. With offshoring, it is possible to minimize staff expenses within the customer’s organization as well as cut expenses such as rent of premises, equipment, social security, and deployment of development. In many of the developed countries, hiring and paying skilled in-house developers have a significant impact on the budget.
Some of the popular offshore countries in the world include India, China, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Taiwan, Vietnam, S.Korea, etc.
On average, you can expect your offshore software development vendor to approximately charge the following rates per person per hour of work;
- Asia and Africa: $18-$40
- Eastern Europe: $25-$50
- Central America and South America: $30-$50
- North America: $95-$170
Depending on the requirements, engagement, and pricing models, the above charges may vary. To find out the actual outsourcing rates, you need to directly communicate with the vendor.
How does offshore development work?
When you consider teaming up with a software development company located in a different country, you can:
- Delegate the project to an individual developer or an offshore development company
- Delegate only certain parts of the software or the whole project to the remote team
- Hire a dedicated offshore development team
If you hire a dedicated team or an individual, you will have complete control and ownership over the development progress which ensures that your remote workers are in touch with one another. This may not be a great idea unless you are a product management enthusiast.
If you turn to the services of a development agency, you won’t have to worry about finding the right resource to manage the working processes. Most of the issues such as what if a team member falls sick or quits will be taken care of by the company instead.
What are the advantages of offshoring software development?
1. Shared responsibilities and competent skills
Offshore development companies are more likely to share and manage the risks during projects, as they depend on the end-result as well. Also, deadlines facilitate a faster process.
2. No training or administration needed
Outsourcing companies need to stay competitive, hence they will have the requisite expertise. So, you need not worry about training the resources. Additionally, operational and administration costs will be negligible as you will not have to take care of office space, equipment, recruiting, etc. All these will be handled by the offshore software development company.
3. Faster time-to-market
Offshoring development ensures that your product reaches the market faster and on time. When qualified people work round the clock to develop your product, you can rest assured that you’ll be getting quality software at the end. Additionally, an external person or team can help improve your business processes and let you leverage creativity and innovation at each stage of the software cycle.
4. Lower cost
There’s no denying that maintaining an in-house IT team having expertise in the latest technologies is both challenging as well as expensive. By outsourcing your software development, you do not have to invest in IT infrastructure or worry about recruiting and training employees.
What are the disadvantages of offshoring software development?
1. Differences in language and culture
Differences in language and work ethics, cultural issues, what’s offensive and what’s not, etc., could lead to unpleasant situations if not known beforehand. For instance, working hard could mean something different in Spain and the UK. So, you will need to be thorough about the culture of that particular country before offshoring.
2. Core communication issues
Different time zones, working hours, bandwidth, etc may slow down communication. This could even hinder monitoring and resolving everything timely. A clear interpretation of roles and mechanisms, strong leadership, and an active management of culture by adapting to either the customer’s or the vendor’s corporate culture is an effective way to manage cultural differences.
Data security is one of the biggest challenges faced by enterprises today. When offshoring your data, it’s important to validate the vendor’s trustworthiness and respectability w.r.t. ensuring data security. As a best practice, it’s recommended to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) or the confidentiality agreement between both parties (customer and offshore partner) which strengthens the confidentiality of data and relationship terms.
4. Quality of work
While offshoring may be cheaper, it does not assure the accurate skills or commitment to do the job. There’s always a chance of hiring a team with no proper skills. It’s important to conduct the vendor’s background check before outsourcing your requirements.
What are the latest trends in offshore software development?
Software development involves complex processes and is never an easy task. Developers and agencies have to embrace new technologies and trends to stay relevant and competitive.
Here are some of the latest trends in offshore software development:
Automation plays an important role in reducing human dependency, risks associated with manual labor, and costs. Apart from innovation and faster responses to changing business environments, technologies such as RPA contribute heavily to reducing administrative overheads.
2. Cloud computing
Cloud computing offers scalability and flexibility and plays a vital role in offshore software development. More and more companies are realizing the benefits and possibilities of cloud computing and leveraging it. Soon, cloud-based applications and cloud infrastructure will be the way of life in offshore software development enabling companies to address the growing needs of businesses across the globe.
3. Artificial Intelligence(AI)
AI is taking the world by storm and software development is no exception. AI is specifically used to improve the quality of code and testing as well. Developers can combine AI technologies such as natural language processing, machine learning and business rules to build better software in a short span of time.
How to choose the right offshore software company?
There are plenty of offshore software companies across the world and finding the right one can be a daunting task. While word-of-mouth is still one of the best ways to ask for a reference and talk about the offshore team and ask important questions, there are still many other things to consider.
Firstly, groundwork is important. Finding the right offshore development company needs evaluation and time. One important tip is to contact several agencies and compare what they have to offer.
Along with checking the portfolios of software outsourcing companies, take your time to go through their social media handles, blogs, resources, endorsements, and codes if possible. You can even consider making a test run of a potential partner company related to technical requirements as it will help you make an informed decision.
Here are a few tips to choose the ideal offshore custom software development company:
- Visit the websites of several offshore development companies
- Check their portfolio and analyze their past and ongoing projects
- Understand the experience the company has in the industry you are interested in
- Learn the company rating on websites such as Goodfirms or Clutch
- Read reviews and testimonials from clients
- Learn about the professionalism of the programmers
- Learn how the company can support the applications if you develop any issues with the development
- Find out if the project development is iterative/ agile (that is, doing the work parallelly with continuous analysis of the results and adjustments in previous stages of work) or not
Best practices to follow while offshoring software development
- Get introduced to all the developers who are supposed to work on your project
- Make sure to have a full-time on-shore as well as an offshore team leads as they can establish necessary coding standards, help solve technical issues, and mentor the offshore team
- Use videoconferencing to arrange regular meetings to handle any issues and resolve the same in a timely and efficient manner
- Use appropriate tracking tools (project management tools) to plan tasks efficiently and prioritize work accordingly
The demand for offshoring software development keeps surging as organizations want to optimize their business processes and align their strategic planning with their operational strategies. Outsourcing your IT necessities can be a boon in times of financial and natural adversities because offshore development companies like Fingent implement business continuity planning and disaster recovery plans to fulfill obligations and deliver services without interruption.
Our specialists and developers have several years of experience to complete complex tasks. We have expertise in offshore application development, cloud application development, system integration, and more. Hire our services and discover the benefits of partnering with us! Talk to our expert to learn more.
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Top Digital Alternatives to Go Paperless and Survive the Recession!
- Document Management Software
- Electronic Invoicing System
- Digital Signature
- Remote Work Collaboration Software
- Virtual Hiring and On-boarding
- Workflow Automation
- Mobile Payments
- Choosing the Best Way to Implement Paperless Initiatives
Running a manual, paper-based organization in the digital age is inefficient and costly. It escalates the total cost of operations and carries a higher risk of errors. Paperless solutions offer process automation that saves valuable time by streamlining operations, releasing useful resources, and improving business efficiency.
A paperless structure can help businesses keep their data more safe and secure. Digital alternatives like a Document Management System store and search your digital documents quickly and securely. Workflow automation helps improve the efficiency of document processing through automatic document routing. Digital signature policies help you significantly increase your document turnaround time. You can store, edit, and manage digital documents from anywhere in the world.
Digital Transformation is leading the way to a paperless future. If you want to empower your business with digital alternatives, you have to adopt the right digital transformation solutions. At Fingent, we provide digital transformation services to businesses around the globe. Simply enhance your business operations productivity by going paperless. It’s the right time to embrace digital alternatives to stay productive and competitive.
In this blog, we discuss at length, the various paperless initiatives that can make your business recession-proof and other benefits of going paperless.
Document Management Software
The pandemic has brought about lasting changes in customer and business behavior. While weathering the storms of recession, you need to have a robust document management software.
A document management system surpasses a digitized record room. A contemporary document management system will help you find records and documents in a few clicks that would have otherwise taken days to dig out. You can also access documents and records in their business context. All changes are carefully logged. Versioning ensures that a new document version is automatically created and stored. That way no one accidentally overwrites content. When one team member works on a document, she can leave comments for her colleagues making teamwork much smoother.
Post-its, slips of paper, and verbal agreements are things of the past. Document management software supports your daily work. All processing steps of your documents like invoices, purchase orders, etc. are seamlessly recorded, making them audit-proof and compliant with regulations. It’s high time that you bid adieu to those dusty file cabinets in your office.
Read more: Features of a Document Management System
Electronic Invoicing System
Electronic documentation is the need of the hour. A typical paper invoicing process involves multiple steps. Assembling data from spreadsheets or ERP systems to delivering the invoice to your customer and getting paid eventually takes a long time. You can get rid of most of these steps with e-invoicing services, as it connects your billing and the recipient’s invoice processing system.
Rather than connecting to the receiver’s web-based servers for sending the invoice, you can use service providers that are connected. This allows both you and the receiver to use your preferred service providers and send your invoices to any recipient without any additional hassle. Thus, the e-invoice travels from your computer to the receiver’s invoice processing system through servers instantly. The recipient can pay the amount with the click of a button, without having to resort to any paperwork. This saves you both manual work, lowers invoicing costs, and speeds up your cash flow.
Once you improve your business processes and adopt digital alternatives like document management systems and e-invoicing, you’ll need to ensure that the documents you send or receive are authentic and have not been tampered with. This is where digital signatures come in handy.
A digital signature is an advanced and secure type of signature that authenticates all electronic documents like spreadsheets, emails, pdf files, and text files. A digital signature is unique to every signer. It uses a mathematical algorithm that creates a digital fingerprint to electronically sign the document, thus validating the signer. You can purchase a digital signature from a trusted certificate authority only after submitting your ID documents. So, a person receiving a digitally signed document can easily find out who has signed it.
The digital signature and the document are encrypted and secured with a seal that makes tampering conspicuous. The recipient cannot open the document unless he receives the public key from the owner. These features make digital signature ideal for e-commerce, software distribution, and other businesses that are prone to document tampering.
Digital signatures reduce the steps involved in signing a document and help replace the traditional paper-based approval process with a faster and cheaper digital process. You not only move towards a paperless office but also reduce costs involving printing, shipping, delivery, filing, archiving, and so on. Digital signatures help improve workflow efficiency as document tracking and organizing become much easier.
Read more: Going paperless – Machine Learning To Accelerate Paperless Offices
Remote Work Collaboration Software
Today, working remotely is no longer an office perk but a new normal. With businesses grappling with an economic downturn and ongoing lockdown restrictions, remote work can help reduce expenses and keep up the morale of your team.
While adhering to the rules of social distancing, you may have to allocate some or all of our staff to remote work. This situation has further highlighted the need for remote work collaboration software. These solutions help you to automate business processes and save costs in paper, office space. However, without the right set of remote work collaboration tools and communication platforms, a company would be dealing with a staff that is adrift.
Today you have a wide variety of tools that keep an office running even while on-the-go. Mobile app versions of these tools enable collaboration anywhere and everywhere.
1. Video Conferencing
Web conferencing tools have gained prominence around the world as face-to-face communications keep everyone in the loop and foster better visualizations of new projects and ideas. A short video call can solve issues that would have taken endless emails or phone calls to sort out. Video conferencing software like InfinCE, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Remo Conference, and MeetFox provide solid video quality and inbuilt interfaces that facilitate video calling and screen sharing.
2. CRM Software
When you have a teleworking team that handles clients all over the world, you need a CRM software to reduce the gap. The right CRM will help your team to connect as though they were sitting next to each other in an office even when they are actually in different countries. A CRM software gives you a 360-degree view of your customers in a single page. When all your customer data is aggregated, you gain a better understanding of customer behavior helping you make informed decisions. Today, most CRM software have built-in analytics tools that help your sales team analyze their performance while on the go, thus enabling them to better focus on their targets. Odoo, Microsoft Dynamics, Zoho, Salesforce, Hubspot, etc. are some of the best CRM software available out there.
3. Team collaboration tools
A common problem that managers face with remote teams is not knowing what their team members are working on. This can be easily sorted with online team collaboration tools. These tools help streamline your team’s communication by providing a consistent and common digital space for your team to collaborate. They can share project updates, files, and comments within the company to create an efficient and cataloged communication channel. Integrated features such as instant messaging, video conferencing, and task management make workplace collaboration effortless.
4. File Management
An efficient file management tool is unavoidable for organizations aiming to go paperless. A scalable document management system is essential to automate and streamline workflows. Besides storing and sharing documents, a file management system with features that help secure data, track changes, maintain audit trails, and map workflows can improve the performance of your organization. Since document handling is key to many business processes, your document management system needs to integrate with other business apps. So, before making the choice, you should find out what pre-built integrations or APIs the file management system has to offer.
Virtual Hiring and On-boarding
Traditionally, hiring and onboarding have been manual processes. Automating these processes can promote employee engagement and retention. This, in turn, brings in business value by reducing HR man-hours through employee retention and cost savings. A comprehensive and recession-proof onboarding process requires digitization, automation, and personalization. These three steps bring various business processes together, streamline them, and create a seamless onboarding experience for your new hires. This further reduces the cost of hiring and time-to-hire.
Collecting digital feedback and reviewing video interviews help in tackling prejudices if any. Virtual recruitment drives can centralize the entire process by involving many interviewers from within the organization. This instills consistency in managing candidate RSVP, sending reminders, and establishing prompt communication channels.
Though switching to the process of virtual hiring and onboarding is challenging, the right tools and training can ensure successful execution. Organizations must refine their recruitment and onboarding processes by employing remote tools, recording the processes accurately, and training their staff on best practices. While the lack of face-to-face interaction with candidates may bother your team, appropriate training and adaptation will help you improve efficiency.
Read more: Digitalization of Business – Why Digitalization is Inevitable for Businesses
This technology is used to replace paper-based and manual processes with a single platform that combines business processes thus eliminating errors. Workflow automation helps to transform legacy processes that require a lot of paperwork into digitally automated tasks. Most organizations grapple with digital transformation since communications via whiteboards, post-its, and spreadsheets control their task management. These tools hinder smooth collaboration and visibility as they rely on human intervention. Workflow automation reduces this reliance on human intervention by ensuring communication within the platform and maintaining a record of all relevant data. Later, anyone with permission can access this information easily.
Workflow automation software can help you automate almost all processes from IT, Sales, HR, Marketing, Finance, and so on. Once you bring all your applications under a common platform, with a workflow automation software, you can do away with the monotonous work of transferring data between these applications.
Workflow automation gives you a competitive advantage by helping you deliver better quality services at a lower cost and speedy decision making. The benefits of workflow automation include better accountability and communication within the organization, reduced costs and errors, improved employee engagement, improved business processes, and better efficiency.
Read more: How Automation Helps Business – How Automation Ensures Businesses Stay Afloat During COVID-19 Crisis
The new normal brought on by the pandemic demands digital transformation. One technology that has helped businesses and economies stay afloat in quarantine and social distancing is mobile payment. As regulations stipulate the reduction of in-person transactions to prevent consumers from stepping out of their homes, mobile payment facilities have come in handy.
You can equip your mobile customers by investing in contactless payment technologies like facial recognition, QR codes, and NFC technology. COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on the way we conduct transactions. Companies struggling in implementing mobile payments need to find ways in establishing payment systems that are on par with the global standards. Businesses may hesitate to spend on digital payment technologies, during such unaffluent times. However, you need to remember that by enabling mobile payments, you are expanding your customer base and making it easier for customers to buy.
Choosing the Best Way to Implement Paperless Initiatives
Advances in IT and organizational design can drive cost reductions while improving quality and timeliness. To equip your business with these digital alternatives, you need to have clear goals and instructions for upgrading business processes. These tools have to be used in a systematic and coordinated way to improve efficiency and avoid chaos. Once these digital tools are managed in the right order, they enable restructuring of processes and building up resilience resulting in higher productivity.
Going paperless ultimately narrows down to improving processes. The real value of the aforementioned paperless technologies can be realized only once you go back to the beginning of a process and retool it making the whole process electronic. So going paperless is not just an afterthought, but you have to go for redesigning whole processes, making them more electronic. This, then helps you save time and money by streamlining your work and improving the efficiency of what you’re doing.
In other words, you should not opt for paperless technologies to just manage your storage needs. If you simply convert all of your paper into a digital format, you’re just converting your problem from one format to another. When you’re scaling paperless, you need to view it as an opportunity to look at your processes from A to Z and check whether you can make improvements. Then paperless becomes a part of the good business that you practice.
If you wish to know more about how paperless initiatives can recession-proof your business to survive and succeed in the new normal, send us a message right away!
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How your online store can benefit from Odoo ERP integration
The share of global retail sales generated via e-commerce witnesses a steady rise year over year. Thanks to COVID-19! The 2020 digital commerce market saw many new entrants including the brick and mortar purists who were always hostile to investing in modernization.
Looking at the current scenario, we can rest assured that the surge in online shopping activity will not take a back seat even after the economic crisis settles. The increasing convenience offered by multiple digital channels will lure customers to make more purchases online, be it daily necessities, medical supplies, precious gadgets, or other seasonal goods.
As of 2020, there are around 2 bn digital buyers in the world, which is roughly 25% of the global population. According to a study, 20 years down the line, 95% of all purchases are expected to be via e-commerce. Imagine the vast online buying population demanding access to details such as order histories, past invoices, product comparisons, ratings, reviews, descriptions, warranty, usage, and more such data! Is your e-business equipped to handle this?
Any business- small/ medium/ large– ambitious of growing its online presence should tap the right technology, and any e-commerce business that wants to deliver exceptional customer service requires powerful integration with an ERP system. You can consult with an Odoo ERP software development partner for customized needs.
In this post, we look at the five advantages of integrating your e-commerce application/business with Odoo, one of the popular open-source ERPs loved by many leading brands.
Why Odoo, among many?
1. A complete package with multiple functionalities
Odoo ERP is a holistic, full-fledged package that comes with the principal solutions needed for managing a business including sales, CRM, project management, financial management, inventory and warehouse management, manufacturing, logistics, HR, and more. With its 1000+ modules available both on cloud and on-premises, Odoo integration offers a complete software system that allows you to manage your entire e-store from a single location.
Be it your inventories, orders, customers, shipping, tracking, or any other dynamic function, Odoo ERP integration helps manage every task through a single solution, thus eliminating the need for maintaining disparate third-party wares for each module. The integration also supports multiple store management via a single software, maintaining a common inventory for all.
2. Breaks data silos to improve visibility across your business
Siloed data is one of the major challenges that stand in the way of e-commerce companies. This will prevent you from getting a unified view of your operational and experience data essential to expedite your marketing strategy and growth. Post Odoo ERP integration, neither do you need to look into different departments for data, nor do you require to manually enter data into your system.
You can see in your e-commerce application all the key data like your shipping information, product information, inventory levels, customer feedback, etc. By de-compartmentalizing data from multiple systems, Odoo saves your time and labor considerably.
3. Flexible payment options
When it comes to adopting a digital payment option, the convenience of customers comes first. It’s important to adopt the payment type that’s both preferable to them as well as compatible with your system. Integrating Odoo ERP into your e-commerce application helps you gain flexibility with the payment method. It allows you to integrate payment gateways such as PayPal, Ogone, Adyen, Buckaroo, Authorize.net, Stipe, etc. You can customize payment through modules suitable for your store.
4. Shipping integration
Odoo ERP can be integrated seamlessly with popular third-party shipping carriers such as FedEx, UPS, DHL, USPS, ShippingEasy, and more through APIs. Odoo e-commerce module allows you to use add-on connectors to manage your shipping activities and track your orders from the ERP itself. This enables real-time tracking of data and order fulfillment.
5. Realizes faster ROI and profitability
Getting faster returns is the key pain point of any business. Odoo ERP- eCommerce integration will help you realize faster ROI and profitability by performing a precise analysis of your sales and inventory via reports and automatic stock adjustments. The ERP allows you to stay organized with updated customer information by tracking orders and claims. Besides, your customers can view or download their invoices and track their order status, pending shipments, and deliveries.
Read more: A 3-day Odoo CRM implementation story!
Explore unlimited possibilities with Odoo
As technology advances, the need to simplify customer experience also moves to the next level. Implementing a smarter business process management solution while keeping your investments to the bare minimum will require you to bank you on the safe shores of an open-source ERP like Odoo. With its powerful inventory and sales management features and easy-to-integrate modules, Odoo makes the best contender for small and medium businesses to scale up in the e-commerce space.
Fingent is an Official Partner of Odoo with an ace team that offers consulting, development, and implementation services. Whether you want to integrate Odoo ERP with your existing e-commerce store or build an online store from scratch powered by Odoo integration, give us a call right away.
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How Time Series Analysis Enables Businesses to Improve Their Decision Making
- Definition of Time Series
- The 5 Most Effective Time Series Methods for Business Development
- Time Series Regression
- Time Series Analysis in Python
- Time Series in Relation to R
- Time Series Data Analysis
- Deep Learning for Time Series
- Benefits of Using Deep Learning to Analyze Your Time Series
- Time Series is Valuable for Business Development
Time series analysis is one of the most common data types encountered in daily life. Most companies use time series forecasting to help them develop business strategies. These methods have been used to monitor, clarify, and predict certain ‘cause and effect’ behaviours.
In a nutshell, time series analysis helps to understand how the past influences the future. Today, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data have redefined business forecasting methods. This article walks you through 5 specific time series methods.
Definition of Time Series
Time series is a sequence of time-based data points collected at specific intervals of a given phenomenon that undergoes changes over time. It is indexed according to time.
The four variations to time series are (1) Seasonal variations (2) Trend variations (3) Cyclical variations, and (4) Random variations.
Time Series Analysis is used to determine a good model that can be used to forecast business metrics such as stock market price, sales, turnover, and more. It allows management to understand timely patterns in data and analyze trends in business metrics. By tracking past data, the forecaster hopes to get a better than average view of the future. Time Series Analysis is a popular business forecasting method because it is inexpensive.
The 5 Most Effective Time Series Methods for Business Development
1. Time Series Regression
Time series regression is a statistical method used for predicting a future response based on the previous response history known as autoregressive dynamic. Time series regression helps predictors understand and predict the behaviour of dynamic systems from observations of data or experimental data. Time series data is often used for the modeling and forecasting of biological, financial, and economic business systems.
Predicting, modeling, and characterization are the three goals achieved by regression analysis. Logically, the order to achieve these three goals depends on the prime objective. Sometimes modeling is to get a better prediction, and other times it is just to understand and explain what is going on. Most often, the iterative process is used in predicting and modeling. To enable better control, predictors may choose to model in order to get predictions. But iteration and other special approaches could also be used to control problems in businesses.
The process could be divided into three parts: planning, development, and maintenance.
- Define the problem, select a response, and then suggest variables.
- Ordinary regression analysis is conditioned on errors present in the independent data set.
- Check if the problem is solvable.
- Find the correlation matrix, first regression runs, basic statistics, and correlation matrix.
- Establish a goal, prepare a budget, and make a schedule.
- Confirm the goals and the budget with the company.
- Collect and check the quality of the date. Plot and try those models and regression conditions.
- Consult experts.
- Find the best models.
- Check if the parameters are stable.
- Check if the coefficients are reasonable, if any variables are missing, and if the equation is usable for prediction.
- Check the model periodically using statistical techniques.
2. Time Series Analysis in Python
The world of Python has a number of available representations of times, dates, deltas, and timespans. It is helpful to see how Pandas relate to other packages in Python. Pandas software library (written for Python) was developed largely for the financial sector, so it includes very specific tools for financial data to ensure business growth.
Understanding Date and Time Data:
- Time Stamps: Refers to particular moments in time.
- Time intervals and periods: Refers to a length of time between a particular beginning and its endpoint.
- Time deltas or durations: Refers to an exact length of time.
Native Python dates and times:
Python’s basic objects for working with dates and times are in the built-in module. Scientists could use these modules along with a third-party module, and perform a host of useful functionalities on dates and times quickly. Or, you could use the module to parse dates from a variety of string formats.
Best of Both Worlds: Dates and Times
Pandas provide a timestamp object that combines the ease-of-use of datetime and dateutil with vectorized interface and storage. From these objects, pandas can construct datetimeIndex that can be used to index data in dataframe.
Fundamental Pandas Data Structures to Work with Time Series Data:
The most fundamental of these objects are timetstamp and datatimeIndex objects.
- Time Stamps type: It is based on the more efficient numpy.datetime64 datatype.
- Time Periods type: It encodes a fixed-frequency interval based on numpy.datetime64.
- Time deltas type: It is based on numpy.timedelta64 with TimedeltaIndex as the associated index structure.
3. Time Series in Relation To R
R is a popular programming language and free software environment used by statisticians and data miners to develop data analysis. It is made up of a collection of libraries specifically designed for data science.
R offers one of the richest ecosystems to perform data analysis. Since there are 12,000 packages in the open-source repository, it is easy to find a library for any required analysis. Business managers will find that its rich library makes R the best choice for statistical analysis, particularly for specialized analytical work.
R provides fantastic features to communicate the findings with presentation or documentation tools that make it much easier to explain analysis to the team. It provides qualities and formal equations for time series models such as random walk, white noise, autoregression, and simple moving average. There are a variety of R functions for time series data that include simulating, modeling, and forecasting time series trends.
Since R is developed by academicians and scientists, it is designed to answer statistical problems. It is equipped to perform time series analysis. It is the best tool for business forecasting.
4. Time Series Data Analysis
Time series data analysis is performed by collecting data at different points in time. This is in contrast to the cross-sectional data that observes companies at a single point in time. Since data points are gathered at adjacent time periods, there could be a correlation between observations in Time Series Data Analysis.
Time series data can be found in:
- Economics: GDP, CPI, unemployment rates, and more.
- Social sciences: Population, birth rates, migration data, and political indicators.
- Epidemiology: Mosquito population, disease rates, and mortality rates.
- Medicine: Weight tracking, cholesterol measurements, heart rate monitoring, and BP tracking.
- Physical sciences: Monthly sunspot observations, global temperatures, pollution levels.
Seasonality is one of the main characteristics of time series data. It occurs when the time series exhibits predictable yet regular patterns at time intervals that are smaller than a year. The best example of a time series data with seasonality is retail sales that increase between September to December and decrease between January and February.
Most often, time-series data shows a sudden change in behaviour at a certain point in time. Such sudden changes are referred to as structural breaks. They can cause instability in the parameters of a model, which in turn can diminish the reliability and validity of that model. Time series plots can help identify structural breaks in data.
5. Deep Learning for Time Series
Time series forecasting is especially challenging when working with long sequences, multi-step forecasts, noisy data, and multiple inputs and output variables.
Deep learning methods offer time-series forecasting capabilities such as temporal dependence, automatic learning, and automatic handling of temporal structures like seasonality and trends.
Benefits of Using Deep Learning to Analyze Your Time Series
- Easy-to-extract features: Deep neural networks minimize the need for data scaling procedures and stationary data and feature engineering processes which are required in time series forecasting. These neural networks of deep learning can learn on their own. With training, they can extract features on their own from the raw input data.
- Good at extracting patterns: Each neuron in Recurrent Neural Networks is capable to maintain information from the previous input using its internal memory. Hence, it is the best choice for the sequential data of Time Series.
- Easy to predict from training data: The Long short-term memory (LSTM) is very popular in time series. Data can be easily represented at different points in time using deep learning models like gradient boosting regressor, random forest, and time-delay neural networks.
Time Series is Valuable for Business Development
Time series forecasting helps businesses make informed business decisions because it can be based on historical data patterns. It can be used to forecast future conditions and events.
- Reliability: Time series forecasting is most reliable, especially when the data represents a broad time period such as large numbers of observations for longer time periods. Information can be extracted by measuring data at various intervals.
- Seasonal patterns: Data points variances measured can reveal seasonal fluctuation patterns that serve as the basis for forecasts. Such information is of particular importance to markets whose products fluctuate seasonally because it helps them plan for production and delivery requirements.
- Trend estimation: Time series method can also be used to identify trends because data tendencies from it can be useful to managers when measurements show a decrease or an increase in sales for a particular product.
- Growth: Time series method is useful to measure both endogenous and financial growth. Endogenous growth is the development from within an organization’s internal human capital that leads to economic growth. For example, the impact of policy variables can be evidenced through time series analysis.
We can help you get the best of Time Series Analysis to benefit your business. Reach out to us to understand more about our data analytics and machine learning capabilities and how it can help your business grow.
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What makes Odoo the best ERP solution for your business?
As business leaders, you may find that you’re spending too much time running your company rather than growing it. You may easily get bogged down due to exhaustive paperwork, long spreadsheets, or have to assemble discrete software to actually work together. This is where the open-source Odoo ERP comes to your rescue. With its vast suite comprising over 40 business productivity applications, Odoo provides a smoother and simpler way to run your business. The range of business apps offered by Odoo is highly comprehensive, fully-integrated, easy to use, and supports numerous different industries. Fingent, utilizing its partnership with Odoo ensures their clients are leveraging one or more apps from Odoo to boost their business efficiencies.
With Odoo, you can easily create your professional website, manage your relationship with customers, design and launch your own marketing strategies, and manage online payments through e-commerce. You also have Odoo apps to manage your warehouse, accounts, and invoicing behind the scenes.
Whatever be your business needs, Odoo provides apps that work together seamlessly. Though a relatively young contender, Odoo comes packed with powerful ERP features and a user-friendly interface like any other market leaders such as SAP, Oracle, MS Dynamics, and so on.
Here are 5 distinguishing features of Odoo that make it a reliable ERP for any business.
1. Easy to set up and use
Odoo has a very clean, consistent, easy-to-use interface. It is also easy to set up and configure. You can effortlessly carry out an entire transaction all the way from a quotation to the sales order, invoice, and payment due to the consistency between the various applications within Odoo. It helps you to get started within no time.
2. Powerful communication tools
Odoo has powerful inbuilt communication tools. They use messaging systems to keep track of internal communications on either your sales orders, invoices, or purchasing. So if you have a question on your sales order, you can write a message to all the followers of the sales order at the bottom of the documents. Thus, you can attach notes and messages and communicate directly from within the document giving you a great audit trail. All the team members stay on the same page both literally and figuratively!
Read more: Meeting Your HR Requirements with Odoo
3. Integrated front-end and back-end tools
You can have a full-blown website builder with a single click. So, once you install the web platform, you can use it integrated with all the other Odoo applications. Odoo provides powerful e-commerce tools that integrate with your website and are completely tied-in to the web framework. Moreover, the shopping cart looks clean, is built-in to the e-commerce app, and is ready-to-go. Another interesting feature of Odoo is that even if a customer didn’t make it to checkout and has just added items to his cart, you can view it as a draft in Quotations instead of a full Sales Order.
4. Great mobile support
Though Odoo is completely web-based, it looks pretty good on mobile phones and tablets. You even get a mobile preview to check how your website is going to look like. So, unlike a lot of legacy accounting systems that are still trying to catch up, Odoo was founded as a three-tier mobile application platform and it has continued to improve.
5. Powerful enterprise and cloud solutions
Odoo has very powerful enterprise and cloud solutions. You can host it yourself or on Amazon, or on digital cloud. You can also use Odoo.com or Odoo’s own hosted solution. Thus, there are a lot of different ways to host it as Odoo is very cloud friendly. Fingent extends support for deploying Odoo on web servers like AWS and other secure environments.
Other factors that make Odoo unique
Odoo is highly customizable, completely open-source, utilizes Industry Standard Libraries, and is written in Python. The backend database is PostgreSQL which is also open source. Another important aspect is that you can build custom Odoo Applications without modifying the source code. You can easily upgrade or extend without breaking things.
Read more: A 3-day Odoo CRM implementation story!
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that going digital is no longer an option, but a necessity. Choosing the right ERP that suits your business requirements and unlocks the returns on your investment can help you get there. The modular framework has given Odoo a wide functional scope. While using Odoo, enterprises do not need to resort to 3rd party platforms or use additional bridging software to build fully integrated websites. Thus, Odoo supports the uniqueness of each business. This ability to customize every aspect of your system gives you a competitive advantage. And all this can be done at minimal cost, compared to the other ERP systems available in the market. As enterprises have to look at the eventual ROI before implementing an ERP system, Odoo shines because of its functionality, scalability, and affordability. Fingent’s partnership with Odoo ensures your projects are tailored for easy adaptability. Get in touch with us to plan the next dependable Odoo application that will assist in your daily business operations.
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How Sanity.io manifests the value of headless CMS
In our recent white paper, we stated that customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator in 2020. We also discussed how the rapid evolution of both customer expectations and CX technologies is a wakeup call for both CX and IT leaders.
So, that’s it! Any business failing to deliver omnichannel customer experiences or remaining inactive across their website, mobile application, voice assistant, email, social media profiles, or online customer support is sure to face peril. This has set in a new level of expectation as to how digital content should be managed. Definitely, this puts the onus on companies to adopt a headless content management system (CMS).
Now, the question is what’s wrong with the traditional CMS? If WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla allows you to have both the CMS and the website’s design in one place, wouldn’t it be easier to make updates and manage your content seamlessly? Then why did leading brands like Cornerstone, Cloudflare, and Eurostar move to Sanity, one of the top headless CMS platforms?
Here, we tell you what’s a headless CMS and why many industry leaders have adopted Sanity.io.
The Headless CMS Movement
Remember the “pre-CMS era” where you had to update HTML pages manually and upload them on the website via FTP and perform a lot more steps? The birth of popular content management systems like Drupal and Joomla not only gave us relief, also did they tempt us with convenience. However, these legacy platforms often force us to solicit assistance from developers working on a specific CMS and require us to spend more time, resources, and budget for maintenance and enhancements.
A traditional CMS ideally fits an enterprise-level small business website or a personal website, especially if you do not have to share content with multiple digital devices or platforms. With cross-channel content dissemination at the speed of light becoming the Holy Grail, the monolith, single storage feature offered by traditional CMS is easily giving way to headless CMS.
Decoding Headless CMS
In simple terms, a headless CMS is a content-first CMS where the content repository (body) is decoupled/separated from the presentation layer (head). It’s a back-end only content management system that makes content accessible to external clients for display through APIs.
The result: Even a non-developer can create or edit content without getting worried about how the content will be displayed or consumed by the external systems. If you need to publish content on multiple platforms all at once, headless CMS is the best choice.
The beauty: Headless CMS is front-end agnostic. You can choose the framework or tool you like for displaying content to the end-user. It allows front-end developers to solely focus on the presentation layer without thinking about how the content will be managed.
5 reasons to go for Sanity, the popular headless CMS
“Build with structured content” is the byword of Sanity. However, the platform makes no assumptions about how your content is structured, created, validated, and presented. This offers you the flexibility to deliver structured content into any digital devices or applications via Sanity’s real-time, cloud-hosted APIs and customizable open-source editing environment.
1. Get started in no time
You can quickly get started with Sanity.io by downloading CLI from npm and use it to launch a new project. Alternatively, you can go to Sanity’s starter projects that will help you get started in minutes with its preconfigured Sanity Studio and a functional front-end with a range of frameworks to choose from, all deployed to Netlify with source code on GitHub.
2. Superior editing features
3. Exceptional APIs
The primary reason for choosing a headless CMS is its API-first pattern that allows you to access the content through APIs.
Sanity offers two powerful APIs for reading, writing, querying, and patching documents:
- api.sanity.io which is the live uncached API
- apicdn.sanity.io which is the CDN-distributed, cached API
Sanity also supports deploying GROQ and GraphQL APIs to query your content. The platform’s Data Store resides in the cloud and can be accessed via Sanity API either using Sanity’s client libraries or through the HTTP API directly.
4. Matured technology stack
5. User-friendly headless content models
Need more reasons to fall for headless CMS?
To give you an example, Sanity prevents you from getting “locked-in”. Despite being a SaaS platform, Sanity allows you to easily export your content and use it wherever you need. Same with the front-end frameworks that we saw above. Customized editorial experiences, structured content approach, minimal hidden costs, pay-as-you-go pricing model, and a number of stunning features will make you say “Yes” to the headless CMS model.
If you would like to know more about Sanity.io or any other headless CMS platform that you’re currently considering, drop us a line immediately.
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Transforming Businesses with RPA- Leading Use Cases in HR and Banking
Various organizations use RPA tools to automate simple to complex tasks and perform them with minimal or no human intervention.
From an IT perspective, you tend to bucket all RPA uses cases into data integration or testing. However, from a business perspective, you need to find out how to get a better time to value and how to overcome obstacles that hinder the business value. Then you can determine use cases that fit into this characterization.
For example, you want to roll out a change in your business process, and need integration into another system. You can do that in two ways:
- either through APIs and get into the IT changed management routine,
- or by using RPA to drive interfaces without an API and get the change rolled out in weeks instead of months.
So, time to value is the calculation that businesses need to do, and check whether the change is worth it.
Suppose you have to perform tasks that are very repetitive in nature – like filling in excel forms, web forms, things like visual basic or word with data which you already have access to, or which you need to aggregate from various systems. Here you can have an RPA bot to pull that data or even push out that data to multiple systems. You won’t have to rekey that information manually. You can always use an RPA bot to do that in an automated fashion. In both these cases, you can write integrations or you can have a system do it for you.
RPA gives you a way to configure that behavior rather than write a code for it. In other words, RPA use cases need to be data-intensive, rule-driven, and repetitive. The drivers almost always tend to be time to value, time to market, and so on.
Now that you’ve understood where to use RPA in your business, let’s have a look at some of the use cases.
RPA Use Cases in HR
According to UiPath, 40% of your HR professionals’ time can be reclaimed using RPA. Robotic Process Automation can be combined with your existing HR systems like SAP or Workday that allows you to create digital process automation with ease. Here are the two key HR areas where automation leads to transformation.
Payroll operations consist of a large number of repetitive, rule-based tasks with activities like data collection, calculations, and scheduling tasks. Payroll workers have to collect data from various departments or units in different formats. The next step is data validation and entering that information into other applications. All these tasks are prone to error.
These activities can be automated using RPA technology since all the data that payroll staff deals with is structured. RPA can make payroll more organized without using expensive software.
The benefits of RPA in payroll are improved accuracy, lower costs due to reduced manual labor and data security. Since the number of menial, time-consuming tasks performed by employees is reduced, they can focus on tasks with higher strategic value.
2. Onboarding and offboarding:
Every time you get a new employee, the candidate’s details have to be uploaded to all systems that you use. They may need a Windows account, access to your time reporting tool, email addresses, IT equipment, and so on. If someone from the HR team manually enters all this data they would be stuck in mundane tasks. Instead, you can have a script doing these repetitive tasks. With RPA, you can automate the entire onboarding procedure since the process is the same for every new employee.
Employee exits too, have to be managed consistently. Manual processing makes these tasks error-prone and may raise auditory concerns. If RPA is implemented in this case, the bot analyzes the incident to find out which tasks need to be executed. It notifies the IT team to terminate access and recover the equipment, terminates the employee from the HCM, revokes system access, generates exit documents, and processes final payments.
RPA Use Cases in Banking
A slow economy and rising customer expectations have caused banks to look for cost optimization methods. The back-end processing activities in the banking sector consist of tasks that are rule-driven, repetitive, labor-intensive, and high in volume. RPA technology can help to automate these processes, thus eliminating the need for human intervention. Here are the two major banking functions that can be automated for improved results.
1. Loan application processing:
The processing of loan applications is a tedious process. For document verification, employees need to manually verify different documents and associated information and then organize all data into a single file. Very often, employees get stuck in this task and spend too much time on it. RPA employed in this procedure can automate the whole process by opening different web portals and validating the information. The bot then initiates an email to the employee for a final decision. Thus, the bot helps to save valuable time and improves the time to client response.
2. Account opening:
The account opening process is cumbersome, time-consuming, and prone to errors. RPA can help speed up this process and make it more accurate. Bots draw out information from forms and enter it into separate host applications. Thus RPA eliminates errors and improves the quality of data in the system.
RPA tools have the potential to help various industries improve efficiency, drive faster operations, and reduce costs than most automation techniques. RPA is gaining popularity as enterprises try to counter competition, increase productivity, and meet customer expectations. Early adopters of RPA have reaped its benefits and its high time that you did too. Get in touch with our experts to learn more about how RPA can simplify your business operations.