5th May 2015New Project

Today, we are pleased to announce our new project with London Stock Exchange. We have a challenging assignment to work with various Indices provided by the exchange and to also support their public facing FTSE.com website. We are confident in delivering yet another professional and quality performance as we have consistently done in our past projects.

13th April 2015Rise of the Enterprise Apps

Impact and adoption of Cloud based technology

Cloud adoption is picking up fast and it is increasingly getting easier to use cloud technology and integrate it with an app. Although there are two major players dominant in the market (Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure), there are many more who provide competitive services to mobile apps developers. Cloud usage enables an app to be deployed once and be used anywhere. As a result, features like Handoff (iOS) are possible. Similar features can be built on easily using cloud technology.

Enterprise Apps usage

There has been a focus shift in the types of apps being available. Nowadays, more and more enterprise apps are being made available than consumer apps. Organisations are finally increasing adoption of mobile based technologies like usage of tables and smartphones which has increased the demand for more enterprise level apps. Moreover, enterprise apps also have more potential in driving revenues for developers than consumer apps targeted at the general public.

Easier development

With more tools and features available than ever before, developing enterprise level apps is going to be much easier. The rise of open source platforms have helped and will continue to help developers around the world connect with each other to create robust and maintainable softwares.

HTML5 v/s Native

HTML5 apps are not only cheaper to develop but are also cross-platform which make them an attractive proposition for organisations. There are many technologies complementing HTML5 like jQuery Mobile, AngularJS, KnockoutJS, Bootstrap, etc and they will greatly reduce the development time needed to quickly come up with an enterprise app.

Mobile Strategy

Few years ago hardly anybody in an organisation talked about having a strategy for mobile users. Today, this is one of the most important strategies that companies think of. Mobile users nowadays constitute a major portion of the consumer base and thus cannot be ignore. Having a unique strategy to reach the mobile consumer will be one of the top mobile strategies for organisations.

Real-time information

Statistical data is very important in formulating algorithms and producing predictive models. The enterprise apps will also feature a lot of real-time information that will keep consumer well informed and up-to-date with latest news and updates. Organisations will strive to be quick to respond to a concerned consumer, user query or a feedback. This will also be possible with integrating real-time information capabilities in an enterprise app.

10th March 2015The mysteries surrounding Apple's new wearable device are over

The Details
The wait for details of another wearable technology was finally over when Apple revealed details of its Apple Watch. People have been waiting to know this for months: when it was going to be available, how much it would cost, and what comes with it. The Apple Watch is highly customisable, in fact one of the most customisable product the company has ever made. It comes with three base models in two sizes and six different watch colours and strap bands to choose from. It will also be capable to run the standard known apps like Music, Contacts, Maps including the voice assistant Siri to name a few. Apple Pay which is Apple’s own contactless payments service along with a health monitor will also feature as standard apps. Users will also get the ability to add other known apps like Twitter, Uber, Salesforce, WeChat and many more. You can read emails, summon Siri, receive calls and track fitness goals on your watch. Facebook alerts, WeChat messages and Twitter trends can also be beamed your wrist without pulling out your smartphone.

There are more than a dozen ways to interact with the watch, from receiving glanceable notifications, to feeling "taptic" feedback, to summoning Siri. It also makes mundane notifications easy to dismiss while keeping you in the loop with important alerts.

Battery Life
The Apple Watch battery life is supposed to last all day, but don't expect a full 24 hours from this first edition of the smartwatch. Instead, Tim Cook has promised 18 hours of a typical day, which technically does sync with his comments that it can be "worn all day" and is something that's "simple to charge at night."

Price
The lowest base model, the Apple Watch Sport (38-millimeter, with the aluminium band) will cost £249. The 42-millimeter version comes in at £339. The mid-range Apple Watch begins at £479 for the 38-millimeter version and goes up to £949 depending on the Apple Watch size and band configuration. The gold Apple Watch Edition starts at a whooping £8,000 and will be available in limited numbers at select retail stores.

Release Date
Apple said pre-orders begin April 10, and availability begins two weeks later on April 24.

22nd February 2015Confusion: Responsive Website or an App

Mobile technology is growing rapidly by the day. Many companies are increasingly focusing on leveraging mobile and tablets in their day to day operations. It is therefore absolutely essential nowadays to keep up to speed with the mobile world. Many of our clients ask us which is better - having a responsive website or an app. While the question would have been perfectly valid years ago, it is however, no longer a valid one. In the technology era that we are in today, companies have become more and more conscious of the customer. The customer on the other hand has variety of means to access a service. Coming back to the question on having a responsive website or an app, if a decision has to be made, your business goals and objectives should dictate the answer.

Following your competitors is an example of adopting a red-ocean strategy. But if you want to go disruptive, adopt a blue-ocean strategy and let your competitors follow you.

We would say both responsive website and an app are equally important. Once your business goals are clearly defined, the right technology will fall into place. What businesses need is the right tool for the job, whether the purpose is served by a website or an app, or even a combination of the two to capture the attention of the users.

Nowadays, mobile is impossible to ignore regardless of the industry businesses are in and it is all about retention and engaging your customers.

People tend to download apps for various reasons. Whether it is for getting information or just to be one tap away from a company’s website. Whether you want to deliver extreme functionality using features like GPS, Camera , etc; is up to you.

It is common to see lots of industries to see launching their own apps to promote their brand. Almost everybody in the UK owns a mobile and it just shows how crucial it is to target mobile devices. It also shows how important it is to be aware who your target audience is and what kind of devices they use daily.

A responsive website on the other hand is not about making the users zoom into one content/area of your page only to have them click a single link. It is about ensuring your website fits and adjusts perfectly according to the device’s capabilities, screen resolution. It is also about ensuring functionality served by your website fits the context and scenarios that are ideal and common for mobile. Users will not navigate within your website if they have no idea or are confused.

It is wrong to assume a responsive website as an inexpensive shortcut to getting your brand to your customers. Many websites today present different content to mobile users and different to desktop users. Businesses should be looking to present the same content every time regardless of the device. The presentation can differ to suit the device capabilities.

If an objective of a business is to increase traffic and increase online presence, having a responsive website is vital. Every business needs a website and online identity because many of the potential customers search online to seek vendors and partners or to look for services.

Merely mimicking your website in an app is not the way forward. Your app should serve a specific purpose to your business which forms part of its overall objective and thereby helps in growth. Having a responsive website will help your customers know you. Giving them your app for a specific purpose will benefit both the worlds.

31st January 2015Windows 10 Excitement

On 21st January 2015, Microsoft unvieled more details on the upcoming version of Windows, Windows 10.

At a glance

How much will it cost?

For users running Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1: Windows 10 will be available as a free upgrade upon launch, providing users make the shift within 12 months. Windows Phone 8.1 users will also be able to upgrade to Windows 10 free for a year after launch, and yes, that is the full version of Windows 10. Microsoft is making the new version of Windows adjust and adapt to different devices automatically. This means good news for both consumers and developers. For consumers, it means unified, familiar and consistent access and appearance of the user interface across devices. For developers it means not having to worry about targetting and writing apps differently for different version of Windows.

Windows Holographic and HoloLens

The biggest surprise was Windows Holographic. The software, which is built into Windows 10, allows developers to create virtual 3D environments which can be displayed to the user via an augmented reality headset, dubbed HoloLens. Microsoft gave potential use cases of space scientists exploring a virtual Martian landscape, totally immersive gaming, or architects and interior designers planning and visualising construction and décor. In an additional twist, a related piece of software, HoloStudio, will let users create a 3D, holographic model and then use a 3D printer to create it in real life.

Cortana

Microsoft's virtual personal assistant, Cortana, has been fully integrated into Windows 10 and has far more functionality than she's ever had in Windows Phone. Cortana is able to learn about users over time, bringing together everything she knows about them to deliver reminders and suggestions in the Calendar, taskbar and new Spartan browser. As she's constantly connected to, and trawling the internet, she can deliver additional information on web pages when the user's browsing with the new Spartan browser.

Spartan Browser

After nearly two decades of service, Microsoft is killing off Internet Explorer in favour of a re-imagined browser, codenamed Spartan. Spartan’s Reading Mode is very similar to the Chrome Extension, Pocket, and allows users to save a page at the click of a button, from which it will be stored for reading later (even offline) on any device. A second feature that Spartan boasts is the ability for a user to annotate over web pages, sync the scribbles to OneDrive, and then share the pages or make them collaborative

Surface Hub

The Surface Hub, as it's been called, is also available in a 55in version and is being pitched at the ultimate computer and screen for the boardroom. The giant device comes with custom versions of Skype for Business and OneNote and is embedded with cameras, sensors and microphones, which Windows 10 uses to support both high-quality video and audio, as well as recognising gesture controls. You can also use a smart pen, which comes with Smart Hub, to draw on the screen like a whiteboard, and you can share screens and interact with others viewing on computers and Surface Hubs too. It’s an impressive piece of business kit, and despite being incredibly corporate and functional, something about it screams boardroom of the future.

Start Menu

One of the biggest complaints about Windows 8 when it was first launched was the lack of a Start menu. Microsoft has apparently paid attention to these complaints and, in September last year, confirmed the Start menu would be making a comeback in Windows 10, but with a new "app pinning" feature. This incorporates the Start screen UI of Windows 8 into the beloved Start menu. Apps that can be pinned include standard programs, as well as "universal" apps downloaded from the Windows Store, and can be used across any Windows device.

New multitasking features

A new task-view button will make it easier to switch between open files and desktops. Windows 10 will also let you create multiple desktops - for example, if you want a "work" desktop and a "personal" one, or desktops for different projects - which you can flip through to see what apps and files are open. Windows 10 also has a change for Command Prompt: you can now copy and paste into it, and select words and lines using the Shift key. For touch devices, the Charm bar will be staying, though.

1st December 2014New Project

Today, we are pleased to announce our new project with Barclays (Wealth and Invementment Management). We will be working on an exciting new enterprise application that would help the bank channel their resources and effectively manage their processes. Like before, we are certain to utilise our past experience and expertise to build a high quality product.

30th September 2014Catching a glimpse of tomorrow at Future Decoded 2014

Microsoft is holding an event in London at ExCeL. Its called Future Encoded and it spans three days starting 10th November 2014. The tech event is useful to a lot of communities like entreprenuers, businesses, Microsoft Partners, enthusiasts and developers.

The first day will feature an interactive conversation with CEO Satya Nadella who will talk about how Microsoft is working to provide the next generation of technology innovation to help transform businesses. His keynote will be followed by other speakers like Sir Bob Geldof, Jeremy Paxman, Dame Stella Rimington, Sir Murray OBE, Sir Martin Sorrell and Ronan Dunne.

The third day comprises of sessions highlighting the advancements in technology and sessions on building universal Apps; something which is entirely focused on IT Professionals. While speakers provide insight into various topics, Microsoft will also be offering an array of tracks for attendees to check out.

Track 1: "Write Once, Run Everywhere?" - creating cross platform apps with Visual Studio

There’s a tension between an app developer who wants to get the most from their investment in skills and tools and a device/platform vendor who wants to make sure that apps are really shiny on their devices. What’s a dev to do? Go crazy, all-out “Native-Ninja” and build separate code for iOS/Android/Windows or spare yourself the cycles and build out hybrid, web view based apps and hope that no-one notices it doesn’t work quite right on any platform?
We’ll dig into how a developer can use Visual Studio and .NET skills to build for any mobile platform without having multiple code bases or resorting to lowest common denominator techniques.


Track2: Demystifying Data Discovery and Big Data

The track will target those who are interested in the process of building and delivering Analytics solutions to business users that incorporate integration of Structured and Unstructured data via Hadoop and relational stores, data mining, machine learning to build predictive models and finally enabling analysts and end user to incorporate into Data Discovery and Visualisation work via Power BI.


DevOps – what is it and what can we learn from practitioners?

This track will demystify ‘What is DevOps?’ and show how you can easily implement DevOps practices into your working environment to improve your Application Lifecycle Management process. We will cover how Developer and Operations teams can work well together creating the best solutions by maximising the predictability, efficiency, security and maintainability of operational processes using both Microsoft and non-Microsoft technology seamlessly together


Track 4: Enterprise Mobility: Helping users keep on the straight and narrow!

The track will highlight the latest tools and tips to help IT Pros working in the world of enterprise mobility keep themselves one step ahead of the end users. Recent developments in the solutions offered by Microsoft now means there is a plethora of tools available. This track will provide real examples and case studies in this area to enable the IT Pro to develop the skills necessary to implement an EM Strategy using the Microsoft tools available.


Track 5: “Modernize, Transform and Extend your Datacentre to the Cloud”

The track will discuss how to modernize (including how to migrate from WS2003, EOS July 14th 2015), transform (through end-end infrastructure virtualization and automation) and extend your datacentre to the cloud with Microsoft Azure or local service providers to build a Hybrid cloud. The sessions will also provide an update on Microsoft’s latest Modern Datacentre Solutions across Windows Server, Hyper-V, System Center, Azure Pack and Microsoft Azure, including demos of hybrid use cases. This track will all include a UK customer case study showing how the Royal Holloway University has implemented a hybrid cloud strategy.


Track 6: Building Apps in the cloud

Understand the economics and business models for developing apps and services in the cloud. Learn the base architecture of cloud services and infrastructure, VMs, mobile services, and websites. Understand the basics of data storage architecture, data processing services and then learn best practices from successful Azure implementations from companies large and small. Complete the first step of the training for your certification as a Cloud Developer for Microsoft Azure.


Track 7: Modern Development with Visual Studio

This is a developer focused track where we will discuss the latest in .NET, ASP.NET, Roselyn and web development using Visual Studio. See some great demos and find out the latest information and innovation around the future of development with Azure and Visual Studio.


Track 8: Developing Solutions for the Internet of Things

Are you interested in what Microsoft is doing in The IoT space? Find out about our approach and how customers & partners are starting to develop an Enterprise solution. Learn how to extend Azure Intelligent System Service to create rich, customized, vertical experiences, analytics, data visualization and other Intelligent Systems solutions that improve customers’ time-to-value.


It is quite an event and we are sure lot of people are going to learn lot of new things. At the same time, it is also going to be interesting to understand what Microsoft technologies will form part of the future technical world.