April 26, 2013
April 11, 2013
One of the most interesting things about Facebook Home is that the company decided to make the product available only for Android. The fans of Apple are not used to the fact that they have to wait for their applications (although it is possible to hear some mixed messages on whether Home will show up on iOS or not).
As it becomes clear it will not take much time until one of the most lauded parts of the Facebook Home ecosystem shows up in the Apple App Store: Chat Heads is already on the way to iOS and is going to be available soon. According to AllThings CTO of Facebook Mike Schroepfer and director of mobile engineering Cory Ondrejka discussed the migration of feature to iOS at the Drive to Mobile.
At the most recent public appearance Mark Zuckerberg spoke about Chat Heads. It is the new messaging feature for Facebook Home. The tool does not differ much from most mobile messaging applications. But now is users gets a Facebook chat or message a circular image of a sender’s Facebook picture will appear in the pop up window. The application also works with SNMS messages though they will not show the same profile visual as other messages will. Still their functionality remains the same so it is possible to keep on interacting with whatever users customers use their phones to do without being bumped out to the messaging application. It is even possible to read chat heads without closing or leaving the current screen.
On Android Chat Heads seems to matter what application is used as Facebook Home gets integrated into pretty much every nook and cranny of the operating system. It is different with Apple – users will only see chat heads when the updated Facebook application is used. So if users want to have a more immersive Facebook experience Apple is still not perfect.
April 5, 2013
The term “cloud computing” is widely used to describe performing all sorts of computer tasks using Internet services. And though there are many fields where cloud computing is used, here we are going to discuss how cloud software has completely transformed the way companies run their business.
Cloud-based business solutions have literally become life-savers for small business owners, as they allow getting all the benefits of professional business software without having to pay for physical infrastructure like servers, storage systems and customized business solutions and employ IT specialist who would update and maintain said software. And let’s not forget that with permanent online access to all the information on projects tasks can be done at any place any time, and not only in the office. So basically, cloud computing allows entrepreneurs start their business and get access to the most advanced technologies while having only a computer with a web browser (or a smartphone) and internet connection.
The newest generation of Cloud-based solutions offer not only constant access to the information, they also provide much more safety for the important data you store on Cloud. Not only online servers prevent you from losing all the info once the hard drive of your computer has broken down, they also provide users with multiple levels of access that can be defined by the position in the company.
Cloud computing provides great opportunities not only for small business owners, but also for the companies that want to improve organizational process and create convenient and stress-less conditions for collaboration between team members and managers. Cloud-based workflow management system can make collaboration and communication process so much more effective thanks to such features as: ability to create forums and share any kind of files, which helps finding solutions on the most complicated tasks; ability to attach comments, explanations and files right to the assigned tasks, which allows even distributed team members get access to documents templates, contracts and more. The ability to always keep all the documentation at hand is especially important for the specialists that work with finance and human resources, and that’s why Cloud-solutions are often used in the companies that have to deal with a lot of paperwork and documentation: they allow minimizing paperwork and offer effective search and sorting features that enable finding any document with a few clicks.
Online task management software will definitely be appreciated by those businessmen who are always in a hurry since it enables keeping all the tasks, deadlines, important meetings and phone calls in check.
For those who are still not sure whether it’s worth giving Cloud solution a go, there is a great way to try out all the advantages of such systems – use so called “hybrid” software that combine standard approach when the data is stored on the hard drive and Cloud approach. That way you will be able to decide if you are ready to use Cloud computing to its full potential without having to completely exclude standard software that you are used to.
March 22, 2013
In order to create productive working atmosphere and send the right message to the clients, your office should be organized in a certain way. In this article we will share several tips on how to make your office comfortable, efficient and presentable.
First and foremost establish different zones; that will help you maintain your working space clean and organized. Remember simple rule: your desk is the place for work; shelves – for documentation; drawers – for office supplies. Always keep the supplies you use the most at close proximity, others can be put away in the closet. Keep it that way and you won’t have to clean your office in a rush when one of your big clients suddenly shows up.
While bringing some personality into working space is great, try not to go too far in your desire to make your office cozy. Office is the place where you work, so it’s better ifyou don’t have distracting objects all over the place.
If you still print and file your documents, right now might be the time for you to start storing documentation online. That way you will not only de-clatter your office space, you will also be able to use convenient filters and search options that management software offers in order to quickly find the needed file.
Create some sort of system for your correspondence and magazines. Put them in different folders or mark them with stickers of different color. The main idea is for you to be able to find what you need in short time.
Those who work in big office buildings and from time to time experience all sorts of problems with cell phone connection might start thinking about purchasing mobile repeater that would help dealing with such inconveniencies as missed or dropped calls, poor audibility, weak signal and so on. This device is not some huge investment, but it will help you to always stay in touch with your clients and you can always be sure that those who find your phone number in the ad will actually be able to reach you. For small offices up to 80m2 mobile repeater AnyTone AT400 will be great solution.
As for more traditional office equipment such as scanner, fax and so on, you can store them in customized closet, so that all these not exactly small devices wouldn’t clutter your working space, especially if it’s small and you don’t use said devices every single day.
And the last but not least: plan your days or even weeks ahead and prioritize. That way you won’t miss any important deadlines and will be able to maintain stress-less atmosphere in your office.
Start applying one of these tips one step at a time and you’ll soon notice that it’s so much easier to work in wisely-organized office where everything works, every object is on its place and where there is no room for distractions.
December 7, 2012
BitTorrent has recently announced that the downloads of its mobile applications for iOS, Android and Windows Phone passed 20 million. This rise is seen only over latest four months after 10 million download milestone that means that there is not only continuous growth but that it is accelerating.
Currently BitTorrent offers eight mobile products. These are uTorrent/BitTorrent for Android, uTorrent/BitTorrent Remote for Android and iOS (Web application) and uTorrent/BitTorrent Remote for Windows Phone.
The representatives of the company told that the clien mobile applications are downloaded the most. That is a kind of surprise given that they have more functionality.
The company has also shared information that they have two mobile application included in the top 20 of free media and video section of the USA Google Play market. These applications are uTorrent Beta app at number 6 and the BitTorrent App at the 20th position. The uTorrent Beta app is also included in the top five of free media and video section in sixteen countries and it is also mentioned in the top ten for twenty seven countries.
While Remote version is available either for iOS or Windows Phone there’s no talk about a full client version coming only to iOS. The older users of iOS are slightly less lucky than the newest ones: in case if user has an iPhone, an iPad or an iPod Touch he might as well forget about it. There are a number of BitTorrent clients and BitTorrent remote clients for iOS but the problem is that Apple doesn’t let any of these applications to its App Store. BitTorrent has yet to announce a Windows Phone application but at least it is a possibility.
Differently from Remote applications Android has a full-fledged client (and no computer is required).
November 13, 2012
A specialized analytic company App Annie that explores application stores for mobile devices has published the latest collected data concerning mobile application developed for Google Play and App Store. According to these data in October 2012 the revenue of Apple App Store was four times bigger than the revenue of Google Play.
At the same time the difference in the revenue volume is quickly reducing. In 2011 year the revenue from applications on Google Play increased more than three times (by about 311 per cent). For the same period of time the revenue from applications based on iOS increased only by 12,9 per cent. The situation is common concerning the free applications download: Google Play increased by 48 per cent in 2011 year and iOS applications – only by 3,3 per cent.
The leading place for downloads on iOS in the world are USA and China. At the beginning of 2012 year USA had 33 per cent of all the downloads for iOS platform. Nine months later, in October, the part of USA in downloads was already 25,3 per cent. At the same time China reduces the difference and has only 15,3 per cent of downloads.
The situation concerning Google Play is different, no country has such big part of downloads. Korea, being a homeland of Samsung company, occupies now the second place for free applications downloads after the USA. Korea outstrips Japan, which occupies the fourth place, almost twice. India took third place, ahead of Japan.
The amount of mobile applications on the App Store exceeded 600 thousand and according to the data on April 24 2012 the revenue rose to $2 billion.
Last month Apple company celebrated a billion’s download. A woman from China downloaded a free game Where’s My Water and got a certificate $10 000 that she can spend on the App Store.
September 19, 2012
Nowadays when distributed teams is quite a common practice in a business world, managers keep struggling to find a solution that would help them to control the workflow of the project and how their team manages assigned tasks. Specifically for those managers who don’t sit behind the desk all day Comindware offers a mobile version of their product for issue tracking, so you can always get updates on the status of your project no matter where you are. But the great thing is that you will not only be able to check on your team to make sure they do their job, you will also be able to create new items in already active workflow via email.
Thanks to Comindware users are able to automate workflow processes and get real-time visibility into practically any area of their business without any special equipment. From now on you’ll be able to operate your whole team with the help of your mobile device.
For those who are still trying to draw workflows on the white board and manually send notifications to team members, we would like to explain what Comindware Tracker is.
Comindware Tracker is task management system or software for team task tracking, project execution and daily workflow automation. This convenient web-based system helps organizing and managing team tasks, track issues and projects process. It gives users an opportunity to automate nearly any workflow process and it’s practically irreplaceable in case a company works with many user inquiries or with multiple projects.
What is making Comindware so different from other online management solutions, you may ask? It’s the unparalleled flexibility that makes Comindware products unique. Ultra-flexible ElasticData technology allows users to automate and change work processes for pretty much any process you want to track. This technology enables you to create workflows from scratch or with the help of templates. You’ll be able to add new tasks, remove items and distribute tasks among members of your team…and all this in one single web-based system you can get access to even from your mobile phone.
One of the biggest advantages of Comindware task tracker software is the usability. To use some online solutions special training is required while Comindware Graphical Forms builder enables visual drag-&-drop forms design and editing. But if you think that’s easy how about that: one of the latest features allows creating new work items simply by sending an email to a special email address.
Once you started using Comindware products you won’t go back to those all school methods, because what other solution will give you an ability to organize and manage tasks, get real-time status updates and dashboards and work with tasks directly in Outlook? With Comindware you’ll be able to do all that just by opening Internet browser on your cell phone.
August 9, 2012
In the modern variety of methodologies of software development many young business specialists tend to ask the following questions. It is possible for a business analyst to take part in any IT-project, regardless of the methodology? If it is, so which is the role and place of a business analyst in such projects? What peculiarities does each methodology impose for work of a business analyst?
The answers to such questions are not so simple. The main idea is that the process of project management should correspond with the needs of a certain project, and working processes can differ greatly. The approaches to the work within the confines of different methodologies might seriously differ. The only feature that is quite common when it comes to issue tracking on contemporary project is the special software which has real potential to greatly simplify the daily routine within a project. Those who feel interest can read more in order to get acquainted with progressive task tracking solutions.
So, why is it necessary for a business analyst to take into account some differences between working processes in projects with various methodologies? It is required, because:
1. A business analyst should evaluate the risks correctly and know which difficulties lie in wait; Risks in traditional methodologies are not at all similar with the risks in Agile methodologies.
2. Business analyst should know special approaches and effective methods how to minimize risks within this or that methodology;
3. Business analyst should be able to pick up the effective tools and format of the artifacts.
If the project will be worked over according to the Agile methodology, a business analyst should think over the following points:
1. The list of required contacts;
2. The plan of communications (who, what, whom, what for);
3. Necessary documents and their format;
4. Required tools.
So, in the conclusion of the article it’s the appropriate time to answer the questions which have been put in the beginning of the article. A business analyst of good level can work on various projects with different methodologies, but it is vital to remember that working processes can’t be similar in traditional methodologies and in flexible methodologies such as Agile. In order to simplify the work over project tasks there exist special task tracking software by Comindware will help managers, business analysts and other employees to concentrate on priority tasks and to execute them in time.
May 20, 2012
Modern successful people like not only to work and make career but also to have qualitative rest. More and more people, especially young families, prefer to travel by their own cars. But if a person wants to be really successful he needs to keep abreast of developments wherever he travels and wherever he needs to go. Successful businessman has the necessity to stay always in touch with his business partners and that is why he needs qualitative cellular connection in any place he visits. Young mothers of small children have the same requirement when they need to drive somewhere without their children who stay at home with other relatives or nannies. Young mothers need to know everything about their children at any time and wherever they drive. But this requirement can be complicated by some peculiarities of the terrain on which you are traveling by your car. Such obstacles as relief of the place or its large distance from the basic mobile station can seriously prevent you from getting mobile connection of high and stable quality.
Practically every car driver has faced up with the following problem at least once in his life. Outside the cities the coverage of mobile communication is inhomogeneous, and consequently the quality of cellular connection can be unstable and sometimes it is impossible to hear what your interlocutor is saying. This nuisance becomes a real problem when the conversation is serious and significant for the traveler. Other participant of the conversation can be annoyed by constant asking again and again what he has just said. Nowadays the problem of unstable mobile connection in the car is successfully solved. Every modern person can establish the special mobile booster in his car. This clever booster has the function of amplification of cellular signal which traditionally comes from the station. This booster just receives the cellular signal from the station and simply sends the copy of this signal to the mobile phone of the car traveler. With the convenient gsm booster one can use his mobile phone even outside the city without any apprehension that cellular connection will suddenly break. The peculiarities of this or that locality will no more influence on the quality of the signal and the stability of mobile connection. Moreover, the stronger is the signal, the longer is the time during which the battery of a mobile phone will work without recharging. High strength of mobile signal also decreases the level of radiation from cellular phone. The undeniable plus of this mobile repeater is that it does not require any special adjustments. If somebody wants to use it, all he needs to do is just choose the appropriate model of cell phone booster and purchase it. It will simply work for your convenience.
April 29, 2012
Searching employees is not an easy task, especially if you are looking for employees who will communicate with clients on behalf of the company. I’m talking about project managers.
First of all, I’ve decided to present you my own vision of an ideal project manager. Also I have remembered several types of managers I have worked with.
Project Managers: Who Are They?
A project manager is an official representative of the client on the side of executors. At least, it doesn’t behove creative people to be distracted by organizational issues, accounting and, of course, pricing. Everything mentioned above is project manager’s tasks.
I have tried to stand out some ‘typical’ managers of software development companies and it doesn’t matter whether it is CRM customization or site or mobile development. There are several types of managers:
They prepare documents and gather all the necessary signatures, give tasks to couriers and look more like office managers than project managers. They follow bookkeeping and timely flow of documents. Of course, dealing with papers is still a very important part of servicing clients. Sometimes it is sad when, for example, a site is ready and everybody is happy but there are no timely provided reports, accounts, bills, etc.
Professional administrators can negotiate the terms of conditions, can take decisions on payment schedules and, consequently, follow them. Such people are irreplaceable for designers, architects, programmers simply because if they think about money and not about work, they will see neither work nor money.
Unfortunately, such category of managers exists – all client’s tasks and requests are simply delegated to executors, sometimes even without reading. Even the most skilled managers sometimes switch to such ‘postmen’ when they are in a hurry. But very often much hurry brings even more mess. The main idea of postmen’s work is to delegate the task to the executor and the executor himself has to understand the essence of the request, check the information, try to reproduce it and then respond to the manager as he considers appropriate (‘I haven’t found the bug’, or ‘I’ve corrected the bug’ or ‘Everything works perfectly’).
If the manager doesn’t check the executor’s work and simply forwards it to the client (the variant ‘corrected’), it will be a complete disaster: the client is likely to be disappointed because either he hasn’t been understood or has been understood incorrectly or nothing has been done at all.
They invent various ‘things’ for clients and control their realization. Setting up tasks and establishing priorities are coordinated by the producer. He knows modern technologies, innovative software solutions, makes use of various project management systems such as Redmine (http://www.redmine.org/), Basecamp (http://basecamp.com/), Comindware (http://www.comindware.com/), Teamlab (http://www.teamlab.com/), etc. and applies them at work.
Such managers gain good results from the point of view of functionality, perfection and performance but they have one big drawback: they seldom follow actual expenses. Such people are oriented on the actual result but not the financial one.
4) Clients’ Managers
Most of our companies are not limited to creating sites: they also deal with mobile application development, publishing, software development, search engine optimization, etc.). More often we have two variants of cooperation with clients: 1) clients want to get a complex of services right now or 2) some services can be rendered within several years. The first variant is very attractive but, in fact, isn’t called for. In order not to lose clients, companies have to offer them long-term services, even forecasting events. And the manager has to foresee and offer services in advance, even if the client hasn’t mentioned them.
In my opinion, an ideal manager is a combination of a producer and a client’s manager. They know how to apply innovative technologies (such as Comindware tracker) for the sake of getting better and effective results and know how to do it creatively. But from time to time all managers migrate from one type to the other depending on the type of the organization, clients or personal skills (which can and should be developed).
I hope my thoughts will be useful for managers who would like to become real professionals and want to make a career in this sphere.
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At present the market offers a wide choice of many project management and task management software solutions: MS Project, LiquidPlanner, Zoho, Comindware tracker, SalesForce , JIRA, Basecamp, GanttProject, etc. Some of these solutions are ready to provide the most effective functionality you have ever imagined. All these systems are web based, and provide mobility to the company, which consequently increases its efficiency.
Another feature of modern project and task management software is the presence of Wiki technology, which a special system or web service for creating databases, technical tasks and preparation of various documents that are used by several users.
Wiki is not only the symbol of a giant online encyclopedia. At present the wiki style is a management technology, project environment and a way of developing unusual products. Wiki-mania is everywhere – in the IT industry, education, gaming and literature. Although this approach is most suitable for small project groups, its ideas of communication, joint development and energy exchange are becoming a great driver also for solving large scale tasks and projects.
Wiki-based applications can be an addition to the already used project management program or can possess enough possibilities to substitute it completely. Now we’d like to review some of the most common Wiki-based project management systems.
Trac Project is a project management system which alongside with the basic functionality of wiki applications possesses a SVN browser, a possibility of tracking tickets, build statuses, timelines, road maps (shows milestones as well as executed and current tickets), etc.
The specific feature of Trac is a great number of plug-ins, for example, plug-ins for web administration, authentication, for managing the documentation code, tickets, testing, users and version control. At that Trac Project is absolutely free and is delivered by the modified BSD license.
PBWiki is one of the simplest in use wiki applications. With its help you can use files together with other users, differentiate the access to individual files and folders, add users, track changes in file versions and so on.
The program installation takes about one minute and, thanks to the intuitive interface, understanding the principles of its working will take very little time. Creating folders and pages as well as their editing is carried out in a very simple way. One can add a comment to each page and with one click get its version for printing.
The set of templates for standard pages further simplifies the usage of this program. Moreover, various themes for Pbwiki design are also provided. Free maintenance plan presupposes using the program by three users. By the way, the paid alternatives are inexpensive – 4-8 dollars per month.
I hope you have got the general idea about Wiki technology. The choice of task management software for your company depends completely on you and your needs. In our current practice we use Comindware task management and JIRA as they two cover most of project needs (even while they don’t haveWiki option).