Connect with us

Technology

7 Best Software Deployment Tools

Published

on

Keeping all of your devices up-to-date with the latest software updates is essential to maintaining your businesses functionality. When software becomes outdated, bugs appear, it can crash unexpectedly, and it becomes more vulnerable to cyber attacks. Automated deployment tools take the responsibility out of your hands and handle the process autonomously.

When looking at these tools, there are two main purposes that they are used for; enterprise deployment, and continuous release. While many of these tools can be used interchangeably, it’s important to understand the difference.

Enterprise Deployment

Enterprise software deployment tools are used by businesses to make sure that all of their systems are updated. If you are managing a large office with a bunch of different computers, you need to make sure everybody is using the same version. This makes it easier for your IT professionals to fix problems and prevents unwanted bugs from arising.

Continuous Release

Continuous deployment software is a program which continuously deploys updates to devices. It operates on a DevOps principle whereby developers code updates in short cycles and are continuously releasing small software updates. This is different from enterprise deployment where large updates are made only so often and released as bigger packages.

The 7 Best Deployment Tools

There are a lot of products on the market, and many of them get the job done. However, when you’re operating on a large scale, you want to do more than just ‘get the job done.’ You want to make every integration quick, automatic, and seamless. So, with that being said, we’re going to give you our definitive tools list.

1. Xebia Labs XL Deploy

Key Features:

  • Automatic rollback
  • Highly scalable
  • Can deploy to any environment
  • Easy-to-use enterprise deployment

Overview:

XL Deploy is Xebia Labs flagship product. It’s one of the best enterprise software deployment tools on the market. They have a highly scalable business model which allows system administrators to handle anything from a few small computers to an entire office building with hundreds of devices.

One of their best selling-points is their automatic rollback feature which can automatically un-deploy an update. Lot’s of times, when software is released, it’s buggy, or a developer forgot to add a key feature. Being able to quickly un-deploy is efficient and saves time and embarrassment.

2. Microsoft SCCM

Key Features:

  • Secure deployment with endpoint protection
  • Comprehensive asset management
  • Is able to deploy operating systems
  • Provides remote control capability to the configuration manager’s console
  • Provides software metering so you can see how well your new updates are performing.

Overview:

Microsofts System Center Configuration Manager is an enterprise development tool that is designed to save your business money. SCCM reduced the overhead cost of having to individually deploy software to each device. SCCM is installed on each computer with the systems administrator in control of the master version. SCCM keeps a comprehensive record of all of your business software assets, so you never lose important keys and saved data. Systems admins have complete control over which updates are allowed to deploy and which shouldn’t.

 

3. Spinnaker

Key Features:

  • Open-source software
  • Multi-cloud deployment
  • Schedule automated releases
  • Supports popular cloud services: Amazon Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Open Stack, and more
  • Pre-deployment testing
  • Allows you to set up automatic notifications

Overview:

Spinnaker is the ultimate free, open-source continuous delivery software. Netflix and Waze are two multinational corporations that are currently on their roster, and they regularly use Spinnaker to streamline and deploy all of their updates. They allow developers to test all of their updates with the integrated “Chaos Monkey” application that tests for worst case scenarios. One of the best things about Spinnaker is that they have an active community of users, so if you run into any problems, you are guaranteed to find a quick answer. Oh, and did we mention it’s free?

 

4. BuildMaster

Key Features:

  • Allows system admin to set up scheduled updates
  • Can release to any environment
  • Can service a few devices, hundreds of devices, and even an entire cloud
  • Automated risk mitigation
  • Detailed deployment plans

Overview:

BuildMaster is one of the latest products by a software development company called Inedo. This is an enterprise deployment software that focuses on risk mitigation. To some, the built-in features that are constantly testing for faults in the update, questioning every install, and pointing out key details can be annoying. However, to others, they can be a lifesaver. BuildMaster is set up to ensure that you will never have a buggy release or accidentally deploy software and updates that aren’t ready.

5. Go Continuous Delivery

Key Features:

  • Easily visualize your deployment pipeline
  • Cross-platform testing and reporting
  • Allows you to compare builds and updates
  • Numerous plugins available for download

Overview:

Go is a great open-source continuous deployment tool. What makes it so outstanding is its supreme visibility. Users can see every step of the deployment pipeline which makes it easy to find a problematic release and fix the problem Another great feature that they have is cross-platform testing. Before you deploy a new software or an update, you can use Go’s built-in testing to make sure that it can run on all of your environments without a problem. They also allow administrators to perform a build comparison which helps them to decide whether a new update is actually worth it or not.

 

6. Fastlane

Key Features:

  • Simplifies Android and iOS app deployment
  • Automatically-generated screenshots
  • Makes beta deployment simple
  • Allows you to easily deploy to Google Play or Apple App store
  • Quickly sign your code
  • Open-source

Overview:

If you’re a mobile app developer, then you need to be using Fastlane. While you can do everything yourself, Fastlane simplifies the process and makes it a lot quicker. This allows you to spend more time writing code and less time jumping through hoops trying to manage technicalities.

Fastlane automatically takes screenshots of your application for app store development, takes care of code signatures, and submits it to the app store in minutes. Fastlane also makes it incredibly easy to deploy your app to authorized testers for beta releases. It’s also completely free and open-source, so you’ve got nothing to lose.

 

7. HockeyApp

Key Features:

  • App deployment manager
  • Track user metrics
  • Manage updates and deployment times
  • Detailed crash reports
  • Available for all major platforms
  • Scalable for large companies

Overview:

Whether you’re a solo app developer or you manage a large company, HockeyApp is the perfect enterprise software deployment tool for all applications. It’s owned and operated by Microsoft, so they have all of the tools they need to give their users the best experience possible. They allow app developers to easily deploy their apps to the App Store, Google Play, and other online sources.

One of the most useful features is that they allow you to track all of the user metrics which makes it simple to plan out future updates and integration. You can even view detailed crash reports which let you know exactly what you need to fix.

Final Thoughts

When performing a software deployment tools comparison, you need to factor in your specific needs. If you are a company looking to streamline your existing software updates and keep track of your digital inventory, then you will likely just need an enterprise deployment tool. However, if you’re a developer who is constantly releasing small updates then you need to be looking for continuous deployment automation tools. Whatever your need happens to be, you’re bound to find a solution in our definitive tools list. Happy coding!

Steven Hansen is a founder of Techeries. He is a specialist in digital security solution business design and development, virtualization and cloud computing R&D projects, establishment and management of software research direction. He also loves writing about data management and cyber security.

Continue Reading

Technology

How The IoT Takes E-commerce To The Next Level

Published

on

Before landing your spaceship at IoT enabled e-commerce land, first, understand what is IoT. IoT or Internet of things is a technology which allows data sharing between connected devices over the internet. When this concept is used for the transaction, it is known as E-commerce.

The first thing comes to mind, Is online shopping is a type of E-commerce? Yes, it is. But how its all started. Let’s have a look….

Back in time: Invention, Innovation or mistake

We are talking about history, how the existence of IoT marked into the real life. A person named Phil Brandenberger of Philadelphia was the first human to use a credit card for shopping. It was about 25 years ago when he wants to buy Sting’s “Ten Summoners’ Tales” which cost him around $12.48.

During that time, the moment was known as “true” E-commerce.

After that time, the technology has grown rapidly and now, if we figure out the statistics of retails, it is rising around 23% per year. The lifestyle of today’s generation depends on online shopping, online friendship through social media, e-business, online games etc. It shows the buzz of online internet things, where converting these connected gadgets into a profitable business is the primary concern of an organization. So, IoT with E-commerce has provided a connected platform to the retailers.

Let’s come to the main agenda of this article, How IoT has brought evolution in the field of E-commerce marketing.

Surveillance:

IoT helps e-commerce vendors to maintain the inventory record with the use of IoT enabled sensors. It assists in real-time data gathering and analysis while setting up the new goal to accomplish a task. It captures every critical detail of the product without any human hindrance. IoT reduced those factors which may dissatisfy the consumer such as product availability, product expiry dates, batch Id and many more related aspects by generating a prior notification related to the product. In case of product shortage, IoT informs the administration before stock becomes empty by automatically creating an order.

Optimization:

IoT helps to optimize the overall productivity of e-commerce business. It also reduces the probability for over-stock in the warehouses. IoT sensors monitor numerous factors which may affect the quality of product such as temperature, heat etc. It covers a number of the question as well which are arising in your mind right now such as how the order will reach into the warehouse, what are the inventory levels, pick -up timing etcetera. For instance, if we take an example of Amazon, which is the biggest giant in the e-commerce market, uses IoT installed robots which take care of picking, packing and many other jobs which ensure the effectiveness of the product. Amazon in their warehouses uses drones facility to pick up and deliver products.

Tracking:

The primary concern while buying a product online is its condition which means it shouldn’t be broken, delivery timing and quality. This problem is sorted by the IoT sensors which track the product from the very beginning until it is delivered. In Between the process, through GPS(global positioning system) and RFID(Radio Frequency Identification) tag, it ensures the quality of the product, the shortest route such that package arrives on time, misplacement and many more.

Dash button:

This term Dash button may be new for some of us. It is a device which is an IoT enabled operated on the battery and is used for a domestic purpose to acknowledge the order management. Amazon invented dash buttons, it is full of creativeness and innovation. Only by pressing the button it informs the supplier about the shortage of product and gets it delivered.

Customer Coordination:

IoT helps the retailer to make a different identity in front of your consumer. Through this technology, a retailer enables the consumer to present their views regarding the product. It helps them to improve their product quality which ultimately makes them well-known among customers.

IoT targets your specific customers for personalized advertisement. It recognizes the shopping pattern through online browsing which in result help the business retailer to sell their product to the targeted customer. IoT is used by Walmart to track the popular product on social media.

More to go….

IoT has brought a revolution in the field of digital marketing. In this journey, IoT carries E-commerce to the next level as a partner. There are many success stories available which represent the bonding of IoT and e-commerce. We all have heard about Amazon, Facebook, Alibaba, eBay and many more. The next big question which arises is why they are so much successful? The answer is simple, They use IoT and other advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data etc., in such a way as no one thought before. Continuous improvement, creativeness, and customer-centric (3C’s) will be the key factors behind a huge revenue. An enormous amount of data is generated through these platforms every day. These companies leverage the use of machine learning and big data analytics to analyze the collected data for pattern recognition, decision making, prediction and many more useful operations to attract more qualified leads and maintain a prosperous relationship among customers. Hadoop is one such big data analytics framework used for analyzing this information. To become the part of this flow, you can join the Hadoop Training program available over the internet.

IoT had made a significant impact on E-commerce businesses. Its smart gadgets such as sensors, actuators etc., make the businesses to go at the peak concerning capitalization and revenues.

IoT improves the quality management, data hierarchy, tracking, planning, analysis and many other critical factors which play an essential role in organizational success. There are other countless factors as well which help the business retailers and other sectors to grow and earn. IoT will help around 70% of the retailer from all over the world to improve their customer relations which will enhance their image in the market and make them stand and spread globally. It shows that the businesses related to E-commerce will be the future of the digital market.

Now, it depends on us how we use IoT and make best possible profits from the market. Possibilities of innovation with technology is countless. So, use it precisely and efficiently. This article may have given you at least some insight about IoT and E-commerce and how they are related. If not, then read it twice.

Continue Reading

Technology

How to Generate Leads More Effectively with CRM Software

Emma James

Published

on

CRM software or customer relationship management software refers to the suite of applications that helps organizations in managing all their CRM efforts and channeling them in the right direction. The software helps organizations generate leads faster and more effectively and help them nurture these leads through the different steps in the sales funnel. It comes with a variety of modules and add-on applications designed to make CRM streamlined and efficient. As this post states, the software helps organizations target more accurately and generate leads through social channels; but that is not all it could do. In this post, we will discuss more about the solution and how it can be useful for organizations.

Funnel/Pipeline Management

The other major task that CRM software helps with is the sales funnel/pipeline management. The sales funnel is the series of steps that a potential customer is put through till he or she becomes a paying customer. Sales funnels are particularly useful when the sales cycles are long, and the prospects need to be serviced differently at different points in time. Some of the usual levels that prospects go through in the funnel are a prospect, lead, qualified lead, opportunity, and customer.

At each step of the funnel, different kind of actions are needed – the prospects might need to be given a certain amount of information, the lead should be given a chance to offer his or her contact details, the lead should be qualified according to some parameters, the opportunity be offered proposals and discounts, and so on. As such, different people will be managing different parts of the process, and all of them should collaborate with one another for the steps to move on without any hitches.

With the CRM software, you can closely monitor the process across its various steps, and remedy any situation to ensure that the funnel is being implemented smoothly.

Social Media Promotions

Social media promotions or campaigns are one of the most important drivers of leads for businesses. If your social media efforts were good before, CRM software will make them better. You can integrate all your social channels like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on with your CRM system and monitor your work. You can track all your efforts easily from one place, which saves a lot of time and allows users to generate insights more effectively. Often, the results of social media campaigns can be difficult to understand – the CRM solution will help quantify and operationally them. As more and more companies look to step up their Social CRM efforts, an online CRM tool is a must to get the best results from them.

Also integrated can be the survey application, which allows marketers and customer service reps to gather better insights into customer behavior and understand customer satisfaction levels. Surveys can be launched, and results collected and analyzed from within the software itself.

Email Campaigns & Newsletters

Email campaigns and newsletters are an important part of marketing plans in organizations around the world. When you don’t have a CRM solution, running an email campaign would require you to use multiple tools and systems. You need the email addresses from the contact management application, a mass mailing application, and analytics to analyze the responses. However, the CRM software is all of that rolled into one. From the same place, you can manage all your contacts, run email and newsletter campaigns, and analyze the responses to see how effective your campaigns have been, and which aspects are to be changed to make it better. Also, the software will automatically handle subscriptions and allow respondents to unsubscribe if they feel like it.

You can run these campaigns in multiple ways – you can use a coded HTML page or build the campaigns from the scratch in the application.

Analytics

CRM is one process where lots of decisions need to be taken. Some of the routine questions which demand answers are – what is that segment that I should target, what are the discounts, if any, that I should offer, how should I qualify my leads, which kind of marketing medium gives me the best results, and so on. In the absence of effective data management and analysis techniques, these questions are answered, and decisions are taken, based on gut feelings and trial and error mechanisms.

However, with CRM software, this need not be the case anymore. The software equips CRM specialists with the tools they need to be able to answer these questions after a thorough analysis of the data so that their decisions will be data-driven, and more effective. Since data is already collected and made available for any kind of analysis, all your CRM specialists need to do is click a few buttons to become information experts. Also, sharing these insights and analyses with peers becomes much easier with the CRM solution – reports can be automatically compiled and shared in a matter of minutes.

Say you want to segment your customers based on a parameter like location or the average lifetime value they bring to you. You simply use the analytics tool to query the software to provide you with a list of all those who come under that particular segment. You can then save this segment and tailor strategies for them going forward.

Mobility

One of the greatest advantages that CRM software offers is mobility. A mobile app gives users the flexibility to organize themselves anywhere, anytime. In preparing themselves to pitch to a customer or in figuring out information that a prospective client wants, mobility is of great help.

Collaboration

Ideally, the different departments involved in CRM must work together and collaborate closely. Each department has different parts of the puzzle, and unless they all share, they will not be able to come up with the complete picture. This kind of close collaboration is very rare in organizations. What is more common is territorial warfare and blame game. Each team blames the others for not doing enough – the sales reps say that they do not have enough leads to work with, and the marketers say that the sales reps are not able to close the leads they generated for them. In the end, the organization suffers.

This also happens due to different teams using different systems to manage their operations without pooling their efforts. This is where the CRM solution is very helpful. It brings all these different departments onto a single platform and allows them to work closely. Since data is collected and stored centrally, it can be called on demand. If marketers collected any data that can help salespeople close deals more easily, they will now automatically have access to this data.

The same way, if salespeople come up with some unique insights, they can automatically share these with the marketers and customer service reps so that they can target and serve customers better. Using in-built communication tools, users can communicate with one another easily. There is also the scope to create groups and workspaces for better teamwork. A CRM solution offers unmatched collaboration opportunities for all the CRM specialists.

Integrations

Online CRM solutions are not closed systems – they offer integration capabilities that make organizations’ operations seamless and well-coordinated. Also, integrated solutions allow for an automated transfer of data, which saves a lot of time. And since the systems are integrated, there is no problem of incompatibility among systems, which is a big concern when multiple systems are used to manage different parts of the process.

There are many add-on solutions that are good candidates for integration with such as the single sign-on application, which allows people to log into multiple solutions at once and analytics tools for advanced analysis. If you need any capability from your CRM solution that is not already present – you can always integrate a solution and get it.

Data management

In CRM, data plays a huge role and is often the line that separates successful and unsuccessful transactions. Data allows CRM specialists to prepare themselves better, and when they are prepared, their efforts will be that much more effective. CRM software helps organizations store and manage all their CRM data from a central interface. With an online CRM solution, employees can access this data from anywhere, equipping them with the capability to work from anywhere, and complete their tasks anytime.

Salespeople, marketers, and customer service reps – all of them will find the software very helpful in managing the data. Since data is digitized and stored on the cloud, it can be accessed on demand. Also, there is a great need for collaboration among these divisions – after all, they all will be working with the customer at different points of time, and if they are to make these interactions more fruitful, they should be aware, and this happens through sharing.

The software offers a centralized secure database and makes data entry easier. There is a lot of automation built into the software – from data entry to storage and retrieval of documents, automation is present everywhere. All in all, you can get rid of all your data management woes if you use CRM software.

Automation

Another feature of the software that makes life much easier for CRM specialists is automation. Automation is present in almost all of the tasks in CRM. From data entry to analysis to lead qualification to pipeline management, many tasks can be automated using the software. Say you want to qualify your leads. From the data you collect from your prospects, you can automatically sort them based on their requirements. You can also assign leads automatically – the software can be programmed to route certain kinds of leads to certain people.

This automation makes it very convenient for CRM specialists – they need not worry anymore about the mundane tasks taking up most of their time. They can focus their energies on the tasks that matter most such as closing deals and coming up with better ways to target prospects and turning them into leads.

CRM solutions are a big help to all the stakeholders involved. While the benefits to CRM specialists are obvious, the software also helps senior management keep a close on happenings. Senior management can be automatically kept apprised of all the developments – as soon as a lead is generated or a deal is closed, reports can be sent regarding the same to the pertinent stakeholders.

Online solutions have made business productivity software available to organizations of all sizes – no more does one need huge initial investments or the resources to maintain the software. Online solutions can be deployed in minutes, and organizations can start using them immediately. There are numerous options available in the market today, and all kinds of organizations can get a solution with the exact specifications they need.

Continue Reading

Technology

Simple Steps To Understand Cloud-Based Badging

Dennis Rukosuev

Published

on

Whether it’s being a member of a workplace or another organization, having a badge does not only give a sense of professionalism but also efficiency. Although it may just seem like a more professional name tag, with a badging system such as cloud-based badging, you can make things like attendance and timekeeping much easier. If you’re not sure how you can upgrade your organization with an effective badging system, here is a quick overview of how our system works.

Choosing a Design:

With something that your members are going to carry every single day, there’s no question that you want your badges to be a good representation of your company or organization. With our custom design templates, you can easily choose a premade template that we will customize using your logos and colors. If you have your own layout that you want us to experiment with, we can curate a whole new custom design just for you. With physical and virtual proofs available for verification, you can ensure that your badges are looking sharp before committing to thousands of them.

Importing the Data:

One of the hardest parts of managing things such as badges is the fact that everyone needs to have one. We know it can be hard to input badge information for each and every person, and it can end up being hundreds or even thousands at a time. However, with this in mind, we’ve made it easy for you to import data to your secure cloud-based account. This way, you can simply transfer data such as names, addresses, phone numbers, titles and more in a faster, more efficient way.

Uploading & Editing Photos:

When it comes to the issuance of any type of identification, one of the worst parts is trying to get the perfect picture to represent yourself on the badge you’re going to wear every single day. Even if it’s not perfect, no one likes being stuck with a mid-sneeze photo. Let’s be honest – some photographers are not the most sympathetic when it comes to retaking photos. However, with the CELLfie tool, you’re given the freedom to upload your own photo or snap one right then and there. With the ability to enroll, capture, approve and submit photos from the comfort of your own mobile device, you’re given complete control of your personal badge.

Not only is it easy to upload the actual photo, but it also makes editing easier for authorized users to crop and adjust photos to ensure the perfect fit. With possibly thousands of badges to tend to, there’s no time to do every photo manually. This is why we offer an automatic cropping tool to ensure uniform cropping for all the photos without having to do them one by one.

Getting the Virtual ID:

No matter how good the end product is, nobody likes to wait. One of the coolest things about the Veonics Portal IDaas system is that it allows you to have an instant virtual copy of your ID. This virtual copy not only gives you 24/7 access to your ID when you don’t have your physical copy on hand, but it also allows for a complete set of tools for attendance and tracking.

Able to perform almost all the functions of a physical ID, this innovative technology includes status and authorization by barcodes or other tokenized technologies. This will instantly provide information on the current status of the member with a simple scan. The virtual copy is automatically brought up to the Veonics vID viewer when any mobile barcode scanner is used to scan the physical badge. This system provides a highly secure process for identifying active and inactive members.

Ordering the Physical ID:

Although some may prefer to keep it 100 percent virtual, we understand that sometimes having a physical ID badge can be useful. Our technology integrates all the data that is imported into the cloud-based database to make ordering physical IDs that much easier. With a simple press of a button, the badges will be made & delivered to you within two business days. Now that’s what we call express! However, with a constantly changing workforce, it can be a hassle to try to create new orders every single time there’s a new member. That is why our technology offers prepaid badging credits to manage your on-going badging requests. This way, you can easily add new badge orders to your database.

Although many may see badges as just a way to identify a worker, this simple piece of plastic can be used to monitor activities such as attendance, timekeeping, tracking and other valuable information. Not only is it a nametag, but it’s also a way to verify the identity of each member of your organization. There’s no question that an effective badging system can work wonders for your workplace.

Continue Reading

Trending