Our daily routine is enriched with gadgets and AI-based applications. Instagram, Netflix, Facebook, and digital bank advisors are all using AI or related technologies as Machine Learning (ML) or Deep Learning (DL) to a greater or lesser degree. However, AI is not limited exclusively to the management of our daily routine, but can also serve as a useful tool for various industries, complex businesses, as well as substantial departments.
Environment, Health, and Safety, abbreviated as EHS, refers to general environmental regulations, aimed at protecting public health and safety as well as the general environment from various hazards. Most large enterprises have to manage their regulatory and corporate responsibilities in terms of EHS. As EHS compliance management is very complex and even challenging, enterprises create large EHS teams and departments to effectively control hazards, operational threats, and environmental risks.
Among major areas of EHS business field, there are air emission tracking, water and chemical management, waste and hazardous materials management, safety management, as well as compliance and risk management. Failures in any of these areas can lead to serious and often long-term consequences for employee health, business success, and environmental welfare.
Management of EHS performance is a complex process. Complying with ever-changing standards, recording and tracking incidents, assessing risks, ensuring corrective actions requires effort and time and any inaccuracy or fault may lead to an injury or even a fatality, production loss, and eventually, have a negative impact on company reputation.
The major risks and challenges facing the EHS
We will tell you more about each of these risks to understand how they can be solved with the help of artificial intelligence.
Risk #1: Regulatory compliance
The most challenging area of EHS is ensuring compliance with acting regulations, permits and licenses. The reason behind it is that the number of various compliance obligations is changing at a rapid pace. In addition, the constantly changing regulatory landscape makes it harder for companies to timely manage compliance tasks, permits and policy requirements within companies and enterprises. According to Capgemini : “all managers spend over three hours per day on reporting or administration”.
Risk #2 Occupational Hazards
Another important area of EHS refers to the maintenance of a safe working environment for employees, covering all aspects of technical and facility issues, fall protection, laboratory safety as well as machinery, lifting and work equipment, etc.
Depending on the type and the size of a company, the aforementioned issues may, to varying degrees, require higher or lower priority. The mission of EHS teams and departments is to identify potential occupational hazards and conduct regular workplace inspections to help prevent incidents and injuries.
Risk #3 Natural Disasters
Everything can happen and no one is immune to catastrophes and force majeure circumstances. Fire and its prevention, rescue, and evacuation plans that can be applied to multiple scenarios of emergencies, such as accidental chemical releases, earthquakes, floods are also areas that have to be covered by EHS departments.
Risk #4 Employee Safety
This risk covers all aspects related to employee safety. Among them required compliance with general employee health, a duty of care, requirements for personal protective equipment, monitoring of employee safety gear. To limit the effects of this risk, EHS teams provide employees with pieces of training and necessary resources to ensure that they keep their health top-of-mind.
Risk #5 Environmental Impact
Another EHS core competence is risks posed to our environment or living organisms by companies’ emissions or inefficient resource usage. Effective management of these risks enables companies to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE FOR RISKS MITIGATION
Artificial Intelligence (which embraces in our case Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing) is widely portrayed as the future superpower affecting not only our daily lives but also businesses. With its ability to perform human-like tasks, AI has proven to be an efficient tool for many complex tasks that in the past required human labor.
Today, computers and AI-powered software are taking over many human work processes, performing them more efficient and error-free. To put it simply, AI is mostly described as “human intelligence performed by a machine”.
On the basis of this statement, we can say that AI using specific machine learning techniques can understand, analyze, process information, and even make automated decisions.
Aforementioned Machine Learning (ML) enables computers or devices to learn from the input data without human intervention. Machine learning techniques are able to adjust to new data and constantly improve themselves due to specially programmed algorithms.
Also important to mention is Deep Learning (DL), which refers to a subset of ML, whose algorithms and techniques are similar to ML, but capabilities are not analogous. The main difference between ML and DL lies in the interpretation of the data they feed on. In DL, a computer system is trained to perform classification tasks directly from sounds, texts, or images by using a large amount of labeled data.
СOMPLIANCE AND RISK MANAGEMENT
By processing high volumes of data ( visual, audio, textual, digital), AI can provide risk and compliance managers with improved recognition of the risks they face, enabling them to spend less time on repetitive tasks and implementing risk and compliance solutions based on AI technology, thus continually enhancing risk management processes.
Risk management software analyzes significant amounts of data and singles out valuable metrics used by a company for expertizing risks. It selects appropriate assessment approaches and as a result identifies and prioritizes risks, suggesting most suitable correction actions.
AI for Compliance Management
Compliance Management Software based on AI technology can effectively manage compliance processes, meeting all regulatory and policy requirements. By analyzing and processing various regulations, permits, and company reports, AI system makes sure the company operates under all relevant standards. As a result, risk management and compliance procedures achieve maximum transparency, efficiency, simplicity, and control.
AI for Safety Management
AI-powered safety solutions allow enterprises to create a safe workplace environment for employees and reduce risks to human lives. By using computer vision and machine learning, AI-based software is able to monitor employee safety gear, employees’/ equipment presence at certain sites. When tracking entry and exit of employees to the working environment, the system assesses the suitability of their personal protection, including the equipment they carry.
AI for Incident Management
Incident management driven by AI has become an inevitable tool for EHS teams and departments. AI effectively performs such tasks as a proactive prediction of incidents, in-depth incident analysis, and root-cause assessment, as well as finds the most suitable corrective actions for each specific case. The analysis and real-time insights provided by ML algorithms help companies to rapidly respond to occurred incidents, identify patterns, correlate similar events, and get ready to handle incidents that might occur in the future.
Softengi has developed a cutting-edge emissions tracking system for Enviance, the world leader in cloud-based EHS solutions. The system allows efficiently to track and determine the volume of emissions, generate reports, and forecast prospective emission output.
A Chatbot for Preliminary Medical Diagnosis
Warning: we don’t think that chatbot can substitute a visit to a doctor. A medical chatbot is an automatic symptom checker, not a qualified medical opinion, and any treatment must be confirmed with a healthcare service provider. Yet this medical chatbot can assist with a more accurate diagnosis of millions of googlers.
43% of people google their symptoms before they visit a real doctor…and misdiagnose themselves, thinking they have a much more serious illness than they actually have. That’s a fact. We think that googling does not substitute professional consulting, but it could be much more effective in terms of diagnosis if people used medical chatbots.
We’ve created a medical chatbot that accumulates a whole database of symptoms, combines them with the biometric parameters, such as pressure and heart rate ( which are received via a smart band ) to provide multiple users with the more accurate preliminary diagnosis.
An AI chatbot usesMachine Learning algorithms with Natural Language Processing technology which can understand clinical concepts (risk factors and symptoms) efficiently, and what is more important, learn with more data to provide a more accurate preliminary diagnosis. Healthcare service provides a unique opportunity to make preliminary medical diagnostics from a patient’s health data (such as risk factors, symptoms, demographics, biometric parameters, or lab test results ).
This is how it works:
BENEFITS OF A MEDICAL CHATBOT FOR PATIENTS
More accurate diagnosis thanks to the precise biometric results. At the moment, a smart band provides an AI with the heart rate and pressure data, but in the future, it is possible to extend the number of biometric parameters adding temperature, for example.
Historic analysis of the biometric data. Smart devices, such as fitness bracelets or smart bands, can take measurements within a long period of time, thus, they will be able to provide doctors with the precious historical data. Even a historical analysis of heart rate parameters will give a doctor a more reliable picture of the diagnostic situation.
Friendly conversation. This bot can ask patients about their health in a friendly manner and provide some preliminary diagnosis even before a visit to the doctor. For many users, the possibility to talk with someone about their symptoms reduces anxiety and serves as a natural antidepressant.
Сhatbot is available in a web version which makes it easily available for older people.
The fullest database of symptoms. We used a database of symptoms provided by Mayo Clinic as we found it to be a trustworthy and available source of the information. In reality, it is possible to use any database of symptoms created by any clinic.
Technologies we used developing this chatbot: BluetoothWebApi, PWA application (web/mobile), DialogFlow + Custom NodeJS + Infermedica API
We believe that AI in healthcare can optimize many processes and make the level of services more effective. AI can provide millions of users all over the world with the attention they need when they feel the first symptoms of any illness.
AI medical chatbot can give a precise preliminary diagnosis on the basis of the database of symptoms created by real hospitals.
Once again, the medical chatbot will never substitute a visit to a doctor, but it can alleviate the work of healthcare service providers immensely by giving them more accurate information about the symptoms.
Middle/Senior Sharepoint developer (part-time)
2+ years’ of experience in implementation and management SharePoint solutions;
Experience with SharePoint online;
Experience in developing SharePoint hosted apps.
Completion of development portal parts.
Embedded Devices: Basic Notions
The world is experiencing a rise of interest to embedded systems, there is no doubt in it. This market is expected to grow at 6,1% rate from 2021 to 2025, and this growth can be explained by the demand for communication equipment and reliable consumer electronics. Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and electromobility solutions are additional factors that fuel this market growth. Embedded systems development companies offering hardware and software solutions are getting lots of attention from Asian and European companies.
As a VP of Engineering of one of the best IT service providers according to IAOP, I feel motivated to share my knowledge about embedded systems. My acquaintance with the field of embedded development began from attempts to find out which embedded devices exist, what the difference is, and how to name them correctly. At the time, I did not manage to find the information that was structured logically, and I had to gather it from different sources myself.
In this article, I would like to ease the way for those, who are starting to dive into the topic and for which it is important to understand the basic terminology in the field.
The aim of the article is to give a general idea of embedded devices without going deep into details.
Many considerations are deliberately simplified to help you understand the terms. Also, some topics were excluded from the consideration like the classification of microcontrollers, protocols for interacting with them, special microcontrollers, and microcontrollers with programmable logic. I plan to devote the next articles to these questions.
The article assumes a basic understanding of a computer structure and the principles of its operation.
CPU, Microprocessor, Chipset
In general, a computer is a device that performs operations defined by a creator or a user and provides the result of their execution in some form. Full-fledged computers are very different from embedded, but some basic concepts are the same: they all perform certain tasks. Whereas a dishwasher that has an embedded system is dedicated to one specific task (wash dishes), a general-purpose computer can perform multiple tasks. To reach this goal an embedded system is equipped with the following hardware and software elements:
CPU (central processing unit) is an electronic circuit that directly executes instructions (this concept is almost abstract and implementations can differ significantly).
IC (Integrated circuit) is an electronic circuit, placed into a housing of a chip.
PCB (printed circuit board) is a circuit board with mounted electronic components.
A microprocessor is an implementation of a CPU in a single IC (microcircuit) package. In general, the CPU does not have to be implemented as a single chip. The microprocessor is used in full-fledged computers.
A microprocessor does not have or has a very limited amount of internal memory (cache), which is used to solve problems caused by the difference in the speed of the microprocessor and external memory. Thus, the internal memory (cache) is not accessible for user tasks.
In this context, we can say that the microprocessor has no memory at all and it relies on external memory. This was done for several reasons. Firstly, in order to be able to develop these two components (microprocessor and memory) relatively independently, and secondly, the dimensions of modern memory make it inappropriate to place them in the same chip with the microprocessor.
For the same reasons, the microprocessor does not know how to communicate with external devices (including external memory), and therefore requires additional logic around it to interact with them, which is implemented in the form of a chipset – a set of additional chips without which the microprocessor is expensive, but a useless device.
To unite and connect all this variety of microcircuits, memory and other peripherals, there is a motherboard. In my case, its dimensions are such that it fits only in a FullTowerATX case, and in terms of power consumption (together with peripherals in peak loads), it can be compared with an iron. Naturally, we are not talking about any savings in energy or space on such a computer.
Imagine now that our task is to manage everyday devices that cannot accommodate a full-fledged computer. It can be a mobile phone, smartwatch, refrigerator or dishwasher. In order to implement a “computer” inside these devices, it is necessary to minimize it in size and power consumption (and as a result of cost), sacrificing everything else without which the computer will still remain a computer (that is, it will be able to perform operations and provide a result). And put everything that remains into one IC (integrated circuit), powered by an external power source (preferably a battery).
There are different ways to solve this problem:
ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) or Fixed Circuit – a specialized chip for solving a specific problem in a particular device. Its behavior is determined during production and cannot be changed, and the set of its functions is very limited, due to which they are much faster.
FPGA (Field-programmable gate array) – a microcircuit whose operation logic is configured (programmed) at the level of logical blocks. This also includes CPLD (Complex Programmable Logic Device), PLD (Programmable Logic Device).
MCU (microcontroller unit) – an IC that, like a microprocessor, executes instructions stored in memory. This is the most flexible option that is suitable for a wide range of tasks. We will consider this specific type below.
MCU (Microcontroller unit)
What will be inside such a chip? It is a CPU (in a simplified form), a minimum of memory (for a program and data), and a logic of the interaction of the CPU with the memory.
If we write a program to the memory of such a microcircuit and apply power to it, we get a “computer”. The main difference from the microprocessor discussed above is the presence of memory for the user program and data, as well as the ability of the CPU to interact with them without the help of external ICs (chipset).
The result of power optimization is a relatively low speed (which, however, is more than enough for most embedded tasks). Of course, this is not a full-fledged computer, but nevertheless it follows our instructions, and we can get the result in a form of voltages on the legs of the IC (pins), and if our task is quite simple, then often this is enough. At the same time, we significantly benefit in such parameters as Size, Weight, Cost and Energy Consumption.
Such a “computer” on a chip we will call the MCU or microcontroller.
Most often, microcontroller programming assumes writing programs that either work without the operating system (bare-bone), or based on some real-time operational system (RTOS), which provides only basic functionality for job management, memory allocation, timer management and synchronization.
If you try to apply such a “minimal” MCU in any real project, the question regarding the lack of its means for communication with peripherals arises immediately. Therefore, real MCUs are issued with a variety of additional functionality (inside the same chip), which is designed to solve this problem. These are drivers for interacting with external devices, sometimes even a graphics adapter, and the ability to work with external memory.
If the microcontroller contains some of these additional features, then manufacturers proudly call it SoC. In fact, if the MCU is a CPU with memory on one chip, then SoC is an MCU with a “chipset” for working with peripherals on the same chip, and as a result with a larger number of pins (to connect these peripherals).
Since the number of peripherals with which the microcontroller which we call SoC is not defined by anyone, these terms (SoC and the microcontroller) are usually used interchangeably and are used here as synonyms.
It should also be noted that the word SoC is a marketing term and often some MCUs called SoC to require additional logic/chips to be of any use. For example, some SoCs do not work without external memory or require special power management logic. Therefore, SoC is not always the criterion of a “self-sufficient” system on-chip.
SBM (Single-board microcontroller)
In order for peripherals to be easily connected to the SoC during the development process, the microcontroller is usually produced mounted on a printed circuit board (PCB) with a strapping that provides the microcontroller with stabilized power, a clock signal, as well as with additional peripherals (LEDs, buttons, etc.).
Such a board is called SBM (Single-board microcontroller), or, if the board is designed for prototyping, a development board. Although such boards usually have the minimum necessary peripherals, sometimes they add the logic (circuitry) necessary to simplify writing firmware to the microcontroller by developers, and also for connecting external devices, for example, sd-cards or (for more powerful ones) even a display.
In some cases, the added periphery does not fit on one PCB board (or a periphery is optional), then it is placed on another board that can be connected to the main one without adapters or wires. Such a PCB board is called an extension board or, if it is much larger than the development board, it is called a motherboard by analogy with the motherboard of a full computer.
A typical example of SBM is Arduino boards. (Please, pay attention to the fact that Arduino is the board with an SoC / microcontroller together and not the specific SoC/microcontroller installed on it).
SBC (Single-board computer)
If the modules necessary to operate a sufficiently powerful microcontroller as a full-fledged computer are installed on the same PCB with the microcontroller (for example, external memory, ethernet, USB, Wifi, HDMI, audio, etc), then such a board is called Single Board Computer (SBC).
This configuration allows you to run a full operating system on the microcontroller (from external storage, in the form of an sd card). On the other hand, this does not interfere with using the same board as a regular SBM, i.e. without an operating system or with RTOS.
It should be noted that despite the rich capabilities of Arduino and Raspberry Pi, their main task is to teach programming, rapid prototyping, and lowering the threshold of entry into the embedded development area.
Like development boards, they are not intended to be used as components of the final product. This is primarily because they are overpriced (partially due to unnecessary peripherals, partly due to marketing). High costs are not an obstacle to the listed tasks. However, it can become a significant problem in the mass production of the final product.
There is also a reasoned opinion that in an attempt to lower the entry threshold Arduino has gone so far that their educational use leads to the development of addictions among newcomers, which leads to an unwillingness to understand the details of the devices and tools that they use. The consequence of this is inefficient solutions in terms of programming and circuitry.
We examined the basic concepts associated with microcontrollers and the main differences between them. In the following articles, it is planned to pay attention to the classification of microcontrollers and protocols for interacting with them. Among all embedded software development companies choosing those that have strong knowledge of hardware and software parts are a must.
Middle PL/SQL developer
Minimum of 1-2 years of experience in a similar role;
Strong experience in PL SQL;
Strong understanding of Oracle 19;
BI tools (any).
Creation of one-time AD-Hoc requests:
Writing, modification of stored procedures, packages for periodic reports;
Visualization of the report on Power BI Report Server or SAP Business Object.
Prospects for professional and career growth;
Progressive management style;
Corporate events and meetings;
Professional and personal trainings, conferences and webinars;
Comfortable work conditions;
Friendly work environment;
Flexible work schedule.
Excellent knowledge of QA methodologies;
Understanding of SDLC;
Experience with test design techniques;
Ability to prepare test documentation such as Test-Case, Check-list, Bug Report;
Strong analytical skills;
Intermediate English level.
Experience with API testing;
Experience with such tools as Jira, Postman, JMeter, SoapUI.
Preparing test data;
Developing test documentation according to the requirements and specification;
Test execution and bug reporting;
Provide clear reporting of testing progress and results;
Researching new technologies and test tools.
Higher education (preferably technical);
Participation in commercial IT projects for at least 1 year in the role of DevOps engineer;
Understanding of CI / CD processes;
Understanding and experience with software development methodologies (Agile, WF);
Understanding of Software Life Cycle (SDLC);
Knowledge of script mov program python / groovy / bash;
Working experience with Grafana, Prometheus, ELK Stack, Kafka / Zookeeper;
Working experience with Docker, Docker Compose, Portainer, kubernetes;
Working experience with NoSQL DB (bazhano Cassandra DB);
Working experience with OS RedHat linux (CentOS / Fedora);
Working experience with GIT / Gitlab, Jira, Bitbucket, Sonarqube, Artifactory.
Knowledge of Java programming language is desirable (Core, java8);
Experience using microservices, soa;
Experience with Maven, Gradle, Ldap;
Experience with Jmeter;
Architecture of billing, provisioning systems, VAS (value added services);
Basic knowledge of building a GSM network.
Live Streaming Apps: Design. Development. Support.
Streaming services of all types are gaining constantly growing attention. Most popular and influential live streaming platforms such as YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu are raising billions on video streaming.
The reason accounting for such overwhelming numbers is the exceptional attractiveness of video as a content type for users. As listed in the PwC Global Entertainment & Media (E&M) Outlook 2017-2023, across all devices, video with its 22% CAGR rate is the fastest-growing internet media content type.
Video accounted for 84% of data consumption in 2018 and in 2023 it is expected to reach 89%. Nielsen in its Nielsen’s U.S. Video 360 Report 2018 revealed that 42% of the U.S. population had access to live-streamed online content compared to 25% in 2017.
As Cisco claims already by 2021, global video traffic will comprise 80% of all consumer internet traffic.
Not only giant vendors
Today, the video streaming segment is a highly fruitful business.
However, there always remains a possibility to gain a piece of the cake for middle and small size companies making a good use of video streaming apps. Launching your own livestream app can help you achieve the widest possible audience, enhance your brand loyalty, gain more attention to your services and/or products, and even become a new Netflix or YouTube!
Live Streaming for Entertainment, Retail, Real Estate…
Live stream broadcast for many business segments is an affordable and very profitable tool. The flow of new interactive video content can increase dwell time and incremental repeat traffic, boosting marketing campaigns and revenue opportunities. No matter what niche you work in, video streaming apps is a useful, profitable, and effective state-of-the-art solution.
This industry has long been using live video streaming platforms and services. Sports betting, show broadcast, conferences, and personal events can all be streamed live via mobile and web devices.
Given that around 85 percent of all Americans aged 18 and up own a smartphone, it becomes obvious why this method of entertainment has become so incredibly successful in recent years.
Streaming media have also found use in the retail industry which massively depends on the visual appeal of the product. Demonstration of available goods via video streaming services can enhance sales by encouraging customers to buy products when viewing a stream. Livestream shopping is already a widely used solution in retail. Alibaba, Amazon, Aliexpress have already applied livestream in their business.
Live streaming content for real estate business is one of the most lucrative social channels used for generating customers. Most real estate agents are embracing the power of live streaming to its full potential. With a live stream broadcast, real estate companies display their properties live within company stream apps. So that potential buyers can get all necessary information related to the viewed property, such as neighbors, taxes, insurance, etc.
Video streaming in healthcare primarily refers to live patient support, medical events broadcast, live trainings for doctors. Harnessing live streaming allows healthcare providers improve effectiveness of communication between healthcare employees and patients, as well as enhancing internal training activities, knowledge sharing, and collaboration among care teams.
Video streaming can also be used for controlling procedures. In Logistics live video streaming can be used to enhance transparency and control delivery processes. For instance, a camera placed in a truck can stream video to other employees in order to provide them with better transparency.
With a video streaming app, manufacturing companies can remotely monitor industrial processes and establish live communication with other staff.
How does video streaming work?
Video streaming refers to the continuous transmission of video content from a server to the end-user. A video streaming app is a platform that allows users to watch video, such as shows, conferences, movies of their choice as well as enables them to produce and share video content in real time.
Streaming allows to send and receive video data in a continuous flow over the internet. Viewing of the video is made possible right after the users’ device starts receiving the signal, without waiting for the whole video to be loaded. As soon as your device receives the beginning of a video, viewers are able to start viewing it. Moreover, it is the user choice whether to load the video or watch it livestream.
Benefits of Video Streaming
Media consumption patterns are constantly changing and becoming more and more digitized. Therefore, video content, as the most trending digital format type, is one of the best options for gaining attention, that is actually today’s new currency. In order to generate more buyers and clients, companies develop their own apps and create channels, platforms, and networks.
In 2018, world brands invested more than $90 billion in video content. By 2023, this number is expected to rise to more than $100 billion.
Brand loyalty increase
Brand loyalty is today’s financial cushion. In order to be favored, especially in the time of Covid-19, companies have to pay more attention to their customers, constantly engaging them with the company brand. embracing video streaming allows companies, to build a strong and loyal customer base.
Real-time user engagement
User engagement is extremely important for any company. Being a trending tech solution, live video streaming engages users through creating experience in real time.
A video streaming app is an effective tool for a great variety of businesses in different segments. Due to its low cost, small and middle companies can create live video streaming and promptly gain a lot of value from it.
Collaboration and community building
Streaming events and interacting with a platform allows video streaming apps to unite users, foster their collaboration and build communities. In a business context, video streaming is a useful application for team building and knowledge sharing.
Video Streaming Development and Design
Before the development of a video streaming application, a company has to define the right strategy, which contains a few important steps.
Step 1: Determining the end-user
Before launching an own streaming app, it is necessary for the company to identify the end user, in other words, who and for what purpose is going to use the app. As a live streaming app can connect two users or a fixed number of people, or stream to a wide audience, a choice is to be made between two options: user-to-user or user-to-audience.
Step 2: Selecting the streaming codecs
This step refers to data and its compression. Codecs is an approach that aims to shrink video files to a manageable size. For instance, due to the right codecs, Netflix manages to stream more than 97,000 hours of content every minute. There is a huge number of streaming codecs, so a company must find the right one, that matches its goals.
How much data does streaming video use?
Low quality video, approximately 240-320p, uses about 0.3GB (300MB) per hour.
SD quality video, 480p, uses about 0.7GB (700MB) per hour.
HD quality video, 720p- 2K, uses about 0.9GB (720p), 1.5GB (1080p) and 3GB (2K) per hour.
Full HD,4K stream, uses about 5 -7.2GB per hour.
Step 3: Choosing target devices
It is also important to identify what type of device- web, mobile, or connected TV- is targeted. Knowing where and how the estimated audience is going to consume the video content makes it easier to meet the goal.
Step 4: Identifying country’s bandwidth speed
90% of Facebook live viewers claim that video quality is the most important viewing parameter. Quality of video streaming depends largely on the bandwidth speed used in a particular country. Therefore, streaming in an acceptable quality requires that the developed app is adapted to the country’s bandwidth.
What internet speed do I need for streaming video?
Standard -at least 3Mbps
HD – at least 5Mbps
HDR – at least 25Mbps
Step 5: Development
In order to develop a quality video streaming app, it is highly recommended to turn to an experienced software vendor, who will take care of all development cycles, from programming to design.
Features to be added
User Interface (UI) Design on par with User Experience (UX) Design are the crucial elements in every streaming app.
According to PwC:
“Usability and experience are gaining on content as the factors which drive overall value in the eyes of the subscriber base and inform the consumer about decision-making process around new video service subscriptions.”
First and foremost, to be profitable any app must be attractive for its users. As we discussed in our previous article, the convenience of an app fully relies on UI/UX design- an intuitive user interface and appealing app design will help companies gain more audience, hence generate more revenue.
Whether users will use a video streaming application or not depends a lot on the video quality. Therefore, it is highly important to consider the internet bandwidth. As the users’ connection may vary from weak to strong, the video streaming app must be able to promptly adapt to the the quality of received signal.
A video streaming app must also be scalable, and therefore we recommend to incorporate Cloud databases in an live streaming app. A cloud recording option allows to save streamed videos, so that users can re-watch them.
A flexible video streaming app can provide both live streaming and/or video on-demand. On-demand video streaming platforms are becoming extremely popular. The prominent example is Netflix.
According to Statista, in 2019, 74 percent of US video consumers were using a subscription video service.
Security is an important milestone for live streaming, but unfortunately is is often underestimated. Advanced security practices can protect video data from breaches and data losses.
According to IBM, $3.9 million is the average cost of a data breach.
The company’s revenues depend largely on the monetization model it chooses. . Be it advertising, membership subscription, or content sales, an app should be well-tailored to the selected model. For instance, Twitch includes advertisements in each video stream, however, users can buy an ad-free subscription.
Softengi: Creating a video recording and production platform
Softengi has developed MVPCast, a live streaming video platform, which allows to broadcast sport streaming. This application was primarily designed for parents, enabling them to share videos and comment them jointly with other family members. However, the app has also found its use among players, coaches, and even recruiters. Implemented XR analytics allows viewers not only to watch sports in real-time, but also detect and track players, identify pass speed, best sport movements and other useful parameters.
Live streaming apps is an effective tool for improving brand recognition, enhancing revenues, and building communities. In order to get the most value of it, a streaming application should be well designed and developed. An experienced team is needed to tailor a live streaming app to company goals, needs, and, of course, its target audience. Softengi, with its 13-year experience, will help you to create for your business an effective and attractive streaming application, meeting all your desires.
XR Technologies: Guiding Light for Remote Consulting
Imagine a technician expert for a nuclear power plant providing support, assistance, and help remotely, and doing it as efficiently as on location. With remote monitoring software, it becomes possible. Avinav Trigunait, Research Director Future of Work, AR/VR and Mobility believes that “As organizations prepare for the future of work, the lines between digital and physical continue to blur and commercial spending is expected to further gain momentum over the next few quarters…”.
According to IDC, only Asia and Pacific spendings on augmented and virtual realities, that are an integral part of Extended Reality, will reach $30.7 billion, by 2023.
Extended Reality: AR+VR+MR
Remote monitoring software is based on Extended Reality (XR) technology. XR is generally referred to as a bund of technologies, namely Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR). All of them reflect artificially created reality that differs only in the immersion degree.
Virtual Reality (VR) refers to fully artificial reality. With a VR headset, users fall into a fully virtual world, which ensures total visionary and sensory immersion. Augmented Reality, by contrast, provides “semi-artificial” environment, as it does not create a new reality, but only superimposes digital objects on the existing reality. To experience AR-powered remote monitoring management, users as well require a digital device, however, unlike VR, AR-environment can be viewed through our commonly used gadgets , such as phones or tablets. In mixed reality or MR, the users interact with a new environment created by merging real and virtual worlds.
Statista, a global online portal for statistics, industry studies and surveys, reports:
“As projected in a 2019 report, the business uses of extended reality (XR) technologies worldwide will increase across all industries from 2018 to 2023, with forecasts estimating that in 2023, 35 billion U.S. dollars will be spent on these technologies by the manufacturing and construction industry alone.”
Remote Assistance and Remote Consulting
By clashing digital and physical worlds, XR has opened a lot of possibilities for various industries. One of its today’s most in-demand applications are remote monitoring management, which involves remote assistance and remote consulting, that have shown a great potential to revolutionize the traditional maintenance field.
XR applications combine live video streaming with MR technology. In essence, remote assistance enhances collaboration between employees and remote experts. Applying remote assistance solution allows technical experts to view what remote workers are seeing onsite. Moreover, auditory communication combined with visual demonstration erases physical boundaries between different sites, allowing workers to be autonomous of their location.
For instance, Porsche provided its technicians with AR glasses, that make available step-by-step guidance and schematic drawings across the line vision and at the same time allow remote experts to view everything what the technicians see in order to provide needed support or required feedback.
“Tech Live Look is the kind of digital innovation Porsche values because it raises the quality of the customer experience,” Klaus Zellmer, president and CEO of PCNA said in a statement. “By solving issues faster, our dealer partners can get their customers back into cars with less disruption. And our overall service quality increases as we share expertise more efficiently between our experts and dealer technicians.”
Additionally, by employing VR, XR takes remote consulting and collaboration to the next level. Particularly well-suited for replicating any work environment, VR allows to interact with users in an artificially created environment virtually. A prominent example is a well known automotive company Ford, which, with VR technology, has enabled its designers with a possibility to collaborate across different geographical locations so that they can virtually observe and test freshly designed vehicle models with their engineering teams.
Michael Smith, a design manager at Ford, said that this solution added “more voices to the conversation in a virtual environment, which results in more efficient design work that may help accelerate a vehicle program’s development.”
Remote Assistance: Self-Guidance VS Peer-Guidance
Speaking about remote assistance, it is important to mention that it offers two different approaches or, in other words, options: self-guidance and peer-guidance. In the first case, digital information, associated with a particular object or its component, is visualized directly on a see-through display, such as a smartphone screen or AR glasses. The augmentation appears in the relevant location and offers users step-by-step guidance by providing technical instruction on the physical location without any help of remote experts on-site.
Peer-guidance, by contrast, refers to live human support of field technicians. This application allows company experts to guide field workers in real time. When needed, by using AR equipment, subject matter experts can guide workers on location, giving them eyes, ears and hands on the ground.
Implementation of Remote Support Solutions
Before making a decision to implement a remote support solution it is necessary to consider several important issues.
1. Content Availability
In order to successfully apply XR, an enterprise has to ensure the readiness of its repository content and data available for remote support software. XR-powered systems require various types of data, such as technical metrics, system specifications, as well as valuable statistics. All these data are to be standardized in order to enable effective automation process, which is often quite challenging. As Capgemini says in its research on AR/VR “to be successful, organizations need to think in terms of information rather than hardware.”
2. Connectivity Requirements
Most of XR-based systems require a very high level of connectivity and bandwidth for efficient remote collaboration. Network connectivity and computing power are crucial elements for all XR software, especially for remote support solutions. Thus, to take advantage of remote assistance and consulting solutions, a company has to ensure the required level of network connectivity.
3. Legacy Systems
Existing technology systems, for instance enterprise resource planning (ERP) or product lifecycle management (PLM) are also to be kept in mind. Careful integration of XR tools with legacy point is a very challenging and important step in the implementation of remote support solutions.
4. Experienced Vendor
In order to eliminate all complexities of software implementation, it is highly recommended to find an experienced and reliable software provider that will help to get most out of XR by effective development and implementation of XR-powered assistance and collaboration solutions.
Benefits of Remote Monitoring Management
Instant Support in Real Time from Anywhere
Using remote monitoring software, experts can promptly provide technical support to on-field employees, customers, and even suppliers. An expert can get an easy access to a viewed object from anywhere in any part of the world and provide instant consulting remotely.
Customer and Employee Satisfaction
Due to remote support unattended access, experts can provide their help and assistance even when a client is physically unavailable, which is quite attractive for clients as they do not have to adjust their schedules to the arrival of an expert to their location. In addition, it is a very effective tool for employees who immediately get guidance from more experienced specialists.
Acceleration of Skill Development
The fact that a new generation of workers comes with limited knowledge, and that older and more competent professionals are increasingly retiring, makes companies think about how to overcome this problem. This is where XR comes to the aid, allowing a more qualified specialist to train newcomers remotely, thus accelerating the process of skill development.
Obviously, reduction of travelling costs due to the use of XR applications leads to significant cost savings.
Softengi’s experience with remote consulting
Softengi has developed a remote monitoring solution for a European manufacturer of deep drilling machines. This application connects specialists from different continents, allowing them to collaborate in real time without any delays or glitches. Moreover, Softengi team has created digital twins of equipment, namely, 100% accurate 3D replicas of deep drilling machines that can be displayed on a tablet or viewed through mixed reality glasses.
If you want to know more about this application, click here.
BI for Data Analysis: Applications in Pharma
The pharmaceutical industry and life science are more and more focusing on state-of-the-art technologies based on advanced pharma data analysis. We live in the post-data era – the time, when huge amounts of data have been already produced and the current task is to process them for a more accurate perception of the pharmaceutical market, as well as companies’ internal processes and ongoing clinical trials.
Business Intelligence solutions and Pharma Analytics systems are actively applied by pharma companies to better harness valuable data, identifying the most suitable candidates for potential drugs.
According to the Worldwide Health Industry 2020 Predictions report, IDC professionals claim that the next decade will be defined by healthcare data and the technologies needed to harness them.
Accenture and IDC Health Insights conducted a survey across 126 pharmaceutical and biotechnology leading companies from the United States and the United Kingdom and found out that most surveyed enterprises have a strong consensus about the importance of data.
CHALLENGES IN PHARMA INDUSTRY
Developing a pharmaceutical product requires a lot of effort, which self-evidently entails many challenges. The major of them are related to constantly produced data.
The influx of data generated by consumer-based health devices, namely wearable gadgets allows drug companies to directly collaborate with customers, receiving from them important data related to reactions to particular drug elements or general health conditions. However, to gain these insights, pharmaceutical companies need to process and analyze huge amounts of constantly growing data in real-time.
Past Clinical Trials
Results of past clinical trials and tests are very important for ongoing and future ones. However, to comb through in order to find valuable insight into patients’ reactions to a particular drug, adverse effects they might experience or the number of patients enrolled in the trial – is a very challenging and difficult process, especially when performed manually.
Before releasing a new drug product or pharmaceutical research, companies need to be aware of the market situation in their sphere / However, the challenging part lies in the fact that the pharmaceutical companies constantly release new products and perform new trials, which are difficult to keep track. The answer is Business Intelligence.
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE AND BIG DATA
Business Intelligence (BI) software is a new cutting-edge pharma big data solution that provides a real-time data analysis based on numerous internal and external sources. The extracted information is then visualized in an interactive way through charts, diagrams, and graphics.
Big Data refers to a large number of both structured and unstructured data. McKinsey defines it as “datasets whose size is beyond the ability of typical database software tools to capture, store, manage, and analyze”.
“…applying big-data strategies to better inform decision making could generate up to $100 billion in value annually across the US health-care system, by optimizing innovation, improving the efficiency of research and clinical trials, and building new tools for physicians, consumers, insurers, and regulators to meet the promise of more individualized approaches.”
The Pharmaceutical Business Intelligence (BI) solution is designed to gather, evaluate, and compare pharma data from multiple sources, allowing companies to operate more efficiently, improve employee productivity, increase revenue as well as enhance their competitive edge. The applications of BI solutions in the pharma industry are far-reaching.
Applications of business analytics and business intelligence solutions
The value of Big Data and advanced pharma analytics solutions allow pharmaceutical enterprises to gain a better view across their vast network. Tracking and analyzing data from supply networks, production levels, and financial transactions allows enterprises to avoid pitfalls and promptly handle occurring problems and challenges. Moreover, BI systems eliminate the need of interdependency within various departments and make it easy for them to retrieve information whenever needed. Users can view and manage data in a simple dashboard environment, which is interactive and easy-to-understand.
Marketing and Sales
With BI software, pharmaceutical companies can efficiently track sales performance and consumer behavior in order to control and improve their marketing and sales strategies. BI systems proceed external data about the market, competitors, advertising campaigns as well as efficiently evaluate current trends, market share, revenues, and sales performance. Moreover, this Pharma-Data- powered software can efficiently analyze how fresh products are performing in the market and, so that companies can take needed measures to boost their market share. By having a better view across the entire industry pharmaceutical companies applying BI solutions enhance their marketing and sales performance.
Research and Development
In a world, where “big pharma” and “big tech” collide, new opportunities emerge. With the advance of business analytics technology, the pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) processes are getting to a new level where data becomes the key to more effective and innovative trials and research. With the ability of BI to analyze a huge amounts of structured and unstructured data, visualize processed information, and even make predictions, the pharma industry will create a lot of value from the enhanced use of Big Data and reach a higher level of productivity.
“Pharmaceutical R&D suffers from declining success rates and a stagnant pipeline. Big data and the analytics that go with it could be a key element of the cure.”
The pharmaceutical R&D can use BI tools in three ways: analysis of past trials, support for current clinical trials, and predictive modeling. BI can handle and visualize the existing results and all available information about past trials, that can be useful for current or future ones. BI software also uses operational data from clinical trials for similar drugs or similar practices.
On the basis of patients’ genetic data, a BI-driven program can evaluate the risks involved with certain patients. Another area where BI proves its effectiveness is predictive modeling. An advanced BI can predict patients’ likelihood to respond to particular drugs, forecast their adverse effects, as well as recommend the needed number of people to be enrolled with a trial.
TYPES OF BI ANALYSIS FOR PHARMA
Provided by BI, market analysis proceeds external market data from Insight Health, IMS, WHO as well as data from various internet sources in order to provide pharmaceutical companies with a better view of the entire industry.
Sales analysis encompasses sales performance monitoring and consumer behavior tracking in order to identify seasonal demand, slow-moving products, outliers, and much more.
BI marketing analysis helps companies to get a better view of the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.
Analyzing and then visualizing financial information allows pharmaceutical companies to maintain expenses and create efficient.
Operational analysis enables pharma companies to get valuable information on business operations. BI software can identify general areas that companies need to improve.
Clinical Data Analysis
Clinical Data Analysis works with available information from clinical trials, extracting valuable insights, and visualizing them in an interactive way.
By constantly tracking regulatory compliance the BI regulatory analysis helps pharmaceutical companies to adhere to certain regulatory requirements, for instance, HIPAA.
BI Services for the Operational Analysis Case
Using a Power BI tool Softengi has helped MicroTechniX, a company specialized in the automation of laboratory processes, to visualize their product usage based on the company database. The BI system on par with pharma analytics provides all information in the form of diagrams and graphs, thus facilitating the process of comprehension. The Power BI tool enabled the system to automatically update reports if something is altered in the database.
The Softengi BI system regularly generates seven reports for MicroTechniX in different areas of business. In particular, the software visualizes how many unique users have accessed the product or how many new users have emerged a day. As a result, the company more clearly monitors its internal and external business processes.
The key to company success in the pharma industry is efficient utilization of Big Data. A Business Intelligence solution can efficiently process and analyze pharma data, providing insights with in-depth analytical reports, interactive dashboards, and user-friendly graphs.
In order to successfully implement a business intelligence system, a company needs to approach an experienced IT vendor. Softengi, with its high experience in Big Data, Business Intelligence, and Artificial Intelligence, enables companies to efficiently handle pharma data from multiple sources, transforming analyzed information into valuable knowledge.
Middle QA Engineer
Knowledge of testing theory;
Ability to create and work with already existing test documentation (TestRail);
Experience in manual testing from 2 years;
Knowledge of error registration software (Jira);
Experience with Git, SVN;
Testing API, web services (REST, SOAP);
Software Experience: ESB (WSO2 / EI), Application Server systems
Knowledge of Unix-like systems at the console level;
Experience with databases: Oracle, PostgreSQL;
Knowledge of languages: SQL, Java (beginner), Groovy;
Experience in methodologies: Agile / Scrum;
Knowledge and experience with systems developed in client-server architecture;
English at the level of reading technical documentation.
Personal qualities: attentiveness, fast learner, ability to work with large amounts of information.
Experience in the financial / banking sector.
IoT Solutions in the Post-COVID-19 World: New Challenges
COVID-19 has forever changed the experience of being a customer, an employee, a citizen and a human.
The impact of COVID-19 on our society and economy is unprecedented. In practically all countries manufacturing, shipping, distribution are currently heavily affected , many current projects are paused and new product initiatives are no longer considered. The pandemic has forced enterprises to reconsider their work practices and adjust them to the current situation with COVID-19. However, some companies reap benefits of IoT applications in this turmoil.
Fortunately, we live in the era of sophisticated digital technologies. A broad array of devices and software allows us to operate and respond to this crisis in a way that would have been impossible in the past. Such technologies as Artificial Intelligence, Extended Reality, Data Analytics and Internet of Things are helping companies and governments to solve unique challenges posed by COVID-19.
In our previous article, we discussed effective IT solutions and applications that prove useful for coping with the pandemic outbreak.
COVID-19: Boosting digital transformation
Apart from the dark sides of the coronavirus that we are all aware of, the virus outbreak has forced many companies to innovate at a rapid pace. In order to stay competitive, enterprises are looking for cutting-edge applications to avoid drowning in the sea of restrictions and precautions caused by the virus. Among them are work-from-home infrastructure, collaboration tools, visualization solutions, VPN networking and numerous other solutions, that help enterprises to effectively operate in times of crisis digitally.
IBM’s new CEO claims that the spread of coronavirus will push companies to speed up adoption of modern technologies.
McKinsey, a world-known consulting firm, believes that “ COVID-19 crisis is likely to significantly accelerate the shift to digital and fundamentally shake up the business landscape”.
According to McKinsey, before the COVID-19 outbreak, 92 percent of companies had been considering digital transformation of their business models, but the crisis actually revealed how vulnerable most companies are and how urgently they require transformation.
Gartner’s recent Business Continuity Survey states that only 12 percent of enterprises are highly prepared for the impact of Coronavirus.
IoT on the frontline
The first measure that is taken by all countries hit by COVID-19 is self-isolation. As a result, most enterprises have started looking for creative solutions to overcome social isolation and enable their businesses to keep afloat. The way out lies in technologies, namely those technological solutions that allow companies to operate remotely, and first of all Internet of Things (IoT)-driven applications. Benefits of IoT in times of COVID-19 are undeniable.
As maintained by Softengi CTO Ilya Gandzeychuk,“as a experienced provider of IoT-powered applications, we are seeing increased interest in our solutions at the moment . Our customers are looking for remote assistance applications and IoT-driven analytics.”
According to MarketsandMarkets, because of the outbreak of the Coronavirus, by 2021 the IoT global market is expected to increase from current USD 150 billion to USD 243 billion, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13.7%,. The wide adoption of IoT software is caused by the need to stay connected in times of self-isolation.
Adoption drivers and benefits of IoT
During any crisis, the decline in demand and slow production forces companies to look for new ways to operate with minimum expenses. In the time of coronavirus outbreak , IoT sensors on par with IoT analytics enable companies to efficiently operate remotely, without interrupting production or shipping.
As employees now work from home, it is very difficult to control and monitor all workflows. Transparency with regard to whereabouts and work performance, about goods and their transportation have become additional challenges posed by COVID-19.
Recent months have shown that in order to become self-evolving during the current pandemic and be able to withstand the virus disruptions, organizations need process automation . Experts believe that crises force business leaders and organizations to look for innovative ways to stay competitive. Mark Muro, a Senior Fellow at Brookings Institution says: “Economic literature over the last decade shows that investments into automation are made specially during a crisis.” A McKinsey report states that 45% of today’s work can be automated.
Detailed information on Softengi projects in the field of Process Automation can be found here.
With the outbreak of Coronavirus, businesses have to adjust to the changing needs of their employees, customers, suppliers as well as comply with government restrictions imposed during the pandemic.. In order to efficiently operate in the time of the crisis, enterprises are forced to embrace remote working tools and applications.
Industries go digital
With every industry affected by COVID-19, the amount of potential effective applications designed to specific business areas is rising, with IoT leading the tech race. The main business segments that can reap most benefits from IoT systems in this time are Healthcare, Agriculture, and Retail.
The major area that is currently embracing numerous IoT solutions in order to ease the burden for its healthcare workers as well as to promptly provide needed help to patients is healthcare.
According to Foster Research, healthcare technologies have now become the greatest priority for IoT service providers.
The most spread IoT applications in Healthcare are telehealth consultations, digital diagnostics, and remote patient monitoring.
Telehealth services primarily refer to remote patient consultations. In times of self-isolation, when hospitals are full and healthcare professionals are scarce, telehealth consultations powered by IoT technology allow doctors consult and help patients remotely. Due to telehealth applications, during the coronavirus outbreak patients with chronic diseases do not have to visit healthcare institutions, putting themselves and others at risk,, as they can easily get the needed consultation on a video call. In this case, IoT connects the patient with a device equipped with IoT sensors, that remotely monitors the patient’s health state and sends the information obtained to the doctor at the other side.
Softengi has developed a telemedicine app that allows to contact any doctor anywhere. The app is a kind of Uber for medical services. In essence, it is a database of medical specialists, which uses numerous filters to allow the patient to easily find the needed specialist and to receive a consultation through a convenient mobile application.
Another telehealth service is digital diagnostics. Embedded IoT systems are wearable devices providing their users with a self-monitoring tool. The idea behind is that myriad IoT sensors in a wearable device easily estimate the patient’s health parameters, promptly providing users with information about their general health state. Such use of IoT devices in times of coronavirus speeds up the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, benefiting both the patients and their healthcare providers, especially.
For example, a Health Tech Company Kinsa has developed smart thermometers, that aggregate consumers temperature and symptoms data. This real-time information allows Kinsa to track outbreaks of COVID-19 in the U.S so as to stream the allocation of health resources.
“Our mission is to curb the spread of infectious illness through early detection. A thermometer is a means to an end,” says Kinsa founder and CEO Inder Singh. “If you want to know where disease is spreading, you have to know the symptoms. The best way was to piggyback off a tool [people] already had.”
With the ability of IoT technology to virtually connect doctors with their patients, IoT-driven systems can easily track their users state and fully automate patients-care workflow by the IoT device capturing and monitoring data and sending the output to healthcare specialists. With IoT systems, healthcare providers can access real-time patient data as frequently as necessary in order to get better visibility into the patient’s health condition.
As an example, Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center (SPHCC) uses a temperature sensor system to monitor COVID-19 patients in order to reduce the risk of caregivers exposure to the coronavirus.
Another industry that can reap significant benefits from IoT tech is Agriculture. The agriculture industry is dealing with its set of problems starting from uncertainty in supply and demand to labor shortages, and personal health.In order to get through the current pandemic crisis without heavy losses, agriculture companies start to accelerate their tech initiatives, paying much attention to IoT-based solutions.
By applying advanced IoT analytics and IoT platforms farming can get to a new level. For instance, sensors placed in fields allow farmers to get detailed maps of topography and resources in the area, as well as such variables as acidity and temperature of the soil. As a result, with IoT, agriculture companies can enhance their veterinary diagnostics, crop protection, as well as general farming processes.
Softengi has developed a set of advanced solutions for agriculture, starting from machinery tracking to remote crop analysis. As a result, this set of tech solutions help companies to make up precision farming or precision agriculture.
The retail sector is one of many industries that has been heavily hit by COVID-19. Due to the isolation restrictions, stores closed their doors to customers, employees started to work remotely, and suppliers shut down their deliveries.
The most obvious benefits of IoT are in the retail industry. IoT sensors and obtained data allow retailers to monitor customer satisfaction, control food safety, track assets, and provide supply chain insights. In the time of coronavirus pandemic, when retail companies have to cut costs and still remain competitive, Internet of Things is becoming a key instrument.
The outbreak of COVID-19 is having a significant impact on most industries. In order to get through and stay alive most companies are forced to reconsider their business models, paying more attention to available innovative tech solutions. Internet of Things with its ability to connect people, be it employees, customers or vendors, provides new opportunities in various spheres, assisting various enterprises to operate more efficiently during isolation. Softengi, with its vast experience with Internet of Things applications, is ready to help you not only to keep functioning, but also succeed in this time of uncertainty, reaping benefits of IoT software.
Senior ETL Developer
Experience as a Senior PL SQL Developer, Senior ETL Developer (ETL Informatica 9.5.1);
English – Intermediate level;
Knowledge of OS Linux, shell scripts, java;
Experience with Oracle DBMS 19.
Optimization of existing ETL streams on Informatica and implementation of a DWH stream.
AI-Powered Online Learning Platform for the TeenGeeks School
The client, an NGO organization from South Africa called TeenGeeks, decided to create a platform for online education that would combine the best features of the edEX and CodeBlocks and provide more children with access to computing education.
That is how Softengi got the request to build a modern online education platform for thousands of young students called ms. Zora. This AI-enhanced platform embraces the functionality of the video course storage and a learning management system.
A database of online video courses where all the participants can register and pass a certain course and receive the completion certificate.
A learning management system for the education of the students on all the levels.
ONLINE LEARNING PLATFORM FEATURES
An important feature of this learning management software is the integration and the possibility of adaptation of ms. Zora to the South African educational system.
Using this online platform, students of all levels (from elementary school to college) and across disciplines (such as math, computer science, language arts, social studies) can learn remotely improving their skills step by step. More than that, the system is purely interactive: educators share stories, exchange resources, ask students questions.
Using artificial intelligence algorithms, we have also managed to improve the system with “smart hints” and automatic tasks check.
E-LEARNING PLATFORM DEVELOPMENT: USING BLOCKS
Several words about the educational approach of this system. The learning process is done with the help of code blocks. This approach is visual, easy to perceive for multiple users, and is efficient.
Blocks are puzzle piece shapes that are used to create code
In addition, each student can program his/her own interactive animations, stories, and games.
Code blocks structure helps young people learn to think creatively and systematically.
That’s how children are taught robotics, one of the most perspective and interesting technological directions today.
Gamification is one of the major educational trends today according to the World Government Summit so it’ no wonder that the most prestigious tech schools tend to implement it all over the world.
From the technical perspective, this is a user-friendly web application, an e-learning system, or a learning management system (LMS). The development of this type of software requires experience and expertise because UI/UX design, thorough QA, and adaptability have paramount importance.
Learning management system development today can be a real investment for any educational institution or a business because the trend for remote training and education won’t go away. More than that, the emphasis will be made on microlearning and experiential education.
According to IT Web, the virtual intelligence educational platform Ms Zora will be introduced in 70% of SA’s 24 000 government schools by 2023.
BI SERVICES KEY ELEMENTS
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION CONSULTING
It is an integral part of our BI solutions implementation process. We study the current state of your business, changing needs, and the existing ICT landscape to offer the best solutions.
We consider data strategy to be the basic element of business intelligence services strategize a unique methodology of effective data collection, storage, analysis, and visualization. We also provide practical recommendations on data governance and business process which would help your company to unleash the whole potential of the data.
ETL FOR BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE
Ensuring continuous collection and transformation of raw data is the key to building real-time analytics. Our experts provide configuration and management of data pipelines from a variety of corporate and external systems into a single database (DWH).
In reality, the ETL process is much more complex than a simple data collection, transformation, and load. First of all, ETL includes the preparation of a detailed map of trusted data sources and flows. Second, the definition of reference formats and coordination of access to data with it holders. Third, the distribution of rights to the converted data, documentation of the entire process and many other technical and organizational issues that our experts face in practice.
Building DWH is a must-have attribute for a modern enterprise that uses different informational systems. Should storage be deployed in the cloud or on-prem; how to ensure its security; how to prevent data loss and ensure its recovery in case of emergency situations; how to provide authorized access to data and configure procedures for its support?
Our experts know the answers to these and many other questions that allow us to implement and seamlessly integrate DWH into the existing ICT infrastructure, with minimal impact on the performance of other corporate systems.
Data visualization is a key approach to make the data comprehensible and easy-to-use for even non-technical specialists. Dashboards and data stories are essential to ensure quicker decisions based on key performance indicators. Nevertheless, the visualizations themselves sometimes mislead decision-makers, due to oversimplification, overreliance on visuals, and visualization algorithms limitations.
Often data outliers or unique situations require an alternative approach for data visualization. Our experts use best data paid and open-source visualization tools, such as Tableau or Power BI, to make complex look easy with colorful interactive dashboards with a sufficient amount of deep-dive charts, graphs, tables… We are ready to turn a sketch of any complexity into an interactive dashboard that allows managing your organization.
Learning about your problem to offer you relevant BI tools
At least 2 years on the relevant position;
Experience in supporting customer service software systems (CRM) and / or web systems;
Knowledge of programming / scripting, SQL, service and interaction with the customer, knowledge of Windows and Linux systems;
Experience in building high-quality IT processes, quality monitoring systems;
Project management experience, experience working with various IT manufacturers;
Experience in supporting, implementing and administering crm / callcenter / web systems, developing software solutions, strong knowledge of Windows and Unix systems administration, understanding and knowledge of application level protocols;
Experience in building high-quality IT processes, quality monitoring systems.
Communication on architecture, support of an integration ticket;
Development of technical specifications for the interaction of systems;
Preparation of technical specifications for the contractor to integrate;
Documenting tasks for the contractor;
Display control as agreed.
HR System Software for a World Bank Program
Human resources management software (HRMIS) has evolved over the last few decades: it is much more than the consolidated list of employees for HR departments. Today, HRMIS is one of the most valuable resources for strategic insights in terms of talent management and the business efficiency of the company.
Thus, managing human resources becomes a demanding and complex task that is impossible to do without high-quality technologies.
The majority of businesses from healthcare, public, telco, manufacturing, retail business sectors prefer building custom HR software to installing ready-made SaaS as it results in higher effectiveness in terms of functionality.
This is one of our many complex projects for the public sector sponsored by the World Bank. At Softengi we have accumulated an impressive experience in building custom HRMIS for a public sector and are ready to share this unique expertise.
The main goal of the project was to provide over 22.000 of the budget organization employees of the Republic of Tajikistan with the possibility to make their operational activities, such as people’s management and payroll, more effective, coherent, and transparent.
A few words about the project. Typically, HRMIS software assists with the traditional operational activities of the HR department, such as staff management, personnel onboarding, and training, payroll and compensation management, pension and allowances management, etc.
In our case, HRMIS developed for the Republic of Tajikistan is supposed to support up to 10,000 simultaneous users who geographically spread with a time of quick response to provide a seamless operational flow of the HR operations within the whole country. So the task was a bit more challenging compared to custom software development of HR software, yet we have managed to tackle it.
HRMIS SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS for the WORLD BANK PROGRAM
HR systems built for the public sector must be a bit more complex: they need to have multi-user access and stability at the same time. Not talking about the absolute level of security. They also have to be user-friendly in terms of content management and information exchange since it will be accessed from multiple websites by multiple users of different ages. These are additional functions that had to
Payroll, human resources management and control on the basis of a cost center that emphasizes responsibility, transparency, and accountability at all levels
Separation of reporting organizations in the structure of the budget organization;
A simple and transparent system of services and reconciliations;
Rapid and effective reporting;
A comprehensive and interrelated internal control system that provides a clear audit trail and identification of the initiator of each transaction, as well as identification of the terminal used.
Core modules of the HRMIS system we developed according to the custom requests of the government of the Republic of Tajikistan.
1. Module: Employee data. Since human capital is the most valuable resource of any organization, keeping all employee data centralized for its timely update is important for a business of any size. This module accumulates all possible personal information of the employees, such as education, contact information, skills, awards, etc.
2. Module: Budget Organization Structure with organizational structure, personnel & staffing, tariff system of salaries, and the registration of civil service positions submodules. This a custom, non-traditional module for public organizations which includes data about budget organizations, accounting information for various positions, qualifications, types of positions, etc.
3. Module: Position Management which accumulates all the data about current positions in the public sector (previous positions, orders, current positions). This module allows accumulating all historical data about employees’ positions for more effective hiring and transferring processes.
4. Module: Personnel selection and recruitment with leave management as a submodule for storing and managing the information about leaves. This module contains all the information about all types of leaves ( sick leaves, maternity leaves) inside the system. Performance appraisal is another submodule that will be included in personnel selection and recruitment.
5. Module: Payroll with allowances and additional payments and staff payments submodules is designed for storing payroll processing data according to a number of criteria, such as taxes, deductions, benefits, etc.
6. Module: Accounting for working hours. Module for tracking the man-hours of the employees in the public sector. This module is developed for storing and processing the information on payment cycles, types of payment, data on employment.
7. Module: Reporting. Creating visual reports comprehensible for non-technical employees from the HR department. Reporting is one of the most valuable functions of the HR software because visualization of the complex data must be comprehensible and easy to use.
8. Integrations with existing public systems were one of the most complex tasks of the HRMIS development for the Republic of Tajikistan as the system has to be integrated with ERP modules, Tax Committee of Tajikistan system as well as the national system of financial management – TFMIS.
BENEFITS OF THE CUSTOM SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT
Many companies can’t see the difference between custom software created with their companies’ goals in mind and software as a service. As a rule, eve ready-made SaaS must be upgraded and improved to fir the operational model of the company. More than that, custom software, as HRMIS we have developed for the UNDP program, has a number of indisputable benefits:
Security. When developing an HR system, special attention should be paid to security especially in the public sector. Not all companies can choose cloud storage for their information systems, that is why it’s adequate to offer on-premises option.
Response time. Despite an incredible amount of users ( more than 22k ( the architecture of the system presupposes more than 500k users!) the system’s response tie must not be more than 7 seconds.
Support of 22.000 users simultaneously located in geographically various regions.
UI/UX design should fit the broadest target audience, thus, it should be intuitive, user-friendly, and adaptable.
Reports. One of the main goals of the HRMS systems is the analytical reports that can be generated for the HR teams. Comprehensible and visually appealing statistics results in data-driven tactical decisions.
Our long-term cooperation with the World Bank is still not over so it is early to make conclusions about the results of the HRMS software implementation. One thing is clear: the digitization of the HR sector is inevitable because people have always been and will always remain the most valuable resource of any company. And only responsive and secure information systems can help in managing the growing number of employees in public and private companies.
Gitlab CI (configure deployment for various projects), gitlabrunner (configuration) ;
Experience in microservices deployment and configuration ;
At least 2 years of experience in IT projects as a systems analyst;
Practical experience in collecting, analyzing and formalizing customer requirements; Writing and approving the life cycle of technical documentation;
Understanding of REST-architecture, DBMS basics;
Knowledge of standards for building IT services;
Professional knowledge of notifications UML, BPMN, SQL, Enterprise architect, Jira, Confluence.
Knowledge of telecommunications networks (GSM, GPRS, EDGE, CDMA, etc) and TCP / IP, Ethernet, IP infrastructure is desirable;
Experience with Billing, DWH, etc. systems is desirable.
Study and analyze the architecture and interoperability of existing telecom systems and IT systems;
Analyzes customer needs, possible limitations, and proposes a target solution architecture coordinates options with stakeholders;
Carries out expert evaluation of the project documentation developed by the customer (briefs, concepts, etc. – hereinafter referred to as Business Requirements or BV);
Coordinates business requirements with the customer and other interested parties;
Designs technical solutions and manages the lifecycle of solution requirements;
Models business processes within the project, develops decision models
Creating and coordinates plans, protocols of integration, client testing, is responsible for the organization of testing
Prepares technical documentation and instructions for the maintenance and operation of the implemented platforms;
Prepares orders, outfits, tasks to perform work on technological and IT platforms in accordance with company procedures.
IT Solutions to COVID-19: Softengi Took Part in CEI Extraordinary Call
Truly global. Most uncertain. More complex. International Monetary Fund experts claim that “this crisis caused by COVID-19 is like no other”.
Thus, it needs the response “like no other.”
At Softengi we offer technological solutions to the most complex problems and unique use cases simply because we know how to make technology work. And because we believe in the power of digital transformation especially in critical times.
Due to the pandemic caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 Сentral European Initiative launched an Extraordinary Call for Proposals tackling specific needs at the local level in healthcare, education, and MSMEs. Softengi joined the call offering technological solutions in healthcare that can mitigate the risks of healthcare service providers and speed up the global process of recovery from COVID-19.
The challenges like this one invigorate the Softengi team: our software engineers and architects, business analysts, and QA specialists feel inspired with the possibilities. They brainstorm hundreds of ideas and recall all their experience and expertise to come up with extraordinary IT solutions.
To battle COVID-19 we developed and offered several relevant IT solutions for healthcare:
Online Medical Image Analysis of pneumonia patients with the help of neural networks.
The solution is based on the determination of lung lesion sites using an artificial neural network and the issuance of a result in the form of a snapshot indicating the lesion areas. Using 17k medical images we’ve managed to achieve a 99% accuracy of lesion areas identification. Read more here.
A voice checklist app based on voice recognition technology was created for anesthesiologists in order to reduce the number of human mistakes and random actions during medical operations. Read more here.
The spheres where extraordinary solutions are needed according to CEI include but are not limited with healthcare and telemedicine (MED), education and e-learning/distance learning (EDU), and Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs).
ADDITIONAL IT SOLUTIONS FOR HEALTHCARE FROM SOFTENGI
Mobile/Web Telemedicine Apps for remote consulting. The solution that can alleviate the burden of face-to-face consulting for millions of doctors around the world and make online consulting ( video, audio, chat) secure and effective for patients who need the most right now.
A Chatbot for Preliminary Diagnostics. The solution that can provide patients “googling” their symptoms with the preliminary diagnostics on the basis of the biometric parameters.
Bacteria Identification & Classification with CV/ML. A unique technological solution from Softengi which makes medical equipment smarter helping to define the pathogenic bacteria with the 95% accuracy using Computer Vision and Machine Learning.
Augmented Reality tool for Remote Medical Consulting. A solution that combines augmented reality with the telehealth app offering an additional tool for more precise diagnostics.
Technology is the ultimate resource for the adaptation to the new changes, we always knew it and we are offering our consulting services now to any company that needs to “evolve” today
Ability to work with technical documentation, writing test documentation (test plan, test case, test protocols);
Understanding and experience of working with defects;
Experience with version control systems, Jira, Confluence, SOUP-UI, Jmeter;
Understanding of principles building of the database; Experience with Oracle DBMS 10/11; Knowledge of PL / SQL.
Practical experience in testing and implementation of systems in the field of telecommunication;
Understanding of principles encourage web applications (JSON / XML / REST / SOAP);
Experience with Agile Methodology; Experience with Grafana, ELK Stack;
Experience with PL / SQL;
Basic examination of GSM standards, system architecture, architecture of support systems.
Analysis of software requirements according to the technical specifications for development (revision or development of new systems, services, functional);
Prepares with the contractor, or independently technical specifications (test plans, test cases, test reports) for software testing and agrees with the working group (developers, analysts);
Selects a testing strategy (manual, auto, regress, smoke tests);
Performs software testing;
Identification and formalize in the defect management system, defects detected during testing, monitors their relevance and timely checks their direction;
Prepares documentation on test results;
Provides recommendations for improving procedures, systems and tools related to ensuring the quality of the software testing process.
Web Portal Development
The popularity of web portal solutions is explained by their core features: they allow to consolidate valuable information in one place and provide secure access to it via a web browser.
The majority of modern businesses, like this MBA school or a Georgian bank, choose web portal software in order to optimize operational activities, mitigate insecurity risks, and get rid of repetitive processes.
Apart from that, the following characteristics of an effective web portal solutions are important:
1.User -friendly and intuitive UI/UX design for multiple users. As web portal are potentially used by people of different age, gender, and education level, they must be easy to understand and navigate.
2.Easy content management. The main purpose of any web portal is to consolidate data, thus, adding, managing and analyzing it should be easy.
3.Data visualization. Non-technical specialists should be able to explore and visualize the most valuable data that was accumulated inside the web portal with the help of modern data visualization tools.
4.Table/mobile-friendliness. Mobile applications expand the target audience of any portal thus web solutions must be adapted to smartphones and tablets.
Corporate Web Portal Solutions: Prerequisite of Data Consolidation
Web portal solutions serve one major purpose: they provide authorized access to the information in a web browser.
These are basically secure websites that provide users with single-point access to the most relevant information. Web portals usually accumulate tons of various content ( e-mail, documents, surveys, chats, polls… etc), structure it and have an effective and easy to use interface to work with this content. Web portals development is getting more and more popular because in a reality each and every business has a pool of sensitive information it needs to share with employees, vendors, partners, clients.
TYPES OF MODERN WEB PORTALS
There are different types of web portals: B2B &B2C customer web portals, corporate web portals, vendor web portals, employee web portals, learning web portals. Though they share the same basic architecture, they have different purposes and, thus, there are distinctive features that differentiate them.
Client web portals are supposed to give clients ( both B2B and B2C) access to the information which is relevant for them: product catalogs, policies, invoices, payments, deliveries. Сlient web portals speed up the communication between businesses and clients and make automate the majority of operations.
Vendor or partner web portals are basically online platforms for multiple vendors and partners respectively who aim to work with the core business that created this portal. Web portal solutions have the possibility of online bidding and quotes posting and review, invoice and payment issuance.
Learning web portals are created for users who want to study new information in a comfortable digital environment. For these purposes, many businesses, educational institutions, courses create web porta software. E-learning web portals allow customers get access to the information they need in a comfortable manner, pass tests, track their progress with the help of data analytic tools.
Employee/corporate portals are the must for the companies that undergo digital transformation. These portals incorporate multiple features for effective communication and collaboration of the employees: content management, chats, forums, documents exchange, employee training. Softengi, one of the leading web portal development companies on the Eastern-European market has extensive experience which we would love to share.
Employee/ corporate portals are all about effective information sharing, transparency, and accessibility of corporate processes. Web portals can be beneficial if there are one or several issues the company aims to solve:
Ineffective operational activity, many duplicated processes. Lack of unification and transparency leads to time & money losses.
Poor and superficial knowledge/document management processes of the employees.
Unconsolidated database of content. Employees keep business-related information on personal computers or in a cloud.
Ineffective and chaotic communication between colleagues performed via multiple channels which leads to repetitive processes and inability to track the results of this communication.
The process of hiring & onboarding is puzzling and is not systematic.
No possibility to track historical data of operational processes.
No possibility of employees to contact C- level specialists directly
Ineffective collaboration in terms of remote offices. Sometimes the companies which have offices in numerous
No possibility to reach the employees who don’t work in front of their PCs, like in case of a plant or a factory
Unclear and ineffective data visualization.
Employee portals or corporate portals are equally important for the HR department as well as for the COO, CIO, CFO, and CMO. Corporate web portals become hubs for communication, cooperation and all sorts of interaction between employees.
ADDITIONAL PERKS WE OFFER FOR CORPORATE WEB PORTALS
A Tool for Data Visualization. It turns out that many non-technical specialists like project managers, operational managers want to see the analytics of all the processes going on inside the enterprise web portal via a comprehensible and user-friendly medium. That’s where Kibana comes in hand. It’s an effective data exploration and visualization solution.
Using common statistics tools, such as histograms, pie charts or heat maps, web portal users get access to operational intelligence. Also, Kibana is closely integrated with the Elasticsearch, one of the most effective analytics and search engines on the market.
Smart Survey – a Tool for Data Accumulation. Consolidation of the information is impossible without regular surveys. Many companies accumulate valuable data from the employees’, clients’, partners’ questionnaires to extend the general picture with the most up-to-date data. In most cases, they use popular survey templates available on the market, such as Google Survey or Survey Monkey. This approach proves to be ineffective and, what is more important, insecure. Smart survey solutions help companies collect sensitive data, process and analyze it.
ALL MODERN PORTALS HAVE TO BE:
Mobile/tablet – friendly web portals. The majority of modern users prefer to have access to the information they need the minute they understand this need.
Easy Content Management. One of the major purposes of any portal is to provide users with access to the information they need and the ability to add this information when required. We have our own CMS which gives users the possibility to create different pages on the basis of the set of templates or create a unique interface using specific color schemes.
UI/UX Friendly Web Portals. As portals are aimed to alleviate the navigation of users between tons of various content. Without friendly UI/UX any web portal, regardless of the amount of useful information, any web portal is useless.
Integrations with the systems that are important to the clients.
Cloud storage or on-premises solution. Cloud storage is not an option anymore, it’s a necessity: only cloud storage (it can be AWS, Azure, Google Cloud).
ADA compliance (American Disability Act) which means that people with disabilities must be able to reach the information on the web portal easily.
The main purpose of creating web portals is the desire to provide users with a multifunctional platform that will combine services in various areas of activity within one coherent concept. Developing a web portal software can solve the following tasks for a business. Automationof repetitive processes – integration with various systems allows you to be in touch with users, quickly provide them with the necessary information and personalize the business. Сonsolidation of information – the portal allows you to create a point of concentration of narrow-profile information. This can be a specific topic, communication and document management for a company, discussion of issues in one of the areas of life, and so on. Security. Web portal software is created so that only authorized users can get access to it.
Higher technical education ;
At least 3 years of working experience in IT Infrastructure ;
Experience in administering and supporting Active Directory, ADFS, DNS, S4B, Exchange 2010/2016 / online, PKI, SMB, management of external domains and certificates, O365 ;
English: communicative skills, understanding of technical literature, business correspondence.
Administration and support of the services mentioned above;
The solution of incidents related to the above services ;
Vendor case management ;
User support within the above services ;
Writing and maintaining documentation, work reports ;
Conducting procurement processes, tenders .
Power BI Services for a Lab Process Automation Company
A few words about our client. MicroTechniX is a company that specializes in the automation of laboratory processes. The company’s team takes care of the entire lab process from research and development to after-sales, such as maintenance and repairs.
We assisted Microtechnix in building comprehensive visual analytics of one of their core processes: lab equipment utilization. Before diving deeper into our project- BI services for this company, we see it necessary to explain some terms, like “cytomats.” Cytomate is a 100% automated incubator for cell growth with a wide range of temperatures and humidity parameters. We have built an online intelligence visualization of the cytomates usage and capacity for a specific time period. A peculiar feature of this report is that Power BI will update the information in the dashboard automatically once new data is entered into the system. Thus, our client’s team received a comprehensible dashboard with the online visualization of the lab equipment data.
What tools did we choose for providing the most effective Business Intelligence services? Power BI, the solution that was named the leader by Gartner for 12 consecutive years. Power BI helps companies to accumulate valuable data of various formats in one place and visualize it so that anyone, even the person unfamiliar with statistics and business analysis can understand it quickly.
More than that, Power BI allows building a report on a special dashboard, connecting this report to the company’s database. Here are Power BI Dashboard Examples we built for our client
Visualization of the Equipment Utilization/ Capacity
POWER BI ADVANTAGES FOR DATA VISUALIZATION
Visualization of data in comprehensible forms: bars, scatter plots, tables, heatmaps, histograms, etc.
No specialized technical support is required
Creation and adoption of reports for different media ( web, mobile, printed)
Various data types transformation functions
Supporting various data sources ( data upload from Excel, CSV, text files) and the possibility to unite them
Possibility of creation of rich personalized dashboards
Rapid and secure reports extraction
No memory of speed obstacles ( data retrieval and processing is quick)
Today most companies choose Tableau or Power BI systems for making data available for even non-technical employees. Data accumulation and visualization with the help of BI systems is the first step to the implementation of transparency principles in the company and to deeper and more data-driven decisions.
The next step of BI systems natural development is augmented analytics, of which you can read in this article.
Computer Vision for Quality Control in Retail
“AI is one of the most important things humanity is working on. It is more profound than, I dunno, electricity or fire” — Sundar Pichai, CEO Google
Computer vision for quality control in retail has a wide variety of applications, and more businesses experiment with these technologies using image recognition or object detection functions. Some people may use these terms interchangeably but they actually have different purposes. What opportunities do these technologies provide to retailers?
With the image recognition for retail, sales managers can determine the right product from the catalog using a mobile application.
Another example of image recognition for retail: warehouse workers can determine the SKU of products automatically to fix the problem if the item was misplaced
Object detection for retail: determination of the empty shelves with the help of indoor cameras. This is the case that we will describe more accurately.
“EMPTY SHELVES” PROBLEM SOLUTION WITH OBJECT DETECTION
Statistically speaking, 85% of our clients contact us if they need to automate certain operations. Technological automation and optimization saves time and consequently reduces costs for a business.
In the case of our client, a middle size European retailer who chose to remain confidential, the challenge concerned inventory distortion.
It turned out that the company was losing clients often because of the inventory distortion: the shelves of the store were often empty and it took time to find staff and products to substitute the missing goods.
“Out -of stock” problem is familiar to all the retailers. In fact, they are said to lose almost $1 trillion in sales because of this. Most often “out-of-stock” problem includes “empty shelves,” inability to find sales managers, wrong price or wrong objects, etc. The majority of these problems can be solved with the helped of top-notch technologies, such as Computer Vision which is in the essence is Artificial Intelligence.
WHAT TECHNOLOGICAL SOLUTION DID WE OFFER?
Camera/ mobile camera. First of all, we offered to use cameras installed in the stores in order to use video with 100% efficiency. It’s not a secret that every retailer has cameras today. Using video analytics, retailers can offer more effective services for their clients or solve many issues, similar to out-of-stock.
Web/mobile application with the categorized catalog of all the goods available at the stock.
Cloud Storage. A mobile app would be connected to the cloud storage in Amazon ( we use both Amazon and Azure cloud services) so that all the information could be stored securely remotely without making a mobile app slower or less responsive.
Computer Vision + Machine Learning ( it’s possible to refer to these 2 technologies as to Artificial Intelligence or AI).
Integration with the Procurement System. The application is also integrated with the procurement system which gives a user the possibility to find the producer of the required product and order the fulfillment automatically.
Computer Vision for quality control has a very broad degree of applications in retail and manufacturing. Read the Forbes article of our CTO, Ilya Gandzeichuk, dedicated to this topic to learn more.
COMPUTER VISION FOR QUALITY CONTROL EXAMPLES
Marking recognition. Computer Vision and Machine learning can improve the work of employees in warehouses and shopping malls who spend a lot of time on the identification of the goods. Manual operations during this task lead to simple human errors and financial problems. Today, computer vision systems can easily cope with this task thanks to automated barcode (and other types of marking) reading systems.
Items Management. Using machine vision ( or computer vision) it is possible to teach machines to differentiate between items and, thus, to sort them properly.
Fake/counterfeit product detection with the help of computer vision+ machine learning. Using AI technologies it is possible to determine counterfeit products, such as drugs or watches, with 99% accuracy. More than that, the system which will spot counterfeit/fake products will be learning with more data, thus, improving the accuracy of the determination.
Computer vision retail is opening new possibilities for businesses and helps to reduce costs and improve productivity and clients’ services.
AWS vs Azure: 7 Things to Consider
Cloud computing has become the main driving force for most businesses today since applications are moving out of on-premise data servers to the cloud. The following allows us to increase agility and save costs.
Going serverless also helps protect your company’s data since the cloud provides automated backups and advanced security measures. Moreover, clouds are scalable, flexible, and provide peace of mind.
Nowadays, nearly 53% of corporate data is stored and processed in the cloud, but a great deal of business information is still stored in on-premises data centers. And according to Gartner, cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) suffers 60% fewer security accidents when compared to on-premises data hubs. That’s a pretty good reason to migrate to the cloud, isn’t it?
THREE MAIN TYPES OF CLOUD COMPUTING SERVICES
Public computing services share the same conceptual framework of infrastructure. They are so similar so that it’s better to think about cloud computing services as a pyramid where each layer is built upon the same basic structure. For better understanding, see the picture below.
INFRASTRUCTURE AS A SERVICE
IaaS is the basic and the most flexible type of cloud service available. An IaaS provider takes care of everything required for its smooth work (data storage space, servers, etc.). In turn, customers can fully customize IaaS up to their specific business needs.
IaaS helps businesses eliminate the capital expense of building up in-house infrastructure. It’s a superb option for startups and SMEs to create their own network without buying all the hardware and software. It also takes away day-to-day burdens of managing the following infrastructure allowing your IT departments to focus on core business needs instead of data hubs maintenance.
Examples of IaaS: AWS, Microsoft Azure, Cisco Metacloud
PaaS offers more specialized services when compared to IaaS. It provides the framework needed to develop, test, deploy, manage, and update applications. PaaS takes advantage of the same infrastructure as IaaS, but it includes operating systems, dev tools, middleware, and database management systems required for software application development. PaaS is a one-stop solution for any company that develops web-based apps and complex software solutions.
Since the platform is accessible from any part of the world, it facilitates the work of remote teams and grants 24/7 access to the development assets to speed up development work. Most PaaS platforms come fully loaded with pre-coded apps integrated into the platform that greatly reduce coding time and help get the product to the market much faster.
Examples of PaaS: Microsoft Azure, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Apache Stratos
SaaS is the most familiar type of cloud computing for most people. Being on top of the cloud computing pyramid, SaaS is a fully-featured development solution ready to work right of the box. SaaS providers take care of the infrastructure, operating systems, all middleware, and any data required to develop and deploy applications.
A vast majority of SaaS apps run through web browsers and don’t require downloads and installations. This allows for IT teams and companies to streamline their processes by using hybrid or multi-cloud deployment.
SaaS programs allow companies to scale processes when they need it. With SaaS applications, companies don’t need to invest in hardware or software.
Examples of SaaS: Microsoft Office 365, G Suite apps, Salesforce
And today, we’d like to focus on AWS and Microsoft Azure as IaaS services and help you spot the best cloud platform for your needs.
AMAZON VS AZURE
Amazon Web Service (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are the biggest names when it comes to public cloud service providers, according to Forrester. But which one suits your business needs? To help you make the right decision, let’s discuss the cloud services offered by AWS and Azure and find out the key differences between them.
Amazon Web Service (AWS)
AWS is the leader in the PaaS and IaaS market. AWS was founded in 2006. AWS offers the following components:
The Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is single- and multitenant hosting that uses Xen virtualization.
The EC2 Container Service (ECS) is the Docker container service.
The Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) is the object storage with CDN potential.
AWS Batch is responsible for the batch computing service.
Elastic Beanstalk is a PaaS tool that helps manage AWS services.
Lambda is an event-driven platform for serverless computing.
AWS Marketplace is a platform inside AWS where you can find third-party services and software.
AWS Direct Connect is an application for partner exchange.
AWS is doing its best to provide first-rate single-tenant cloud infrastructure. Thus being said, AWS solves all cloud-related needs your business may have regardless of your location.
The following platform features top-notch DevOps services, intense use of Docker containers, a rich number of offered apps and tools. AWS is built for software development needs, web applications, storing and processing Big Data, working with ML algorithms, etc.
AWS is an industry-leading cloud provider offering 42 availability zones in 16 regions all over the world. AWS servers provide Tier 1 security to keep your data safe and sound.
Still, AWS is the best choice for startups and companies with cloud-native applications. AWS is right up your street if you work with Linux-based OS or deal with Big Data.
MS Azure (formerly Windows Azure) is another cloud infrastructure giant on the market built by Microsoft. The virtual private cloud is created for building, deploying, testing and managing applications. Nowadays, MS Azure provides automation and DevOps services as well.
The key components of MS Azure cloud services:
Virtual Machines with Hyper-V virtualization tools.
Blob Storage keeps every file safe and sound.
Azure Container Service to manage Docker-based containers.
Azure Batch is the batch computing service.
Azure Functions for serverless computing.
Azure Marketplace for third-party integrations and additional services.
MS Azure has a vast array of datacenter located all over the globe to ensure Tier 1 security and multi-fault-domain SLA with enterprise support. Check the map to find out all MS Azure data hubs.
Taking everything mentioned above, the Microsoft Azure cloud platform is a perfect match for companies that already use Microsoft products or deliver Windows-based apps or services. Microsoft facilitates AI-first computing, so MS Azure is a great choice to deploy Windows-based ML and Big Data software solutions.
Every cloud platform has its own advantages and disadvantages. At Softengi, we’re in the process of adopting MS Azure. MS Azure is the best choice for windows-enabled enterprises and for the management of corporate user account bases.
Embedded Software Development
Our specialists do classical and sophisticated Quality Assurance during all period of embedded software project development. We are fully confident our embedded solutions are delivered in high-quality standards.
development specialists keep advanced knowledge in different embedded software
programming languages and instruments which are broadly used in legacy and
WITH STANDARDS AND REGULATIONS
Softengi specialists are confident about the efficiency and security of the delivered embedded solutions. We build embedded products that meet specific international
Telemedicine Web/Mobile Application
Softengi developed a telemedicine
solution to help millions of clients to receive a professional consulting
This telemedicine solution could be reached via mobile or web application and therefore is available to millions of patients.
Needless to say, that telemedicine app development is an investment in the digitalization of the whole healthcare system as telehealth apps are cost-effective and reduce the workload of doctors and insurance companies immensely.
WebAR + Telepresence App for Retail: Previewing Products in 3D before Buying
Have you heard about a web version of augmented reality?
PresentinAR is a mobile/web application for previewing 3D models of retail products before buying them. Furniture, home appliances, toys, decor, clothes, shoes, and even food: there can be 3D twins of any object for sale that retailers will be able to show to their customers through the screen of the PC/mobile phone. The technology we are offering ( AR+telepresence) seems a bit complicated at first sight yet, as complicated as a new mobile phone in the hands of an old lady. Yet, some practice and curiosity make PresentinAR, an AR-enables sales tool kit, seems crystal-clear and effective.
WHY DID WE CREATE AR-ENABLED SALES TOOL KIT?
Retail is transforming with the incredible speed: augmented reality, gamification in retail, online shopping, data science for customers’ analysis are among the most popular e-commerce trends today. The reason for these changes is simple: people want personalized shopping and they do not want to go to the stores at the same time. That is why Jeff Bezos from Amazon is getting richer each day.
No need to repeat that COVID-19 changed it all: since the first days of quarantine the sales of bread makers have risen by 652%. Let’s be honest, we all would love to see the goods we are about to buy, even if it is a bread maker.
What are the benefits of PresentinAR:
REAL ENVIRONMENT. It allows selling in a real environment.
It’s a pioneering AR experience for salespeople which helps them to locate the 3D objects of the goods they are buying in real consumers’ environments. For those who are buying furniture, home appliances or the object for decoration this option is priceless.
MACHINE LEARNING for the Most Precise Measurements
Supervised ML-based proprietary algorithms create 3D models of furniture, home appliances, toys or any other goods with exceptional precision.
ALL OPTIONS IN YOUR PHONEOR YOUR BROWSER. Experimenting with Color/Size
Augmented reality allows a consumer to see 3D object of his/her choice in multiple variations: the size, color, and other parameters are interchangeable.
WEB/MOBILE FRIENDLY. Using PresentinAR via mobile and web
This application is available in mobile and web versions which means that those who don’t want to install another application on their smartphone can simply open the app in a web browser. The technology called WebGL allows previewing 3D models of objects
ZERO REMORSE. The Feel of the Product
PresentinAR gives the customer a feel and quality of different products, it helps a buyer and interior decorators see how an item fits into a room and generally helps build a classic prototype of the possible future of space. Professional sales managers guide buyers through catalogs helping to choose the best solution.
PresentinAR will significantly contribute to increasing the effectiveness of sales & service processes within the seller companies. Innovation is critical to the future of furniture manufacturing. Augmented Reality is the Game Changer in the furniture trade.
The technologies we used: ARKit, WebGL, Unity 3D
Catalogs are old-fashioned and limited in their reach and effectiveness. Large expos only allow having a selected number of goods to show. AR + Videoconfering allows transforming retail to a more digital more developed variant.
PresentinAR also solves the problem of buyer’s remorse and retention.
PresentinAR will significantly contribute to increasing the effectiveness of sales & service processes within the seller companies. Innovation is critical to the future of furniture manufacturing. Augmented Reality is the Game Changer in the furniture trade.
AI in Telecom industry – Legacy Systems Modernization
Dell states in its paper that during the last 10 years a rough amount of all applications used by Fortune 5000 companies “run in legacy environments built 20, 30, even 40 years ago». Also, Dell claims that «a typical corporation spends between 60 and 80 percent of its IT budget simply to maintain existing mainframe systems and applications».
WHY THE TELCO INDUSTRY?
As we discussed in our previous article, at present the telecommunication industry is experiencing not only economic pressure, but also high pressure from constantly growing market demands. With millions of subscribers and a growing number of telco products, today’s communication service providers (CSPs) have to manage their business more efficiently than ever before, constantly optimizing services, networks, and products. Many CSPs continue to use systems and applications that are often too complex and inefficient for their business needs. What are the legacy systems?
WHAT ARE LEGACY SYSTEMS?
Legacy systems are outdated systems and applications that can no longer support business objectives, as they apply archaic methods that are unable to perform tasks in fast-growing companies. Unmodified legacy systems pose the key challenge on the way to digital infrastructure. Because of its outdated architecture, such systems are in most cases very difficult and expensive to maintain, support, and integrate with the new digital environment.
WHY LEGACY SYSTEM MODERNIZATION IN TELCO IS SO IMPORTANT?
Legacy systems are highly monolithic. On the one hand, they are very complex to manage and difficult to update, on the other hand, they are expensive to scale.
Besides, Legacy Systems hinder the ability to address the internal and external needs of customers. Of course, such systems can still operate relatively well, but there will always be some limitations. Be it poor security or low performances, CSPs will be affected significantly without the user even noticing it.
«. Legacy solutions lack flexibility and carry a significant technology debt due to dated languages, databases, architectures, and a limited supply of aging baby-boomer programmers. This liability prevents many organizations from advancing and supporting analytics, real-time transactions, and a digital experience.»
In order for legacy systems to obtain needed flexibility and agility in a way that aligns with modern business demands, it is possible to get them modernized.. See our previous where modernization processes of legacy systems are described in detail. Another incentive for legacy systems modernization is high maintenance costs. «The older the IT system is, the more difficult and expensive it is to maintain.” – claims our expert, Head of Telco Yaroslav Skrypnyk.
With time the technologies used for the creation of legacy systems become outdated and professionals stop working with them. As a result, it becomes harder and harder for companies that operate on legacy systems and applications to recruit experts who can maintain and support such systems.
The answer is evident – it is high costs, poor performance, and, as a result, low efficiency. Telco providers using legacy systems will inevitably face increased operational risks due to unsupported hardware and software, which will result in significant losses for CSPs. Compared with the modernization of legacy systems, complete removal of the outdated system and replacing it with a new one is certainly less cost-effective and more time consuming
THE PROCESS OF MODERNIZATION
There are different levels of complexity of system modernization depending on the current state of a legacy application. Some legacy systems may require remediation, others replatforming or migration to a new standards-based ecosystem.
The process of legacy systems modernization includes three stages. First. It is necessary to assess the current state of code and legacy requirements and workout a development roadmap for renewing the outdated system. The second stage is called reengineering, which focuses on the extraction of business requirements from legacy software and recasts them in natural language for further analysis and forward engineering. The last stage is migration and modernization. At this point, the development team modernizes the platform infrastructure, its internal architecture, and adds desired features.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE FOR LEGACY SYSTEM MODERNIZATION
The assessment process of legacy systems can be very challenging. If an application is outdated, and the people who developed it are no longer accessible or the knowledge of the applied programming language is missing, then Artificial Intelligence (AI) with its Machine Learning capabilities comes to the rescue.
Such applications as SonarQube, which largely rely on AI and ML power, help developers to analyze codes, even if the latter is using outdated frameworks and identify bugs, useless parts of the code as well as security vulnerabilities.
BENEFITS OF TELCO SOFTWARE MODERNIZATION
LOWER MAINTENANCE COSTS
Outdated applications require continual support, which results in high operating expenses. Modernization of legacy applications makes them operate with greater efficiency and without constantly occurring errors that have to be fixed manually. The result is considerable cost savings.
Using new technological stacks in legacy systems modernization processes allows developers to empower updated applications with greater velocity. Such technologies as AI, ML, Mobile apps, Internet of Things, and Managed Code can enhance existing obsolete applications, making them and faster and more efficient.
EXPANDING THE FUNCTIONALITY
Modernization is not only about streamlining performances, it is also about adding new features. As the tech world is evolving at a rapid pace, users become more and more sophisticated. New innovative elements implemented into existing applications can better position companies to meet users’ desires and requirements.
«A switching to a more recent and advanced technology stack automatically excludes any problems with vulnerable security» says Yaroslav Skrypnyk, Head of Telco Department at Softengi.
Most old systems have significant flaws in terms of security, as in the past, cases of data breaches and digital frauds were a rarity. Contrarily, latest technologies consider security and data protection as primarily goals.
Softengi, with its five-year experience in the telco industry, helps CSPs to accurately plan and implement modernization initiatives aligned with clients” needs and requirements. Using cutting-edge methodologies and techniques, Softengi assembles collaborative teams with state-of-the-art innovative tools to reach better flexibility and agility of legacy systems with minimal disruptions to operations.
Legacy System Modernization
The majority of legacy systems in the enterprise or public sector were created decades ago, and their maintenance today can cost a fortune to a business.
Apart from the fact that they were often written in the antique programming languages and it is utterly difficult to find someone who knows COBALT, legacy systems have numerous bugs and fail to produce the required results often.
Legacy system modernization, thus, is more than just a whim, it’s a financial investment into the company’s sustainability. When facing the legacy system modernization, there are several options: rehost, rebuild, and replatform. At Softengi we’ve learned how to use all three approaches to make the legacy system modernization seamless.
Rehosting the legacy system means updating some features and functions or redeploying the system’s elements to another infrastructure. Today it’s most effective to use cloud storage for this purpose as it guarantees security and efficiency of the hosting. We use AWS, Azure, Google cloud services to provide our clients with the most relevant and custom cloud service.
Replatforming means changing the code minimally in order to preserve the structure of the code in order to make the migration of one of the elements of the application.
Rebuilding is the most complex and long-term approach for legacy system modernization. It presupposes rewriting the code of the application from scratch while preserving the purpose and the specifications of this application.
Design System: The Future of Digital Design
“Styles come and go. Good design is a language, not a style.”
–Massimo Vignelli, Italian Designer
The latest trend in the highly fast-paced design world is the Design System. In recent years, digital design has gained significant importance in the tech world. As the commercial world evolves at a rapid pace and customer demands become more sophisticated, newly emerging applications have cannot survive without a comprehensive design. Spotify, IBM, Google, SAP and other tech giants already embrace this trend and have their own design systems.
What is the design system?
A design system is a large set of rules, constraints, and principles applied in a design or a code. Nathan Curtis, a founder of a UX company Eightshapes, identifies a design system as“…a library of visual style, components, and other concerns documented and released by an individual, team or community as code and design tools so that adopting products can be more efficient and cohesive».
In essence, a design system includes User Interface (UI) elements such as tooltips, icons, text fields, effective design principles – colours, spaces, and shapes as well as guidelines as to how to effectively implement them into an application.
Who needs a design system?
A design system is not an ultimate tool for all companies. Such system does make sense only for medium-sized and large projects, that involve many professionals: designers, developers, project managers, and analysts. These projects face mostly communication and collaboration problems. For instance, one developer creates one component of a product, the second one develops the other one in a completely different style, the next specialist adds another features that do not match the previous elements in terms of design and style. As a result, the final product seems just like well-known character- Frankenstein, looking incoherent and non-organic. In order to avoid confusions and enable an effective team work, a design system with its graphic guidelines and defined design components help companies to manage medium and large projects more efficiently by creating a system of already defined elements and components matched in style.
Insights into the design system creation
In the process of the creation of a design system many professionals from different fields are involved. Among them are designers, developers and analysts, who team up to create a comprehensive system of design elements.
Designers define how particular elements have to look like in various contexts, developers, in turn, superimpose semantics on the provided design components. The final step is taken by business analysts, who write the guidelines in plain and concise language.
When working with design language and development, teams rely on the atomic design methodology, which is heavily focused on the hierarchy of composed elements. The idea is that everything in the natural world consists of elements combined together: atomic elements join together to form molecules; molecules combine with each other to build up organisms. The same principle is used in the design. However, unlike the three-tier model of the world atomic theory, the design methodology consists of five stages. The hierarchy comprises of atoms, molecules, organisms, templates, and pages, where atoms refer to the smallest UI units that can not be broken down and pages, that are the final UI, which users will view and interact with.
Bridging the gap between design and development
The rift between design and development is the rift between different approaches and roles in the creation of an application. A design team focuses mainly on a visual presentation in order to make the application appealing and comfortable to use. Attractiveness, accessibility, usability as well as context, are main aspects considered by designers. By contrast, the development team focuses on efficiency and the practical side of the application that involves codes and algorithms. Both design and development teams are essential for a successfully developed application; however, they often face problems with communication and collaboration.
A design system is an ultimate tool for ensuring successful collaboration between design and development departments. As a design system provides consistent and robust design patterns that are constantly updated, developers can easily use components of permanently updated scoped styles. As a result, a collaboration between designers and developers is enhanced and work productivity is improved.
Difference between a design system and a style guide
Some people do not see the principal difference between a design system and a style guide. Unlike a style guide, a design system is not limited exclusively to style. Visual presentation, including colours, fonts, and illustrations constitutes only a part of a design system which is more like an ecosystem, involving multiple components that are regularly updated.
The above-mentioned Nathan Curtis said that “ a style guide is an artefact of the design process. A design system is a living, funded product with a roadmap & backlog, serving an ecosystem.”
Difference between a design system and a pattern library
A pattern library mainly focuses on functional components and their implementation. Buttons, page layouts, and other UI elements are annotated with interaction and visual design specifications. However, it is only a collection of elements, rather than a framework. A design system is an infrastructure that focuses on the entire product design and its implementation process.
Four principles of a design system
Salesforce, an American software company, highlighted four main principles of its own design system is uses. These principles embrace distinct features that provide coherent and systematic order to page applications.
A design system must avoid ambiguity, enabling users to understand the used system and act with confidence.
The main goal of a design system streamlines workflows. In order to work fast and efficiently, the system must anticipate the needs of users.
A design system strengthens users intuition by embracing the same solution to the same problem.
The system must be thoughtfully developed and attractive to users.
Advantages and disadvantages of a design system
One of the major problems in the creation of a product is decentralized knowledge. All members of a development team has their own vision as to what the design of a developed product must look like. However, the exchange of visions and ideas between team members always takes a lot of time and effort. This tedious process can be easily avoided due to the use of a design system. Constant integration of design knowledge into a system-derived document will save hours of development time and allow designers and developers to focus on more important tasks.
A development team always consists of members representing various departments. Developers, designers, project managers all work on the same product, but focus on different aspects that relate to their respective professional fields. Implementation of a centralized system enables the development team to communicate easier. For instance, a developer does not have to receive approval from a designer for the applied design, as the design elements of the product design system are already approved.
Various program languages, as well as frameworks, require a different design. A fluent design system can scale the design process by applying a diverse set of design elements for particular aims and needs. As a result, applying a design system helps to tailor developed products to potential clients needs and desires.
Clarity in design and code
A design system is a living ecosystem, which is constantly monitored, maintained and updated. Potential problems or mistakes are immediately detected and fixed. On account of that, a design system has a clean and clear code base and easy-to-manage design.
Many versions of one element
Elements available in a design system mostly have many versions for a different context. On the one hand, it is effective as less time can be spent on developing prototypes, on the other hand, it can be confusing for team members to decide in favour of one or the other version.
Examples of design systems
Commercial Design Systems
GEL: Global Experience Language by BBC
Global Experienced Language is a BBC design system, which incorporates interaction design patterns and design elements, that assemble the whole online output of BBC. Introduced in 2010, GEL helps development teams create an appealing digital experience for cell phones, tablets, and TV applications across BBC.
Canvas by HubSpot
A HubSpot has developed its own design system, called Canvas, which is used for all products of the company. The system enables HubSpot developers and designers to rapidly and efficiently work out quality solutions on a massive scale.
Government Design Systems
United States Web Design System
Creation of user-friendly, trustworthy and accessible applications is important not only for commercial solutions but also plays a significant role in the governmental field. For instance, the US Federal Government has developed its own design system that ensures creation of consistent digital applications that help build trust across American users.
Australian Government Design System
The Australian Government Design System is used by designers and developers for creating governmental products and services easily and efficiently. The system employs Australian Government standards in order to deliver a consistent experience for Australian users.
Creating a design system with Softengi If you decide to develop your own design system adjusted specifically to your business, Softengi with its team of 280 professionals is ready to help. Our highly-qualified designers and developers can build a highly structured, organized design system with interactive components, UI kits and pattern libraries. Appropriate design and typography, as well as data visualization tools, will enhance your business productivity, raise brand awareness and improve overall user experience.
5 E-learning Trends: How Should a Modern LMS Look Like
Regardless of the business sector, all companies need to train their employees regularly. This month your sales managers have to pass the new billing rules training, next month your engineers need to be recertified on the new equipment. Pharma employees have to pass FDA training to ensure a high level of compliance on a regular basis. Thus, effective trainings are the reality of any modern business.
Knowledge Management System is an umbrella term that incorporates all sorts of e-learning software (educational web platforms, learning management systems, corporate/public web portals, document management systems, scheduling systems, etc) that make remote educational processes (e-learning) possible.
We all heard that e-learning would become a new reality. After a COVID-19 outbreak, we all see that e-learning is the only possible development path for education on a governmental and corporate level. If the efficiency of your education depends on the presence of people in the room, you are doomed to fail.
It turned out that many companies, educational and public institutions were not ready for that force majeure event and did not have effective and user-friendly interactive e-learning software solutions.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM?
A knowledge management system is, as you may guess from the name, holds valuable information for the company or an educational/ governmental institution.
Web-based learning platforms of all types have become the ultimate need in modern conditions not only for educational institutions but for all companies that aim to ensure low-cost and optimized employee training modules and solutions.
Any type of a knowledge management system, regardless of whether it’s an e-learning system or a web portal, is supposed to provide authorized users with valuable information online. Regardless of the time, location, and sometimes even Internet access.
Learning management systems (E-learning platforms). These are the software-based platform for e-learning program storage, delivery, and assessment. Learning management systems or LMS are probably the most common type of knowledge management system and each organization aims at some point in its development to build a custom LMS. Learning management systems make continuous educational processes for the company’s multiple employees more effective than peer-to-peer training and mentors’ education.
A virtual training assistant is another name for a learning management system: the name “virtual training assistant” presupposes that a student has any help accessible online anytime from any place.
Learning experience systems (LXS) are the new type of e-learning software that is proving itself to be more and more popular. The crucial difference between a learning management system and a learning experience system is that the first one was basically created for the administrator and the second was developed with the user in mind. Learning experience systems are much more intuitive, UI/UX-friendly, and more comfortable to use. The interface of a good learning experience system would resemble the Netflix panel more than the admin panel of the website.
Employee Training Platform Software. Actually the difference between learning management systems and employee training platforms is blurred. Yet, when speaking about employee training platform software, experts make emphasis on practical education as it has paramount importance when we speak about employees’ efficiency. Using online employee training software, it is easy to create training courses for employees, assess them with the help of quizzes, track employees’ progress, and help people collaborate and communicate.
Content management systems. There are multiple custom CMS solutions, like WordPress, on the market, yet many public institutions, small and medium enterprises, as well as big corporations tend to choose custom content management system development. Why so? Available CMS needs to be adapted to the needs of the organization in terms of the availability of access, features, security, which often results in almost complete redevelopment and involves serious investments. Custom web content management solutions promise to take into consideration all the requirements of future users. The public sector is one of those business segments that cannot be satisfied with
Document Management systems became a necessity for many business sectors because of governmental regulations. For instance, accounting, medical devices manufacturing, construction, and even IT companies are obliged to document every single step of the operational process.
To reduce the number of paper documents and to ensure that these documents are stored securely and are available too, companies tend to implement document management solutions.
Scheduling Software. For many educational institutions, custom scheduling software has become a necessity. It helps to attune educational processes, make a puzzling scheduling process transparent and logical for both teachers and students.
MODERN TRAINING: MOBILE, GAMIFIED, VR/AR-POWERED, AND CLOUD-ENABLED
Cloud storage. Regardless of the type of knowledge management platform, you will build, it is obvious that there will be a lot of data. Modern students require more: they do not want to read texts, they aim to watch webinars and videos, pass quizzes, and interact with each other. That is why an effective modern e-learning solution will be cloud-based. AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google are offering their cloud storage solutions, and it is not wise to decline the opportunity to store the data securely and safely.
Gamification for business, it brings life to the learning process. Using game mechanics in the educational process, it is easy to engage users on a deeper level and improve the retention rate. Lack of interest and motivation are probably 2 most serious issues when it comes to self-learning especially in corporate circumstances. Gamification can change everything in this regard making learning environment rich and exciting. Using badges, avatars, quests, users feel empowered to compete, to do more than they used to and to reach better results.
AR/VR for education. Yes, we are speaking about AR/VR again. You must have got used that these are hype technologies. It is time to realize, they bring value more than buzz. Virtual reality trainings would not be so popular among military men, if they were not effective, let us be honest. Yet, almost every innovative army uses VR training to train their soldiers to react properly under stress.
E-learning Mobile applications.Mobile apps have become the most useful tools for e-learning for a simple reason: mobile phones are always available and they are always with us. Taking into account a microlearning trend, no wonder e-learning mobile apps have become so popular.
E-LEARNING TRENDS IN VARIOUS BUSINESS SECTORS
Educational institutions are no longer usurped by universities and schools: the number of people who receive an education online is increasing by 3% each year. Increase in demand for web-based learning platforms among academic institutes including schools and universities are expected to favor market growth during the forecast period. The trend for e-learning, provoked by online educational platforms, pushed many private educational institutions online as well. So today the majority of language courses, photography courses, business courses need to have a learning management system to provide students with an adequate user-friendly, web-based app.
E-learning systems for Government & Public should ensure that all public institutions have up-to-date learning management systems that can guarantee a non-stop educational process. It is basic for the public sector to have a training system for the personnel
E-learning systems for Pharma/Healthcare have an extensive amount of materials for training for new employees. To make the onboarding period easier and more comfortable, phrama/helathcare businesses need to ensure a hands-on training course.
E-learning for the Manufacturing sector long and over-complicated educational processes that often demand the online presence of the mentor and the learner. This approach does not pay off in modern circumstances: training has to fast, effective, and replicable under any circumstances. AR/MR-based interactive guidelines are the possibility to receive interactive training and consulting using telepresence and digital content. What does it mean exactly?
Optimizing training on the enterprise level, giving non-governmental organizations a tool for the continuous learning process, decreasing support costs: this all is about knowledge management systems. They are supposed to serve as a knowledge base of the most important, vital, and critical business information for the company. A knowledge management system is created to save employees’ time and the company’s resources.
Development & career
5 Reasons Why VR Has No Rivals For Emergency Training
How would you react in an emergency? Virtual reality simulation could show your realistic response and help provide efficient scenario-based training for employees. For example, it can simulate the perception of sight, smell, and temperature to check how you and your employees would behave in case of fire, flood, or emergency evacuation.
Before discussing what VR training solutions can be used for emergency training, let’s find out what VR is.
About VR Technologies in Short
VR or Virtual Reality technologies have been around for a while. In fact, the technology idea dates back to the 1960s, but only in the last five years, it became available with just a smartphone and a VR headset.
The term VR is a part of a much broader notion called Extended Reality (or just XR). And VR is used to denote a three-dimensional computer-generated environment that people can interact with. In other words, a person becomes a part of this virtual world, and while immersed within this environment, one can manipulate objects or perform actions.
The combination of hardware, sensors, and software helps achieve a sense of presence where the subject (i.e. your employees) feels and acts like they are present in that environment.
There are many types of VR systems, but they all have the same characteristics, such as the ability to show life-sized, three-dimensional images. The following images change as the person moves. It helps join the head and eye movements to create a virtual and realistic environment. And tricking the human brain isn’t that easy, is it?
How VR Apps Interact With Users?
To immerse people into virtual reality, VR needs several devices, including a headset, smartphone or computer, and in some cases an additional device to track motion.
There are several ways VR interacts with users:
Tracks your head
VR headsets come loaded with head motion trackers to follow the movements of your head and help recreate a more realistic environment. It takes advantage of gyroscope, accelerometer, and motion controllers.
Tracks your eyes
Headsets are equipped with a particular controller to track the movement of your eyes while you’re in the VR environment. Eye-tracking helps to get a more immense and realistic field of view since the picture changes according to the direction of your eyes.
Tracks your motions
When implemented, motion tracking added some additional value to the VR experience and brought it to a totally new level. Most of the headsets are equipped with cameras and body sensors to follow your movements. That creates an unforgettable experience since you can look around and move around as if everything is real.
Where VR Technologies Are Used
VR has the potential to make new discoveries and play the devil with our everyday lives. VR has no rivals when it comes to doing something that is too expensive or dangerous in the real world.
Education. VR training to get certain skills (pilots, firefighters, surgeons, etc.)
Science. VR can visualize the research results or carry out any tests.
Medicine. With VR technologies, doctors can easily monitor, diagnose, and train for emergency situations.
Gaming. VR creates interactive experiences to drive more engagement.
Architecture. Thanks to VR technologies, architects can visualize how the city will look like in a few years, and designers can help redecorate your flat and show how it’ll be without spending a dime.
Why VR Is the Best Solution for Emergency Response Training
VR technologies allow for recreating risky and dangerous situations in a safe environment and facilitate the decision-making process under pressure. Nearly 60% of employees in the US didn’t practice what to do in a disaster by taking part in a disaster drill or preparedness exercise at work, according to FEMA. This is despite the fact that 80% of the US is prone to weather-related disasters.
Five reasons why VR is the best solution for emergency response training
Replica of realistic emergencies
Train more employees at the same time
Safe way to get ready for risky situations
Increase employee engagement
No training needed to use VR-powered solutions for scenario training
In short, VR safety training helps practice the skills that people need when it comes to saving themselves in any type of emergencies. It allows for getting ready for any emergency and learning well how to behave.
VR training programs come fully loaded with dozens of emergency scenarios that may happen during flood or fire. Moreover, 3-d environments are created with 100% accuracy and depict specific objects, cities, areas, etc. And the primary reason for choosing VR for training is its cost-effectiveness since the VR training simulator solutions can be used more than once. Trainees can go through a particular scenario training as many times as they need without spending additional costs. You can use modules for VR training experience anytime and anywhere you need them.
VR Benefits for Scenario-Based Training
VR can be used to get ready for disasters in a vast number of ways. For example, people are immersed in a computer-generated environment to get advanced tactical training and learn how to save themselves long before the problem strikes.
VR helps show not only the safest ways to leave the building but also facilitates critical thinking that plays an important role in emergency situations.
Major Benefits of Virtual Reality in Training for Disaster
VR allows for practicing real-life skills without dicing with death.
It’s custom-tailored to your needs
VR agencies can create any environment you need – create geo-specific environments, depict your office, infrastructure, etc.
It’s much cheaper to use VR-based disaster training modules than recreate emergencies for your employees anytime you’re holding a fire drill.
Your VR training software is easily scalable. So you can easily train 10 or 100+ employees at the same cost.
Government Agencies Are Already Using VR Technologies:
The US. Department of Homeland Security
Centres for Disease Сontrol and Prevention
National Institutes of Health
National Science Foundation
Emergency Scenarios for VR Training
VR can easily reproduce any type of emergency scenarios from fires to plane crashes. The software can rebuild the emergency picture with 100% accuracy. Here’s a full list of emergency situations where VR training can come in handy:
It’s the most widespread scenario for VR disaster training. VR can reproduce fire, smoke, and your feeling during the fire.
VR can easily build any type of road accident depending on the number and types of vehicles (cars, bikes, vehicles transporting dangerous liquids, etc.).
Police forces can also benefit from VR technologies. The software can reproduce the situations of public disorders and help train police officers to manage them.
The following type of emergencies imparts the highest hazard level. With the additional equipment like masks and detectors, your employees will get a more realistic environment.
You can also use VR technologies to train your employees on how to behave during floods, earthquakes, storms, tornadoes, etc.
All in All
VR creates additional opportunities to train and teach your employees what to do in case of an emergency. Take advantage of the VR world to save costs for fire drills and get your employees well-educated.
VR-powered apps for emergency training gamify the ever-boring emergency lectures and facilitate the learning process. Thus, your employees won’t miss any VR scenario-based training because it’s fun.
Mixed Reality (MR)
Some perks of using Mixed Reality (MR)
Using 3D projections and simulations allows experts to address most of the support requests from on-field employees. In essence, if employees face, for instance, a problem with complex heavy equipment at a location that is hard to reach, they can send to a remote expert a video feed of what they view, so the expert can annotate the 3D displayed on MR-based headset to direct the task.
With VR onboarding and training programs can be much effective and engaging. Simulated products and overplayed information about products in the context of the real world provide an immersive experience for users, thereby enhancing their ability to learn and take the information. Trainees can interact with 3D projections, exploring them from all angles.
Implementing VR-powered prototyping solutions can help producers better simulate their products in terms of volume, size, and shape. Using VR embedding, engineers can directly interact with the virtual prototypes and get a better view of all its systems, which enables them to detect conception errors at an earlier stage.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Some perks of using Virtual Reality (VR)
The VR technology has found its use in the Talent Acquisition, making the recruitment process more efficient. With its ability to provide the artificially created reality, VR can offer recruiters an environment, in which they will be able to asses potential hires much more effectively.
2. Effective Product Prototypes
Using VR, companies can better visualize and design their products. Created in the virtual reality, prototypes of products can be better analyzed, assessed, and designed. As a result, companies can detect design flaws sooner, therefore avoiding post-production complications.
With VR, companies can easily bridge the global communication gap between their employees, reducing the number of travel trips and the need for employee relocations. VR-powered technology enables companies to successfully conduct virtual meetings across workers spread across the world.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Some perks of using Augmented Reality
AR has found its use in modeling and design processes. Whether building or designing small or a large product like a facility or a car, a prototype has to be developed firstly. With AR technology, companies can build a virtual prototype, which can be viewed in the real environment. Such 3D-powered models can be a useful tool to test customer acceptance as well as different format options before spending a large amount of money on a failed product.
2. Remote Assistance
The AR technology allows professionals, who are unable to be present on site, to provide remote consulting to inexperienced field workers in real time, thereby significantly decreasing expenses on subject matter experts. Seeing the 3D representations of field objects, the professionals can guide field employees through troubleshooting processes.
3. Trainings and Learning
The AR capabilities have proven to be also effective in the educational realm. Employee trainings based on AR are much more effective and take less time. By adding virtual elements like sound and video to existed real objects, employees are provided with all needed information right on the field, thereby they are able to get a better understanding of operational processes, heavy equipment and/or company’s daily workflow.
Three Steps to Classify Your Financial Data
A vast majority of financial institutions run into the same problem every day: how to handle piles of papers and gigabytes of exchanged documents. Such data is often left unorganized and unstructured. In order to make use of it, one has to classify it. Data classification makes it easier to locate, retrieve, and use data. It becomes crucial when it comes to compliance, data security, legal discovery, and risk management.
What is data mining, and why does it matter?
Data mining is all about analyzing data from various angles and extracting useful information for future actions. It helps store, process, and analyze massive amounts of raw data. The following technology utilizes machine learning, pattern recognition, statistics, visualization, as well as databases to extract and process data. Data mining is said to be the most powerful tool for business optimization.
Financial data analysis is widely used in a vast majority of financial and banking institutes for accurate analysis of consumer data to reduce the manual errors, find defaulters, for fast processing, to classify the customers, and reduce the loss of the financial institutions.
Data mining is widely used in the banking sector to tackle the following problems:
Data classification is all about organizing crucial business information. It’s a set of processes aimed at managing data by categories and tags. Only well-categorized data can be more efficiently used across the company for risk management, legal discovery, and compliance processes.
Organized data allows enterprises to identify the business value of unsorted data, make use of important information, and make well-informed decisions. Information is divided into predefined groups sharing a common risk and properly secured. Successful data classification applies the security controls to a set of data. It also helps companies meet regulatory requirements – such as those within the GDPR in Europe or FINRA in the US.
Before Machine Learning, data classification was a user-driven process, but nowadays, enterprises can automate data classification processes. But with automated data classification tools, it becomes much easier to categorize any data. First, you need to determine the categories and criteria for data classification, define and understand its objectives, redefine the roles and responsibilities of employees, and implement required security standards.
Benefits of data classification for the financial sector
Proper data classification helps improve both regulatory compliance and data security. Here’s how your company may benefit from implementing data classification tools:
Better manage the high volumes of sensitive information
Thanks to sophisticated technologies, users can quickly process and classify large amounts of data.
Organize and track crucial data
Nearly 80% of companies have no idea of how and where they store their sensitive data. With a proper data classification system, you get an easily accessible, but well-protected data from any leaks.
Detect abnormal activity
Neural networks are well-trained to detect any abnormalities in data classification.
Optimal use of resources while reducing useless costs
Having determined the importance of different data types, you can focus on data that should be protected at all costs without wasting your resources on less critical or non-critical data.
Error-free data classification
Machine learning technologies help process large amounts of financial data and classify it while minimizing human errors.
Make it easier to comply with regulatory mandates
There are particular frameworks like SEC, FINRA, and GDPR that you need to follow while dealing with sensitive data such as personal identifiable information and payment data. The following data type should be classified as confidential or restricted. Otherwise, some financial penalties may incur. In such a way, you protect sensitive data from being disclosed without authorization or transmitted through unprotected or unencrypted channels.
Classification in data mining is a cumbersome and quite complex process. But when implemented properly, it can become a crucial framework to store, transmit, and retrieve data for employees and any third-parties.
Why it’s better to classify your data
A properly planned data classification system makes crucial data easy to track and manipulate. That’s the primary reason why you should organize your data. The most common goals include but aren’t limited to the following according to Data Classification for Cloud Readiness by Microsoft:
Security. A classification system should value confidentiality above other attributes and focus on security measures, including encryption and user permissions, to protect any sensitive information. Security and confidentiality are of particular importance when it comes to financial records.
Data integrity. Your system should assure the accuracy and consistency of data over its entire life-cycle.
Data availability. All the data should always be accessible when and where needed within the company’s IT infrastructure. The reality is that when your data isn’t accessible when needed, it’s worthless.
Data classification ensures that a company follows all internal and external (including company, local, and federal) guidelines for data handling and maximizes data security.
Types of data levels and classification
Data classification is quite a complex process involving a multitude of labels and tags to denote its type, confidentiality, and integrity. Data’s security is often classified according to its levels of importance and confidentiality. Hence, data categories are linked with the security measures required to protect the data from leaks.
There are dozens of ways to categorize your data, but the most common classification levels are stated as follows – public, private or internal, confidential, and restricted.
Three main types of data classification
Data classification system based on content scans the data and looks for sensitive information.
Data classification system based on context takes into account apps, locations, and creators while classifying sensitive information.
Data classification system based on users analyzes users’ interactions with documents to tag sensitive information.
Three steps to effective data classification
In most cases, not all data needs to be organized and stored, and in some cases, it’s even better to delete it. And the data you want to be classified will go through a 3-step process:
Scan. Take your entire database and turn it into digital to start classifying and organizing your data.
Identify. Define data types, label them and make the information searchable and sortable.
Separate. As soon as the data is categorized with a system, it can be easily separated by the predefined categories.
Data classification helps financial and banking institutes secure their sensitive information, but still, make it easy to retrieve it. Also, it reduces the likability of unorganized crucial information becoming vulnerable to hackers, and it helps cut down useless costs for data storage since storing large amounts of unstructured information costs a pretty penny.
And with a Data Classification Solution, you’ll be able to tag and classify data as well as to detect any abnormal activity in a few clicks. Taking advantage of AI and ML technologies, you’ll reduce the chances of human errors and triple your productivity.
Platform Development for a Biotech Company ADAM
Is it possible to print bones on a 3D printer? It will be possible soon.
The main goal of the cooperation between Softengi and ADAM was the development of the innovative and secure digital platform for keeping personal medical testing results in the specialized cloud storage. In case of emergency, competent medical service providers could use the information from the platform for recovering damaged body parts and functions.
In other words, the clients of the innovative biotech company ADAM receive a unique chance to back up their skeleton in case they will need restoration for further 3D printing. Revolutionary approach, isn’t it?
A.D.A.M. addressed Softengi with the intent of the platform development for data preservation and usage, and we’ve managed to meet their needs and provide them with tangible results.
Major Goals of the Development:
The major goal of the partnership with Softengi was the development of a cloud service and a user-friendly interface for storing personal medical testing results saved utilizing DICOM protocol (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine).DICOM data is to be processed and analyzed in a depersonalized manner for bone implants 3d printing technology testing and development.
Another important goal was the possibility to download data in DICOM format freely in order to process the information form these images. DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) is the most common digital imaging format for medical images, and the platforms allow reading DICOM files for avatar visualization and secure store.
Provide each ADAM user with the vision of his actual body backup in the form of an attractive virtual avatar in 3D.
A third major goal concerned security, and it included compliance with GDPP, HIPPA regulations, and the “right to be forgotten.” Secure and GDPR-compliant storage of the information was another important goal of the project. ADAM also wanted to help its users to visualize data with the help of a body avatar in a web application to get an engaging overview of my medical data integrity.
The Result of the Cooperation
Softengi developed an intuitive platform for the preservation of medical images and their visualization for further 3D printing of bone implants.
For users, ADAM platform is an intuitive web application built on the basis of ReactJS for frontend and Heroku for the backend.
Softengi implemented a number of architectural steps, such as privacy documents acquaintance and consent/denial procedures, TSL/SSL protocols implementation, encryption of the sensitive information in order to meet the security requirements of the ADAM platform. In the case of working with such sensitive information as medical information security comes first.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud
Some perks of using Salesforce Commerce Cloud:
Empowerment of Sales Team
Applying Salesforce Commerce Cloud helps sales teams to gain valuable insights into customer preferences in order to tailor sales strategies to customer needs and desires. Giving access to customer data, Salesforce boosts sales by making purchasing recommendations personalized to each customer.
Enhancement of a CRM System
Customer Relationship Management
is one of the most complex aspects of every business. Salesforce Cloud solution
helps companies more effectively manage communication and interaction with
current and potential customers, guiding them along the most appropriate path.
Extension of Digital Commerce Into Stores
With omnichannel Salesforce approach, Salesforce can help retailers to provide a compelling digital shopping experience for consumers. Leveraging customer data from marketing and sales, the Salesforce platform is able to engage with buyers at any digital touchpoint.
Some perks of using Deep Learning:
Utilization of Unstructured Data
Not all data are accurately structured to be trained on, conversely, they are mostly unstructured and exist in different format types. Traditional Machine Learning systems are not as effective as deep learning ones in the utilization of various formats. Using neural networks allow Deep Learning to reveal any existing relations between various data types, for instance, social media chatters, company reports, and industry analysis.
No Need for Feature Engineering
Deep Learning is able to create new features on its own. Previously companies always needed a data scientist to perform feature engineering, the process of extracting features from raw data to better understand occurred problems. With the help of Deep Learning, software systems can effectively find patterns that correlate and combine them to enable faster learning without explicitly being programmed.
No Need for Data Labeling
Most innovative applications depend on labelled data. Data Labeling, the process of the manual curation of data, can be expensive and time-consuming. Applying Deep Learning, companies do not need to spend their resources on labelling data, as Deep Learning does this in a fully automated way.
Some perks of using Big Data :
Gathering information from million data sources, Big Data systems can gain real-time insights about current market changes and upcoming trends, thus providing companies with a better understanding of market conditions. As a result, companies can adjust their services and products to customer needs, get ahead of competitors and find new growth opportunities.
With ever-increasing data storage and computing power, Big Data allows companies to embrace data-driven decision making, responding swiftly to occurred problems. Through real-time gathering, recommendations and assessments, companies are able to make more informed and effective decisions.
A customer’s experience is vitally important to the company growth, however, without data-driven insights to make informed decisions, it can prove to be very difficult to improve and progress. A Big Data-based system allows companies to analyze customer experiencemore efficiently, promoting brand loyalty, customer retention and engagement. Social media and CRM systems offer a large amount of information, that can give insights into obstacles in the current customer journey, providing users with the chance to minimize or eliminate them.
Some perks of using WebGL:
WebGL allows to develop complex visualization based on available data, distilling large datasets into visual graphics in order to allow easy understanding of complex relationships within the data. Realism of 3D will represent visualizations in all angles, hence providing both qualitative and quantitative information about an object.
The users of WebGL aren’t confined to any single platform. Developed applications can be rendered across many platforms such as mobile devices, desktops, console as well as TV.
Developing 2D and 3D objects with WebGL, users create interactive content for their applications. Softengi developers understand lighting techniques and how it affects colours and can bring out a realistic presentation using WebGL.
Benefits of using IoT:
IoT technology expands the possibilities of any business by providing it with the most valuable asset: real-time accurate data. Collecting and analyzing data gives companies control over any process, equipment or the environment.
High quality of delivered solutions is characterized primarily by data security. IoT technology provides a high level of information security thanks to end-to-end security mechanisms: all connections are protected by TLS, users are authenticated, all data is filtered using ACLs, MQTT message authorization is applied based on topics, security audit logs are stored in a DBMS with time stamps.
IoT-powered technologies offer applications management, data processing, as well as data analytics, which allow companies to gain a better understanding of the input, output and real-time performances of their systems.
Innovative technologies offer a higher level of safety for business owners. Wearable IoT devices can assure that employees are safe and secured while working in and out of the office.
By implementing smart management, business leaders can optimize single as well as complex operational processes, therefore enhancing effectiveness, product quality as well as operational uptime.
Machine Learning Data Classification
Some additional perks of using Machine Learning Data Classification:
Data security: the use of Azure eliminates the possibility of information leaks and keeps data safe.
Quick processing: modern technologies on which the Solution is based allow you to quickly process and classify large amounts of data.
Error reduction: thanks to automatic processing and classification of data using machine learning, the likelihood of human error is eliminated.
New Web Portal in Our Execution: Document Management Software for the MBA School
MIM, the oldest and the biggest MBA School in Ukraine, addressed Softengi with the intent to receive digital consulting services regarding the transformation of an old school web portal for scheduling and information.
The system MIM was using for scheduling could no longer meet the requirements of the staff: the number of students was growing which affected the workload of the teachers as well. The amount of information for the teachers’ department was also growing, and the IT team needed to define how to make this information more accessible and more reliable for everyone.
At this point, Softengi started cooperating with MIM with the intent of building a reliable web portal application that could improve the operational workflow for MIM in a convenient form.
What did MIM get as a result of the 3-month cooperation with the Softengi team?
An in-school smart scheduling and information system that met the requirements of the MIM team was the result of a cooperation between Softengi and MIM. First, it is a unified list of teachers, rooms, programs, courses, groups with the editing possibility and open access to the chosen list of participants. All the information is now structured smartly, carefully, and logically and thus can be accessed faster via the text search.
Second, it is a secure system with authorized access from any part of the world. The validation of the data is automatic which excludes the human factor at the stage of the data entry. The system prohibits last month’s updates; notifications are received by the admin system if the information is updated. Thus, the system is secure which is absolutely important for the MBA school as they are obliged to guarantee the security of the information of all the students.
Finally, the system allows creating monthly workload and payroll reports automatically, which saves a lot of time for the team. These reports can also be exported to more suitable formats, such as excel or HTML. All in all, it is a scheduling and information system that augments the work of the whole personnel of the biggest MBA business school making it more accurate and error-free.
The system was also updated with the secure survey system which allows collecting valuable information from the questionnaires.
The CIO of MIM, Roman Yaroshenko, marked that ” The solution of employee scheduling software met the expectations of the internal team. Softengi establishes a smooth workflow to ensure effective communication between teams. The team is creative, hard-working, and professional. “
Most educational institutions, NGOs, and SMEs businesses that have an internal learning system benefit from the information systematization that is why the demand for the employee scheduling software as well as appointment scheduling software is on the rise.
Smart Retail. AI Technology Is In Charge
“AI will be integral to virtually every process that retailers employ to run their businesses. Smart Retail is moving from plan-to-execution model to. A sense-and-respond model. That would be impossible without the decision automation that AI enables.” Brian Kilcourse, Managing Partner at RSR Research
The retail industry is experiencing tremendous growth across most industries. Despite positive business performances across the whole segment, it is not easy for many retailers to maintain their positions in the highly competitive market. Today, a great many of medium and small players are rapidly changing their positions on the market, which in many cases leads to financial losses. Conversely, large enterprises are more stable in the market as they possess a great capital to spend on highly qualified teams and cutting-edge technologies, that enables large enterprises to stay ahead. Top-notch technologies such as Artificial Intelligence enables retailers to effectively run their business, providing its clients with better services and more personalized experiences.
Based on our ten years of experience in the business transformation, we will tell you how to properly implement Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Retail.
Implementing AI in Smart Retail
In order to successfully implement AI in business processes retail companies have to have a good understanding of expertise in Artificial Intelligence technology in order to define the most relevant one. Big retail whales such as Amazon and Walmart, manage highly trained and thus highly expensive IT teams that are responsible for applying top-notch IT technologies and cutting-edge IT solutions. By contrast, medium and small retail companies turn to third-party vendors -outsourcing companies, like Softengi, that maximize the use of resources, both time and money.
The main merit of AI is the automation of information processing in various business processes. We will give you only the main operational areas where applying AI systems deliver the greatest result.
No one is surprised that any business, and especially the most complex one, has to skillfully handle large sets of data. As today’s retail generates a large amount of data, and the traditional data-related methods and data analytics tools are no longer able to cope with the processing of such a layer of information, machine learning comes to the rescue.
Machine learning is not only able to process data faster and detect the slightest deviations unnoticed by humans. , but also learn by itself on the basis of customer data. It is able to automatically learn valuable behavioural information about users and customers, analyze it and provide a unique experience to a particular customer.
Additionally, machine learning allows retail companies to predict the customer buying behaviour, offer the right delivery way, optimize the content on a separate device and even adjust the best time to communicate with the client.
Forecasting is an important part of the development strategy. Every AI-powered forecast is based on the analysis of historical data on a specific aspect, for example, sales, staffing, procurement, profit, loss, etc. Each forecast is adjusted according to seasonal trends, geographical location, reviews, and other factors. Even the dozens of specialists cannot cope with the constantly growing amount of data and the degree of their complexity using ordinary analytical methods. Indeed, the current conditions of the retail market sometimes require real-time forecasts. AI technology is able to make highly accurate forecasts based on real-time data and thereby increase the cost-effectiveness of specific retail processes. While you may doubt whether you need to use AI for forecasting, retailers on average about 85 percent of the demand forecasting process will be trusted to AI in their businesses. If you do not want to stay behind, resort to AI.
The customer journey has become longer and harder to manage for companies. Today’s marketing has to be able to adapt to the demanding customer preferences. A marketing team requires up-to-date information on customer needs and behaviour, a well-thought-out strategy based on high-quality forecasts and, of course, AI-driven automated methods to achieve its goals. Due to a huge amount of information that needs to be processed, marketers turn to AI. In particular, AI allows them to create a highly personalized approach to clients, a narrower segmentation of their customers, and automated identification of new consumer’ behaviour lines and desires from the collected information. According to statistics, AI adoption by marketers has grown by 44% since 2017.
AI is widely applied not only in invisible data processing but also even in such an aspect of smart retail as manufacturing. Obviously we are talking about robots. Almost all motor skills, in theory, can be replaced by robots. An employee at the plants only sets tasks, adjusts settings and repair in the event of a breakdown. Implementation of robots enables companies to reduce production time, operational costs and expensive human labour resources as well as the cost of the product. Well-known companies Adidas and Nike can serve as good examples of successful deployment of robots in business. With the help of a Start-up called Grabit Nike robots create top of the shoes 20 times faster than a human employee would do.
We can confidently state that smart and high-quality CRM is a must-have in smart retail. However, a truly good CRM system can be an expensive solution for many companies. We have figured out an effective and affordable alternative the powerful platforms based on the SAS model offered by Salesforce allow to develop effective applications with significantly save the retailer’s money.
With the AI capabilities, integration of natural language learning (NLP) technology in CRM systems without prejudice to other systems. Moreover, applying NLP technology allows a CRM system to directly respond to the requests of customers, for example, in voice chats, as well as to solve problems and resolve conflicts without human interventions.
Logistics is one of the most important segments in the retail industry. In order to run smoothly, retailers have to turn to cutting-edge solutions offered by the IT industry. If potential customers can not find a needed or desired product on a shelf, they mostly never come back to that provider again. Especially if customers come to the store for a particular product and can not find it, and even if there are a hundred more similar products on shelves they will feel disappointed with a retailer. Logistics is really a critical aspect of the retail business pivotal to the company’s success. As the logistics segment generates a lot of data about types of products, brand, time and place of shipment, occupancy and quantity of transport needed, etc.
Speed and reliability of delivery are those factors that determine the effectiveness of a retail business. Disruptions and errors in distributing often occur due to unforeseen circumstances, such as weather conditions, customs problems, human factors vehicle breakdowns.
The combination of AI and a user-friendly interface in a software application can enhance logistics processes, making them more transparent and reliable. AI-based technology allows to quickly and accurately process data on all current deliveries, detecting anomalies and making predictions about future results. One of the main features of AI is a real-time data processing, which allows companies to keep updated. For instance, if a storm warning is issued, the AI system will notify users and adjust logistics processes and operations in accordance to the warning.
Additionally, AI in logistics allows companies to promptly process the data from numerous devices, connected by the Internet of Things (IoT) technology, which a lot of traction in retail.
Talking about a good delivery, we often imply three main points: speed, reasonable price and reliability. These three points mostly determine an excellent delivery service and a great brand reputation. For modern customers, speed of delivery is the paramount factor. 16% of people will leave the cart if the delivery time is slow. However, it is not an easy task for a retailer to maintain high-quality service on par with high delivery speed. With the capabilities of AI allows to coordinate delivery operations as efficiently and quickly as possible.
For instance, having more than one delivery window, the AI system can even change the route without operator intervention.
As for the delivery price, it is more complicated. After all, the cost of delivery depends on two factors: the density of the delivery route – how many orders can be delivered for a certain delivery period, and the size orders – how many orders are delivered at each stop. AI systems quickly calculate orders, choose an optimal route as well as an order amount that can be taken at once.
Delivery reliability is another key element for retail success. If a retail company is not yet able to afford a decent delivery system, then it has to turn to reliable third-party vendors. However, if customers encounter poor delivery, they will associate it with the retail company and not with company’s delivery partners.
Bond With Customer
As the retail market becomes more competitive, companies have to find new ways to do their business more efficiently and financially well. In order to succeed, retail companies have not only to stand out on the market, but also build close relationship to their customers, both current and potential. Advertising, newsletters, promotions, websites have to become more personalized to successfully attract and retain customers. Personalization is one of the key features that will help companies to get ahead of the competition.
To implement a high-quality AI system, a company needs a team consisting of a marketer, a data scientist, a solution architect, developers and UX / UI specialists. Obviously, hiring such a team for full-time is an expensive and wasteful decision. A better alternative is to outsource developing of AI systems or approach a consulting company. AI technology takes company relationship with its customers to the next level. AI-driven systems process a huge amount of customer behaviour data o, both historical and online and then provide companies with valuable insights.
In addition, as an AI systems processes customer-related data, it can better understand company’s audience and hence target it with an appealing content, analyzing customer reactions to it and making needed adjustments to the content. As a result, retail companies can create an engaging buying experience for their customers.
Smart retail is the undoubted future of retail. The digital age requires a strategy and approach change in most segments of this industry. To stay ahead, retail companies need to wisely use available data, that retail companies have more than enough. AI has potential to increase the efficiency of each chain in retail as well as enhance profitability of the whole company business. However, implementing AI technologies can cost plenty of time and money.
While you are thinking about whether you need smart retail, your competitors might be already implementing it in their business, making a huge profit. According to the Capgemini Research Institute, 25% of the world’s 250 leading retailers are already integrating AI into their organizations. Do not miss the opportunity to fall into this 25 percent and start transforming your retail into smart retail. Softengi, with 10 years of experience in digital business transformation, is ready to help you to successfully implement AI tools and prove that exactly AI will be cause of your future growth.
Digital Twins (AR)
Some additional perks of using digital twins:
•There is deep and ultra-precise
reproduction of the object.Today, using CAD, CAM sketches we can create 100%
accurate digital replicas of any piece of equipment paying attention to the
• Digital Twins technology is universal for using
various gadgets. It’s possible to adapt a 3D model to AR application for mobile phones
and tablets or MR application for HoloLens thanks to the identical code.
•All digital twins are interactive. A user can examine
a piece of equipment from all the angles, touch it and move some of its parts,
he/she can listen to the equipment working!
•A high degree of immersion in the process
of work. Photorealism of the equipment and the ability to see it in a full
size ( all the models can be scaled) contribute to the realistic perception and
full immersion of the potential client into the process of exploration.
Using a remote assistant, a company can conduct real-time consultations with leading experts, as well as transmit visual annotations.
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