Category: Products

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Top Technologies Driving Laboratory Efficiency and Accuracy Forward

For decades, clinical laboratories have played a significant role in advancing patient care within the nation’s healthcare system. Through effective testing processes, clinical laboratorians generate accurate results that support doctors and other medical experts in making appropriate diagnoses and treatment plans for their patients. As new diseases, strains, and the global spread of life-threatening illnesses increase, rapid testing and diagnosis become more apparent.

Laboratories around the world have stepped up to the challenge by adopting technologies that enable them to work more efficiently to support the growing demand for improved diagnostics and patient care. Continue reading to learn more about technological trends in clinical laboratories.

Cloud Technology

The adoption of cloud technology in clinical laboratories has worked to streamline lab processes, create controlled environments, and disseminate information in real-time. Advanced lab equipment comes with features that automatically record testing data and store it in the cloud allowing technicians, scientists, and other associated parties to access pertinent medical information quickly. 

Assisting scientists and technicians in maintaining a controlled environment, the integration of cloud technology in advanced lab equipment immediately alerts teams when issues arise in the testing or experimental stages. Such alerts provide teams with the support they need to accurately monitor and adjust processes as necessary to generate accurate results. 

Lastly, cloud technology features allow scientists to share information in real-time with project contributors from virtually anywhere. The data can be accessed remotely, making it easier to collaborate with other employees and laboratories for improved productivity. 

Improved Equipment Designs

New technologies have enabled designers to create more efficient lab equipment compact in size with advanced capabilities for more efficient lab and testing processes. Microfluidic cell sorting, for example, can be done on a compact system, performing various functions, and helps to eliminate the need for traditional flow cytometry lab setups with simple, easy to use technology. Such innovations save laboratories money, time, and space.

Automation

The use of lab equipment to automate testing and experimental processes have been an ongoing practice for most clinical labs. As technology continues to advance, current equipment designs include features and automation tools that save time and improve efficiency in laboratory processes. The use of automation in laboratories reduces the need for manual tasks previously performed by lab technicians eliminating many daunting and repetitive steps in experimental studies resulting in authentic results in record time. Scientists and technicians are now able to focus their attention on critically analyzing data. 

Sustainability

As the general public becomes increasingly concerned about the environment, industries across the board have taken great strides to do their part to reduce their carbon footprint. Realizing the extensive amount of energy used to operate labs, scientists and lab workers have begun utilizing resources that support a more eco-friendly and sustainable work environment

Many laboratories reduced their carbon footprint by improving their recycling efforts by properly and safely disposing of used supplies, equipment, and containers. Consequently, in purchasing recycled materials for experiments, testing, and lab processes, laboratories have also been able to save a significant amount of money. 

A new concept, referred to as open labs have also become an increasingly popular method for laboratories looking to reduce their carbon footprint. With technological resources like compact equipment, cloud technology, and automation features, sharing space, equipment, and data amongst other labs cuts down on waste while saving money. 

The investment in more efficient lab equipment has also improved sustainability within the industry. Newer models require less energy to operate without compromising the accuracy of results. 
At a time when the world is in the middle of what could be the worst threat to public health in history, clinical laboratories are needed in the fight. From increased testing and rapid results to the development of vaccinations and treatment options, scientists and lab techs around the world will ultimately save humanity. As such, laboratories need to continue to adopt technology trends such as those described above to deliver the most accurate results as quickly as possible.

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How to Set up a Print Server on Linux

After years of working as a support technician, I can tell you one of the most frustrating pieces of technology out there is the printer. When they work, they are an indispensable tool in the office. When they don’t work (as it often happens), they are a never-ending point of frustration.

This is especially true when your printer is attached to a Windows machine that can cause any number of problems, without rhyme or reason. Getting that shared printer back up and running can take some time. Or you might wind up having to call in support. 
To make matters worse, printer problems don’t just plague end users. This almost universal bone of contention causes problems for every level of the user, even all the way up to JavaScript developers, like those at BairesDev.

Fortunately, there’s a way for your business to avoid the headaches brought about by sharing printers from desktop machines. That solution is to deploy a Linux printer server. Once you have such a server up and running, you’ll find it will serve you without fail (so long as the hardware and your network don’t become a problem).

Outside of reliability, the fact that you’ll be using open source means the only cost for you is the hardware. 

Requirements

First off, you need to have a printer that supports Linux. At one point in time, this was a challenge that caused many users to avoid the Linux print server. But that’s all in the past. Today, it’s fairly easy to have a Linux printer. To find out what printers are supported by Linux, check out the OpenPrinting site

With your supported printer at the ready, you’ll need to make sure it’s connected to your Linux server. 

You’ll also need to have a Linux server available. I’ll be demonstrating with Ubuntu Server 18.04, as that’s one of the most user-friendly Linux server distributions on the market. Do note, however, that Ubuntu Server 18.04 installs without a GUI, so you’ll be working from the command line.

Finally, you’ll need a user with sudo privileges.

And that it’s. Let’s get to work.

Installing the CUPS printer server software

The first thing to take care of is the installation of the CUPS printer server software. CUPS stands for Common Unix Printer Server and has been around for some time. 

To install CUPS, log into your Ubuntu server and issue the command:

sudo apt-get install cups -y

Once the installation completes, you’ll need to start the CUPS daemon and configure it to start at boot (otherwise you’ll have to start it manually anytime the server goes down). To start the CUPS daemon, issue the command:

sudo systemctl start cups

 To enable the CUPS daemon at boot, issue the command:

sudo systemctl enable cups

Configuring CUPS

With CUPS installed, it’s time to configure it. Only a few quick changes need to be made within the configuration file. To open that file for editing, issue the command:

sudo nano /etc/cups/cupsd.conf

The first change you need to make is the line:

Browsing Off

Change that to:

Browsing On

Next, you need to configure CUPS so that the web-based manager is accessible from within your Local Area Network (LAN). Look for the line:

Listen localhost:631

Change that line to:

Port 631

For our next trick, you’ll have to make sure that CUPS is listening on all network interfaces. Look for the following section:

<Location />

  Order allow, deny

</Location>

Change that to:

<Location />

  Order allow, deny

  Allow @LOCAL

</Location>

Finally, you’ll want to add access to the CUPS web-based admin console. Look for the section:

<Location /admin>

  Order allow, deny

</Location>

Change that to:

<Location /admin>

  AuthType Default

  Require valid-user

  Order allow, deny

  Allow @LOCAL

</Location>

If you do opt to make the web-based admin console available, you might want to lock it down to allow only a specific user. To do this, you would change the line:

Require valid-user

to

Require user @SYSTEM

Save and close the cupsd.conf file. Restart the CUPS daemon with the command:

sudo systemctl restart cups

If you opted to lock down the admin console to a specific user, you’ll want to create that user with the command:

sudo useradd -g lpadmin cupsadmin

Set the new user’s password with the command:

sudo passwd cupsadmin

With that configuration, you can point a browser to https://SERVERIP/admin (where SERVERIP is the IP address of the machine hosting CUPS). You will be prompted to log in with the cupsadmin user and the password you set above.

Share the printer via Bonjour and IPP protocols

You’ll want to make sure your printer is visible to your LAN via Bonjour (for macOS desktops) and IPP (for most other desktops). To make this work, you’ll need to install the avahi daemon with the command:

sudo apt install avahi-daemon -y

Once installed, start and enable the daemon with the commands:

sudo systemctl start avahi-daemon

sudo systemctl enable avahi-daemon

Open the firewall

If you happen to have the UFW firewall enabled on the Server, allow Bonjour and IPP printer traffic through with the command:

sudo ufw all 5353/udp

Connecting your printer

At this point, everything is ready for desktops to connect. How you connect the desktop to the printer server will depend on which desktop you are using. For example, with Pop!_OS Linux, I can go to Settings > Printers, and (as long as the necessary drivers are installed) the new printer will automatically appear (Figure 1).

Figure 1

Our printer on the CUPS printer server is now available for connection.

Conclusion

And that’s all there is to set up a reliable Linux printer server. The only hiccup you will run across is if you have entities outside of your LAN (such as third-party JavaScript development companies). To allow those groups to use the printers connected to the server, you’ll need to employ a VPN. Otherwise, your printer server is ready and should serve you without fail.

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Explaining why Fintech Industry Needs Blockchain with Use Cases

Blockchain technology has emerged as one of the most popular data technologies that revolutionized the way data is stored, protected, and shared in modern organizations. This decentralized data management system uses complex cryptographic protection and stores data in decentralized blocks to prevent all kinds of tampering efforts. Blockchain follows a ‘write-only’ protocol that allows only adding data and disallows any changes, deleting or tampering data. 

 

Since the fintech industry is highly data-driven and data security plays a key role in the fintech apps’ success, Blockchain has become widely popular for solving many data security concerns of banking and financial firms. As CTO of Cerdonis Technologies LLC, Paul Osborne pointed out, “Emerging economies with an increasing volume of banking and non-banking investment and transactions are direct beneficiaries of Blockchain.”

 

Here are some of the credible use cases of Blockchain in the fintech sector. 

 

Blockchain-Powered Global Payments

 

 

The principal reason for the blockchain-powered payments to be tremendously secure is the personal cryptocurrency keys that every user can use for carrying out transactions. Moreover, Blockchain coming with a ‘write-only’ protocol doesn’t allow overwriting the transactions, and any changes brought to the transactions can only be facilitated with everyone’s consent. Any change is shared and distributed across the network in actual time to make sure that all the participants remain completely informed. 

 

Blockchain allows registering and evaluating every transaction so that there can be no scope of tampering transaction data. No wonder, leading Fintech companies around the world are increasingly embracing Blockchain for safeguarding payment. The best thing about Blockchain is that no longer global payments involving multiple currencies need traditional money transfer solutions.

 

Peer to Peer (P2P) Payments

 

A bulk portion of the international transactions belongs to the Peer to Peer (P2P) category involving considerable amounts of transaction fees for sending and receiving money. Apart from being exposed to risks from third-party platforms, such transactions end up adding more transaction costs that individuals and small businesses need to bear. 

 

Apart from the huge additional transaction cost that people and businesses need to bear around the world, the traditional international P2P payments also get delayed at various instances. Blockchain can offer a comprehensive and conclusive solution to all these and can ensure more streamlined transactions involving less cost. No wonder cryptocurrency-based money transfers are already becoming popular, and several players emerged in this sector, OkCoin, BitPesa, Ripple, Sentbe, etc. 

 

Reducing the Risks of Stock Market Manipulation 

 

Investors in various parts of the world are also relying more on advanced technologies for decision making. Blockchain is increasingly becoming a great technology choice in the equity investment segment for streamlining investments, improving efficiencies, and extending the market reach. 

 

Apart from helping with enhanced efficiency, Blockchain is also reducing the dark manipulations that big players in the stock market often practice. Lowering transaction costs is another major benefit of using Blockchain for the stock market. 

 

Credit Scoring and Rating 

 

Credit scoring and rating is an integral part of the evaluation of people’s creditworthiness. These days thanks to Blockchain, Fintech companies can even carry out such evaluating processes for populations still not covered under banking credit products. While evaluating precise credit scores is crucial to safeguard banking and non-banking credits from non-payment risks, Blockchain-based credit scoring can be used to make such scoring and rating more accurate.  

 

Maintaining Regulatory Compliance 

 

 

In the financial industry, the need for regulatory compliance plays a key role, and this is where Blockchain can play a great role. FinTech companies are facilitating regulatory compliance by using the latest technologies like Blockchain. Thanks to blockchain technology and its completely tamper-proof way of safeguarding data across distributed networks, it can play a great role in helping banks and financial institutions to remain in sync with industry regulations while dealing with the regulatory complexities efficiently.  

 

By maintaining multiple copies of transactions that constantly get evaluated, Blockchain based compliance platforms literally make it impossible for the firms to breach compliance. 

 

Minimizing the Identity Theft 

 

For the past several years, issues corresponding to identity theft and digital frauds are steadily increasing in the financial sector. This is why know-your-customer processes and anti-money laundering measures have become important for the banking and financial sectors. On the other hand, banks and financial firms still rely heavily on paperwork. Paper-based customer documents are finding it difficult to compete with digitally equipped banks and firms in terms of efficiency and data risk. This is where the role of Blockchain technology became important. 

 

By implementing a blockchain-based system, the fintech companies can streamline the entire process in which the customer has to evaluate their identity just once. The entire process of identity verification can be completely tamper-proof and free of a security risk as several blocks of data across the network will store the same document, and any change will be shared and distributed across the network in real-time. 

 

Blockchain-Based Reward and Loyalty Systems 

 

Besides securing data and streamlining processes in fintech firms, blockchain technology can also play a crucial role in making the customer rewards and loyalty systems more streamlined. Thanks to blockchain technology, businesses can utilize a multitude of less expensive loyalty programs and customize them as per different customer needs and preferences. Most importantly, Blockchain allows tracking the impact and traction of each and every reward program separately. 

 

Conclusion

 

Blockchain has started to play a key role in the scheme of things for all financial firms. From security to streamlining processes to data transfer and sharing, Blockchain’s huge positive impact in the Fintech industry is likely to continue in the years to come. 

ProductsSaaS

6 Best Customer Support Products for Better Customer Retention

Building brand loyalty and retaining customers is one of the most important factors for the long-term success of your business.

If you feel like you’re constantly trying to keep up with your customers, we’ve compiled a list of 6 tools that will help you retain your existing customers so you can focus your time and effort on expanding your business.

The Benefits of Customer Retention

If you’ve been running a successful business for any length of time, chances are you already have a number of returning customers.

Customer retention includes all the tools and techniques you can use to make sure customers like these keep doing business with your company in the long run.

Like with many other aspects of business, the 80/20 rule also holds here. This means that 80% of your profits will come from 20% of your best clients, so focusing on customer retention should be one of your top priorities.

Another thing to consider is that keeping your current customer base can cost up to 5 times less than trying to find new customers. An investment in customer retention will not only bring more profits but also let you stretch your budget further.

Top 6 Tools for Customer Retention

Now that we know how important customer retention can be, we will go over some of the tools that can help make the whole process easy to set up and use. These tools will cover different approaches and techniques you can use to build customer loyalty.

Document360

Document360 gives you a full suite of tools needed to build and maintain a knowledge base.

This resource can be invaluable to your customers, offering answers to any questions they might have about your product. At the same time, it saves you the time and resources you would spend on customer support calls.

On top of that, strong customer support is one of the best ways to build brand loyalty. It lets your customers know you’re there for them and are ready to help with any problem they might have.

Document360 also has a handy internal knowledge base, covering all the features they offer and showing you how to make the best use of their tools.

Key Features

  • Product documentation – Tools that will help you create, preview, and publish your knowledge base articles.
  • Category manager – Lets you create categories and subcategories, use them to arrange articles, and manage user access.
  • Editor – Lets you manage article content and insert additional elements, such as images, code blocks, and tables.
  • Branding – Allows you to customize the look and feel of your knowledge base and bring it in line with the rest of your brand identity.
  • Security – Lets you backup and export your articles and determine the level of access for your team members.

Pricing

  • Startup ($49 per project, per month) – Offers a limited range of tools and storage for smaller teams.
  • Business ($149 per project, per month) – Full range of tools with expanded storage.

Upsend

Upsend is less focused on specific customer retention techniques, instead offering a multi-faceted approach with a range of tools that help you engage with your customers.

These tools range from automated marketing campaigns to live chat and even guided tours of your products and services. Upsend is great if you want one tool that will help you cover all the bases in an easy-to-use way.

Key Features

  • Customer data hub – Lets you capture and manage customer information, sort customers by categories, and validate customer emails for use in marketing campaigns.
  • Customer support – Allows you to set up a live chat with your customers, which you can also automate using chatbots. It also lets you integrate outside elements in your chat, such as pictures and videos, shared files, and articles in your knowledge base.
  • Marketing automation – Lets you create and use templates for email campaigns. These can then be additionally personalized using the information from your customer data hub. You can also set up automated email campaigns and instantly send the to customer categories you already set up.
  • Knowledge base – Allows you to set up a knowledge base for your products and sort articles by categories.
  • Product tour – You can onboard new customers quickly and easily through interactive product tours.

Pricing

  • Free – Only supports one team member, but offers live chat and a team inbox.
  • Grow ($39) – Supports up to 3 team members with limited features.
  • Pro ($99) – Unlimited team members, full set of features.

Crisp

Crisp focuses on direct communication with your customers. It combines live chat, CRM, email campaigns, and knowledge bases to help you set up a comprehensive customer support and marketing system.

Communication is key when it comes to customer retention. The more you engage with your customers, the more they will keep your brand at the forefront of their minds.

Key Features

  • Live chat – Provides a live chat service with an integrated inbox and lets you set up a video chat with customers.
  • Chatbot – Integrates with the live chat feature to make sure you provide customer support 24/7.
  • CRM – Helps you capture new leads and keep track of existing ones with ease.
  • Shared inbox – Keeps all incoming messages in one place, while letting you set up automated replies.
  • Integration – Lets you connect Crisp with tried-party apps like Slack, WordPress, Mailchimp, Shopify, and many others.
  • Campaigns – Allows you to create automated marketing campaigns using email or in-app messages.
  • Knowledge base – Create and manage help articles.
  • Status page – Lets you alert your customers about changes to your products and technical issues through live chat or in-app messages.

Pricing

  • Free – Two live chat seats and team inbox.
  • Pro ($25 per website, per month) – Four chat seats and a limited set of features.
  • Unlimited ($95 per website, per month) – Unlimited chat seats with a full range of features.

lemtalk

Similarly to Crisp, lemtalk tries to help you make customer support easy and convenient. However, lemtalk focuses on integrating customer support features, like live chat and email, with your company’s Slack.

Key Features

  • Slack integration – Provides quick integration and expands the list of commands you can use in Slack.
  • Slack live chat – Integrate live chat with your company’s Slack workplace.
  • Emails in Slack – Integrate support emails into your company’s Slack workplace.
  • SMS in Slack – Receive and answer text messages directly from your company’s Slack workplace.
  • Facebook integration – Integrates your company’s Facebook inbox with your Slack workplace.
  • FAQ – Lets you set up an FAQ page for your customers, with any support tickets going directly to your company’s Slack.
  • Multilingual live chat – Allows you to set up live chat in over 150 languages.

Pricing

  • Startup ($48 per month) – Allows 1 widget, chat language, and rule for automation and includes lemtalk branding.
  • Super Hero ($96 per month) – Unlimited number of live chats, knowledge base articles, and automation rules, multilingual live chat and knowledge base, no lemtalk branding.
  • Agency ($249 per month) – Full set of tools with unlimited access, supports up to 5 Slack teams.

Woobox

Loyalty programs are an often overlooked aspect of customer retention. This has a lot to do with how they are perceived since they’re often associated with brick-and-mortar businesses.

Loyalty programs can be a great tool in your arsenal even if your business is fully online. They encourage customer engagement with a system of rewards. This is a small investment on your end that can have a great impact on your bottom line.

Woobox focuses on helping you set up loyalty programs and contests on your website, such as giveaways, polls, coupons, and more.

Key Features

  • Templates – Use pre-generated campaigns and landing pages as a base for your contests and giveaways.
  • Customization – Change the design of available templates to bring them in line with your company’s brand image.
  • Participant management – Helps you easily approve and manage participant entries and pick winners.
  • Integration – Allows you to customize your campaigns for mobile devices and integrate them with social media profiles.

Pricing

  • Free – Unlimited campaigns with 100 participants per month. Allows Facebook integration.
  • Basic ($37 per month) – Unlimited campaigns with 1,000 participants per month with access to all types of campaigns and full customization.
  • Standard ($32 per month, billed annually) – Unlimited campaigns and participants, all types of campaigns, and full customization.
  • Advanced ($99 per month, billed annually) – Unlimited access with up to 5 team members, custom HTML & CSS for your campaigns.
  • Power ($249 per month, billed annually) – Unlimited access with no limit for team members, custom HTML, CSS & JS for your campaigns.

Qualaroo

When all is said and done, you will still need to know how satisfied your customers are with your brand. After all, this is what determines your brand reputation and drives customer loyalty.

This is where Qualaroo steps in. It helps you set up surveys for your visitors directly on your website and analyze the results to get an accurate picture of your customers’ likes and dislikes.

Key Features

  • Survey templates – Lets you save time by choosing from a library of pre-generated surveys.
  • AI sentiment analysis – Allows you to automatically mine customer feedback and set up actions based on the sentiment score.
  • Mobile integration – Lets you integrate surveys with the mobile version of your website.
  • Nudge for prototypes – Allows you to set up surveys for design prototypes of your web pages.
  • Exit intent surveys – Set up surveys that will trigger with completed purchases or if a customer is about to leave your website.
  • Questions branching – Set up dynamic surveys where the questions change based on previous answers.
  • NPS – Include questions that determine your Net Promoter Score.
  • A/B testing – Integrates surveys with A/B testing on your website.

Pricing

  • Startup ($199 per month) – Full survey functionality with up to 500k Nudge views on one domain, logo & color customization, and Google Analytics support.
  • Growth ($499 per month) – Full survey functionality with up to 1 million Nudge views on three domains, full customization, and advanced audience segmentation.
  • Turbo Growth (starting at $2,250 per month, billed annually) – Full suite of tools and customization with up to 2 million Nudge views on 20 domains.

Final Thoughts

Tracking down new leads and attracting new customers can prove to be much more expensive and time-consuming than building brand loyalty with the customers you already have.

The 6 tools we listed above will help you with this process, tackling and automating different aspects of customer retention. This will not only free up your time and let you focus on the big-picture business decisions, but will also drive up customer satisfaction, and, finally, profit.

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Text Message Archiving: One of The Best Ways to Improve Litigation Preparedness

There are several reasons why organizations should record text messages or SMS, and capture other mobile content, including voice calls and emails. The main purpose is to stay compliant with data preservation regulations imposed by the government. Archiving in advance using sophisticated tools and software can save your time and money in eDiscovery to recover data in its original form and context.

eDiscovery or electronic discovery is the process by which electronically stored information (ESI) gets requested, located, and produced with the primary intent of being used in a lawsuit as evidence. It can also be used as part of a Freedom of Information Act request or for government investigations.

Prevent Evidence Spoliation with Text Message Record

Electronic data is believed to be very specific. This is not just because it is in an intangible form and of transient quality, but also because it is accompanied with highly useful metadata. This refers to the device that was used to send the text message, the time and date sent, and the contents of the message.

Such a text message record can play a vital role in evidence. It is not viable to take screenshots of every single SMS sent. It requires archiving software to preserve document metadata and to make it available through a vast volume of organizational information.

Remember, electronic data is easily susceptible to spoliation because of its intangible nature. You cannot expect all your employees to have the same phone they do now after a year or so. In addition, there is always the risk of losing data when a particular mobile device gets damaged or messages get accidentally deleted.

You could lose vast amounts of information that could have a major impact on the outcome of your litigation case and eDiscovery process. Many organizations have improved the way they deal with eDiscovery requests by establishing best practices. You can better cope with an ESI request by investing in a tried and tested litigation preparedness archiving software.

In fact, the right kind of tool could cut down your time to respond by one-third.

Text Archiving Allows for Better Organization

There is a reason why successful lawyers come prepared with organized files. This is to reduce the risk of missing something that could be vital to the legal proceedings. Without archiving your organizational text messages, you risk leaving everything unorganized. No internal, incoming, or outgoing text messages will be captured.

However, with the right text message archiving solution, you could ensure that every text message is not only captured but indexed and made searchable. There are various software solutions that could pack the archived information into long-term storage and allow for easy access whenever you require.

You can have access to a well-indexed and searchable archive when you receive an EIS request. Depending on the software you choose, you may also gain access to the metadata of those message records in addition to the information contained within them.

This way you can easily search for all relevant records on the basis of context and retrieve whatever is required at a fraction of the time. 

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A Handbook on “Go Agile”!

Agile is a procedure by which a team can deal with a project by separating it into a few stages and including steady coordinated effort with stakeholders and consistent improvement and emphasis at each phase of the task. It starts with clients laying out how the finished result will be utilized and what issue it will resolve.

What is Scrum???

  1. Scrum is a subset of Agile. It is a lightweight process framework for agile development, and one of the most widely used one.
  2. It’s not a process or methodology.
  3. Easy to understand.
  4. Based on Empiricism which means that scrum artifacts should be transparent to everyone in the team.

Principles of Agile

  1. To fulfil the client through right on time and continuous use of important software.
  2. To cater to changing requirements, even late in app development
  3. Delivering working software frequently.
  4. Stakeholders work with the scrum team together throughout the project so as to avoid any communication gaps.
  5. The most efficient way of communicating information within the team is face-to-face conversation.
  6. The progress of work is measured by working software.
  7. Continuous attention is paid to technical excellence.
  8. Due to the self-organizational team structure, the best architectures, designs, and ideas come up.

Empiricism

  1. Transparency:- All artifacts of the process should be visible to the stakeholders and the scrum team. Due to transparency, they can inspect the current state of the project and take necessary action if needed.
  2. Inspection:- Having regular inspections of artifacts will help the stakeholders to incorporate changes in order to achieve the goal.
  3. Adaptation:- Improvements can be made by adjusting the process based on the inspection results.

Scrum is Iterative and Incremental

First one – Incremental

Second one – Iterative

Incremental:- This type of development is to build small increments of the entire product. Each increment adds more features to the product. After multiple increments, you will get the complete product.

Iterative:- This development is to build something, take some feedback, and then refining to make it better. This will keep happening until we receive the product of good quality.

The Scrum Team

  1. The Product Owner.
  2. The Development Team.
  3. The Scrum Master.

The Product Owner

The product owner is liable for augmenting the estimation of the product and work of the development group.

  1. Clearly describing the Product backlog items.
  2. Responsible for managing the product backlog.
  3. To ensure the PBI is visible and clear to all.
  4. To ensure the requirement is understood by all to the level it is required.
  5. Accountable for building high-value products.
  6. Ordering of Product backlog items to achieve the best goals.
  7. Responsible for understanding and answering all questions pertaining to the product domain.
  8. Responsible for tracking the release progress.
  9. Liable for making and dealing with the release plans.
  10. Liable for making and building up the product vision.
  11. Enhancing the estimation of work done by the development team.

The Development Team

The Development Team comprises experts who accomplish crafted by conveying a conceivably releasable Increment of “Done” product at the end of each Sprint.

  1. Cross-functional and self-organizing.
  2. Participates in all scrum events.
  3. Responsible for creating the product increment.
  4. Collaborates with the Product Owner for optimal value.
  5. Responsible for identifying and eliminating technical debts.
  6. Liable for creating and coordinating the sprint backlog.
  7. Responsible for implementing good engineering practices.
  8. Helps product owners in backlog management by explaining the technical constraints.
  9. Answerable for learning all the functions required to convey a product increment.
  10. Answerable for following the advancement of the sprint.

The Scrum Master

The scrum master is responsible for ensuring that Scrum is understood and enacted by all. He ensures that the scrum team adheres to Scrum practices and rules.

  1. He is a servant- leader to the scrum team.
  2. Responsible for building the product fast by eliminating impediments.
  3. Goes about as a change agent that builds the productivity of the scrum team.
  4. Mentors the development team for self-organization and cross-functionality.
  5. Helps the product owners prioritize the work and teaches stakeholders value-based prioritization.
  6. Facilitates Scrum events as requested or required.
  7. Finds and teaches techniques for effective product backlog management to the product owners.
  8. Enables workers and partners of the association to comprehend and institute Scrum and experimental product development.
  9. Assists with streamlining the outside connection with the scrum group to amplify the value created.

Scrum Events

All occasions are time-boxed occasions, with the end goal that each occasion has a maximum duration. When a Sprint starts, its span is fixed and can’t be abbreviated or extended.

The remainder of the events may end at whatever point the explanation behind the event is accomplished, ensuring an appropriate proportion of time is spent without allowing waste at the same time.

The Sprint

The core of Scrum is a Sprint, a time-box of one month or less during which a “Done”, usable, and possibly releasable product Increment is made.

  1. Sprint Planning:-  A time-boxed event that occurs at the beginning of every sprint where the team determines the product backlog items they will work on during the sprint.
  2. Daily Scrum:- It’s a brief time-boxed occasion for the development group to synchronize exercises and make an arrangement for the following 24 hours.
  3. Sprint Review:- This is again a time-boxed event that occurs at the end of every sprint to inspect the increment and adapt the product backlog if needed.
  4. Sprint Retrospective:- This occasion gives a chance to the team to review itself and make an arrangement for enhancements to be done in the following sprint

Scrum Artifacts

Scrum Artifacts speak to work or incentive to give transparency and chances to investigation and transformation. Artifacts have been planned with a reason that everyone has a similar comprehension of the artifact.

  1. Product Backlog:- An arranged rundown of everything that may be required in the product which is the single wellspring of necessities for any progressions to be made to the item. The Product Owner is liable for the Product Backlog, including its content, accessibility, and ordering.
  2. Sprint Backlog:- The arrangement of Product Backlog things chose for the Sprint alongside an arrangement for conveying the item increase and understanding the run objective.
  3. Product Increment:- The whole of all the Product Backlog things finished during a Sprint and the estimation of the additions of every past Sprint is called item increase. 
  4. Product Backlog Refinement:- The ongoing product backlog refinement takes place within each sprint to refine items to be ready for future sprints.

Scrum Values

  1. Commitment:- It is a team activity where you and your team are accountable to work together and confirm your team commitments. The scrum teams must be committed to progress and stick to the goal of the project.
  2. Focus:- Once the requirements are clear and the target is set, one should be goal-oriented which motivates you for delivering faster and better.
  3. Openness:- Colleagues ought to be open about their work, progress, what they realized and the issues they are confronting. Additionally, you ought to be available to work with partners, perceiving people to be people, and not resources, robots, or replaceable bits of equipment.
  4. Respect:- As a piece of the Scrum group, you should regard partners, their choices, and their experience. You should regard your partners by not building anything in which individuals are not intrigued. You have to similarly regard your clients by settling their issues.
  5. Courage:- Flexibility to change shapes the bedrock of any Scrum project and to acknowledge a change, fearlessness is required. Scrum is tied in with facing challenges and discovering an improved arrangement. The Scrum group is permitted to consider various ways to deal with the workshop the best and most proper arrangements. So as to execute new things to the undertaking, we have to disclose these new plans to the group for which you would require fearlessness.

Author bio

Radhika Sethi is a tech enthusiast with specialization in Digital Marketing. She is passionate about technology, internet marketing, big data, and writing. Currently working in Affle Enterprise, a chatbot development company. Reading novels, traveling, researching new online marketing trends are some of her areas of interest that keep her rejuvenated.

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Manufacturing Toolbox for Next-Level Productivity

The story of the manufacturing industry has been one of progress. Few manufacturers continue to produce the same products as they did in their infancy years. In order to remain competitive, manufacturers must continue to evolve their products to meet the demands of the marketplace. But meeting consumer demand is only half the battle — the other half is staying up to speed with industry advancements. New technology brings a host of changes that manufacturers must recognize. For example, increasing dependence on automation leads to the need for more skilled workers who understand these advanced systems. If workers cannot adapt successfully, organizations could find themselves struggling to keep up with the rest of the industry. To remain competitive in this dynamic environment, organizations should have several tools at their disposal that go beyond the physical equipment and technology innovations used in their facilities. These tools are ideas manufacturers can keep in their toolbox and use to produce next-level productivity. For example, one tool can be an investment in regular maintenance, which can ensure that machinery stays in service for as long as possible. This results in higher productivity and fewer costly downtime periods. For more ideas manufacturing companies should keep in their toolboxes, check out this infographic containing important concepts manufacturers can use to boost their production and become more efficient overall. There’s more than one kind of tool necessary for success in manufacturing. Here are some concepts and ideas you should have in your toolbox to yield higher productivity
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Increasing Customer Convenience By Implementing These Payment Methods

Financial transactions have become easier than ever with the many digital payment options available today. However, this is a bit of a double-edged sword. Where does one begin to make sense of all the possibilities? We hear all this new jargon, from the option to sell bitcoins online to innovative tech that allows customers to tap their transactions. It all seems somewhat daunting, and we instinctively know that a lot of it has to be a fad or at least rather niche.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t some feasible and efficient payment options you can implement to improve customer convenience. While there are several ways to turn site visitors into loyal buyers, payment options are important. The trick lies in understanding how these options work, and what degree of market adoption they enjoy. There is no point in investing in a technology that only a fragment of the market uses.

NFC Payment

One must then look for the options that have a broader market adoption, and there are a number of them that stand out. The possibility that is garnering the most significant market share is NFC payment, and it is prudent to understand why. Most new technologies fail because they rely on the implementation and adoption of entirely new tech. NFC, or near field communication, owes its success to the fact that it utilizes a technology that most people carry around in their pocket in any case.

The technology was initially developed to share media and documents between personal devices instantly. It just so happened that it is the same technology your bank card uses to make single-tap payments. Using readily accessible payment services that act as an intermediary between the banks and your client, a simple tap of their device is all it takes to complete a transaction.

QR Code Payments

Unfortunately, not all smartphones have NFC capabilities. This doesn’t exclude users without the facility to use their smartphones to make transactions. Companies like Zapper have stepped in with an alternative solution. QR codes made their debut as a novelty method of directing internet traffic in an engaging and fun way. You may remember a few years ago when scanning QR codes were all the rage, and every brand was coming up with ways to get you to scan a code to get more exposure.

That trend has died down, but the technology has found a new purpose by way of payment option. Zapper links to your bank account and allows a simple method of transaction. You simply scan the code and follow the on-screen prompts and bob’s your uncle. It turns out that this is also a very secure method of payment. Although it was initially a fifty-fifty bet on whether it would see significant adoption, the number of options and ways for QR payments has made it accessible enough to see a decent market share.

PayPal Payment

Speaking of market share, PayPal is one of the most broadly used payment methods for international transactions. For the legion of freelance workers across the globe who get paid in USD, there is a bit of a challenge and process of freeing funds into local currency. It is because of this rather notable demographic that it is strange to see how few companies offer payment options for PayPal accounts.

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5 Ways Businesses Can Avoid Risk of Information Breach Online

Successfully managing a business is a daunting errand because of the challenges you face amidst the journey. Cyber-attacks have been exponentially increasing; alone, in 2019, it is reported that breach of data exposed 4.1 billion records. And with that, the need to secure your business is becoming of enormous importance.

Business information serves as a critical asset for any company and makes it of the utmost worth. Therefore, in this post, I will be sharing 05 hand-picked ways to minimize and eradicate the risk of getting your information stolen by hackers. 

Let’s dive right into how you can protect your information online from cyber thefts. 

1. Use a Secure Network 

Surfing on the websites using public Wi-Fi makes your information exposed to cybercriminals. That further leads to increased chances of getting your vital information stolen. Thereby, it would be best if you used a secured network that is end-to-end encrypted. 

One of the best ways is to incorporate a virtual private network connection on all your devices to get full-fledged security. On top of that, using multiple devices VPN makes it easier for you to protect information sharing on all systems. Besides top-notch security, it will also enable you to have online anonymity on all networks.

2. Beware of  Phishing Emails

To avoid information breach, you need to be vigilant about the emails you entertain in your daily routine. Phishing emails are increasing enormously and are one of the apparent reasons behind security vulnerabilities. Make sure you do not click any of the emails that seem like a spamming activity.

Also, companies must provide adequate security training to the staff, administering the emails to know the parameter to recognize a fraudulent email. Based on a recent report conducted by Mimecast State of Email Security, almost 60 percent of companies are likely to bear email attacks if not appropriately secured. Therefore, you need to ensure to keep intense monitoring before you open any email. 

3. Encrypt Confidential Information

Access to sensitive information must be in the hands of critical stakeholders only. Company owners need to make their employees well-versed in handling cyber-security. It is essential to encrypt all the data you have stored in your business systems.

Never share any of your details using the collaboration tools as the risk of information theft is considerably high. For instance, it has been reported that the Zoom app has some serious privacy concerns that make your shared data vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Therefore, it is best to encrypt your data on all the platforms and restrict access to trusted people only. 

4. Create a Strong Password

If you are operating multiple business accounts, you must be concerned about making it secure from cyber-attacks. One way is to make your account password sturdy enough to provide security defense to your accounts. That means you have to create a strong password to secure your sensitive information on online platforms. 

People who use easy-to-remember passwords are more vulnerable to security breaches. Thus, you need to ensure you follow the standard security policies while creating your password on business accounts. Ensure you modify your password after 6 months so as to avoid the risk of code-cracking.

Moreover, it is recommended to use a blend of unique lower and upper case letters, symbols, and numbers. Make use of two-factor authentication in your password to fortify security. This way, you can create an impenetrable password that will make it hard for hackers to attack. And eventually, your information will be safe from unwanted malware. 

5. Regulate Vulnerability Assessments 

To make sure you are following all the standard security practices on your business systems, you must use an information security management system (ISMS). That has all the power to manage your business security in one place. This way, you can be assured that all your organization data is safe from any security threat or possible vulnerabilities. Try doing security audits every after some time to ensure business systems are well-equipped to combat threats. 

Key Takeaways

The risk of an information breach is getting high, and with that, the need to upgrade your security practices is a must to consider. The online world is a cut-throat medium for hackers and other spammers. And to restrain them from harming your business, it is better you keep in practice the above shared 5 ways to avoid the risk of an information breach. Although there are other practices, too, the ones I have shared are imperative for your security. 

Author Bio

Amtul Rafay is a Cybersecurity enthusiast who loves to write on topics pertaining to online privacy, internet security, and web privacy. She believes in the influential power of research-backed opinions to stay updated with the futuristic technology trends.

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Why 5G Is so Important for the IoT

The 5th generation of wireless network technology, known as 5G, promises to dramatically increase data transfer speeds, decrease latency, and improve network reliability. These and other enhancements will result in more efficient internet access, and the ability to connect more devices within a given area at one time.

Such advancements are particularly important as the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. Expansion of the IoT supported by 5G will be enriched by innovative IoT products for both consumers and businesses with built-in security features and software validated by QA & testing services. Here we explore exactly how the IoT will benefit from 5G.

What Is the IoT?

The IoT is the collection of internet-enabled devices that are an increasingly major part of human activity. The number of active IoT devices is expected to grow to 10 billion by 2020 and to 22 billion by 2025. A robust IoT enables new services, such as self-regulating electrical grid equipment that sends signals to utility operators when it needs replacement or repair.

IoT devices include everything from our familiar smartphones to smartwatches, internet-enabled video cameras, streetlights, motor vehicles, retail beacons, store inventory, shipping containers, manufacturing equipment, and robots. These devices add a high level of convenience to everyday tasks for individuals (such as shopping) and companies (such as inventory control).

In an example described by the World Economic Forum, we see just how integrated the IoT will become, even in things as commonplace as clothes: “Maybe you’ve heard about the Commuter x Jacquard, a jacket that connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth – the result of a collaboration between Google and Levi’s. With a haptic buzz on your cuff, you are reminded about the phone you left behind; by swiping your sleeve, you can skip a song; while a tap on the shoulder strap takes a picture.”

How 5G Supports the IoT

Naturally, the more of these connected devices there are, the more bandwidth they require. While the current generation of wireless technology, 4G, has the capacity to handle many of them, 5G can support many more. Cognizant VP Randal Kenworthy, a Forbes Technology Council member, states, “5G can send data to and from as many as a million devices per square kilometer, compared to 100,000 devices per square kilometer using today’s 4G networks.”

Additionally, 5G offers super-fast speeds that are 100 times greater than 4G’s and that enable devices to make split-second calculations with optimal performance. For example, self-driving cars must be able to transfer data within milliseconds to receive instructions for how to safely perform – with 5G, they are able to do precisely that.

In addition to expanded capability and speed, 5G is more reliable than previous wireless generations, meaning essential connected objects like locks, security cameras, and other safety devices will operate more effectively. In fact, according to Intel, 5G wireless networks will be “so reliable they can replace physical connections.”

5G also enables easier setup for the IoT. According to IoT For All, rather than connecting each device to a Wi-Fi router, “5G connectivity will let each device connect wirelessly, individually and directly to your internet service provider.” In this way, “You can think of 5G as a kind of next-generation Wi-Fi.”

Industry IoT

With 5G, many industries will be able to make ever-greater use of the IoT. Here are just a few examples:

  • Agriculture. IoT sensors embedded in the soil can help farmers determine how much water or nutrients are needed and, in conjunction with artificial intelligence (AI), deliver them at the right time. These processes enable farmers to spend more time on higher-level tasks. 
  • Automotive. As mentioned above, self-driving vehicles require fast processing to operate as safely as possible. Additionally, maintenance shops can use sensors within cars to send reminders when it’s time to have them serviced. 
  • Healthcare. With 5G and the IoT, telehealth will become more ubiquitous, enabling doctors and robots to treat — and even perform surgery on — patients remotely. Wearable health monitors can help patients and healthcare providers closely monitor symptoms.
  • Manufacturing. Manufacturers will have the opportunity to respond to consumer and business demands for new IoT products. They will also use IoT devices in the manufacturing and transportation processes, such as monitoring equipment and tracking packages. 
  • Smart Cities. The possibilities for smart city technology involving the IoT are nearly limitless. One example is connected parking lots that send real-time information to smartphones about parking availability. Another is using technology to make automotive and pedestrian traffic flow more efficiently. 

In Summary

The World Economic Forum states, “Coupled with an array of other new technological solutions like IoT, edge computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, 5G is powering the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the same way that steam, electricity, and silicon powered the previous three.”

Given how the IoT can evolve with the support of 5G, both consumers and businesses are likely to see great technological leaps in the coming years. Both will benefit from greater efficiency, convenience, and flexibility in their daily activities.