Things You Must Ask Your Software Vendor

Before buying any kind of IT business solution you need to question your vendor and get all the necessary details before making the final choice and purchasing the product. So here are a few things you may want to clear out and ask your vendor before buying any type of IT application.

Will I be able to set my own username and password?

If your vendor gives you the username and password and won’t allow you to change them, then that’s a clear sign to move on to another product. Once the product is bought then it is yours. The vendor should not have the right to give you restrictions as such and they definitely don’t have the right to your company data. For example if you purchase an advanced POS systems your system will have sensitive details like your sales details, your profit details and details about your customers and suppliers. Therefore not allowing you to put your own username and password would be unethical no matter how good their credential and security is.

How often can I change my passwords?

This is another key factor in maintaining security. Take Facebook for an example, they recommend you change your passwords regularly so then should there be any difference with application that’s managing your business process. If the vendor restricts the number of times that the password can be changed then it would be good idea to look for a better option.

How often are the routine checks?

Here a vendor’s job isn’t just to install the product but they also have to maintain it and update it as well. Here when considering IT applications especially a POS system the time taken to make updates or maintenance should be very less. Since you business activities rely on the application the time taken to input updates, fix application errors should not take more than 2 days. If the vendors say that they can’t promise you this then it would be best to move on to another company.

What are the anti-virus maintenance policies you have?

Some vendors may or may not maintain your anti-virus scanning actions. So in the beginning ask if they maintain your anti-virus, do they regularly check the security logs or would you have to wait for an error or problem to occur to check if the application has been compromised. It would be best to find vendors that will provide anti-virus services as well.

Remember that IT solutions are there to increase efficiencies in the business process and security so choice one that will uplift and not drag down your business.

4 Techniques To Utilize Location-Based Marketing

Every brand that was wary about mobile advertising is now allocating more funds in annual budgets to it. Global brands are heading the mobile apps way to maximize customer engagement and to gain quick sales conversions. Here are four great ways that use geo-centric marketing campaigns to maximum benefit.
1.    Apple recently launched the iBeacon technology which sent brands shutting down their brick and mortar stores. The technology helps businesses to provide geospatial managed services that will help businesses to send the notifications to customers within a geographical area. Retailers like Lord and Taylor are using this technology to attract customers to their stores. Hudson Bay, another popular retailer is also using the same technology to push exclusive offers and product discounts to customers who are in their geographical vicinity.

2.    Quirky and GE recently joined hands to develop an air conditioner that can be controlled using a mobile device. Most manufacturers have also GE’s footsteps to create mobile controlled home appliances. Apps created using geospatial managed services were deployed to find customers for this exclusive product. The campaign also involved a weather alert system which popped the air conditioner ad on user screens when the temperature for the day rose beyond a limit. Analytics revealed that at least 60% of the pop ups were opened and a significant portion them converted into sales volumes reiterating the power of location centric advertising to brands.

3.    Montana is a popular tourist destination for those who love to spend time at ski resorts. The Montana Bureau of Tourism and Starcom Media created a location centric marketing strategy that used mobile ads to find customers for a nearby ski resort. The strategy was based on customer’s previous behavior and takes mobile advertising to the next level. It proved to be successful in gaining sales volumes at marketing spending that was significantly lesser than offline marketing.

4.    Ice cream is sold in massive quantities around the world. However, the industry is made up of millions of tiny sellers who are also hopping on board to gain maximum momentum using geospatial mapping software. Brands like Van Leeuwen from New York have rolled out mobile payments through PayPal and other digital payment models to gain market share. Van Leeuwenis said to have raked in more than 5% increase in per day sales by resorting to the mobile based payment system. The app also rolled out cash back offers and further discounts in nearby stores to customers who used the digital payment mode.

As mobile payment apps continue to grow in number, brands are bundling their promotional activities with mobile payment services to gain maximum exposure to local customers.