Category: Software

Category: Software

Category : Business , Software , Technology

If you are preparing software requirements for an upcoming development project, you may be focused on creating the most user-friendly program available. You may have specific functional requirements for the program, such as facilitating your sales staff or your engineering team in some way. However, in order to make a program truly beneficial for the functional applications you have in mind, it may need to boost productivity, facilitate the easy completion of specific tasks and more. These are factors that boil down to how usable the program is. There are some simple tips you can follow when drafting your software requirements that can make your program more usable for your team.

Focus on Ease of Learning
Your team’s first experiences with the program will be during training sessions and with trial and error efforts on their own. Ease of learning and ease of usability are two very different things in the development world, but how easy it is for your team to learn specific functions of the program can dictate how easy it is to apply certain features of the program in practical use. Therefore, your first step should be on making the program easy for your users to learn how to use.

Incorporate Pop Up Help Windows
Even with basic training sessions on the proper use of the program, your team may still have questions about the program from time to time as they use it on a daily basis. Rather than expect your team to fiddle with the program until they stumble upon the answers they are looking for, you can create pop up help windows that offer practical advice and tips. As you tinker with the program during test sessions, you can advise your developer of areas of application that may need pop up help windows.

Make Help Topics Searchable
Even with pop up help windows and after your team has been properly trained on the use of the program, questions still may arise from time to time. You can instruct your developer in the software requirements to create a searchable help section in the program. This can be a costly and time-consuming feature to incorporate, and this is because it is akin to incorporating a full training manual on all features in the program. However, if your program will be used by many or if it has complicated functional abilities, this can be helpful.

When developing a software program, you understandably want your team to maximize its use for their benefit in the workplace. Usability is one of the most significant factors that will impact how beneficial a program is.


Category: Software

Category : Software , Technology

Over the last 10 years or so, things in the field of software testing have changed. The world has witnessed greater focus on testing software in their early stages of development. A paradigm shift has also occurred stressing more on continuous development and testing. In the coming years, the need to implement digital transformation will demand a huge shift towards digital software testing.

More User Friendly Tools

As delivery cycles continue getting shorter, software and app testing will have to get integrated more into the overall development cycle. Developers will be getting involved more and more with the testing. To cater to this growing audience, the testing tools must become more developer-friendly. To achieve this, focus will be more on system integration testing and other user friendly tools that enhance continuous delivery.

Open Source Tools are the Future

The Open Source testing tools market is witnessing disruption. Over the coming decade or more, the sector is going to see higher levels of Open Source tools adoption as more and more organizations attempt to leverage them for better implementation of test automation.

Focus on Quality at High Speed

Thanks to the shrinking competitive advantage environment, stiff competition is compelling businesses to design and develop the best products in the shortest period possible. This is pushing organizations to give more attention to providing the best user experience together with being incredible agility.

With the latest developments in system integration testing tools and technologies, the world is going to experience faster speeds and hopefully better quality.

Mobile App Testing will go Mainstream

As the approval processes for app stores continue becoming more stringent, testing of mobile app will continue growing in prominence. Because of that, releasing mobile apps into the wild and simply waiting to fix issues after receiving customer feedback will become more difficult. Mobile apps will have to live up to the accepted application quality assurance standards.

Huge Demand for Software Development Engineers in Test

Although Software Development Engineers (SDEs) have been around for nearly a decade, their role was really not very different from the traditional product testing roles.

However, as the industry grows, all product testers will now need to put on an extra hat: that of a Software Development Engineers in Test (SDET) if they are to be successful in the growing field of application quality assurance and test automation.

Conclusion

Around the world, more and more businesses are awakening to the need to have a futuristic and well-designed and application quality assurance process if they are to maintain their edge in a very competitive industry.

The above emerging trends may change the software testing landscape altogether. It will be in the interest of organizations to find out how each of these trends can be leveraged and applied in re-strategizing for the years ahead. There is more information available at the QA Consultants website.


Category: Software

Category : Software , Technology

Whether you have Windows 7 or Windows 8, maintaining your computer will keep it running longer as well as faster. Over time, your computer can start having problems if it’s not maintained. Follow these tips or purchase Windows 7 again in the near future. If you have serious issues with your PC, you can upgrade to Windows 8 relatively easily.

Data Backup
We all know how important it is to backup our files, yet, we always plan to do it at another time. Unfortunately, it’s likely that if your hard drive fails, you’ll be left panicking because you don’t have your important files and programs.

Set a schedule for backing up your system regularly so you don’t lose your files. There are some free cloud storage programs like Dropbox or Google Drive that you can use to save important documents.

Clean the Dust
The fan that is supposed to keep the computer cool is one of biggest dust collectors. In order to keep the system running smoothly, you’ll need to clean the dust from the interior parts of the computer.

Remove the backing to get to the interior of the system. Use compressed air to blow the dust out of it. Stay away from household cleaners, and don’t press on any of the circuits inside it.

Run Antivirus
All computers connected to the Internet need to run antivirus and antispyware programs regularly to remove viruses and spyware. Viruses can slow down the function of your computer. It’ll run slowly, and it’ll compromise the security of your data like passwords and files.

You can use a free virus program like AVG Free or Adaware for cleaning viruses from your system. Have the schedule set to run the virus cleaner, and you won’t have to think about it at all.

Clean Out Software
There are likely outdated or unwanted programs on your hard drive. Take the time every few months to assess what you’re using regularly. If you installed a program that you never use, uninstall it to free up your memory.

You can run a program called CCleaner to remove most of the unused programs and data that you don’t need.

Defragment
After cleaning out the software you don’t need, you should organize the remaining data. When files are organized, Windows’ operating system will be able to neatly and quickly retrieve the files that it needs.

The defragment program can be found under System Tools in the Accessories menu. You can set that on a schedule too.

When you don’t take care of regular maintenance on your system, you might have to purchase Windows 7 prematurely when it can last you for a few more years. Clean out the viruses as well as the dust frequently to reduce issues. Make sure the system is running smoothly by clearing out data and defragmenting too.


Category: Software

Category : Software

A few years ago, customers were content waiting for responses to their queries for a day or two. Today, advances in communication technology have created a more impatient generation of customers who use smartphones and tablets and find no reason for waiting. In addition, they expect quick if not instant replies anytime of the day, any day of the week. In the end, customer service companies eager to remain at the top of the game have had to come with more revolutionary means of using their helpdesk software to satisfy a more service-hungry population of customers.

The benefits of technological advances are not reaped by the customers alone. Remote support software enables business organizations to save a lot in terms of transport costs and other expenses since they don’t have to plan physical meetings with customers. Such tools as desktop sharing, live chat, and VoIP are great in helping provide assistance to customers wherever they are located and in good time.

Socializing Your Helpdesk Software

Let’s go simple on this: a business that has no social media presence has its days numbered. Whether you are aware of it or not, your customers will always talk about you on social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. Whenever they post anything about the company, they expect a quick response. If they don’t get it, they may feel that they are not important enough to deserve your attention and move to your competitors as a way of hitting back at your company. In most cases, they would be happier if they moved with a number of their friends and relatives.

Exploiting Mobile Avenues

More than 5 billion people all over the world are now using mobile devices with the numbers rising by the day. This has made mobiles one of the most important avenues for putting helpdesk software into use. In addition, its benefits are two-way in the sense that customer service employees use their smartphones and iPads to keep in constant touch with customers through their personal social media accounts. Consequently, they easily provide fast response, anytime, from anywhere.

Unifying All Channels

While you should utilize every available channel to ensure that your helpdesk software is put into maximum use, you should be aware of the risk of overlapping them. For instance, you may have one of your customer service employees using a social media platform to reply to a customer query while the other is giving a response to the same customer through email. The end result is confusion that may not only hinder the work of the employees but also cost the company its reputation.

The latest help desk software is designed in such a way that all channels lead to a main help desk that takes into account all processes of the business. By directing all interactions into a central place, fast and efficient customer service is achieved in an easy way. In the end, you have a satisfied customer and a happy workforce.


Category: Software

More service providers and value-added resellers (VARs) are facing increasing competition for clients. An expanding marketplace of suppliers is forcing price competition and falling margins. These companies are beginning to gravitate to IT management software.

The most commonly outsourced IT among Canadian companies involves security for their networks. In a technical world where such specialized areas of service are becoming marketplace commodities, building an MSP company from a VAR or specialized service shop is possible with an IT monitoring platform, but not easy.

VARs and tech services companies are having to look for insights and techniques on becoming a successful managed services provider. Here are a few good ways to start.

Sell the company, not the service
Clients are looking not so much for what can be done as they are the trustworthiness and credibility of the provider. Instead of being yet another provider, companies should focus on developing a brand in order to attract leads. Part of this is seeking a relationship as a trusted advisor first, and a provider of general services second. It is guidance and expertise that build client trust, essential to maintaining a long-term association.

Customer experience
While MSPs are popping up everywhere, the satisfaction of clients across other industries may be decreasing. It’s important to treat new clients as not just “sign-ups” but as potential partners that can provide the recommendations and social marketing opportunities that lead to more clients. It’s after-sales service that provides the real value. A majority of Canadian companies have chosen an MSP because of the quality of their customer support. An RMM (remote monitoring and management) solution is important to providing quality service.

MSP contracts
VARs moving into the managed services field need to be familiar with standard MSP contracts and the various details. These should include service level agreements (SLAs) to outline exactly what the client can expect from you at a minimum. These should be realistic enough not to create headaches and undermine profits, and be clearly stated and explained to the client before contract signing so there are no surprises in the future.

The MSP business model
MSPs must retain profitability while still attracting the top technicians and engineers to ensure that quality performance is passed on to customers. Remote management and support means round-the-clock service while coping with changing technologies and climbing pay rates. Insufficient resources could lead to prioritizing customer needs, which will only lead to loss of the customers low on that list.

Being a managed services provider affords a quick path to high-value resources that VARs and tech companies already have experience with. It also represents a proven business strategy to expand core services into other profitable offerings.


Category: Software

Category : Software , Technology

It’s still not a bad idea to buy Windows 8. Many PC users across Canada are choosing to stay with this rather than Windows 10. With Windows 8, you have the ability to create a USB recovery drive you can use to repair your computer, even when Windows won’t start. You copy the computer’s recovery partition to a USB drive, and then have the option of removing the partition to free up space on your hard drive. Windows makes creating a recovery drive easy.

Creating the recovery drive

1) From the Taskbar, find “Create a recovery drive” under “Settings”. You need an admin password. Alternatively, you can use the Windows key and type in “recovery drive”.
2) When the Recovery Media Creator utility opens, ensure that “Backup system files to the recovery drive” is selected; click Next.
3) Insert a USB drive (at least 3.5GB capacity, select it from the drive list, and select Next > Create. Copying files may take several minutes.
4) When completed you’ll see a “Delete the recovery partition from your PC” option. If you want to do this, click the option and select Delete. This could save you up to 3.5 GB. Otherwise, just click on Finish.

Refresh and Reset
The next time you’re having system troubles with your Windows computer you can launch the Refresh and Reset your PC tool. However, you will still need the installation DVD you get when you buy Windows 8. If your computer is able to boot Windows you can launch the Refresh and Reset utility from the desktop. Hit the keys Windows + W, which brings up Search Settings, and type “remove” into the search box. However, if you can’t load Windows 8 at all, you’ll need the recovery drive to boot.

1) Insert the USB recovery drive and reboot the computer.
2) You see a screen with several options; select “Troubleshoot”, and on the next screen, “Reset your PC”.
3) Next you see an informational screen; to proceed click Next.
4) On the next screen you’ll pick your operating system. Select Windows 8 (or 8.1).
5) At this point you’ll be prompted to remove the recovery drive and insert the Windows 8 DVD.

Follow the prompts to repair and replace your Windows 8 OS and settings.
Note: One of the options is misleading. After the “choose your drive” screen (in case you have multiple drives or partitions), you’ll see two options. “Just remove my files” is a misleading as you want this option to actually preserve your files. If you don’t care to keep your data, select the “Fully clean the drive” option which will wipe and re-format the drive for a new Windows 8 installation.


Category: Software

Category : Software

Like everyone else these days, Microsoft is incorporating the cloud into its solutions. As usual there are some handy new features when you buy Office 2016. Microsoft productivity suite upgrade still seems comfortable and familiar.

Microsoft Office has been an impressive tool for many years now when it comes to documents, whether you’re a project engineer in Toronto or a marketing expert in Saskatchewan. Various releases over the years have seen a number of significant changes, but a PC just doesn’t feel complete now without MS Office installed. For most of us, a computer is just less useful if you can’t format a document in Word or crunch numbers in Excel. Even PowerPoint has more uses than most home users give it credit for.

Ease of Use

With Microsoft and its constant change, compatibility and user-friendliness keep resurfacing as the real issues. Remember the sudden transition to the Office ribbon and back again? Over time, new features are just not compatible with old files and we’re left with the task of copying or reformatting them to use new features. And though it may vary in scope, there’s always a bit of learning curve to discover where to find and how to use new features, not to mention changes to the UI that can make even finding old features a pain.

What’s new

* Word, Excel, and PowerPoint allow easy online sharing from within the program.
* There are new chart types you can add to your documents: Treemap, Waterfall, and Starburst.
* Excel includes an excellent set of utilities called “Get & Transform”, a reflection of the database concept of ETL (extract, transform, and load) that makes data collection easier and enhances the surprising use you can get out of a spreadsheet.
* With 2016 Outlook, you can quickly select and attach documents from OneDrive or SharePoint to fire off to multiple email recipients.

Cloud Trends

So the major difference is integrating cloud-based operations more fully into the new Office 2016. If you don’t have a good, fast Internet connection, you might be left behind. But if you do, you should find that the cloud aspect is very much in keeping with the state of computers and computing. Online collaboration is one of the key abilities with the new Windows 10 OS. Office 2016, then, is right where it should be.

Change-resistant Canadians who bought Office 365 may have been off-put by its emphasis on cloud computing, but that was then. Microsoft got the ball rolling with that release, and those who have it can get a free update to Office 2016.

The forward-thinking who are embrace the cloud and are eager to buy Office 2016 will be happy with the update.


Category: Software

Category : Software

Most successful real estate agents now use some form of real estate CRM or customer relationship management system. Many industry professionals agree that it is no longer an optional tool for managing leads, and with that in mind, let us take a closer look at why that is.

Buying Has Changed

The buyer who comes to you ready to purchase right now is increasingly rare, and that is because that Internet has changed the way people research and choose real estate. Industry statistics indicate that the vast majority of buyers conduct the process online and that the average buyer begins the process six to nine months ahead of actually making a final decision, which means that you will generally have to manage leads over a long period before converting them.

Organization

Organizing your business is tougher too. Realtors are managing more concurrent leads than ever, and they have online responsibilities in addition to their local ones. A real estate contact management component alone makes it easier to coordinate a sizable pool of leads. Real estate CRM software can also integrate with your email client and help you track appointments and communication.

Web Presence Integration

You have to generate leads online, which is true even if the bulk of your business originates locally. A real estate CRM will not help you create the perfect website, but what it will do is assist you in collecting data, analyzing it and perhaps determining why some leads are not moving beyond the earliest phases.

Relationship Building

A six-to-nine-month period means that you need to nurture relationships even with your one-off clients. A real estate contact management solution aids you in doing that through what is known as context marketing. A CRM provides the information and consistency you need to form bonds with clients, and these systems can even identify valuable connections on your behalf, such as automatically associating an existing lead with a new property that has come available.

Automated Marketing

Real estate CRM software will streamline and automate a lot of your marketing responsibilities, including basic follow-ups. Many of your routine tasks can be managed by the computer, and the system can automate emails and newsletters based a wide array of criteria and triggers. This lets you focus your energy on the matters that require your skilled, human attention.

Generate More Income

Industry statistics suggest that real estate professionals who use a real estate CRM tool generate more income than comparable professionals who do not by a significant margin. The reasons people earn more using CRM are evident in the advantages described above, but there is also the matter of creating additional value. For instance, real estate agents who use a CRM are often able to provide referrals and related data to other agents, earn referral fees and thereby generate profit from leads that would not have traditionally generated any at all. Additional resources can be found at IXACT Contact.