Accelerating Business Value with SaaS

October 15, 2008

Today & tomorrow Pat Murphy, VP of Business Development at Jaduka, & I will attend IBM’s Accelerating Business Value Conference in Palisades, New York. The focus of this conference is to bring together business executives, subject matter experts, & Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) in an effort to collaborate on making alternative delivery models available for software solutions through IBM’s Blue Business Platform (BPP).

As reported by IBM, the tides of innovation are driving radical changes in the software market. Alternative delivery models are opening up choices for line of business executives & providing new market opportunity for software vendors. Analyst predictions include:

– By 2012, 70% or more of businesses with greater than 100 employees will have deployed at least one Software as a Service (SaaS) application. – Saugatuck Technology, May 2008
– The Cloud opportunity is potentially $95 billion, or roughly 12%, of the total worldwide software market, within five years – Merrill Lynch, May 2008

Just as Pat discussed in a recent blog post, NetworkIP & Jaduka have been doing Software as a Service (SaaS) for many years. In fact, we are doing SasS 20 million times a month & that number continues to increase. Enterprises are quickly realizing the many pros of SaaS which include: affordability, immediate ROI, subscription pricing, quick deployment times, & the elimination of hardware &/or IT maintenance costs.

Going forward we plan to work more closely with ecosystems such as IBM’s Blue Business Platform in an effort to enable more companies to easily leverage the power & cost-savings that Jaduka & NetworkIP’s voice & transaction services software offer.

Brian Kirk
VP Business Development
NetworkIP & Jaduka

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Telephony Platforms & Swimming

October 2, 2008

Developing a telecommunications platform that is reliable under load & that is easily scalable is not something you can learn by simply reading a book, a manual, or by sitting in a class room. It is certainly not as easy as many VoIP switch manufacturers would like you to believe either.

Developing a truly remarkable telephony platform is an art form, much like swimming. No matter how strong you are, if you are unwilling to invest the time & energy to practice your breathing, you body position in the water, your arm stroke, your kick – the basic mechanics of swimming, you will never be able to move fast & efficiently through the water. To swim quickly & efficiently, you must take the time to break down your stroke to the individual components & perfect each component independent of the rest & meticulously build your stroke back up, forming an efficient machine that moves quickly through the water. It takes time, patience, & skill. 

The same is true for developing a truly remarkable telecommunications platform. You need the right mix of hardware (servers, switches, power, etc.), quality data networks, quality telephony carriers, monitoring tools, software that scales & that is easily extendable, & a talented team of individuals that understand the various intricacies of managing such a complex solution. At NetworkIP we’ve created this remarkable telephony platform & through simple APIs offered through Jaduka we’ve made this platform available to your business.

Let us handle the platform so that you can focus on what you do best – develop your product & provide quality services to your customers.

Brian Kirk
VP Business Development
NetworkIP & Jaduka


NetworkIP & Jaduka Attending Mobilize 2008

September 18, 2008

Early this morning Trevor Baca, VP of Software Engineering, Karthik Srinivasan, Director of Systems Engineering, & I jumped on planes headed for San Francisco to attend tomorrow’s Mobilize conference. This is the inaugural year for the Mobilize conference & with GigaOM behind this one it is sure to be a success & last for many years to come. This is an exciting time to be in the mobile space & we expect tomorrow’s conference will be just as stimulating & productive as it promotes to be.

The conference has pulled together thought leaders from Google, Nortel, Cisco, Motorolla, Sprint & many others involved in the mobile industry to cover topics that we’ve all been asking & that will enable us all to make informed decisions in this new market. The Mobilize conference also includes a launch pad session so companies like Cumulux, Fonemesh, Fonolo, Fusion Garage, Heysan, LuckyCal, MotionDSP, Pinch Media, placethings, Skyfire Labs, TuneWiki & Zecter can present their new mobile products.

Over the past few months we’ve been talking about how faster mobile data speeds (3G, 4G, & LTE) & open mobile operating systems (Apple, Symbian, & Google’s Android) are making this an exciting & opportunistic market for businesses & application engineers to develop new & innovative applications for the mobile space. As more companies & application engineers enter this space & find themselves supporting mobile consumers & mobile products they are realizing the need for faster, more robust, & more reliable transaction processing services. These companies & application engineers obviously understand the value of transaction processing services; however, they haven’t the time, the money, or the resources to develop them on their own. Their focus is where it should be; on their mobile products & services. So they rely on us & our proven experience in the transaction processing space to ensure their accounts & products are properly managed.

Our transaction processing services allow companies to manage all of their mobile consumer accounts & mobile products via simple API interfaces without having to invest any costs or resources to build a network, deploy hardware, ensure security standards, & manage complex databases. We do the heavy lifting so these companies & application engineers can focus on their existing mobile products, new mobile products, & most importantly their customers.

Brian Kirk
VP Business Development
NetworkIP & Jaduka


Why Google Chrome?

September 10, 2008

Since Google released its new web browser, Chrome, last week there has been so much chatter on the web about its features, how it stacks up to Internet Explorer (IE), Firefox, & Safari, & maybe the most important question on everyone’s mind is why has Google developed its own web browser.

I immediately downloaded Chrome when I read about its release. I’m not an application download junkie; however, for a long time now I have been looking to replace Internet Explorer (IE) because too often I have a single browser tab that crashes & then I loose the five to ten active browser tabs I had open. Chrome promises to fix this problem by treating each browser tab as a separate application. When one browser tab crashes, the rest of your tabs should not be affected. After a few days of using Chrome, I was able to test this “functionality” for myself & it worked like a charm. I am forever a non-subscriber to IE & now a happy Chrome user. I’m also a big fan of Chrome’s one stop shop (a single text box) to type in known URLs & do my web searching. The auto completion feature when typing URLs & doing Internet searches is also a great bonus to me.

The BIG question though isn’t what feature do you like or don’t like; rather, why did Google release its own browser? My opinion points towards the mobile market space for web browsing. According to research conducted by Nielsen Mobile, in 2007 mobile Internet use generated over $5 billion in revenue for companies & in the first quarter of 2008 mobile Internet use accounted for a total of $1.7 billion in revenue. Nielsen’s research strongly suggests that we will see a rapid growth in consumer adoption & mobile marketing in the years ahead.

Chrome fits this mobile Internet niche well. Chrome is a very light weight application. The total size of the browser is just 7-megabytes, making it a good fit for the relatively small hard drives that exist in today’s mobile devices. Chrome’s small size makes it a quick & easy application to download to most mobile devices. Chrome also has a minimalist user interface & it nicely accommodates the display size of mobile devices with Internet access. Lastly, when Chrome is running it uses very little memory, making Chrome an ideal application for mobile devices that have limited memory size.

The market research firm ABI Research sees the mobile web browser segment of this market accounting for the vast majority of growth over the next five years. They predict that the number of highly functional mobile browsers shipping per year will grow from 76 million in 2007 to nearly 700 million in 2013. From where I sit Google is quickly putting all the pieces together to dominate this mobile market space. They have already released a number of API’s that will further enable the development of mobile applications & mobile mashups, they have now released the mobile browser (Chrome), & soon they will release the mobile operating system called Android.

The way I see it, Chrome was just one of the few remaining pieces that Google needed to position themselves as a leader in this new mobile market.


Proven Database Solutions Are Not So Common

August 11, 2008

I was traveling this past week (on vacation actually) & while waiting in the Dallas/Fort-Worth airport to catch a connecting flight I overheard a pretty sad telephone conversation between two engineers that really made me appreciate what our teams have designed & developed over the past 10-years. The conversation between the two software engineers went something like this…

“We are getting a number of customer complaints that the application keeps crashing their systems. Have you looked at the database queries that are running? You know the database is our Achilles’ heel man. We can’t support all that many simultaneous queries. Maybe we should trying queuing up the queries so they don’t overload the system? Yes, I know if we do that it will take longer for things to run, but better they run then crash all the time, right? You know table joins may be a problem too. The database just can’t handle queries that require table joins. Maybe the queries we are running are just too big… I don’t know man; we’ve got to do something soon to fix this. OK, try some stuff & get back with me. I’ve got to tell our customers something.”

I can’t tell you all how relieved I was that I wasn’t in this company’s position. My jaw about hit the floor when I heard the guy refer to their database as their Achilles’ heel. If there is one thing that our customers don’t need to worry about it is our database solution. Handling large volume database transactions is one of our core competencies to say the least. Our database solution handles millions of transactions daily without skipping a beat. These transactions aren’t from a single source either. We handle database requests coming from over 250 API methods, customer service web sites, reporting traffic, & obviously from systems applications handling call processing.

Transaction processing is just another one of the many solutions & services we offer & stand behind. We aren’t trying something new or untested either. We have a proven solution that continues to provide our customers with the reliability & scalability that enterprise solutions demand.

To conclude, I did consult with this gentleman about Jaduka’s Transaction Services API. He seemed overjoyed to hear that we had made our solutions available via simple Web APIs. His company obviously doesn’t have the time, money, or resources to develop a high volume database solution on their own & we’ve got a call later today to discuss this opportunity in more detail.


Plugging Starbucks in to Telephony

August 5, 2008

Every time I walk into Starbucks I’m hit in the face with a new sales promotion. Howard Shultz & crew are doing all that they can to turn Starbucks around. If successful, their current promotion will have consumers visiting a Starbucks twice a day. The approach with this promotion is that if the consumer returns with their morning receipt after 2:00 PM, they will be offered any grande (that is a ‘medium’ for you folks that have yet to pick up on the Starbucks lingo) iced drink for $2.00 instead of the usual $3.50 & above price tag.

I can’t help but look at a promotion like this & imagine the benefits that Starbucks could achieve if they would simply use communication & transaction based technologies to market & manage this promotion. The problem is that too many companies perceive such an integration to either be impossible, or if possible then too expensive.

My morning coffee was paid for using my Starbucks credit card. Talk about a loyal Starbucks’ customer… I earn Starbucks points with all of my purchases instead of miles or cash back. Since Starbucks has already “signed me up” why not alert me of this promotion via text message or better yet with a phone call rather than catching me only after I’ve walked through their doors? It wasn’t until I purchased my coffee & then asked for my receipt that the clerk even notified me about the promotion. What if I wouldn’t have asked for my receipt? Would the clerk even have told me about the promotion?

Even if I do decide to return later today it is now my responsibility to remember the promotion & I’m also forced to keep track of my receipt for the rest of the day. With the use of communication & transaction based technologies I wouldn’t have to do either. Since I’m already a loyal customer & I’m using a Starbucks card I shouldn’t need to hang on to my receipt. My purchases could be tracked on-line & when I return later in the day my Starbucks card could be scanned to validate that I made a purchase earlier that morning. As for forcing me to remember the promotion, since Starbucks already has my mobile phone number I could be sent a text message or recieve a voice call around 1PM to remind me about the promotion. Both of these solutions could easily be enabled through the use of Jaduka’s Voice & Transaction Services APIs.

Again, it’s obvious that too many companies do not realize how easy & inexpensive it is to add these types of technologies to their applications & promotions. This is especially true for companies wishing to add voice.

The Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) for too long now has been inaccessible to companies that do not have huge telephony equipment or deep pockets. With Jaduka’s Voice API we have removed these barriers & we have made it easy & inexpensive to plug in to that telephony network. With our APIs you can make your applications & promotions heard.


Simplify with Voice APIs

August 4, 2008

The first week in August is often referred to as “Simplify Your Life Week.” While not a recognized holiday, it is appropriate that every so often we are reminded to take a step back & evaluate ways to simplify & streamline our lives & businesses. This notion of simplifying isn’t meant to suggest that we get rid of all of our worldly possessions either. Simplifying can be explained as having enough without having too much. I began to think more about our business & not only how we could simplify things around here but how our services & technologies enable other businesses to simplify.

I’ve recently been thinking of NetworkIP’s services as similar to those of a power company. A power company provides power to millions of businesses & homes. Businesses for example don’t purchase generators, boilers, compressors, steam traps, etc. to get power to their systems. They plug what they need into wall outlets & the power company delivers however much power that business needs through that interface. This is very similar to what NetworkIP & more specifically Jaduka offers to the enterprise. If your applications require access to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) you need not purchase telephony switches, arrange & manage complicated carrier connections, workout signaling anomalies, plan for capacity, etc. Rather, you can simplify things by connecting to one of our many Voice APIs offered through the web. Jaduka’s Voice APIs will provide your business with direct access & use of the PSTN which is by far the most reliable & scalable voice network on the planet.
 
Business processes are another area that we could all focus on simplifying. As a business grows its processes often become bloated & require too many manual processes. There are a million different ways that businesses could improve existing business processes by including automated communications into the process. Take for example a simple business process that involves consumer credit protection. Today, if a user’s credit card is used for a purchase that exceeds a predefined limit an automated notification is sent to a representative of the credit card company that will in turn make a manual phone call to the consumer to confirm whether the purchase was valid or not. Rather than involving the representative from the credit card company so early in the process you can automate this process with communication technologies offered through Jaduka’s Voice APIs. When the predefined limit is exceeded, an automated system can dial the user’s phone number & through use of an IVR the user can be prompted to confirm whether the transaction is valid or invalid (press “1” if charge is valid, press “2” if charge is invalid). If the user reports the transaction as invalid (pressed 2) s/he can then be automatically connected to a customer support representative to discuss the matter in more detail. With just a small tweak to the existing processes, Jaduka’s Voice API provides a much simpler, efficient, & cost saving process for the credit card company.

As you kick off this first full week in August consider ways to simplify your business & if you need some help reach out to us.

You can learn more about Jaduka’s Credit Card Fraud Protection Service online.