Competition is good. Fierce competition is even better. But when the pie itself dwindles, you are left wondering how to tackle your own hunger, your own growth. That is when you look inwards and improvise. Businesses are doing this from the drawing boards once again when they are seeing plateauing top lines and reclining bottom lines – Thanks to the increasing operational expenses. This effort at the drawing board is reorganizing responsibilities and control within the enterprise.
As more and more focus goes into sales and marketing, the CMO suddenly has a larger budget to spend. This in turn does change quite a lot of things. First, more and more marketing automation tools spring to action. Suddenly there is a surge in the number of tools and products which lets you market more conveniently and helps you reach out to a greater and much larger customer base easily. Think of tools like MailChimp etc. That is email Automation. Think of PR – there is PRWeb – that is Press Release Automation. Think of Buffer App, that is Social Media Automation. Think of Web Analytics – There is Woopra. Think of Log file analysis – There is log File Analyzer. Think of Landing pages – There are sites like Wix and Unbounce. Think of content creation – there are numerous tools which create and curate content – Content automation tools. Think of this. Think of that. Everything revolves around automating each area of marketing. Who uses these? Marketers.
The second set of tools and software products which are on the rise are Marketing Analytics tools. Tools which help analyze the heavy volume of data churned out by Social media channels, tools which help to aggregate brand sentiment across target consumer groups and tools which analyze the information and present it in a very lucid manner using attractive dashboards, rich colors and which are easy to use are increasing. Who uses these? Marketers again.
Not just tools, marketers are looking at putting technology at work by creation of social media apps, mobile apps and the like to increase participation by creating something which goes viral. That is a lot of creativity but that also is a lot of software development and a lot of developers pouring their heads together and creating apps, tool, products. Who hires them and who has a control on these set of people? Who decides the IT budgets now – The Chief Marketers in any organisation. Of the hundreds if not thousands of new communities being created everyday, the ones which are buzzing the most these days are on Marketing. Just another fact which subtly indicates that Marketers are buzzing with action and with control of the budget.
What does it mean for businesses?
With outbound marketing losing focus slowly as push-marketing is termed as too ‘pushy’, marketing functions are abuzz with creating something new which increases the brand positioning, engagement and recall. This is the right time for you to keep aside a fixed portion of your annual IT budget for use by Marketing. As the investment into that is going to help you reach the next set of customers.
What does it mean for IT Companies?
9 out of 10 businesses worldwide, on an average, would be increasing their marketing efforts in this year and would increase their efforts even more in the subsequent years to come. In such a scenario, the marketing spend and the marketing IT spend of businesses will keep on increasing as well. If you are in the business of software development, then it surely would mean a lot if you have expertise and experience in developing marketing apps for increasing reach, ease of use and greater measuring power. After all, it is the CMO which will start to dictate the IT budgets going forward and this change has already begun. And hence you would work more on the skills which are needed in the marketing side of it to be able to a good job for businesses.
What does this mean? What skills are needed? Everything – Web, mobile, databases, client server, plugins, desktop apps, online apps and so on. You have to be an expert in some or all of these areas to be able to meet the
What do you think? Does it make sense to hand over the reigns for deciding the IT budget of your organisation to your CMO? Would you do it???
In 2013, DDM IT Quiz has just become bigger and more grand. This annual event hosted by Mindfire Solutions attracts top quizzing talent from all premier educational institutes who battle their wits in the deadly fight of brains.
A brief background:
The quiz is hosted annually by Mindfire Solutions in the memory of a Mindfirean, Debasish Dash, who passed away in a tragic road accident couple of years ago. With students from various colleges of the country participating in the event last year and the year before, this year sounds more promising and much much more challenging with registrations pouring in from IITs, NITs, Top Tier B-Schools and many more premier educational institutes in the country.
Venue: Hotel Pal Heights, Bhubaneswar
Timings: 9 AM. The event is expected to end around 2 PM
Participants: Students from Engineering and MBA colleges. Each team will comprise of 2 people. Registration is free. Register here.
Prize Money: Winner: Rs.50, 000 | First Runner-up: Rs.30, 000 | Second Runner-up: Rs.20, 000
Lots of exciting audience prizes like iPods, Watches etc to be won as well.
Association Partners: Quizzing Partner- Greycaps | Printing Media Partner – Times Of India | Hospitality Partner- Hotel Pal Heights
Ruby on Rails is known for its agility, simplistic framework, loaded module library which ensures developers spend more time on the business logic rather than on the implementation of syntax. Presenting an infographic for you which summarizes the growth of Ruby on Rails usage throughout the world.
Mindfire is hiring Laterals
06th & 07th October 2012|Saturday & Sunday | Kolkata
We are looking for you if:
- You are working in ASP.Net, SharePoint, Magento, PHP, LAMP, Drupal, jQuery, Joomla, of ColdFusion
- You have solid 2 year work experience in any of these domains
- You are self-motivated and dynamic
- You are ready to relocate to Bhubaneswar.
Apply Now at http://www.mymindfire.in/AddMyProfile.aspx
Only shortlisted candidates will be called for the Walk-in Drive on 06th & 07th October 2012 at Kolkata.
Yes, its a proud moment!
Yes, we so dearly wished this to happen!
Yes, it feels great to be a part of Asia’s Top 100 Companies in 2012.
Mindfire Solutions is a 12 Yr old Software services company catering to the needs of Small & Medium businesses worldwide in almost all software platforms including the very niche ones. Started in the year 1999 with only 6 people who worked from a rented space in New Delhi, today after almost 12 years, the company is at a stage where it sees itself as a trusted name in the industry.
The company has always believed that the untapped market segment which is growing today perhaps at a much faster rate than the fortune lists is that of global small and medium businesses. Its sole focus, driven by vision, is to become the largest IT Services company serving the software application development needs of this market segment. Accordingly, its systems, processes and people have aligned towards its common goal of technically enabling SMBs worldwide, filling the gaps in their business and technology strategies.
Inclusion in the Red Herring Top 100 Winners Asia reconfirms our pledge to be there, at all times, for our SMB clients.
Mindfire Solutions has topped the Breakout Zone category in Zinnov Zones for ISV R&D providers in the Global Service Provider Rankings released by Zinnov in its 2012 report.
The IT Services company won the feather in the cap because of its scalability of business model and operations and is quoted as “On its way into the big league” by Zinnov. The innovation at Mindfire helps transform opportunities to tangible business benefits for its clients – confirmed the report.
For details, have a look at the press release below.
We at Mindfire are proud about this achievement.
Why won’t it?
Data is good when it is extensive. When your business pursues excellence, it tends to collect data in every form possible. You tend to value each visit to your website, you track each visitor as they scrawl through your webpages, you track each click and each navigation summary by event tracking, and then you track how they came to your pages by search, by a referring site, by an ad or through a link on some website which speaks highly about you. Then you track how many visits were from social media, how many of your blog posts went viral and how much time people spent on your pages.
This does not end here. You have data for operations as well. How many clients, new clients, new and repeat clients in which geographies, what industry clients you added. What is the size of the clients, what is the impact of clients in X geography on your revenues in which quarter, then quarter on quarter etc.
And similarly when you are choosing a software outsourcing vendor, you do what – you collect data.. Good data. Data which is extensive about the software vendors. When were they founded? How long have they been working in the industry? How many projects have they done? Has any of their projects failed? How do they handle attrition of their people? How do they ensure transparency? Do they provide prototype trial? or trial at all? Do they have advance payment? What do they charge? How does their charges compare with other providers in the neighborhood? What is their SLA? What is their support policy? How many clients vouch for them? Is there a way to validate their references? How many references do i speak with so that i understand they are genuine? How do i ensure things stay on track during project execution? What all models they follow? what are their project management and project execution strategies? The list goes on as well. Imagine all this and more number of questions each spitting out data for you which keeps changing every 6 months for every vendor you are researching. Your data or rather your researched data would definitely become rich and “good”. But does it necessarily mean you are taking a good decision?
NO! Please don’t give me that surprised look.
Of course when you have so much data and you cant analyse it properly – All you (and all of us actually) do is shut off the data reasoning and go with what we do best – we go with our intuition based on extrapolation of our past experiences. Does that necessarily mean our decision will be good? We dont know yet we do.
HBR research in April 2012 offers a succinct warning to managers. At this very moment, there’s an odds-on chance that someone in your organization is making a poor decision on the basis of information that was enormously expensive to collect. The study also says that many organizations lack a coherent, accessible structure for the data they’ve collected. They’re like libraries with no card catalog and no covers on their books. The rise of social media, new selling channels, and devices such as tablets and smartphones has made it even harder to manage analytic content. Fewer than 44% of employees say they know where to find the information they need for their day-to-day work.
Hence, while it is important to ensure we are gathering data from all contact points with our clients and vendors, we need to have sufficient time and means to analyse the data and go with it while making a decision. Basing your decisions based on a part of the data – price, or references or gut feel does not always work. What will always work is when you choose a vendor where all these data items in entirety fits in perfectly and aids that positive decision in favor of the vendor. If it does not, stop! Please dont outsource. You will do a better job inhouse than sending work to that vendor.
If you would like to know more on how we work at Mindfire, please feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org . I would be glad to clarify and discuss.
What happens when you are in a situation where you desperately want to get out of but all the doors seem like closed? Think of a stock which you have invested in which keeps declining every day but the analysts keep telling you the fundamentals of the company are strong and it is showing resistance at this lower level and urge you to “level” out your decision by buying more. You oscillate between selling off or buying more and the hope of saving your investment – you would invest more and more.
Think of another situation when you have invested in a mutual fund – a tax-saver mutual fund to be more specific, where you cant liquidate your investment before the ‘lockin’ term is up. And you see that there is nothing which can be done because you cant take your money out as the contract duration is pre-decided. Even if the mutual fund degrades in value, nothing much can be done.
The third situation is when you need a Health Insurance policy for the current year but you are lured into investing in Term insurance policy! When you then fall sick, the policy guy and the insurance company both say that your illness is not covered!
These are the top 3 traps which you should avoid at all costs. Things are the same when it comes to outsourcing your tasks. Let us see how they translate into our industry.
1. You are working with a vendor who is not performing well and you cant get out of the relationship because the technology used in software development is so niche that it is very difficult to find another vendor at the rates you can afford.
2. You are working with a vendor who you know is no longer capable of doing a particular project because the competency has been eroded because of attrition but still you cant move out because of the contractual bond you have with the offshore company.
3. You know that you wanted X to be done and currently Y is being done but then you are not aware. This happens when you are not involved with the developers directly. If ignored, this will become a major cost and time waster!
The only solutions, i repeatedly emphasize in my blogs, is due research on the working methodologies at the software vendor’s end. Research will not solve problems since it depends on how deep your research is but one thing for sure, you will not jump in the dark!