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Education technologies: how to make your project useful and engaging? Part.4 Chatbots

Along with the already familiar trends such as microlearning and gamification, experts are actively introducing new products from related areas: social networks, user experience (UX) design, and chatbots.

Chatbots – a trend in learning, which is actively gaining popularity. Chatbots have long been used in marketing, sales, social networks, CRM-systems, but recently began to be used in the field of EdTech. Chatbots have a huge potential in e-learning. They can be used not only to simulate interaction with the instructor or the author of the course but also to create role-playing games within e-learning courses. For example, a dialogue with a patient or customer online store. Chatbots can ask any question and do not feel stupid. It is unnatural to study any subject, only listening to the lecture, and the chatbots successfully solve this issue. You can send a message to the tutor or research supervisor. A live person will answer for a long time, and the robots will answer the questions about learning immediately. In such cases, it is more convenient for people to communicate with the machine than with live people. It is clear that chatbots are a supplement to teachers and should not replace them.

Chatbots help create online communities and networking.  Many people are attracted by the opportunity to make professional acquaintances, enter the community of creative developing people, and perhaps find partners for their projects. For example, students communicate in slack channels where they can share their impressions, ask questions, or ask for feedback on a project. But it is worth remembering that: without a moderator, any communication sooner or later subsides or degenerates.

Any modern company is faced with the training and adaptation of new employees, advanced training of existing personnel, to improve the quality of human resources. Why is it helpful to use a chatbot for corporate employee training?

First of all, to automate the acquisition and assimilation of new knowledge in the format of interactive interaction. Just imagine: every employee of the company can have round-the-clock access to a virtual mentor, request the necessary information right at the workplace, be tested, and consolidate the material studied. Simultaneously, the load on the HR department or the company’s training center is minimal. In fact, after the initial setup and integration, the chatbot for offline training of employees will perform the functions assigned to it.

In the future, not only employees’ knowledge and skills will be assessed, but their work results. This approach will allow you to link learning metrics with business metrics, assess the real learning effect, and not just take courses.

7 tips how to avoid communication gap working with a remote developer

Quite often, we hear the information about gaps in communication between the client and the remote developer: the developer does not respond to messages quickly; the developer does not get in touch in time; the client can’t control the order of task completion, and change task priority; the developer didn’t do the task as the client wanted or the client clarified the changes in Skype, and the developer relied on the description in the email; the developer spent more hours than the client expected and the developer did not warn about it.

To minimize communication gaps, we offer a few essential basic clauses of the “agreement” that can form effective interaction with the customer and remote developer.

  • Determine convenient communication channels with your Remote Worker (RW) (mail, instant messengers, Skype, Zoom, etc.) and the exact time of docking.
  • Form a system for recording the time spent on work, decide on a time-tracking model.
  • Make sure RW has access to the task management system (Jira, Trello, Google sheet, etc.) and follows the basic guidelines for using it.
  • Talk it over all the requirements for the development process: style/coding, test coverage, compatibility, performance, deployment, etc.
  • Determine a schedule for fixing and “delivery” of development results, both intermediate and final.
  • Make sure that RW has access to third-party services, add-ons, special equipment required for operation.
  • Consider the need to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) and, if necessary, inform the outsourcing company manager.

Discuss each point and make sure that both sides understand it. Please note that if the development environment has been set up by a contractor, you will have to follow company rules and policies.

We hope these simple guidelines will help you find a great professional! Good luck!

Education technologies: how to make your project useful and engaging? Part.1 AR/VR

For which direction or business is it now to start an online educational project the choice is yours, our study, and recommendations we reviewed here. One thing is clear: educational projects are a very promising topic for development and over time the popularity of such distance solutions will only grow.

Every year the number of EdTech tools for the education system is growing and due to the rapid spread of the virus, the market has grown 10-15 times in the last 30 days. This is due to the fact that teachers, educational institutions, and companies that use new technologies gain advantages over their opponents. We have prepared an impressive list of cutting-edge educational technologies that can attract even more students to your project. In this article, we will begin to consider virtual and augmented reality. In the following parts, we will analyze in detail and complete the list of technologies.

Virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR). Virtual and augmented reality technologies are seeking to their peak. International Data Corporation estimates that in 2019 the market volume was $ 16.8 billion, and by 2023 the market volume may reach 160 billion dollars. And these forecasts do not take into account the momentary rapid growth of the market. Many of these AR/VR developments have been successfully applied in education. Images, sounds, and the immersion effect only accelerate information learning. Business coaches, teachers, and students learn different disciplines with AR and VR-enabled devices.

VR videos are gaining popularity, with 360° viewing angles that can be viewed through virtual reality glasses. This immersive learning experience attracts students much more than what they are used to in presentations and lectures.

Many ideas have already been implemented. For example, an American school for little students has created a virtual excursion: a tour of the classrooms and corridors of high school. This helps schoolchildren learn the place in advance when moving from elementary school to high school, in a low-stress environment for them.

Some schools use virtual reality to create an experience. Students ride on roller coasters, walk-in an amusement park, drive a car. A school in Ireland has recreated selected historical sites using 3D modeling software.

Students in the Czech Republic already use VR controllers for biological and chemical experiments. For example, they penetrate into the human eye and manipulate their parts to understand how they work. And the British University has created a virtual space for criminology students, where they hunt for evidence to solve a crime.

VR is also ideal for the HR field. It allows large corporations to create their own worlds. Worlds in which you can create complete training scenarios: repair, installation, disassembly. This allows large-scale training of new or young employees to work with real objects without the objects themselves.

 

Augmented Reality Technologies (AR) can design digital information (images, video, text, graphics) on top of device screens and combine virtual objects with the real environment. Augmented Reality can work not only at the level of visual images but also at the level of sensations. And this technology will actually develop and will find a wider application then VR. AR has not yet reached the peak of its capabilities. 

As an example of the potential use and technology productivity, a series of experiments was conducted in which one group of children was shown visual material with AR during the lessons, and for the second usual group were shown posters and diagrams. It was revealed that in the group where augmented reality was used, the percentage of information assimilation by children approached 90%, the level of discipline increased and it was possible to keep the attention of about 95% of the audience, while in the group with two-dimensional benefits, all indicators were half or three times less.

AR technologies allow you to create micro-applications with interesting content without restrictions. You can expect to see many quests, immersive shows, and simply educational videos in the future. AR technologies also play an important role in educating children with physical, social, or cognitive disabilities. After all, AR technologies can create an inclusive learning environment tailored to everyone’s needs and capabilities. For example, augmented reality gloves that mimic the touch and allow visually impaired learners to not only hear the teacher but really feel the objects they need.

Modern technologies help to inspire, involve, and motivate students and facilitate the educational process. But the real value of technology is to personalize learning for each learner – adaptive learning. Modern online learning systems must listen to the needs of society and quickly implement new technologies in order to effectively reach the potential of employees and maximize business benefits.

Is it worth developing an online educational project?

Is it worth launching new educational projects in a new reality and investing in existing ones? How will the online education market change during and after quarantine and pandemic? Such issues began to arise from our customers due to the announcement of quarantine. 

We are interested in developing our customers’ business and do not stand aside. Our marketing and business analysis team conducted their own research (for our clients in the field of education) and formed the top market trends.

Let’s first determine what reality we are in. It can be clearly defined as a situation of uncertainty. In such a socially significant sphere as education (secondary and higher), distance learning will gain more and more popularity. As for online training services for business, and private persons they also will not stand still. Some enterprises, unfortunately, have now suspended or reduced their activities. Others try, if possible, to adapt to remote work. People found themselves in difficult situations, but this is not a reason to panic. Many perceive the current situation as a new opportunity to improve their own professionalism, to obtain a new specialty.

 

Who needs online training? And is society ready to pay for distance education?

  1. Using the latest technology provides teachers and students around the world with amazing new opportunities for online education. And this means that the need for the development of educational projects will grow and require new approaches to their filling and communication between students and teachers.
  2. The main audience of online training services is small and medium enterprises and ordinary people. Most of the private audience are people of medium or high income. They are now working, have savings, and are considering investing in education. Moreover, it is unlikely that anyone is currently planning holidays abroad.
  3. People will look for online training opportunities in order to gain additional skills and become a valuable specialist in their own company, or find another, higher-paying job.
  4. SMEs are now in limited operation mode and are more than ever interested in expanding the knowledge and possible functions of their staff. Companies employees and entire businesses who have switched to remote work are interested in improving their digital literacy, personal effectiveness, and consider online training as an opportunity for pumping personal qualities. This means that in the near future a decline in sales in the online education market is not expected.

It is also worth noting that some types of distance services are seeing increased demand for their products. If you were planning to launch your own educational product, start now. The situation of uncertainty is not a reason to postpone your plans for later.

 

What online services are in demand in the market?

  • Training programs. Modern professions that make it possible to work remotely: IT specialties, designers, online consultants, online sales. People actively master these specialties in order to find remote work or part-time work on freelance.
  • Separately, it is worth noting the training of professions in the field of online education. The industry has a noticeable shortage of personnel and a high demand for technical administrators, methodologists, and producers. Therefore, training services in these areas is a great investment.
  • Internal online training systems for companies. Educational services that allow companies of any level and field of business to quickly integrate new employees into the workflow, adapt to innovations or organize new business processes for current employees.
  • Financial knowledge. Online courses where people are taught to plan the budget and effectively manage the company’s money and personal income in current realities are very important.
  • Online courses on sports and a healthy lifestyle. Of particular interest are personal online training with a trainer or drawing up a personal healthy lifestyle program. In conditions of quarantine and the intensity of modern life, such services will become increasingly relevant. And people are willing to pay for such individual lessons.
  • Upbringing and children’s development. Such courses have always been particularly popular and very relevant during quarantine when parents must figure out what to do with a child locked with them in four walls and forgetting what walks and games with peers are. Entertainment products are also popular – for example, online modeling or painting lessons for children. Online lectures for teenagers using troubling topics.
  • In the field of psychology, there is a high demand for online courses on how to maintain self-control, how to get along in the family, and avoid stressful situations in family isolation (this is an urgent problem while quarantining).
  • Time management and personal effectiveness. Many specialists who switched to remote work were not ready for the features of such work and were looking for courses where they would be taught how to work more efficiently and competently in managing their time. Also, various time tracking services should be included here.

This is just a small list of online educational projects that are relevant now and will gain more and more popularity in the nearest future.

 

What can be done to make your products in high demand?

  • Practice-oriented training. Please clearly communicate the measurable and concrete results that students will receive using your online service.
  • Focus on successful cases. Tell in your communication how the life of your students has changed after training.
  • For vocational training services, consider providing employment assistance. People who are in search of work, consider courses where during training they can take an internship in companies and after graduation receive job offers.
  • Offer short courses (1 to 3 months). Long-term programs are less in demand in a situation where people do not know what tomorrow will bring them.
  • Project training. Your service will attract more attention if students study and develop their own, working project. By the end of the training, students will receive a ready-made project, ready to be launched on the market, or already started during the training process.
  • Offer an inexpensive product or a profitable package. The issue of price in a crisis becomes painful, and people even longer decide to buy expensive educational products.
  • Pack your courses under quarantine. How to be effective at remote work? How to play sports at home without equipment? How to find a new niche for the business? How to optimize resources or costs?
  • Open the asynchronous learning format. Most often, services only practice synchronous learning (when a student listens to a course with a group and the lessons open sequentially, one after the other). Offer people the opportunity to learn asynchronously and access all learning content at once. This will be a very popular service for students who want to quickly learn, for example, a new skill. Asynchronous learning allows students to design their own learning schedules.
  • Consider the option of installment payment for training, offer the sale of training “parts”. Depending on the orientation of your service, this way you can attract more customers who want to study.
  • Try to show why your product is worth the money. A potential audience always has this question. And you’d better answer it than your clients will go to think and find convincing arguments.

Pay your attention. You need to talk to your audience. Talk to them on your educational service website, in reviews, in articles, in advertisements, speak at online conferences (a great opportunity to declare yourself and your product). Remove objections, talk about the opportunities that your products provide at this particular time. In conditions of total uncertainty, there is nothing worse than silence. Provide new products in response to market demands, and then no economic crisis will stop the development of your project.

Quarantine: 9 tips for quick transition to distance work

Despite the rapidly evolving world situation, the calls of doctors and governments to isolate themselves, it turned out that many companies and teams have not switched to remote work. And the point here is not always in company management. An instruction from the management may have passed, but the head of the department does not want to work from home or employees are faced with internal issues between the departments. Let’s try to figure out why? And how to solve this issue?

The company and teams always have ambitious goals and performance and this is not a reason to endanger people. You need to quickly find answers to questions related to the transition to remote work. The example of one project manager, Alex, has shown that all issues can be resolved, but the majority should be considered before. When Alex received a message about switching to remote work, he could not even imagine how many questions and approvals this could cause. What pitfalls are hidden, at first glance, by the seemingly harmless remote work and what Alex faced with:

– The ambiguous reaction of the team employees (I can’t work at home, I don’t want, you have to provide me with everything, etc.)

– How to overcome managers’ resistance?

– How to organize continuous and uninterrupted communication?

– Do all employees work on laptops that can be taken home?

– Does the company have tools allowing the usage of personal devices for corporate purposes?

– Is it possible to organize a remote and secure connection to an office computer network? We wrote about this here.

– How to get secure data access that does not go outside the office?

In an ordinary situation to arrange all these issues, the project manager needs to get around the office not just once: top management, security, system administrators, HR, accounting, etc. Maybe one of the readers sees yourself in this chain? On that occasion, all departments need to organize themselves because everyone will have to work remotely. Remote access to data may be needed not only by the project manager Alex but also by tops and the security service. We must all acknowledge and accept the situation and work in a new reality.

With the right approach and a thorough assessment of the situation, the process can be organized quickly and efficiently. After some thought and with Alex’s help, we created a checklist to simplify the transfer to distance work.

  1. Engage the HR service to form a questionnaire for employees what is needed for full-fledged remote work: devices, software, access to specific data, communication.
  2. Collect information from the heads of all departments or teams.
  3. Make the maximum list of required work resources that employees use. Check whether computers, access to corporate information, communications will work remotely.
  4. Gather all the steps of standard workflow and evaluate at what stage difficulties may arise. No one will do this for you in the current situation. Clearly check everything by yourself.
  5. Try to organize a mini rehearsal: run a normal workweek in an accelerated mode in a few hours.  If you are still in the office, then do it better in the workplace. If you have already switched to remote mode, then such actions will help you quickly find bottlenecks.
  6. Write a short checklist for your department or team: what they need to take from the office for remote work.
  7. As soon as you find gaps in the business process, immediately connect the necessary employees and treat them. Do not hope that everything will work by itself. It is necessary to consistently check each stage: how you will plan the work, how the data will be shared, the exchange of data, how you will report on the work done. After you need to test for possible bottlenecks.
  8. Be prepared now that you will have a budget overrun due to the organization of a remote mode of operation. You need to buy the necessary devices, software, accesses. Ongoing expenses for taxis, etc.
  9. Don’t let out of your sight that you will need to work closely with HR service throughout the whole remote work of the office. Some employees may not be able to withstand and leave, the team will need to be replenished. After stabilization of the situation, it turns out that some employees want to work from home or partly from home and will be asked to change the work schedule. The manager must foresee the likelihood that part of the team will have to be quickly replaced.

And again, we want to encourage all companies and employees to follow the recommendations as much as possible: stay at home and work remotely! If you can share your ideas for effective remote work with us, we look forward to hearing from you. All working issues can be resolved. We wish you all good health.

Creating a safe and secure connection amongst corporate networks and remote workers

How to set up remote office work as quickly as possible, efficiently and at the same time safe? How to make people like in an office, but not in the office? We can definitely say there is no single common way. It all depends on a number of factors that must be considered:

– We set the goal of what kind of work employees should perform remotely (read at home). Read mail or have full access to corporate information? We make this decision deliberately, and not in a panic in a matter of minutes. And always leave yourself a reserve of opportunity.

– Consider the company size or the number of employees who need to be transferred to remote work.

– Can we use existing hardware or there is a possibility of equipment and network resources purchase corresponding to the number of people and goals? Don’t overdo it here. There are entire hardware systems, but they are not always in demand in small organizations, due to their focus on servicing large enterprises and, as a result, high cost. Let us stay on this in more detail. 

 

We would recommend choosing a Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology. It allows you to create a secure connection in a potentially dangerous segment of a public network, such as the Internet and is one of the most common solutions. In simple terms, the VPN on the remote computer or mobile device connects to the VPN gateway of the company’s network, which authenticates and authorizes the user using a key or login and password. As a rule, with the help of both. After successfully completing this procedure, the user gets access to internal network resources (file server, databases, printers, and others) as if he was connected to the local network.

To protect remote access, IPsec or SSL protocols are most commonly used. They are not interchangeable and can function both separately and in parallel, determining the functional features of each of the implemented VPNs. SSL is more focused on providing a secure connection to a single application (for example, SharePoint or email), rather than to the entire internal network. For a full-featured permanent connection to the corporate network, we recommend choosing the IPsec protocol.

 

How to act? And what type of VPN to choose?

– VPN in routers – there are lots of cheap solutions on the market. Almost any router has the functionality of a built-in VPN server. Usually, this is a simple on/off functionality and adding password logins for users, sometimes integration with a Radius server. We do not recommend considering such a solution. First of all, you need to think about your safety and the continuity of the service. Such equipment cannot boast of an appropriate level of protection and the reliability of operation leaves much to be desired.

– OpenVPN – we recommend using this type of VPN only for small companies or projects up to 15 people. Just for such companies, which do not make sense to purchase professional network equipment in view of the absence of a large load. The main advantage of this out of the box solution is that it works on all platforms. You can purchase a device and configure it. Using special software, you can achieve its operability to build an OpenVPN tunnel. The disadvantage is that OpenVPN cannot withstand a serious load. For encryption and transmission of traffic on the server-side is used not specialized equipment, but server resources.

– Microsoft VPN – the Microsoft company offers a free solution for those who have the entire infrastructure built on their basis. In simple cases, the setup does not cause difficulties even for a novice system administrator. It should be borne in mind that in the case of building a more complex system, it will be necessary to delve deeper into the settings, in this case, the cost part will certainly grow in the same way as the complexity of servicing the solution. Nevertheless, this solution is not without advantages. 

– Enterprise-class VPN is high-class network equipment of Juniper, Cisco, Check Point companies: all of them have comprehensive solutions, which also include a VPN service. But it should be borne in mind that this solution has a higher cost. An annual fee is required. If you do not pay annual support fees, then do not count on security updates. The main advantages are that the level of security of the transmitted data is very high. Server security level – protected. Ensuring the reliability of the solution – redundancy technologies are provided.

Which type of VPN connection to choose is your decision. We can only give you our vision and recommendations.

 

Verify VPN Security

Regardless of which type of VPN you choose, to ensure a high level of security, you must perform a mandatory check. The VPN service that listens for incoming connections must correctly verify the credentials provided by the user. It is not enough to simply verify the username and password; to increase reliability, it is necessary to use security certificates. It is also required to use a competent password policy (complexity, storage periods, automatic generation, etc.). These actions together with the certificate will exclude attacks and hacking with password selection.

 

Take into account basic VPN benefits

– Scalability of the system. When adding new employees or opening a new office/branch in the future, there is no special additional cost for communication.

– System flexibility. For a VPN, it doesn’t matter where you access from. An individual employee can send mail from a corporate mailbox or have access to corporate data while working from home. It is also possible to use the so-called mobile offices, where there is no connection to a specific area.

– From the above, it follows that to organize the employee’s workplace is geographically unlimited, which is almost impossible when using a private network.

 

In general, this is all we wanted to share with you. We presented the information rather briefly, but the purpose of the article is to show possible solutions. Since not a single article can be devoted to a specific implementation. We are ready to give more information and disclose issues of interest.

Do not wait any longer and configure secure remote access and be healthy.

 

7 tips on how to organize yourself to work remote

The current circumstances and rapidly developing situation in the world forced us to work remotely. It only seems that working at home, you will free up a lot of time that you previously spent on travel, chatter with colleagues and endless, sometimes unnecessary meetings. In fact, when a sofa and a TV are comfortably located near your workplace, the cake smells in the kitchen and a cat is circling around the apartment, it can be difficult to concentrate. Many people admit that at home they simply can’t tune in to work. We have prepared a number of tips on how to organize your remote work as quickly and efficiently as possible.

1. At the first step of getting used to the remote-mode, determine the place of work. For example, if you are working on a laptop, you need a separate desk. And it should not be a dining table or bedside table in the bedroom. Highlight a separate space and create an atmosphere. Remove all unnecessary things. Of course, everyone has their own concepts of order. You are likely to sit down to read a new magazine if it is in your vision area. Or will not deny yourself to a coffee break by spotting your favorite cup. But this is not so bad. The biggest distraction is a mess in the room. Taking away all unnecessary items, you will better concentrate directly on the work.

2. Try to wake up on an alarm clock every morning. No matter how great the temptation to lie in bed till dinner, still force yourself to start work right in the morning. Be certain to get up an hour before the usual start of work. Make normal in social life actions: make coffee, have breakfast if you have a habit, make yourself presentable, put on jeans and a T-shirt (read to force yourself to take off your pajamas).

3. Daily online meeting. Be sure to hold an everyday morning video meeting for 5-10 minutes. Why a video meeting? You have already prepared for work and make yourself presentable. This will help you to concentrate and get started at a specific time, rather than staying with a laptop in your pajamas under the blanket.

4. Plan and remind. After the video meeting, you will understand how many tasks you are facing on the current day. You will learn to optimize your time. When planning your day, be sure to leave time for breaks. Even if you know that it takes, for example, four hours to complete a task, you should not expect that all this time you will work without rest. Experts have calculated that an adult can work for an hour without distraction. Then it’s useful to take a 5-7-minute break. Distracting from work, leave yourself a note about what you did before. At home, we are distracted by any extraneous moments, so for some time you need to help yourself with “reminders”. Specialists call this method of planning the “Swiss cheese method”. The bottom line is simple: you just need to leave “holes” in your schedule for relaxation and unplanned activities.

5. Consider nutrition. Staying for a whole working day at home, it is likely to you to spend it with tea and cookies or to constantly go out of business to look again in the refrigerator. Remember that at home you decide what kind of food will be on your plate – this applies to the main meals and snacks. To limit the number of approaches to the refrigerator, you can try to set an alarm clock or set reminders on your smartphone that it’s time to take a break (for lunch or for a snack). This is better than eating directly at the computer: during work, you can quietly eat more than you would like, and it is more difficult to pay attention to the taste of your dishes.

6. Figure out with household chores. Many people think that working from home will help them to do twice as much – to complete work tasks, and at the same time to do household chores. Most likely, the opposite is true: if you are trying to solve a serious issue, your household chores will only be distracting – at least because you won’t be able to focus on one thing. The main thing to remember is that during working hours it is work that must remain a priority – and that it is impossible to manage everything at once.

7. Weekend – to relax. If sitting in the office around the clock is unlikely to succeed, then at home this is quite achievable. But it is impossible to maintain such an intense rhythm for a long time, a person begins to suffer from overwork and can no longer perform his duties well enough. It is useful to end your working day at certain times, devoting weekends and evenings to relaxation and personal matters. Try to accustom to this and colleagues with whom you are in contact. Explain to them that remote work does not mean that you are available for their calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In the evenings and on weekends, you can afford to turn off the phone and not check the email.

We wish you all good health and productive remote work!

Internet of things: the future ahead

Do you remember science fiction films in which people were helped by caring humanoid robots, something like R2-D2 from Star Wars?  Once, in distant childhood, it seemed to us that the future would come when in the morning the robot “John” or “David” brings you coffee to the bed.

 

The future has come, but instead of a “John” robot, a smart, albeit anonymous, coffee machine can make coffee – the main thing is to set the time for your awakening. A smart heater will turn on at your arrival at home, a smart washing and drying machine will prepare things for tomorrow’s business trip, a smart outlet will turn off a forgotten iron, etc.

 

So, IoT is an electronic device integrated into a single network, all kinds of sensors, household appliances, even industrial appliances and more. To perform its functions and adjust the execution following the wishes of the “owner” all this equipment and technics – “hard” need “brains” – software.

We live in a world where the Internet of things is an everyday occurrence. And the number of these same “things” will only increase.

 

The scope of IoT is expanding every day into an increasing number of industries.

  • Energy (economical consumption organization)
  • Medicine (quick response systems, etc.)
  • Transport and logistics (tracking of optimal routes, traffic congestion regulation, etc.)
  • Agriculture (greenhouse or farm management optimization)
  • Smart home, smart building (apartment building, many stocks building)

And many many others.

 

Currently, IoT is scaled up and globalized. Its “short pants” is growing, rising from the concept of a “smart home” to the level of a sensory planet. Controlled street lighting, adjustable field irrigation, unmanned transport network, etc. All these are not only new opportunities but also new challenges. In particular, for the security of this huge evolving system.

Do you agree, to establish the clear work of such a big thing is like a little control of the world? We are already training it hard!

Blockchain: Episode 1. Such A Mysterious Technology…

Blockchain is a theme that excites the imagination of a modern person living in the world of post-truth. In the average person’s mind, the blockchain is still tightly connected with financial operations. But for an “advanced user”, this is a ticket to a new world, where it will be much more difficult to manipulate data than before. Increasingly, the concept of “blockchain” pops up in the areas infinitely far from finance. Let’s figure out why.

What is blockchain?

We came across dozens of blockchain technology descriptions: as the example of a registration book, an original photo and many copies of it, a library, a left-luggage office or even a tulips store. That’s because describing the technology using colorful examples is easier than literally explaining the essence (yes, the blockchain is still “mysterious”, but knowledgeable people said of it exclusively as explosive technology).One way or another, the blockchain is a block data storage system (arranged consequentially), each element of which contains information and a record of the previous fragment. The basis of information security is the decentralization, a network of servers and computers with information is spread around the world. Users of this technology gain access to their units.
If the information in one of the blocks is updated, the entire system “overwrites” it in each element of the network. The main advantage of the blockchain is that it is impossible to erase or delete the recorded information (the chain stores all the changes and additions).

Where is blockchain used?

For the first time, as we have already mentioned, Blockchain was implemented in the financial system, and this is not surprising: people are responsible for their money. Probably even more responsible than their health, freedom, beliefs. But sooner or later it comes to them.
If we can come up with and develop a transparent system of funds income and expenditure, why not organize a similar system to control the treatment course? Or tracking the “travel” of a conditional product from the assembly line to getting on the store shelf? Or the journey of his vote in favor of a particular candidate in the election? In other words, blockchain can be used in any field where the authenticity of information is of significant value.

This, for example, could be:

  • Medicine (no one doctor can fake a medical history by choosing the wrong treatment protocol).
  • Copyright (here everything is clear: who first claimed – win).
  • Internet of things (war of cars is prevented, as well as the penetration of outsiders into your territory).
  • Gambling (not only Ocean’s Eleven but 120 friends will no longer be able to steal a penny from the casino).
  • Electronic voting (no one else will be at a loss for your vote).
  • Public administration in the broad sense – for example, budget expenditures coordination, etc.

You can go on and on it. But you ALREADY became convinced that the blockchain is an extremely useful and quite applicable thing, right?

Never again

What will we never see again in the world of rapidly spreading blockchain? Strict censorship and information hidden behind seven seals.
Centralized systems made it possible to establish control over information flowing into a single center.
Decentralization and distribution completely change these centuries-old rules. The axiom “who owns the information, owns the world” is destroyed by one click of his fingers.
Technology has already been announced as the most important discovery since the invention of the Internet, which threatens to revolutionize the existing world order. Wait and see.

How The Visit To The Remote Team Can Help Our Clients

In today’s world – employment, speed, and communications – it is less and less possible to lure a client into an office. Nevertheless, meeting with an important client in your office is a very useful event that helps to establish a trusting relationship.

Exactly a year ago, on November 8, 2018, Paul from Australia came to our office together with his wife. He was very pleased with his visit, despite the long journey and the time difference. It helped us to better feel his pains and fears. Moving forward on difficult issues. 

A customer visit is a pleasant and vibrant event for most IT companies. We really would like to share how the visit to the remote team can help our clients. 

  • Yes, we are real! We always offer the client to come to visit us, look at the office and personally get to know the team. This works well to increase confidence, even if the client never gathers for a meeting – you do not hide, do not pretend to be invisible and are as open as possible.
  • We have a great professional team! Introduce a few people from the team to the client and explain that no one will be lost and that he can contact different people in case of an emergency.
  • You can easily evaluate the size of the company. There are a lot of examples when it is written on popular web resources that “we are US-based company”, but it turns out to be a company in the basement with two people.
  • Technical equipment. The office of the company is fully equipped with modern technics and software. There is a complete pool of devices for testing projects.
  • A personal meeting with the team allows you to convey the value of the project that the client feels. The team gets the right attitude and is motivated to achieve success and good progress in work.

We are always glad to see clients in our office or set up an in-person meeting whatever it could be. A motivated team that clearly understands the client’s values is the key to the project’s success and more contribution to the final result.