Dynamically Updating App Scripts

As any person who develops apps will tell you, the most painful part is when it leaves your laptop and is uploaded to the various app stores. In the case of Android, the Google Play Store takes an hour or two for the app to propagate, but in Apple\’s case, the average wait is a whole week.

This can be incredibly annoying; especially when your upload is an emergency fix for something which could potentially cause problems. We\’ve experienced it, and no amount of cajoling, praying, or bribery will make it go any faster.

To alleviate this problem, we\’ve come up with a new method that will leave the propagation in our own hands, meaning that there is no waiting at all – when we release a new update, it is downloaded to our app within seconds.

Not only that, but the downloaded code is actually more secure than if it were part of an app bundle.

Also, we can target /who/ gets the updates. We can target, for example, a specific company, or a development team, or a specific person or device.

Ok, so how? I\’m not going to share the actual code, but will describe the method we use, so any development team can replicate what we\’ve done.

Well, we start out with a tiny “core” app, which is distributed via the app stores. This core rarely needs to be updated, so it doesn\’t matter if it takes a week or a month for it to get through.

Upon first start-up, the core downloads a “login” script from our mobile server. This script simply shows the login screen and lets a person log in to their FieldMotion account. After logging in, the script then downloads user-specific scripts, and checks constantly from that point forward for any new scripts.

The trick is in /how/ this is done.

Scripts are downloaded over HTTPS, so they are not vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks. The login script is generic and can be downloaded by anyone at all, so it doesn\’t matter if it can be read, but for the main app scripts, one step in security is in making it difficult for potential hackers to read your source code. Using HTTPS means that hackers cannot simply listen to your WiFi and copy down what is downloaded.

When the scripts are downloaded, they are then stored in the app browser using localStorage. Because Android and iOS compartmentalise apps, one app cannot read the localStorage of another, so this is one of the most secure ways of storing your scripts so they cannot be read even if someone has access to your phone.

Once a person has logged in, you can then send them the scripts that are specific to them, depending on the groups they\’re in, etc.

To keep their scripts up-to-date, you can set up a long-poll which constantly checks for new scripts to download. In the case of people that are using “stable” code, you can change this to a relatively delayed (every 30 minutes, for example) short-poll because it is less resource-intensive on the server side, and stable code doesn\’t need to-the-second updates.

Another benefit to this method is that you no longer need to compile your code for each phone. It can take a few minutes to install new code on the Android or iPhone. This can be very annoying if it\’s just a one line change you want to test. With this method, though, you could do your development on-line using a code editor such as Code Mirror, and have it pushed to your test phones as soon as you click Save. If happy with the code? Just push it to a release group for your users.

To summarise, the main benefits of developing your apps this way are:

  • Dynamic upgrades on /your/ schedule
  • Code is more difficult for hackers to analyse
  • You can decide who gets what scripts
  • No compilation needed anymore – just test and release

 

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IT’S ALL APP FROM HERE FOR FIELDMOTION

On Friday Night, the FIELDMOTION team headed off to the DANI Awards at St Columb’s Hall, Derry. There may have been a few small errors in getting there…nothing to do with co-piloting. However we arrived in time for Northern Ireland\’s Premier Digital Awards, celebrating excellence across the digital sector.

The evening started well with some great entertainment from Teresa Livingstone. Everyone settled for the most important part of the night and the award winners to be announced.

FIELDMOTION was shortlisted for the \’BEST MOBILE APP\’ category and came away with an award on the night. FIELDMOTION\’s Workflow Management Software allows companies to send job appointments to employees’ mobile devices. All information is accessible on our completely user friendly mobile application.

Jim Finnegan, CEO, was delighted to collect the award and expressed “to even have been shortlisted for the award was a great honour, we are thankful to all. Our team is continually growing as is our customer base. We have a strong customer presence across Northern Ireland, ROI and UK, Midlands”.

The FIELDMOTION team would like to extend its thanks to judges, DANI organisers and representatives for a great evening and the opportunity to be part of an extremely successful event celebrating the tremendous talent in Northern Ireland.

Congratulations to all winners. FIELDMOTION look forward to adding more silverware to their presentation cabinet. We are off to the Greater Newry Awards on Thursday night in Canal Court, Newry. Hopefully we are lucky again and bring back more awards.[divider scroll_text=””]

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Photos from the night courtesy of Martin McKeown (Inpresspics.com)

What is CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Software Really About?

Everybody who works or has worked in a call centre or sales based environment will know what a CRM is. They may even have been told at one stage that they need one.

Either way, the real burning question is this:
What is CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Software really about?

Well you have come to the right place, let\’s get started.

What is a CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. I know what you\’re thinking. Whaaat?!

Yes it is a bit of a mouthful, but as always technical terms are meant to sound like that, technical. It is actually quite simple to explain really. It refers to a piece of software that tracks all communication with your customers, past, present and future. Depending on your service provider, the features will vary but it will always be known in the business as a CRM.

Most CRM\’s will have features included to keep track of past, current and potential customer details like contact numbers, email addresses etc. Other service providers can allocate leads to a sales rep and keep track of correspondence with support teams and much more.

What is the ultimate goal of implementing a CRM?

It\’s quite simple really. The goal is to create a process that your company can use to increase productivity and effectively interact with current and prospective customers.

You will find throughout companies that implement CRM software, leads will be allocated to sales agents when desired. This increases productivity as the sales agent doesn\’t need to go through many different avenues to get details for each call, everything is in one place. Everything they need for each and every call.

Everyone is using the cloud these days, everything from storing pictures of loved ones, holiday videos and even storing songs they have downloaded. CRM software companies are no exception to this. Most are stored in the cloud making it just that much easier for a company to maintain their system without the need of big, chunky servers with a designated room.

The Burning Question: Do I really Need One?

To be completely honest, YES!

Imagine this:

You have records of all your customers stored in an excel spreadsheet. You need to find mobile numbers, email address, account numbers, some of which are missing from one but included in another. Then add those records to another spreadsheet, which you then finalise and prepare for the managing director of your company. Imagine doing this for 10,000+ customers to be split and distributed accordingly.

Well I don\’t have to imagine this: I had to do it! Needless to say the mere mention of Microsoft Excel makes me feel uneasy.

A CRM is a piece of technological magic. It will automatically keep track of your customer info so you can focus on the bigger picture, expansion. Whether you are a big or small company, a CRM is an absolute dream to have implemented in your company and it will make it easier for you to manage your workflow and it will also increase your workflow.

Which CRM Software Is Best For Me?

There are a lot of CRM software options out there that would work for your business but it all depends on how you want them to work. Settle on what features your business really needs and when deciding on CRM Software, ask yourself these questions:

  • Sales

Will your sales team be able to know who and when to call with the current processes you currently have in place? If the answer is no, implementing a CRM will give each sales agent a much better insight into which potential customers could be turned into actual customers.

  • Initial Contact

Do you make contact the same way for all prospects? Is it always by phone, email, LinkedIn, all of  the above? A CRM could make your customer interaction much simpler for sales agents.

  • B2B

Is your company one that regularly deals with large B2B contracts and require you to interact with lots of different people within lots of different departments? If this is the case, a CRM would enable you to pull all of the relevant data you need based on the company details you have.

If you want to know what will work for your company, ask and answer these questions for yourself. Take a look at your daily processes throughout your sales department and as a whole. Let that be your guide on whether you need a CRM system.

What Is The Most Important Feature Every Company Will Need?

Perhaps not a feature per say but to properly communicate and track your company\’s leads and current customers at every stage of the buying process, your CRM needs to achieve this. Full Stop!

FIELDMOTION\’s Workflow Management Software can do all of this and much more. Click here if you would like a free demonstration of our software.[divider scroll_text=””]

The Bottom Line: If you are running a business and want to keep expanding, you should get a CRM. Every business\’ success relies on the ability to delight your customers. If you know all you can know about your customers, you can deliver first class customer service while solving problems at a much faster rate. I hate this word but you would be delivering a \’Bespoke\’ experience in which a customer feels special, which will in turn, help you grow and prosper.

Want to see our CRM in action? Check out our Free Webinar today!.

And Then There Were Two – Digital Advertising NI

The Digital Advertising in Northern Ireland, or ‘DANI’ Awards 2015 are Northern Ireland’s premier Digital Industry Awards, celebrating excellence within the digital advertising sector. The DANI Awards give businesses the opportunity to shine and demonstrate outstanding work in their field.

FIELDMOTION have been short-listed in the \’Mobile App\’ category of the DANI Awards. We are honoured to be short-listed alongside In Touch Interactive.

Jim Finnegan, CEO at FIELDMOTION had this to say, “To be recognised in your field is a very important factor in business, so to be short-listed in such a prestigious awards ceremony like DANI makes me incredibly proud of what we have achieved in such a short period of time.”

The Gala Evening Awards Ceremony is to take place on 18th September at St Columbs Hall, Derry. We are very excited to be included in the Gala Event, which is sure to be a great night. We only hope that our Workflow Management Software has done enough to be crowned \’Best Mobile App\’.

Our Product

Our Workflow Management Software has given us the chance to change how people are doing business by increasing revenue and margin and speeding up their daily business processes. This idea came from our own internal frustrations and we thought if we can\’t find a system that does what we need it to do, there is only one thing to do. Build the best Workflow Management Software on the market.

Visit the DANI Awards website to find out more.[divider scroll_text=””]

If you would like a demo of our workflow management software, get in touch with one of our friendly staff members and we can arrange a suitable time for you. If you would like to know more, talk to one of our experts.

Customer of the Month – September 2015

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Overview of Company & Services

Enisca is a multi-disciplinary design, engineering and construction business operating in the power and environmental sectors delivering innovative, sustainable and quality solutions for public and private sector clients in these markets. Our experienced and skilled engineering teams work in partnership with our clients and related stakeholders from an optioneering stage through the cycle of design, construction, commissioning, training and handover to the aftercare of asset operation and maintenance.

The in-house capabilities of our business set us apart. In addition to the process, civil, mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering skills of our people we have the capacity to manufacture process plant and controls.

Enisca has developed and maintained strong partnerships and collaborative relationships in our industry. Our focus on safety, our customers’ needs, programme, cost and the efficiency of project delivery support our key objective of ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction.

See more about Enisca\’s website or follow Enisca on Linkedin.[divider scroll_text=””]

Why Enisca started to used FM

Enisca currently have multiple Frameworks with Water Utilities and Public bodies including Northern Ireland Water, Scottish water, South East Water, Wessex Water and the Environment Agency. Our Frameworks with Northern Ireland Water include a reactive service to respond to failures at wastewater pump stations and also planned preventative maintenance and refurbishment services at NIW pumping and treatment assets.

To deliver our customers’ needs and offer a more efficient service, Enisca sought the support of FIELDMOTION to develop a workflow management system that improved planning, communication, reporting and accountability.[divider scroll_text=””]

How have you benefited from it?

Since Fieldmotion was introduced, Enisca and our clients have benefited from:

· Quicker response times

· Reduced administration

· More efficient internal and client reporting

Evidence to the success of this workflow management system is the improved monthly KPI scores now being received by Enisca.[divider scroll_text=””]

Savings experienced

· 25% reduction in administration

· 100% reduction in paper reporting

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Added Comments about FIELDMOTION

“The FIELDMOTION team’s approach to this project has been very professional and enthusiastic. FIELDMOTION have provided an excellent service working with the Enisca team in the development from concept of a robust and efficient workflow management tool and have provided excellent support in its roll-out to our service teams”

Laura Logue, Enisca

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Do you want to make savings and reduce paperwork like Enisca? Get in touch with on of our friendly staff members and you could be making a huge difference in how you manage your workflow. Our workflow management software will change your life.

Chosen Charities

FIELDMOTION Ltd is showing their support for the local community having chosen three charities close to their employees’ hearts. We have selected three different charities each with an entirely unique focus. Nevertheless each of our chosen charities are very worthy causes, who work tirelessly to help improve others lives and support those in need. Our attempt is to raise as much money as possible by organising and participating in upcoming fundraising events, social events and competitions or brave challenges.

FIELDMOTION’s chosen charities for 2015-16 will include the local Southern Area Hospice Services and Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust.

We also understand the crucial need for research in today’s world to help prevent and cure certain illness. Management and employees of FIELDMOTION feel strongly about supporting Cancer Research UK. We are delighted to help contribute to supporting these very worthy charities over the coming months.[divider scroll_text=””]
Our FIELDMOTION team will kick start fundraising from September and aim to run as many fun and enjoyable but yet challenging events throughout 2015 and into 2016. Already we have some employees looking to embrace the 10K Hell and Back Challenge in the dreary month of January….with as many as 9 expressing their interest to participate, we will see how many actually make it across the finish line.

What do these charities do?[divider scroll_text=””]

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Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK the world’s leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research. Having saved millions of lives by discovering new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, and survival has doubled over the past 40 years. Every day in the UK there are more than 400 people diagnosed with cancer that will survive the disease for more than 10 years thanks to the research.

Southern Area Hospice Services

Southern Area Hospice Services (SAHS) provides invaluable support and care to people living within the Southern Health Board Area, who are suffering from Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease and AIDS.

The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust

The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust (KBRT) aims to alleviate the financial hardship of bereaved families repatriating the body (bodies) of loved one(s) who have died abroad in sudden or tragic circumstances back to Ireland.

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We are committed to helping the local community and beyond, so please help us further by letting people know all about our worthy cause. Make a donation or come to one of our events we have planned over the coming months. Tell your friends and family and everyone you know, you\’re all welcome to join us. Your help is greatly appreciated and will no doubt go a long way in helping us achieve our goal in helping our chosen charities.