Sunday, 9 November 2014

Modern Web Applications, Types, Storage and Where to Deploy?

We live in an era of digital revolution, our products and services, our sales and marketing are no longer an offline activity. We need to access information and make decisions on the go. We need modern Web Applications to solve this issue and help us access and share information securely and efficiently.

Web Application Types

PHP, Asp.Net Form Applications (Legacy web applications)
The form based application design is suitable for a typical line of business application where the user needs to input data via web forms and generate reports. These type of applications are mainly developed for internal use within the organisation.
Html, CSS, MVC, Ajax Applications (Most Popular Web Applications)
The Web 2.0 applications are the most popular applications available. They are user friendly, responsive and work on all browser types. Most enterprise apps and products are developed with this technology stack.
Single Page Application (Fast, Efficient and Modern Web Applications)
The Single Page Application (SPA) has been around for a few years, however the recent popularity of knock out and Angular JS has made it an attractive option for many web developers. It offers a client side rich interface with a very light weight server interaction.

Web App Storage

When developing web applications we need to persist data and depending on the type of data there are a few options to choose from. Most application utilise one or more options in a single web application.
SQL Database
This is one of the most common storage mechanisms used by almost all of the web applications. It is suitable for storing tabular or structured data where we have rows and columns to store and query based on their relationships. Microsoft SQL Server and MySQL are popular choices in this category.
No SQL Database
This is a new breed of storage and is suitable for storing large unstructured data. The best example would be tweets where each tweet is a different and not related to each other. Both Microsoft Azure and AWS offer these services however MongoDB is a popular choice in this category.
Binary Data
We can store our binary data, i.e. images, videos and voice files in a database, however it is not an efficient use of database storage. Traditionally these type of contents are simply stored on a file server, however having access to cloud infrastructure both Microsoft Azure Blobs and AWS S3 services are great choices in this category.

Web App Deployment

Having a number of options available to deploy a web application it is sometime a difficult choice to make. Here are a few options available and reasons why you should choose one
Shared Hosting
This is one of the common and cost effective options available for deploying a simple web application where performance, security and availability are not critical factors. There are even free deals from many hosting providers including Microsoft Azure where you can upload up to 10 sites for free.
Dedicated VPS
When your web application has some external dependencies or you need to access the operating system and control the environment your best choice is to deploy on a dedicated Virtual Private Server (VPS). There are wide variety of options available including Microsoft Azure and AWS where you pay based on your usage instead of a fixed monthly/yearly subscription.
Cloud Hosting
Most modern web applications are now developed for cloud, this enables the web applications to be scalable and cost effective. For example a booking system can spawn ten web servers during the peak times and only a single server at night to save cost and serve better. Both Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services are popular choice in this category.
YZM Technologies is a Perth based Software Company specialising in building custom software, databases and mobile apps and helping small businesses achieve better results by optimising business processes.


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Small Business Power Groups

When playing a football game, diving under water or climbing mountains, we see that two or more like minded people join forces and work towards a single goal.

There is a famous saying that one is one and two is eleven, so when two or more complimentary business work together towards a single goal which is to serve more customers we can call their relationship  a small business power group.

It has long been proven that referrals are one of the best way to acquire more customers so why not join forces with likeminded businesses and work together and serve your customers better.

Business networking and referrals is not a new concept, many small business use it regularly to reach more customers and grow their business but in most cases they are doing it alone. Imagine if you hire ten sales people and each one goes out and promotes your business, the overall outcome would be ten times better than what a single person could achieve, similarly when two or more complimentary businesses join force and work together and promote each other’s business the result would be more customers and better service.

Here are few points to consider when you should start your power group

Complimentary Businesses

The first thing to consider would be to go through your contact list and find businesses which are complimentary to your services or products, for example if you are an IT shop, may be you want to join forces with a web site development company or social media marketing company, if you are a building inspector, you may want to look for property management businesses and join forces with them.

Taste it First
Every business wants more customers so you will definitely get a positive response when you will meet a few businesses and present your idea of building a power group. However most of them will not start referring their customers straight away. The reason is that they don’t know much about other businesses in the new group like their strengths and weaknesses, so the best way to build a new relationship is to trial each other with a small job and taste the quality of each other services and products.

Keep in Touch
When joined forces it is essential to keep in touch, the ideal time frame is once a month. It is good to catch up for a coffee or lunch with other businesses in the group and refresh the commitment. Another way to keep in touch is via social media channels and email drops. A facebook update or a short tweet will help build the relationship.

Thanks plus
It is natural that some business will be more likely to get referrals than the other, for example a bookkeeper or an accountant will definitely get more referrals because every business needs a bookkeeper or an accountant, in contrast to that only a few businesses will need services of a construction or a building company so it is not possible to match one for one referrals between the power group members. To be fair it is good to have some formal or informal arrangement in place, a small thank you card and a gift will go a long way in building relationship and getting more referrals in future.

YZM Technologies is a Perth based Software Company specialising in building custom software, databases and mobile apps and helping small businesses achieve better results by optimising business processes.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Meetups and networking, do you really like it?

If you are a small business owner and don’t like meetups and networking you are missing out on opportunities for sure. What about if you are somebody who is a bit reserved and doesn’t have the outgoing personality like many around you?

If we look around we find there are two types of personalities, there are those who can join a group conversation and start talking to everybody as if they are their childhood friends and then there are those who have the “odd one out” feeling when they join a group and feel either they don’t have anything to say or don’t know what to say.

So what about if you are one of the second type of person? Here are few tips to help you out.

Take somebody with you
If you are going to a networking event find a friend who can join you there, it is always easier to start the conversation with people you already know. Most of the time you will get introduced to others in a group and they will take the lead so just follow the conversation and enjoy the company.

Start smaller groups
Another tip is to start with a smaller and informal networking group where the atmosphere is causal and friendly, there are number of meetups available on or you may ask around to find a causal and informal networking group to start your networking journey.

Get professional help
It may not be a bad idea to attend a seminar or a training event to help you build your confidence. There are number of experts including Paula Smith and Melinda Brennan who specialise in this field and will be happy to help you build your confidence and tweak the message you are trying to get across.

Hire a sales person
Another option to consider is to hire a causal sales person who can take care of the networking and PR responsibilities, they can join you in networking and client meetings. There are number of businesses who charge an hourly rate for hiring a sales professional on an on-demand basis.

No matter what type of business you are in, business networking plays a key role in getting new customers and getting the message across. Above are some the tips that can help you start your networking journey.

YZM Technologies is a Perth based Software Company specialising in building custom software, databases and mobile apps and helping small businesses achieve better results by optimising business processes.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Job Management, You are not using a spreadsheet, right?

If you are in the service industry and have a few staff members, you could be a repair shop or a commercial cleaning service, a massage therapist or a building inspector, you need to manage bookings, staff availability, track hours and most importantly send invoices on time to get paid sooner.

If you are using a spread sheet and an outlook calendar to track your bookings and staff appointments then please read on as there are more efficient ways to manage this.

Accounting Package Add-ons

The first option to consider would be to look for add-ons for your accounting package. If you are a traditional MYOB user then there are number of options available including ServiceM8 and Smart Jobs. These solutions come with a mobile app and integrate directly to MYOB for invoicing. Their price starts from 50c a job or $20/user/month.

If you are using Xero as your accounting package, WorkflowMax is a popular choice for your job tracking, it has a very easy to use interface and also comes with a mobile app. Their price ranges from $25 for a single user to $199 for unlimited users.

Mobile Workforce Management Solutions

If you have 10+ mobile workforce staff then you may consider using a fully featured mobile workforce management software like Syncroteam, Fleetmatics Work and Connect2Field.

These products efficiently manage mobile workers, simplify their processes and optimise their costs. In addition to that they offer scheduling assistant dispatching, tracking and reporting capabilities.

If you are already using a customer relations management software like Zoho or Sugar CRM you may want to discuss integration options with your CRM specialist as these tools have built-in support for job management and tracking.

Custom Software

Ok, so you have looked around and none of the job management software suits your needs, some are too complex, require constant attention in keeping it up to date or may be it just simply does not fit with your process. This is exactly the same situation when you want to buy a house, you look around, and you might like a house but the house is may be too big or too small, has low ceilings or no storage and has no garden or too many trees. This is when you need to decide whether to compromise and get the best what is out there or build your own.

In the software world it is called custom software development which can be built exactly the way you want it. It will fit your process and can be customised according to your requirements.


If you are a small business and want to take advantage of the digital revolution it is recommended to use one of the off the shelf products to optimise your processes, however if you are not happy with the feature set offered by these off the shelf products, you can look at building your custom software solution.

YZM Technologies is a Perth based Software Company specialising in building custom software, databases and mobile apps and helping small businesses achieve better results by optimising business processes.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Looking for Customers under the Lamp Post ?

We have heard the story of a person looking for his car keys under the lamp post and when a passer-by asked him about the location where he lost them, his answer was that he lost them somewhere else but he is searching here because there is light here.

The fact is when we try to find our customers in places where we feel comfortable we never find them. The first question to ask would be, who are our customers? Where do they hang out? What do they wear and eat? Who do they meet and are friends with? When we know answers to these questions it will become easier to understand our target audience and find places where we can target them.

Service and Care

Not all of us are gardeners but all of us know that if someone wants to grow a fruit tree, they need to start with a healthy seed, take care of it, shelter it from the hot sun and cold winter, water it as often as required and wait patiently for month and years until it becomes a fully grown tree and starts to give fruit.

It takes time and constant care before you will see customers walking through your door, the point to learn is that you need to start with a healthy seed which is your product and service, apply the right amount of water and shelter, which is your marketing and customer service and wait patiently and you will see the result in months and years to come.

Sell vs. Solve

Has the thought ever crossed your mind why we don’t get emails, newsletters, phone calls from doctors and medical practitioners? We don’t seem to see any TV or radio advertisements? They never seem to go out in networking events to find patients? Or send marketing material to everybody? Or send bonus medicines to attract patients? Offer buy one get one free promotions? Why not?

They don’t do all these activities because they are not trying to sell their services and products instead they have made it clear to everybody that they are solving our problems, they are there to help and share their knowledge and experience and we all know where to find them.

We can apply a similar principle to our business and our product and services, instead of selling we can focus on solving a problem for our target audience. We go out and help people in areas where we have knowledge and experience and we will see what goes around, comes around.


Understand your target audience and find them where you have lost them, offer service and care and be patient with achieving results and most of all don’t just sell but instead focus on solving a real problem.

YZM Technologies is a Perth based Software Company specialising in building custom software, databases and mobile apps and helping small businesses achieve better results by optimising business processes.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Small Business and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - Do It Yourself

There were the days when small business didn’t need to have any online presence, a website or a facebook page, google+ or a twitter account.  But with growing consumer demand all traditional small businesses including coffee shops, hair dressers or accountants need to have decent presence on these channels. If the business is not presented well in the online market it is losing potential customers.
We take our own example - we hear about a good restaurant and the first thing we do we hit Google and see what comes up, we look at the location, menu choice, prices and most importantly reviews and ratings by other customers.
This shows that a small business with an online presence needs to make it a common practise to maintain their reputation, it is similar to a big sign board in front of the shop, if not present customers will walk right past and will not know about the business.
The question is what are the simple things we can do to improve our presence online? The following few tips are not a complete marketing strategy but will be a good start:
1)      Google places
The first thing one should consider is to register your business location with Google places. This will help customers find the business location on Google maps.
2)      Social Media
If you haven’t already done it, you should consider creating all popular media accounts like facebook, google+, twitter and Linked in and create a page for your business, it is free and very easy to set up.
3)      Back links
If you have a website consider adding a blog section and post a blog at least once a week about a topic that interest your customers and copy that link to your all social media accounts.  Alternatively you can post it on your facebook page or Linked in page and tweet about it.
Most importantly, increase your social and professional network, your facebook friends, Linked in contacts and tweet followers.

YZM Technologies is a Perth based software company specialising in building custom software, databases and mobile apps and helping small businesses achieve better results by optimising business processes.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Should I Use CRM for my business? – Absolutely

For all small business owners who love their Excel work book and use it for everything from maintaining the customer information, contact details, accounts, inventories, quotes and follow-ups it probably sounds a little strange that Excel is actually not the right tool for it.

Imagine you need to run an advertising campaign and you want to send out a newsletter to all your customers. You can do it via your Outlook and use mail merge but what about if you want to know whether or not your customers opened your email? And clicked on a link provided in your newsletter? Also more importantly if someone wants to opt out from your email marketing campaign?

This is where a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system comes in handy, if configured correctly it will automate most of the tedious and time consuming tasks and better still it will give you insight into your marketing campaign.

In addition to that CRM manages your leads, contacts, activities, follow ups and acts as a single source of truth when it comes to customer management. Once you link your emails to your CRM it will automatically record all correspondence between you and your customer, this means you don’t need to make folders in Outlook to keep track of correspondence.

What about cost? Well, with the recent adoption of Cloud based solutions we have a great choice and the flexibility to find a solution that best meets our needs. Starting from just $12/month Zoho CRM and CapsuleCRM are the best options for any small business owner. If you want advanced functionality and automisation then Microsoft Dynamics for $65/month might be worth a look.

If your business requires integration with an existing system or custom workflow that is not supported by CRM, we will be happy to help you. At YZM Technologies we build custom software, web applications, mobile apps and we develop custom integrators.