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Are Tech Salaries Being Affected By Remote Work During The Covid-19 Pandemic?

Working in the tech industry is all the rage these days. People from different walks of life are learning coding and other computational skills just so that they can have a slice of the international tech cake. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, tech-related jobs have been among the few that have surged in demand. This is because every other industry depends on the tech industry for innovations that will keep them relevant. Since tech workers deal with codes and computers, they can work remotely from any part of the world. The coronavirus has affected tech salaries negatively or positively depending on the organization in question. 

Working From Home Vs. Working in an Office 

As stated above, tech workers were able to work from home effectively for safety reasons. Unlike other jobs that require hands-on attention, tech workers can work from home for years and still do a great job. While most of these workers reportedly made more money during the pandemic, those who decided to relocate from Silicon Valley and other major cities faced salary cuts. 

Silicon Valley is the hub of technology in the United States. The highest-paid tech experts in the world set their roots in this hub. With high salaries comes an even higher cost of living. So, as the pandemic started and workers were asked to work from home, many of them decided to use this opportunity to relocate to more affordable cities within the country. After all, they can work from home and anywhere else for that matter. 

The tech companies aren’t allowing people to relocate without consequences. Many companies have decided to cut the salaries of all tech gurus who decide to relocate. If you’re no longer staying in Silicon Valley, you shouldn’t earn like a Valley expert. The pay cuts range from 5 to 20 percent depending on the company in question and the choice of relocation. Still, the option to either work from home or work in an office after the pandemic ends will most likely be left to the workers. A significant percentage of these workers have said that they will like to keep working remotely indefinitely. Still, many workers prefer working from an office to working from home despite the numerous advantages of remote work. 

Salary Rises Might be in the Pipeline for Some Tech Experts 

While some tech workers are facing pay cuts because of their choice to relocate to more affordable locations, some others are expecting a salary surge of up to 10 percent. A few experts have already started enjoying the salary increase. However, there is still a significant disparity in salaries based on race. Reports from Hired revealed that Black tech experts earn way less ($10,000 less on average) than any other race in the industry, Covid-19 or not. 

In the United States, there have been several initiatives aimed at bridging the gap and promoting inclusion in the tech industry. However, these initiatives are yet to yield meaningful results. Latinos also earn less than white tech workers. This doesn’t mean that they are less skilled though.

Tech Salaries Before and After the Covid-19 Pandemic 

Before the pandemic started, tech experts around the world earned an average of $130,000, while experts in the United States earned about $146,000 yearly. In the wake of the pandemic, Silicon Valley continued to pay out the highest-tech salary, which was above $155,000 annually. This indicates a 7 percent disparity compared to other states. 

Tech workers in healthcare have reported a surge in salaries. They earn over $151, 000 in the United States. During the pandemic, their salaries increased significantly as the demand for healthcare-related tech experts surged. It’s not clear if the salaries will keep rising, start falling, or normalize afterward. 

Conclusion 

Salary slash or not, tech-related careers are still the way to go. Whether you’re a newbie or a professional with years of experience, you are going to earn a lot more as a tech expert than you would if you were doing something else. Another great thing about tech jobs is that you will have many opportunities to grow. If you have a creative mind, getting a venture capitalist to fund your web development project will not be too difficult. Give yourself a few years of honest hard work and you’ll be one of the big tech gurus. 

Company LMS: How Can It Drive Business Success?

Companies that deliver corporate training can boast a 218% higher income per employee and a 24% higher profit margin than those who don’t. Investing in employee training and development, when done well, is profitable.

However, corporate learning is changing rapidly. If you’re still betting on in-person training, making coaches fly to your affiliates and host instructor-led sessions after work, you’re stuck in the past. The ability to learn anytime and anywhere is a better fit for employees and partners. A corporate LMS is what enables the “anytime, anywhere”, and more.  

Let’s have a look at what a company LMS is, and how your business can benefit from it.

Corporate LMS For Successful Employee Training - eLearning Industry

What is Company/Corporate LMS?

A corporate learning management system is software for delivering online courses and other learning content to your employees. It helps onboard new employees, then get them the knowledge and skills required to perform their roles, and, ultimately, advance faster in their careers. 

Best Reasons to use an LMS for your Small Businesses Training Needs

It’s a common misconception that learning management systems are intended solely for big organizations with a large staff and even larger budgets. However, in all actuality, small businesses are among those who can benefit the most from an LMS. With the aid of a learning management system, organizations gain the ability to achieve effective employee training and development without spending a fortune.

Regardless of your niche or the number of people you currently have under your employ, LMS can be a powerful tool that increases profits, widens your customer base, and helps you to achieve small business success. In this guide, we’ll focus on some of the benefits that having an LMS for small and medium businesses can offer, and how it can help your organization to truly thrive in today’s competitive marketplace.

1. Enhances customer service.

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It’s a proven fact that improved employee training leads to improved customer service, given that the employees then have the tools and knowledge to successfully represent your brand and know the basics of customer care. Using an LMS even in a small businesses can give you the ability to offer learning materials and courses to your employees that will significantly boost customer service skills, which will inevitably lead customer loyalty and increased profits. Employees will have the opportunity to train in a variety of tasks, depending upon which module you include within your training program. For example, you may require them to complete POS training or interact with a virtual customer, which can all mimic real-world scenarios that they would find on the job.

2. Allows employees to keep current with product updates and policies.

If you have new products that you’d like your employees to know about or newly enacted company or state-mandated policies, then a small business LMS is a tool that can allow you to keep your employees updated quickly and conveniently. For instance, if you are launching a new product that involves a variety of features your salespeople need to know about in order to effectively sell the item, then you can create a course or learning module that highlights all of the current information. Again, this will lead to increased sales, due to the fact that your employees will be informed about new and exciting goods or services that you are offering, and will be better equipped to then pitch the product to consumers.

LMS for small businesses is also ideal for policies and regulations, given that it will enable you to rapidly incorporate new procedures or laws into your modules so that your employees can stay up-to-date. This can actually save you money in the long run, particularly if it’s a matter of state-mandated regulations that involve hefty fines. If your staff knows about the industry rules and regulations that they must adhere to, then this can help you to avoid fines and penalties in the future.

3. Enables centralized storage of data and learning materials.

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Learning management systems allow you to store a wealth of learning data and business related information in once centralized location. Rather than having all of your training materials scattered in filing cabinets or on multiple computers, you can keep it all in one place and then gain immediate access to it when it’s time to train new employees or update courses. This means that there’s also a reduced loss risk, given that all of your information is backed up and safely stored on a remote server.

4. Gives organizations the opportunity to provide real-world training.

Online training through learning management systems gives employees the chance to train in real world settings, without having to actually venture into the real world. They are given time to fine tune their skills and learn about company procedures through LMS modules and courses, which can be customized to mimic real life scenarios. For example, a sales employee can learn how to use the register or how to effectively carry out a sale, all without stepping foot on the sales floor.

5. Can be easily customized for maximum results.

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One of the most significant benefits of an LMS for small businesses is that it is so easy to custom tailor to meet your needs. You can easily update it in order to include new information or training materials for employees. Not to mention that it’s scalable, which means that you can pick and choose the features and functions you want, rather than having to purchase a large bundle of courses or learning tools that includes items you really don’t need. This makes it more budget friendly and ideal for small businesses that may not need a multitude of training modules.

6. Easy to track employee progress and skill set development.

With learning management systems, you gain the ability to keep track of employee development and progress, due to the fact that all of the results and reports are available to you while an employee is participating in online training. For example, if you want to see how a particular employee is faring in terms of skill development, then you simply log on to the platform and view their stats and reports. You can then work with them to fine tune any skills that may be lacking and utilize them in the right area of your business based upon your findings. You can also give them the opportunity to work in new departments should they prove that they have expanded their knowledge base and progressed during their training, if you so choose.

7. More cost effective!

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LMS don’t involve printed materials. Nor do they require an instructor to be physically present. As such, learning management systems for small businesses are extremely cost effective. Even if you have only a small portion of your budget to allocate to training, you can still reap all of the rewards that learning management systems have to offer. You won’t have to worry about spending a small fortune on instructor travel fees or printing a number of training booklets. It’s all done on your LMS. You gain the opportunity to improve your bottom line, enhance customer service, and achieve small business success, all thanks to LMS for small businesses!

How Can a Corporate LMS Help Your Business?

1. New Hire Orientation

Employee Orientation: Meaning, Types of Employee Orientation

With a corporate LMS, you can put most of your employee induction training on autopilot. You only need to create a core training program once, and then assign it to all new hires. An orientation program is usually prepared by an HR manager on the following topics:

  • сompany’s history
  • mission, vision, and values
  • corporate policies
  • corporate culture
  • organizational structure and leadership team
  • products/services and their main benefits
  • key clients and partners

Outcomes: A good induction training experience can simplify and streamline the new hire adaptation process, increase their retention, and get them to work faster.

2. Product Knowledge Training

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Product learning can either be a part of onboarding for new hires or can be accessible for any employee who needs to refresh their knowledge. With an LMS for corporate training, you can also educate staff on new products or services, even before those products and services are released.

A typical online product training course gives learners comprehensive information about features, benefits, and how to use the product. There is typically a quiz at the end of the course to assess how knowledgeable the employee is about the product, and see if they need additional training.

 Outcomes: Good know-your-product training can help empower your teams and boost both sales and customer satisfaction metrics.

3. Job-Specific Skills Training

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Job-specific skills are skills required for a particular job. For example, an architect needs CAD (computer-aided design) skills, a teacher must know how to plan lessons, and a programmer has to be great at coding.

Job-specific skills training is a core component of employee education, especially for those in technical roles. Because technology is constantly changing, even tenured employees need to update skills regularly.

With a corporate LMS, it’s easy to involve staff members in learning on a regular basis. It’s even easy to involve and engage staff members in collaborating to develop new training.

Outcomes: Ongoing job-specific skills training can help your employees always stay up to date with the latest developments and improve their performance.

4. Sales and Customer Support Skills Training

Courses on sales teach learners how to sell products better: predict customers’ needs, present products in terms of customer benefits, handle objections, close sales, etc. Customer support skills training educates employees on how to make customers feel listened to, while quickly executing processes that resolve problems.

A corporate LMS allows you to automate the learning process and make training more accessible and engaging. You can provide your learners with beautiful SCORM-compliant courses, assess their knowledge with online quizzes, and develop their sales and communication skills with the help of dialogue simulations.

Outcomes: A good training experience can make your employees better equipped to increase sales, and well-trained service & support teams can convert customers calling about a problem into brand evangelists.

How to Select the Right Corporate LMS

Selecting the right learning management system for your company can be quite challenging and take a great deal of time and money. There are a lot of things to keep in mind, such as whether or not the LMS can really help solve your existing business problem, whether it has all the necessary features to fit your training needs, or if it’s going to stay within your budget. You can check this link for the features you should check when looking for an LMS. Also you can contact us and we can guide you though. Our email is info@hudutech.com or call +254701201390.

Improve your employee, partner and customer training with our enterprise-ready learning management system. Book a demo now 

7 Features that an Online Learning Management System (LMS) Must Have

You may be looking for an online Learning Management System(LMS) for your learning institution or organisation. Here are the most important features that a LMS should have.

Any discussion or comparison of Learning Management Systems (LMS) will inevitably turn to features. They’re central to the entire system, yet only 39% of users rate their LMS features highly. What are the other 61% of users looking for that their systems aren’t providing?

There are almost as many answers as there are users. Check out Christopher Pappas’s post for a list of 99 LMS features that might be essential – or useless – depending on your needs.

Determining the must-have LMS features for you requires careful consideration of your needs and the goals of your training program. What sort of an organization do you represent? What form does your training take? What do you need the LMS to integrate with? Do you need e-Commerce? How will your needs change in the coming years?

This post will describe a series of key features a Learning Management System must have. After reading, you should have a better understanding of the features that are relevant to anyone comparing LMS solutions.

1. Ease of use

In a recent study, the Brandon Hall Group, a Human Capital Management (HCM) research and advisory services firm, found in 2016 that 44% of companies using an LMS are thinking about replacing themThe number one reason for changing is the search for a better user experienceReason #2? A better administrative experience.

A good LMS interface is intuitive and user-friendly whoever the user. It should be quick to learn. After all, a series of courses on how to take a course is hardly how individuals and organizations want to spend their time, energy and resources. Ease of use is a must-have LMS feature for everyone.

What makes their LMS platform easy to use? And is it easier to use than the next LMS on your list of Google search results? Plus, with over a thousand LMSs (and features) to choose from, how will you know if you’re making the right choice?

By knowing what to look for! Let’s dive into the must-have features and functionalities of every easy-to-use LMS, starting with logging in.

A. Easy To Log Into

In a digitally driven world, keeping track of login details across dozens of accounts can be, well, painful. Still, passwords are necessary protection to keep trolls and hackers at bay. So, lucky for us, technology has introduced a little trick called Single Sign-on (or SSO, for short).

Instead of having to remember yet another username and password, SSO allows you to use your credentials from one account to log into a different account. Neat, huh? You’ve probably even experienced SSO before, like when you get to use your Facebook credentials to log into a new app.

Now, in the same way, learners get quick, convenient and secure access to learning management software. A single sign-on LMS is a truly easy-to-use LMS platform.

B. Easy to create courses/Classes

If yours is an easy-to-use LMS platform, creating and editing courses should be clear and simple. Of course, learning how to use any new platform takes time and practice—just some more than others.

With a user-friendly LMS, the learning curve should be relatively flat. In other words, by following a logical, easy-to-remember set of steps, anyone in your company is able to create online courses.

But knowing whether an LMS offers easy course creation can be tricky unless you hear it from existing or past customers. So, check out customer reviews of the LMS you’re considering, and look out for any warning signs that course creation is complex, time-consuming or best left to administrators and instructors.

C. Seamlessly Switchable

Oh, the roles you’ve played! Administrator, manager, instructor, and even learner. Switching between these roles, like when you need to view the LMS from a learner’s perspective, can be a user’s nightmare. Especially if your LMS requires you to log out and back in every time.

But, with an online Learning Management System, that’s easy to use, switching roles is effortless. Really, as little as two clicks! This saves time and energy and makes the User Experience all the better for it.

D. Offers Maximum Support

A good LMS support answers the questions you asked, not the ones you didn’t. Because a quick and simple resolution to problems is a large part of the LMS User Experience. And getting stuck on error messages, with little help beyond generic FAQs and support emails, adds a frustrating delay to your workflow.

An LMS that is easy to use comes with support that’s easy to find; and useful! The vendor’s support team should be clued up on all of the LMS’s features and functionalities, as well as customer training offered by the company.

Clear, simple self-help articles also go a long way toward saving users’ time. With a simple search, finding the LMS information you need means that you don’t need to spend time on the phone, or waiting for an email response. In short, the support you get from your vendor should leave you feeling like you’re in good hands.

2. Content management

When you compare LMS solutions, you will see that content management is a very basic, but necessary component of a learning management system. If you take a closer look some do it better than others.

Questions to ask include:

  • Does the LMS support the latest international standards for eLearning? SCORM and Tin Can/xAPI are widely-recognized standards for eLearning content that are compatible with much eLearning software.
  • Can you upload existing documents, videos and exams, and link learners to web content hosted elsewhere?
  • Can your curriculum, learning materials and evaluations be organized into a meaningful and effective learning path? A learning path is the series of courses, events or learning experiences learners must complete to achieve a goal.
  • Can learning materials and events be shared between courses or learning paths?

3.Support for mobile learning

Mobile learning is the delivery of training or education materials or learning support on a mobile device like a phone or a tablet. You may have heard about responsive design, designing online content to adjust to different screen sizes, but responsive design is just the beginning of mobile learning. Due to the demands surrounding the mobile format, mobile learning tends to be heavily interactive and delivered in short segments.

This ties in with the Brandon Hall Group study mentioned earlier, which found that mobile learning and interactive, social technologies are companies’ top priorities for the learning environment.

Another survey, this one by Software Advice, had similar results. It asked users for the most important LMS features for fostering learner engagement. The top request was for learning to be broken into multiple, smaller segments. Users also wanted more social engagement, with learners able to communicate through discussion boards.

4. Support for blended learning

LMS tend to be very effective at presenting and recording e-Learning, but what happens when the best way to learn is offline? You can learn all about the rules and theory behind soccer online, but at some point you need to get out and practice kicking the ball. Lectures, seminars, workshops, on-job demonstrations and opportunities to practice skills may all deserve a place in a training program.

In these cases, LMS support for blended learning is an must-have LMS feature. Offline learning events must be tracked, recorded and assessed along with online ones.

An extensive list of LMS features may be needed to effectively support offline learning:

  • Can you register learners for classes, seminars, workshops and other events through the LMS? Can learners register themselves?
  • Is there support for synchronous and asynchronous learning?
  • Can eLearning and offline learning be combined in a learning path?
  • Is there support for documenting and tracking offline or even external certifications and other qualifications? Can they be included in learning paths?

5. Testing and assessment

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Flexible testing and assessment options are almost always considered important LMS features, although they’re not always available.

Think about how many of these features you might have use for:

  • Does the system support pre-tests and post-tests?
  • Are formative assessments supported, or must learners pass all evaluations?
  • Online exam systems are ubiquitous, but how flexible is the system?
  • Are all available questions asked, or can random questions be pulled from a test bank? From different topic banks? Weighted banks?
  • Can multiple choice answers be randomized?
  • What question types are supported: multiple choice, text entry, short answer, long answer?
  • Does the LMS support both automatic and manual marking, or are users limited to one or the other?
  • Can assignments and tests be weighted?
  • Are learners’ complete assessment portfolios stored as long as necessary?

7. Reporting and tracking

Reporting and Analytics - Logicblock

Enhanced reporting capabilities was another need identified by the Brandon Hall Group Study. Key reports address learner progress, content quality and e-Commerce.When you compare LMS providers, consider reporting capability as part of the must-have features, and especially:

  • Learning item reports: Reports on which learners have completed particular learning items and which learners have not.
  • Learning path reports: Track learners’ progress through a learning path.
  • Exam reports: A good LMS doesn’t just assess learners, it helps the organization assess the learning system. Exam reports analyze exam performance to help ensure the validity and accuracy of the exam.
  • E-Commerce reports: Track purchases, revenues, the performance of marketing initiatives etc.

6. Security

Security of data in the LMS is another must-have feature. An LMS holds not only the personal data of learners, but the learning material is usually proprietary or of commercial value.

  • Sign-on is the first point of contact. Is it secure?
  • How is sensitive data protected? Where is it hosted? What is the delivery method: cloud-based LMS vs on-premise?
  • How are user authorizations handled? Which users can access what data? Many Learning Management Systems restrict the number of users who can be given administrator privileges, but this strategy often backfires. When people who have a legitimate need for access aren’t granted the necessary privileges, they often resort to sharing passwords, compromising the security of the entire process. Access becomes uncontrolled, and records of administrators? activities are no longer accurate. It’s better to choose a system that allows unlimited administrator roles so you can be sure your needs will be met in a controlled manner.
  • How is data integrity maintained? It’s not just about who can see sensitive data; it’s also about who can change it. Data modification is another level of security.

7. Customization and branding

You’re proud of your brand and for good reason. It tells a story and unites your company with a cohesive theme. To represent your company well, an LMS should enable easy integration of your brand image. Use your own color scheme, layout, and logo to make the LMS yours. An LMS that allows branded content allows you to convey your image clearly through every step of the learning process. materials.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a LMS that have this features, you don’t have to look any further, we have developed an online Learning management system that have all this features. If you are interested you can book for a demo here or contact us at info@hudutech.com

Remote working tools to use during the coronavirus lockdown

The outbreak of Coronavirus has affected people and businesses across the world. We have quickly progressed from debating the pros and cons of remote work to ‘switch to remote work or go out of business.’ Remote work is no longer debatable, and many businesses have asked their workforce to work from home to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.  If your business is considering allowing employees to work from home, you are probably wondering whether you have the tools and systems in place to make it happen. If that is you, these are some tools you can use to stay connected.

BEST TEAM CHAT APPS

Alexander Pope once said, ” To err is human,” this can be simply noted as “to communicate is human.” From the Stone Age, where humans communicated with pictograms into the latest chat apps, humans have always looked for better ways to communicate.

While emails require a letter-length reply and a title, video calls can be challenging to schedule just like a face-to-face meeting, and with some areas having slow internet speed, chat simplifies that away. All you need is to type and send a quick message, get an equally short reply in a short time, and get on with your work.

Today’s best chat apps assist you in organizing your team conversations about multiple topics and between departments and enable you to search through your business archives to find out if your question has already been answered.

Team chat apps can also speed up with bots and integrations that bring apps into your chats. Below are apps that are used widely by organizations around the world and can assist you in Team Chats

1.     Microsoft Teams Chat App (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Web)

Microsoft Teams chats app was developed for meetings and managing documents. Teams works well for both random chats and when working together on a project.

The app enables you to organize channels under teams. You can invite everyone who should be a team, and they can automatically join every channel in that team.

Microsoft Teams Features

  1. Fully integrated with Office 365
  2. Conversation channels
  3. Direct access to email, Skype, OneDrive, and SharePoint
  4. Collaborate live in real-time
  5. Access Teams across all of your devices
  6. Integrate third-party applications quickly such as Zendesk     

Then, when you are having a meeting, Microsoft Teams creates a new chat room just for that meeting. You can go to a video call, share your screen, and log every discussion in long-form messages. It’s almost email reinvented.

Microsoft has seen a massive boost for Teams since so many people are working from home because of the Coronavirus. Teams now have 44 million daily users, a figure that has grown by 12 million “in just the last seven days,” Microsoft says. This week alone, users have generated over 900 million meetings and calling minutes on Teams. 

Microsoft Teams Pricing: 

Microsoft Teams have a free plan that offers unlimited chat and search history with an unlimited number of users, 2GB file attachment space, 10 GB file sharing across all teams.

2.     Slack (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, Web)

Slack is a team chat app that you have probably heard and tried already. The app is one of the most popular team chat apps today. It has different features that include:

  1. Organized conversations
  2. Searchable history
  3. Connect tools and services
  4. Collaboration beyond colleagues
  5. Voice, video calls and screen sharing
  6. Integrated file sharing

Slack Pricing

Slack has a free package that offers access to 10,000 of your team’s most recent messages, 1:1 voice and video calls between teammates, and ten integrations with other apps like Google Drive, Office 365 and many more.

Other packages go for $6.67 and $12.50 per month.

3.     Zoho Cliq (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Web)

Zoho Cliq is different from other team chat apps in its appearance and style. Rather than having one conversation in view at a time, Zoho Cliq lets you open up multiple chats and private messages with each in its column. Rather than flip among your most frequently used conversations, you can keep them all open at once. Another distinguishing feature, called Prime Time, lets you use Cliq as a broadcasting service, streaming video in real-time to anyone on the team who tunes in.

Zoho Cliq Features

  1. Group collaboration, made simple
  2. Searchable conversations
  3. Voice and Video calls
  4. Day-to-day tasks and calendar schedules
  5. Centralize your workflows
  6. Data security

Zoho Cliq Pricing

Zoho Cliq offers a free plan that can be used by unlimited users. It also provides

  • Searchable messages: 10k for org
  • File storage: 100GB for org
  • Max. Participants per channel: 100
  • User provisioning and de-provisioning
  • Google/Google Apps sign-on,
  • SAML based single sign-on (SSO)
  • Screen sharing

There is also a premium plan that starts with $3 per user per month.

FREE ONLINE MEETINGS & VIDEO CONFERENCING APPS

Most businesses and organizations are currently working remotely, and there is a great need for team members to interact.

As much as remote work can be of benefit to your business or organization, working remotely can, at time make one feel isolated, thus losing productivity.  Video conferencing is one of the most crucial tool for increasing productivity. It makes users feel connected.

There are numerous applications and platforms for video chat and collaboration.

1.     Zoom Meetings(web, Android, IOS, Microsoft)

Zoom allows participants to join via the web, dedicated apps, browser extensions, and mobile devices using iPhone and Android apps. Users can call in via phone if they need to. Free users can also record video or audio locally and share screens with other conference participants.

During this COVID-19 pandemic zoom is offering support  Effective Remote Working, Educating Over Zoom,  Hosting Virtual Events and Telehealth.

The features of Zoom include:

  1. Video Conferencing Features
  2. HD video
  3. HD voice
  4. Active speaker view
  5. Full screen and gallery view
  6. Simultaneous Screen Share
  7. Join by telephone call-in
  8. Virtual Background
  • Web Conferencing Features
  • Desktop and application sharing
  • Personal room or meeting ID
  • Instant or scheduled meetings
  • Chrome & Outlook plug-ins
  • Scheduling w/ Chrome Extensions
  • MP4 or M4A local recording
  • Private and group chat
  • Host controls
  • Raise hand
  • Group Collaboration Features
  • Breakout Rooms
  • Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android
  • Group messaging and presence
  • Screen share any iPad/iPhone app
  • Co-annotation on shared screen
  • Keyboard/mouse control
  • White boarding
  • Multi-share

Zoom Pricing

Zoom has a free plan that hosts up to 100 participants, Unlimited 1 to 1 meeting, 40 mins limit on group meetings, unlimited number of meetings, and online support.

Other plans include pro that goes for $14.99 per month per host, business plan for $19.99 per month per host, and Enterprise plan for $19.99 per month per host.

  • Skype(Windows, Mac OS X , Linux, Android and IoS)

Skype is one of the most popular VoIP app. It is suitable for video conferencing for small teams of up to 50 people, and this is free.

Skype has a great feature of cloud-based call recording feature that any team member can prompt. This prompt notifies other participants that the call is being recorded, and allows users to save and share the recording for up to 30 days.

Skype Features

  • Audio and HD video calling
  • Smart messaging
  • Call recording and Live subtitles
  • Private conversations
  • Call phones
  • Screen sharing

Skype Pricing

It’s free to make Skype to Skype calls but to call a mobile or landline from Skype, you need a little Skype Credit or a subscription

The price you pay depends on the country you’re calling to, not the country you’re calling from

3.      CISCO Webex Meetings

Although CISCO is mostly associated with expensive Enterprise products. Webex is the CISCO’s web conferencing solution, and it comes with great free plan for those looking for a barebones video conferencing solution.

Features

  • It provides simple, modern video meetings with the most manageable schedule and join experiences on the market.
  • Background noise detection, AR capabilities, and video call back features ensure top-quality meeting experiences,
  • Application and screen sharing and in-app white boarding help people around the world collaborate as if they’re in the same room.
  • Instant Messaging
  • File Sharing and Document Collaboration

CISCO Webex Pricing

Webex has:

  • A free plan
  • A starter plan that goes for $13.50 per host per month,
  • A plan that goes for $17.95 per host per month,
  • A starter plan that goes for $26.95 per host per month,
  • and Enterprise plan for large meetings, events, training & support.

TASK/PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Task management is not just ticking off items on a to-do list. It’s an organized system for identifying, monitoring and managing the work and projects you and your team are working on. Task management involves

  • Tracking task progress
  • Setting deadlines
  • Adjusting work schedules
  • Delegating work to team members
  • And so much more

Why Do We Require a Task/Project Manager software?

  • Project management software provides scalability and flexibility in the creation and customization of your project workflow to meet the business as well as the market requirements.
  • It enables to centralize the work activity and thus minimizes the risk of data loss as well as increase the efficiency of work.
  • It encourages teamwork and provides uninterrupted communication, thus leads to an increase in overall productivity.
  • Tasks and projects can be easily prioritized as per the business requirement, and also reminders are set for the timely execution of tasks.
  • Tasks and events are managed daily anywhere and anytime, just the only requirement is an internet connection.

Here are some of the best tools for managing tasks efficiently:

  1. Trello

Trello is one of the top project management system, it is known for its simplicity, and it’s very well suited for the projects following agile methodologies.

Trello has boards which have cards, and the cards can contain design updates, tasks, comments, attachments, project overview, messages, etc., and thus acts as the most visual collaboration for any project.

From projects, tasks to family responsibilities, it has everything to stay organized and is available anywhere to be in sync.

Trello Pricing

Trello offers a free plan that has unlimited Personal Boards, Unlimited Cards, Unlimited Lists, 10MB per File Attachment, and much more. You can sign up here.

There is also a Business Class plan that goes for $9.99 per user per month and Enterprise plan that goes for $20.83 per user per month.

Asana task management is mainly used to create and keep track of the project or tasks within the project.

Asana offers team activities like sharing files, task assignments, project progress tracking, receiving notifications, updates, and comments. Thus it results in seamless communication, ultimately efficient and timely delivery of projects.

Asana Pricing

Asana offers a free plan for individuals or teams just getting started with project management. You can get started here.

It also has a premium plan that goes for $10.99 per user per month and a business plan for $24.99 per user per plan.

  • HeySpace

HeySpace is a ground-breaking and intuitive task management tool with chat. It is like a blend of Slack and Trello, but with more advanced features. It assist in managing projects and team workflow, and also improves communication and collaboration in a team as well as with clients.

Main features:

  • It enables you to view three boards in one area, that is spaces, your team and list of task cards.
  • You can easily change your conversation into a task
  • The board with tasks in a Kanban-styleallows you to see all projects in one place for easy task tracking
  • Every task can be adjusted – you can set a due date, assign tasks to particular people, add tags, create a to-do list, description, files, comment on it, make it a recurring task
  • The feature of workspaces allows you to create many spaces,
  • You can create personal to-do lists with a due date to follow your work every day and make sure every task is done on time
  • A simple and user interface.

HeySpace offers you space to organize your tasks and projects. You can use it as an advanced to-do list app or a simple free task software and make sure every due date is effectively approached. You don’t have to switch between apps and tabs. Everything is in one place!

Heyspace Pricing:

  • Free for up to 10 users
  • Premium plan that goes for $5 per user in Workspace
  • Heyspace offers 50% discount for non-profits and schools

BEST FREE PRODUCTIVITY SOFTWARE WHEN WORKING AT HOME

It’s very easy to get online to look for one particular thing and find yourself still surfing four hours later. This is especially troublesome when you’re working from home. If you find it challenging to be productive when working at home, here are apps that can increase your productivity.

  1. Evernote

Evernote is an excellent tool for organizing your thoughts and ideas. Since ideas can come at any time, Evernote enables you to record them.

You can note down a list, lengthy essay, photos, screenshots, links, the exciting parts of a web article, etc.

You can also attach a reminder in Evernote. There is also an option for the reminder to be sent as an email.

One thing I like about Evernote is the smart search tool, and it helps you search through everything you’ve noted. Also Notebooks can be synced across all your devices as required, enabling you to view and work on them anywhere.

Evernote has a free plan that can serve you well. Evernote also provides premium plans. The Evernote Business plan offers Spaces, for example, a method to organize your notes into separate collections, each of which can be used by individual teams, while the searchable Space Directory enables tracking what’s happening right across your company. The paid plans goes for $7.99 a month, or $14.99 per user per month.

3.     Focus Booster (Web, Mac, Windows, iOS, Android)

Focus Booster is a Pomodoro app that’s more focused on freelancers and agency owners since you can choose which client to track time for. All your Pomodoro sessions get automatically logged under a timesheets area, and enables you to create manual entries. The interesting feature? You can export your Pomodoro sessions into a CSV format so it’s much easier to invoice your client at the end of a month or project.
There is an exciting feature that enables you to save incomplete sessions and  you can resume later.
Pomodoro Price
·         Free, but limited to 20 sessions
·         Individual plan ($2.99/month), with 200 sessions and extended settings
·         Unlimited plan ($4.99/month), with unlimited sessions and invoicing

4.       Focus To-Do: Pomodoro Timer and To Do List (Windows,Mac, iOS, Android)

As the name states, Focus To-Do is a combination of the Pomodoro timer and the to-do list. Quite useful, as you can create projects to categorize better sessions, as well as set task priorities for a clear picture of what to do first.

Apart from that, there is a great feature known as the “Forest”. It gamifies the whole user experience and lets you contribute with your actions to growing a plant. If you don’t complete the daily challenges, you guessed it, the plant dies— a thought-provoking way to build up motivation and adopt the Pomodoro Technique.

This Pomodoro timer also comes with a trend chart of all your accomplished to-dos and statistics over how you’ve spent your time for each project.

Price:

  • Free
  • Premium (£2.99/3 months), with unlimited projects, app whitelist, daily/weekly/monthly report, repeating tasks, reminder tasks

Conclusion

There will still be life after Corona Virus pandemic!  Businesses and work need to keep progressing even when under the current lockdown. The above list has been carefully created to take care of each kind of need that we are experiencing trying to work from home. Find out what works best for you and share about the rest of the tools with your team and friends. The essence is to remain productive at home.

Apart from the apps, remember totake short breaks and call friends who are also stuck at home. They’re bored and isolated too, and they’d like to hear from you, even briefly. Also, do some physical exercises every day, preferably something that also improves your posture, because you’re likely sitting a heck of a lot more than you were before. In case, I missed a software or an app that can help when working at home, you can let us know in the comment section below. Enjoy the stay at home and remain productive.

Effects of CoronaVirus on Tech Companies

Coronavirus have affected the tech industry in a big way.

China being the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile phones, computers and televisions, with over $2.01 trillion. This is followed by the United States ($1.867 trillion), Japan ($1.063 trillion), Germany ($700 billion), and South Korea ($372 billion).

Productivity have been affected greatly as offices and factories have halted operations across the nation. Below is a photo provided by Chen Yanxi, a nearly-deserted expressway is seen in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020.

Analyst say that the global tech supply could be greatly affected, depending on how quickly the virus will continue to spread. Supply-chain analytics provider TrendForce has provided a report assessing the likely impact of the 2019-nCoV outbreak on tech manufacturing.

Smartphones, monitors, Tvs, Video Game Consoles, Smart Speakers and Automobiles production is projected to decline.

Coronavirus has infected more than 75,000 people since it was first reported in late 2019, resulting in at least 2000 deaths. Below is its comparison with previous global outbreaks.

Many tech companies, like Facebook, Apple, Google, Foxconn, Airbnb, Uber, Tesla, Twitter, Amazon and Microsoft have been affected by this outbreak.

Facebook

Although Facebook does not have offices in China, it also warned employees against nonessential travels to the country. Facebook have also halted taking new orders for its latest Oculus Quest VR handset, citing the outbreak of Corona Virus for the delay.

Facebook have also canceled a marketing summit scheduled for early March, which was expected to draw 4,000 people. “Our priority is the health and safety of our teams, so out of an abundance of caution, we cancelled our Global Marketing Summit due to evolving public health risks related to coronavirus,” said Facebook spokesman Anthony Harrison. The cancellation was earlier reported by Reuters

Google

Google announced on January 29, that its temporary shutting down all its offices in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan due to health threat. The search giant has also placed business travel restrictions to China and Hong Kong.

Google has also told its employees in china and those with immediate family members returning from china to from home for at least 14 days. Google mainly focuses on sales and engineering in china for its advertising business.

Google also have a strong presence in China with regards to its hardware efforts, as many Google product teams responsible for devices like Pixel phones and Google Home speakers work with Chinese suppliers and factories for manufacturing.

Apple                                                                                

On February 17, 2020, Apple said it would miss its quarterly revenue guidance because of the effects of the outbreak of COVID-19. Apple has also temporarily shut down its corporate offices and contact centers in China. All six Apple stores are open in Hong Kong, and also its online store in china remains open.

Apple does not only have suppliers in Wuhan area, but also has alternative sources for the components they provide. The company said that its working on mitigation plans to make up any expected production loss.

Foxconn

Foxconn, has told its employees not to come back to work at its offices in Shenzhen, China, until further notice. The iPhone manufacturer is now working “to safeguard everyone’s health and safety and comply with government virus prevention measures,” Bloomberg reported Feb. 7, citing an internal memo. 

“We urge you not to return to Shenzhen,” Foxconn reportedly said in a text message to employees. Foxconn didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Airbnb

Airbnb  said it would offer guests and hosts affected by coronavirus a chance to cancel reservations without penalty. The policy applies to hosts or guests in Hubei Province, where Wuhan is located, with reservations upto April 1 2020, as well as any guests already staying in Hubei. 

Uber

Bloomberg reported that Uber temporarily deactivated 240 customer accounts in Mexico to prevent the possible spread of the coronavirus.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Uber said it suspended customers who had traveled with two drivers who had suspected contact with the coronavirus. The country’s health officials confirmed an Uber driver had given a ride to a passenger from Los Angeles who was infected with the virus, based on information from US health officials. The man spent two days in Mexico City, but didn’t display symptoms until returning to the US, according to La Silla Rota.

Alibaba

Alibaba says virus is changing buying patterns: Food delivery is up, clothing and electronics are going down.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. cautioned that the coronavirus responsible for killing more than 1,300 people in China is exerting a huge impact on the country’s consumers and merchants, and will hurt its revenue growth in the current quarter.

Alibaba, the first major Chinese technology corporation to report results since the epidemic emerged in January, said the virus is undermining production in the economy because many workers can’t get to or perform their jobs. It has also changed buying patterns with consumers pulling back on discretionary spending, including travel and restaurants.

Aljazeera reported that the Chinese e-commerce giant made the comments after reporting strong financial results for the quarter that ended in December. Revenue surged a better-than-expected 38% to 161.5 billion yuan ($23.1 billion), while net income rose 58% to 52.3 billion yuan.

Many merchants that work with the company have not been able to return to normal operations because of a shortage of employees. Alibaba’s U.S.-listed shares slid as much as 2.4% Thursday morning.

Now remote work apps are such as DingTalk, Lark and WeChat Work having a boom as millions are confined to working from home.

The online education sector is experiencing a similar uptick as schools nationwide are suspended, according to data from research firm Sensor Tower.

Rankings of downloads compiled by Sensor Tower show that all three apps experienced significant year-over-year growth in downloads from January 22 through February 20, though their user bases vary greatly:

DingTalk: 1,446%

Lark:  6,085%

WeChat Work: 572%

These are just some of the ways Corona Virus have affected Tech companies all over the world.

How to cut mobile app development cost by over 51%

Introduction

According to Statista, the number of mobile phone users is expected to grow to 4.78 Billion in 2020.  You have a great opportunity in tapping this 62% of the population by developing a mobile app for your business.

Most people are now spending more time on their phones as compared to watching TV. Emarket report forecast that the average time a person spends on TV is 3 hours   29 minutes while on the phone is 3 hours 49 minutes in 2020. The forecast shows that the time spent on mobile phones will continue increasing while that of TV will continue to decrease.

So, developing an app for your business is a great idea in 2020.

One question that you can ask yourself is, what will be the cost of developing a mobile app in 2020? In this article, we will give you a detailed overview of the cost of developing a mobile app, what factors determine the price and the most important part, how you can cut the cost of building a mobile app by over 51%.

How to calculate app development cost

You may have tried to search on Google terms such as “mobile app development cost,” “cost of a mobile app development,” “mobile app development cost breakdown,” ” mobile app development cost per hour,” “ cost of outsourcing mobile app development,” low-cost mobile app development,” ” business mobile app development cost,” ”mobile app development cost and time” and much more. Whatever may be the words, many people are looking for the cost of mobile app development. Hence, we decided to answer that question for once and all.

It is difficult to give a precise answer to the cost of mobile app development without understanding all the factors that affect the price.

Which Factors Affect App Development Cost?

1.    Features and functionality

The features and functionality of an app make it simple or complex.  The complexity of every function you need in your app will affect the number of hours taken to create it. For example, the complexity of the feature of user registration is different compared to a function of finding the nearest route and driver in a Taxi hailing app like Uber.

Simple features take less than 24 hours to develop while some sophisticated features can take even more than a month to complete.

The type of interaction by users also affects the complexity of an app. There is a significant difference if you need an app for your business, where your customers can request for a quote. With a social media app that enables users to post, comment, in-app purchases, and broadcast live videos. The social media app has more features that may require third party integration; thus, the cost will be high.

Clutch carried out a survey where they asked businesses to estimate the cost of certain features, including ratings and reviews, native integration push notifications, social media engagement, and web portal.

Simple features, such as push notifications, user ratings and reviews, and user login, tend to be cheaper. More complex features, such as payment systems, web portals, and integration with native features, increase your project’s final cost.

Cutting the cost

You can reduce the cost by creating MVP of your app. Here, you develop the basic app, yet complete, then later, you increase functionality to increase functionality and capability.

When you have an idea for an app, and you want to develop it, it is essential to outline all the features that will be needed for the app to function. Then you describe the most basic functionality. This will reduce the time required to develop the app and the required cost.

If we take an example of an on-demand app such as Taxi-hailing app like uber. We can first outline all the features need:

  • Register as a user
  • Search for a driver near you (On-demand booking)
  • Vehicle tracking system (GPS)
  • Scheduled bookings
  • Automated e-receipts
  • Feedback and rating
  • Trip/Cab tracking
  • Automatic fare calculation
  • Multi-currency support
  • Flexible vehicle options
  • See estimated time of taxi arrival
  • Notification to passengers
  • Multi-language support

Second, you can shortlist the most essential features, and here you can remove features such as Multi-language support and Multi-currency. You can add these features later when you want to expand to other countries with different languages and currencies.

Starting with the basic functionality will enable you to cut costs and reduce the time you need to enter the market. When you enter the market, you will get an even better suggestion of the features from your app users.

2.    App platform

This is the platform where the users will install your app. Will it be on Android, iOS, or Both? Before you answer, its good to know first the target market of the app that you are developing. According to statistics from Statista, the Android platform has 85% of the global market share while Apple has 15%. However, Apple has 40% of the U.S. audience, and this is a significant share in the American market. 

So, if you want a large number of downloads, you can choose Android app development, but if you are targeting to sell higher-priced products and services, then iOS app development is the way to go.

But why choose one platform when you can have your app running on both platforms. There are different ways of doing this. Below are the ways:

  1. You can create native apps for both android and iOS.
  2. You can use Hybrid app development –  Hybrid app development uses standard web technologies such as HTML, CSS and Javascript. Then, they are wrapped in a native container- the WebView. Tools used to develop hybrid include Ionic, Apache Cordova and Visual Studio.
  3. You can use Cross-platform app development- Cross-platform app development uses a native rendering engine. The codebase is coded in JS, which connects to native components via the so-called bridges. This enables the user experience to be cross to that of the native applications. It offers seamless functionality cost-effective production and easy implementation. But you do not expect outstanding performance as compared to native apps.

It is crucial to note that hybrid and cross-platform apps are not the same. Maybe, the only common thing between them is that the code shareability. Due to this it takes less time to develop them.

Cutting the cost

If you are looking at reducing the cost, hybrid, and cross-platform app development will not only decrease the price, they will also lower the time needed to complete the app development. The other side of the coin is that the performance can be slow, and the UX may be suboptimal. Also, there can be some functionality issues so it’s important to know if the features you need in your app, can be achieved in hybrid and cross-platform app development.

3.    Inhouse or outsourced development

In-house mobile app development means using company resources (in-house team) to develop an app according to your requirements.

If you go for an in-house team, you will not only need to look for skilled and experienced programmers; you will also need to pay their salary and bills. There is also an overhead cost as you add more employees.

Outsourcing involves an agreement made by a business to hire a third party software development company to do the software related work instead of doing it in-house.

With outsourcing, when you are careful about where you are investing your money, it works in your favour. With an efficient mobile app development company, you will get a strong technical backing, clean, and efficiently coded apps. 

Costing the cost

If you are on a budget, outsourcing is the way to go. When outsourcing, you don’t have to worry about overhead costs or worry about the management of the employees. All you need is to outline clearly all the requirements you need for the app development and relax. 

The cost further reduces as there is a considerable difference in wages in developed and developing countries. And also, a hefty amount of money in the form of employee salary and benefits gets saved.

Outsourcing also means faster time to market as you can give a directive of the timelines in accordance with your schedule and your software company will have dedicated developers at your service accordingly.

5. The country where you outsource your mobile app development

The cost of living is rising fast, and for example, in the United States, it is averaging at $170 daily in 2018 according to data from the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hence, the people living there need a higher amount of pay to survive. In turn, hourly wages will be higher in comparison. This situation applies to all countries across the world, such as China, Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada U.K, and Australia, amongst others. Hence, if you opt for one of these countries, it is but natural that your cost to develop an app will rise.

However, there are other developing countries such as India and Kenya, with a good talent pool. Many large, medium, and small businesses are outsourcing their software development projects to these countries. Since these nations are still in the category of developing countries, the per capita income is comparatively lower. This reduces your cost per hour and the overall app development cost as well, resulting in savings.

App Development Rates of Local Agencies

According to Clutch, the hourly rates of mobile app developers are:

CountryRate per Hour
USA$100 – $199
United Kingdom  $100 – $149
Canada $50 – $149 
Germany $150 – $199 
Spain $100 – $149
Denmark $100 – $149 
Finland $100 – $149 
Sweden $100 – $149 
Australia $100 – $149 
Hungary$50 – $99 
Poland $25 – $99 
Austria $50 – $149 
Belgium $50 – $149 
Israel$150 – $199 
Ukraine $25 – $99
Russia $50 – $99 
India$25-$50
Kenya$20-$40

You can see that getting a mobile app development company in Kenya will cut the cost of mobile app development without affecting the quality and usability of your app.

By considering Hudutech Ventures for your mobile app development, you will be able to stick to your app development budget and also get professional mobile app development services in return.

4.    The company you hire

There are many mobile app development companies all over the world; choosing the one that will develop your app can be a task.

A company with a great team, excellent communication and years of experience are some of the factors that you should consider. Such companies offer multiple benefits to every client that works with them.

You can also ask for a recommendation from your friends and colleagues.

From the recommendation you get you can talk with the company clients and ask the experience they had when they had outsourced the company.

Cutting the cost

By hiring us you cut your budget by more than a half.

Most of our clients say we are affordable, it’s easy to communicate with us and that we offer quality and bespoke mobile apps. Besides, we have six years of experience developing many mobile apps. So you expect professionalism and efficiency from us.

Conclusion

These are some of the factors that affect the price of mobile app development. We hope this resource helps you in getting the app you need at an affordable price. What other ideas can you add to this list that I may have not mentioned?