Cloud Safety, First!

You probably don’t realize it, but you use the cloud almost daily. From sending emails to streaming movies, you are using the cloud when you use those services.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is defined as: “the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power, without direct active management by the user.”

There are a few types of cloud computer: public, private, and hybrid.

  • A public cloud means they are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider.

  • A private cloud is a physical cloud that can be located on the company’s on-site datacenter in which resources are used solely by a single business or organization.

  • Now, a hybrid cloud combines both a private and public cloud. This means that data and applications can be shared between them.

Additionally, they can also be broken down into 3 types of services:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS): The most commonly used. Examples include Dropbox or Google Drive.

  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): Developers use this service more often. This is to host an application.

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): This is where users subscribe and access software over the internet through a provider’s APIs. Examples include Amazon Web Service (AWS) and vCloud.

The cloud is something that people used to fear, but now it is used daily. It was even estimated that about 50% of business around the world will adopt at least one cloud service by the end of last year. We upload business files, emails, photos, and other important information in the cloud.

Why is the Cloud Beneficial?

How does cloud computing help your business? Here are a few ways the cloud can build business value:

  • Cost reduction

  • Risk reduction

  • Flexibility

  • Efficiency

  • Strategic value

  • Improved mobility

The impact the cloud has on business is enormous and significant. A study from the market research company, Vanson Bourne, wrote a report - The Business Impact of the Cloud. They summarized drivers of cloud adoption and even recommendations for improvement.

In their research they found:

  • Companies that have adopted the cloud have found that more than 26% of improvement in their time to market.

  • The cloud has helped about a 16% reduction in operational costs.

  • Over 19% of companies have seen an increase in company growth due to their adoption of the cloud.

  • The cloud reduces about 16% of IT maintenance costs.

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Source: Vanson Bourne

However, we all must be careful and protect ourselves and our business when we use the cloud. That is where cyber security becomes vital.


Cyber Security

Now, let’s talk about security. According to the Cloud Security Alliance, about 73% of companies confirm that the security of data is the top concern in cloud projects. Cyber security is one of the most important trends in technology now. Huge cyber attacks, like the ones that have hit Target and Yahoo, have caused much panic and have exposed millions of people.

How Can We Protect Ourselves in the Cloud?

Here are a few tips about keeping yourself safe in the cloud.

  • Read through the contracts and license and service agreements for your cloud service. Make sure you know the legal and regulatory requirements for protecting data.

  • Protect your machine by installing anti-virus/malware and anti-spyware software. Your data should always be encrypted with sensitive information.

  • Data encryption is important.

  • Firewalls

  • Having strong passwords and two-factor authentication

Keeping You Safe

At Bluefin, we know the importance of keeping you safe on the cloud. Is your company looking to launch to the cloud? We’re here to help and keep you safe! Give us a call now and let’s get you set up on the cloud.

Redesigning Shady Tree Landscaping

Redesigning Shady Tree Landscaping

The Bluefin team worked with Shady Tree Landscaping, a top New England landscaping service business with over 30 years of experience. With a need to update their outdated website, Shady Tree called the Bluefin team to help them redesign their website and optimize their marketing strategies with SEO and blogging content. Bluefin redesigned their website while updating their content, making the website tablet and mobile friendly, and improving their SEO and Google Analytics.

Wait, What... its Y.O.T.E.

Year of the Ear


We are really excited to announce that Bluefin has partnered with Cecilia.FM to offer an in-depth workshop on the magic and mystic of what’s going on in the soundscape of Smart Speakers, Podcasts, and custom branded playlists and content.

The workshop, led by Cecilia’s Susan Stone, provides meaningful insights and bare truths about how audio and strategies to penetrate the headphones of consumers are so tightly integrated to pop-culture and influencing buyers. If you’ve debated the value of building an Alexa Skill, Podcasting, or curating audio content for branding purposes — you need to book a slot or attend one of the national events (dates coming soon).

Having worked closely with Susan and Rob at Cecilia on a number of projects including the launch of Johnson & Johnson’s Aveeno - Me Timer on Alexa - their experience and deep understanding of how to scale your brand through sound is game-changing. Their influence on our own sound strategies at Bluefin has helped us drive new innovation and create unique experiences for our customers.

If you haven’t yet, take a review of the Y.O.T.E Website - if you have questions or interested in a custom workshop - ring us up. We’re here to listen.

Cheers-


Jay

The Radius App

What can a mobile Application for ophthalmologists do?

The Bluefin team recently teamed up with Radius by Turf Health, LLC to develop a robust mobile application for ophthalmologists. Through an Agile development process, we delivered a mobile application that helps manage the relationships with and around ophthalmologists.

Learn more about our process below!


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The Client: Radius by Turf Health, LLC

Turf Health, LLC is changing how ophthalmologists connect and collaborate with referring doctors.

Radius by Turf Health, LLC is the first and only software program built specifically for the referral outreach function of the ophthalmology practice.  This is powerful software to fuel your growth and build deeper relationships


The Opportunity

The Turf Health team has an existing web application for their sales team to help manage the relationships with and around ophthalmologists. Since teams mainly work out in the field, accessing and capturing critical relationship and sales process information in real time was paramount to their day to day activity.   

The existing Radius web application did not provide an optimal experience on mobile devices and curbed the efficiency of their staff when developing and extending the business relationships in the field.


The Process

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The project spanned a rapid-four month discover, design, develop, and deploy process.

The scope of activities included but were not limited to:

  • Existing application tear down

  • UI/UX mobile design refactoring

  • Service layer design and definition

  • Application prototyping

  • Production code development

  • Unit and integration test scripting

  • Release Management planning and execution

  • Alpha/Beta Testing

  • App Store Preparation and Deployment

  • Post-launch support


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The Results

The Bluefin team was able to work closely with Turf Radius to align quickly on the scope and goals of the project.  Leveraging an Agile development, build, and demo cadence the team lead the Radius product through an evolutionary transition from lo-fi mockups to a first-submission approval in the Apple App Store.


Want THE FULL CASE STUDY? Fill out your email below and we’ll send it to you!


Need a mobile app to launch your business to the next level? The Bluefin team is here to help! Give us a call or send us an email. We’re ready to digitally transform your business.

Let's Catch Up

Hey friends!

We can hardly believe we’re already in March! We’re celebrating our 6th year in business this year. A lot has changed throughout the years, but we’re still your favorite, creative disruptors and technology innovators from the Woo.

We take pride in helping so many companies throughout the years bring their businesses to the new age of technology. We recently redesigned our website and want you to take a look. Give it a look around and let us know what you think.

While I have you… does your business need a new way to integrate technology into your products or possibly bring your customers into the new Voice age? Looking for a brand a website refresh? Perhaps a cloud integration to more efficiently optimize your business? This is just some of what we’ve been helping companies achieve in the last year.  

From connected products to Voice Skills, we are here for you.  We are just getting started on an exciting year ahead of us. Let’s catch up soon and let us know what you are up to. Give us a call or send us a message. We’re always here to help.

Happy Spring!

- Jay

The 5 Alexa Skill Types Video

The 5 Alexa Skill Types

According to Voicebot, there are over 66.5M users in the US with smart speakers. In this video, we discuss different options and which strategy is right for your business to reach them.

Our Technical Project Manager, Conor, identified the 5 major Alexa Skill types in this video. Check it out below.

We’re happy to match, create, and customize an Alexa Skill for you. For a free demo, contact us for more information.

Cheers!

The Voice Age Realtor

Transforming Real Estate with Technology

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The real estate industry is the largest commodity in the world at an estimation of $217 trillion in valuation. Technology, such as voice products and AI, are growing rapidly and affecting many markets. Because of these new technologies, about 10’s of millions of dollars have been raised to speed up the process of getting feedback from tenants.

Further, realtors are using big data to solve client needs by finding trends and associations.

Current examples include mobile home-search apps based on buyer preferences. Now, AI can personalize customer interactions to aggregate data and figure out the clients’ needs and preferences. Virtual reality could also allow potential buyers to view the house virtually and customize a house virtually.

Well-known real estate companies, such as Zillow, Truilia, and Realtor, have created proprietary formulas to assist customers. For example, Zillow has a tool called Zestimate.This home valuation tool estimates the market value of a home using a computerized proprietary formula.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI will aggregate the data from customer interactions and tailor messaging based on successful interactions with similar past clients. Many now have chatbots on websites, which can be implemented as a voice feature.

Moreover, AI can create CRM systems, manage property management systems by monitoring vital metrics to predict when maintenance errors may occur. In addition, AI monitors geographic areas for property price fluctuations and other trends.

Voice Technology

Now with innovative voice technology, it is time for the real estate industry to start to adopt these new technological advances. Voice products can help realtors in a number of areas - from generating new prospects to setting home showings. Below are just a few features and questions prospects can use when they start their home-buying search.

Types of features for a real estate skill:

  • Search for houses in your area

  • Connect with local real estate agents

  • Hear daily home listings

  • Review weekly real estate market information

  • Track valuation of a home

  • Email results of your searches

Questions to ask:

  • How much is my home worth?

  • How many homes have sold in my ZIP code?

  • Where do I find an agent in my city?

  • Who are my local realtors?

The Future of Voice Technology in Real Estate

Right now, voice assistants are following up through text messages and emails. Soon, they will be able to follow-up with leads over the phone and through smart speakers.

Your prospects will soon be using virtual assistants primarily to find a home or an agent. It is important to make sure you’re business is connected to these voice searches or you’ll miss the opportunity.

Are you ready to bring your agency to the voice age? Close your next deal with the help of a voice product. Contact us now for a free demo!

Checking-In with Voice

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Photo Source:

Geek Wire

Voice in Hospitality

Just this past October, the Marriott Group welcomed its first Alexa in guest rooms in North Carolina. However, this isn’t the first time Alexa has been in hotels. In 2016, Wynn Resorts installed over 5,000 Alexas in their rooms.

In June, Amazon launched Alexa for Hospitality. With the help of Alexa, guests can ask her questions, such as:

  • Alexa, order room service.

  • Alexa, order one more towel.

  • Alexa, turn on the TV.

  • Alexa, book a spa appointment.

  • Alexa, help me check out.

This simple integration of Alexa into existing services and amenities can bring guests’ experiences to a new level. Now, guests will even be able to connect their Amazon account to their hotel room’s Alexa and will disconnect once they check-out.

Now, it’s not just Amazon and Alexa taking over the hospitality voice market. Recently, a provider of digital guestbooks for private accommodations, Hostfully, partnered with Virtual Concierge Service to integrate Hostfully’s guidebooks into voice assistants.

Property managers are also using voice applications. For example, property managers are buying smart kits and installing them into their lighting controls synced to voice. Some property managers have even recorded their own personal recommendations to guests. It’s all about the ease of communication between guests and property managers. These are just some of the many ways voice assistants are innovating the hospitality business.

Voice Special Capabilities in Hospitality

The Alexa for Hospitality system is a tool itself where hotels can update information, enable skills, adjust settings, and even track usage. It will even allow hoteliers to measure guest engagement through analytics and reporting.

There are many other opportunities for hotels to capitalize on Voice products. PhocusWire outlined a few in a recent article:

  • Total revenue per available room

  • Average daily rate

  • Net promoter scores

  • Labor cost as a percentage of sales

One specific example includes a company developing a speaker skill that can integrate a hotel’s

revenue management system which makes for hotels to tap into the data they need, but using simple and recognizable voice commands. Because of voice technology, hoteliers can access their data anywhere.

Innovators in Voice

Right now is the perfect opportunity to jump integrate voice into your hospitality business. We’re here to help enhance your guests’ experiences. Here at Bluefin, we can customize your guest’s experiences by building you a custom voice application. Don’t be the last one to check-in, call us now!

Serving Your Customer Through Voice

Customer Service in the Voice Age Customer engagement, brand loyalty, and customer retention are all rewards for having outstanding customer service. With long waiting times, waiting on hold is a customer’s worst nightmare.

In this age, technology is being used to improve their customer experience. From cutting down wait time to understanding a caller’s intent better, voice is bettering a customer’s journey. Being customer-centric is essential for any company. So how can voice bring your customer service to the top?

Amazon Chat Bots

Last year, Amazon delivered Amazon Chat Bots. Amazon’s Lex allows companies to create intelligent conversational chatbots. These chatbots are able to recognize human speech and can understand the caller’s intent - thus, minimizing the need to speak in specific phrases. Without even talking with an agent, a caller can change their password, request a balance on an account, and even schedule an appointment through these chatbots.

Maximizing Voice in Customer Service

Now, speech recognition software is used in call centers to handle incoming customer calls. Instead of pushing a button to answer a question, the customer interacts with the system by speaking instead. With speech recognition software, companies can route callers to many different services during a call based on answers.

Now with AI technology, companies are using AI voice services through:

  • Automating call types and chats, meaning routing to order status, payment, reservations, and return services easier
  • Gathering data before talking to a live agent
  • Conducting outbound calls and texts to remind or alert customers.

Voice will significantly cut down those pesky wait call lines and improve customer morale. Contact us to learn how you can integrate voice into your customer service.

Sources:

https://aws.amazon.com/chatbots-in-call-centers/

https://searchcrm.techtarget.com/report/Leveraging-speech-recognition-technology-in-call-centers

Photo Source: https://www.getcontactnumber.com/computer-hardware/echo-alexa-customer-service/