Business Platform Team

Anant Corporation Blog: Our research, knowledge, thoughts, and recommendations about building and managing online business platforms.

Author Archives: Anant Corporation


AI Brain

Intelligent Graphs: A Look at the Future of Enterprise AI

More and more companies are becoming aware of artificial intelligence (AI) and what it can do for the enterprise. This event will consist of three talks that will focus on a variety of actions your team and company can do to make use of artificial intelligence, specifically using a subset of AI called machine learning (ML).

Come check this event out on¬†Tuesday, April 10, 2018 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM at the George Washington University’s Funger Hall. There will be food and drinks before the start of the event as well as a post-event get together at Circa. Please make sure to RSVP!

Find more information at this link.

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Modern Enterprise – Process – Converting Website Visitors to Leads

One of the primary purposes of your website is to convert visitors to leads – or, at the very least, to build your brand among customers and the general public. Therefore, your site’s design must tie closely into your sales and marketing goals. This integration isn’t always simple, but it can be broken down into discrete steps.

  • 1. Create distinct calls to action. These should be on your site’s front page in a major way and on every other page in a minor (but consistent and noticeable) way.
  • 2. Design wireframes and test them with people. Getting feedback from others – employees, friends, family members, current customers, et al – can help you refine both how your site looks and the language it features. Ask people to comment on whether the calls to action on each page are clear.
  • 3. Create specific landing pages. Landing pages can serve multiple purposes. They not only present your company’s value proposition in a concise and compelling way but can serve as splash pages for inbound links – AdWords ads, for example. A landing page is ideal for introducing email marketing recipients to your firm and its products, as well.
  • 4. Integrate your lead form with your CRM. Integrating your online and offline lead-management efforts helps streamline your sales process. That means your employees will pay attention to every lead immediately – and it increases your chances of closing sales.
  • 5. Follow through with the sales process for web leads. Staying in touch with past customers can be a smart strategy for ensuring repeat business. You don’t have to go overboard – just call customers to thank them for their purchase. Periodic emails can also be effective.

We’re aware that this five-step process is way oversimplified, but it’s meant to be a jumping-off point. To ensure maximum ROI from your website (and your lead-generation efforts), keep sales and marketing in mind when you’re building your internet presence. The payoff can be huge.

The 4 WordPress Plugins We Always Recommend to Clients

Here at Anant, we develop a fair number of websites. We have our Appleseed Portal, the platform and CMS we recommend for all of our clients for maximum flexibility. However, there are a still a number of projects which we develop on WordPress. Today, we wanted to give you some insight into the plugins we recommend go onto just about all of our client’s WordPress sites, and explain why.

1. SEO by Yoast

What is the WordPress SEO Plugin?

WordPress SEO is the most complete WordPress SEO plugin that exists today for WordPress.org users. It incorporates everything from a snippet preview and page analysis functionality that helps you optimize your pages content, images titles, meta descriptions and more to XML sitemaps, and loads of optimization options in between.

WordPress SEO by Yoast gives us flexibility from within the posting framework on WordPress to tweak all metadata, and assign SEO specific page and category titles to every single post. This is a great plugin to help you, or your clients rise through the ranks for your domain name, and for the keywords you’re trying to target. It’s simple to install, and best of all, it’s free!

2. WP Touch

What is WP Touch?

WPtouch automatically transforms your WordPress website into an application-like theme, complete with ajax loading articles and effects when viewed from the most popular mobile web browsing devices like the iPhone, iPod touch, Android mobile devices, Palm Pre/Pixi and BlackBerry OS6 mobile devices.

The admin panel allows you to customize many aspects of its appearance, and deliver a fast, user-friendly and stylish version of your site to touch mobile visitors, without modifying a single bit of code (or affecting) your regular desktop theme.

¬†WP touch will turn any WordPress site into a “mobile app” on smartphones. Many people developing websites nowadays will pay thousands and thousands of dollars for a “mobile app,” for the website, not knowing that there are free tools available that have all of the basic functionality that they want. When your clients ask you for a “mobile version” of their site, this might just do everything for you that they want, and give you a chance to show off your knowledge, and willingness to recommend cost effective solutions to them.

What is W3 Total Cache?

W3 Total Cache improves the user experience of your site by improving your server performance, caching every aspect of your site, reducing the download times and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.

Benefits:

  • At least 10x improvement in overall site performance (Grade A in¬†YSlow¬†or significantGoogle Page Speed¬†improvements)¬†when fully configured
  • Improved conversion rates and “site performance” which¬†affect your site’s rank¬†on Google.com
  • “Instant” subsequent page views: browser caching
  • Optimized progressive render: pages start rendering quickly
  • Reduced page load time: increased visitor time on site; visitors view more pages
  • Improved web server performance; sustain high traffic periods
  • Up to 80% bandwidth savings via minify and HTTP compression of HTML, CSS, JavaScript and feeds

Page load times are important for SEO, as are a host of other aspects of website performance. This simple, free plugin will pimp your site performance, and give you a boost in the search engines thanks to reduced load times. There are a number of options to tweak the plugin to help your site perform exactly like you want it to, and with over 1.2 million downloads, this is one of the most popular performance-oriented plugins around.

4. Disqus WordPress Comments

What is Disqus?

Disqus, pronounced “discuss”, is a service and tool for web comments and discussions. Disqus makes commenting easier and more interactive, while connecting websites and commenters across a thriving discussion community.

The Disqus for WordPress plugin seamlessly integrates using the Disqus API and by syncing with WordPress comments.

Disqus Features

  • Threaded comments and replies
  • Notifications and reply by email
  • Subscribe and RSS options
  • Aggregated comments and social mentions
  • Powerful moderation and admin tools
  • Full spam filtering, blacklists and whitelists
  • Support for Disqus community widgets
  • Connected with a large discussion community
  • Increased exposure and readership
Disqus is everything that WordPress’ native comments system should be. It gives you options to login to leave comments through various social media channels like Twitter or Facebook, or link your blog up in the comments section of the blog you’re commenting on. It has a clean threaded comments display, and is great for visually displaying the flow of a conversation in comments on your blog, or your clients blog. Not completely revolutionary, but a total classic, and one plugin that your client’s site should not be without.

Conclusion

We’ve reviewed 4 of the best WordPress plugins out there for your site, or for your client’s site. We install most of these plugins on every WordPress site we develop to get effects like a “mobile app” and “loyalty program” totally for free. These plugins can save you time, and save your clients money.

If you’d like additional help walking through more custom WordPress plugins, or thinking through your client offerings, we’d be happy to help you do so! Drop us a line here any time, and we’ll get back to you faster than you can install one of these plugins!

Business Applications Demo with DC Enterprise Tech Meetup

Towards the end of April we hosted the DC Tech Enterprise Meetup where we had various people from  the business world come and demo applications that they believe can be useful for the Modern Enterprise. We had presenters from Uniplus Consultants, DivvyCloud, and Anant showcasing a total of four different business applications.

 

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Nagesh Kakarlamudi, Software Architect at Uniplus Consultants, Inc., presented a business application platform intended from small and medium size businesses. His software highlighted the importance of being able to get small but powerful applications up and running in a short-time span.

 

Jeremy Snyder, VP of Business Development at DivvyCloud, presented a large scale autonomous policy enforcement platform. This application is meant for organizations that are dealinjeremyg with soaring infrastructure needs while at the same time having to ensure security policies are being met across all systems. His demo showcased the importance of keeping all instances of your virtualized infrastructure compliant with your enterprise policies.

 

Rahul Singh, CEO of Anant, presented Docker, a business application that has revolutionized the way many technology firms now deploy code. Docker is a tool that can be used to contain, store, and transport software applications. It helps programmers focus on programming by making environment setup and testing as easy as possible.

 

Arturs Oganesyan-Peel, Business Aartursnalyst at Anant, presented Metabase, an open-source business intelligence tool that¬†supports multiple database types. Metabase is an intuitive analytics application that is very easy for the non-technical user to become familiar with while also having capabilities that a database expert could find useful. It’s ability to¬†manipulate and display data in a variety of ways, as well as its integration / sharing functionalities make it useful for any enterprise that believes it’s ready to use data as a major driver of business decisions. See his slide below:

 

 

We’d like to thank all the presenters for participating and we are looking forward to our next Meetup!

 

Anant is the sponsor of DC Enterprise Tech Meetup, we are a group of entrepreneurs embracing new tech trends, modern enterprise and web technologies. Check out our next event here!

 

Mastering Services in the Service of Others

You’re headed to New York and you see a yard sale. Do you stop or not?

To achieve success and accomplish a significant objective it is critical to exercise discipline and define a purpose. Today, when many of us have not defined a goal or outlined a path to reach it, the importance of this necessary focus can not be emphasized enough with the myriad distractions surrounding us.

10,000 hours. It is widely circulated that it takes this long to obtain mastery in a given field. This equates to roughly five years of focused work to master your craft.

It is rare and pleasant opportunity to meet a true expert in their field. At Anant, we believe this boils down to a breakdown in orientation, decision, and action.

Orientation is the disciplined thought that goes into molding a purpose and mission for oneself. The purpose answers the question of why you are; whereas, the mission answers what you are doing. An engine’s purpose is to power movement ; however, the mission of the engine on the Apollo 11 is vastly different from the mission of the engine on your weekend Uber.

Decision is where you choose to invest your time in order to get the best bang for your buck and this choice is informed by the output of the orientation phase.

Action is the most important aspect of this concept. Without action, all ideas are but dreams. However, you must be wary to not be busy for the sake of busyness. You need to cultivate discipline and channel it into your daily actions by making sure to address  your priorities consistently.

Having a strong road map will help you to stay on track. Segmenting your life into different categories can be of tremendous help.

Our CEO, Rahul Singh, uses the following table in order to align his professional and personal priorities.

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The following slides are from Rahul’s speech at the Washington DC chapter of the International Institute of Business Analysis. Learn how to align your professional goals with your personal goals, and find some recommended reading. 

Check out Anant‚Äôs upcoming events here¬†and¬†we hope to see you in New York (or at our office in DC…just not at that yard sale)!

Anant is the sponsor of DC Enterprise Tech Meetup group, we are a group of entrepreneurs embracing new tech trends, modern enterprise and web technologies. 

Event Sponsor: IIBADC Washington Business Analysts Meetup Group

This group is an outreach of the IIBADC, the Chapter of the International Institute of Business Analysis for the Washington DC Metro area. The group is an informal way for BAs to get together to discuss our craft and spread the good news about how Business Analysis can help save the world.