Anant Corporation Blog

Our research, knowledge, thoughts, and recommendations about building and leading businesses on the Internet.

Category Archives: System


Recap: CIO/CTO Training: Scaling Cloud Applications Using Docker

Docker is a technology that has the potential to transform the business of delivering software applications across a variety of industries. Not only that, but it will also greatly change the way that businesses view their enterprise architecture as it relates to their business strategy. With a fully dockerized application deployment environment, companies will be able to iterate, deliver, test, and QA their software products at a speed like never before.

 

Without the use of Docker, software development can quickly become a quagmire of different software and hardware specifications that need to be followed to the T. Adhering to these specifications itself becomes a huge strain on your organization’s software developer’s time as they try to navigate all the different version of frameworks they’re using, what OS needs to be run for what, where the database is located – in a nutshell, as your software team grows, the complexity of the underlying technology stack they use will also grow and sooner or later they will face “The Matrix of Hell”:

Source

 

Ideally, with a proper Docker deployment, your software team will no longer run into the “but in runs on my machine” problem and thus able to free up valuable resources to work on more pressing development issues. During our latest workshop we covered some of the first steps to get you or your organization started with using Docker, you can find a recording of part of the session below:

 

 

If you have any questions or feedback please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at rahul@anant.us. If you’d like to learn more about how technology can help you and your business you sign up for one of a free Roadmap conversation here!

CRM

Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM) – Nutshell, Salesforce, & Pipedrive

Long gone are the days where companies had only a few choices to pick from for their CRM system. Nowadays, we have the luxury of being able to pick the system that fits our particular process best, that corresponds with our budgetary constraints, and also gives us the choice of where we want to host the system (on-premise or cloud) without any headaches.

 

According to Forbes, the CRM market was valued at $23.2 billion in 2014, and approximately 50% of that market was dominated by big players such as Salesforce (of course), SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM. That still leaves about $11.6 billion unaccounted for. In this webinar, we will cover the leading CRM, Salesforce, as well as two components of that remaining 50% of the market, Nutshell, which we use, and Pipedrive.

 

Both Nutshell and Pipedrive are smaller scale applications that concentrate on a specific set of features and deliver them all relatively well. They are both priced about the same with Nutshell’s lowest tier coming at $19 per user per month whereas Pipedrive’s costs for their lowest tier is $10 per user per month. Salesforce CRM, on the other hand, is a much more robust, enterprise-ready system that benefits from a slew of integrations as well as thousands (if not millions) of Salesforce experts and developers around the world that can configure it best for your organization.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about the different types of CRM’s available for your modern enterprise make sure to sign up for the event here! You can find additionals details below.

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This month’s theme focuses on how to choose and leverage a CRM for your modern enterprise. We’ll be featuring 2 tools we’ve used in the past ourselves and with clients and 1 that we’ve heard about and are evaluating for this webinar.

Our goal is to have interviews of users as part of the webinar so it will be slightly different. Some of the questions we will be asking are:

  1. What are the important steps of implementation for a CRM?
  2. What features to look for in your next CRM?
  3. Quick demos and potentially interviews of users.

 

Slides will be uploaded near the date of the webinar to Slideshare.

searchstax.solr.drupal.logos

How to Set Up a Drupal Website Connected to a SearchStax Deployment

Basic Steps:

  1. Create a new Deployment in SearchStax
  2. Upload a Custom Configuration to Your Solr Server
  3. Install Drupal
  4. Install Search API / Search API Solr plugin
  5. Configure the Search API Solr Plugin
  6. Add sample content
  7. Optional – Manually Index Your Site

Step 1: Create a New Deployment in SearchStax

Assuming you have already created a SearchStax account and do not already have a deployment set up, click on the Deployments tab and then click on the Add Deployment button at the top.  Enter a Deployment name, and select the most appropriate Region, Plan, and Solr Version for your needs.  In the example below, we will be using Solr Version 6.4.2.

Continue reading

The Swarm of Sources

Reactive Manifesto, The Next VisiCalc, and Future of Business Technology

Thanks to some of our great partnerships, our firm has recently consulted at University of Michigan, Cisco, Intuit, and Kroger and at several government agencies on business information and enterprise technology. Even though we don’t directly create consumer technology or applications, eventually all consumer technologies have a backend enterprise technology that makes it work because a consumer technology company backed by crappy technology for the enterprise is bad for business.

I’ve been sensing a shift in business information for a while. Business information, the frequency it’s created at, the number of sources it comes from is only increasing, exponentially if not logarithmically. This means, that businesses, and subsequently end-users need to rely on real-time data processing and analysis of this information. The businesses that embrace the “reactive manifesto” of how to build software and technology are going to succeed in the new world where data is coming from millions of people through their mobile devices, processes through applications and software processes, information through global data sources and APIs, and systems in the form of servers and things all over the globe. The “swarm” of sources is mind-boggling.
The Swarm of Sources

The Swarm of Sources

The first business response to all this business information is: let’s bring it all together to analyze it and visualize it. That’s horseshit. Even with the big data technologies out there today, it is wasteful to try to process all of it at the same time. That’s like trying to understand how the universe works at every second. The better response is to understand what’s happening and react to it at the moment in the context that it is important.

This reactive methodology of building large infrastructure can help businesses react to new IoT initiatives, integrating with numerous business software to run the modern enterprise, and partnering with other modern enterprises. Whatever you see out there in apps, devices, sites, and APIs has to be managed in the back. The reason for silicon brains is stronger when you just can’t do it with carbon brains. Technology has to get better faster through iterative machine learning in order keep up with the amount of data that’s being created.

Commercial organizations are being thrown sledgehammers to solve things by vendors such as Oracle, Cloudera, MapR, DataBricks, etc. Although these products are great, they are more like Personal Computers .. but without the real “Killer App.” They aren’t solving industry-specific / vertical problems. Consulting companies waste inordinate time & materials costs to get it “right.” What people need are “lego block” software so that non-technical folks can self-service their information needs without hiring a team of data analyst, data engineer, data architect, data scientist, data visualizer, and of course a project manager. (If you do need a team today, Anant provides an elastic team with all of those skills for the same investment per month as a part-time or full-time employee. Message me or my team.)

I believe the major breakthrough that will change the experience for business technology users is going to be system design tools that help them get what they want without knowing how to program. I don’t know what it will look like, but we need a VisiCalc for the new age, and no it’s not Google Spreadsheets. It’s something else altogether. It’s something that will fix the yearning for a tool that helps people mashup and leverage various gradients between structured and unstructured data in dynamic knowledge pages that always keeps us up to date on what we care about. A machine that learns what we need to know and summarizes it for us, but also allows us to manipulate the knowledge even if it is being created in 10 different systems.

Webinar 2: How to Connect Online Business Software 101 (B2B)

Software, software, software everywhere – and applications! Let’s face it, you probably couldn’t run your company without them. At Anant, we help clients connect their different pieces of software, apps and hardware to help make workflows more productive and more efficient. Next week, as part of our four part webinar series, CEO Rahul Singh will present on Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) to help you understand how these connections can be executed and why they are important to your business operations.

 

Even though the term “Enterprise Application Integration” itself seems daunting it is something you will be able to do (or want to do) to unlock opportunities for your company and yourself. Previously, monolithic applications, such as complex enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, attempted to create large frameworks of applications that would give you an all-in-one solution to your application integration needs. One of the main obstacles with systems such as these is they are largely inflexible. In a business environment where processes, amongst other things, are often prone to change, it is not sustainable to use applications which are inherently rigid.

 

With the advancement of Application Program Interface (API) technology, there is now a plethora of different application integration opportunities. Using APIs, companies have a much more feasible way to get applications to talk with each other, or with a central data warehouse (essentially, a repository for data from operational systems such as marketing, sales, etc.). Most of your common internet applications; such as Google Apps, Salesforce, WordPress, and Jira;  have APIs which can be programmed to suit your needs. However, there are pitfalls you need to avoid when connecting your applications together as well as important best practices to follow.

 

During the webinar Rahul will address benefits, pitfalls, and best practices while walking through the different options currently available for integrations.  Sign up is now open for the Friday, September 16, webinar! We’ll start at 10am and finish about an hour later. This webinar will be a 20-25 minute presentation and demonstration followed by an open-forum discussion around the topic of connecting online business software. We hope to see you there!

 

 


Come see us present in person at one of our upcoming events. If you’re in the DC area next week, Rahul will be moderating the monthly Data Wranglers DC event on Wednesday, September 14, where the presenter will speak about using Spark and Accumulo. You can sign up here.