Posts Tagged ‘transaction processing’

Meet In the Middle and Transact

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

An article this morning on mobile commerce - “Survey Says: Retailers Need to Go Mobile” - referenced a recent survey conducted by Foresee Results that reported nearly a third of online shoppers said they used their mobile phone as part of their regular shopping trip.  Whether used for calling or texting a friend for advice prior to making a purchase, or for taking a picture of a product with their mobile phone and sending it to themselves to look at it later from home, the mobile phone has become an important tool that consumers use when making purchase decisions. The article went on to explain the need for brick-and-mortar retailers to consider developing and offering mobile applications to their customers in hopes of increasing their sales numbers.

The article concluded by asking its readers, “How else do you think brick-and-mortar retailers could appeal to mobile-enabled shoppers?”

I’m a huge fan of mobile applications and I use my mobile for anything and everything that I can.

At NetworkIP and Jaduka, we have long envisaged that consumers who buy products and services at brick-and-mortar retail outlets will migrate to buying through their mobile phones and hand-held devices. That’s why NetworkIP and Jaduka have deployed a robust, global transaction processing platform that brands can use to engage with their customers both online and offline.

Our platform affords consumers four unique options for purchasing product, activating products, and even renewing existing product subscriptions: via the web, through traditional voice applications (using both automated Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solutions and traditional customer service), through mobile devices and via over 500,000 retail outlets equipped with Point of Sale (POS) capabilities.

Hunter Newby of Internet Telephony Magazine described our platform as “a virtual real estate for a giant digital Wal-Mart!…an IP version of a free-trade zone allowing multiple parties to virtually meet in the middle and transact.”

We agree, and the future, is, indeed, exciting!

Brian Kirk
VP Business Development
NetworkIP and Jaduka

Tough Economies Can Drive Innovation

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Whether we are currently in a recession is debatable, but whether or not we are dealing with tough economic times right now is not. It was just two months ago that the federal government took over Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae, then came the $700 billion bailout for financial institutions that included Freddie & Fannie, the Dow Jones Industrial average has dropped 4,961 points or 38.29% since this time last year (November 20, 2007), & now the big 3 car manufacturers are requesting a $25 billion dollar bailout. During all of this, the IT & telecom sectors have begun to feel the pinch too. This is evident from layoffs reported by Sun Microsystems, job cuts by Cisco right here in Texas, 10,000 job cuts announced by BT, 3,000 cuts by Motorola, & unfortunately the list goes on & on.

In response to these tough economic times companies need to look to new & innovative solutions that can save them money, time, & ultimately help them succeed in growing their business. We are always looking for ways to grow our business by investing in solutions that save us time & money. Just recently we were featured in an article about how we have used virtualization in order to streamline our systems administration processes all while saving money too.

Many of our products & services result in costs & time savings for businesses & I wanted to share a few in hopes that they may help your business.

Web & Audio Conferencing
Provides businesses with affordable, on-demand conferencing that can be used anytime by simply picking up the phone & dialing a personal code. The service includes a convenient Online dashboard for account management, monitoring live conference calls, & reporting.

Transaction Processing Services
We manage 860 million end-user accounts & we process well over 19 million transactions per day. Our transaction processing capacity is capable of handling over 40 billion transactions per year - more than enough for practically anything that a business could dream up.

Least Cost Routing & iQT
By combining our Least Cost Routing (LCR) engine with our patented iQT technology we can monitor & analyze ever call in real-time & automatically remove carrier routes that do not meet strict quality standards. The result is the best possible ratio of quality & pricing for terminating your calls.

By using these & many other products & services you can save your business money & precious time that can be better spent focusing on your core competencies & your customers.

Brian Kirk
VP Business Development
NetworkIP & Jaduka

Why All The Hype With Cloud Computing?

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Believe it or not, I like Wiki’s definition of Cloud Computing the best. Wiki defines Cloud Computing as a general concept that incorporates Software as a Service (SaaS), Data as a Service (DaaS), Web 2.0 & other recent, well-known technology trends, in which the common theme is reliance on the Internet for satisfying the computing needs of the users.

The best example of Cloud Computing that comes to mind & the ones I use most often are Google’s Mail, Talk, & Doc Applications. Why do I use these applications instead of similar applications already installed on my PC? The answer is simple, these Cloud Computing tools allow me to access my e-mail, message with colleagues, & edit documents, spreadsheets, & presentations regardless of the PC I’m using & the city/state/country I am in. Simple said, they offer me a convenient solution to communicate & work that doesn’t involve me taking my PC everywhere that I go.

When Amazon officially released their Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) earlier this year many companies (especially start-up companies that had yet to invest millions of dollars into their IT infrastructure) jumped on board. EC2 offered far more than a hosting solution. EC2 gave companies & software developers access to all the computing power they needed to run their applications at a cost far below what it would cost to procure & maintain the computing power on premise. To note, EC2 is just another piece of Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) offering.

Even with Google & Amazon’s play in the cloud, few were treating Cloud Computing as a mainstream approach to IT. Following Microsoft’s announcement of Azure, its long-anticipated Cloud Computing strategy, earlier this week at their Professional Development Conference I believe that Cloud Computing will become more mainstream. While many reports from Microsoft’s conference suggested that the news largely unfazed show attendees; I think this news will rattle the cages of Google, Amazon, & will awake the “regular” PC users who will think that it is cool that they can now work on their Word documents for work at home without having to take their work PC home.

Microsoft’s dominance in productivity software — Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, & Excel — remains strong, with market share based on revenue of at least 95%, according to data released in late 2007 by research firm International Data Corporation. Google Docs & Spreadsheets & even OpenOffice, which is an open source suite of tools that users can download for free, will continue to chip away at Microsoft’s market share, but the reality is that they still have a very long way to go before Microsoft will become scared. With Microsoft now making their Office suite more accessible, they are positioning themselves to maintain control of their existing user base that may otherwise eventually migrate to online tools because of their convenience factor.

Along with the online convenience factor I think this move to Cloud Computing also shows Microsoft’s realization that more users are beginning to user their mobile phone to write & edit documents, spreadsheets, & presentations. When doing such work from a mobile phone it makes more since for a user to manage their files in the cloud & use software that is also accessible to them in the cloud. Just this Monday, the Wall Street Journal wrote an article about how the mobile phone looks to be replacing the laptop. There is so much truth to this article & Cloud Computing is going to make this shift to mobile even easier for the consumer.

The hype about Cloud Computing is this. Businesses will turn to the Cloud mostly because the costs & resources to manage a large IT infrastructure far exceed the costs to make use of the Cloud. Software developers will turn to the Cloud because they can quickly obtain the environment needed to develop & deliver their applications. The “regular” PC users will turn to the Cloud for applications because of convenience & because the Cloud supports their applications for use on their mobile phone.

At NetworkIP & Jaduka we will continue to support the advancement of Cloud Computing by making both our telephony infrastructure & transaction processing engine available to the masses.

Brian Kirk
VP Business Development
NetworkIP & Jaduka

Accelerating Business Value with SaaS

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Today & tomorrow Pat Murphy, VP of Business Development at Jaduka, & I will attend IBM’s Accelerating Business Value Conference in Palisades, New York. The focus of this conference is to bring together business executives, subject matter experts, & Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) in an effort to collaborate on making alternative delivery models available for software solutions through IBM’s Blue Business Platform (BPP).

As reported by IBM, the tides of innovation are driving radical changes in the software market. Alternative delivery models are opening up choices for line of business executives & providing new market opportunity for software vendors. Analyst predictions include:

- By 2012, 70% or more of businesses with greater than 100 employees will have deployed at least one Software as a Service (SaaS) application. - Saugatuck Technology, May 2008
- The Cloud opportunity is potentially $95 billion, or roughly 12%, of the total worldwide software market, within five years - Merrill Lynch, May 2008

Just as Pat discussed in a recent blog post, NetworkIP & Jaduka have been doing Software as a Service (SaaS) for many years. In fact, we are doing SasS 20 million times a month & that number continues to increase. Enterprises are quickly realizing the many pros of SaaS which include: affordability, immediate ROI, subscription pricing, quick deployment times, & the elimination of hardware &/or IT maintenance costs.

Going forward we plan to work more closely with ecosystems such as IBM’s Blue Business Platform in an effort to enable more companies to easily leverage the power & cost-savings that Jaduka & NetworkIP’s voice & transaction services software offer.

Brian Kirk
VP Business Development
NetworkIP & Jaduka

NetworkIP & Jaduka Attending Mobilize 2008

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Early this morning Trevor Baca, VP of Software Engineering, Karthik Srinivasan, Director of Systems Engineering, & I jumped on planes headed for San Francisco to attend tomorrow’s Mobilize conference. This is the inaugural year for the Mobilize conference & with GigaOM behind this one it is sure to be a success & last for many years to come. This is an exciting time to be in the mobile space & we expect tomorrow’s conference will be just as stimulating & productive as it promotes to be.

The conference has pulled together thought leaders from Google, Nortel, Cisco, Motorolla, Sprint & many others involved in the mobile industry to cover topics that we’ve all been asking & that will enable us all to make informed decisions in this new market. The Mobilize conference also includes a launch pad session so companies like Cumulux, Fonemesh, Fonolo, Fusion Garage, Heysan, LuckyCal, MotionDSP, Pinch Media, placethings, Skyfire Labs, TuneWiki & Zecter can present their new mobile products.

Over the past few months we’ve been talking about how faster mobile data speeds (3G, 4G, & LTE) & open mobile operating systems (Apple, Symbian, & Google’s Android) are making this an exciting & opportunistic market for businesses & application engineers to develop new & innovative applications for the mobile space. As more companies & application engineers enter this space & find themselves supporting mobile consumers & mobile products they are realizing the need for faster, more robust, & more reliable transaction processing services. These companies & application engineers obviously understand the value of transaction processing services; however, they haven’t the time, the money, or the resources to develop them on their own. Their focus is where it should be; on their mobile products & services. So they rely on us & our proven experience in the transaction processing space to ensure their accounts & products are properly managed.

Our transaction processing services allow companies to manage all of their mobile consumer accounts & mobile products via simple API interfaces without having to invest any costs or resources to build a network, deploy hardware, ensure security standards, & manage complex databases. We do the heavy lifting so these companies & application engineers can focus on their existing mobile products, new mobile products, & most importantly their customers.

Brian Kirk
VP Business Development
NetworkIP & Jaduka

Proven Database Solutions Are Not So Common

Monday, August 11th, 2008

I was traveling this past week (on vacation actually) & while waiting in the Dallas/Fort-Worth airport to catch a connecting flight I overheard a pretty sad telephone conversation between two engineers that really made me appreciate what our teams have designed & developed over the past 10-years. The conversation between the two software engineers went something like this…

“We are getting a number of customer complaints that the application keeps crashing their systems. Have you looked at the database queries that are running? You know the database is our Achilles’ heel man. We can’t support all that many simultaneous queries. Maybe we should trying queuing up the queries so they don’t overload the system? Yes, I know if we do that it will take longer for things to run, but better they run then crash all the time, right? You know table joins may be a problem too. The database just can’t handle queries that require table joins. Maybe the queries we are running are just too big… I don’t know man; we’ve got to do something soon to fix this. OK, try some stuff & get back with me. I’ve got to tell our customers something.”

I can’t tell you all how relieved I was that I wasn’t in this company’s position. My jaw about hit the floor when I heard the guy refer to their database as their Achilles’ heel. If there is one thing that our customers don’t need to worry about it is our database solution. Handling large volume database transactions is one of our core competencies to say the least. Our database solution handles millions of transactions daily without skipping a beat. These transactions aren’t from a single source either. We handle database requests coming from over 250 API methods, customer service web sites, reporting traffic, & obviously from systems applications handling call processing.

Transaction processing is just another one of the many solutions & services we offer & stand behind. We aren’t trying something new or untested either. We have a proven solution that continues to provide our customers with the reliability & scalability that enterprise solutions demand.

To conclude, I did consult with this gentleman about Jaduka’s Transaction Services API. He seemed overjoyed to hear that we had made our solutions available via simple Web APIs. His company obviously doesn’t have the time, money, or resources to develop a high volume database solution on their own & we’ve got a call later today to discuss this opportunity in more detail.

Plugging Starbucks into Telephony

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

Every time I walk into Starbucks I’m hit in the face with a new sales promotion. Howard Shultz & crew are doing all that they can to turn Starbucks around. If successful, their current promotion will have consumers visiting a Starbucks twice a day. The approach with this promotion is that if the consumer returns with their morning receipt after 2:00 PM, they will be offered any grande (that is a ‘medium’ for you folks that have yet to pick up on the Starbucks lingo) iced drink for $2.00 instead of the usual $3.50 & above price tag.

I can’t help but look at a promotion like this & imagine the benefits that Starbucks could achieve if they would simply use communication & transaction based technologies to market & manage this promotion. The problem is that too many companies perceive such an integration to either be impossible, or if possible then too expensive.

My morning coffee was paid for using my Starbucks credit card. Talk about a loyal Starbucks’ customer… I earn Starbucks points with all of my purchases instead of miles or cash back. Since Starbucks has already “signed me up” why not alert me of this promotion via text message or better yet with a phone call rather than catching me only after I’ve walked through their doors? It wasn’t until I purchased my coffee & then asked for my receipt that the clerk even notified me about the promotion. What if I wouldn’t have asked for my receipt? Would the clerk even have told me about the promotion?

Even if I do decide to return later today it is now my responsibility to remember the promotion & I’m also forced to keep track of my receipt for the rest of the day. With the use of communication & transaction based technologies I wouldn’t have to do either. Since I’m already a loyal customer & I’m using a Starbucks card I shouldn’t need to hang on to my receipt. My purchases could be tracked on-line & when I return later in the day my Starbucks card could be scanned to validate that I made a purchase earlier that morning. As for forcing me to remember the promotion, since Starbucks already has my mobile phone number I could be sent a text message or recieve a voice call around 1PM to remind me about the promotion. Both of these solutions could easily be enabled through the use of Jaduka’s Voice & Transaction Services APIs.

Again, it’s obvious that too many companies do not realize how easy & inexpensive it is to add these types of technologies to their applications & promotions. This is especially true for companies wishing to add voice.

The Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) for too long now has been inaccessible to companies that do not have huge telephony equipment or deep pockets. With Jaduka’s Voice API we have removed these barriers & we have made it easy & inexpensive to plug in to that telephony network. With our APIs you can make your applications & promotions heard.

Transaction Processing Engine

Friday, August 1st, 2008

In a post titled, “How Billing can become a Revenue Generator“, the authors of Telco 2.0 cited the many possibilities for a Telco to use their transaction processing and billing capabilities in other verticals to help solve real business problems. The article first pointed to the reliability and security problems recently in the news about the Oyster Card (an electronic ticket system used by Transport for London (TfL). The article suggests that if a Telco had been offering they Oyster Card services such problems would be much less likely to occur because Telcos have developed the infrastructure to handle high volumes of traffic, we understand the importance of reliability of pre-paid systems, and we know all about the importance of security in payment systems too.

The article went on to cite how a Telco’s transaction processing and billing capabilities can provide significant value to other verticals to include Yield Management in the airline industry and another transport system run by the TfL that enforces traffic congestion charges.

We couldn’t agree more with the article and that is why earlier this year we launched our Transaction Services Platform (TSP) which is available through use of Jaduka’s Transaction Services API. We identified that businesses were having significant problems managing huge volumes of transactions in real-time; much like the article described. Rather than these businesses being able to focus on their own product development and services they were caught up trying to manage their transactions and billing for which they really didn’t have the infrastructure or knowledge to fully support.

Over the past 10 years we’ve developed a solution that has stood the test of time and continues to be future-proof. Using our own Transaction Services Platform we successfully process and bill for over 2 million calls a day, we manage transactions for well over 800 million user accounts, and we are processing close to a million API transactions any given day.

At NetworkIP, we understand the value of security and reliability. We have invested the dollars and resources to develop what is now an award winning solution that can manage your transaction processing and billing needs so your company can maintain its focus on its products and services.

The Value Behind Those APIs

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

We are happy to see people talking about the value of APIs & specifically the value of voice APIs. Dameon Welch-Abernathy asked the question, “Is there money in voice APIs?” in a post yesterday on GigaOm. Daemon’s question resulted with mixed comments from the community & also got some real thought leaders like Thomas Howe, Ken Camp, & Doug Mohney giving their take on the topic.

Our answer to the question is absolutely yes, but only if you have an API this is versatile enough for almost any market & you have a scalable infrastructure that supports the growth of the solutions developed using your API.

When NetworkIP decided to form Jaduka the goal was to unleash the power & performance developed in 10 years of engineering a scalable & reliable telecommunications & transaction processing platform. The metrics don’t lie; we do process 450 million minutes each month on average with calls originating & terminating from all corners of the globe. Today we are processing 200 million database queries across a proven & award winning database solution. Our volume of transactions are only increasing too! We don’t hide what we have under the hood. On the contrary, we want to make this already proven solution available for the development community & businesses to take advantage of.

As Jaduka began developing APIs for the development community & businesses they didn’t limit those APIs to voice only. We have an entire suite of APIs to include account management, payment, transaction processing, point of sale, conferencing, & SMS to name a few. Whether you are looking to develop solutions for the web, retail, or mobile space Jaduka provides the API & NetworkIP provides the proven infrastructure to support your business case.

The products that Jaduka showcases in its Labs are only a small example of the products & solutions that companies can develop with Jaduka’s many APIs. We have some exciting news to come about what others have been developing with our transaction processing engine & we are actively involved in developing relationships to support the activity that is taking place in the mobile space.

As Ken Camp stated, “the community is overlooking the basics: Value, Sustainability, Scalability, & Proven Success.” Jaduka, combined with NetworkIP, has all four basic qualities & a whole lot more! Come take part in discovering more about what is under our hood & the value with not just one, but our many APIs.

Transaction Processing Engine

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

It was almost eight months ago in Las Vegas at IBM’s Information On Demand global conference that we were awarded IBM’s 2007 Innovation Award for Best Informix Dynamic Solution (IDS). This award highlighted one of the key attributes of our ICS8 platform which is our ability to effectively process millions of database transactions daily. Prior to receiving this acknowledgement from IBM & being so highly recognized by the database community we didn’t fully understand what a powerful transaction processing solution we had developed. For us it was just part of the philosophy that we’ve been following since day one which has been to develop a solution that is highly efficient & scalable for whatever business need presents itself. Simply stated, we develop for the future today.

When we realized how many other companies had a need for such a highly effective & scalable transaction processing engine we decided to make this engine available for other companies to access through a simple web services API which we tailor to each company’s processing needs.

Companies that are developing new solutions, especially mobile & web based solutions don’t want to be responsible for managing the abundance of data attributes associated with their user accounts & the associated amount of data kept for each user’s transactions. Nor do these companies have the time, dollars, or knowledge to develop a transaction processing solution that can support millions of transactions without delay. These companies want to & need to focus on their products & deploying those products to market as quickly as possible. With us providing the Transaction Processing Engine, these businesses are now able to deploy their solutions in record times.