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In the last 12 months, the majority of the new web projects that we have completed have been for startups requiring a fast build of their web application to aid their real world business model. Funding has become a big issue increasingly for juniors and start-ups, in the current volatile market with the prospect of Brexit looming on the horizon and the emerging markets having their own individual issues to deal with. Therefore, we see some great ideas from startups, sadly died due to the lack of funding and inferior marketing collaterals, meaning their message fails to reach or impress the right investors. 

In this article, I have tried to explain and share the underlying web architecture created by Salaro, addressing some of the common challenges for typical junior companies in Natural Resources, Mining, Oil & Gas, Renewable, Coaching, Training and the startups that we have recently worked with. More often, they do not have the luxury of time, the resources or the budget as well as internal man power to go through a formal bidding process, evaluation and planning before going on to build their mission critical application. Time means money, and investors are often happier, the faster a client can complete their marketing collateral and develop the initial phase of the application.

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Opportunities and Strategic risks associated with Brexit 

On 23rd of June 2016, many senior marketers expressed ‘shock and horror’ at the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. Many in the early days thought that we need to move on and to measure the changes not purely by risk but also an opportunity. More than a year later, the challenges for juniors and start-ups in particular here in the UK are still very much in focus. However, we have noticed that since the start of the year, marketing budgets have been subdued amid fears of a Brexit. It is clear that the financial caution will certainly continue for the near future, whilst the trade agreements are being worked out with the EU. In the mean time, the task of having to learn and conform, and prepare to re-structure to the new rules of post-Brexit falls mostly on the Management team, Marketing, HR and IT. The more prominent organisations have already put contingencies in place. However, up till now, most SMEs that have been delaying the inevitable, but now with only 18 months left they need to start putting the necessary provisions in place. The task of adapting to the forthcoming changes is mostly left to the IT and Marketing to do most of the work with little or no extra funding

We are aware that the eventual outcome by Summer 2019 is still extremely vague and no one in the country has any realistic idea of what Brexit should entail. At the same time, the clock is ticking the struggle to cope continues with fewer resources, higher import and man power costs, as well as trying to compete with their opposition in a remarkably fast moving global digital world. Here at Salaro, we are attempting to change the conversation from never-ending Brexit contradiction by the government and the press and instead, try and help to develop ways to allow them to manage at least one part of the puzzle which is "how best to develop the marketing and web solutions", as well as, the corporate data stream in a cost effective way in a digitally exploding world. 

What about the Digital Single Market?

The online elephant in the room throughout the Brexit debate has been the Digital Single Market or the "DSM". This initiative originally aimed to confirm Britain’s place as a ‘world leader in the digital economy’ by removing regulatory walls between the member states of the EU and enable pan-European digital initiatives. It was estimated that a typical digital market in Europe for online goods and services could add €415 billion to the United economies. DSM concept was for EU to grasp the opportunities of digital technology. Digitisation can help businesses to remain competitive, allow EU startups to scale up quickly, with full use of cloud computing, big data solutions, robotics and high-speed broadband, thereby creating new jobs, increased productivity and sustainability.

Whether this will carry through to the United Kingdom in the post Brexit era, is an open question? Will we still be able to benefit from the promised potential for businesses large and small to expand internationally and take advantage of these European markets? Clearly, with uncertain times ahead, the press and the commentators seem to be hedging their bets on how Brexit will affect British businesses and their online marketing in both the short-term and the longer-term.

For all of the above challenges and the types of organisations that are most affected, there is another worry, where the digital devices and endpoints are proliferating for all. There is an expectation that everything must be connected. Businesses are required to deliver more sophisticated desktop and mobile apps, faster than ever before to a wider community in multiple jurisdictions to stay competitive. They must also, understand how best to create or reuse content on the corporate site as well as marketing or channel-focused microsites and learn an easy and more efficient way to publish it to the audience via web apps, mobile apps or multiple micro-sites. To meet this new challenges, our approach to most of our junior organisations would be as follows:

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THE WEB PLATFORM TO SUIT STARTUPS AND JUNIOR COMPANIES

In order to deliver solid solutions here in the UK or for some of our customers globally, the underlying platform that we use is the Open Source DNN-Platform with liquid content™ that takes the shape of the objects it’s placed in and flows around barriers and obstacles. Open Source because it is cost effective whilst it uses Liquid Content™ or a structured content micro service designed for the multichannel era that can manage content items or pieces of content that can be presented in any context, such as a web page or a native mobile app.

Organisation's localised content can become fluid and adaptable and can be easily published to any channel and viewed by the majority of devices and browsers on desktops, laptops, tablets and major smartphone platforms, without marginalising any other major web platforms.

CONTENT MANAGED

Our Web and Mobile Content Management Solution provides the infrastructure for every company's main website as well as the connected microsite or the accompanying mobile apps to engage, enrol and retain customers or partners across the entire organisational ecosystem with a reduction in maintenance costs going forward as edit and revisions are easy and can be done internally.

Using our web solutions the company can engage with their community through thoughtful, relevant content in real time, allowing your marketing team or the individual marketing managers to create and manage content faster and easier than ever before with drag-and-drop editing. The solution can best deal with a variety of devices users use to reach you throughout the day. The graphic below shows the preferred device used during a typical day which shows how important it is even today to serve all users on all devices.

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Using the Open Source DNN-Platform web technology that the open source community has been developing for the last 15 years, we will enable your employees and administers to work on their assigned tasks with minimised IT support for Web and, Mobile platform users on the popular iOS and Android.

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LIQUID CONTENT

The platform we use caters for the multi-channel web world and has a fluid content management approach that serves as a headless CMS for creating, managing and organising organization's localised content for the individual channels. The CMS provides multiple administrators real-time editing for the microsite content that they are responsible for. In our platform, the content published to your microsites uses our stateless API that can post the content to the microsite, kiosk, app, or subscribe to an independent internal application if necessary. 

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FLEXIBLE HYBRID AND WHEN NECESSARY or NATIVE APP APPROACH FOR MOBILE USERS

Cost Effective Solutions means using a single web application for multiple devices and multiple audiences in many languages. Customised publishing to mobile Apps or the standard desktops and laptops is what we are happy to build for various organisations. Our solution is tailored to your needs with our hybrid approach allowing direct editing of the content methods or when required via Web Services or other technologies available on Microsoft's.NET platform. Our packages will provide any organisation with complete control over publishing their localised content to mobile apps in a customised manner via RESTful web services. The solution can also be multi-language providing full localisation for most popular languages.

DIGITAL EXPERIENCE CHANNELS WITH LOCATION BASED CONTENT

With the combination of DNN-Platform and our Hybrid App solutions, we can provide the Digital Experience Channels to increase conversions and generate more leads. The resulting increased conversations are maintained through the platform, allowing users to reach the content and real time data via a multiple web device approach. Some of the tools and modules we develop for you so to create, preview and deliver personalised experiences at the local centres or on a bigger scale to the whole enterprise. Using multi-site and multi-micro-site backend, the management can analyse and optimise the web experience in the future and replicate the web initiatives and successful approach that the leading section of the organization and if necessary roll it out to the less productive centres.

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Overall, our approach should make it easier to connect with your customers and deliver consistent experiences across the web, email, mobile Apps, desktop Apps and social media. Make the most out of a multi-channel, mobile-first world to win and retain customers who may start their journey in a mobile device browser. Reading an email could lead them to a responsive landing page on their local micro-site, resulting in a trial booking and sign up with the centre and later keeping them connected via the Apps.

Our approach can successfully be used to engage the local communities with direct input from the line of business managers and content editors in real-time without making the head office or web developers the bottleneck when creating new local content. For example companies in natural resources, mining and O&G, business requires engaging the local communities for the properties they own and using a microsite dedicated to the jurisdiction in the language and accompanying mobile app they can positively engage with them and increase their company profile.

PUSH NOTIFICATION AND EMAIL

In the past, push notifications were used to inform or alert the user of any news or an action they must take care of. Today in a noisy world, it is difficult to compete with the notifications and messages the user receives from many other products and services. It is important to not only develop a notification strategy where the customer touchpoint is at a suitable moment in time but also allows the user to have more choice as to when and how they wish to be contacted. We would consider email and text as channels of communication as well as push notifications, relative to the urgency of the information and the user preferences.

HOW DO WE DO IT? 

At Salaro, using our development approach, we provide the web and mobile solution and its deployment in record time and at budgets to suit you. We can also easily revise the solution and roll-out without having to rebuild the solution on multiple platforms or different languages. Our platform provides an end-to-end desktop solution and mobile application development with a reduced need to invest in specific hardware, testing and debugging, simulating, publishing to app stores and tracking app performance every time there is a change in the business model or future expansion into new territory.

UI COMPONENTS

We use the Open Source DNN-Platform and mixture of the Native and Hybrid approach for iOS and Android platforms using JavaScript, HTML5 UI widgets for responsive web and data visualisation.

AGILE MOBILE DEVELOPMENT

Using Angular, JavaScript or ASP.net Razor where necessary, we build both Native and Hybrid mobile apps across platforms and devices to work in harmony with our micro sites on DNN-Platform.

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DATA CONNECTIVITY AND INTEGRATION 

Data is the new digital currency, but the driving value is rather complicated by the explosion of data, digital devices and touchpoints. companies will require secure and reliable access to all data sources and record system, to maximise business value while maintaining the security of data acquired from their customers, partners or community members. The modules we build on top of the platform can use connectors for data integrations using ODBC, JDBC, ADO.net and Data Connectors. We can also connect to any cloud or on-premises data source using standard interfaces. The key to our approach is to ensure the data that exists in the system is not going to be potentially misused by hackers, employees who leave the organisation and other means of data theft.

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ONE CODEBASE FOR MULTIPLE WEB PLATFORMS USING THE FANTASTIC DNN

The beauty and the main USP of our approach are that we can deliver across major web users and their devices with a single codebase and combine standard web technologies such as HTML, HTML5, CSS and JavaScript with APIs to allow access to device-specific capabilities. The backend coding can deliver device and platform-specific capabilities through its JavaScript API mapping. We do have the expertise to port any element of the solution that will require being made native on both iOS or Android, without dismantling the platform infrastructure already in place.

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SALARO PROCESS AND HOW TO ENGAGE WITH US

Please do email me at Linkedin or direct to Salar at Salaro dot org (approve SpamArrest) or reach out to me via Salaro.com contact link "and let's make something great together". As a company we’re professional, but we’re approachable too – expect to work with creative people with open minds and the ability and the knowledge to work with Finance, Start-up, Natural Resources, Oil and Gas, Mining, Education, Training background to bring your ideas to life. If you’d like to drop by, we’d love to meet you. But naturally, it may not be possible due to the fact that most of our clients are scattered all around the world. However, we do have an excellent Project Management System (Basecamp) that keeps you in touch with my team throughout the project life cycle. Also, we are always available to have a GoToMeeting chat over the web and share screen to get your requirements well understood.

The figure below shows how the approach can be implemented within your timeline.

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