Crafting Consumer Facing Applications for a Mobile Ready World
Peter Drucker, the guru of management consultants, once asserted: “Because its purpose is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two and only two basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.” The permeation of internet and mobile into today’s life has corroborated his opinion with a clamour, highlighting the importance of the customer. A brand’s ability to connect with the consumer is being redefined by the proliferation of modes through which a consumer can interact with a product or service.Brands need to be on their toes to incessantly revamp their consumer facing applications like e-commerce sites, sales or lead generation engines, brand destinations, mobile applications, as well as every other consumer facing property. In order to adapt to the changing behaviour of consumer, it has become obligatory for them to concentrate on mobile readiness or mobile enablement.
For such a massive transition, brands require the right strategy, as well as the right implementation partner to create mobile ready experiences that are powered by intuitive designs and cutting edge consumer technologies. They cannot rely on digital agencies that do not focus on engineering. At the same time, they cannot depend on traditional IT firms either, as those firms are too large to deliver the agility required for a brand's marketing department. Such large IT firms are also sometimes hesitant to devote time to improvement of design and user experience. Kuliza, headquartered in Bangalore, solves this issue by providing custom engineering services, as well as proprietary solutions to help brands become digitally smart. Kuliza’s custom engineering solutions include crafting custom web applications and mobile applications for brands, custom e-commerce stores for brands and IoT and big data applications. Its proprietary solutions include full-fledged e-commerce solutions such as sites, applications and tools, mobile applications for engaging consumers and deriving business, online sales engines for auto companies, iBeacon powered smart stores for retailers and hospitality and an IoT framework to make consumer products smart. By helping CMOs leverage emerging digital technologies, Kuliza plays a significant role in producing consumer facing applications for a mobile ready world.
Amalgamation of Science and Creativity
“User experience and usability are the lifelines of our offerings. At Kuliza, we believe that user experience and interface design is an amalgamation of science and creativity. This mix is what converts a visitor to a site or app visitor into a customer.” says Kaushal Sarda, CEO of Kuliza. Team Kuliza is oriented towards providing attention to detail, researching about consumer behaviour, and analysing the clicks, analytics as well as the information flow of the application while designing the solution. As all these aspects vary for different brands, the end result is an offering customized as per the expectations and requirements of the customer.
Kuliza follows an extremely robust design and engineering process which is employed to ensure transparency to clients and creation of world class applications. The design process involves multiple stages. It begins with primary research (executed through focused interviews and other ethnographic studies), followed by secondary research to understand user preferences and prejudices. What comes next is benchmarking and inspiration research. The company then designs the information architecture of the application and undertakes click analysis for complex user flows. Lastly, Kuliza enters the wire frame and visual design stage, with multiple rounds of iterations to fine tune the experience. “We follow the agile methodology for engineering applications. This essentially means the technical architecture is followed by versioning and software releases. Frequent scrums (meetings) and demos are conducted to provide visibility to the client and track progress.” adds Kaushal.
Architecting for Scale
Engineering for scale is of utmost importance for consumer facing applications. Brands launch various consumer facing applications to experiment on limited markets. When the experiment is successful, scale becomes an obvious next step, with brands wanting their applications to reach millions everyday. With this prescience, Kuliza ensures that whatever it engineers is architected for scale, so that brands can adapt to market, traffic and transactional fluctuation easily, and can scale seamlessly without delays. The scope of scalability has found a new dimension with the advent of mobile phones and cloud computing, as every user has a super fast computer in his/her pocket. This change has led to a significant number of consumers having the opportunity to connect with brands anytime, anywhere. Realizing this potential, Kuliza focuses on cloud computing and cloud data management services. “We believe that cloud powered consumer applications are a great channel to bring together seamless, secure and scalable experiences to the end customer. We have also found that the CMOs are very open to adopting the cloud for their consumer facing applications.” shares Kaushal.
The majority of investments made by brands on mobiles have been directed towards building simple consumer facing mobile applications. Though these apps may look incredibly attractive, most of them are not developed to enhance current customer experiences. The need of the hour for brands is to think of mobile enablement and not just mobile apps. The low cost of sensors, advancements in data storage and distributed computing has made it possible for brands to extend current customer experiences through smart phones. The data resulting from these interactions can be easily collected and analysed to create constant feedback for improving key customer facing processes. Kuliza has a proprietary four tier framework to enable any customer facing experience via a mobile phone. This framework can leverage functionality of existing solutions via restful APIs and then extend them to various new interactive interfaces like smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, etc. The move to mobile engagement architecture starts with creation of engaging designs and it is followed by leveraging of expert development tools and frameworks to create apps that are usable, reliable and scalable. Finally, the audience for the app is targeted in real time, based on interests to drive app downloads and usage.
Mantra for Success
The success mantra for Kuliza is: alloying business, technology and user experience to form digital business experience design. The company validates the business requirement, fulfils it through the enabling technology and establishes commendable user experience to create valuable digital business experience design. Kuliza offers design that meets technology. Although there are separate experts for each field, it is difficult to find companies which work at the horizon. When it comes to scalability, although the industry witnesses brands investing millions into consumer facing apps, it can all go down the drain if the applications are unable to meet the demand of scalability. Owing to its vast experience in building for scale, Kuliza is one step ahead of its competitors. “We play the role of a reliable technology partner for brands. Brands require a partner that can understand marketing concerns, can quickly bring solutions to the market and has the engineering capability to work on complex technologies, interact with IT departments and also integrate with their systems. We offer all this and more.” says Kaushal.
Team Kuliza sees a great potential in the market, considering the fact that there is a tremendous shift in consumer preferences. The company plans to target both Indian, as well as the US brands with its major focus on the CMOs’ budgets for building consumer facing applications and experiences. The organization is looking to roll out a host of solutions to help brands create smart products and experiences. Kuliza’s R&D team is working hard to come up with exciting consumer facing solutions. “Our expansion plans include opening accounts offices at multiple locations, building the right delivery engine to execute projects and creating an amazing company culture to attract the best people.” signs off Kaushal.