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Category: Other (9 posts) [RSS]

Aug 01 2016

Customisation & Personalisation: Similar, but different.

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Image by Geralt

Personalised consumerism as we know it today is the result of years and years of economic and technological changes and discoveries. The first concept of a personalised product has its roots just before the Industrial Revolution, when in the absence of mass production technology, people were, basically handcrafting everything, so the chances of something not being personalised were almost none. Soon after, technological advances have enabled big manufacturers to produce identical products, using a pattern, on cheaper prices so everybody migrated to this option. This phenomenon is known as mass-consumerism. The years between 1950’s and 1960’s have been crucial for the economy of scale and the mass manufacturing concept. The globalisation trend has enabled manufacturers to expand their activities on foreign markets, which had a direct impact on the amount of goods being produced. In the 1980’s, the consumer got bored of having the same looking product as everyone else and the concept of personalisation has been introduced.

From standard to custom
On a study conducted by Deloitte UK in 2015, 1 in 5 respondents affirmed that they would pay 20% more for a personalised item compared to a standard one. On the other hand, the same survey shows that only 42% of the consumers are keen on letting the brands propose the personalised options. The findings suggest that people are likely to offer more for a personalised product or service, but also expect to be tailored to their needs.

Customisation vs Personalisation
The software market has experienced the same change in buying behaviour, even more dynamically once with the introduction of custom made apps. It has become a norm for companies to develop custom build solutions for clients willing to pay the price. As an extension of the personalisation concept, the customisation idea has been created. Although, the vast majority of people don’t quite know the difference between customisation and personalisation, both concepts are looked for by customers from all sectors. In the customisation process, the user is expected to share his needs and expectations, while for personalisation, the company will adjust its offering based on the segment the client is part of, by predicting his interest.

Tailor-fit solutions, better results.
Here, at XWiki, we like to think about ourselves as a flexible company that produces custom based solutions, starting from a standard software, in order to tailor-fit each feature to the client’s exact purpose. Starting with understanding the specific needs of each particular organisation, we are able to adjust the highly customisable wiki, to meet even the most exigent expectations. During the past projects we have received favorable feedback as all our clients have experienced better performances. The most common are considered to be a higher level of efficiency and collaboration compared to the organisations implementing the generic software. Moreover, the same project was able to reduce the operating costs caused by bad data and weak communication within the organisation.

Our solutions
We are proud to underline two projects which required complex custom features that have been implemented on top of the XWiki’s default software:

The L’Union Sociale Pour L’Habitat resource centre is a customised knowledge database developed for a French government related confederation dedicated to supporting low income families. The design and UI are part of the customisation process, but the complex part consists in creating a special document structure on which using a customized workflow, juridic specialists are able to create and edit content. On top of that, the organization asked for a custom metadata filter which is able to sort documents based on some special characteristics.

The second example consists in a corporate intranet, developed for one of the top suppliers of electric energy in Brazil. Being used by more than 5000 users located in several cities, the solution has received a custom SSO login as well as a statistics tracking feature.

Customising a complex software in such a manner to meet the exact expectations is a challenge for both the technical and the design departments. Furthermore, getting custom features to function on a standard wiki solution requires communication between the client and the company, strong interdepartmental collaboration and lastly, but by no means least highly knowledgeable specialists, all this being able to be found at XWiki.

If you want to know more about our projects, check the References page or discover the USH business case.

George Nikolic
Marketing Specialist @ XWiki

Oct 09 2015

Safe Harbor is dead! What's next?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) decided to strike down the "Safe Harbor", a key legal principle that had enabled U.S. web giants (Google, Facebook and Apple) who operate in the European Union to store and manipulate the personal data of people living there.

The "Safe Harbor" was the result of an agreement from the July 26, 2000 in which the European Commission considered that the countries who signed the agreement, agreed to a level of protection in accordance with the European standards of personal data for the EU citizens.

But the Snowden case has changed everything. The massive NSA spying of the European citizen's data is a violation of the agreement, causing its end in the ruling of the CJEU. ...

Sep 30 2015

Could Open Source have prevented the Volkswagen scandal?

Since last week, no one could have missed the Volkswagen scandal in the headlines of the media.

Indeed, it seems clear that the German manufacturer has embedded in its vehicles a system to detect particle emissions controls and changed the results in order to comply with the law and the standards required by the EU and the United States.

This scandal raises the debate on the lack of transparency of the proprietary software used in the automobile sector and in the Internet of Things (IoT). ...

Sep 22 2015

How to implement a successful competitive intelligence strategy in 5 steps

In a global economy which is highly competitive and in a constant evolution, the competitive intelligence is a must have for any organization wanting to ensure its sustainability.

Investing time and money in a competitive intelligence strategy allows to:

  • Anticipate changes
  • Spot opportunities
  • Detect threats ...

Sep 06 2015

6 pieces of advice to encourage collaboration inside your company!

Teamwork is crucial within any organization. A good collaboration means to know how to share important information and knowledge within your company with all the team in order to improve your productivity. 

Your data being the core of your business, your teams, your customers and partners you work with, it should be available and easily accessible by everyone.

In order to foster collaboration in your company, you must reconsider your way of working:

1) Encourage freedom of expression

Creativity is stimulated in environments where people can freely express their opinions, without being afraid to be wrong, even if they are in a lower hierarchical position.

2) Appreciate the collective performance

The valuation and performance recognition systems often focus on individual performance. Although individuals want to be recognized for their personal contribution, a balance taking into account the collective performance should exist as well.

3) Facilitate the collaborative work

Sharing attachments in emails, as well as searching for documents throughout the desktop, cloud and enterprise servers can undermine collaboration between employees. Fostering collaboration in your company entails giving the right tools to your employees. Technology has evolved existing specialized tools nowadays that enable us to structure, centralize and share information more easily.

4) Don't overuse emails and choose a more advanced solution

Those who think that email could foster collaboration have it wrong. Email does not rhyme with collaboration, it is just a tool for communication. Technologies are evolving and there are many tools that take into account this collaborative aspect. It is now possible to exchange information in a specific context and not to waste time in finding information related to specific points of the discussion.

5) Break the silos in order to allow the collaborative work

The use of the new collaborative and social tools can break the information silos, improve productivity and develop collective intelligence. Employees can create communities that are dedicated to their work and exchange around common issues while creating links with content produced by other entities.

6) Boost cohesion

It is very important to involve everyone in the team in decision making processes. Not only can they share their ideas, but they could also be more inclined and motivated to implement them afterwards. Furthermore, it nurtures communication regarding the workflow in order to avoid getting stuck in situations where efforts are duplicated.

Jan 01 2015

Happy New Year 2015!

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Apr 29 2013

XWiki Team in April 2013, Iasi

On April the XWiki Iasi team welcomed Vincent Massol at the office. Glad to have him for the second time in Iasi and for the first time at the new XWiki office, the team tried to take the most out of the time spent together. Networking, work and fun are just a few words that outline what happened during his stay in Iasi.

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Since sharing knowledge is a key aspect, the XWiki team members were happy to participate to several internal trainings and have technical discussions with Vincent on specific topics of interest. Moreover, Vincent joined local IT enthusiasts, having his first presentations in Romania at Codecampwhere he talked about how to improve the quality of a Java project  and at the JUG meeting, discussing about XWiki as a web development platform and how to develop the XWiki open source project.

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A nice XWiki dinner, inhouse trainings, code chats, ping-pong sessions and drinks also added value to this month. The local XWiki team is looking forward for the next similar opportunities!

Apr 05 2013

JobShadow Day 2013 at XWiki Iasi Office

The JobShadow Day could not have been missed this year as it has already become an unwritten tradition at XWiki Iasi Office! Thus, on Wednesday, 3rd of April, we welcomed 4 great highschool students willing to learn more about XWiki and certain job positions within our company.

The day started with an office tour, the visitors getting familiar to the environment where they were going to spend a couple of hours together and met some of the members of the XWiki team. Afterwards, we had the pleasant occasion of finding more about each one of them and about their future plans in terms of career development. We were impressed of their background up to now, their enthusiasm and motivation.

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The XWiki Iasi Team members offered an insight into their current positions, explaining their professional path and answered to any questions that the students had. Junior Web Developer, System Administrator (Platform Engineer), QA Engineer and Web Designer were the positions the highschool students were offered the opportunity to shadow.

The XWikiers were attentive enough to offer as many details as required and the students to take the most out of their presentations.

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Going through some of the photos taken with the XWiki team and a little bit of WII fun-time filled in the past hour of visit.

The XWiki Iasi Team enjoyed the enthusiasm of the four highschool students and we all hope that the time spent with us would have a positive impact in their careers!

Feb 18 2013

Why do start-ups fail?

Mashable's infographic gives several examples of Web startups, that have either failed or have been successful. The reasons why they failed can be generalized to different areas, even when (in our case), the product answered the companies needs.

Here are some reasons we identified:

  • No uniqueness: being the only one to offer a particular service is one of the key ways to be successful;
  • Bugs at launch: bugs make a bad impression. Sometimes, details make the difference. But if the product is unique and the users are addicted, the service/product can continue to evolve. For instance, Twitter. Do you remember the "Twitter whale"? (at XWiki SAS, we have "Skol") ? Today, Twitter is famous;
  • Lack of innovation: being a pioneer and a precursor (but not too much) is a good point; XWiki is the first second generation wiki! It is a wiki and a development platform at the same time.
  • Lack of evolution: the product / service must continually evolve to meet the needs / expectations of customers or to be closer to market trends. This is what we do every day, with the help of the Open Source community
  • Acquisition of the company by a larger one: the acquisition of a structure by another one may lead to several difficulties: re-allocation of employees to other features, no more support and/or development...

According to us, this last reason is particularly interesting, because it is unfair to users who believed in the product. On this topic I invite you to read the article written by Ludovic Dubost: Tech companies and their buyout.

Do you see other reasons?