Sri Lanka has talent, infrastructure to be a global IT player: CN Global MD

In his latest interview with the Daily Mirror news publication CN Global Managing Director Charuka Abhayawickrama shares his thoughts on CN Global and the potential Sri Lanka has to be a force in the global IT industry.” Below are the extracts from the sit down.

 

The Isle of Sri Lanka has been known to breed special individuals who conquer the world. As a Country, we have generated great sportsman, actors, businessmen and even politicians. Today we have the privilege to meet one of the Sri Lankan entrepreneurs who has created a successful software development company in Sydney, Australia.

In the backdrop of a volatile economic time period with the threat of a global financial crisis, bankruptcies, redundancies, and liquidations, it was fascinating to hear about this gentleman who has been able to run the business successfully for 15 years while expanding the business to the USA, UK, UAE & Sri Lanka.

Charuka Abhayawickrama is the Managing Director of CN Global Pty Ltd and CN Global Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. We met him at his Sri Lankan office during one of his official visits to Colombo office a few days ago.

 

Charuka tell us about how CN Global started?

I went to Australia as a 19 year old to study. Then I got the opportunity to work for IBM and Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), the main federal government body that regulates all banks and financial services institutions in Australia. I also worked for  Insurance Australia group, which is probably the number one retail insurance group and finally I worked  at Commonwealth Bank of Australia which is the number one bank in Australia, before  focusing on CN Global business full time. Working in those companies gave me the experience and the opportunity to work with talented people.

As a young employee what I learnt was, always focus on giving robust solutions and exceptional customer care. With that in mind I started CN Global Pyt Ltd. in Sydney, Australia. I stared the business in 1998 and now it’s been 16 years and for CN Global Lanka (Pvt) Ltd is now in its 5thyear in operation.

 

What made you start up a business in information technology?

The reason for IT is that we are living in an information age, everybody is hungry for information. The world is moving to a digital age, the way we share thoughts and ideas has changed. Social media is currently revolutionizing the way we live and work and most of the organizations are leveraging social media to grow their business.

As I see it, IT is all about coming up with solutions, helping people to reduce cost and ease their work. I see a great potential for IT-related businesses in an ever cost conscious business arena.

 

We witness a lot of IT companies been unable to sustain their business, Would you like to share with us the key success factors of CNG?

Yes. It is sad to notice quite a number of IT Companies are shutting down as they could not sustain the business. For CNG, as I believe, there are a few key success factors, which have helped us to be a successful company in Australia

01.   Our approach: As I mention earlier, we are more focused on providing an end-to-end solution. So, the objective is to make sure we manage the ROI of the client and develop a good partnership with our clients. This is the reason we have been able to work with organisations like Commonwealth bank of Australia and Kmart, which are some of the largest retail groups in Australia.
02.   Staff: Our team in Sri Lanka is fantastic. CNG is lucky to have a great mix of skills from graphics designers, search engine optimization engineers to total ecommerce solution developer. Our Sri Lankan team knows how to get the job done faster and in a cost-effective way.
03.   Customer Satisfaction: The level of service delivery is a key success factor for us. Sometimes my team and I wake up at 3:00 a.m. to support customers. Time is a critical factor for us as we have clients in the USA, Australia & UK but the team has never taken it as a challenge. We are there when customer needs us.

 

What are your plans for the Sri Lankan market?

I see great potential in the Sri Lankan market. Through CNG Australia I have been able to bring foreign remittance to the country. Now I want to bring this success factor to Sri Lankan businesses, where lessons learnt and trends mapped in Australia can be leveraged to help Sri Lankan businesses better compete in the global sphere. To ensure this, I have created a business development unit in Sri Lanka,which will leverage the already established development center in churning out state-of-the-art business solutions to the Sri Lankan corporate sector.

I want to bring the international exposure we have by working with 400+ clients to Sri Lankan businesses, which are looking for an IT partner to take their business ventures to new heights.

Magento ecommerce platform is one of the keyproducts we want to implement in Sri Lanka. For most of the companies that are involved in online businesses, a Magento based ecommerce site will be the best platform.

At CNG we will provide the total solution from domain registration, hosting of the site, providing a good healthy ranking on Google search for the maintenance of the site. This allows the customer to focus on his/her business while we take care of the site and building traffic. In addition we will help integrate their online presence to other technologies such as enterprise resource planning systems, accounting and customer relationships solutions.

We have a partnership with Vtiger, one of the largest cloud-based CRM solution providers in the world. Customer Relationship Management is a key aspect in every business. When the business grows, managing customers becomes a challenge. Through CRM solution companies can monitor the activities of theirs sales teams, forecast the future business, manage invoicing and delivery of service or goods through inbuilt project management modules.

 As a Cloud-based solution, senior management teams can access the data at any given time, anywhere in the world even through a smartphone. We have executed several CRM installations in Australia and we see a great potential for CRMs in Sri Lanka.

Customized software solutions are the 3rd  area we are planning to promote in Sri Lanka, as we have undertaken several projects on customizing software solutions. We bring our expertise to Sri Lanka from those projects. Investor portfolio management, Crew management, Applicant Tracking Systems, Order Fulfillment platforms are just a few customized solutions we have provided.

 

Any final thoughts you like to add?

Thanks for visiting us and showing interest in our operations at CN Global. I would like to invite overseas investors to come and invest in Sri Lanka’s booming IT industry. We have the talent and the infrastructure to become a truly global player in the IT industry. We, at CN Global, have forged several partnerships with global multinationals and we encourage others to seek us out in forging partnerships as we are able to provide the infrastructure and staff based on niche requirements.

For young entrepreneurs I would say focus on delivering high quality standards and exceptional customer service. If you do a good job the word will spread; he will tell it two people if you do something bad he will tell it to six people. Good word of mouth is not easy to get so make sure you create a positive outlook.

 

By Jennifer Fernando

Source:

Mirror Business

11th April 2014

Growing business with CRM

If you’ve heard of customer relationship management (CRM) and wondered why it’s so important, it’s simple. No matter what business you’re in, unless your customers are happy you won’t succeed and this is why CRM is so important – more important than sales or marketing or any other part of the company that wouldn’t survive without customers.

Yet, CRM is still low on the priority list of so many companies today. Most of the companies try to manage a CRM base through an excel sheet.

 
Why CRM?

To know how to maximize your businesses potential, you need to know what your customers think. After all, if you feel that your customers must be happy because your profits are up, it may have more to do with a recent price rise as opposed to them actually buying any more products from you. Additionally, if you have a change in personnel, is this going to affect a relationship with an existing customer?

This is where good CRM comes into its own. If the result of a salesperson leaving means your company is going to lose business from a particular client, you can stay one step ahead of this by smoothing the waters with that particular client, assuring them their service won’t suffer accordingly.

 
What priority should be given to CRM?

Depending on the size of your company, you will obviously have different priorities and goals. A small company, for instance, may be focused on building its existing client base, whereas a larger company may have its priorities in expanding globally.

Without a strong existing and loyal customer base, these plans and ideas would simply be that – plans and ideas, difficult to implement within the current climate.

However, by using CRM, you can ensure that you have a strong customer base to build from. After all, the best form of advertising is still word-of-mouth; keep your customers happy and you’ll soon see your business grow.

 
How can you use CRM?

Since CRM is all about customer relationship management, the good thing is that it can be used in so many ways – it isn’t limited to just the service side of your company. No matter what department you use CRM in, the options are endless: Sales teams can see what sales opportunities weren’t closed and determine the reason for that to improve upon the next time. Accounting can see what accounts were closed and use the feedback from customers to try and win them back and ensure that whatever the problem was is not repeated. Customer services can make better use of their time by identifying why a certain problem customer is continuously having difficulties and come up with a solution to that problem. These are just some of the benefits that good customer relationship management can bring to your company. It works both ways as well.

If your customers are really happy, they’ll use your company more and have fewer complaints for customer service. If they’re using your company more, they’re buying more. If they’re buying more, the sales team are making extra and they’re happy.

When both your customers and staff are happy, that’s when you’ll see why customer relationship management is so important for you and your company.

 
Selecting a good CRM

Selecting a good CRM is critical for any organisation’s success. As the initial setup can be costly is essential to select a CRM which can deliver the organisation’s requirement. Any CRM which choose by the organisation should be user-friendly. Most of the time the CRM will be used by the sales and marketing team and they will like an easy to use setup.

 
CRM like Vtiger can be a good option for any organisation that is looking for a cost-effective solution. Vtiger is an open source CRM which can be tailor made base on the client requirement. It’s easy to use as the interface is simple and can be customize base on the requirements. The greatest advantage of the solution is it’s online, so the sales team or the management team can access the data from anywhere they want.

Technology is currently change the way we do business and CRM will play a huge role in the success of organisation in the future.

AirTight Networks Brings Advanced Wireless Security to Australia

First True Wi-Fi Prevention System Now Available
 
Sydney, August 20th November 2013 — AirTight Networks, the leading provider of Wi-Fi IPS (WIPS) Firewalls, has aggressively targeted the Australian market, bringing rich analytics and security to the wireless community.
 
AirTight Networks offers the industry’s broadest integrated suite of WLAN planning, management, security, IDS/IPS (intrusion detection services/intrusion protection services), and location services through the SpectraGuard family of products and services.

The SpectraGuard family of products includes three products today:

- SpectraGuard Planner

- SpectraGuard Enterprise

- SpectraGuard Sentry
 
AirTight Networks’ SpectraGuard Planner provides a comprehensive analysis of WiFi coverage and capacity for your specific buildings along with recommended sensor placements for detection and prevention of WiFi vulnerabilities.
 
AirTight Networks’ SpectraGuard Enterprise delivers a broad range of unique capabilities for wireless intrusion protection including simultaneous detection and prevention of multiple threats from a single sensor, as well as comprehensive threat prevention including the most serious attacks – MAC spoofing APs, Evil Twin/honey pot APs and Denial of Service threats. SpectraGuard Enterprise also guards against rogue access points, mis-configured access points, ad hoc connections, unauthorized client connections, and client mis-associations, and provides pinpoint location tracking of any device determined to be a threat.
 
AirTight Network’s SpectraGuard Sentry leverages the same intrusion prevention technology engine found in SpectraGuard Enterprise. SpectraGuard Sentry is a standalone sensor that provides continuous monitoring of the airwaves in both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. All Wi-Fi devices within range of Sentry are automatically classified based on policies created by the administrator. SpectraGuard Sentry offers comprehensive and automatic protection and prevention against the most hazardous Wi-Fi threats including rogue access points, client mis-associations and ad hoc connections. This automatic prevention is extremely accurate due to Sentry’s patent-pending auto-classification, eliminating time consuming false alarms. SpectraGuard Sentry is compatible with all Wi-Fi infrastructure, firewalls and VPNs, and works with access points from any vendor. A single SpectraGuard Sentry will cover most small offices.
 
“At the same time as wireless LAN use is exploding in Australia, users are recognizing that traditional firewalls do not address a long list security vulnerabilities specific to wireless LANs,” said Steve Choi, Director Sales Asia Pacific Region, at AirTight Networks. “We view Australia as a strategic market and hence we are investing in a local team to support end-users and channel partners like CN Global.”
 
AirTight Network’s is working entirely through channels to sell and support its products in Australia.

“We are excited to be working with AirTight Networks to help bring their industry leading technology to the Australian market,” said Charuka Abhaywickrama, Senior Technology Director at CN Global Pty Ltd.
 
The company plans a number of educational seminars to help characterise the unique security risks of wireless and how these can be fully addressed.
 
About AirTight Networks

Founded in 2002, AirTight Networks maintains network and mobile client integrity from Wi-Fi security vulnerabilities. AirTight Networks Wi-Fi IPS Firewalls provide enterprises and service providers with around-the-clock wireless monitoring and automatic intrusion prevention as well as manage wireless LAN network performance for maximum capacity and uptime. The SpectraGuard family of products is the industry’s first Wi-Fi firewall that identifies and stops security risks and attacks, provides real-time network audits, assists in performance troubleshooting and monitors the overall health of the wireless LAN. AirTight Networks is a privately held company based in Mountain View, CA. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.airtightnetworks.com

How to build Fully Responsive websites

Many website owners want their site to look great on mobile devises, but are left clueless on how to do it!
 
If you are in the industry of building and designing websites, you cannot disregard the fact that many people are going to be visiting your sites on their smartphones and tablets. The Web and the mobile browsers remain one of the top ways users interact with websites and if they have trouble browsing through your website on their smartphone, there is a good chance they will not come back.
 
This is where responsive design can help.
 
Responsive design is a concept where your build your website and then format it in a manner that it can fit in to any screen size that accesses it equally well. Designers use HTML5 and CSS to build their sites and set parameters so that the content will resize itself whether the user is in vertical or horizontal viewing mode, on a tablet, desktop or smartphone or even a screen as large as a television.
 
What’s The Best Way to Build a Responsive Website?
The first thing to think about when building a responsive site is simplicity. Web designers find it irresistible to show off that they can design the hell out of a website. They adore their code and all the cool things that it can do.
 
The challenge however is to use it cautiously – and not try to be overly artsy with it. Some website builders may over-design for the desktop, making some websites fun to play with but absolutely impossible to navigate.
 
So, one needs to keep it simple.
 
Best Practices
The idea is to focus around content and avoid the pitfalls that certain aspects of websites can create. For example, pictures and advertisements can be a problem.

SEO Benefits

1. The Results are Low Cost (In Comparison to Adwords and PPC)

Organic listings are essentially free. When you are listed at the top, you don’t need to pay per click or allocate a budget for advertising, one of the main benefits of SEO is that it is the gift that keeps on giving. With a little bit of effort (and some money upfront to pay for SEO costs) you can watch your website get consistent traffic. You don’t have to pay $10 for every person who clicks on your ad. Unlike paid ads, your traffic will not drop to nothing when it stops. SEO gets rid of the need to have thousands of ads across the web.

2. Definite Increase in Traffic

With Analytics and reporting tools, you’ll see a clear cut increase in traffic. This is a definite way to maximize your business efforts. SEO will give you results (not immediately but rather quickly) and as soon as you start your SEO efforts, traffic will increase at a steady rate. Using tools to track traffic to your site you can clearly watch as more people visit your site and sales go through the roof.

Interested in doubling your traffic with a few simple changes? Let us E-mail you one of our free custom SEO reports. Its 100% Free, just tell us your URL and we’ll reply with your free report!

 

3. Higher Brand Credibility, People Trust Google

People trust that the first listing in google is a reputable company, by doing SEO, your website becomes THE brand name. You’re the guy the competitors want to beat. The further back you are in rankings on Google the more people are skeptical about your website. If google has a spot dedicated to you at the top especially if it is a top tier listing with other subpages listed below the main home page it gives your website credibility that no ad can top. Ads can often be seen as annoying and many people have ad blockers installed on their browsers.

4. Better ROI (Return on Investment) Than Normal Ads

When you buy 1000 visitors from a paid ad, 2% of those visitors might convert into a sale. When you get 1000 clicks from SEO, 4% of those visitors will convert into a sale, leading to a better return on investment. This higher conversion rate is just another one of the benefits of SEO that cannot be matched by any other form of marketing. Google searches actually get people who searched for the tag in your website. These people are actually looking for your product. Ads can be from anyone. Many people may misclick on an ad. A hit from google is much more valuable over a hit from an ad.

5. Your Competitors Are Doing It

SEO is a rising field and it is gaining ground. More people are starting to realize that the benefits of SEO are extremely high. Your competitors know this and are starting to take advantage of it. If your competitors are using search engine optimization to help their websites appear before you on Google and get all those hits that can lead to sales before your website will. Even if your site offers better services or prices. Hiring a superior SEO company or investing in a skilled SEO Staff could be exactly what your company needs to rank above your competitors in the google rankings.

6. Take Your Business to the Next Level

SEO can bring thousands of visitors to your website. Your customers may recommend you a product or service that they were looking for when they visited your website. SEO is actually a great investment for your company and could be what you need to take it to the next level.

7. 250 Million websites on the web, SEO makes you stand out

There are well over billions of websites out there. It can be pretty hard to make a name for yourself among that many,especially if your product or service is highly competitive. Using SEO will make your brand stand out from the rest and can easily be the boost that you need to increase sales.

8. 60% of Clicks Go to the First Result

This means that only 40% of clicks are left for the second through the millionth result on google for the keyword. Securing that top spot on Google is a sure fire way to gain heaps of visitors. SEO is certainly the tool needed to gain that top spot as well. For a small upfront investment you are looking at potentially millions of sales.

9. You’ll have Access to Data

What data you may ask? You get customer data. You can discover new products to expand to by looking at keyword data and seeing what people are searching the most for. You can use this to your advantage and find a high search volume keyword with low competitiveness and although that may be hard to find it has the potential to bring in thousands of sales per month to your website. Customer data is extremely valuable in this business and is not that hard to come by with the right tools. Manipulating it to your advantage can be exponentially beneficial for your business.

10. The Results are Permanent

Unlike advertisements the affects of SEO are permanent, don’t suddenly stop if you stop paying. Of course you will need a little upkeep to maintain that top 1st spot ranking, but if you can get that top spot chances are it will be quite difficult for it to get taken away.

Fooman Speedster

In our last post we looked at increasing page speed and its importance on the World Wide Web. So in a natural progression from that we’re looking at how to increase page speed on the Magento platform.

At first glance you might think that there is little that we can do to speed Magento’s load time short of increasing the power of the server that the site is hosted on. But in actuality the changes that we recommended in our last post are just as applicable here. But there is one big piece of good news, someone has already done the hard work for you!

How can this be you might ask? Well there’s a handy little extension called Fooman Speedster that will automatically compress or minify both your Javascript and CSS files in what will provide a massive boost to your site’s page speed. Best of all setting up the extension is remarkably easy.  Let’s take a look.

To begin you need to download the extension from http://www.magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/fooman-speedster.html Installation is pretty straightforward through Magento Connect.

If you’re using Magento Connect 2.0 then you’ll need to make sure that both the file /lib/minify/m.php and the containing folder are writeable. The same should also be true of /var/minifycache.

And then you’re pretty much done with your changes and your Magento site will load much faster than it did before due to reduced file size. If you’ve got Magento then there is no reason not to install Fooman Speedster, so give it a go.

If you’re trying to install through an older version of Magento Connect or on a site with multiple stores more information can be found on the extensions official page.

Increasing Page Speed

With the Internet becoming ever saturated with a plethora of sites for just absolute very topic and category imaginable maintaining every competitive edge is absolutely vital. Once such area that is often overlooked is the speed at which your site loads. It’s not hard to believe especially if you think about how any sites you personally have closed simply because they took far too long to load so why would your site be any different?

Additionally it’s also important to remember that more and more users are viewing sites with mobile devices such as phones and tabs which use data connections. Speed here is also vital (not to mention having a separate mobile version of the site)

So what are some of the things that you can do to increase your page speed? The first is to save all your images for the web if you’re using software such as Adobe Photoshop which will automatically compress the file size to maintain quality as much as possible but greatly shrink the file size. Images are after all where the longest load times are experienced. This has a considerable impact on load times.

Next is compressing or minifying your javascript or css files. The technology used does not have to be invented but minifying is essentially compressing your javascript and css files so that they retain all the information but sport a far smaller price. How can you minify your javascript files? It’s actually pretty easy and free as there are a host of sites that can be found online to do the job for you.  Taking these steps will allow you to greatly reduce the size of your site and boost site load times.

You might also want to minify your html code which will greatly shrink your site even further, but it should be noted that on many platforms the html generated is actually dynamic. What this means is compressing such content is not possible because it’s generated on the fly. This doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to do so as certain blocks or chunks of html might be static in which case they can be minified.

So give these suggestions and try and see how your site improves. Some sites that you can use to check your performance are:

To measure page size and load time: http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/
The Google Tool for doing the same thing: https://developers.google.com/pagespeed/

Welcome!

Welcome to the CN Global Blog! Today marks the start of blog which will cover various technical aspects on different web platforms and will be on the cusp of cutting edge technology. Whether it be the standard Joomla, WordPress or even some other new form of technology we’ll be covering it.

Our company has been around for over 2 years and we’ve tackled a variety of challenges over the years that has allowed us to grow as a company and now we’d like to share some of our knowledge.  Whether it’s custom software development from the ground up or modifications of existing systems we’ve tackled it all!

So without further ado we’d like to kick off our blog.