Author Archives: Alicia

How IT Managed Services Can Boost Your Business And Result In Profit

Every business organization faces some or the other problems every now and then. Dealing with these troubles on a regular basis can consume a lot of the company’s time, resources and money. One of these problem areas which an organization is likely to face is IT problems. IT difficulties such as constant repair requirement, threat to security of networks and faulty software and hardware can mean spending of extra sums of money on something which can be dealt with quite easily. Yes, there are many IT managed service providers who can provide large or small business IT consulting, computer sales, computer repair and many other such IT related services. Let’s read about how IT managed services can boost a business and help it survive in the long term:

• An IT managed service provider can help in software and hardware related services, computer repair and re installation services and also offers discounted rates of computer sales if you hire it on contract basis. This can greatly reduce your IT related stress and may encourage you to focus on the business goals.

• Another reason how an IT company or a small business IT consulting company can boost your business is by improving overall IT performance which thereby boosts the overall office or work productivity. Strengthened systems and networks mean less time wasted on repair and troubleshooting which thereby results in better profits and improved efficiency.

• If your small or large sized business needs some kind of advice or help regarding IT matters, then the IT service providers can offer consulting services and guide you in the right direction in terms of the equipments to be installed, data backup methods to be utilized and how the network should be monitored.

• Once you hire an IT managed service provider, you can be rest assured that all your IT issues are well taken care of and that you do not need to waste your own time on resolving these problems. This gives you a certain peace of mind and gives you an opportunity to focus on what is really important for you, which are your business goals. This automatically means better revenue for the business and ensures its long term survival in the market.

• Small business IT consulting is an effective way to keep in touch with modern day and advanced technological methods and keeps you well ahead of other companies as far as business growth and development is concerned.

Now that you are aware of the several ways in which an IT service provider can help you, there must be no doubt left in your mind about hiring one or outsourcing the services. So what are you waiting for, go boost your business!

Online Market Research Surveys: Understanding Incidence Rate

This article discusses the concept of “incidence rate” and how it is used in the context of online market research surveys. In practice, there is a difference between a “natural incidence rate” and a “practical incidence rate.” For some types of studies, the natural incidence rate may be of interest for analysis purposes by researchers at market research firms or marketing departments of companies or other organizations. For other types of studies, it may not be necessary to estimate “natural incidence,” and research users may become more concerned about ways to increase the “practical incidence” rate in order to reduce costs. It is important to understand when an estimate of natural incidence is needed vs. when it is safe to focus on increasing the practical incidence rate to reduce costs.

Market Research Surveys and Natural Incidence Rate

An example can help to explain these concepts. Imagine that a researcher wants to conduct an online market research survey of people who “regularly” visit large bookstores (e.g., Borders, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million). For this study, “regularly” could be defined as “at least once a month.” Many adult consumers would be sampled at random and invited to participate in the survey. For those who respond to the survey, the first question would ask how often they visit large bookstores. Those answering once a month or more often would be considered “qualified” to continue and complete a full survey for the study. Those answering less often than once a month would be considered “disqualified” for the full survey, and their survey would end after this first question. However, the respondents “disqualified” from the full survey (because they do not visit large bookstores “regularly”) would still be tallied.

Although the primary purpose of the study may be to learn about the detailed behavior of those who visit large bookstores regularly, the researcher may also be interested in the “incidence” of these types of consumers. That is, the researcher might ask, what proportion of adult consumers are “regular” visitors of large bookstores? This can be estimated by examining how many “qualified” to complete the full survey vs. how many were “disqualified.” The “incidence” of regular visitors of large bookstores would be estimated using the number qualified for the full survey divided by the total that responded. In other words, the incidence would be the number qualified divided by the sum of those qualified and disqualified.

This incidence may be very useful for the researcher, since it provides an estimate of the proportion of adult consumers who are regular visitors of large bookstores. Sometimes market research firms will use an estimate of “natural incidence” to “size the market.” That is, multiply the incidence by the number in the whole adult population to get the estimated size of the “target population” of regular visitors of large bookstores.

However, the calculation of “natural incidence” assumes that adult consumers were sampled at random to participate in the survey. If this were not the case, then the calculation described above would not yield a valid estimate of natural incidence.

In fact, many studies do not require pure random sampling of all adult consumers. Instead, particular types of consumers may be “targeted.” For example, many market research firms with online panels have extensive information “on file” about their panelists. Let’s assume that the researcher is conducting online market research using a panel in which bookstore behavior is already known. That is, when panelists joined the research panel, they were asked a variety of questions about their shopping behavior, and one of the questions was about frequency of visiting large bookstores. As a result, it would be possible to “target” regular bookstore visitors from the panel and only invite these panelists to participate in the new survey.

Market Research Surveys and Practical Incidence Rate

If regular bookstore visitors were targeted from the panel, then most would be “qualified” for the full survey. To be sure, some would be “disqualified” if the information “on file” about the panelists was sometimes no longer accurate. For example, if someone joined the panel a year ago, they may have been visiting large bookstores regularly at that time, but they may have changed their behavior since then. But, the number “disqualified” in this case would be very low compared to conducting a survey with consumers selected purely at random. Thus, “targeting” particular types of panelists can result in a very high practical incidence rate, but this would also invalidate estimates of “natural incidence.”

At this point, the reader might ask why target panelists based on information already “on file” if this will invalidate estimates of “true” or “natural” incidence? The answer has everything to do with cost. Targeting reduces research costs significantly because fewer survey invitations need to be sent; administrative time for market research firms in managing the project is lower; and, in many cases, the total incentives paid out can decrease. (Many market research panels offer reduced incentives to panelists who respond to a survey invitation even if they don’t qualify for a full survey.) When the true incidence would be very low, targeting can reduce costs significantly.

As budgets for market research surveys are often limited, targeting can be an important way to minimize costs (assuming information already exists “on file” that can be used for targeting). This may be no problem for studies that do not require an estimate of the “true” or “natural” incidence rate. But, when the researcher does in fact want to estimate the natural incidence rate, it is important to avoid targeting that would invalidate such an estimate.

The bottom line for researchers interested in conducting a new survey of web panelists: In situations when natural incidence is not a concern, make sure to inquire about options for targeting the online market research so that costs may be reduced. In situations when estimating natural incidence is an important part of the analysis, make sure targeting will not be used that would invalidate your analysis.

Natural Healthcare – Are You Open To Natural Forms of Healthcare?

Are you open to natural forms of healthcare?

If you care about supporting and improving your health, and the health of your loved ones, using essential oils is a safe, effective, and natural solution that can enhance your entire life.

You Can Use Essential Oils:

  • For your overall physical, mental, and emotional welfare
  • In food preparation and cooking
  • As part of your cleaning routine
  • In the laundry
  • As part of your exercise routine
  • As part of your meditation and yoga practices
  • As part of your weight loss program
  • To eliminate odors
  • In your beauty routine – skin care, and make-your-own cosmetics
  • And much, much, more!

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils were mankind’s first medicine, and there are 188 references to them in the Bible.

They carry active volatile compounds in a highly concentrated form that can provide therapeutic benefits using very small amounts. These naturally occurring compounds are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They provide plants with protection against predators, as well as play a role in pollination.

They are beautifully fragrant, lipid soluble (can pass right through the cell membrane), and have long been used for food preparation, beauty treatments, natural cleaning products, fragrances, and healthcare practices.

They support emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual success, and have a bio-electrical frequency that is several times greater than the frequency of herbs, food, and even the human body.

How Do I Choose The Right Oils?

When choosing essential oils, be sure they are gently and carefully distilled from plants that have been patiently harvested at the perfect moment by experienced growers for ideal extract composition and efficacy, as well as carefully and thoroughly tested using strict quality protocol to ensure they are certified, pure, and therapeutic grade.

How Do I Use Them?

Essential oils can be used a single oil at a time or in complex blends in one of three methods:

  1. Aromatic – certain oils, when diffused, can be very stimulating, calming or soothing, as well as purify the air of unwanted odors and airborne pathogens.
  2. Topical – essential oils are easily absorbed into the skin and can be safely applied topically alone or with a carrier oil, like jojoba or coconut oil.
  3. Internal – most oils can be ingested as dietary supplements supporting a wide variety of healthy conditions.

If you’re new to this whole natural healthcare thing, you’re not alone. There’s so much to learn and it can be overwhelming, but the benefits are worth it.

Being open to natural forms of healthcare is the first step in taking control of your health and well-being, and using essential oils is your next step.

Three Steps to Increasing Your Melaleuca Sales

If you’ve chosen the Melaleuca business because it’s a great company to promote you and love the idea of promoting the Melaleuca wellness opportunity, you’re on the right track with Melaleuca sales. After all, we all want to be healthier and wealthier!

No wonder the annual sales are over $948 million, as the Melaleuca business promotes nontoxic concentrated cleaning products with advanced science behind the manufacturing for the past 25 years. Furthermore, it ranks 10 out of 778 for public interest as of the date this article is written in 2012.

So Why Are Melaleuca Sales Reps Quitting?

It’s a shame that there’s such a high “fail rate” of Melaleuca representatives. Actually, they shouldn’t call it a “fail rate”, because it’s really only because people quit in this business that they fail. On the flip-side, statistics will tell us that, of those 5% of reps who decide to stick it out and grow and learn in the business, there’s a 98% chance of earning a six figure income within ten years!

But what can you do when you run out of leads and your Aunt Bertha just won’t listen to you anymore? We’re entering an internet marketing era where it’s difficult for the average multilevel marketer to be heard with traditional marketing methods. What do you when you here about a new product? Don’t you go home and Google it? Hence, the problem with the traditional “belly-to-belly” sales method.

What about Melaleuca sales online?

Now, there’s an idea. But exactly how hard is it to get your Melaleuca business off the ground and running with a Melaleuca sales online business? The internet can actually be your friend in that it will weed out those people who wouldn’t be interested in your business if you hit them over the head with a 2×4. When you learn the right way to market online, the internet will zero in on your target market, those people who are looking to buy your products or join your opportunity.

Most people these days need to be approached on average seven times before making a decision to buy. And, it has to be their decision… there’s no such thing as pressuring someone to buy, not when there are so many opportunities out there to break their attention away from you!

But on the upside, we’re fortunate to be living in an era these days where it’s really not so hard to get your business started online. I’ve laid out the following three steps to get you started with taking your Melaleuca sales online:

Formula for Melaleuca Sales Online

1) Start with a blog. Like I said, what has not changed in our environment is that people do still like to buy and join people who they know and trust. In the internet world, a blog is the “internet you”. You will have your own videos and blog posts on this site so people will get to know you. So, by the time you eventually get someone on the phone to talk to, they think of you as their friend!

I suggest that you build your blog around keyword phrases that people are searching for. I like to use the free Google keyword tool, “AdWords.Google.com” to see how many people are searching for a particular phrase. And, by the way, “nontoxic cleaning products” gets 1600 searches a month! Or, promote your business, because “Melaleuca business” gets 2400 searches! If 10% of those leads come to you, how would you like 240 free leads every month?

2) Tell an enjoyable story that relates to you or someone you know. The more you are able to connect emotionally with your reader, the more interested they will be. Then, link your blog post to an intriguing video that will hold their attention. Don’t plaster the Melaleuca name on your blog post initially… you don’t want them to click away and Google the company to be captured by another Melaleuca sales rep! Instead, build curiosity and excitement.

3) Stay in contact with your leads. Once they opt into your website, you have this person as an interested lead. And leads are money! Use an email auto-responding system to keep in touch. That way, you don’t have to have the aggravation of approaching your lead seven times personally… your auto responder will do that for you!

Remember, the process of learning to be an online marketer takes time, so be patient. But as I like to say, just plan your work and work your plan every day without fail, and it won’t be long before you start seeing those huge Melaleuca sales commissions start flowing into your account!

Don’t be left behind by the guy who leaves you to go Google “Melaleuca business”. Wouldn’t you rather by the person on the internet who receives that constant lead flow to increase your Melaleuca sales?

Customer Relationship Management Marketing = Starburst Opportunities

“It is easier to keep an existing customer rather than trying to find a new one”.

Companies know their bottom line is directly impacted by repeat business and without it, the business can struggle. Customer Relationship Management Marketing can generate new opportunities, repeat business and most of all, additional revenue.

Whether large or small, each and every business is dependent upon their customer relationship strategy. All companies should be driven by their customer wants and needs, otherwise they can struggle and eventually fail. Aligning client needs with company products and services is critical in client retention and company growth.

CRM systems help track every aspect of a customer through sales and into ongoing support. Many companies fail to utilize their own client base for revenue generating opportunities. Through these systems, marketing other products and services to existing clients can create “Starburst Opportunities” that can add to the bottom line with minimal expense.

For example, you may have an existing client using one of your software tools for a significant period of time. Over time, their usage of the tool increases and history of various support calls come in that has been resolved by another application or service your company offers.

This is a perfect opportunity to call on the existing client to present the new offering. The current relationship is leveraged for a new sales lead that could very well benefit the client as well as the company m a true win/win situation.

In summary, your current customer base is a hotbed of potential sales of other products and services you offer. You already know the client and their wants and needs, so you are ahead of the curve when it comes to building rapport and presenting your offerings. Customer management relationship marketing is another channel that should not be ignored, if you are not using it, you are leaving money on the table.

Why Retail Businesses Fail Part 3: Do You Make This Mistake In Retail?

Lack of Understanding of Target Market

I visited Harrods for research for my books on store design and visual merchandise display. Harrods, for anyone reading this White Paper who might not know this, is the Mecca of retailing. Royalties, A-list celebrities and the ‘who-is-who’ from around the world fly into London just to shop at Harrods.

You can now imagine my anticipation when I visited Harrods. In my mind everything in Harrods was made of gold. I was disappointed, when I noticed a toy bus I had purchased for my son from ASDA, was also being sold in Harrods. It was exactly the same toy bus, in exactly the same packaging that it is sold in ASDA.

A question popped into my mind, why is it that exactly the same bus, probably manufactured in exactly the same factory in China, is sold in Harrods for twice the price that it is sold for in ASDA?

The answer is decisively simple – ASDA sells a ‘toy bus’, however, Harrods sells a ‘classy toy bus’. There is a difference. This is marketing 101: people buy emotionally but justify their decision logically.

Customers who shop at Harrods do not shop there to buy Harrods’ products; they shop at Harrods to buy ‘elegance and class’. Harrods sells them class even if it is ‘Made in China’.

How does Harrods pull this off? They achieve it with the combination of elegant store design and attractive visual merchandising displays. When you move from one department to the next in Harrods it is like moving from one store to another. Their ability to use their store design to create the illusion of differentiation is one of the keys to Harrods’ success. Harrods understand their customers; they know what their customers desire so they design their store and display their products to satisfy the desire of their customers.

Marcus Buckingham, in his book “The First Thing You Need to Know”, said when he interviewed Sir Terry Leahy, who transformed Tesco into a global brand, he asked him what was the key to Tesco’s successful transformation. Sir Terry Leahy replied that it was asking and answering the simple question: Whom do we serve?

When Tesco figured out whom they were going to serve, they changed their store layout and products to serve their target market. As a result of this change; Tesco increased the number of checkout counters which reduced the amount of time customers spent queuing at the checkouts ultimately resulting in a dramatic increase in Tesco’s footfall.

Wal-Mart serves the person who lives: pay check to pay check.

Body Shop serves the ethical consumer.

Waitrose and Holland & Barrett serve the consumer who wants to live longer.

Ann Summers took merchandise that were hidden in secret ‘adult’ shops; made them trendy and brought them to the High Street. They made a taboo subject acceptable to the mainstream.

If I was to take my significant other clothes shopping at John Lewis she would probably phone my mother to inform her that I was having a nervous breakdown. She would not want to be caught dead in John Lewis’ outfit. She describes John Lewis’ clothing department as a Bridget Jones museum where they store a collection of Bridget Jones costumes.

However, John Lewis continues to increase profit year after year because John Lewis understands their target market. Someone like my significant other might not want to be caught dead in John Lewis’ outfit, but there are people in the UK, who love Bridget Jones’ memorabilia, these people are John Lewis’ target market, so John Lewis cater for them.

The most successful retailers understand their target market and show their understanding of their target market through their store design and visual merchandising displays.

The retailers that go bust fail to understand this basic marketing concept.

Most book retailers are struggling because they are still using the 1960’s business model in the Amazon era. Borders failed because it did not develop its internet business properly and it invested heavily in compact discs when music was going digital. WH Smith only makes money from its airport and train station sales. The rest of its stores are struggling. Waterstone’s is also on a downward trend. Sales are down and customer footfall is in steep decline.

Why are bookshops under threat? Amazon! They will all shout. Of course Amazon is the cause because Amazon understands their market better than them. Since it seems Amazon is not going away anytime soon, are all book stores going to close down?

Will WH Smith and Waterstone’s close down? Or will they rise to the challenge and modernise their stores? Instead of complaining about Amazon, they need to redefine their target market and redesign their stores to attract their target customers.

On Christmas Eve, I had not done my grocery shopping and was dreading the prospect of entering a supermarket, knowing how packed they were going to be. But as I drove passed my local Lidl store, I noticed it was empty. I rushed in and completed my shopping. As I drove back home a question came to mind; why is it, that even on this day when most supermarkets are typically jam packed to capacity, was Lidl empty?

The answer, in my opinion, is that Lidl does not have a target market. One of their biggest sins was making the decision to force customers to pay for carrier bags. Marks & Spencer can afford to do that because they appeal to a different class of customer.

In Tesco and ASDA, customers who are environmentally conscious have the option of paying for shopping bags. However, those who do not want to pay for carrier bags also have the option of getting free ones.

This is because Tesco and ASDA understand their customers. Lidl’s senior management, on the other hand, believed that having implemented a similar strategy in Europe, can introduce the same in the UK. If the Brits do not like it, tough! Well, the Brits are showing their displeasure with their feet.

I have tried to demonstrate with the above examples, that success or failure in retail is the result of the strategies every retailer adopts. Those retailers who understand their target market and cater to them will continue to move from success to greater success, while those who roll the dice and hope that customers show up are the ones who will struggle or go into administration.

I hate to be the one breaking this type of news to the retail industry I guess someone will have to do it: the internet is not going away. This means that retailers are not only competing with one another, they are also competing with factory owners in China whose name they have never heard. Shoppers are now ordering directly from warehouses and distributors, for example an individual can log on to eBay and order a pallet load of goods.

Here is the good news: the majority of people still prefer to shop from physical retail outlets. The question is how does an individual retailer ensure that shoppers are attracted to their store? It can be done by adopting the concept of the “Blue Ocean” strategy.

Adopting the “Blue Ocean” strategy is the only salvation for book, DVD, music and furniture retailers. What is “Blue Ocean” strategy? “Blue Ocean” strategy “is the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost” which results in the creation of a new market space making the competition irrelevant.

The concept of “Blue Ocean” is practiced by the most successful business organisations whilst struggling businesses pursue what is described as the “Red Ocean” strategy. “Red Ocean” strategy is fighting to compete in the existing market place.

The “Red Ocean” strategy is adopted by many of the book, DVD, music and furniture retailers. They are trying to compete against the internet and it is just not possible. A brick and mortar store can never go head to head with the internet and win. It can never be cheaper that the internet.

However what they need to do in order to drive customer traffic to their stores is become innovative and creative. For example a book store could arrange periodic book signings; of course authors want to sell their books so it is a win-win situation for all parties concerned.

In order for the book signings to be a successful marketing platform for the book stores it would be advisable for retailers to work in collaboration with the publishers from the onset in order for the book signings to be better promoted.

Promotion of the book signings could take various formats such as making effective use of social media sites, local press and captivating signage in and outside the store.

Another idea could be to arrange book clubs for various genres of books this would entice a variety of customers in to the store, these book clubs would also need promoting in a similar way as described for the book signings promotion.

The trick is to be innovative.

Richer Sounds is a classic case of a retailer that has adopted the “Blue Ocean” strategy. They understand that people still prefer to interact with other people. So whilst other electronic retailers focus on price, they focus on excellent customer service and staff product knowledge. Their “Blue Ocean” is excellent customer service and superior product knowledge.

For book, DVD or music retailers to compete in Amazon country, they need a “Blue Ocean” strategy that goes beyond price discount. They need soul. They need understanding of the perception of their target market.

• What do they want?

• What are their hopes and fears?

• What is their perception?

I can order a book or DVD from Amazon and receive it the following day. I can download music instantaneously from iTunes. There are millions of me in the world. What kind of “Blue Ocean” strategy can WH Smith or HMV devise to get me away from my laptop? It takes me half an hour to drive to the town centre, pay for parking, spend another half an hour in WH Smith or HMV and another half an hour to drive back home.

The 64 million dollar question is: What can WH Smith or HMV do to make it worth my while?

Let me give them a clue, I could order my groceries online, however, I choose to go to the supermarket. What is the difference? That is for book, DVD, electronic and furniture retailers to find out. They probably need to visit Starbucks it might just hold the keys to unlocking their creativity.

The only point of differentiation that most retailers know is price reduction. Price reduction is not a business strategy, it is a death wish.

Business Planning – Short Term, Medium Term and Long Term Goals

As the owner or executive of a business, you have business goals. You have your 5-year goals or your long-term goals, and then there are steps along the way to reach those goals: medium-term goals and short-term goals.

If you were a retailer you might have the following goals:

Short term: sell a certain amount each sunny day, a certain amount each rainy day, a certain amount each holiday, weekend and weekday.

Medium term: Identify your best suppliers. Establish relationships with the most efficient, timely, reliable and innovative suppliers. Attract a higher number of baby boomers than your competition.

Long term: Continue to create innovations in the marketplace that can set you apart from your competition, such as innovative loyalty programs or bleeding edge point-of-purchase technology.

In business planning and business performance management, key performance indicators (KPIs) are fundamental to knowing where you are in your path towards a certain goal.

This is what Wikipedia says about KPIs:


A performance indicator or key performance indicator (KPI) is a measure of performance. Such measures are commonly used to help an organization define and evaluate how successful it is, typically in terms of making progress towards its long-term organizational goals. KPIs can be specified by answering the question, “What is really important to different stakeholders?”

Wikipedia mentions long-term, but that misses out on important short-term and medium-term goals which I’ll explain shortly. The other key term here is “stakeholders.”

Each goal, whether short-term or long-term, has different stakeholders.

If you have daily retail sales goals, then a store manager has to have access to data that shows him or her in real time what’s going on in the store.

If you have quarterly or yearly goals vis-a-vís your suppliers and different customer segments, then an operations person or sales director needs access to information that shows how you’re doing along these paths.

If you have long-term plans to create innovative solutions and become a market leader, then the CEO or owner needs access to key data to know how you’re doing against these plans.

Different time-frames, different stakeholders, different goals, different KPIs.

What tools are available to help you along the path?

David Abdo wrote a post entitled “Business Intelligence Software: Who Is It Really For?” where he argued for the democratization of business intelligence software across the enterprise.

The existence of a multi-tiered goal structure as illustrated above implies the requirement of a company to implement a business intelligence tool that’s accessible to all people within the company.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Business Analyst Finance Domain Sample Resume

This is just a sample Business Analyst resume for freshers as well as for experienced job seekers in Finance domain of business analyst or system analyst. While this is only a sample resume, please use this only for reference purpose, do not copy the same client names or job duties for your own purpose. Always make your own resume with genuine experience.

Name: Justin Megha

Ph no: XXXXXXX

your email here.

Business Analyst, Business Systems Analyst

SUMMARY

  • Accomplished in Business Analysis, System Analysis, Quality Analysis and Project Management with extensive experience in business products, operations and Information Technology on the capital markets space specializing in Finance such as Trading, Fixed Income, Equities, Bonds, Derivatives(Swaps, Options, etc) and Mortgage with sound knowledge of broad range of financial instruments.
  • Over 11+ Years of proven track record as value-adding, delivery-loaded project hardened professional with hands-on expertise spanning in System Analysis, Architecting Financial applications, Data warehousing, Data Migrations, Data Processing, ERP applications, SOX Implementation and Process Compliance Projects.
  • Accomplishments in analysis of large-scale business systems, Project Charters, Business Requirement Documents, Business Overview Documents, Authoring Narrative Use Cases, Functional Specifications, and Technical Specifications, data warehousing, reporting and testing plans.
  • Expertise in creating UML based Modelling views like Activity/ Use Case/Data Flow/Business Flow /Navigational Flow/Wire Frame diagrams using Rational Products & MS Visio.
  • Proficient as long time liaison between business and technology with competence in Full Life Cycle of System (SLC) development with Waterfall, Agile, RUP methodology, IT Auditing and SOX Concepts as well as broad cross-functional experiences leveraging multiple frameworks.
  • Extensively worked with the On-site and Off-shore Quality Assurance Groups by assisting the QA team to perform Black Box /GUI testing/ Functionality /Regression /System /Unit/Stress /Performance/ UAT’s.
  • Facilitated change management across entire process from project conceptualization to testing through project delivery, Software Development & Implementation Management in diverse business & technical environments, with demonstrated leadership abilities.

EDUCATION

  • Post Graduate Diploma (in Business Administration), USA
  • Master’s Degree (in Computer Applications),
  • Bachelor’s Degree (in Commerce),

TECHNICAL SKILLS

Documentation Tools UML, MS Office (Word, Excel, Power Point, Project), MS Visio, Erwin

SDLC Methodologies Waterfall, Iterative, Rational Unified Process (RUP), Spiral, Agile

Modeling Tools UML, MS Visio, Erwin, Power Designer, Metastrom Provision

Reporting Tools Business Objects X IR2, Crystal Reports, MS Office Suite

QA Tools Quality Center, Test Director, Win Runner, Load Runner, QTP, Rational Requisite Pro, Bugzilla, Clear Quest

Languages Java, VB, SQL, HTML, XML, UML, ASP, JSP

Databases & OS MS SQL Server, Oracle 10g, DB2, MS Access on Windows XP / 2000, Unix

Version Control Rational Clear Case, Visual Source Safe

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

SERVICE MASTER, Memphis, TN June 08 – Till Date

Senior Business Analyst

Terminix has approximately 800 customer service agents that reside in our branches in addition to approximately 150 agents in a centralized call center in Memphis, TN. Terminix customer service agents receive approximately 25 million calls from customers each year. Many of these customer’s questions are not answered or their problems are not resolved on the first call. Currently these agents use an AS/400 based custom developed system called Mission to answer customer inquiries into branches and the Customer Communication Center. Mission – Terminix’s operation system – provides functionality for sales, field service (routing & scheduling, work order management), accounts receivable, and payroll. This system is designed modularly and is difficult to navigate for customer service agents needing to assist the customer quickly and knowledgeably. The amount of effort and time needed to train a customer service representative using the Mission system is high. This combined with low agent and customer retention is costly.

Customer Service Console enables Customer Service Associates to provide consistent, enhanced service experience, support to the Customers across the Organization. CSC is aimed at providing easy navigation, easy learning process, reduced call time and first call resolution.

Responsibilities

  • Assisted in creating Project Plan, Road Map. Designed Requirements Planning and Management document.
  • Performed Enterprise Analysis and actively participated in buying Tool Licenses.
  • Identified subject-matter experts and drove the requirements gathering process through approval of the documents that convey their needs to management, developers, and quality assurance team.
  • Performed technical project consultation, initiation, collection and documentation of client business and functional requirements, solution alternatives, functional design, testing and implementation support.
  • Requirements Elicitation, Analysis, Communication, and Validation according to Six Sigma Standards.
  • Captured Business Process Flows and Reengineered Process to achieve maximum outputs.
  • Captured As-Is Process, designed TO-BE Process and performed Gap Analysis
  • Developed and updated functional use cases and conducted business process modeling (PROVISION) to explain business requirements to development and QA teams.
  • Created Business Requirements Documents, Functional and Software Requirements Specification Documents.
  • Performed Requirements Elicitation through Use Cases, one to one meetings, Affinity Exercises, SIPOC’s.
  • Gathered and documented Use Cases, Business Rules, created and maintained Requirements/Test Traceability Matrices.

Client: The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, Parsippany, NJ May’ 2007 – Oct’ 2007

Profile: Sr. Financial Business Analyst/ Systems Analyst.

Project Profile (1): D&B is the world’s leading source of commercial information and insight on businesses. The Point of Arrival Project and the Data Maintenance (DM) Project are the future applications of the company that the company would transit into, providing an effective method & efficient report generation system for D&B’s clients to be able purchase reports about companies they are trying to do business.

Project Profile (2): The overall purpose of this project was building a Self Awareness System(SAS) for the business community for buying SAS products and a Payment system was built for SAS. The system would provide certain combination of products (reports) for Self Monitoring report as a foundation for managing a company’s credit.

Responsibilities:

  • Conducted GAP Analysis and documented the current state and future state, after understanding the Vision from the Business Group and the Technology Group.
  • Conducted interviews with Process Owners, Administrators and Functional Heads to gather audit-related information and facilitated meetings to explain the impacts and effects of SOX compliance.
  • Played an active and lead role in gathering, analyzing and documenting the Business Requirements, the business rules and Technical Requirements from the Business Group and the Technological Group.
  • Co – Authored and prepared Graphical depictions of Narrative Use Cases, created UML Models such as Use Case Diagrams, Activity Diagrams and Flow Diagrams using MS Visio throughout the Agile methodology
  • Documented the Business Requirement Document to get a better understanding of client’s business processes of both the projects using the Agile methodology.
  • Facilitating JRP and JAD sessions, brain storming sessions with the Business Group and the Technology Group.
  • Documented the Requirement traceability matrix (RTM) and conducted UML Modelling such as creating Activity Diagrams, Flow Diagrams using MS Visio. Analysed test data to detect significant findings and recommended corrective measures
  • Co-Managed the Change Control process for the entire project as a whole by facilitating group meetings, one-on-one interview sessions and email correspondence with work stream owners to discuss the impact of Change Request on the project.
  • Worked with the Project Lead in setting realistic project expectations and in evaluating the impact of changes on the organization and plans accordingly and conducted project related presentations.
  • Co-oordinated with the off shore QA Team members to explain and develop the Test Plans, Test cases, Test and Evaluation strategy and methods for unit testing, functional testing and usability testing

Environment: Windows XP/2000, SOX, Sharepoint, SQL, MS Visio, Oracle, MS Office Suite, Mercury ITG, Mercury Quality Center, XML, XHTML, Java, J2EE.

GATEWAY COMPUTERS, Irvine, CA, Jan 06 – Mar 07

Business Analyst

At Gateway, a Leading Computer, Laptop and Accessory Manufacturer, was involved in two projects,

Order Capture Application: Objective of this Project is to Develop Various Mediums of Sales with a Centralized Catalog. This project involves wide exposure towards Requirement Analysis, Creating, Executing and Maintaining of Test plans and Test Cases. Mentored and trained staff about Tech Guide & Company Standards; Gateway reporting system: was developed with Business Objects running against Oracle data warehouse with Sales, Inventory, and HR Data Marts. This DW serves the different needs of Sales Personnel and Management. Involved in the development of it utilized Full Client reports and Web Intelligence to deliver analytics to the Contract Administration group and Pricing groups. Reporting data mart included Wholesaler Sales, Contract Sales and Rebates data.

Responsibilities:

  • Product Manager for Enterprise Level Order Entry Systems – Phone, B2B, Gateway.com and Cataloging System.
  • Modeled the Sales Order Entry process to eliminate bottleneck process steps using ERWIN.
  • Adhered and practiced RUP for implementing software development life cycle.
  • Gathered Requirements from different sources like Stakeholders, Documentation, Corporate Goals, Existing Systems, and Subject Matter Experts by conducting Workshops, Interviews, Use Cases, Prototypes, Reading Documents, Market Analysis, Observations
  • Created Functional Requirement Specification documents – which include UMLUse case diagrams, Scenarios, activity, work Flow diagrams and data mapping. Process and Data modeling with MS VISIO.
  • Worked with Technical Team to create Business Services (Web Services) that Application could leverage using SOA, to create System Architecture and CDM for common order platform.
  • Designed Payment Authorization (Credit Card, Net Terms, and Pay Pal) for the transaction/order entry systems.
  • Implemented A/B Testing, Customer Feedback Functionality to Gateway.com
  • Worked with the DW, ETL teams to create Order entry systems Business Objects reports. (Full Client, Web I)
  • Worked in a cross functional team of Business, Architects and Developers to implement new features.
  • Program Managed Enterprise Order Entry Systems – Development and Deployment Schedule.
  • Developed and maintained User Manuals, Application Documentation Manual, on Share Point tool.
  • Created Test Plansand Test Strategies to define the Objective and Approach of testing.
  • Used Quality Center to track and report system defects and bug fixes. Written modification requests for the bugs in the application and helped developers to track and resolve the problems.
  • Developed and Executed Manual, Automated Functional, GUI, Regression, UAT Test cases using QTP.
  • Gathered, documented and executed Requirements-based, Business process (workflow/user scenario), Data driven test cases for User Acceptance Testing.
  • Created Test Matrix, Used Quality Center for Test Management, track & report system defects and bug fixes.
  • Performed Load, stress Testing’s & Analyzed Performance, Response Times. Designed approach, developed visual scripts in order to test client & server side performance under various conditions to identify bottlenecks.
  • Created / developed SQL Queries (TOAD) with several parameters for Backend/DB testing
  • Conducted meetings for project status, issue identification, and parent task review, Progress Reporting.

AMC MORTGAGE SERVICES, CA, USA Oct 04 – Dec 05

Business Analyst

The primary objective of this project is to replace the existing Internal Facing Client / Server Applications with a Web enabled Application System, which can be used across all the Business Channels. This project involves wide exposure towards Requirement Analysis, Creating, Executing and Maintaining of Test plans and Test Cases. Demands understanding and testing of Data Warehouse and Data Marts, thorough knowledge of ETL and Reporting, Enhancement of the Legacy System covered all of the business requirements related to Valuations from maintaining the panel of appraisers to ordering, receiving, and reviewing the valuations.

Responsibilities:

  • Gathered Analyzed, Validated, and Managed and documented the stated Requirements. Interacted with users for verifying requirements, managing change control process, updating existing documentation.
  • Created Functional Requirement Specification documents – that include UML Use case diagrams, scenarios, activity diagrams and data mapping. Provided End User Consulting on Functionality and Business Process.
  • Acted as a client liaison to review priorities and manage the overall client queue. Provided consultation services to clients, technicians and internal departments on basic to intricate functions of the applications.
  • Identified business directions & objectives that may influence the required data and application architectures.
  • Defined, prioritized business requirements, Determine which business subject areas provide the most needed information; prioritize and sequence implementation projects accordingly.
  • Provide relevant test scenarios for the testing team. Work with test team to develop system integration test scripts and ensure the testing results correspond to the business expectations.
  • Used Test Director, QTP, Load Runner for Test management, Functional, GUI, Performance, Stress Testing
  • Perform Data Validation, Data Integration and Backend/DB testing using SQL Queries manually.
  • Created Test input requirements and prepared the test data for data driven testing.
  • Mentored, trained staff about Tech Guide & Company Standards. Set-up and Coordinate Onsite offshore teams, Conduct Knowledge Transfer sessions to the offshore team.

Lloyds Bank, UK Aug 03 – Sept 04

Business Analyst

Lloyds TSB is leader in Business, Personal and Corporate Banking. Noted financial provider for millions of customers with the financial resources to meet and manage their credit needs and to achieve their financial goals. The Project involves an applicant Information System, Loan Appraisal and Loan Sanction, Legal, Disbursements, Accounts, MIS and Report Modules of a Housing Finance System and Enhancements for their Internet Banking.

Responsibilities:

  • Translated stakeholder requirements into various documentation deliverables such as functional specifications, use cases, workflow / process diagrams, data flow / data model diagrams.
  • Produced functional specifications and led weekly meetings with developers and business units to discuss outstanding technical issues and deadlines that had to be met.
  • Coordinated project activities between clients and internal groups and information technology, including project portfolio management and project pipeline planning.
  • Provided functional expertise to developers during the technical design and construction phases of the project.
    • Documented and analyzed business workflows and processes. Present the studies to the client for approval
    • Participated in Universe development – planning, designing, Building, distribution, and maintenance phases.
    • Designed and developed Universes by defining Joins, Cardinalities between the tables.
      • Created UML use case, activity diagrams for the interaction between report analyst and the reporting systems.
      • Successfully implemented BPR and achieved improved Performance, Reduced Time and Cost.
      • Developed test plans and scripts; performed client testing for routine to complex processes to ensure proper system functioning.
      • Worked closely with UAT Testers and End Users during system validation, User Acceptance Testing to expose functionality/business logic problems that unit testing and system testing have missed out.
        • Participated in Integration, System, Regression, Performance, and UAT – Using TD, WR, Load Runner
        • Participated in defect review meetings with the team members. Worked closely with the project manager to record, track, prioritize and close bugs. Used CVS to maintain versions between various stages of SDLC.

Client: A.G. Edwards, St. Louis, MO May’ 2005 – Feb’ 2006

Profile: Sr. Business Analyst/System Analyst

Project Profile: A.G. Edwards is a full service Trading based brokerage firm in Internet-based futures, options and forex brokerage. This site allows Users (Financial Representative) to trade online. The main features of this site were: Users can open new account online to trade equitiies, bonds, derivatives and forex with the Trading system using DTCC’s applications as a Clearing House agent. The user will get real-time streaming quotes for the currency pairs they selected, their current position in the forex market, summary of work orders, payments and current money balances, P & L Accounts and available trading power, all continuously updating in real time via live quotes. The site also facilitates users to Place, Change and Cancel an Entry Order, Placing a Market Order, Place/Modify/Delete/Close a Stop Loss Limit on an Open Position.

Responsibilities:

  • Gathered Business requirements pertaining to Trading, equities and Fixed Incomes like bonds, converted the same into functional requirements by implementing the RUP methodology and authored the same in Business Requirement Document (BRD).
  • Designed and developed all Narrative Use Cases and conducted UML modeling like created Use Case Diagrams, Process Flow Diagrams and Activity Diagrams using MS Visio.
  • Implemented the entire Rational Unified Process (RUP) methodology of application development with its various workflows, artifacts and activities. Developed business process models in RUP to document existing and future business processes. Established a business Analysis methodology around the Rational Unified Process.
  • Analyzed user requirements, attended Change Request meetings to document changes and implemented procedures to test changes.
  • Assisted in developing project timelines/deliverables/strategies for effective project management.
  • Evaluated existing practices of storing and handling important financial data for compliance.
  • Involved in developing the test strategy and assisted in developed Test scenarios, test conditions and test cases
  • Partnered with the technical areas in the research, resolution of system and User Acceptance Testing (UAT).

Environment: Windows XP/2000/NT, SOX, MS Office Suite, SQL, MS SQL Server, XML, HTML, Java, J2EE, JSP, Oracle, WinRunner, Test Director

Care of Wild Baby Mice

If for some reason wild baby mice have been placed in your care, I have included a few tips on caring and feeding to help you give them a chance at life. Please be aware that even in the wild, mice have a 50% chance of surviving beyond 5 months of age, given a normal upbringing. The mice that do make it can live up to around 5 years if healthy. A pair will have a better chance of survival than a lone mouse.

As soon as you have your baby mice, it is important to keep them safe and warm. You can use a small pet carrier, large plastic tub or any other suitable box in which you can put them. Layer the bottom with a towel and place the mice on top. Then, use another soft material to lightly cover the mice like fleece. Place the box in a warm place, ensuring that it isn’t hot; otherwise the mice will become dehydrated. A heater on the lowest setting may be all that is needed. Test the towel the mice are laying on so that it feels cosy and warm to your hand.

If the baby mice are less than 14 days old they will need dropper fed with a milk substitute until they are weaned. They usually open their eyes when they are just about weaned and able to eat by themselves. You will need to feed them every 2 hours so be prepared to get up during the night. Set your alarm. When I was looking after wild mice, I was getting up every 2 hours to check them. I have since read that during the night mother mouse would be away looking for food and may only return to the nest once to feed her babies. Use common sense, if you can manage a few night feeds, all the best for the babies chance of survival, especially in the early days.

Kitten milk is available to buy at pet shops. I used raw coconut blended up and strained. It should be 1 cup coconut to about 2 and ½ cups water. You could also use soaked almonds to make an almond milk using the same ratios. Make sure the nuts are natural and plain. Once you’ve made up the milk, store in a sterilised glass jar and keep in the fridge until required. When you go to feed the mice, take a quarter a cup of the milk and warm it up by pouring it in a small jug and standing in hot water. Use a dropper or baby syringe (you can get these at the chemist) to feed 1 or 2 drops of the milk at a time into the baby mouse mouth. When the mice are really young, they might not open their mouth. Be careful not to get the milk up their noses, they will splutter/cough if you do. It can be dangerous for their health if you do. The way I fed the mice was to put a facecloth down on a table and to put one mouse at a time onto it. Then you can gently hold the baby’s head whilst you administer the milk with the dropper. You’ll get the hang of it with a bit of practise. The baby might not seem to be taking much milk, don’t worry. Very young babies may only need to get a drop or 2 on their mouth/tongues until they can take more. The main purpose here is to keep them hydrated with a little drop at a time every couple of hours.

Once the baby is fed, you need to stimulate a bowel movement. To do this, put some warm water in a small bowl and dip a cotton bud into it. Then, put the cotton bud between the baby’s back legs and gently turn the bud around. You should see a little brown staining, that is their poo. Dip the other end of the bud into the water and gently stroke the baby’s body, this emulates the mother licking them. After all that, tuck baby up in it’s soft bedding and place in a warm spot. This is the basic routine that needs to be repeated every couple of hours during the day and at least 2-3 times during the night, especially around 1am and 5am.

As you can see, it’s quite a commitment, looking after baby wild mice. But, there is also a great reward in the caring of them and the bonding you will feel as a carer.

When the babies start to open their eyes or at least take a peak, they may be taking a lot more milk and starting to walk around a little. This is when you need to be extra careful; one fall is enough to be fatal. You can make a little safe roaming area in the bottom part of a pet cage or shoebox/basin. Line it with newspaper and leaves to simulate a natural environment. The youngsters will enjoy stretching their legs and taking their first steps. This is important, as it will build up their muscles and strength.

Once the babies start to bite your fingers quite firmly when you feed them, they may be ready for a little solid food. They will also be starting to open their eyes (12-14 days old) Start very slowly with this. Try some baby fruit puree to start or natural rice pudding. The food should not be chilled. Let them lick it off your finger. Avoid putting the purees onto a dish for the mice to feed from, as they might get messy and end up with matted fur, which needs to be avoided. Some other foods to graduate to are porridge, banana, tomato, dried oat flakes, strawberry. Just go real easy with the food and keep it simple and easily digested to start with. Congratulations! You’ve actually made it to the weaning stage, which is quite something with wild baby mice.

Continue to provide a safe space for the mice to sleep and once weaned, they will be able to come out at night to feed. Give them a little dish near their bed so they can feed during the night. At least you can get some sleep now! Continue to offer the milk during the day and provide some water for them. Usually, wild mice will still have some mothers milk up to about 4 weeks of age.

Now you have to decide whether to keep them or release into the wild. I don’t know how many mice have been successfully hand-reared and released into the wild. I would think it unlikely that they can survive. However, you’ve done your bit and if they seem strong and healthy and quite active, it might be possible to release them. Or, you can keep them as pets.

Finally, if you did your best and the mice died, don’t feel bad. Survival chances in the best of conditions i.e. with their natural mother are still low. Just enjoy the experience you’ve had with them and the opportunity to get a glimpse into their little lives. They are little bundles of love and it is wonderful to have at least given them some love when otherwise they might have perished.

How To Maintain Technology In Your Business

Whether you like the idea or not, most businesses today survive primarily because of modern technology. Technology is used in business for keeping records, receiving payments, paying workers, and a lot more. Even small businesses today rely on technology to further advance their cause. If there is one challenge regarding technology in business, it is in the area of upgrading and maintenance, because it requires not only a budget but also a lot of patience in your part as the owner.

Not all people can easily go with the flow of high-end computers and complicated office machines. If you are one of those people, it is important that you list down all high tech equipments and machines you have in your office and learn how to operate each one of them. Familiarize yourself with computer software and programs as well, especially those that are used for database.

Organizing a technical support team is a good idea. Look for an IT expert to lead the team in making sure that every office equipment is working at full potential and that the system has zero loopholes as possible. When assigning a person to lead your tech support team, consider not only his skills and knowledge concerning business technology but also the quality of his experience as an IT expert.

Set aside a time each week and each month to have your system checked by your tech support team or by yourself. Have someone write a report regarding the check up to be submitted to you for evaluation. The feedback should contain information regarding the status of the system and if a software or hardware needs to be upgraded or not. Moreover, encourage your workers to report glitches as soon as possible.

Finally and most importantly, create a budget for the maintenance of your business technology. Avoid the mistake of waiting for equipment and system problems to become serious before deciding to spend money for repair. The best thing to do is to dedicate a certain amount of money for maintenance and repair beforehand. Doing this will help you prevent major setbacks and help you save money in the longer run.

There is absolutely no easier way to advance your business than with careful planning and preparation not only in the promotion of products itself but in the logistics and essential organ of the business body as well which is business technology.