Blockchain

  • Business Process Outsourcing of Software Development and Related services - is it an expense or there is a profit?

    Well, the truth is - according to bookkeeping and accounting - it can be a capital expense or, in many cases, that’s an operating expense. However, that’s far from the big picture.

    Business Process Outsourcing of Software Development and Related Services can bring the following benefits:

    • Save a fortune on inventing and building an own product, service or infrastructure from the scratch
    • Leverage of ready infrastructure and service “here and now” for a very reasonable pricing
    • Avoid wasting money on high-level expectations
    • "Fixed Price" for an Expected Revenue


    So, let’s check the bigger picture using the most common cases.

    #1 A Subscription Model

    subscription model

    As a business manager or head of a specific department of the corporation, you perhaps using one or more subscriptions or business process outsourcing services. It might be cloud services you are renting, online ads, pay per click, telecommunication services or even delegating Customer Support Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 to your vendors.

    It is a normal, a usual service for the definitely fair pricing. Indeed, it’s cheaper to delegate this to the vendor than to build the whole infrastructure, which will cost you a fortune, moreover your business or corporation is targeting a very another market and IT services are far from the primary focus. So, the subscription model is very cost efficient and saving a small fortune for you and your corporation every month, every quarter, every year.

    It removes from your sight all problems and mechanic of the service making possible to build your own business on top of it. Huge retail corporations are building their online stores, increasing efficiency of their logistics departments, multiplying their annual sales and all this for a very reasonable price, thousand times less comparing it to the investments they have to make doing it as a part of their business, here and almost now - for sure it’s faster to take something existing and already operating in a business as usual mode. By the way, Business As Usual (BAU) is a yet another long story related to established and constantly tuned business processes inside this “black box” of business process outsourcing resulting a very complex and specific Service Level Agreement (SLA) for the customers.

    All above made a possibility of the creation of a couple more types of Subscriptions models:

    • Transaction-Based Model - customer pays per actual transaction
    • Managed Service - customer pays for specific SLA

    For instance, Am-Pro provides Managed Service of cloud support and maintenance (W33 package). Let’s conclude this section.

     

    Subscription model - is a sort of business process outsourcing, based on a reasonable price. It can give your business or corporation a leverage of ready infrastructure and service “here and now” for a very reasonable pricing.

     

    #2 A Fixed Price / Cost Plus Model

    That’s a typical project model when a customer really knows in details what’s required. A “Fixed Price” for a set list of requirements. Indeed, it was good 20 years ago, therefore any uncertainty in requirements leads to the “Cost Plus” model, which anticipates a certain, specific percent of a contingency budget for everything unexpected.  So, by the end of the day, there is a complete product or functional module ready for a “Fixed Price/Cost Plus” capital expense made. Indeed, the “Fixed Price” doesn’t mean “Fixed Risks”. the final product can be of a very different quality: a Proof of Concept, a Minimal Viable Product or a Product/Functionality Ready for the Market or an Internal Client. For sure, basing on our experience the final product requires some back-n-force iterations to make it apt and ready. Nevertheless, that’s normally expected in our quotes.

    So, what’s is a benefit for a business by the end of the day? It depends. For instance, if there is a great visionary, (imagine Steve Jobs) there is a real roadmap from an expense to a revenue and a profit. if the business has no visionary - we can help with our vision and potential benefits. For instance, let’s imagine that a telecom company wants to put their products and services on Blockchain rails. There are several potential futures:

    1. the market will resist. regulations will make a product roadmap very complicated. Finally, the return on this investment will be doubtful.
    2. there are anticipations, like that blockchain, by its nature, will eliminate almost all frauds, which aren’t supported by real algorithms and processes. By the end of the day, pink dreams will dissolve in a hard as a rock reality, that vast majority of frauds is not related to the field which was “Blockchained”.
    3. there are a clear vision and understanding, based on a real experience of implementation. The conservative numbers of how it can positively impact the business. For instance, the same Blockchain and the well-known “Blockchain for a Supply Chain” architecture can be used. All benefits are well-known and can be easily calculated. As result, a business will receive a very apt tool, save some operating costs, and receive a certain competitive advantage on the market.

    Conclusion:

    The Fixed Price / Cost Plus Model requires a clear understanding of the benefits. A Requestor must have a visionary or use an expert visionary. This way it’s easy to place the correct expectations and calculate a final ROI of any project, therefore it will be a "Fixed Price" for an expected Revenue.

    By the way, after the project is done the subscription model, related to technical support, cloud and other related services can be applied.

     

    The next article about BPO is here >>

  • ICO preparation


    ICO Preparation

    ICO Initial Coin Offering

    Our successful experience in ICO preparation.

    People outside cryptocurrency community often think that ICO is a sort of the magic, which turns the general people into billionaires. In fact, this process is very industrious and complex. We've got lucky to be invited as the technical team, which was responsible for technical documentation preparation, design of the solution's architecture, and development of the core functionality

    Having a good experience in Digital Marketing we highly evaluated SEO/SMM activities started by another vendor at the very beginnning of the project. it was amazing how professional marketologiests created a demand and interest for the upcoming cryptocurrency and solution. The tough schedule of articles, blog posts, video content created a gravity which hold an attention of thousands eyes on this project development.

    Unfortunately, due to NDA we can't share interesting details of consensus algorithm, P2P code, Full Node Functionality or other features. However, we are happy to conclude that our thoughts ad ideas finally found the proof in practical solution. New ideas, new perspectives are waiting for the next step foundation of cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

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  • The Future is happening Now


    The Future is happening Now

    Future is happening now

    We know about Artificial Intelligence Projects, Machine Learning Projects, Augmented Reality Projects, Blockchain Projects. We have own experience and even products, which we made on top of every technology: A-Net, AR Calendar, Cryptocurrencies, ICO. However, that was the first time when one single project was incorporating all these technologies.

    So, what we've discovered? 

    The new shape of existing industries. It's overexciting!
    Like semiconductors changed the shape of the hardware. Or steam changed the shape of naval forces. Or electricity changed the shape of manufactures. The same way modern technologies: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning Augmented Reality, Blockchain are substituting other modern technologies, such as computerized algorithms or embedded software. Well, you know, there are still companies and products, which aren't implemented even simple software. That's why this is overexciting. Definitely, like the leap to the future.

    Fortunately, there are industries, which adopting new technologies almost immediately. Staying on the bleeding edge of technologies guarantee that they won't lose in a tough competition. In fact, now we are sure, that this is an ideal strategy for any company aiming the success.

    Efficiency
    What was impossible years ago now achievable. What was overcomplicated and expected to take years and significant budget now takes months or even weeks and accessible. Just imagine that multitier PKI solution with different access rights for different roles is ready to serve you via proper configuration of Blockchain. Indeed, somebody should still configure it, but the whole solution already there.

    Imagine that instead of using sophisticated algorithms of pixel recognition you have a wide variety of Artificial Intelligence platforms to perform video streaming recognition in a real-time.

    Imagine that you can train the solution to do certain operations with a heavy equipment automatically.

    Finally, you can visualize everything just in front of the eyes of your customers and it will still take less time than drawing a simple powerpoint presentation.

    Amazingness
    Since the first prototype has been ready and demonstrated - it took only few weeks till the first strategic customers reached inventors. This is amazing already. However, the applicability of the solution for different industries attracts other customers. So, right now the question is not is it success or not? The question is how big will be success at the end of the day. 

    Conclusion
    Indeed, it looks like the formula of success. We are definitely sure that such success required more than just top technologies used. However, modern technologies made it achievable even for a small company.

     

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  • The Security Token Offering #STO

    The New Trend on the market of Crypto Currencies - the Security Token Offering #STO.

     

    Our vision:

    - We can state that 2018 is a turning point from ICO to STO. 

    - We expect that SEC will keep improving compliances and regulations for the U.S. cryptocurrencies and securities market. 

    - We really believe that sooner or later STO will completely substitute ICO. 

     

    Perhaps you've already heard about the Initial Coin Offering Process #ICO. Last year, ICO was a booming trend almost all year. The peak came to the end of the year, so even respectful financial publishers posted at least one article about this subject. Blockchain activists, advocates, startups, and Venture Capital Funds were using Initial Coin Offering as a typical way of funding and sometimes c in a specific idea, platform, or sometimes approach.

    There are many frequent questions during these days: 

    - What's an ICO?

    - How it works?

    - Which tokens are risky and why?

    - How can I distinguish security tokens from utility tokens?

    - How I'll benefit from that?

     
    We had this struggling understanding exercises in early 2018 when we've got involved in ICO documentation preparation. Since this very moment, we've defined for us the simple formula "If there is any value, asset, and market behind a specific cryptocurrency or tokens - then there is a chance that the project is real and investments are secured!". But let's get back to the story. 
     
    Let's start from the very beginning.
     

    Q1: What is ICO?

     
    Typically, Initial Coin Offering is a simple way of funding and sometimes crowdfunding for startups starting from the seed stage. This way founders are sharing equities with investors via shares. All operations are recorded in Blockchain. Sometimes, the cryptocurrency and smart-contracts, if there is any, substituting and automating investors' exit and equity brokers.
     
    Such a simple and easy process, multiplied by a growing popularity of Bitcoin, Lightcoin, and Ethereum created a thrilling demand on new crypto coins or tokens.
     

    Q2: How it works?

    All tokens can be separated on utility tokens and security tokens. 
     
    A utility token is related to future access for demand on company's product or service. However, such tokens are not securities nor investments. They can rather be considered as a right for the further service subscription or gift-card to buy the future product.
     
    A security token instead is backed by external sources, valuable assets, something real. And these assets can be freely accessible or traded. Additionally, such tokens can be used instead of typical shares to secure investors interests. Such shares can be a subject of federal regulations and laws.
     
    This way, if utility token holders having coupons for the future service or product, security token holders are getting real ownership rights. 
     

    Q3: Which tokens are risky and why?

    Unfortunately, utility tokens are secured by nothing except coupons for further sales of product or service. This way, the wave created by real and good projects has also been used the fraud and scamming threats. Sure this factor was constantly impacting the reputation of cryptocurrencies.  These frauds besides good opportunities and real securities forced the U.S. regulators to step in..  
     
    On July 25, 2017. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published press-release "SEC Issues Investigative Report Concluding DAO Tokens, a Digital Asset, Were Securities". It defined that some tokens are eligible to be classified as securities and therefore will be a subject of compliance regulation.
     
    After this, the appearing and dedication of security tokens became inevitable. 
     

    Q4: How I can distinguish security tokens from utility tokens?

     
    Besides the brief explanation above, there is very well known for the financial industry Howey Test. Despite the point that it was invented about 100 years ago in 1937. It works amazingly perfectly because it answers the question: can the digital token be used as the security or not?
     
    This way, if the token passes Howey Test successfully - that's a security token, otherwise - it is a utility token.
     
    Simply speaking the test should be compliant with the following requirements:
    R1) User invests his money. The tokens he receives are counting as his shares.
    R2) Individual expects to profit from the investment they've made.
    R3) These investments are in a 'common enterprise'.
    R4) The profit comes from the efforts of a third-party or promoter.
     
    Perhaps, this test is too simple and will be constantly improved. However, right now that's the method that SEC will use to categorize cryptocurrencies.
     

    Q5: How I'll benefit from that?

    We know that higher risks can have higher benefits, but as risk takers, we would like to have some guarantees.
    Therefore, we see the main benefit as that Security Tokens Offering or #STO is going strictly according to existing and improving compliances and regulations of SEC. We believe that this way is not only riskless, but it will be more efficient. STO is also a huge leap from the "Wild West" of ICO customized processes to a more industrious and structured approach.
    Sure it is also hard to underestimate decreased risks and governmental support and protection to all participants of STO: company, employees, investors, and regulators.
    From another perspective any noncompliance to existing regulations will impact STO issuer with the lock-downs and delays, therefore it will be quite hard to invest in a non-compliant company.
     
    Finally, according to existing regulations only Accredited Investors can Invest in Private Security Token Offering. To become an Accredited Investor, a company or an individual should meet the one of the following requirements:
    1) An annual income should be at least $200K for an individual or $300K for the household. It should be maintained over 2 last years and should be at least the same for the current year.
    2) Net assets worth more than $1M, excluding the primary place of residency.
    3) An institution with over $5M of assets. E.g. Micro Venture Capital Fund or Trust.
    4) An organization made up entirely of accredited investors.
     

    Conclusion:

    - We can state that 2018 is a turning point from ICO to STO. 

    - We expect that SEC will keep improving compliances and regulations for the U.S. cryptocurrencies and securities market. 

    - We really believe that sooner or later STO will completely substitute ICO. 

  • To Blockchain or To Blockchain


    To Blockchain or To Blockchain

    To Blockchain or To Blockchain

    After the successful launch of 2 more blockchain products of the ground in April, we've decided to share some positive experience.

    Mr. Bufffet said that cryptocurrencies are a bubble. He is right. He is right for the plenty of cases. However, there are also cases, which are natural and apt for blockchain in general and cryptocurrencies in particular. These cases force regulators of countries around the globe speedup the process of building the fair and riskless environment for all players in this sector. Sometimes their conclusions are logical, sometimes surprising, but every time - positive.

    So, what is the blockchain for business?
    Is it a bubble or real improvement?
    Does it require a fortune of money to be implemented or it is something cheap and easy?

    From our humble perspective, it's a necessary improvement recommended for businesses of any size and IT maturity. 

    #1 Blockchain means Cloud
    Millennials prefer Cloud solutions. So, it's a good time if you are considering such business improvement. Besides well-known Cloud cases for business:

    - Web-site

    - E-commerce

    - Payment processing

    There are also other opportunities to make business more fluent and efficient.

    #2 Clear and Trustful Digital Ledger for your CPA and Bookkeeper.
    We believe that blockchain will change a bookkeeping and accounting the same way like the ledger systemized business initially. However, now it has rules, it does all math and automates literally all the process, using different access and visibility for different roles. By all means, blockchain is the next evolution step for this part of any business.

    #3 Smart Contracts and financial operations automation
    Besides functions related to accounting, blockchain and custom cryptocurrency can automate such financial operations as transfers, escrow, profit distribution and other operations, which can be clearly defined and agreed between 2 or more parties.

    #4 Business Process Automation
    Finally, any business process with the defined flows, rules, and states can be easily transferred to blockchain. So, coupling blockchain with such technologies as ERP, like odoo, ESB, like Mule, or Model-Driven Mendix will definitely create a value for a business of any size and complexity.

    #5 Loyalty Program
    Cryptocurrency is a good substitution for all kinds of "Virtual Currencies". The most applicable for any business is the Loyalty program. Moreover, as any cryptocurrency, Loyalty points can be distributed during ICO, so they will not only highlight your most Loyal Customers, but also invite investments to your company.

    #6 Gamefication
    Yes, online games and gambling sounds are ideal for cryptocurrencies, however, even if the business has nothing in common with gaming - it can use games and cryptocurrencies to entertain online customers.

    #7 Distributed... ANYTHING!
    In fact, blockchain is not only about cryptocurrencies, finances, business, and commercial affairs. It is the next step in secure PKI solutions as well, as the very handy distributed storage and functionality solution. We truly believe that it can be used for anything you can imagine. 

    Sure, you can wonder how much does it take to make blockchain solution or cryptocurrency.
    It depends on scope and complexity, however, basing on our experience, simplest blockchain solution can be done in 2 weeks. For Cryptocurrency/ICO - the technical part can be done in 2-3 months, however, digital marketing for it should take at least 3 months so it will have a positive result.

    Finally, we can conclude that blockchain and cryptocurrency can be beneficial for businesses of any size and complexity. But as any significant improvement it requires the vision of how it will improve and impact. We can help you with it.

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