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Web Application Development Blog @ Armia Systems, Inc

July 20, 2017

How to protect your intellectual property when outsourcing

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:14 pm

The unavoidable fear that an original and innovative idea might get copied makes many customers not to trust fully in this process of outsourcing. The greatest fear of a budding entrepreneur is that his idea gets copied when outsourcing to a web development agency or freelance web developer.

One of the biggest risks is protecting your intellectual property (“IP”) when it is outsourced. There are no silver bullets that will guarantee protection. However, if you are considering developing a mobile app and want to protect your idea, you must not be fuzzy when describing your application project. This will only get you unrealistic budgets that will ultimately not convince you and you will not be able to pick a good freelance programmer. One possible solution for protecting your idea is to get a non-disclosure agreement signed.

In 1995, Milberg, Burke, Smith, and Kallman formulated five international regulatory models regarding information privacy, based on a continuum of government involvement in day-to-day corporate privacy management:

  • Self-help
  • Voluntary Control
  • Data Commissioner
  • Registration Model
  • Licensing

At the low end of the continuum, anchored by the Self-help Model, ” the government assumes a ‘hands-off’ role and allows corporations to monitor themselves, with reliance on injured individuals to pursue their own remedies in the court system.” At the high end, anchored by the Licensing Model, “the government assumes the authority to license and regulate all corporate uses of personal data, including the right to conduct inspections inside corporations and to examine all proposed applications of personal data before they are implemented.”

Based on this continuum – and the work of Westin in 1967,  which found that expressions of privacy vary significantly across cultures – Milberg and her colleagues proposed and tested a theoretical model of the relationships among nationality, cultural values, the level of information privacy concerns, and regulatory approaches.

 

Their study revealed substantial statistical relationships between

  • nationality and information privacy concerns
  • information privacy concerns and privacy regulations.

 

The researchers also found that “countries with either ‘no privacy regulation,’ or the most strict model of privacy regulation were often associated with considerably lower information privacy concerns than those who adopted the other three models. Countries with more moderate regulatory structures were associated with higher aggregate levels of concern, and those levels of concern did not vary much from one another.”

 

We can segment the information security requirements into the specific attributes of confidentiality’, ‘integrity’ and ‘availability’ (‘CIA’) and to consider these from a system life-cycle perspective. The below table presents an example of different levels of information risk over a typical system life-cycle(this will vary depending on the nature of the system and data).

Such decomposition will create the granularity needed to identify specific levels of security for different life-cycle stages.

 

One of the thorniest issues when outsourcing is to be sure that our IP remains safe throughout the process. There are some guidelines you might wish to follow to reduce the risk that your IP will be compromised when outsourcing to a freelancer or web developing agency. Here they are.

 

  • Be insightful

 

You must have an account of all IP and IP related knowledge (if it’s registered or if the registration is pending or is new or in the development stage and then decide the extend to which the availability should be limited. You must know what your IP is before you begin your project to ensure it is properly protected from the beginning.

Distinguishing between sensitive data and common data helps in preventing disclosure of confidential information. IP can be of diverse nature, it can take many forms (copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and patents) and can be structured into databases or embedded in software code.

 

  • Safeguard your data

 

The usage of application layer firewalls and database monitoring gateways while outsourcing by the vendor will enable you to prevent privilege abuse and reduce vulnerability.

Keep an eye on the vendor’s customer list to see if any potential rival or competitor and what extra precautions are needed to safeguard the IP shared with the vendor.

3) Ascertain vulnerability

Identify the key components of your IP, the location, who controls it or who adds or enhances it, who is responsible for protecting it, how it is protected and how vulnerable it is to attack.

Ascertain the vendor’s legal obligation with respect to the outsourced function and ensure that the IP assets are not compromised. Figure out what are the risks involved if the vendor were to sub-contract part of the outsourced function to consultants, independent contractors, etc.

4)Vendor Credibility

 Investigate the Vendor’s track record by talking to its references and assess its security and/or IP protection program and check on the background of the Vendor’s project manager. It’s advisable to examine the Vendor’s ability to safeguard your IP against accidental, inadvertent or willful misappropriation, misuse, sabotage, loss or theft.

You may also want to examine the potential Vendor’s reputation, financial and technical resources and compatibility with your corporate culture.

5) Comprehension of IP

It’s vital to have a comprehensive understanding of your IP licensing agreements, the clauses, the terms and conditions associated with it. Determine whether these agreements prohibit outsourcing the IP without the permission of your licensing partner.

6) Identify safety measures

 Any form of outsourcing should specify in the agreement how the Vendor will guard and protect your IP, who will access it and under what circumstances. For instance, the contract should provide information if the Vendor will write over and not simply erase any data no longer needed.

Make sure that your vendor will go by your privacy and intellectual property policies. Make these clear with your vendor to avoid later misunderstandings.

7) Ownership

Whether it’s ownership issues regarding jointly created IP or IP assets developed by the vendor during outsourcing, make sure that it is explicitly addressed. It is essential to clearly define who will own the ownership rights of newly created information that is established on customer’s IP data. Most outsourcing agreements executed in USA uses “US work for hire” rules. YOu should verify if thats the case with vendors from other countries.

8) Accessibility

It’s vital to decide whether you want to keep all the IP you intend to outsource on servers located in the US with vendor access to the IP on only permission basis or give unlimited access to the IP for the vendor. Identify the limitations of any licensed third party IP, if it can it be sub-licensed to a vendor or not.

9) Other influential factors

 

  • Project Management

 In addition to a security person to prevent security breaches, you will need a competent IT manager and in house project manager.

  • Privilege Transition

It’s advisable to outsource your less valued IP & saving your core IP until you have developed a trusting relationship with the vendor.

 

Challenges to Enforcement of IP Rights

 

  • Time and Resources

 

using the legal and administrative mechanisms for dispute resolution and enforcement of IP rights, and to deal with piracy and counterfeiting,

  •  Diverse IP law across countries

The legal framework varies significantly from one country to another with respect to the exhaustion principle applied which may be on a national, regional or international level. If you are signing a non disclosure agreement or confidentiality agreement with a party in another country make sure your lawyer and your lawyer understands enforccibilty. In many cases it will be very difficult.

(Exhaustion Principle: After a product covered by an IP right, such as by a patent right, has been sold by the IP right owner or by others with the consent of the owner, the IP right is said to be exhausted. It can no longer be exercised by the owner. This limitation is also referred to as the exhaustion doctrine or first sale doctrine.)

  •  Types of IP asset involved

 Different types of IP rights often vary within a country itself which makes it a challenge to enforce IP rights.

Conclusion

While deciding to outsource, it is better to have the counsel of experts, as to what resolution does the customer have when an IP right, has been marketed or/and commercially exploited by an unauthorized third party. Therefore, any consequent act of resale, rental, lending or other forms of commercial use by third parties can no longer be curbed or disputed.

Once the critical attributes to the outsourcing business are identified, the enterprise can then initiate the process of scouting and opt one or more partners. It’s advisable o assess the economic and political environment of a potential partner’s or vendors location (country), as well as to examine and understand the country’s institutions and legal framework. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that there are no ‘bullet-proof vests’ anywhere in the world for the complete protection of IP.

 

If you wish to know more, feel free to download white-paper on Due Diligence Checklist for Outsourcing Software Projects.

June 27, 2017

Due Diligence list for outsourcing software projects

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:57 pm

You should not outsource your software projects.

If you are technology business or startup, you should not outsource your project to a third party agency. You should outsource your non-core competencies. For tech company software is a core competency and it should remain in the house, if possible. Then again there are circumstances which force you to look at not-so-ideal conditions. Having an in house team of product managers, developers, UI experts, testers etc.. require significant capital. In many parts of the country, attracting the right talent early is very difficult despite the availability of capital.

So you decided to outsource your project

Once make the decision you should follow a meticulous, dry due diligence to give your project the best odds of success once completed.

The first list in the item is – are you and your organization ready. You cannot outsource your mess to a third party and hope for a miracle. It never happens. The expression garbage in – garbage out came into existence for a reason. You need to identify who will do project manage, product decisions, high-level requirements etc.. Understand your own strengths and weaknesses. Based on that figure out what are the items you need help. For example, if you need help with putting your concept into the paper as requirements, user stories and screens say so.

If you feel you are ready to go ahead with outsourcing need to decide what type of vendor suits you. Is it a local freelancer, a local agency, an offshore agency, offshore freelancer, mixed agency. Each one has its merits and issues. You should figure out which would work for you based on your values, skills, and budget.

Once you have made up your mind to outsource your requirements, it is better to consider the following aspects:

  1.  Self-Evaluation
    Understand your own competencies & in-competencies. Based on that figure out what are the items you need help with? For example, if you need help with putting your concept into the paper, or portray your requirements visually, get the help of customers case studies or testimonials that give a clear understanding to the end party.
  2. Timeliness
    The very first thing you need to do is document the entire project. You must list what the project is all about, the target audience, the objectives and all other important aspects that you want to get implemented in the web development project. You cannot outsource your mess to a third party and expect for a miracle. It never happens. The expression garbage in – garbage out came into existence for a reason.
  3. Identify key players
    It’s important to identify who will do the project management, who will make product decisions, who formulates the high-level requirements and other important aspects.
  4. Choosing the right vendor
    If you feel you are ready to go ahead with outsourcing, then you need to decide what type of vendor suits you. Is it a local freelancer, a local agency, an offshore agency, offshore freelancer or a mixed agency, from a wide range of options choose the model that syncs best with your business. Each one has its merits and demerits. You should figure out which would work for you based on your values, skills, and budget.Choosing the right vendor can be quite tricky, so it would be advisable to do some homework before you make the next move. Given below are some of the key components you can consider when choosing a vendor for outsourcing:
    A. Versatility
    It always better to opt a flexible vendor who provides services as per the rapid change in market requirements. Developers who have expertise moving their operations to the cloud would be ideal when developing a software for the fast growing economies.B. Engagement Model
    Once you identified the type of vendor you should identify the engagement type which fits best for your project and your team. Normally you can choose from fixed price engagement, Full-time equivalent, time and material engagement or an equity partnership.C. Security concerns
    Outsourcing often leads to insecurity. Since the potential risk of larger attacks is on the rise, software development companies should win the confidence of client decision makers by minimizing their own security vulnerabilities. Examine the review of the vendor before selecting one.

    D. Expertise
    There is no hard and fast rule that good reviews and experience mean the same. A vendor may get a good review by doing a small project which requires less expertise and may not have the experience to take up a complex project.

    E. Sufficient Resources
    A company with insufficient manpower will lead to a lack of commitment or involvement from developer team due to workload or lack of team work. It’s necessary to have certified, well-updated experts to ensure the activities are smooth & streamlined from the first phase of designing to the testing stage.

    F. Payment Model
    After all, the scouting is done and when you find that the vendor is meeting all your expectations, the next concern is payment. Investigate if the payment policy is favorable for you. The payment pattern varies from vendor to vendor, so it’s important to have a clarity on payment terms are clearly understood.

    It’s challenging to find the right partner as virtually everyone in the market is claiming to be one. A good security policy will be sound and rational. Instead of believing in false claims, get a good reference check done and conduct an audit on the security measures taken to safeguard sensitive data. Also, look into existing case studies or client profile to get a clear picture of their processes and methodologies as it will help you know what to expect out of them.

    Download extensive Due diligence Checklist for outsourcing Software projects HERE

Download whitepaper on Outsourcing due diligence

November 2, 2016

Armia’s new app optimizes the development process

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:18 pm

The Armia System project management and communication app introduced on iTunes App Store

When it comes to the development of a business’s brand, mobile applications are essential. According to Forbes, it is not enough that a company has a mobile app. There must be a level of engagement in order to have high levels of gross. Furthermore, applications which are free and provide higher levels of interactivity have shown to have positive results in the overall success of the companies which use them. Being that the information points to the necessity for app development, startup companies need to ensure that the development of their applications is well managed. With a team development, it is not uncommon for the development of the application or the website to spiral out of control when managed from afar. It is for this reason that we have developed this new management and communications app.

What is the Armia Systems Project Dashboard?

The application developed by Armia Systems allows for customers working with their development team to have direct communication with the web development and application development professionals. The application is intended to provide an open stream means of communication and organization to minimize the frivolous back and forth which emails and document sharing without direct contact seem to produce. And while the application is not a one-on-one application such as skype, it does provide a central portal in which information and data can be shared with the individual members of the team. By allowing for real-time communications, scheduled meetings, and definitive tasks to be set, the process of development is optimized with minimized risk for lost time due to communication lags. Furthermore, by having such information in an application, communications and management can be monitored from any IOS compatible device, thus furthering the optimization of time and management for the project while at the same time minimizing the risk of depleted ROI due to miscommunication and poor development schedules.

If you have technology project you would like to review by Armia Systems expert development, architecture or UI teams please click below to request a free consultation

Request a free consultation

Key Features

Similar to internet pages which manage the workflow of a project, the Armia Systems Project dashboard presents the user with weekly reports, task assignments, as well as comments and updates. iScripts PM app allows for updates to tasks as well as project details to be conveyed to team members. What is ideal for the application is that there is no need to have various email accounts stored. All of the information between various parties can be accessed through one dashboard. By centralizing the team into one location, team members can see the notes, concerns, and priorities of the project and adjust their workflow accordingly.

As the customer of Armia, concerns which are posted during the holidays, outside of the normal business schedule, etc. can be updated through the operational overview sections. And while there may be a slight delay in communications, the real-time design of the application makes communication and management of your web or app development timely and efficient.

Accountability

Perhaps one of the best notable features of the application is the ability to access minutes from the weekly meetings. This ability allows the customer to see the progress as well as the various development stages of his or her project. By having weekly minute updates, customer’s are assured that the project is moving forward and that (unfortunately as some competitive companies do) it has not been pushed aside for higher paying clientele.

System Requirements

Although he Armia System Project Dashboard Support application is free for anyone to download from the iTunes store, it should be noted that the application only works in conjunction with existing customers of Armia Systems meaning that projects outside of Armia cannot be managed and have tasks delegated. Furthermore, the application is designed for the IOS system and as such is compatible with IOS 9.2 or later. Android version of the app is still under development and expected to be released next quarter.

We plan to release a free standing version of the apps and platform for startups developing with in-house teams or freelancers after successful adoption from existing clients.

For more information about the management and communications app or if you would like to find out more information about the web application development services offered by Armia Systems, please contact our project team. Armia Systems Inc. is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and startup businesses build up their platforms with their own teams while establishing a presence on the web through their web development and applications.

If you have technology project you would like to review by Armia Systems expert development, architecture or UI teams please click below to request a free consultation

Request a free consultation

January 28, 2015

White Label Web Development for Agencies

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:16 pm

What do agencies want?

As the demand for web development services increases, so do the opportunities for agencies to expand revenue and grow their reach. Unfortunately, small and medium sized companies may struggle with the overhead costs of finding skilled workers that can produce quality work in so many different areas of expertise.
We have worked with many agencies to provide technical solutions for their clients. Sometimes our partners prefer to send their customer directly to us, so we can manage many aspects of the project. This allows the agency’s staff to devote time to other tasks while ensuring their customers are well taken care of. In the past when we worked with agencies developing technical solutions for their clients, we used one of the two models. In one model agencies introduce as to the client as technical partner. In those cases we work with the end client directly. But many times agencies want to work with the clients directly with Armia Systems and our programmers behind the screens. We are open to both models. In fact we created a new whitelabel development services for agencies.

Many agencies however, would rather have full control over the branding, while still receiving incredible support from our programmers and developers.That is why we created a white label development service. Many entrepreneurs, startups and agencies have found success by using white labeled software. At Armia Systems Inc., we pride ourselves on the quality of our software and love to work with professionals who are ready to empower and grow their business.
This means when we do work for you at any stage of the process, we can hand over the work to you and all references to Armia Systems are removed from the code. No one knows we were there. You bill your clients directly and pay us a percentage.

Is your Agency or Web Development business running into problems like these:
• Trouble keeping up with deadlines.
• Having difficulty finding trustworthy freelancers and contractors.
• Limited by the size of your in-house team.
Are you putting a lid on your agency’s potential by limiting the amount of work you can offer to clients?

Imagine the amount of growth your business would experience if you could offer all of these services to your customers:
– IOS and Android Mobile Apps
– Custom web applications in PHP or Ruby on Rails
– Provide Powerful eCommerce Solutions
– Appointment Booking websites
– Social Media Apps
– Managing customer server infrastructure
– Build Daily Deals Style Websites
– Reservation Platforms for Hotels, Bed and Breakfasts, Campgrounds and Retreat Centers
– Full Service Support Desk on Your Clients Website
– Develop Social Networking Sites
– Private Membership Communities
And So Much More…

agency services

Our tech team develops web apps in PHP, Ruby on Rails and more. We also create mobile apps for iOS and Android. We will work together through every step – start to finish and you can enjoy spectacular support from our Chicago based staff. Many of our tech industry peers in the agency space (social media agencies, design firms, marketing companies) run great companies, but don’t always have the in-house developer resources complete their client projects. They have contacted us in the past to augment their tech team , finish their half done projects, lead the development of projects. Normally we finish the project based on their client requirements and hand over to agency accounts team to present the work to clients. In effect we work as a extended technical team for you. But to your clients we could be in incognito mode. When we do white label work, we remove all references to Armia Systems in our code and hand over all the work to you. No one knows we were there. You bill your clients directly and pay us a portion of it.
Whitelabeling allows you to provide in demand, high quality services and products to your customers for a fraction of the cost and without the hassle of building it from scratch. You can stop sending customers away and start saying yes by partnering with Armia Systems Inc. Our products are completely customizable to match your Agency’s unique brand. Your clients will never know who developed the software, but they will be grateful that your company can provide valuable solutions for all of their needs. Not only will using our white labeled products benefit your customer’s businesses, it will help you achieve greater success in yours.

Offer a Wider Range of Services
Technology is rapidly changing, every day brings new challenges and opportunities to people working in web based markets. Many businesses follow the latest trends, and if your agency can’t keep up – they may find someone who can. Unfortunately, it just isn’t sustainable to simply hire more employees or contractors who are experts every time a new innovation hits the marketplace. Still, it isn’t any fun to turn away a client who wants to spend their money with you, just because you don’t have the in house capabilities to complete the job they need. Wouldn’t it be great if the next time a customer asked for something you could smile and say “absolutely”?
Now you can.
By using white labeled products from Armia, you can offer the same top-of-the-line products and services provided by the world’s largest agencies, without the struggles of doing it all yourself.
Owning your own business takes a lot of effort. For small to medium size agencies, many staff members must take on multiple responsibilities in order to ensure its success. Marketing, sales, project management and accounting are just a few of the tasks that all design and development companies must perform well for their business to grow and yield good results. When projects come into your agency it’s important to have your team available to finish the job accurately and on time.
Save Money
Paying a full time salary to employees is expensive, so is recruiting and paying contractors. Hiring extra staff not only takes five figures away from potential profits but it also eats away at your overhead costs. Rather than hiring several developers that have the skills to develop code for every platform, you can utilize our white label products and have an entire team of highly qualified experts that are always here to help. It’s like hiring your own development department without paying a fortune.

Developing complex software can get expensive, particularly when troubleshooting bugs and reworking mistakes. Running into issues early on is common. Your company has spent a lot of time, money and resources creating strong customer morale. Delivering a subpar product could make them lose faith. This can cause a profit loss for the future, and can cause your businesses to lose your loyal customer base.
Our tech team can develop web applications in PHP , or Ruby on Rails. Our mobile development team can develop iOS or Android apps for your clients. Take the stress off of your business and rest assured that your projects will be handled with care. At Armia Systems Inc., we work hard to ensure that our products go above and beyond client expectations. We have already field tested our software and know that it provides support and value to our own customers. We simply want help you bypass the hard work and risk involved by sharing our quality products with you. Get the tools you need to grow your business and make your clients dreams come true.

Ready to get started? Contact our Chicago based development team today.

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