ST-Mobi.com: Quick setup and Latest technologies
What is the fundamental technological difference between ST-Mobi.com and other sales representative staff automation products?
There are several types of programs for automating sales representatives work: external, which connect to 1C and then transfer data to mobile devices, and integrated, when a certain module is built into 1C to manage field workers.
ST-Mobi.com is based on a technology that is fundamentally new to the market. Yes, there is an accounting system, cloud, and mobile client. But with external automation software is installed directly at the client, which entails additional costs: the purchase of a server and licenses, and system administration. Cloud technology allows you to avoid these costs: the service is hosted on our servers and supported by our specialists. All you need to work with ST-Mobi.com is tablets and Internet connection. Equipment for sales representatives employees is purchased for any type of automation, but in this case it is the only investment. There is still a monthly payment for licenses.
Another advantage of ST-Mobi.com is that there is no need to buy 1C license for a supervisor. ST-Mobi.com serves as its full-fledged substitute, even more convenient and visual. 1C remains for controllers and operators, while the supervisors work in the cloud, where they can see the goods and prices, balances and debts, sales and documents, and perform the management of sales representatives. The direct benefit for non-automated customers is that requests are dropped automatically and operators are not needed.
ST-Mobi.com allows you to work remotely from any device connected to the Internet from anywhere in the world. And the principles of visualization and clarity, which guided us in creating the service, help make the work of supervisors and field service employees convenient. In the program, almost everything is drawn on maps, divided into sectors, reports are implemented with graphs. Analysis of information presented this way takes less time. One of handy services is GPS-report of agent's work. The map interactively shows agent's route, actions and timings.
How fast is data update in ST-Mobi.com?
The system works according to the principle of schedules, different for every object. There are data that need to be updated literally up to time. If in 1C the amount of residuals for a product decreases, but not in the cloud, a sales representative can order more than you have in stock. For those objects where the data changes frequently, we set up an exchange schedule every 1-3 minutes. And there are data that change infrequently, such as the directory of outlets, price register. And information about them is synchronized once a day - at night.
What Internet connection speed is needed to work the program?
There is no limit on the speed of the Internet. This is absolutely the same as for any website: you just need to have access to the Internet, and the downloading time depends on the speed of the Internet. It is better to update databases using wi-fi in the office. For those transactions that the agent performs during the working day, Internet speed is almost irrelevant - unless you are sending a photo report, the amount of data is very small.
What technologies are used in ST-Mobi.com?
To create ST-Mobi.com we used the latest version of the web programming language PHP - 5.6. Not because it's so fashionable. But because all the new technologies introduced in this version are used to speed up the service. For the databases we are using MySQL. Some skeptics may say that it is designed to run small sites, but it is not. MySQL is purchased by Oracle, the global IT giant, which is developing it as a free alternative to Oracle Database. Facebook is written in PHP and MySQL, a clear indicator of MySQL database performance.
ST-Mobi.com uses four levels of caching, and there is our own framework and library for user interfaces.
How is the data exchange implemented in ST-Mobi.com?
On the side of 1C we put the external processing module, which generates data storage files in xml format. It is described on our website, and the programmer can implement an exchange with any accounting system, simply by following the instructions. External processing module uploads the xml-file to the cloud, where the data are checked. If the transaction passes, then the xml is valid. If there is any error, the transaction will "roll back" and we'll let the developer know where the error is so he can fix it.
As for the cloud service for mobile commerce, it is an exchange via HTTP, now there is an exchange of SQLite database files. In the near future we plan to move to a full-fledged REST. This will increase the speed even more.
How is security ensured during data transfer?
Security is one of the most important points for us. A customer who is not confident about data security will not use a cloud service. We provide security at all levels: data transmission, data storage, protection against hacking...
Data exchange is protected by an SSL certificate with a 128-bit encryption key, just like Google or Yandex. Theoretically, it takes a year for an attacker to find such a key, but by that time the key will have been updated.
ST-Mobi.com user data is stored in the same place where all our clients are "hosted", including multinational companies. Accordingly, the level of technical security is very high. SC "System Technologies" has been on the market for 14 years and guarantees its customers security.
There were several attempts to hack us, and during the last one a group of hackers used various tools to attack the server for a week. Our protection coped with the game.
You promise a fast connection. How do you speed up implementation processes?
ST-Mobi.com's architecture is as follows: an external processing module is installed on the 1C side, which exchanges data with the cloud. If we're talking about the direct integration market - the one that ST-Mobi.com is entering - it's a completely different process in terms of implementation speed and costs. Projects there last for weeks or months: the terms of reference are agreed upon, the accounting system is updated, and the necessary functionality is incorporated. At ST-Mobi.com, all the functions of off-site personnel management are moved into the cloud, and 1C is responsible only for inventory, warehouse, and accounting. Therefore the project is easy to start: once the data on outlets, goods and prices (downloaded from 1C) are in the cloud, you can go the route and sell.
How many users can work with ST-Mobi.com at the same time? How complicated is the structure?
There are no restrictions on the number of users. Currently the system works with a client according to the following scheme: one RS - one Mobi.com - many copies of ST-Mobile Trading. A more complex structure is not yet possible. If a distributor has a branch network, a distributed organizational structure, then "ST-Chicago" must be applied. An option is possible when centralization of data between the nodes of the distributor is organized in-house. But we have not implemented such projects with ST-Mobi.com yet, because the main customer of the service is a small company, not a branch network.