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Month: October 2018

Top 4 Tips to Create An Online Product Training Material

Posted on October 31, 2018 in Uncategorized

Product knowledge training is essentially aimed at training employees of organizations to share and update useful information about its products, their features and benefits. However, many a times, learners are overwhelmed with the amount of knowledge they need to grasp all at once. Thus, online product training material needs to be customized accordingly so that learners can absorb the required amount of knowledge as well as apply the same practically. Here are some tips that can help you to develop effective online product training courses.

Set the learning goals beforehand

Charting out the learning goals well in advance allows you to create a product training course, which is effective as well as functional. For this purpose, you need to define your target audience at the very onset in order to confirm their requirements. Normally, the target learners of product training course are usually, the sales team, service team or customer service representatives.

However, a course designer needs to know that the training material for a sales team would be different from the one intended for customer care representatives. For example, a salesperson needs to know the value proposition of the product so that they can effectively convey it to the prospective customer. On the contrary, a customer care executive should be aware about troubleshooting techniques so that he can help customers when faced with service issues. The online training program should be able to address these individual learning goals.

Determining how much information is required

Depending on the requirements of the individual group of learners, the training material needs to be tailored. Thus, determining the quantity of information required for catering to a particular group is extremely important. While a sales person might need a particular level of knowledge about products, a service engineer or technician might require an in-depth technical knowledge of the product. Therefore, organizing training material according to the learner’s profile makes it more relevant and productive.

Focus on the motivation levels of learners

Considering the motivational levels of learners is extremely important when designing a course. Unless you know what motivates your target audience to take up a particular course, you won’t be able to provide anything relevant to them. For example, a salesperson is likely to be interested in knowing the benefits of a particular product, while an engineer will be keen on learning about the technical aspects of a particular product. Designing course materials according to multiple choices is likely to trigger interest in joining online training programs.

Create a brief structure for long product line

Many a times, the training course has to deal with long product lines of the company. In such cases, the instructional designers should focus on creating a brief structure that is relevant to a majority of the products. You can furnish information with the help of info-graphics, where you can focus on individual features, benefits, cost and their USP.

Follow these tips to create a product training course that yields value-added results in terms of employee training.

Make Money Online Product Reviews – How Much Do You Really Know?

Posted on October 29, 2018 in Uncategorized

One of the most profitable online businesses can be found in make money online products across the web. Since there is money involved there are plenty of people out there who are trying to take advantage of the situation and sell bad products which leave the user confused and out a couple hundred dollars. Instead of trying to write individual reviews over the thousands of products around the internet I am going to highlight what you should be looking for in a product. This way you will be able to look at any product you find and learn whether it is going to help you or simply be a waste of money. Do not lose faith because for every one of those products out there that is a waste of time there is one that a person put hundreds of hours and useful information into.

  1. Before purchasing a product you should read a review. There are many websites that provide users with make money online product reviews of the top programs in which they feel are the most useful. Remember that if you are not able to find a program reviewed around the internet then it is probably not very useful and not worth your time or money.
  2. Lets say you are working on your first online business and you reach a point where you get stuck and are not sure where to go? You need someone with more experience and skills to help you right? Well any program that is worth the money will provide you with full customer support. Most of the ones that I have seen have an email where you can reach their customer support team and they will respond to you within a few minutes to a few hours depending on the time of the day that you email them.
  3. Anybody can go on the internet and write down that they have made several million dollars from 1 program. How do you actually know that this is true? Before I purchase and join any make money online club I make sure I see real evidence of profits. Some people will take snapshot photos from their payments account which is a way that you can see exactly how much money they are earning.

Now I hope you have been paying close attention to what I have said because like i said at the beginning there are many excellent ways to earn a living from the internet but you have to watch out for liars and fraudulent products by reading make money online product reviews, finding a program with customer support, and making sure you see proof of their income.

Considering Product Activation? You Need to Think About These 10 Issues

Posted on October 27, 2018 in Uncategorized

Product activation is a popular approach for securing software licenses. However, software developers need to consider all the requirements for a capable activation system, from the license models they’ll need to support to how they’ll deal with the corner-case customer environments.

The basic activation process is typically as follows. Upon purchase the software vendor sends a unique product serial number to the user. When the user installs the application they are prompted to enter their product serial number. Their application connects to the vendor’s hosted license server over the Internet to confirm that this product serial number is valid and has not already been used to activate a license. It also obtains from the license server the license limits that apply to that user’s license, such as a time limit or enabling of product features. Finally it locks the license to the user’s system by reading certain machine parameters, such as the MAC address or hard disk ID, and encrypts the license limit and locking information in a file which is saved on the user’s system. Once activated the application interrogates that local encrypted file to perform its license check, so continues working on that user’s specific machine within the defined license limits with no further communication required with the vendor’s systems.

Sounds simple enough… but here are the ten areas you need to consider as you select a product activation system.

License models

What are the license models you wish to offer across your target markets? Are there other models Marketing might want to offer next year? Here are some possibilities:

* Time-limited licenses, for trials or subscription licensing
* Feature-enabling, to offer different price points or to package your product for different verticals e.g. a customer’s license might have Feature A to be OFF, Feature B at the Pro level, Feature C at level 5, Feature D on a 30-day trial and so on.
* Usage-based licensing. This could be metered (where the usage is tracked for subsequent reporting and billing, but not limited) or debiting (where the user purchases a usage quota which is depleted as the application is used).
* Custom licensing. Maybe you need to communicate some licensing parameters to your application, such as the Terabytes of data to address, number of communication channels to support, number of pages open at any one time and so forth.
* Some combination of the above e.g. enabling each feature with its own usage and time limit.

Disconnected systems

Not all computers have an Internet connection, so you need to consider how you will support your users who are on isolated corporate networks, or just can’t get a network connection from their laptop. The whole point of product activation is automation and convenience – you don’t want to have to set up phone support (during working hours, 24×7?, multi-lingual?) to help people without a network connection. Luckily, there are some solutions… if you pick the right system. For example:

* User self-service activation. Does the activation system provide a way for users to activate licenses on disconnected systems? A common approach is for the licensing software, when it finds it can’t connect to the hosted license, to encrypt the locking and product serial number information in a file, which the user then hand-carries to any web browser for upload to the vendor’s self-service web page. The vendor’s system accepts the file, checks it, and returns the encrypted file needed to enable the license. This file exchange can also be done by email, or even snail mail.
* Proxy server support. In many sectors such finance, mil/aero and government, users’ systems don’t have a direct connection to the Internet but can access it via an HTTP proxy server. Can your applications access your hosted license server via an existing HTTP proxy server?
* Install your own proxy server. If there isn’t a suitable HTTP proxy server available, does the activation solution include its own proxy server for installation on the customer’s network?

Security

The idea is to protect your applications from hacking and ‘honest abuse’ (over-subscription by legitimate customers), so you need robust security. Here are some questions to consider:

* If you issue time-limited licenses for trials or subscriptions, is there protection against users who try to extend their license by turning back their system clock?
* Is there protection against users who try to hack or spoof the licensing library built into your application?
* Is the communication between the licensed application and the license server secure against man-in-the-middle attacks, replay attacks, and counterfeit attacks?
* If you are tracking license limit data locally for each user, are these records secure against hacking and rollback to prior versions?
* Can no-one else set up a license server and issue licenses for your product?

Node-locking

The general approach to preventing a license from simply being copied onto another system is to lock each license to your desired parameters of the target system, such as the MAC address, host ID, hard disk ID and so on.

So far so good, but here are some node-locking questions to ask:

* Is the node-locking mechanism flexible and extensible, so you can lock to the parameters you wish?
* Does the node-locking mechanism follow generally-accepted computer science principles, and not do such tricks as bypassing the operating system, with all its unforeseeable consequences (such as breaking just because the user installed a boot manager, or upgraded their operating system)?
* Can you secure licenses on virtualized systems (e.g. VMWare), where the hardware parameters can legitimately change for a licensed user? How about supporting users who run Windows on a Mac?
* If you want, can the node-locking mechanism provide resiliency against small changes, so not inconveniencing users who make a minor system upgrade?
* Can you specify a set of locking parameters, with the license working if any one of them is matched? For example, perhaps your user wants to be able to run their license in one of any four machines – can you accommodate this?
* If some users really prefer dongle-based licensing, can you lock to a dongle as well?
* If you sell a system with your own custom hardware in it, can you lock the license to, say, the serial number in your custom hardware?
* How do you deal with the inevitable ‘My machine crashed – how do I restore my license?’ user inquiry?

License Relocation

The fact of life is that users often want to move their license to a different system, months or maybe years after it is first activated. This appears straightforward, but there are some issues to consider:

* Maybe you don’t want to offer this facility to everyone. Can you control which users are allowed to relocate their licenses?
* For users who are allowed to relocate their license, can you control how often they can do so? You may not want them doing so every day (that sounds like they’re sharing the license with others).
* Is there are any intervention required on your part during a license relocation, or does the product activation system take care of it? Is it secure?
* Can licenses be deactivated on disconnected systems?
* Your application may well have some settings your users adjust as they work with it, so your application runs exactly as they like it. Do they have to set these up again on the new installation (that would be annoying), or can you transfer them automatically?
* Does the product activation system track license relocations, so you know what your users are doing? Could it alert you when a relocation is done?

License Revocation

Maybe you don’t fully trust your customers, or perhaps you sell your product on credit, or on a monthly subscription, so might need to revoke a user’s license if they didn’t pay up or re-subscribe.

* Can your activation system revoke a user’s license?

Reseller sales

Perhaps you sell via resellers or OEMs now, or plan to do so. Maybe your sales department is looking for resellers overseas, or has it in their strategic plan? In that case, you’d better be ready to deal with the basic issue: how do you delegate order fulfillment (if desired) to your reseller, while still keeping track of the licenses they issue?

* Can your activation system allow resellers to issue licenses?
* If it does, can you restrict the range of licenses they can issue? For example, can you prevent them enabling certain features that aren’t part of their agreement with you, can you limit the number of licenses they issue, or set a maximum time limit on the licenses they issue?
* Can you generate a report on the licenses they’ve issued? Can they?
* Can you receive an alert when they issue a license?

Extensibility

While you may think that all your customers’ needs will be met with a product activation approach, what if that isn’t the case? Perhaps some users will not want any information to go out of their organization at all (often the case with some government and financial institutions).

* Can your activation system also support, say, dongle-based or floating licensing over your customers internal network, with no outside communication required at all?
* If you do need to support floating licensing or dongle-based licensing, does engineering have to re-do the licensing integration, or does the existing licensing system they integrated for product activation support it without needing any modification or replacement?

Platform support

Of course you need to protect your application on all the computer platforms you support.

* Does the activation system provide a client library for all your current platforms?
* How about platforms in your product roadmap?
* How about 64-bit platforms?
* What if a major customer requires support for a non-standard platform – can you readily obtain it?
* If your application is in Java, and you take advantage of Java’s platform independence, is the licensing library actually multi-platform, or are you introducing platform dependency?

Back-office integration and infrastructure

If your business involves a large number of licenses, or you expect it to, you may want to automate license fulfillment.

* Can you automate fulfillment from your back-office/CRM system, say via Web Services?
* Can you automate management tasks, such as backup, archival and reporting for the licensing system?
* Maybe you don’t want to host the license server at all. Is there a 3rd-party managed service available?

Clearly not all of these questions will apply to all software vendors, however they hopefully provide food for thought, and suggest areas you should consider to ensure your product activation deployment is successful.

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