admin – Envisa We enable success. Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:02:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Globalization Sun, 01 May 2016 16:05:05 +0000
Click the image to learn more>>]]>

Are You Ready to “Grow Global?”

International commerce is the fastest growing component of online sales today. According to Internet Retailer, 71% of online retailers are selling overseas. Whether you are looking to expand into a new market, launch a business overseas or improve your global efficiency, Envisa can help. We aid our clients in understanding global opportunities and putting the systems in place to acquire customers, transact online and seamlessly fulfill orders around the globe.

The Fundamentals

From the Outset, Design Your Solutions for Future Globalization

  • Does your e-commerce design allow for global character sets?
  • Can your design flex to accommodate global currencies?
  • Can you accommodate varied shopping preferences and consumer behaviors dictated by local customs?

Take the Time to Understand the Unique Features of Emerging Markets

  • What is the status of internet access in new target markets?
  • What kind of payment systems are available and frequently used by customers in new markets?
  • How developed is the delivery landscape?

Understand Local Customs, Laws and Practices Governing Logistics

  • Landed Costs — How do calculate VAT and duties?
  • Usability — What kind of web experience do international consumers expect?
  • Payment Methods — How do you provide foreign payment options?
  • Fulfillment — Are you warehousing internationally or direct shipping?
  • Customer Service — How do you handle inquiries and returns?

Centralize Your Site for Global Brand Consistency and Optimal Technology Maintenance

  • Can a single global solution work for you?
  • What are the pros and cons of networked local solutions vs. one global solution?
  • How are your worldwide e-commerce solutions supported and maintained?

In the News

The Envisa Difference

  • We’ve designed, developed, and implemented single global solutions that are centrally maintained, yet locally tailored.
  • From taxation to shipping costs, our global solutions are flexible enough to address localization needs, yet standardized enough to maintain brand consistency.
  • Behind the scenes, we design and deliver secure, robust and flexible technical architectures as the foundation of whatever global approach you choose.

What We Do

Featured Project

Omni-Commerce Fri, 01 Apr 2016 15:01:33 +0000
Click the image to learn more>>]]>

Does Your Cross-Channel E-Commerce Make Sense?

Omni-commerce is the customer-driven trend-of-the-moment, but it’s not a passing fancy. Consumers are savvy, and the retail experience continues to evolve with available technology.  Whether through personal mobile devices, kiosks or in-person shopping, consumers are browsing, comparing, locating, and purchasing products through a variety of channels, and they expect their experiences to be the same wherever they choose to shop.

The Fundamentals

Build A Consistent Presence And A Coherent Strategy

  • How do your mobile, online and in-store branding and shopping experiences compare?
  • Are you setting accurate customer expectations across all channels?

Ensure The Complex Mix Of Systems And Stakeholders Are All Working In One Direction

  • Are your store managers, marketing executives and e-commerce gurus working to one vision?
  • Are all all corporate e-commerce initiatives knit together to support one digital presence?
  • Is there a clear manager for all the e-commerce vendors and suppliers you’ve chosen?

Provide Well-Equipped Sales Support And Easy Checkout Wherever Your Customers Shop

  • Can your in-store sales clerks support the consumer with access to all products and endless aisle capabilities?
  • Can customers purchase your products anywhere they can find them with an easy, one-click buying experience?
  • Is your purchasing process simple and streamlined across all channels?

Compile Customer History, Profiling And Lifetime Value Metrics To Inform Your Business

  • Do you recognize your customers regardless of which “door” they use?
  • Can browsing, purchasing, returning, and tracking be done effortlessly across channels?
  • Are you able to save the customer time by tailoring the shopping experience?

Create A Flexible Technical Architecture That Leaves You Poised for Growth

  • Is your technical architecture flexible enough to support new channels (kiosks? salesforce solutions? franchising?)
  • Are you putting in the necessary safeguards to protect your customer data?

In the News

The Envisa Difference

  • From on-location interior designers to sales clerks to tradeshow personnel, we’ve equipped front-line salespeople with fully-integrated tablet-based solutions for a seamless shopping experience across all channels.
  • We’ve designed and implemented flexible e-commerce technical architectures that support traditional channels as well as kiosk and franchising sales models
  • We’ve integrated our clients’ back-end data to provide complete customer history and lifetime value profiles to enable omnichannel marketing

What We Do

Featured Project

Security Tue, 01 Mar 2016 17:21:17 +0000
Click the image to learn more>>]]>

Are You Doing Enough to Protect Your Data?

Data security breaches are on the rise, and e-commerce sites all-too-often provide an easy target.  From payment card information to personal identity and financial data, stolen information represents a constant and increasing threat to online commerce.

Preventing stolen data and providing ongoing monitoring are essential in ensuring that any data breaches are identified, contained and resolved immediately.  The good news is that preventing data theft has become much less daunting, and there are concrete steps every e-tailer can and must take right now. For a high level look at where to begin, see our whitepaper on Network Security 101.

The Fundamentals

Start You Data Security Begins with a Secure E-Commerce Platform

  • Is your platform PCI-compliant?
  • What payment gateways are natively supported by your e-commerce platform?
  • Where does your platform fall along the smooth user experience-optimal data security continuum?

Capitalize on Tools that Provide Enhanced Security

  • Payment card tokenization replaces payment data with an irreversible token identifier that can only be used by the targeted merchant.
  • Around the globe, online security standards are changing and many merchants are looking to 3D Secure technology to protect payment data.  Would this strategy work for you?

Be the First to Know About any Data Breach

  • Have you established system alerts to notify you immediately when suspicious activity occurs?
  • Are there real-time analytics tools installed to track how customers are interacting with your site?
  • Are you performing regular PCI scans to look for potential weaknesses in your security?

Take Action to Reduce or Remediate Data Violations Immediately

  • Do you have a communication plan to inform customers of data vulnerabilities?
  • Are you protected by a fraud management service?
  • Have you established and tested effective disaster recovery procedures in the event of a security failure?
  • Do you patch and update all site components immediately to ensure protection is optimized?

In the News

The Envisa Difference

  • Because our designers are also solution engineers, we design our e-commerce systems with security in mind and select robust and flexible technical architectures to ensure the highest level of security available.
  • We have been called on to provide security remediation when a breach has occurred, and have stood by remediation clients to provide ongoing support.
  • We’ve worked with our clients on payment card tokenization to improve data security.
  • For our clients with global solutions, we’ve led discussions on 3D secure capability to meet and exceed international security requirements.

What We Do

Featured Project

Improving Network Security: Where to Begin… Fri, 26 Feb 2016 15:11:02 +0000

Improving Network Security: Where to Begin…

If you’re reading this, you are presumably interested in what high-level steps you should be thinking about to make your organization’s network more secure than it is today, or perhaps you just have a passing interest in information security.  This is most definitely not an exhaustively complete how-to guide for anything.  What follows here are just a few very general thoughts about where one might begin if they were asked to improve the overall security of most networks.

Learn The Lay of the LAN

One of the most daunting aspects of computer security is the sheer scale of the problem space.  Every single device attached to every network has its own instances of running applications (client, server, or both), an operating system, a networking protocol stack, device drivers, and firmware.  Security vulnerabilities can potentially exist anywhere where code runs and even where it doesn’t when you consider physical security.  An initiative to improve the overall computer security of an organization should be rooted in a sound understanding of what devices exist on the network, what must run on each of these devices at each layer of the stack and why, and which users require access to services on those devices.  It might seem obvious, but you can’t secure a system if you don’t know it exists, who uses it, and how and why they use it.  Asset discovery utilities and port scanners can help you to ensure you have a complete and current picture of the devices and services in use on the network.  From there, system and application logs can often help to identify the de-facto user base.

Know Your External Attack Surface Area

Once you know what key assets need to be protected, you can begin to think about how best to control access to these systems.  Begin at the edges of the network and work your way inward.  Read through the NAT policies and access control lists on your edge firewalls and routers to determine which machines (if any) on your network are permitted to accept traffic from the outside world and to validate that these policies are still required.  Every system that needs to be accessible from the Internet is one more system that needs to be diligently patched, monitored, and isolated from other internal systems.  Consider using an application security vulnerability utility to scan your applications for known vulnerabilities.  If you have a web application that stores or processes credit card information, you are required to do this at least quarterly to be PCI compliant.  Consider protecting public-facing services with an application firewall in addition to or instead of an ordinary firewall.  While an ordinary firewall protecting a web application might be configured to allow all traffic from all IP addresses through to the web server when the destination ports are 80 or 443, a web application firewall can do this while also potentially recognizing and blocking HTTP requests consistent with common attacks such as cross-site scripting (XSS) and SQL injection.

Many organizations have moved their public-facing applications to cloud hosting providers in an effort to reduce or eliminate these administrative chores, but the cloud is not a magic bullet.  Know which security-related maintenance tasks any hosting providers are obligated to perform and which items are still your responsibility.  Examples might include activities such as patch management, firewall configuration support, DOS attack mitigation, and SSL certificate renewals just to name a few.

Client Device Security

Most organizations have a lot more desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones than they do servers, and a compromised mobile device can potentially be walked around the firewall to attack a network from within.  Consider restricting all wireless networks to the Internet so that it is impossible to reach any internal networks from any wireless access point without a VPN connection.  Mobile device management solutions exist which are capable of restricting which mobile apps users are allowed to install.  A typical use case would be defining a policy that forbids the installation of any VPN apps to the phones and pushes the deployment of an anti-virus app to the device.  Centrally managed host firewall software can help to protect laptops that are off-site.  Any device small enough to be mobile is also small enough to be lost or stolen, so use disk encryption whenever it is practical.

In most networks with lots of client workstations, centrally-managed antivirus is essentially a necessity, but it ideally should not be the only line of defense.  Most malware that finds its way on to workstations gets there because the user downloaded it without ever realizing it, so your goal should be to prevent the download from happening in the first place.  Use an e-mail provider that scans and scrubs infected attachments before delivery, or software to do the same if you operate your own mail servers.  Consider routing Internet traffic for workstations through a firewall that is capable of scanning and filtering executable downloads and blocking traffic to known malicious domains and/or requiring all web traffic to go through a proxy server.

Encourage an Information Security Aware Culture

Security researcher and expert, Bruce Schneier famously wrote that, “Security is a process, not a product.” There are lots of good products that can help you achieve your security goals, but none of them can stop users from storing all their passwords on a sticky note under their keyboard.  The process of maintaining security requires continued regular iterations, and ultimately depends on people who take the process seriously.  Make it your goal to devise security procedures that are so streamlined and easy that people have no excuse not to follow them.  This is not always possible, and some policies and procedures are bound to be unpopular.  In these cases, be prepared to clearly communicate and document the risks of using an insecure process.

© 2016-2020 Envisa® All Rights Reserved.

Mobile Computing Mon, 01 Feb 2016 17:21:59 +0000
Click the image to learn more>>]]>

Are You Nimble Enough to Respond?

Gone are the days when mobile could simply be a smaller version of the desktop website. Mobile computing is a driving force behind new patterns of consumer behavior, and harnessing mobile technology is crucial for a successful e-commerce presence.

For B2C e-commerce, capitalizing on microinteractions and not just sales conversions is paramount.  When supporting B2B contracts with mobile functionality, e-commerce solutions must include targeted designs for mobile devices, yet remain fully unified across all platforms.

The Fundamentals

Solution design should capitalize on mobile’s unique capabilities.

  • Are your designs informed by a true understanding of changing consumer behavior?
  • Do you have solid analytics to support your design assumptions?
  • Are your designs responsive and fully unified across desktop, tablet and mobile?

Designing across platforms is complex.  Get it right the first time with prototyping.

  • Allow all stakeholders to experience designs across platforms without large investments in building and rebuilding full solutions.
  • Ensure written requirements are translated into effective design the first time by rapidly prototyping solutions up-front.

Tailor mobile interfaces to the tasks consumers are doing.

  • Even though mobile conversion rates lag behind desktop, don’t ignore the importance of mobile. Browsing, researching and locating products and offers on mobile often represent critical steps in the consumer’s decision to purchase later on.
  • Is your business capitalizing on social media to support its marketing and mobile campaign?
  • Mobile offers unique information (e.g. customer location).  How are you leveraging mobile to target offers to customers?
  • What can evolving mobile capabilities (e.g. force touch) do for you and is it worth the investment?

In the News

The Envisa Difference

  • Envisa designs, develops, implements and supports flexible, responsive solutions that unify the customer experience across all devices, including mobile.
  • We’re committed to reducing development time and cost by utilizing our rapid prototyping process which allows clients to visualize their designs on all platforms and make changes early to avoid expensive rework and unnecessary delays down the line.
  • Since our inception, Envisa has focused on helping our retail clients navigate all the dynamic changes of the last decade and more. Our expertise is in understanding consumer behavior and delivering solutions to optimize retail wherever it occurs: mobile, tablet, laptop, phone or in-store.

What We Do

Featured Project

Custom Configuration Fri, 01 Jan 2016 20:20:12 +0000
Click the image to learn more>>]]>

Is Your Brand Ready to Get Personal?

With a millenial generation increasingly looking for individualized product choices and social media driving rapid style changes, online retailers are turning to custom configured products to improve sales and retain customers. Amidst a burgeoning do-it-yourself “maker movement,” the idea of custom-created products is here to stay.

If you’re not considering how custom configuration can grow your retail business, you may be falling behind.  Not only can custom configured products meet a new and growing demand for individualization, they can also increase brand loyalty and improve customer retention.

The Fundamentals

Give the Consumer What They Want

  • Are customers experiencing problems with the existing product catalog that can be addressed through a configurator?
  • What properties of existing products can be configured?
  • What benefits will consumers realize through configuration?

Utilize Advanced Technology to Facilitate Configuration

  • Rendering
  • Pricing
  • Manipulating
  • Tracking
  • Sharing

Fully Integrate your Customization Engine with your Back-End Processing

  • Sales
  • Customer History
  • Product Catalog
  • Pricing and Distribution
  • Social Media

Ensure Manufacturing and Logisitics Considerations are Addressed for all Configured Products

  • Can I make it?
  • Can I price it?
  • Can I ship it?
  • Can I remember it?

In the News

The Envisa Difference

  • Envisa has been providing fully-integrated product configuration since 2006.
  • Long before off-the-shelf tools were available to support custom configuration, Envisa built a proprietary configurator that has served as a personalization engine for our clients for almost a decade.
  • Leveraging high-performance technologies like Backbone.js and MongoDB, Envisa has provided multi-platform configurators for use by both end consumers and front-line sales personnel alike.

What We Do

Featured Project

Connecting Business and Education Thu, 19 Nov 2015 23:35:11 +0000

The Hopkinton High School Junior Experience Program is an internship/career exposure program incorporated into the junior year high school curriculum to provide students with insights into careers as they plan for college. Envisa sponsored a day-long consulting workshop in which members of our team put a group of students through their paces in a “Day in the Life” format.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors Sun, 01 Nov 2015 17:26:20 +0000

For most of Americans, it wouldn’t take much more than an unexpected rent increase, an injury, lost job, divorce or prolonged illness to challenge our ability to pay for our home, utilities and food.  Each year, hundreds of families find themselves temporarily homeless due to unexpected life events.  With a declining number of state-funded homeless shelters, grassroots organizations like Friends of Families in Transition (FIT) have sprung up to provide food, support and dignity to families who have lost their homes and are currently housed in hotels and motels in Metrowest Boston.  For these families, temporary hotel housing gives shelter, but has many challenges.  While families work to secure permanent housing, they are moved from familiar urban settings with available public transportation and nearby services to suburburn hotels with no transportation, limited access to walkable services, no available kitchens or food storage, and unfamiliar schools and environments for children.

FIT supports these families by coordinating hot, home-cooked meals, delivery of fresh produce and supplies, coordination of social outings, and other resources.  Envisa wanted to get involved in this neighbor-helping-neighbor service and teamed up to cook and deliver a hot meal to families housed in hotels in Northborough, MA and Westborough, MA.  While we hope the families enjoyed the baked chicken, sauteed green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, we know that our employees really enjoyed being able to share a bit of their time and energy to offer some hands-on support.  We all know that at any moment, we could be the ones needing a hand, so we’re happy to offer one when we can.

]]> 0
Recruiting the Next Generation of Consultants Wed, 18 Feb 2015 10:12:50 +0000

Sponsored by the Ashland Education Foundation, the Metrowest College & Career Fair brings together businesses, colleges and universities to help provide Metrowest youth with some insight into possible future careers and education opportunities.  Envisa is proud to have been a participant since the fair’s inception, and looks forward to talking with middle and high school students about technology consulting careers and the educational background that will help make those careers possible.

Local FIRST Robotics Team Goes to Championships! Wed, 18 Feb 2015 09:32:19 +0000

When a local FIRST Robotics team from New Hampshire advanced to the International Championships in St. Louis, MO, Envisa helped sponsor the team’s travel expenses.  In addition, the team was coached by Envisa Consultant Michael Tidd, who is also an alumnus of the program.