Web Assembly: A Tectonic Shift

Originally posted at www.jordhy.com

Web Assembly is the next stop for bringing web sites closer to the speed and versatility of native apps. The new standard would provide an assembly layer of compiled code that can be executed as much as 20 times faster than JavaScript. Web Assembly is a W3C standard that will bring similar functionality as Java and .Net without the requiring any plugins.

 

WebAssembly, or wasm for short, is intended to be a portable bytecode that will be efficient for browsers to download and load, providing a more efficient target for compilers than plain JavaScript or even asm.js. Like, for example, .NET bytecode, wasm instructions operate on native machine types such as 32-bit integers, enabling efficient compilation…

WebAssembly will include both a binary notation, that compilers will produce, and a corresponding text notation, suitable for display in debuggers or development environments.  – Ars Technica

 

Major Changes Ahead

The basis for this article is to instill the notion that Web Assembly will not be an incremental improvement over JavaScript but a major step forward for the Web.

Web Assembly walks away from the notion that the Web is a collection of documents.

With native code directly available to browsers the first “truly real web apps” will come about. We will enjoy a snappier web with richer functionality and enhanced security and the cost of porting interactive applications to the Web will be substantially reduced as companies refactor their existing C/C++ code bases with ease. Games, videos, office applications, interactive applets and animations will all benefit from this major improvement.

Web Assembly fills the gap of plugins on the Mobile Web.

In particular, the mobile Web will gain an astounding amount of functionality provided developers can figure out a way to make native applications take advantage of responsive interfaces. Except for security concerns this will probably be the greatest technological factor arriving in the Mobile Web in 2016.

The State of Web Assembly in Early 2016

More Information

WebAssemblyOverview  – Github

Development of WebAssembly and associated infrastructure – Github

From ASM.JS to WebAssembly – Brendan Eich

JavaScript in 2016: Beyond Harmony – Oreilly

 

Don’t Ignore The Social Challenges Of Web Development

Our goal is to leverage what is already out in the field in terms of partners, but then hire in project management capability and a bit of technical capability.
– Kevin Rollins

It is easy to get excited about the new wave of technologies entering the market and the constant evolution of frameworks, hardware and technological ecosystems while at the same time forgetting about the single biggest bottleneck in web development: social challenges. Organizational structures, governmental mandates (in terms of standards compliance), special requests, gridlock and the like are bigger factors involved in the successful completion of major web development projects.

Three Major Revelations in Web Development

  1. The client is also responsible for your success. To manage these social challenges a disciplined consulting approach is needed. Not only should the developers facilitate and lead consensus but also managers on the receiving end should diligently contribute to the projects completion. Hence, taking a project towards success doesn’t depend solely on the technicians involved in content production.
  2. You will inherit any pending internal wars. And these “wars” will manifest in fights for prominence in the homepage, amount of content displayed and other automated features. Each department will fight to have more prominence on the web and hence better performance on the real world of sales and corporate indicators. Welcome to a war you didn’t start.
  3. You will manage more, not less legacy hardware and software. Probably your project will at some point have to integrate certain facilities with even obsolete programs and services residing in the bowels of the corporate ERP. Plus, you will inherit any partial developments created by a previous web development team. Your only recourse here might be to negotiate having the client prepare these integration scripts or replacing certain legacy systems altogether. Good luck with that.

What is Gridlock Anyway?

All web developers in their careers experience contracting for a gridlocked company. This is a very particular feeling and one that you won’t forget easily. The client can’t provide you with content in a timely fashion, meetings are a canvas for internal warfare and emails are received with a cold face that looks the other way. To help you understand this situation I must say that probably “It’s not you. It’s them”.

To work in architecture you are so much involved with society, with politics, with bureaucrats. It’s a very complicated process to do large projects. You start to see the society, how it functions, how it works. Then you have a lot of criticism about how it works. – Ai Weiwei

Gridlock occurs when equal forces move in opposite directions within organizations. It usually precedes a major corporate change or failure and is pretty hard to identify for any external consultant. To manage gridlock you need legal counsel that can tailor made  contractual agreements that compel your clients to timely answer your requests or face financial penalties. Even with adequate counsel, enforcing these penalties is damaging to pre-existing relationships and should be used sparingly.

Enter The Government and Standard Bodies

It doesn’t end with the client, though. You must comply with any governmental standards that your country has established, deliver upon industry best practices and adhere to W3C recommendations. While you will likely not directly interface with these institutions it is clear that they underscore the complexities associated with building any major website.

Some Closing Remarks

Certainly, web development requires many social and technical skills as well as pre-existing rapport with clients in need of major professional service. Try to think thru these social challenges before engaging in any major web development project and quote accordingly. Also, don’t solely focus on achieving great technical acumen and strive to grow as a person by developing your social skills as much as you can. In any event, focus on clients that have a good corporate culture and a manageable work/life balance.

I love working if it’s with people who are capable of having a good time. People with a little bit of enjoyment of what they do. If it’s enormous pressure, and people feel that their lives are at stake, then it’s agony. So I try to pick projects where I feel like I’m going to avoid those traps. – Alan Arkin

Web Design Trends for 2016

As the new year approaches we are getting more and more questions from clients and associates regarding our expectations for web design trends in the new year. In terms of design, we expect to see many designers move away from flat productions and also include more video on their web properties. Here’s a list of our top web design predictions for 2016:

 

Our Top Internet Trends for 2016

1. Responsive websites become the norm

2. Mobile first becomes a reality for latin american web development

3. Cryptocurrency usage increases exponentially in the new year

4. Memory consumption increases in a linear fashion, limiting the user experience

5. More customers flock towards open platforms as differentiation diminishes

6. The startup bubble finally implodes

7. USB-C is widely adopted

8. Interactivity and real time applications continue to fill up the web as Node.Js and similar technologies gain ground

9. Designers start to move away from flat web design as the pressure to differentiate increases

10. The use of video and audio in websites increases dramatically

 

In terms of general Internet trends the authoritative report is probably KPCB’s yearly Internet Trends presentation. Here’s their full presentation:

 

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers 2015 Internet Trends

Ledesma Judges at the 19th Web Awards

Jordhy Ledesma, CEO and Online Producer at Information Providers, has recently judged for the second time at the annual international WebAwards competition. The WebAwards recognizes the achievements of Web professionals all over the world who create and maintain outstanding Web sites. Websites are judged on design, innovation, content, technology, interactivity, copy writing and ease of use.

“This year the amount of creativity and innovation was remarkable”, Ledesma says. “The sheer amount of content and interactivity in today’s web properties is a testament to ever increasing Internet speeds and the accelerating quality of development tools” – he continues.

This year’s top awards included:
A “Best of Industry” WebAward will be given in each of the 96 industry categories, including financial services, medical, small business, travel, advertising, transportation and government. The competition’s highest honor, the 2015 WebAward “Best of Show,” will be given to the one site that the judges believe represents the pinnacle of outstanding achievement in Web development.The Web Marketing Association  also recognized the interactive agency winning the most awards in the competition with the “Top Interactive Agency” WebAward.

About the WebAwards
Founded by the Web Marketing Association in 1997, the WebAwards is the standards-defining competition that sets industry benchmarks for the best web sites based on the seven criteria of a successful website. The goal of the WebAwards is to provide a forum to recognize the people and organizations responsible for developing some of the most effective websites on the Internet today.

About the Web Marketing Association
The Web Marketing Association was founded in 1997 to help define the standard of excellence for online marketing. Our internationally known award programs, such as WebAward Competition for Website Development, Internet Advertising Competition and the MobileWebAwards, recognize the people and organizations responsible for developing the most effective online marketing programs on the Internet today. Entrants benefit from assessment of their marketing efforts by a professional judging panel and the marketing opportunities presented by being recognized as an award-winning web developer.

*IP Launches Mesothelioma.Asia

www.mesothelioma.asia
Mesothelioma Portal

www.mesothelioma.asia

*IP is kicking off the second quarter of 2015 with a series of large scale portal launches. The first is Mesothelioma Asia, a portal covering the Mesothelioma illness and offering a set of information tools for families and lawyers. The portal has a private social network for both lawyers and families, provides rich academic, legal and medical information as well as daily news. The portal is fully owned and operated by Information Providers.

Mesothelioma Asia is part of ONE Media Network, a brand of information portals created by Information Providers to educate and ease access to complex information. In particular, Mesothelioma Asia includes complex legal information such as lawsuits, settlements and professional directories in an easy to digest format. Academic papers with the latest advances on the subject are also well covered as well as the current stance of asbestos regulation in all of Asia. The PanAsian portal will offer directory services to attorneys, research centers and medical doctors while preserving the privacy of its members.

Mesothelioma Asia Footer

Technically speaking Mesothelioma Asia features responsive technology, mobile versions for the iPhone and iPads, multiple news letters and automatic categorization services, RSS, social network integration, breaking news tickers, social network integration, commenting and moderation systems, video rich content and multiple content suggestion services. You can visit the portal now at www.mesothelioma.asia.

The Hispanic Internet: Notable Research (2000-2015)

Notable Hispanic Internet Research (2000 - 2015)

In the quest to better serve the Hispanic market we must understand their idiosyncrasies, their culture, their economic reality and the psychographic mindset that sets Latinos apart. As our practice has progressed we have written, reviewed, selected and highlighted a large quantity of research about the Hispanic Internet.

Due to the large number of requests we have prepared this page with a selection of some of the most notable research about Hispanics, Latin-American websites and eCommerce in Latin America. This curation covers eCommerce, eGovernment, the psychographic profile of Latino web consumers and important aspects associated with social media use in the region.

 

eGovernment

 

The Failure of eGovernment in Developing Countries – London School of Economics.

 

eGovernment in Latin America and the Caribbean – Silvana Rubino-Hallman.

 

Web design patterns for eGovernment websites – University of São Paulo.

 

White Book of e-Government Interoperability for Latin America and the Caribbean – The United Nations.

 

eGovernment in Latin America: A Review of the Success in Colombia, Uruguay, and Panama  – Organization of American States.

 

eCommerce

 

U.S. Hispanic Consumer eCommerce Preferences – Florida International University.

 

Latinos Online

 

Latinos Online  – Pew Hispanic Center.

 

Revisiting
 Latin 
American
 communication
 and
 culture – University of Westminster.

 

U.S. Hispanic Consumer eCommerce Preferences – Florida International University.

 

Social Media

 

The Rise of Social Networking in Latin America – comScore.

 

Notable Links

 

Hispanic Resources – U.S. Department of the Interior.

 

eGuide to Online Sources of Law Relating to Latin America –  New York City Bar.

 

Closing the Digital Divide: Latinos and Technology Adoption – Pew Hispanic Center.

 

Hispanic Media: Faring Better than the Mainstream Media –  Pew Research

 

Global Web Design Trends: South America – Noupe.

 

 

If you need any additional information not present in any of these documents, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Ledesma Signs Artificial Intelligence Petition

Computer experts around the globe are signing an open letter issued by the Future of Life Institute that pledges to safely and carefully coordinate progress in the field to ensure it does not grow beyond humanity’s control. Signees include Jordhy Ledesma,  computer science professors and experts at some of technology’s biggest corporations, including IBM’s Watson supercomputer team and Microsoft Research.

Our company is committed to Ai advancement and, along with cryptocurrencies, web development and distributed programming; represent the new wave of innovation that is shaping our world.

 

From the open letter:

Artificial intelligence (AI) research has explored a variety of problems and approaches since its inception, but for the last 20 years or so has been focused on the problems surrounding the construction of intelligent agents – systems that perceive and act in some environment. In this context, “intelligence” is related to statistical and economic notions of rationality – colloquially, the ability to make good decisions, plans, or inferences. The adoption of probabilistic and decision-theoretic representations and statistical learning methods has led to a large degree of integration and cross-fertilization among AI, machine learning, statistics, control theory, neuroscience, and other fields. The establishment of shared theoretical frameworks, combined with the availability of data and processing power, has yielded remarkable successes in various component tasks such as speech recognition, image classification, autonomous vehicles, machine translation, legged locomotion, and question-answering systems.

OXID eShop Now in Latin American Spanish

FREIBURG, Germany — Jordhy Ledesma, CEO and Online Producer at Information Providers, announces the completion of the translation project of OXID eSales to Latin American Spanish. Now over 500 million Spanish-speaking consumers will have access to online stores crafted using the popular German software.

The extension can be downloaded free of charge at http://exchange.oxid-esales.com/Shopping-process/Languages-Countries/Latin-American-Spanish-for-OXID-eShop-4-8-7-Stable-CE-4-8-x.html. It is published under GPLv3 and can be used by every OXID eShop no matter which edition is used. Previously, Ledesma has released translations for the FarCry CMS and the Ning Platforms.

 

About Jordhy Ledesma
Jordhy Ledesma is an international web developer whose work has been recognized by the United Nations’ World Summit Awards, The Organization of Ibero American States, The Miss Universe Organization and the Dominican Government. Mr. Ledesma is founder and CEO at Information Providers, an award-winning digital agency focusing on eBusiness solutions that target hispanics. Further information about Jordhy Ledesma is available fromhttp://www.jordhy.com

 

About OXID eSales
Freiburg-based OXID eSales AG is a leading provider of e-commerce solutions. Countless successful B2C and B2B shop operators in numerous segments appreciate the scalability, modularity and quality of the OXID platform. The company’s customers include among others: Deutsche Post, Edeka, Gravis, Intersport, babymarkt.de, Lekkerland, Mercedes Benz, Street One and Mayersche Buchhandlung. Customers benefit during implementation from the flexible adaptation options featured by the standard software (fast introduction time, low cost), the know-how of more than 150 certified OXID Solution Partners and direct contact to the manufacturer’s support and development teams during subsequent operation. OXID eShop is developed and published as Commercial Open Source Software. The advantages are a higher speed of innovation, high-quality developments and long-term investment security for users. Further information is available from http://www.oxid-esales.com

*ip Presenta “eCommerce en R.D.”

Inicialmente en español, el kit de negocios incluye una presentación acerca del eCommerce dominicano preparada por Jordhy Ledesma (360 slides) y un kit de herramientas con informaciones relativas al eCommerce local que los gerentes dominicanos deben conocer. Los documentos son distribuidos de forma inmediata y segura a través del payment gateway internacional GumRoad.


Comprar eCommerce en RD: Guía Práctica y Toolkit de Negocios ($295 dólares)


Contenido de la Guía Práctica (360 slides)

1. Antecedentes del Comercio Electrónico Dominicano

1.1 Cómo empieza el eCommerce en R.D.?
1.2 Cuál es la situación Actual?
1.3. Comercio Electrónico en Latinoamérica
1.4. Indicadores Claves en Latinoamérica y el Caribe
1.5. Barreras del eCommerce en R.D.

 

2. Proyectos Notables

2.1. Históricos: Ciberplaza de Codetel, ePymes de la Unión Europea, Enel.net
2.2. Banca: Bancrédito, Asociacion La Nacional de Ahorros y Prestamos
2.3. Marcas: EPS, Pizzarelli, Casa Mora
2.4. Exportadores: RG Global Caribbean, UNESCO Manos Creadoras
2.5. Gobierno Electrónico: DGII, ONAPI

 

3. Casos de Estudio Exitosos en eBusiness Dominicano

3.1. Best Buy & Rosetta Stone: Investing in Language Learning
3.2. Pizzarelli & Grupo Bona: eBusiness + eCommerce
3.3. Desarrollo Alsuper.com.do: Inicios y Crecimiento
3.4. ONAPI: 120 Millones Procesados al Año
3.5. WDALAW: 300K+ Visitas, SEO, SEM & SMM

 

4. Herramientas Claves para Superar las Barreras Locales

4.1 Bitcoin
4.2 Leverage/Apalancamiento
4.3 Partnerships
4.4 Dropshipping
4.5 Exportación
4.7 Barnacle SEO

 

Contenido Toolkit (aprox. 2500 páginas)

– Artículos de gerencia eCommerce
– Artículos de implementación técnica
– Directorio internacional de soluciones de eBusiness
– Directorio de soluciones locales
– Datos relevantes acerca del eCommerce global
– eCommerce en Latinoamérica
– Elaboración de su estrategia
– Manejo de expansiones
– Directorio de herramientas (análisis crediticio, análisis gradiente, soluciones de envío, tiendas en Facebook, etc)
– Impuestos (comentarios de Caricom, políticas impositivas internacionales y análisis del problema de la evasión fiscal en suplidores)
– Legal (ley dominicana de comercio electrónico y otros documentos de interés)
– Optimización de conversiones
– Personalización de tiendas
– Pop up shops
– Selección de revistas recomendadas para operadores de eCommerce
– Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
– Datos macroeconómicos pertinentes al eCommerce dominicano
– Documentos introductorios al bitcoin, dropshipping y otras herramientas claves
– Galería de infográficos
– Directorio de expertos nacionales
– Directorio de firmas y productos Idóneos para la implementación nacional
– Caso de estudio “Best Buy, Investing in Language Learning”
– Informes varios
– Tendencias

Jordhy Ledesma to Judge at the 18th WebAwards

Jordhy Ledesma, CEO and Online Producer at Information Providers, has been named as a judge for the 18th annual international WebAwards competition. The WebAwards recognizes the individual and team achievements of Web professionals all over the world who create and maintain outstanding Web sites. Websites are judged on seven criteria, including design, innovation, content, technology, interactivity, copy writing and ease of use.

The deadline for entry is June 13, 2014 and the entry form can be found at www.webaward.org. The goal of the WebAwards is to both recognize the people and organizations responsible for developing the most effective Websites on the Internet today. Entrants benefit from receiving valuable feedback from the WebAwards professional judging panel on their Web site development efforts.

This year’s top awards will include:
A “Best of Industry” WebAward will be given in each of the 96 industry categories, including financial services, medical, small business, travel, advertising, transportation and government.

The competition’s highest honor, the 2014 WebAward “Best of Show,” will be given to the one site that the judges believe represents the pinnacle of outstanding achievement in Web development. Last year’s Best of Show winner was BETC Paris for their exceptional work on Peugeot RCZ Test Driver.

The Web Marketing Association will also recognize the interactive agency winning the most awards in the competition with the “Top Interactive Agency” WebAward. Interactive and advertising agencies that win a 2014 WebAward will automatically be included in the Award Winning Agency Database with a free premium listing.

About the WebAwards
Founded by the Web Marketing Association in 1997, the WebAwards is the standards-defining competition that sets industry benchmarks for the best web sites based on the seven criteria of a successful website. The goal of the WebAwards is to provide a forum to recognize the people and organizations responsible for developing some of the most effective websites on the Internet today.

About the Web Marketing Association
The Web Marketing Association was founded in 1997 to help define the standard of excellence for online marketing. Our internationally known award programs, such as WebAward Competition for Website Development, Internet Advertising Competition and the MobileWebAwards, recognize the people and organizations responsible for developing the most effective online marketing programs on the Internet today. Entrants benefit from assessment of their marketing efforts by a professional judging panel and the marketing opportunities presented by being recognized as an award-winning web developer.

Family Food for the Good Times

Web Site

Web Site

Founded in the 80s, Pizzarelli is a true Dominican icon. With twenty two fully equipped restaurants and presence in every major mall, this brand needed a solid online image that made justice to its impact on society. As our second client, we’ve been working with Pizzarelli for a long time and have enjoyed the pleasure of designing the art for their menu, three websites, two intranet applications and several promotional campaigns.

DESIGN
More than 80% of the photos where taken exclusively for Pizzarelli’s new website. This, united with a fresh and dynamic design, gave the scents needed for an exquisite digital creation.

CONTENT
Good productions have great content. For this one, we revised the whole menu in order to describe each plate in a fresh and new way.

ANIMATIONS
Counting on our Flash animation toolset, we created an interactive menu that mixed color motion and sound to create an illusion of nature wrapping the food.

INTERACTIVE
Under the hood, many programs very doing their jobs quietly. Dynamic maps, suggestion forms, web statistics and dynamic search that interfaced with Flash programs.

PROGRAMMING
Scripting and Flash programming where everywhere in this project. We made extensive use of Actionscript, Asp and Coldfusion. Mixing all these languages in a single interface was a challenge but it was important to deliver the site in the shortest amount of time possible.

CRM
Client relations are becoming more and more analytical. CRMs help with the task and allow every employee to understand a customer’s preferences and historic activity. We created a state of the art CRM for Pizzarelli

INNOVATIONS
Data, patterns and historic activity allowed us to craft a comprehensive CRM that works despite intermitent customer contact. The range of animations and novel communication procedures made our projects with Pizzarelli among the most innovative we’ve produced.

RESULTS
Night and day, visitors log in to the various Pizzarelli sites and share them on social media, the brand is highly respected on and offline and the traffic has been increasing on a steady pace. A delicious result for a very delicious brand!

Clear Industry

A New Face for industries and conglomerates so they grow closer to their audience and embrace social responsibility.

PETROQUIM
Very few industrial operators get marketing right. PR and communications are such a challenge for industrials that many times they end up contracting the same project multiple times. This is a terrible scenario for society: citizens are left uninformed unable to tell bad from good actors, and end up choosing inferior products and services. Hence society suffers and the best actors sometimes don’t get to survive. In contrast, an industrial group that communicates well, effects tremendous impact in its immediate surroundings. Therefore, Internet communications and online systems that deliver a clear message, can not only impact the bottom line of factories and companies but also better the life of a whole society. Take for example the situation of Petroquim, one of the largest petrochemical producers of the country. Most neighbors live in constant fear because they don’t know what to make of Petroquim operations. But a website with open tours into Petroquim facilities brings peace of mind to a whole community, offers a new employment alternative and provides a communication device that makes the community and the company even more connected.

As a result of a clear communication strategy, Petroquim’s communications with the government and its immediate neighbors improved and its share of international business also increased. Industrials need to give their communication efforts a second look because that is generally their weak spot. However a solid and clear PR and communication stategy will not only benefit the corporation, it will make government’s work far easier and greatly benefit the immediate society of the industrial.

Some best practices include: an open email rolodex with contacts to all the key managers, inventory of press releases, virtual tours, monthly newsletters, full product catalog, environmental care guidelines, governmental permits and other sensitive information posted on a transparency section, etc.

AGEPORT
High hopes for the Internet were displayed by one of the very first industrials we consulted with: Ageport. Private stevedores that manage a sizabe share of the comodities shipments that put in motion our economy. In particular, Ageport transports 90% of the grain used to produce the country’s national beer. Our first mission with this group of great professionals was to create a digital culture in which email and web browsing were used on a daily basis. Next we set to produce a beautiful website that produdly represented the brand and clearly communicated the key messages of the firm.

More importantly, we provided realtime tracking services to Ageport customers and downloadable procedures for its visitors. These simple tools make it easy for the company to do business, communicate effectively and bring in more business with almost no additional effort. A clear and simple web presence helps Ageport focus the target of communications around business and shipments.
However a more robust communication approach like the one we crafted includes historic information about the company, press releases, online tours and social responsability information.

Onapi Virtual

homepage

Onapi is the National Patent and Intellectual Property Registration Office of the D.R. We created the first version of Onapi Virtual in 2005 and the second version in 2007. The success of this portal was such that more than 45% of the registrations are now performed online and take less than 20 days to process. This means that companies can incorporate 60 days faster as a direct result of our efforts. Onapi went to went the Presidential Medal of Quality twice and the site was nominated for a Golden @ and exhibited to Latin America and the world via online showcases.

The volume of information managed by this site on a daily basis, the social good it brings and the amazing managerial work performed by senior and mid-level leadership make this project a national pride. Since then, the media has heavily reported on the launch and the merits of this website. Not only can Dominican register their intellectual property online, but now international constituents, like managers of Fortune 500 firms or multinational companies can register or query the registration of their company’s intellectual property in the Dominican Nation. The site is compliant with W3C, OPTIC and WIPO guidelines.

Onapi’s website is a production of major significance in the history of the Dominican Republic. It is the only website that every other nation must access in order to legally conduct business in the region. Onapi Virtual is the most intenational of all national government websites and is indeed one of the most sophisticated.

To put things into perspective, Onapi Virtual houses all the patents, logos, company incorporations, trademarks, and name registrations ever issued by the national government.

Our work in this project had multiple stages and included the creation of the institutional CMS, the web design of the whole interface, the database connection to legacy systems, online forums, online request forms, departamental websites, transparency forum, web statistics engine and e-government systems implementation as required by law.
The complexity of this project was only shadowed by its great success and the positive impact that it had in the Dominican Nation. The merits of the website were chronicled by the media in many articles and also by the President himself when delivering the National Medal of Quality to Onapi.

Creating this project had another major impact in the lives of Information Providers’ staff. Now we were the creators of the top entertainment, commercial and governmental websites of the country. It was at this point whre we realised that, as developers, we could become more than simple technicians. We realised we could become a key part of the social fabric of our nation.

Designers, developers and producers that lift culture, business and government for the betterment of nations.

In this context, the impact of our work was clear, we were no longer building pages but crafting a better future for our country by identyfing the most critical projects and tools we could build.

Onapi is a clear example of the key task of every designer: choosing the next project wisely can maximize our societal impact and makes us more relevant in the long term.

Alsuper.com.do: Convenience for Everyone

alsuper

Now the biggest e-commerce site of the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean, alsuper.com.do is redifining the way a whole nation lives. Originally programmed by Jordhy Ledesma, alsuper.com.do now serves tens of thousands of shoppers and delivers groceries to thousands of subscribing families on a weekly basis.

With a very simple interface, real-time, inventory management and search facilities more sophisticated than those of Amazon and Google, right from the start we knew alsuper was going to be a winner. But we never anticipated the impact it would have on the lifes of so many working mothers and families. Now customers can save time and money, live a richer life and eat healthier without giving up convenience. Alsuper has become a platform for healthy and organized living that has helped our clientele enjoy life at least a little bit more. Not bad for a single website!

A FRESH CATALOG
With over 100,000 items , alsuper.com.do is the largest e-commerce site of the Caribbean. We syncronize this catalog with current market prices daily and dynamically update inventory conditions and current pricing. This gives visitors an unprecedented experience, the convenience of an Amazon-like catalog with the freshness of realtime sale prices.

ENDING THE SEARCH
We tag all the items with several keywords: is the item on sale, how fresh is it, availability, storage unit, etc. By adding complimentary information we give customers the products that they want with the fewest search effort possible. Every week, we analyze search queries and further optimize our listings to showcase whatever customers a looking for in a particular season of location.

HEALTHY REMINDERS
Wish-lists, shop-lists, previous orders, premade supermarket orders, etc. We use them all to provide a new kind of experience for shoppers: list-based shopping means less travels to the supermarket, more savings, a healthier family and a more orderly life. As a bonus, now everyone in the family can shop for groceries!

The European Union

epymes 2

And their Broad contribution to the Caribbean’s Internet Economy

Enter the world of cross continental contributions and you’ll understand the strategy of the European Union. By helping countries in the path of development the EU accelerates the economic growth of some of its key partners with the most efficient capital expenditure possible. One of these projects is the PRIL (a program that fosters civil communication in the DR). The EU contracted *ip’s services to maintain and bolster the presence of this critical program that is targeted directly at the civil community of the DR and Haiti.

ePymes
PROEMPRESA is another EU program that contracted *ip’s service thru open tender and tasked us with the created of the largest small business portal of the Caribbean. Hosted by Verizon, the ePymes portal was one of our greatest achievements of the last decade, one that got hundreds of thousands of visitors and substantial media attention.

ONFED
The distinguished ONFED program also contracted our services to enrich the set of online tools available to small business owners in the Caribbean.

Small Business Owners
Small business owners in the Caribbean have a big impact in European big businesses. For one, they are the suppliers of exotic produce and art that are highly demanded in Europe, and they provide touristic and industrial alternatives at such a competitive price that EU businesses can’t easily replace them.

Producing Websites for Small Business Owners
The selection of these strategic small businesses was initially very hard. Officers of PROEMPRESA wanted us to craft websites for three thousand small businesses, however such a task is not sustainable in the long term. Is best to educate the businesses so they become online conversant and then able to use email, social networks and search engines. Then the biggest ones can apply for a website. After a rigorous selection process we ended up working with a handful of impactful small businesses for which we created an onsite development process. Small business owners would then be able to come to our offices and learn about various things related to web development and online tools.

What was the Geographic Impact of this Initiative?
Small businesses with operations in DR, Haiti and Puerto Rico were impacted. Big businesses, restaurants and supermarket chains in Europe, Asia and the Americas were also very impacted. Online ordering means that the global supply chain of tropical and exocit produce is cut in half and the whole process becomes more reliable.

What is Next for the EU And Online Initiatives in the Region?
PROEMPRESA was a two year program that ended up running for four years.Hundreds of similar aid programs are still in operation and Information Providers is proud to contribute in many of them. Perhaps the most notable, the PRIL program is a long running communication program that seeks to enable the civil society at large to use online tools and become more productive. Jordhy Ledesma has been a key consultant in the project and is working towards maintaining the quality and relevance of content that empowers small business owners and professionals across the region. The tools and services created by the PRIL are among the best of the country and they are generally provided free of charge to small business owners and entrepreneurs. These tools and information systems enrich the business relation of any country that transacts with the Republic. *ip is very glad to be an important part of this information revolution that keeps pushing us forward.

Some Technical Facts
ePymes was the first Coldfusion portal of the DR. The technology allows for dynamic PDF generation, interactive form presentation and Verity search. The sophistication of this systems allowed for the presentation of tens of thousands of documents from which the entrepreneurs could choose. The system also allowed for multi-lingual deployment and realtime announcements. Verizon made this possible by donating several servers in their data centers and giving us full control over them. We went on to program on one of the most complex hardware platforms of the Dominican Internet. In such a state of affairs our firm was compelled to excel and deliver very creative solutions to tough communication problems. We made extensive use of Flash animations, ActionScript, some .net technologies, Java, compression technologies, Verity Search, Outlook integration and MS Office dynamic document generation. Products from Macromedia, Adobe, Microsoft and Oracle were instrumental to our achievements.

Impact of the Information Providers’ Portals Developed for the European Union
e-Pymes’ launch had a broad impact in the small businesses of the region. Both residents of Santo Domingo and Santiago regularly access the site to complete various managerial tasks. As a result, the EU commissioned the development of more portals and several indicators grew significantly including funds requests, online visits, company creations (within the PROEMPRESA program) and so on. Today, most small businesses in the DR file their taxes online, register their brand names and logos using the web (in another portal we developed) and generally use the web browser as a natural tool. This benefits European businesses greatly because now they can interact with Latin American suppliers in a very swift fashion.

The impact of the Proempresa, PRIL and ONFED programs thru the technical efforts of Information Providers have increased the speed of business in the region and given businesses across Europe the benefit of dealing with local providers without using the phone. The most succesful of these local businesses, RG Global uses a website developed by *ip and processes monthly shipments of tropical foods and delicacies in the order of tons of produce that enrich life in Europe, the Americas and Asia. Like RG Global, the online tools and services developed by *ip have impacted the live of millions of Americans, Europeans and thousands of local business owners.

Web 2.0, New Marketing Mix

Print, Radio, TV, Exterior, Web and now Web 2.0, the new ingredient of your marketing mix. Does your company have a facebook page? Do you constantly upload videos to Youtube? Do you syndicate content at least monthly? There’s a new channel on the Internet, which is the new way of getting your clients’ attention. Is the interactive channel, the new type of web site that allows audiences to post their comments, files, messages and videos.

Here at ip, we’ve embraced Web 2.0 as the only viable comunications mean in this new century. First, people want a free Web, with no strings attached. Second they want interactive content, and third, they prefer content delivered to them by viral means. This means trust, this means a stronger relation and a more knowledgeable client.

At the end of the day, after 10 Youtube videos, two facebook pages, 20 delicious bookmarks, one blog and one twitter feed you’ll have a MiniNet. Or a network of 30 minisites, that will drive 10 times the people to your Web site. No wonder Burger King has ONE Web site and TWENTY Web 2.0 sites.

That is content recommended by a friend or associate.

Working with The E.U. and Verizon

From January 2004 to  January 2006 we engaged in one of our most complex projects. The production of a full-blown portal that would serve the most dynamic medium and small businesses of the region. The project, spearheaded by Proempresa, The European Union’s nominated organization to forsee small business development in the Dominican Republic, and Verizon, was an outstanding success.

As one of our prominent clients Verizon received our product development and publishing services for two years during the production of the ePymes portal. During this time-frame we created the biggest Spanish portal for small businesses in the Caribbean. Our work included programming, art revision, web production, digital media consulting and web development.

About Verizon

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ, NASDAQ: VZ), branded as Verizon, is an American broadband and telecommunications company and a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It started in 1983 as Bell Atlantic (based in New York City) with a footprint covering New Jersey to Virginia and emerged as part of the 1984 Breakup of AT&T into seven “Baby Bells.” In 2000, Bell Atlantic acquired former independent phone company GTE, and adopted the name “Verizon”, a portmanteau of veritas (Latin for “truth”) and horizon. The company’s headquarters are located in the Verizon Building at 140 West Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City.

About The European Union

The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. The EU operates through a system of supranational independent institutions and intergovernmental negotiated decisions by the member states. Institutions of the EU include the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Central Bank, the Court of Auditors, and the European Parliament. The European Parliament is elected every five years by EU citizens. The EU’s de facto capital is Brussels.

Dale Carnegie Puerto Rico

From 2003 to January 2006 we engaged with Dale Carnegie Training to help produce its ads, email campaigns, websites and e-learning solutions. Dale Carnegie Training received our product development and publishing services under the production supervision of Jordhy Ledesma, the design hand of Jonh Dani and Tulio Suazo among others. During this timeframe we helped positioned Dale Carnegie Training in the Caribbean and helped fill many training sessions and conferences for the distinguished franchise. Our work included art revision, email marketing, social media marketing, web production, digital media consulting and web development.

About Dale Carnegie Training

Founded in 1912, Dale Carnegie has evolved from one man’s belief in the power of personal development to a global workplace learning and performance organization with offices in over 80 countries. Dale Carnegie Training focuses on improving the performance of companies by improving their teams’ performance. The Dale Carnegie Course in Effective Speaking and Human Relations is learn-by-doing based program for individuals based on Dale Carnegie’s teachings. It was founded in 1912 and is represented in more than 80 countries. More than 8 million people have completed a course provided by Dale Carnegie Training. Dale Carnegie Training courses comprise a proprietary process that uses team dynamics and intra-group activities to strengthen interpersonal relations, manage stress and handle fast-changing workplace conditions.

Itabo: An Energetic Production

As one of our prominent clients in Information Providers, The AES Corporation (at the time EGE ITABO) received our consulting, product development and publishing services for three years. During this time-frame we created several sophisticated web products energy provider. Our work included intranet development, interactive-CD programming, art revision, web production, digital media consulting and web development.

The key production time in this endeavor was between January 2004 – January 2007 (3 years 1 month) in Santo Domingo and Haina. We got the distinct honor of working directly with dozens of AES managers, directors and VPs. Our multiple successes with this client go to show how much personal relationships account for streamlined achievement of technical projects.

About AES and ITABO
The AES Corporation is a Fortune 200 company that generates and distributes electrical power. The company was founded on January 28, 1981, as Applied Energy Services by Roger Sant from the U.S. Federal Energy Administration and Dennis Bakke from the Office of Management and Budget. AES is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, and is one of the world’s leading power companies, generating and distributing electric power in 27 countries and employing 27,000 people worldwide.

EGE ITABO was one of the largest energy producers of the Caribbean. Itabo had several plants in Haina, Dominican Republic. Most of the generation was achieved thru thermal sources. ITABO was the second largest employer in the energy generation sector of the country.