Speed as a key Differentiator

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iLoop MobileRecently I met Michael Becker, an Executive VP at iLoop Mobile, the leader in mobile content delivery and marketing. With his trademarked enthusiasm and energy, Michael told me stories of how his company has acquired major new contracts due to Caspio’s ability to complement iLoop’s platform for rapidly delivering complete solutions.

His point was simple and is applicable universally to business of all sizes. Your customer has more choices than ever and market opportunities that exist today may not be available tomorrow. Your ability to fulfill demands fast can be your key differentiator and propel your business forward. You need tools and services that help you execute fast and Caspio’s solutions are proven to enable businesses to do just that.

Speed of execution is a guiding light for Caspio. This is why I invite you to find out for yourself how Caspio can help your business bring ideas to market today, instead of tomorrow.

Google AdWords Advertisers Maximize Results with Fine-Tuned Action Forms and Lead Management

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As online advertising costs and demand for high quality keywords increases smart advertisers seek to get the most from their budget by:

  • improving ads to get more qualified clicks, and
  • improving conversions once visitors reach their site

Improving your conversion rate is a process. You need to study best practices, look at other successful sites, but above all do a lot of AB testing. This includes AB testing your landing pages, call to action, and even your forms.

With Caspio Bridge creating and tweaking web forms is simple. You can try different ideas with forms and play with wording of labels and questions, form length, colors, layout, styles, buttons and graphics.

Next is managing your leads but you don’t need to invest large amounts on a fancy CRM systems. While I cannot divulge names, a Fortune-500 company has recently dropped the leading on-demand CRM provider in favor of a custom Caspio-powered solution primarily because they found that the dizzying array of tabs, links and buttons in that CRM system were distracting their sales staff. Now all the clutter is eliminated in a custom solution built with Caspio. And since Caspio pricing is not based on seats, the saving is very attractive.

Every Caspio Bridge account comes pre-loaded with a basic lead generation form and management app. While it is for demonstration purposes only, many use it as the foundation of their own custom CRM solution.

Don’t forget that Caspio’s Solution Advisors are at hand to consult with you and help you get the most out of your advertising and IT budget.

One week with Caspio

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Nothing gets me more excited than seeing a customer succeed with Caspio Bridge beyond their wildest dreams. Fortunately, we run across such moments very often. Here’s a great example:

“One week ago we held our first “get acquainted meeting” with Caspio and came away impressed with the ease of service and terrific content possibilities. We then went through two training sessions and began gathering data. Today, one week later, we launched the wltx.com Data Center with 11 Caspio-powered searchable databases. The response from the public has been overwhelming and we can’t wait to build out more. Thanks to the entire Caspio team for making this seemingly overwhelming task, a piece of cake.”

Rich O’Dell
President & General Manger
WLTX-TV CBS Channel 19
Columbia, South Carolina
http://www.wltx.com/news/datacenter/

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Caspio Bridge on Mac

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The most frequently requested “feature” our customers have been asking us since Caspio Bridge went live years ago, was the ability to run it on Mac. The administrative interface was only compatible with Internet Explorer 6 and 7 which are only available on Windows. Of course the deployed DataPages were compatible with all major browsers all along.

Those days are over now. The Caspio team is thrilled to release the latest version of Bridge which is fully compatible with Firefox on Windows, Mac and Linux and if it wasn’t for the shifting sands that the current Safari beta is, Caspio Bridge would have been compatible with Safari as well.

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The Caspio Bridge administrative interface is decidedly one of the most sophisticated AJAX applications ever built and making it compatible across all major browsers required significant determination. We hope you enjoy this new flexibility as much as we do.

Thanks for a Strong 2007

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Last week we held our annual company meeting. This is the time when as a company we reflect on our past year, celebrate our accomplishments, review our mistakes, and set the tone for the next year. Our customers may be interested in a brief report.

In 2007 we made three major releases. Each release was packed with much new functionality. Among them was the concept of parameters which glue Caspio Bridge apps together or connect Caspio Bridge apps with other apps. Parameters provided many new possibilities for our users. Instant app localization and extensive data formatting plus new data presentation options were other highlights of these releases. We also developed and implemented innovative back-end infrastructure technology that allows us to scale Caspio Bridge enormously. It enables us operate a distributed grid of Caspio Bridge nodes. We are very excited about the potentials of this new infrastructure.

Almost all of our production servers were replaced with new and we upgraded our databases to Microsoft SQL Server 2005. In the future releases we begin utilizing some of the enhancements provided in SQL Sever 2005.

Early in 2007 we formed a new business unit to focus entirely on the needs of the online media organization, primarily newspaper and TV web sites. A year later, Caspio has become the de facto standard in this industry and we now serve hundreds of leading newspaper and TV web sites. We will continue to invest in innovations and solutions that will make our online media customers more successful.

Our revenues grew by over 130%. We expanded our team and moved to new headquarters in Mountain View, California.

We also learned valuable lessons from the decisions that didn’t quite work out the way we intended them. For example the idea of opening a support center in Scottsdale, Arizona seemed to be a good one, however challenges in managing the remote office turned out to outweigh most of its benefits. After about eight months we shut down the office and stopped the distraction.

In future posts I will share with you our plans for 2008. I can say this now that we are preparing for large scale growth. We have already prepared additional office space for housing new team members. We are also working on some fantastic new features that are bound to get you excited. The Caspio team is just warming up!

ABC News “20/20” Selects Caspio to Power Online Database

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abc2020_logos_v2.jpgABC News “20/20” today launched a Caspio-powered interactive database that allows you to see just how much stuff goes missing every year from luggage at your local airport. The special interactive, “Lost & Looted from Luggage,” chronicles the tens of thousands of passenger belongings that have been looted and lost from luggage using data obtained from the federal Transportation Security Administration. The database is available online and will be featured in the special ABC News “20/20” segment, “Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity about Travel,” that airs tonight (December 14, 2007) at 10 p.m..

If you missed it on TV, check it out here.

Migrating Microsoft Access Programs to Web

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Many companies have aging internal applications that are built on Microsoft Access. There is tremendous appeal in making these applications web-based so they can be accessed from outside the office.

Caspio provides the fastest and easiest way to transform Access applications into web-based applications:

  • The Caspio Bridge user interface is designed to be familiar to Access users.
  • Access data can be imported directly into Caspio Bridge.
  • Caspio’s wizards for creating DataPages (i.e. web forms, searchable databases and other components for web sites) are designed to be easy to follow and intuitive.
  • Caspio’s plugin for Microsoft Office can keep a local Access database in synch with your online Caspio account.

Most importantly, Caspio’s Solution Advisors are very familiar with Access-to-web migrations and are ready to provide assistance and consultation.

Consultants specialized in Microsoft Access solutions find Caspio a powerful complementary addition to their toolbox.

Caspio Bridge User Interface
The 100% AJAX web-based user interface of Caspio Bridge is designed to be intuitive for Microsoft Access users.

Caspio database brings more page views than the Paris Hilton story

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Last week at the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) conference in Phoenix, Ryan Konig, a Senior Reporter for The Arizona Republic (and a new Caspio Bridge customer), told the audience that their database of executive compensation which he recently deployed to the newspaper’s web site using Caspio Bridge generated more page views than the “Paris Hilton Goes to Jail” story.

Ryan Konig (right) of The Arizona Republic
Sr. Reporter Ryan Konig (right) of The Arizona Republic, which was the host of the IRE 2007 Conference in Phoenix.

The public counts on newspapers for local data and online media sites are increasingly using Caspio Bridge as an easy and cost effective way of building searchable databases.

DataPages that Generate Page Views

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The number one reason for creating web apps is to make money, directly or indirectly. For online publishers advertising revenues are a big part of the business and increasing visitors and page views is a sure way to improve the bottom line.

Provided that you have a semi-interesting set of data, the design of your DataPage directly affects its ability to generate page views. Consider the following techniques to maximize traffic:

1. Don’t make me think
Long and complex search forms are a kiss of death. They intimidate me. They may be great for research, to find a single record in a massive database, but a fun and interactive “consumer” database should have a simple search form. I don’t have a lot of time or energy to learn a new interface. Make it easy for me.

2. My hand stays on my mouse
Limit your search forms to clickable controls like dropdowns and checkboxes. If you want me to have fun with your database and try different searches again and again, don’t make me work hard. Don’t force me to take my hand off of my mouse and type in some words in a text field. Besides, I could be tired or spelling-challenged, which ruins the whole search.

3. I can’t drink from a fire hose
Don’t dump your entire database on me. That’s no fun for me. Give me my search results in small doses, like 20 or 25 records at a time. Let me discover more by paging through your database. Remember, every new page is an opportunity to show me more ads.

4. Engage me!
Show me just enough to make me want more. Then take me to the detail page of your record for the whole story. If you show me all you have in the search results page, I have no reason to dig deeper. Also, don’t expect me to know where to click. Make it clear.

5. Design sells
Just because it’s a database it doesn’t have to look like one. Give your data a nice layout and color scheme and add interactivity with integrated maps, reader feedback, and rating.

6. Make me look smart
Give me an easy way to send the address of this page to my friends and family. Show me how to bookmark this page and alert me when you update this database or bring another one online.

Benchmark your current performance so you can measure the results you get by applying these techniques. Everything mentioned here is easily possible with Caspio Bridge. If not sure how, ask our friendly solution advisors.