Category Archives: It Solutions

Confidentiality And Non Disclosure Agreements Protect Your Company

Category : It Solutions

By Iain Mackintosh

In today’s business world, confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements are becoming increasingly important for businesses looking to protect themselves from damaging leaks. Most employee contracts will contain some kind of confidentiality agreement as standard, but these kinds of agreements are very important if you share information with another company for any reason, or if you hire outside contractors to work for your business. You may soon discover that a reliable confidentiality agreement could be one of the most valuable business documents that you have!

Many firms underestimate the damage that can be done by unauthorized disclosures of information, and it can take just one unscrupulous or careless individual to do thousands of pounds worth of damage to your company.

Why do I need a non-disclosure agreement?

Potentially damaging information that can be leaked from a company includes:

— Business documents, plans and strategies

— Passwords and other access information

— Technical diagrams, company software programs, and so on

— Research results


— Financial information

— Legal documents

— Confidential correspondence

— Personal information of employees

Depending on the nature of the leak, improper disclosure of one of the above could cause you a minor PR problem, sabotage an entire project or even irreparably damage your business. If you haven’t done so already, you need to sit down and consider how your internal company information could be used against you, and what data needs to be covered by your company’s non-disclosure agreement.

How do I implement an agreement?

A non-disclosure agreement can be implemented as a separate document or as part of an employee contract. In either case, it is worth making sure that the agreement is correctly worded and legally binding, either by consulting a lawyer or by using a legal document template to draw up the agreement.

Some of the things that need to be included or defined in the agreement are:

— The owner of the information (typically the company or owner of the company) and the receiver of the information (the contractor or outside company that will be working with you)

— Definitions of the terms used in the agreement (for example, ‘information’, ‘disclosure’, ‘public access’, ‘intellectual property’ and so on)

— Reasons why the non-disclosure agreement is necessary

— Definition of what sort of information is covered by the agreement

— Definition of permissible use of the information

— Any exceptions to the agreement

— Any penalties to be imposed if the agreement is breached

What happens if someone breaks one?

Anyone who breaks a non-disclosure agreement leaves themselves vulnerable to legal action, and they may face an injunction, damages and orders to account for profits. If a compensation amount was specified in the agreement this can be requested, but note that different countries have different regulations about how much you are allowed to claim, and a judge is likely to overrule any excessive compensation demands. Essentially, a non-disclosure agreement acts as an effective deterrent against a breach of confidentiality, and puts you in a strong legal position if a breach does occur.

What exceptions are there?

Non-disclosure agreements may protect you from careless or unscrupulous companies and contractors, but they won’t protect you from the law – they can be overruled legally if there is a legitimate reason to do so, for example as part of a court case. They can also be rendered invalid if they are incorrectly worded, so make sure that you get proper legal documents that clearly define the terms and conditions of the agreement.

About the Author: Iain Mackintosh is the managing director of Simply-Docs. The firm provides over 1100

legal documents

covering all aspects of business from holiday entitlement to non-disclosure agreements. By providing these legal documents (with content provided by leading commercial lawyers, HR and health & safety consultants) at an affordable price, the company intends to help small businesses avoid costly breaches of regulation and legal action.


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10 Top Uses For Excel In A Debt Collections Business

Category : It Solutions

When you run a business from home, you need all of the tools at your disposal to make keeping track of the details easier — but some tools, like Microsoft Excel, can take a startling array of forms. A collections business can utilize Microsoft Excel in several mundane and a few very startling ways.


There are tens of thousands of templates for Excel on the web, not to mention the dozens it comes prepackaged with. Check out a few that a debt collection agency can well use:

SLAs — While most of your service-level agreement will be in text form, there is always a page that requires some of Excel’s organizational capacity — the costs page. With Excel, it’s easy to manipulate cost-per-X, overtime agreements, what charges your contractor will authorize, and more.

Background Checks — One of the more important aspects of a solid debt collections effort is collecting all of the information you can about your debtor. With an in-depth background check template, you can simplify the process by using drop-down menus rather than manually-typed entries, and you can make sure that all of the questions get answered.


Employee Training Records — There are a lot of things that a debt collection agent needs to know, especially about the Fair Debt Collection laws. By putting together an exhaustive list and checking off when an employee has been trained on an item, you not only ensure that employees ARE fully trained, but you have the records to prove it.

Receipts — Debt collection receipts can vary in complexity from simple notes to full-page outlines of what’s been paid, what is owed, what is accruing interest at what rate, and how long it will take to pay off the debts at the current rate. Excel templates can do the latter with ease.


Every startup debt collection agency faces challenges when it comes to getting clients. A few choice Excel tricks can make this a much easier process.

Direct Mail — For a third-party agency, getting customers is all about finding companies interested in selling you their debt. Contacting a mailing list renter that specializes in first-party collections groups and using Mail Merge to create a form letter announcing your service is easy with Excel.

Online Advertising — Keywords are king when it comes to online marketing. Get a pro to do research what keywords you should use, but request the results in Excel, so that you can sort by any of the several variables each keyword has, and find the best most easily.

The Back End

Excel spreadsheets can take care of much more than the financial paperwork in your back office.

Scheduling — Excel can easily produce both numerical and graphical schedules so that you can easily take notes or see potential scheduling conflicts.

Customer Tracking — There are a myriad of different options that a customer can take when it comes to servicing his debt. Excel can whip up a quick plan that will automatically calculate interest and the pay-off debt.

Inventory — Even a small business with few employees can go through a staggering variety of amount of supplies in a month. With Excel, you can keep inventory and know what you need to order when — but you can also project business a few weeks ahead so you can modify orders based on any potential downturns.

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About Author:

Jen Morrison is a writer for Canada’s largest online marketplace for training. They provide access to Excel training in Toronto and in most other major centers across Canada.Author: Jen Morrison

How Kids Furniture Can Affect The Way Children Feel

Category : It Solutions

By Simona Rusnakova

The way that a child feels can be affected by a whole host of things. One thing that many people do not consider is the furniture their child has in their room. It is very important that you take into account how the furniture your child uses can affect the way they feel.

Kids love adventure – Bunk beds can become a great place to play

Kids will have a much better imagination than their adult counterparts. This can be a good thing and means that they love to have an adventure. Bunk beds can not only be functional but fun as well. If you have two children who share a room, bunk beds would be a logical choice of bed type.

However, that is not the only reason why bunk beds should be looked at. The fact that bunk beds are much like a jungle gym adds to their appeal to children. With a childs imagination it is easy to have fun on the dual levels that this type of bed provides.


Tables can help with school performance and proper development

The way that children perform in school can also have a link to their furniture at home. Having a table specifically made for kids is a good idea to help them with their school performance and development. Giving your child a table of their own where they can complete their homework is a good idea. Additionally, introducing your children to sitting at a table to complete a task can help their development as they grow accustomed to having to do this.

Chairs and the health aspects of sitting correctly

Back pain is something that we all know about and even children get this ailment. The problem is that children may not be able to tell why they are sore. Incorrect seating can play a large role in lower back ache even in children. Getting chairs made for kids is a good idea to keep your childs posture good. Sitting incorrectly can lead to problems later on in life. A child sitting in an adults chair will also face a number of problems that will make them very unhappy. If the chair is at the table then the table will be too high for them making any activity difficult. Additionally, their feet will often hang off the ground giving them no support from there. This lack of support can cause lower back problems and curvature of the spine.

Kids furniture should always be colourful and fun

The look of kids furniture is also very important. The visual aspect of furniture should be bright, colourful and fun. Many types of kids furniture will come in a different shape like a car or plane. This is great for children as their furniture can be something to play with when they cannot get outside. The colourful nature of the furniture can subconsciously lift the mood of your child and make them happier and more inclined to play with the fun things.

The furniture you have in your house for your children needs to be picked out carefully. You want it to keep your kids occupied when they cannot play outside and help them learn mannerisms that will help them in later life.

About the Author: This article was submitted by Simona Rusnakova,

SEO Marketing

consultant of, on behalf of who sell

bunk beds

, mattresses and other types of furniture online in Dublin, Ireland.


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Leveraging Six Sigma In It

Category : It Solutions

Leveraging Six Sigma in IT


Rajesh Naik



CHANGING BUSINESS PARADIGM The International Data Corporation (IDC) predicted that the worldwide outsourcing market would grow from $100 billion in 1998 to $151 billion in 2003, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.2 percent. The 1990s witnessed a massive spurt in service outsourcing, particularly in the IT services sector. Over 60% of the Fortune 500 companies, located in Europe and America are outsourcing their IT operations offshore to developing economies like Asia, Africa, the Carribean and Latin America with a view to achieve cost reduction. The primary contributor to cost reduction was the wage disparity between outsourcing companies and the service providers. This first phase of outsourcing leveraging wage arbitrage is towards completion with a large chunk of cost reduction potential being realized. Today, outsourcing companies, have identified quality and productivity as the key differentiators in evaluating service providers. These parameters are of prime importance since most software solutions have relatively small payback periods. Service providers also bring complementary knowledge, ideas, and business methodologies, and enable outsourcing companies to concentrate on core competencies. These benefits in addition to cost reduction are turning the tide in favour of outsourcing. It is difficult to leverage these benefits in the absence of a defined set of tools and techniques. Application of process improvement techniques like Six Sigma can help realize these benefits. This paper examines the application of Six Sigma to the IT services industry holistically. SIX SIGMA – AN OVERVIEW Contrary to what some believe, the goal of Six Sigma is not to achieve six sigma levels of quality. Six Sigma is about improving profitability, although improved quality and efficiency are immediate by-products of Six Sigma. Mikel Harry KEY SIX SIGMA CONCEPTS Bill Smith, a senior engineer and scientist at Motorola introduced the Six Sigma concept in 1986, to standardize the way defects are counted. Motorola extended the benefit of its Six Sigma expertise to other organizations via the Motorola University. At its core, Six Sigma revolves around the following key concepts. Critical To Quality (CTQ) Attributes most important to the customer Outside In approach Looking at internal processes from the customers perspective and changing them accordingly Defect – Any event that does not meet the specifications of a Critical to Quality (CTQ) attribute Defect Opportunity- Any event, that provides a chance of not meeting customer requirements and which can be measured Defective – A unit of product containing one or more defects Transfer Function Y = f (X1, X2, X3.Xn), where Y is the dependent or response variable and Xs are independent or predictor variable that control the performance of Ys. Focus of Six Sigma is to control Xs and not Ys. Before moving on to the application of Six Sigma to IT services, let us first understand the Six Sigma methodology. The evolution of the Six Sigma methodology can be explained with a brief description of sigma. s is a Greek alphabet that denotes standard deviation. Standard deviation is a measure of dispersion in a given data set. The values (of the data set) are equally distributed on either side of the mean i.e. above and below. We delineate some data points within that timeline. The sigma value is measured against this. As we move farther away from the mean on the timeline, the sigma value goes on increasing. Process Sigma (Z) Measure of process capability. Process capability is process ability to meet customer requirements. The Six Sigma methodology focuses on reducing the variation in any process and aligning the process mean with customer specified target. A process can be said to be at Six Sigma level if the nearest Customer Specification limit is six standard deviations away from mean of the process. Six Sigma is a business strategy that results into achieving a near zero defect level. The sigma levels and their corresponding defects per million opportunities (DPMO) give an idea of the quantum of improvement in yield with Six Sigma. The fundamental objective of the Six Sigma methodology i.e. implementation of a measurement based strategy to propel process improvement and reduce process variation is accomplished by means of two strategies DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) and DMADV (Define, Measure, Analyze, Design and Verify). DMAIC is an improvement system for existing products or processes. Fundamentally DMAIC is Define Define project goals and customer deliverables based on voice of customer (VOC). Measure Measure the process to evaluate current performance with respect to customer requirements. Analyze Analyze and determine root cause(s) of poor performance. Improve Devise and evaluate multiple solutions to improve performance and eliminate defects; Pilot solution and compare performance. Control Quantify improvements; Implement control plans to sustain desired performance. Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) is used to design or re-design a new product or service. One popular DFSS methodology is called DMADV. Fundamentally DMADV is Define Define the scope of the project and initiate the project. Measure Measure customer needs and specify the CTQ parameters. Analyze Analyze the concepts that meet customer needs (CTQs). Design Develop a detailed design with respect to the customer needs and identify control plans. Verify Test and verify design performance with respect to customer CTQs. DMAIC focuses on only one or two CTQ (Critical To Quality) parameters at a time whereas DMADV focuses on an entire set of CTQs for a given product / service or process. SIX SIGMA IN IT Eighty-five percent of the reasons for failure to meet customer expectations are related to deficiencies in systems and process rather than the employee. The role of management is to change the process rather than badgering individuals to do better Dr. DemingSeveral process improvement methodologies like Six Sigma, Total Quality Management (TQM), Quality Circles, Taguchi, Statistical process control, etc. are being successfully implemented in the manufacturing industries sector. It was perceived that such improvement methodologies are ineffective in the IT services industry. GE, pioneers of Six Sigma implementation in a non-manufacturing set-up, has estimated benefits of the order of $10 billion during the first five years of implementation. Some commonly made arguments against the effectiveness of Six Sigma in IT services sector were Software processes are difficult to measure. Software development is people intensive work that needs creativity. Software development is not a repeatable process. Six Sigma theories are based on assumption of normal probability distribution and Software processes cannot be included in this category. Though these factors are true in some sense, the Six Sigma methodology can still be applied to IT processes. The software processes are definitely difficult to measure but its not an impossible task. Industry leaders like IBM and institutions like Software Engineering Institute have designed and published many metrics for software processes for the benefit of the entire industry. Capability Maturity Models prescribe the quantitative management processes as one of the Key Process Areas at level 4. Lot of books and other material is available publicly to choose right metrics from. Six Sigma offers strong tools like Quality Function Deployment (QFD), CTQ flow-down and other templates to convert high-level VOC into measurable CTQs. 90% of the processes in a software services company are repeatable and can be improved by the process improvement DMAIC methodology. The DFSS methodology can be applied to the remaining 5-10 % of the processes, which involve creativity. It is true that Six Sigma concepts evolved with normal distribution. But, Six Sigma tools can be easily adapted to handle processes having non-normal distribution Having discussed the arguments supporting the applicability of Six Sigma to IT processes, let us make an attempt to understand the applicability of Six Sigma to the processes that are an integral part of IT services. CORE DELIVERY PROCESSES The software development life cycle (SDLC) consists of four phases – Analysis, Design, Coding and Testing. Along with these core phases, processes like defect prevention, project management, Software Quality Assurance (SQA), Reviews, etc. are an integral part of the Quality Management System of any IT service provider. The effectiveness of these core processes directly impact the CTQ parameters. There is a large scope for improvement in these processes in most IT companies. Six Sigma can be deployed to improve these processes. One of the key factors in deploying Six Sigma is identifying the Y metrics (dependants). But for core processes this becomes simpler since historical data for key metrics such as review efficiency, review effectiveness, productivity, defect density, schedule variance and effort variance are already available. After prioritization, critical poor performing metrics can be taken as Six Sigma DMAIC projects. Six Sigma DFSS methodology can be applied for software development projects. Six Sigma in SDLC helps in making the software manufacturing process more predictable and ensuring that all Customer CTQs are met. Some Sigma tools that can be applied in this methodology are Quality Function Deployment (QFD) helps in converting the high-level customer requirements (VOC) into detailed program specifications. Use of QFD ensures that no requirements are missed and it also helps in prioritizing the software elements. Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA) is a tool that provides effective risk management for the entire SDLC, and identifies the probable failure modes of software at design phase. This initiates corrective action on the design. Pugh matrix enables software developer / analyst to compare different concepts with reference to customer CTQs and create strong alternative concepts from weaker concepts Scorecard is a predictive tool used for: Predicting final quality (Y metrics) based on process (X) metrics Quantitative Risk Assessment Identification of High Defect Drivers Linkage from Customer CTQs at lower levels in a flow down Application of Design of Experiments in software testing is an emerging trend. Software testing based on orthogonal array, detects most possible defects at a fractional testing time. DELIVERY SUPPORT PROCESSES The processes that are value enablers are equally important to consistently deliver best quality service to the customers. These processes consist of infrastructure and network services, Resource Management, HR processes, Finance and accounting, Training, Central Quality organization etc. Efficiency and effectiveness of delivery support processes directly or indirectly contribute to the productivity of core delivery processes. Processes like infrastructure and network maintenance are extremely important for offshore development / BPO models. Six Sigma DMAIC projects can be forked to improve any or all the processes mentioned above. Some Y metrics for Delivery support processes are Resource turnaround time Cycle time for recruitment Defects in payroll processing On time invoicing Accuracy of invoicing Network response time Network utilization Training effectiveness In effect, Six Sigma has a profound impact on the most critical resource in IT industry i.e. human resources. PRODUCT QUALITY ATTRIBUTES It is of paramount importance to deliver a high quality software product. The application of Six Sigma to the above two areas Core Delivery Processes and Delivery Support Processes, directly or indirectly contributes to product quality. Metrics like response time, resource usage (Memory / CPU), and resources availability are critical to the quality of a software application. Six Sigma methodologies can be molded to optimize performance in keeping with the required metrics. The Six Sigma DFSS methodology enables us to predict product performance in the initial design stage so that adequate control measures are in place. Figure 3 depicts the impact of any error or missed requirement in design phase on the cost in the later phases of the software development lifecycle. It has been proved that time taken to fix a design or requirements defect during testing phase needs about 20 times of rework effort as compared to a defect fixed right at the induction phase. Here, deployment of Six Sigma can play a major role to reduce or control the development costs. The DFSS methodology as applicable for software processes cannot be directly mapped to DFSS methodology as implemented in manufacturing processes. In manufacturing, a product once designed is produced for years together. Whereas, in case of software development, a software design is manufactured (coded, to be precise) only once. This makes the application of DFSS in software development tougher. In a typical manufacturing setup, the crux of DFSS lies in achieving manufacturability at Six Sigma quality levels. For a manufactured product, the design budget might be flexible but in the case of software solutions, the budget for design is very limited and all the CTQs must be met in the given budget. The DFSS rigor ensures that the software is designed, coded and approved with minimum rework. The DMAIC methodology can be applied to improve the Product Quality Attributes of existing applications, too. Many a times, as the user base increases or if the application is deployed in a global environment, response time decreases. Round the clock availability of application has also become a critical issue in todays global work culture and BPO scenario. DMAIC projects can be implemented to tackle such issues and find a cost effective fix. Improving reliability measures like MTBF (Mean time between failures) and MTTR (Mean Time to Repair) can be other focus areas of DMAIC improvement projects. CUSTOMERS PROCESSES Most IT companies provide End to End solutions to their clients and therefore enjoy a long-term relationship with their customers. This has benefited the service providers in acquiring significant domain knowledge. The consultants possess fairly good amount of tacit knowledge about the clients core business processes in addition to IT skills. Six Sigma tools and techniques provide an excellent channel to develop a basis for solution based consulting. Six Sigma methodologies can help core business processes as well as IT processes. Owing to the consultants exposure to customers processes through IT support, they are familiar with the best functioning processes, processes which are not operating efficiently and those processes which have reached entitlement. This enables prioritization to tackle the relevant processes and this prioritization of improvements makes implementation of Six Sigma easier. PATNIS APPROACH Patnis Process Consulting Practice offers customers a complete range of process improvement related solutions that covers the best of process/quality models and applied proven methodology and practices. PCP facilitates IT organizations to move to newer levels of business excellence through incremental process improvements that are either benchmarked against established models (ISO/CMM) or focused on specific process areas of improvement. With over 15 years of experience, Patnis consultants provide the customer the high-quality and cost-effective solutions by offering the following services: Process Diagnostics Model Based Process Improvement Services Focused Approach to Process Consultation Six-Sigma Methodology for Process Improvement consultation Quality Management Practices & Training Customized solutions SIX SIGMA METHODOLOGY FOR PROCESS IMPROVEMENT Patni embarked upon its Six Sigma implementation initiative in 1998 in select software project delivery areas. In the year 2000, Six Sigma was implemented in one strategic business unit (SBU). Eventually, it was implemented at the company level. As of June 2003, Patni has a team of over 30 certified Black belts, over 300 certified Green belts and more than 1100 trained Green Belts. Patni Green Belts executed over 350 projects spanning across all SDLC processes, which resulted in benefit of more than $ 2mn to customers in addition to productivity gains and quality improvement in all SDLC processes. The projects focused on areas such as reduction in batch cycle time, testing time and time spent in resolving production abends. It also focuses on improving On Time Delivery, automation of customers processes and optimizing CPU utilization and so on. Patnis Six-Sigma consultation services endeavor to improve customers quality management processes and their returns on investment (ROI) by reducing operational expenses. Certified Six Sigma practitioners transfer critical knowledge and skills to the client organization to lay the foundation for lasting improvements in the dynamic business environment. Patni facilitates optimization of processes using the Six Sigma methodologies (DMAIC/DMADV). Patnis portfolio of Six Sigma consultancy services includes: Performance Improvement Process Improvement People Development Patni has developed its own specific Six Sigma based methodology to execute development projects and maintenance projects respectively. BUSINESS VALUE DEPLOYING SIX SIGMA FOR PROCESS IMPROVEMENT Conseco, Inc., one of America’s leading sources for insurance, investment and lending products offers its customers better products as an exchange to their current policies. The exchange process, involves the following two steps: Field related tasks like approaching the customer, to get his/her acceptance, and complete the necessary paperwork. Back office work in policy administration The objective of the solution was to process 10,000 applications between August -December 2001 with the existing workforce of 16 people. Patni implemented the Six Sigma , process improvement DMAIC methodology in the following manner. One Black Belt resource from Patni was deployed at Consesco site to facilitate process improvement using Six Sigma methodology. A model was developed to project staffing needs to process the desired number of applications. Formulate new process definition, Implementation Plan, Documentation/Control Plan. Patni deployed Six Sigma successfully by reducing the cycle time for processing application forms thereby increasing productivity. DEPLOYING SIX SIGMA FOR ON TIME DELIVERY (OTD) Patni has a project based Service Level agreement (SLA) about the task delivery schedule with one of its clients. On Time Delivery (OTD) is the metric used for measuring delivery schedule. Patni undertook the SPAN Six Sigma DMAIC project to realign service levels for OTD and convert them to the following two parameters: SPAN – A metric used to measure the variation in deliveries beyond the customer stated date Median A metric which specifies where the project is centered Patni implemented the SPAN DMAIC project in the following manner: High level discussions were held to understand and gather the factors affecting high SPAN. The Six Sigma- DMAIC methodology was implementd for process improvement. Span Caluclator and Minitab Tools like Gauge R&R, Normality Test, Segmentation, Pareto, Regression and control Charts were used to undertake complex calculations. Patni deployed the SPAN Six Sigma DMAIC project by reducing SPAN and Median and consistently meeting customer delivery dates. It successfully employed usage of statistical tools to track the causes of high process variation. CONCLUSION Six Sigma can be successfully applied to the IT services industry where human resources is a critical input Availability of reliable data and metrics is crucial to successful implementation of Six Sigma in IT arena In IT services sector, benefits of Six Sigma can be accrued from Internal process improvement Product Quality improvement Better predictability Customer satisfaction improvement due to improved cycle time, waste reduction Though some of the processes in IT industry may not fall under normal probability distribution, other quantitative and qualitative tools could be used to improve the process. Focus of DFSS methodology on Analyze and design phase significantly reduces the defects, rework during testing and hence productivity during the rollout phase Six Sigma rigor is a key differentiator in solution based consulting ABOUT THE AUTHOR Rajesh Naik Rajesh Naik has over 12 years of experience, including more than 6 years in the field of quality initiatives like Malcom Baldrige model, Balanced Scorecard, Six Sigma and Quality circles. He assumed Six Sigma black belt role at Patni in 2001 and was part of core Six Sigma team that rolled out Six Sigma in Patni-GE Global Development Center. During this tenure, his key role has been to identify improvement opportunities, coach / mentor the green belts for project completion, training of the consultants that include customizing Six Sigma training material for software professionals, deliver training. He successfully designed and launched the DFSS approach for Software development projects within the SBU. He also, worked on cycle time improvement project for a leading insurance company in US. Rajesh holds a post graduation in Software technology from NCST, Mumbai after graduation in Industrial Engineering. ABOUT PATNI Patni Computer Systems Limited (BSE: PATNI COMPUT, NSE: PATNI) is a global IT Services provider servicing Global 2000 clients in the Manufacturing, Insurance, Banking & Financial Services, Retail, and Energy & Utilities industries. Patni’s technology focus spans e-business solutions, enterprise applications, embedded technology solutions and enterprise systems management. Patni is an ISO 9001:2000 certified and SEI-CMMi Level 5 organization, assessed enterprise wide at P-CMM Level 3. In keeping with its focus on continuous process improvements, Patni adopts Six Sigma practices as an integral part of its quality and process frameworks. Patni is one of the Top 6 Indian-based companies who operate optimized global delivery models for customers, fronted by a strong local consulting capability. For more information visit

or contact


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Leveraging Six Sigma in IT

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Search Engine Optimization, Google, And The Reptilian Code

Category : It Solutions

By Jerry Bader

Search engine optimization dominates the thinking and to a large degree the marketing efforts of many small and medium-sized companies, but have you ever noticed that many of the largest and most profitable companies in the world ignore many SEO techniques.

Of course these companies have large advertising and marketing budgets that drive traffic to their websites and generate leads, sales, and most importantly customers; and they achieve these results without having to twist their Web-marketing message out of shape in order to satisfy search engine criteria.

Their prime interest is in delivering their finely crafted, focused marketing message to their audience, not to search robots. Last I heard search engines are in the business of selling you their stuff not buying yours. But these companies also know something that you don’t; they have a secret that makes their marketing work without the need for search engine appeasement. This secret is not much of a secret, in fact it is out there for all see; unfortunately most search engine crazed entrepreneurs choose to ignore it and instead look for an easy fix, a magic bullet, search engine nirvana.

Google’s Mission

Google’s success is based on two very simple facts: one, it is the best way to find what people are looking for on the Web; and two, it has parlayed this ability into a series of paid-for services. Pretty obvious stuff until you delve deeper into why and how this works. Google understands the same thing most extraordinarily successful companies understand and that is they know what you really want. The keyword here is ‘really:’ they understand the unconscious primal need to survive, to be the alpha-ape, to be first on page one of a search for whatever it is you do, because in the SEO game, if you ain’t on the leader board you ain’t in the money.

The Google Paradox

Here’s the problem: Google can only be successful as long as they deliver relevant search results to a vast Internet audience. If they fail to deliver appropriate search results people will stop using them and their paid-for services will decline. On the other hand, you as a business executive want access to Google’s vast audience, and the only way you think you can effectively gain this access is to appear on that first search page as close to the top as possible; and you really don’t give a damn how you get there. Enter the search engine optimization gurus, boffins, and Svengalis who provide the promise of survival of the most index-able.


So now we have Google who’s success is based on delivering relevant searches and SEO companies intend on manipulating this ability to place their clients on page one near the top. Google of course being a smart bunch of guys foils the SEOs by constantly changing their methods and algorithms and trumps them by placing paid-for results in the most prominent places. And the game continues, bringing in huge profits to Google and wonderfully large fees to the search engine optimization experts, leaving you paying the shot with little to show for it.

Just as an aside, I can tell you that most of our website traffic and subsequent inquiries and worldwide clients come from Google searches, and our website is mostly Flash, concentrates on Web-video and audio, and basically ignores most search optimization tricks. We rely on providing our audience and Google with relevant material.

Back to Basics

The lesson here is clear: sound marketing practices based on the way people think and act should be your number one priority, not blind faith in the manipulation of some constantly changing mathematical formula that is increasingly playing second fiddle to paid-for placement.

Persuasion Techniques

The ability to make money on the Web is not based on traffic but rather on your ability to communicate. High volume expensive traffic that leaves your site within seconds serves no financial purpose. You should be spending your marketing dollars on methods that grab visitors’ attention and deliver a focused, informative, entertaining and memorable marketing message that resonates with your audience’s unconscious desires formed in the primitive reptilian portion of the brain.

The Lustication-Justification Process

Sales are generated by creating what Clotaire Rapaille, the reigning superstar of market research, refers to as the process of lustication and justification. Lustication is the psychological trigger of desire that makes your audience want to buy your product or service, while justification is merely the rational excuse used to expend resources.

Decoding the Motivating Triggers

Rapaille’s work is all about decoding the motivating triggers that prompt a purchase. Once found, the job of the marketing effort is to stay on code. The major research effort is to get past the excuses, the justifications, the rational left brain thinking that appeases the accountants, engineers and programmers, and to get down to the nitty-gritty, the elements and primal coding that make us tick.

Rapaille believes words carry more than their literal meaning and are ripe with unconscious associations, not a surprising revelation since all communication whether verbal or nonverbal is based on the associations we make over a lifetime of experience. These shared associations form the basis of the code we are looking to play upon in our marketing.

Where most corporations and advertising agencies use focus groups as an exercise designed to cover their collective asses, Rapaille takes a different approach. As a trained psychiatrist, he organizes his version of focus groups in stages. During the first stage he allows his subjects to gain a sense of accomplishment by justifying their reasoning through logical and rational thinking that he completing ignores. In the second stage, he pursues the more relevant hidden aspects of desire, and that’s the ultimate sales trigger he’s looking for.

An Affordable Solution

Most businesses certainly can’t afford the fees of someone like Clotaire Rapaille, but if you free yourself from conventional thinking and the need to justify and rationalize everything you do then maybe you to can find the hidden triggers of desire that form the code you need to base your marketing on.

Humans have two fundamental needs, survival and improvement; these essential requirements are subdivided into our need for food, shelter, reproduction, acceptance, community, status, and knowledge; these are motivational triggers for everything your audience does and for every cent they spend. While you’re knocking your brains out competing for top spot on a Google search, the big boys are delivering what people really want, and laughing all the way to the bank.

If you want your share of the Internet pie, you best discover what really satisfies your audience’s hunger, because that’s the basis for a marketing message and website presentation that works.

About the Author: Jerry Bader is Senior Partner at MRPwebmedia, a website design firm that specializes in Web-audio and Web-video. Visit


, and Contact at or telephone (905) 764-1246.


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