Merce

Solutions
  • Value proposition

    What we call a solution is somewhere halfway between a proper software product and pure bespoke projects. A solution is a combination of a reusable code base and our expertise to customise it for your needs. In most of these cases, the reusable code base is an open source product plus some modules we have built for earlier customers for which we hold copyright.

    The reason this works very well are obvious:

    • You often get a first version up and running in a very short time, typically two weeks. This rapid deployment of a base version has enormous spin-offs.
    • Our team which works on your customisations gets the benefits of familiarity with the base version and earlier projects. We have deeper expertise in the nuts and bolts of any reusable system than with a bespoke app. This makes our work faster and more predictable.
    • The base system is usually a well-known open source product, therefore you get the benefits of a well-maintained base product with its community support, maintenance releases and third-party extensions, plugins, widgets and connectors.

    We always recommend solutions to customers in place of bespoke applications wherever possible; it benefits both us and them.

  • Work we have done

    E-learning systems We have built online learning management systems using ATutor and Moodle, the two leading open-source LMS solutions available today (refer our case study). We have implemented a variety of customisations to the student life-cycle management, fees management and other areas. We are aware of design weaknesses and feature weaknesses of these systems which we can address wherever they impact a customer's needs.

    Each payment gateway has its own set of rules, its own idiosyncracies.

    Online payment gateways We have built modules to connect customers' Web portals to online payment gateways operated by most of the Indian banks and financial institutions. There are tricky parameters which need to be fine-tuned for reliable integration with payment gateways, and our experience in supporting our existing customers has given us depth in this area. We do not have any open source codebase for payment gateway integration; we have our own reusable modules.

    IVR applications We have worked for more than four years with the IVR (interactive voice response) application platform of the erstwhile Nortel (now Avaya). Our team has built and maintained applications using the Nortel/Avaya PeriDeveloper platform. Many of these applications are in daily use. We will be keen to work with Avaya's own IVR platforms too. We have no reusable codebase for IVR applications. The IVR solution space is a services practice for us, without any reusable codebase.

    Universal identity management does not exist in open source.

    Universal identity management Most enterprises today are facing challenges of maintaining multiple user directories for multiple sets of applications. Many organisations attempt to integrate all applications with MS Active Directory; others build connectors to try to keep various directories in sync. We have worked with OpenLDAP, database tables and MS Active Directory and can integrate all of them behind a single unified identity management system. The administrator can create and delete users using a single interface and relevant changes will be propagated to the relevant directories. We have no open source codebase for unified identity management; we have our own reusable modules.

    Content management systems We have built customised information portals using Drupal, one of the most widely used open source Web content management systems. We have integrated proprietary authentication mechanisms with Drupal, customsed page appearance, integrated proprietary information publishing components within a Drupal-based site, and extended the software in other ways.

    Document management systems We have delivered document management systems around Alfresco, the most widely known open source DMS product. We have implemented workflow solutions on the platform and integrated it with existing information infrastructure (user directories, email messaging, data storage).

    Web activity forensics We have our own solution in the area of Web activity forensics. If you are operating an e-portal or e-commerce system with its security implications, our Web forensics will monitor all activity on your site and report anomalous or suspicious behaviour giving details of specific usernames or accesses which appear suspicious. Our code integrates into Apache, Tomcat and other components, extracts information from them, and analyses this information to detect suspicious access patterns and report on Web activity. We have our own reusable codebase for this solution. This is not built on an open source product.

RELATED READING

  • Models of engagement

    We engage with customers in various models, depending on their requirements.

  • Case studies

    A collection of our case studies, indicating the range and depth of work we have done