Mr. Rahul Mahajan. For our readers, who are reading you for the first time, why don’t you tell us something about yourself and the inception of your company?

Back in 2001, after pursuing my graduation from Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies, I secured a cushy job with an established information technologies company, but I wanted to make it big. So, quitting my job, I joined a fellow techie and turned into an entrepreneur. In the initial days, we catered to clients on Elance.com exclusively through freelance engagement. The only capital I could bank upon was my PC and my technical skills. Today, Xicom Technologies Ltd. is a trusted name in the global IT arena for its software development and outsourcing solutions, backed by a proficient team of 200+ in house subordinates.

The credit of making Xicom a favored offshore software development firm amongst our clientele goes to my dedicated staff that puts in all its expertise to deliver performance-rendering solutions and gain credibility from our clients. Today, we cater to a variety of web development needs mapping from custom software development to enterprise application development to IT consulting and staff augmentation.

The development arena is swiftly shifting gears. Nascent technologies are overpowering the old schools. Recently, SharePoint has emerged as a promising face of development in the IT arena. In a Microsoft SharePoint Conference held earlier this year in Las Vegas, we saw the preview of SharePoint 2013, encompassing some enticing new features. How, according to you, will it impact the IT sphere?

The Las Vegas Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2012 saw more than 10,000 IT professionals and entrepreneurs descend to absorb all the latest insights about what the SharePoint 2013 edition could be like. Different attendees had different opinions about the release of the preview version of SharePoint 2013, but in my view things have just got better. The 2013 upgrade of SharePoint has been endowed with innumerable features that will take enterprise development a notch higher.

Firstly, the authentication feature in SharePoint 2013 promises improvised claims-based authentication at both server as well as application levels. This will promote a more secure and safeguarded application development environment.

Secondly, the much anticipated mobile view optimization has finally been introduced in SharePoint 2013. In my view, this was an essential requisite. With users exceedingly venturing into the mobile world for more than just entertainment and communication purposes, making SharePoint mobile-ready was called for. And the ability of rendering single SharePoint site in multiple formats for different devices is an amazing addition, especially to cater varied handheld devices available in the market. This would extend the reach of any application in question.

Another intriguing feature of the 2013 SharePoint version is the incorporation of business Intelligence (BI) features in Excel. Some noteworthy functionality upgrades such as power view add-in for Excel, In-memory BI Engine which promotes instant analysis of millions of data rows and decoupled PivotTable and Pivot Data reports have made data management simplified.

All in all, for me introduction of SharePoint 2013 means enhanced user-experience and improvised enterprise-collaboration. I must say, SharePoint development environment is getting a much-required facelift and it won’t be wrong to perceive it as the future of enterprise application development.

The concept of SharePoint development is relatively new and at times organizations picture a wrong view about the technology and its scope. What are the misconceptions that you find prevailing about SharePoint in the market today?

Development on, or integration with, SharePoint doesn’t mean that your application will become a closed architecture. Your application must not be tightly coupled with SharePoint platform only. Today, we can develop loosely coupled SharePoint Solutions, thanks to REST and SOAP based web services.

Second misconception that I commonly encounter is that SharePoint is solely a document repository. Honestly speaking, SharePoint has a lot more to it. With around forty features mapped in eight categories, SharePoint is much more than a simple portal. We need to shift are focus from the document libraries and lists to workflow, web parts and other immediate features.

Another misconception that individuals and organizations tend to harbor about SharePoint development is that SharePoint offers great collaboration features but its capability of supporting line-of-business applications can’t be counted upon. This is a myth and enticing features of SharePoint Server 2010 have convincingly proved so. SharePoint is not only scalable and performance-oriented but also encompasses of functionalities that are ideal for building enterprise business applications.

Many organizations are shifting from ASP.Net to SharePoint. As per you, what could be the possible reasons?

In the span of past 10 years, I have personally experienced a gradual shift from ASP.Net development to SharePoint development. Many prospect clients are making decision in favor of SharePoint development environment based on the numerous features that it renders. Easy web management, simplified and improvised content management and advanced community management features make SharePoint a preferred choice amongst clientele.

The business intelligence center and the insights feature of SharePoint enables clients to make better business decisions and manage their business goals effectively. Moreover, the ease of developing collaborative business solutions without the need of intricate coding makes SharePoint a user-friendly as well as a developer-friendly platform.

Furthermore, SharePoint has the capability of seamlessly integrating with enterprise-level application software such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). All in all, SharePoint enables the end user to access the right information to make enhanced business decisions and easily share data and expertise. At the enterprise-level, it saves time and effort and reduces maintenance and training costs.

Which are the most sought after SharePoint services, for which clients come up to you?

Custom SharePoint development is amongst our best sellers. It includes portal development, content management, and migration and maintenance services at competitive prices. Most of our clients initially sign up for portal development services but soon switch over to complete development and maintenance package, satisfied by the quality of services they get.

We keep our inventory updated about any new services or packages that we introduce. This way, our clients are always updated about any possible changes that might benefit their business.

Small and Mid-level organizations seek the ‘outsourcing’ path when it comes to managing their efforts and funds effectively. When do you think an organization should outsource its business?

As an organization outsources its business, time and effort are not the only factors that need to be dealt with effectively. Apt fund management is also essential to ensure that a firm gets higher returns on its investments. Since portal development is the foundation of online business, organizations should outsource only if any of the following conditions holds true:

  • If they don’t have the right resources who can handle SharePoint development dedicatedly. Portal or web application development is an intricate task. You can’t afford to assign it to individuals with half-knowledge or no relevant knowledge at all. If you lack dedicated expertise in your organization, outsourcing is the way out for you.
  • If they have the requisite funds to hire expert resources that can render top notch SharePoint development solutions. Good development services come at a cost. They need to look for a service provider whom they can trust for their end-to-end development needs. Development is not a quick or one-time process. It is an ongoing procedure that demands both time and sincere efforts.
  • If they have already tried all possible ways out but still haven’t reached desirable conclusion. In such a scenario, you definitely need seek professional aid from outside.

If you were to render some advice to organizations who wish to outsource, what would it be?

If an organization decides to outsource, they must keep the following things in mind in order to maximize their ROI:

  • Before you hire a service provider, do your homework thoroughly. Have substantial knowledge of the services you are about to hire. Having basic knowledge about the service poses you as an informed and smart customer, and ensures that you are treated like one.
  • Only hire professionals who have an established industry repo and a proven track record. The service provider must be liable for its strategies and actions.

Do some background research & enquire about the success ratio of the service provider and also about the customer satisfaction rate. Ensure that they have a streamlined workflow and follow proper privacy policies. Customer support is another essential requisite. They must be able to provide you with seamless support in any hour of need.

Let’s move a notch higher and talk about the future of SharePoint development. Which aspects of SharePoint development do you feel are on the horizon that the industry and its people must pay attention to?

Development is no more about coding a portal; it’s more about delivering a user-experience. Organizations need web applications that target usability and functionality at the same time. It’s time to follow a user-centric approach and design and develop web applications accordingly. Looking at the recent changes taking place in the algorithms, basic web development won’t do the trick. Many sites have failed to function as per the modern day needs and thus, failed to lure customers.

SharePoint 2013 is the definite future of SharePoint development arena. According to Microsoft, SharePoint 2013 is the new of collaborating and working together. This updated version of SharePoint includes several enticing features such as enhanced integration capabilities, in-built social capabilities and simplified user experience, which allows users to sync, share and organize all their content. With SharePoint 2013, Microsoft has given its best shot to user-experience, making it simplistic for administrators to deal with long-running and intricate programs.

Just a final pointer to this answer, in the changing web scenario delivering user-interfaces is more essential than building complex web structures. I’d recommend using high-end technologies like SharePoint that promote user-experience more than anything else.

Thanks for taking time out from your busy schedule and being humble enough to answer my questions. Why don’t you go ahead and tell us something about your company and its services on a concluding note?

Thanks. It was indeed an experience speaking with you. To give an idea about our software Development Company and services, we offer an array of development and outsourcing services including custom software development, web application development, mobile application development, SharePoint development services, software outsourcing and IT consulting services. The best part about Xicom Technologies Ltd. is that we have a 100% client satisfaction ratio. This means we hardly have any unsatisfied or disappointed customers. You can even check our customer satisfaction ratio on Elance

We offer result-oriented services at competitive pricing with genuine price tags. We developed some amazing web solutions for our clients, while many of them have already progressed into the inception phase as we speak. The main reason behind our budding client base and 100% satisfactory turnaround is our ability to pay attention to even the minutest details and our vision to deliver quality-driven results and not just reports.

Once again, thanks for inviting me over for this conversation. I think that would be all from my side. For any further questions, you can visit xicom.biz you can mail me at [email protected]; I am famous for my prompt responses. You can also call our team on +1.855.55XICOM at any point of time for a discussion.