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“Rather than sell off-the-shelf software products or rigidly defined service offerings, Icreon Tech approaches technology solutions as a consultancy in order to formulate specified solutions for each client’s unique circumstances and environment.”

Icreon Tech’s experience, process and attitude have facilitated the growth of a strong and steadfast portfolio of clients, ranging from leading Fortune 500 companies, small to medium sized businesses, public sector organizations, and growing start-ups. They have helped their clients realize the potential of technology, to gain instant, visible and measurable returns from their investments.

At Icreon, they go back to the basics; when technology had a purpose, when technology was a valuable means to an end, when technology was a tool for organizations to achieve their goals – however ambitious they may be.

MO: Can you expand on what it means that “Icreon comes on board as a technology partner as opposed to a technology vendor?”

Himanshu: Rather than sell off-the-shelf software products or rigidly defined service offerings, Icreon Tech approaches technology solutions as a consultancy in order to formulate specified solutions for each client’s unique circumstances and environment. Our first step to developing a solution for a client, is to conduct a thorough analysis of their processes, vision and business environment. We collaborate extensively with the client from the outset of a project with an IT audit and technology assessment, to truly understand the interactions and relationships between people, processes and technology within the company.

By understanding the business environment firsthand, we are able to approach our projects as partners, rather than a vendor selling an off-the-shelf software solution. Once we understand what works for your unique circumstances, we will suggest the appropriate steps forward to optimize your business processes and overall IT infrastructure.

MO: What are some of the most common IT issues you see small businesses facing and how can they be avoided?

Himanshu: From Content Management Systems and eCommerce to mobile applications and web development, businesses are increasingly coming to terms with the direct role that digital offerings and back-end IT processes play in relation to their overall success and growth. Specifically, the user experience and intuitive design of software and websites is often placed on the back burner by many businesses, small and large. At Icreon Tech, we help our clients understand the direct relationship between superb design and increased customer retention, increases in prospects and greater stickiness for their mobile apps and web offerings.

MO: What are your top tips for creating a successful eCommerce strategy?

Himanshu: eCommerce sites are no longer a differentiator but a necessity for business. The trick now is to design your eCommerce sites in a unique and forward thinking way. For some clients, we have incorporated features such as blog-commerce. Blog-commerce involves the creation of micro-blogs that pertain to a specific product or marketing campaign.

For instance, consider promotions and endorsements by celebrities for products. Corresponding micro-blogs will serve as a secondary experience for customers aside from the commercial. It can feature behind the scenes footage of a commercial shoot or interview with the celebrity discussing why he or she loves the new product.

Personalizing the customer experience is also key, and it starts with an effective customer relationship management system backing the entire site. Tactics such as re-marketing, can help personalize offers and advertisements for each visitor to your eCommerce site. Remarketing uses interaction data from users, specifically regarding their previous online shopping searches, purchases and open shopping carts. With that information in hand, your eCommerce site can then personalize ads and offers to reflect the items a visitor was recently browsing through or had placed in a shopping cart. Such real-time offers are a very effective way to differentiate your eCommerce offering and connect directly to customers.

MO: What are some trends in your industry that you’re excited about?

Himanshu: First I would say mobile, given the definite growth of the field for everything from mobile marketing, branded apps and enterprise applications. There is also significant progress being made in the areas of web development and design. Advances in HTML5 and JavaScript allow us to really blend experiences across a multitude of devices in standards-friendly interoperable way.

MO: How do you think that the increase of online colleges will impact the direction of higher education in the coming years?

Himanshu: Recently I wrote an article for Wired.com concerning the impact online education resources would have, specifically on the textbook publishing industry. New options for academic institutions as well as students themselves, will undoubtedly shake up the publishing model as well as the overall strategies for higher education. Ideally such new technology for education, will result in lower costs and easier access to high quality learning experiences for anyone.

Icreon Tech had great success in the field of edu-tech, through our collaboration with Net Texts, Inc. Our team helped create a tablet education app with free access for students and teachers to Open Education Resources and MOOC materials from sites such as Khan Academy. With that experience in mind, I foresee publishing companies offering their own take on MOOCs and even venturing into the development of mobile apps that offer dynamic versions of their content within their print textbooks.

MO: Have you had any mentors during the course of your career or anyone that specifically inspires you?

Himanshu: A lot of what I learned about leadership was from Jouni – my first boss. He was a Finnish businessman many years my senior but he treated me as his equal. He always sought out my opinion, heard me out and treated me with respect even though I was in my first job and had no prior experience. He also put a lot of trust and faith in me and empowered me to make a lot of my own decisions. That had a very positive impact and created a desire in me to constantly deliver to exceed his expectations and I guess I must have carried that forward and built upon it as my own leadership style.


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