Date archive for August, 2017

Mobile App Design: Top UI Design Trends For 2017

by Admin - on Aug 31st 2017 - Comments Off on Mobile App Design: Top UI Design Trends For 2017

a mobile app displayed on a smartphoneSuccessful mobile apps are those that provide practical yet beautiful features to users. However, like everything else in this world, the mobile app industry is also vulnerable to the influence of design trends, especially as it relates to the user interface or UI.

That said, Cloud Xtension suggests that you consider the following if you are planning to develop or update your mobile app this year.

Hide the Navigation

While hidden navigation isn’t particularly new, it’s only recently that custom app developers began to hide the navigation to save valuable space for mobile users. Essentially, the menu should only be viewable when needed and remains hidden when it’s not.

Think Wearing, Not Carrying

According to reports, over 200 million wearables would be sold by 2019. Simply put, you have to think smaller and try to adjust your mobile app to smaller screens fit for wearable devices.

Keep the Background Diffused

Because mobile apps can be seen on smaller screens, it’s extremely important to help users focus more on the app features. While having a great background is vital, consider diffusing it so as not to overshadow your app’s features.

Touch ID

Before, this technology was limited for unlocking electronic gadgets. Now, you could use touch ID to verify online accounts and mobile apps. As a bonus, this technology offers a safer and easier verification process.

The Return of the Card Design

Cards simply make navigation easier for users. They help place and divide content properly, and show users that they could select actions, which makes the app design more responsive, useful, and engaging.

Material Design Still Reigns Supreme

Since its introduction in 2014 by Google, more websites and mobile apps have adopted this design aesthetic due to its speed-loading and simplified effects when used with animation, layering, and gradients.

Intelligent Use of Color

Just look at Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and other successful mobile apps. You’ll notice that they all stick to a single color palette with just a few hues. This does not mean, however, that you have to change your brand’s colors. You could still use them, but in a more elegant and subtle way to enhance your app and keep the user’s focus on its features.

If your mobile app doesn’t keep up with the latest design trends, it’s not too late to incorporate them in your future updates. After all, your mobile app is meant to help your users and it’s essentially up to you to make sure that your app is beautifully designed, feature-packed, responsive, and practical.

SIP Killed the Telephone Star: Businesses and the Telephones’ Successor

by Admin - on Aug 30th 2017 - Comments Off on SIP Killed the Telephone Star: Businesses and the Telephones’ Successor

Businessman working on the smartphone
Traditional analog phone lines are now a thing of the past. With the rise of virtual telephone lines, companies can enjoy access to an almost unlimited number of phone lines over the internet. Apart from eliminating the need for a physical connection to a phone company, shifting to a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) allows businesses to save more money on their business phone while increasing phone reliability.

Companies like SIP.US, for instance, allow for the quick provision of SIP trunks in a fully-automated, self-service environment. In fact, SIP trunk deployment guarantees productivity improvements and long-term savings.

A Lower Cost for International Calls

Calls on traditional phone lines can get expensive for companies that maintain several international business relationships. Furthermore, making long-distance calls on Public Switched Telephone Networks (PSTN) requires setting aside a budget, which could dissuade employees from making calls at the end of the month or resort to cutting conversations short. With SIP trunks, all long-distance calls are essentially free since they travel over data networks.

Integrated Communication

Some organizations use various kinds of systems for voice calling and video chats. As a result, employees end up using multiple instant messaging applications to communicate with each other. These ad hoc systems, however, do not translate into a cohesive user experience. With SIP trunks, you can use the system for every type of communication and make it the foundation for a unified communication suite.

Improved Flexibility

Changes to a conventional enterprise phone system can be difficult to configure since it requires the services of an IT technician. These rigid systems are often a lot more complicated, however, so users cannot simply disable features they need at a particular time. SIP trunks, on the other hand, offer flexibility by making sure companies only pay for the resources they use. Since everything is accessible through an online dashboard, changes do not require technical expertise.

Get work done faster by installing SIP trunks. Upgrading to the virtual telephone line will translate to significant cost savings and better productivity right from the get-go.

Internet Users in U.S., UK Hold Varying Beliefs on Cyber Security

by Admin - on Aug 28th 2017 - Comments Off on Internet Users in U.S., UK Hold Varying Beliefs on Cyber Security

Businessman clicking a VPN icon on a virtual screenDo adult Internet users in the U.S. hold a higher level of awareness in cyber security compared to their counterparts in the UK?

A recent survey of 2,000 adults in both countries revealed different views and perceptions on several topics and best practices for maintaining their online privacy and security while surfing the Internet.

Interesting Beliefs

Despite the survey showing varying results, the attitudes of some Internet users on malware seemed quite an interest. An estimated 300 respondents from the U.S. believed that it could improve Wi-Fi signals. On the other hand, only a handful of British users thought about the same thing.

This misconception among some of the U.S. respondents somehow aligned with another discovery, which involved 58% of users that believed their anti-virus software was enough to ward off a cyber-attack. In the UK, only 37% of the surveyed adults had the same perception. British users were also more doubtful of public Wi-Fi networks, such as those in coffee shops and hotels.

Safety Practices

Best practices for cyber security does not only involve protecting yourself against potential online threats, but also keeping your information private. The need for VPN tunneling software and other products becomes more relevant, due to ransomware attacks such as the WannaCry virus that recently unfolded all over the world.

VPN, short for Virtual Private Network, allows users to mask their identities while surfing the Internet. This is more popular in the U.S than in the U.K., with 65% of American respondents using it compared to 44% of British users, according to the survey.

A strong sense of familiarity with best practices for cyber security becomes increasingly important, amid the growing number of high-profile online threats worldwide. How do you plan to keep your online privacy and security free from viruses and other safety risks?

Small Office Changes That Increase Productivity

by Admin - on Aug 24th 2017 - Comments Off on Small Office Changes That Increase Productivity

Employees in a MeetingEven if everything’s in fine working order, everyone can always be more productive. You don’t have to breathe down your employees’ necks to make them work faster and better, and you don’t have to splurge on unnecessary perks to compete with a hot startup’s culture, either.

Sometimes, all it takes is going back to basics— ergonomics.

A few, minor upgrades to your office infrastructure and environment will do wonders. Here are a few ways to do that:

Upgrade communication lines.

You’ll never know how much productivity suffers from slow internet speeds until you switch to faster ones. It’s going to be a costly upgrade, but its benefits are going to be felt immediately.  Equip your office with Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunks and other competitive communications tech to be ready for rapid growth. SIP trunks are a cost-effective alternative to relying on phone lines for your telecommunications. In business, faster and better communication is the key to growing strong.  Your clients—and your employees—will thank you.

Buy more plants.

This might be the best and least-expensive office environment upgrade you can do. Plants regulate the air your employees are breathing, as well as generate more oxygen. Plus, the sight of plants has a calming, productive effect compared to corporate offices that look and feel too sterile. Go the extra mile and give everyone inexpensive succulents to decorate their desks!

Choose color wisely.

Colors can affect your employees’ mood. Too much of a color could affect the general mood so be careful about putting too much of one color in a single space. For example, a room that is painted bright red may promote energy, but it also could encourage aggression. Yellows can improve people’s mood, but it can also stimulate the appetite. You don’t have to go all out with the paints but choosing a few pieces of furniture with bright colors is more than enough.

It’s your employees’ job to accomplish their tasks, but it’s your job to help them make it happen. Invest in an office environment conducive to productivity. Even small changes can help a hyper-productive company culture that any employee would want to be a part of.

Why Filtering Your Cooling Water System Is Important

by Admin - on Aug 23rd 2017 - Comments Off on Why Filtering Your Cooling Water System Is Important

Filter for drinking waterA functional cooling system is essential for any plant. They prevent your machines from overheating and breaking down. With water cooling, having clean, filtered water can make a huge difference. Untreated water can result in foul water, with traces of organic growth. Both of these could drastically decrease an industrial plant’s productivity and even result in system breakdowns.

What makes up a cooling tower water filtration system?

The system consists of a set of mechanisms that take away harmful impurities that are present in the water. A system’s configuration would largely depend on the feed water’s quality, the kind of cooling tower present, the water quality requirement recommended by the manufacturer, the circulatory water’s chemistry, the kind of heat exchanger, and the concentration cycle.

 What does a filtration system check for?

  • The water’s alkalinity. This indicates the potential presence of calcium carbonate.
  • Chlorides. They are proven to be highly corrosive to metals.
  • Iron levels. The presence of iron mixed with phosphate can damage equipment.
  • Organic matter. Too much of this could lead to the growth of microorganisms that can cause corrosion. Certain organisms can also lead to health hazards for your workers.
  • Sulfates. They can also lead to metal corrosion.
  • Dissolved and suspended solids. Things like dirt particles are also regulated as they cause scaling and corrosion.

All in all, an efficient water treatment system is a must to make sure that your machines’ service life last much longer.

Can You Trust Your Mobile VPN Provider?

by Admin - on Aug 22nd 2017 - Comments Off on Can You Trust Your Mobile VPN Provider?

Woman using vpn on her laptopVirtual private networks (VPNs) have been popular due to an increased level of data privacy and security, yet being unaware about trusted providers can bring more harm than good.

Mobile VPNs are not immune to this imperfection, especially since the use of smartphones brings a whole new level of risks for careless users.

Australian Research

Those looking for a trusted VPN provider should avoid using free services, according to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Australia. That’s because providing free services seems to good be true, as the required IT infrastructure for an efficient VPN network carries a hefty price, said Narseo Vallina-Rodriguez, an International Computer Science Institute researcher.

In other words, using a free service not only puts your data and online privacy at risk but also allows fake VPN providers to monitor your traffic. For businesses, it’s important to find a trusted third-party provider like DBA Services, preferably those that offer a complete suite of services from a VPN network to remote DBA support. Some providers even offer their services at cheaper costs than hiring an in-house team, which can save expenses for your business.

How VPN Works

For the uninitiated, VPNs protect your online privacy through an encrypted tunnel, which can be done using different protocols. You need to take note that while your Internet service provider can’t see your traffic, they know if you are using one.

Finally, using a VPN network does not fully make you invisible on the Internet. It only makes it harder for hackers to steal your information, or ward off snoopy ISPs that scout for details to be sold to third-party groups.

Conclusion

Data security and online privacy have become more important as more people are online for different reasons. While a VPN network increases your chances to securing your data and online identity, be prepared to spend a certain amount to expect good results.

Keeping Up With The Competition: 2 Ways Your Business Can Stay On Top

by Admin - on Aug 21st 2017 - Comments Off on Keeping Up With The Competition: 2 Ways Your Business Can Stay On Top

Businesswoman On Her Laptop and PhoneMany businesses falter in the face of increasing competition, and it causes them to incur severe losses the size of their market share dips. Here, we highlight some of the credible ways to safeguard your business.

As more companies come into the market, the level of competition increases, much to the detriment of your business. You now have to put in more effort to hit your target, make a sale. Many startups use innovative marketing strategies to make inroads in the market. In most cases, this results in surrendering some of your customers. The newcomers will then take a bite off your market share. Rather than watch helplessly, take proactive measures and protect your bottom line.

Embrace Technology

Don’t be a victim of changing technology. Failing to adapt to emerging technology has proven to be the Achilles heel of many great companies. In addition to helping you keep costs low and improve efficiency, modern technology resonates well with the customers. For instance, rather than make the trip to your physical store, customers would appreciate being able to shop online. With the help of a custom management system, you can tend to the needs of your clients with a higher degree of efficiency. Such a system includes an automated purchase order acknowledgment. This will let the customer know that you are aware of their order and working to fulfill it.

Increase Customer Satisfaction

If two companies sell the same exact products to the same market, the one with better customer care registers more success. On top of the need to solve a pressing problem, customers need to feel good about their purchase. By addressing this, your company can gain an edge over competitors. It makes the customer feel valued, making the shopping experience a pleasant affair. It goes without saying that people work hard to earn their dollars. They are unlikely to spend them on your products if you don’t make them feel special. In most cases, it only takes being friendly and professional to excel in customer care. Creating such an atmosphere around your product helps you to earn the trust of your clients.

The increasing competition can deal your business a severe blow. It decreases your market share. Luckily, you can take proactive measures to increase customer satisfaction and improve service delivery. These will increase your sales.

Why Get VPN for Your Business?

by Admin - on Aug 14th 2017 - Comments Off on Why Get VPN for Your Business?

A Laptop Connecting To A  VPNHackers and phishers are getting smarter and braver when it comes to stealing information they can use to their advantage or profit from. Security threats such as Firesheep, Wi-Fi spoofing and others require a higher level of protection. This is when a virtual private network or VPN tunnel software becomes advantageous for your business; here are other reasons to install this software for your company.

Reduce the Risk of Cyber Attacks and Breaches in Security

A VPN prevents hackers from breaching the security of your network, ensuring its safety from data or even identity theft. Symantec noted that cyber attacks are occurring more often compared to before, with an increase of 125% from 2014 to 2015. A virtual private network keeps your team out of public networks vulnerable to hackers.

Puts Clients at Ease

Your company’s information isn’t the only target of hackers they may also want the data of your clientele. If you gather data like names, addresses, contact information and others from your clients, a cyber attacker may want to get these as well. Allay the worries of your customers by using VPN. The latter secures this valuable information in another network, adding an extra layer of security to thwart hacking.

Stay within a Network

If an employee needs to travel abroad, you’d want them to stay within your network. A virtual private network makes this possible; because some countries restrict the websites a person can visit. For example, China blocks sites like Facebook and Google. If that employee needs access to some sites, they’ll need to use a particular IP address, which can be the country they came from.

Save Money

Using a VPN reduces your expenses and increases savings. With a virtual private network, you don’t have to spend on a long-distance leased line and charges on long-distance calls and you can reduce the cost for offloading support.

A virtual private network provides your company with many advantages, some of which include those mentioned above. Use one to not only protect information, but also reduce expenses.

Great Advertising Means Securing Your Deserved Market Share

by Admin - on Aug 11th 2017 - Comments Off on Great Advertising Means Securing Your Deserved Market Share

Laptop screen showing the words Ad CampaignAbout 99% of businesses in Singapore fall under the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) category. Local owners and operators proudly comprise 84% of this number. This further proves that the country indeed has a booming economy.

However, the continuous growth of Singapore in terms of businesses and organisations also means that the number of your competitors is rising. This said, you should start looking at your current campaigns and make sure they are producing positive results. This is where hiring advertising services from agencies such as Singtel Media comes into play.

Keeping you standing out from the crowd

Advertising plays a huge role in raising awareness of your brand. When people do not know of your organisation, you can expect your client base to remain insufficient. This will then result in your business having difficulties keeping up with expenses and achieving success.

Advertising agencies use a wide array of strategic methodologies, allowing your enterprise not just to stay afloat, but to stand out from the competition. From television to digital, and from mobile to direct advertising campaigns, these companies have the much-needed tools, skills and expertise to meet the needs of SMEs.

Making the Internet work for your business

Web-based advertising is one of the areas advertising firms specialise in. The experts understand that the modern society now heavily relies on the Internet for most of their daily tasks. With 82.5% of the country’s population using the Web, you can leverage this to spread the word about your business.

Through combining targeted advertising and digital campaigns with other marketing strategies, you can reach thousands of people and let them know what your brand has to offer. Leave them with a long-lasting first impression, and they most likely will choose you over the competition.

As a Good Employer: Improving Workplace Safety and Keeping Everybody Healthy

by Admin - on Aug 6th 2017 - Comments Off on As a Good Employer: Improving Workplace Safety and Keeping Everybody Healthy

Work safety word on the cardA considerable number of employees succumb to work-related injuries in the course of their duties, putting your company in a tight spot. Luckily, you can take proactive measures and nip such disasters in the bud to keep all your employees safe.

The last thing on every employee’s mind when leaving home for work is not getting back. Due to workplace accidents, some people never live up to their promises of going home. In 2016, more than 60 people never made it home after kissing their families goodbye in the morning. Of course, you wouldn't want to be part of that.

Avoid Sure Disaster

Any incident at work can prove to be ruinous. It can cause you to incur millions in legal and compensation costs on top of losing a valued employee. The regulatory authorities might be breathing down your neck for the near future. Failing to comply with any of their recommendations could lead steep fines and legal actions. It can be bad for your reputation too, and you could have customers decamping to the competition. Hence, you need to take credible measures to create a safe working environment for everybody.

Engage an Expert

It's common for businesses to ignore small risk factors when ensuring safety, but it's what leads to sure disaster. For instance, a slip, trip, and fall accident can cause you a considerable amount of trouble. Legally, you are responsible for any harm in your premises. Rather than take chances, you should hire a safety expert to fix all these risk factors. They're professionals who can help create safety measures that suit your particular needs. They can even train your employees to keep safe.

Work-related accidents are unfortunate incidents that bear severe consequences for your company. Luckily, you can take proactive measure and eliminate the risk factors before they compound and keep your workers safe.