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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 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.

Protecting Your Company’s Finances with Cloud ERP

by Admin - on Jul 20th 2017 - Comments Off on Protecting Your Company’s Finances with Cloud ERP

Employees working with a financial management softwareMoney is the lifeblood of a business, says Dana Griffin, which makes the finance department the nerve centre. It is only necessary for the finance and accounting department to ensure their operations’ efficiency. Finance is a core function of any company and it is a must that they meet regulatory standards as well as strict deadlines to ensure the business runs smoothly.

Errors and delays are inevitable yet despised in the world of finance. How can the finance department have efficient operations yet still meet the company’s competitive demands?

Risk Management

ERP is like the central nervous system of every company. It stores information and makes this data available to those who need it. The corporate sector’s financial management systems handle tasks that are both time-consuming and expensive to manage. Afterwards, they provide you tools that could allow your clients to do their job in doing business with you.

With the Cloud, there is no more need for employees going back and forth from each office to retrieve documents from the department. Just one click on the Cloud will redirect any relevant information from the system to the employee.

Security is Vital

Many Cloud systems are communal, which gives the impression that your data in that virtual sphere is not secure. Data, however, is even less secure when dealt with physically. All offices and workstations are vulnerable to theft – storing data on technological platforms lessens the risks for file breaches.

Since data centres are not foolproof, it is important to employ an IT professional who is knowledgeable in dealing with the Cloud. Although it might make some business owners dubious, entrusting your Cloud with an outsourced provider will give you more accurate and efficient system processes. Cloud professionals know hack-resistant software should protect that data and require authorised entrance in cases of intrusion. Security is what you need for your company and they will provide you just that.

The Cloud has revolutionised the way businesses get work done, making it the de facto IT infrastructure. When a company agrees to lessen risks of information breaches, the more trustworthy it will be as a business.

Best Practices For Destination Marketing

by Admin - on Jun 1st 2017 - Comments Off on Best Practices For Destination Marketing

Magnified red pin stuck in a map

Are you trying to promote a place? If so, the advertising and marketing approach for these is different. You need to know more about it, the different attractions near it, the nearby establishments and other factors that affect its marketability. Experts cite the following ways you can market and advertise a destination effectively.

Refresh the Website

The website is what makes the first impression on visitors; this can pique the interest of visitors to the place you want to promote. If the site looks dated, lacks any information and doesn’t have compelling content about the destination, then a visitor will click back and may never return. This isn’t good for those who want to advertise places.

Audit your website to determine its mobile-friendliness; more and more people are using their smartphones and other similar devices. Make content easy to browse on your audience’s tablets and phones, and de-clutter a page to highlight its best aspects and certain pieces of information about the place.

Visuals Are Your Friend

Great images, videos and other similar content types are a must for any destination marketing campaign to succeed. When people look for attractions, establishments and certain places, they often look at the beautiful pictures or watch a virtual tour first, and they sometimes ignore the text entirely. Deliver what you have to say and sell the experience through the visuals integrated on your website or paid ads.

Make an App

An app for destination marketing like visitwidget.com boosts the engagement and interaction between potential clients and brands promoting places. The app can provide updates about the attractions such as closing times, new additions, budget and how to get there. These bits of information can convince a potential visitor who is still unsure about going because he or she doesn’t know how to get there via public transportation or doesn’t know how much to bring.

These strategies provide you with a cost-effective way to reach your audience and convince them to visit a place. Making an app, using visuals and refreshing your website boost the marketability of a destination.

Features of Cloud Server Hosting

by Admin - on May 16th 2017 - Comments Off on Features of Cloud Server Hosting

Man pressing a projected image of a digital cloud

There are many software applications today that are cloud or internet based. This has made all businesses and companies across various sectors opt for these highly-advanced technological platforms and tools.

What is cloud hosting?

Project management hosting on the cloud is one such tool which makes the job of the manager and engineers very efficient. Cloud hosting is a service which operates in such a manner that the servers are all clustered together. This is considerably better and more advanced than traditional web hosting.

Instead of being housed in one server, in cloud hosting you will be a part of multiple servers. Your website will be housed in a virtual world, where it is considered secure and accessible only to authorized personnel. The reason this type of hosting is popular is discussed below.

Financially viable for most businesses

Cloud hosting is a very cost effective when compared to conventional hosting for most type of businesses. This is because there are no fixed fees, as you can pay for this as you go. You pay only for the servers you use, irrespective of whether they are one or multiple. Even small businesses can afford cloud hosting, which is not the case with traditional hosting.

Scalable and compatible

You can scale the capacity of your website depending on the demand and your needs. When your business expands, you can add on extra servers with the help of the cloud server. Similarly, when the demand falls, the extra server can be dropped.

This type of hosting is also compatible with all platforms as you can have any number of platforms in a single cloud. You need not worry about compatibility of your website with other websites, and the hosting services, if you use cloud hosting.

Another great feature is the response times which are instant. This makes the capabilities of the website very dynamic with virtually no down time. Thus, cloud web hosting is a natural progression in the field of technological progress and is poised to take over the traditional website hosting eventually.

What You Need to Do to Pass the CompTIA A+ Exams

by Admin - on May 2nd 2017 - Comments Off on What You Need to Do to Pass the CompTIA A+ Exams

Woman writing on a notebook while she types on a computer

IT professionals are well acquainted with the CompTIA A+ certification. More than a simple certification which helps people progress in their careers, it is an industry standard required of all IT professionals. Both support technicians and actual software engineers are required to take this certification exam. Many dread the actual exams but with enough preparation, acing it would be quite easy.

Preparation is the key to passing any certification exam. But with exams such as the CompTIA A+ certification tests, it is important that you are well guided on the content of the exams and testing techniques. Follow these review pointers in order to get started.

Check the Exam Objectives

The CompTIA is transparent in terms of the examination coverage. Before the examination period, the test objectives or the exam coverage is released on their official website. While the coverage is not always accurate, the most important questions that are graded heavily are always in the released objectives.

Check the Syllabus

Standard tests cover troubleshooting techniques, network connectivity troubleshooting, and installation of software as well as the configuration of operating systems. More advanced exams also contain questions on security breaches and standard operating procedures. Whether you are studying on your own or enrolling into a review center, it is important that you review an updated guide. After studying guides, an updated a+ practice test should also be thoroughly reviewed.

Industry Standard and Time Management

There are plenty of tips online on how you can ace your exams but you still need to learn about testing techniques. There are questions framed to be more confusing than others and some that are regarded more points than the usual problem set. There are also techniques on answering questions quickly as well as which questions should be prioritized. These kinds of information are not available online and are accessible only to review centers. If you feel that you need more practice and need access to a+ practice exam samples, enroll yourself in a formal review center or buy professionally prepared samples which are available online.

The variety and abundance of samples and review materials online make it attractive for aspirants to simple self-study. However, procuring credible samples and reviewers, as well as learning from professionals can guarantee success. Choose your strategy wisely and prepare well before the actual date of exams.

Pricing Guide: MSRP and MAP

by Admin - on Dec 23rd 2016 - Comments Off on Pricing Guide: MSRP and MAP

Online SellerGiven the saturated market today, in addition to the dominance of the online shopping scene, it’s becoming hard to keep track of commodity prices. On one side, you have items that sell for 50% off; on the other, 30% off — but with the same price.

For many customers, this is obviously a confusing scenario, which requires both mindfulness and attention to detail to avoid falling prey to bait-and-switch markups. Businesses selling online are even more unpredictable.

For this reason, the minimum advertised price (MAP) policy and minimum suggested retail price (MSRP) must be stated clearly to preserve the integrity of the product price and the credibility of items sold online.

How MSRP Affect MAP

In plain and simple terms, the MSRP has little to do with MAP when it’s already out in the marketplace.

MSRP is the discounted price available to resellers and retailers when they buy wholesale. So, the reseller may purchase an item for half its price and it will depend on the receiving end (resellers/retailer) to relatively adjust the price based on various market competition factors. Typically, location and target market ratio influences MAP. High-end items for specific target markets can have more than 50% markup.

Online Price Wars

What makes the entire online buying and selling scene so complicated is the diversity of its economy, the complexity of costs, and the demand.

Most, if not all, e-commerce sites will have MAP based on their front-end competitors’ own pricing policies. Generally, these types of online merchants rely on providing discounted rates, which is the primary advantage of online shopping. Since there’s hardly ever a physical store, the MSRP from manufacturers is naturally out of the equation as the providers of the product are often retailers themselves coming from all over the world.

With all these in mind, when dealing with brick and mortar stores or even recurring entrepreneurs, you should have your distinct and independent MAP. This gives identity to the online business and sets it apart from the competition.

Keep in mind that while MSRP still exists, the pricing will automatically be adjusted for online sellers.

Product Quality and Niche Marketing

by Admin - on Dec 22nd 2016 - Comments Off on Product Quality and Niche Marketing

Brand MarketingMarketing is an important part of practically any business. With the growth of competition every day, it would be unwise not to invest in marketing practices that can help you reach your niche.

Here are some tricks on how to market your brand:

The product should sell itself

It doesn’t matter how much you spend on marketing; if your products are simply bad, you will lose customers and have a sorry reputation. On the other hand, properly manufactured, high-quality products that have gone through the recommended reliability testing methods practically sell themselves. When you hear Toyota, you know you’re looking at lasting quality and cost-effective products. That reputation was built on decades of meeting and sometimes surpassing people’s expectations. Toyotas may not be the most exciting cars, but they can run forever while costing less to buy and maintain than competitors, which is what people want when they buy them.

Your marketing should start with the quality of your products. You can gain your customers’ trust by giving them products that don’t give them headaches.

Your marketing should target your niche

When you devise a marketing plan, make sure it is properly targeted towards your niche. To do this, you have to be able to identify your niche first. Demographics are important. But you should also identify their spending habits. As part of your marketing plan, creating a presence on social media requires knowing in which networks your customers are present. Social media can help you narrow down your customers to fit them in a niche.

Establish a physical presence close to your niche, as well. For instance, if your niche involves college students, you can set up booths in colleges for promotional purposes. Potential customers can sample your products and you can also offer giveaways onsite.

Marketing is full of challenges, not the least of which is the expense. To make sure you are not throwing away money for nothing, create great products and pinpoint your niche market.

Purpose-Driven Protection: Comparing Varnish and Lamination

by Admin - on Nov 22nd 2016 - Comments Off on Purpose-Driven Protection: Comparing Varnish and Lamination

Printed piecesPrinted pieces, such as labels, are vulnerable to external elements such as smudges, fingerprints, scratches and dirt. Coating them with a protective outer material is a great way to keep them clean and neat. In addition, a good coat also gives it scuff-resistance and improves the visual appeal of the piece by adding a smoother and glossier finish.

When coating printed pieces, there are typically two options: either laminate the piece using a self-laminating label or apply a coat of varnish.

The Basics of Lamination

Laminations are slim layers of film applied to the surface of the piece, offering an actual plastic barrier to the piece and its environment. You can apply lamination to your material using one of these two types: linered lamination and self-wound laminations.

Linered laminations, like other pressure-sensitive materials, use a release-coated liner to separate the adhesive. Although expensive, it makes the material look clearer and polished, especially when you apply a substrate to the finish.

On the other hand, self-wound laminations use adhesive on the lam to wind itself like a roll of transparent office tape. Although this process has a chance of leaving irregularities and air bubbles in the finished piece, people use this more often because it is more affordable.

Both types of laminations offer matte, gloss and imprintable versions.

The Basics of Varnish

Varnishes are liquid coatings applied onto the surface of a printed piece. There are many types of varnishes, but the ones commonly used are UV and aqueous varnish. Varnishes can safeguard the piece from scuff and abrasions while adding interesting designs with varying finishes. Satin, matte and gloss, for example, each provide a distinctive image. When people use varnishes for label detection, it can improve manufacturing line processes.

Which is Right for You?

While varnishes and laminations both offer protection for your printed piece, it is important to determine the best option for your needs as the wrong option may be costly. When you have pieces exposed to high-scuff environments, it might be a safer choice to use lamination. Alternatively, when you want to give an exclusive look to your pieces, opt for varnishes.

The secret in selecting the right coating is to work closely with your printing partner. Discuss what effect you are trying to achieve and the level of protection you want for your pieces.

Your Killer Elevator Pitch to Get a Job in IT Security

by Admin - on Oct 3rd 2016 - Comments Off on Your Killer Elevator Pitch to Get a Job in IT Security

IT Security JobHow do you land a job in 30 seconds? The perceptive candidate will have a ready pitch for hiring directors at job interviews, or even at social functions. You will need one, too, to get an edge over other applicants who may have more credentials or experience. The ideal approach is to find that one persistent IT security problem for companies, and then create a killer pitch around it.

Insider Threats vs. Outsider Threats

Data breach is one of the serious IT security problems companies face. Businesses deal, increasingly, with growing data and multiplication of mobile devices. The development spurs growth, but it also heightens a business’s exposure to data breaches. While outsiders carry out most breaches, insiders are responsible for 43% of data loss. According to Infosecurity magazine, half of the data breach is intentional and the other half, accidental.

No business can afford to let data breach occur, even though it is accidental. The breach will not only lead to a potential loss of millions, but also indicate that something malicious is deep within the company, i.e., employees leak sensitive information to competitors for a fee. When your job pitch centers on undertaking this particular IT security problem, you can expect hiring directors to pay attention.

Backing Your Claim

The best elevator pitch for a job is not just concise, clear and customized for the company. It is also credible. You need to have the expertise to support your pitch, from your familiarity with insider data breaches to knowledge of sound policies. Whether you are a security engineer or a network administrator, getting certification is crucial to enhancing your credentials.

Certifications also keep you up-to-date on security concerns. Most certifications require renewal to ensure you improve expertise. CertBlaster explains, comprehensive and complete security practice exams, such as the new testing for CompTIA Security+, SYO-401, give professionals the ability to implement current security configurations. The new exam, which replaces the SYO-301, also covers security implications of integrating third party systems and mobile security concepts.

You can get the upper hand when competing for a job in IT security. Know the security “pains” of companies. Craft an elevator pitch that best explains your suitability for resolving those very problems. With sufficient care and practice, you will soon land that cushy IT job and help protect a company from security threats.