Category Archives: Tech Time

Person dialing the phone

Could VoIP Be What Your Business Is Missing?

Person dialing the phoneMany businesses are accustomed to the traditional analog office telephone lines, but why are more and more companies now switching to VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol? Rather than carrying voice in the form of analog signals, VoIP systems convert it into digital packets that can be transmitted over the Internet.

Experts from Technology Visionaries LLC share some of the reasons behind the surge in VoIP’s popularity:

VoIP Means Flexibility

The business environment keeps changing. Businesses are continually forced to scale operations up or down. These include adding and removing lines from the existing telephone systems, which is as easy as 1-2-3 if you’re using VoIP. With VoIP, you don’t even need to predict how many employees you’ll add to your business next year. When a new employee joins, you can easily create a new line for them and reassign or remove the line when they leave.

VoIP Saves Your Money

The primary aim of every business is minimizing costs while maximizing e. VoIP is one of those technologies that help companies move towards this goal. The installation and repair costs of VoIP systems are way lower than those of traditional phone systems. Also, the fact that a business using VoIP can easily add and remove lines brings cost efficiency, as there’s no shortage or excess of lines.

VoIP Comes with Portability

When the Internet is mentioned, worldwide reach should come to mind. Remember, VoIP transmits voice over the Internet. This means that if you have access to the Web, then you can use VoIP. It’s particularly very beneficial for businesses that have field workers. These workers don’t need to be in the office to receive or make business calls. It also means that your staff can make international calls without incurring extra costs.

If you have yet to adopt VoIP in your business, you’re missing these great benefits. With that said, you don’t need to wait any longer. Contact an IT company in your area for VoIP installation. A good company should also offer after-installation services such as training and maintenance.

A Brief Guide to a Successful YouTube Marketing Strategy

Man opening the Youtube app via mobileThere’s no better time to do YouTube marketing than today. According to SmallBizTrends, more than 78% of consumer traffic will come from videos. More importantly, HubSpot revealed that 90% of users consider videos as part of their decision-making process. Almost 65% would purchase after watching a clip, especially when the URL is easy to remember or when there’s a clickable link on the video.

Video marketing can make or break a business, so you would want to make sure you do it right the first time. To help you, here’s a short guide for beginners:

Decide what type of video you want to create

Is it informational or a product demonstration? It could be a testimonial of one of your loyal customers, too. The kind of video you wish to upload determines the length, the message, and even the special effects. For example, product demonstrations are usually long. These may take about 10 to 15 minutes, while reviews are shorter and straighter to the point.

Use the existing videos you have

You don’t need to make videos from scratch over again. It’s possible to use those that are in the archives and share with a different caption.

One of the easiest ways to make this work is to communicate with a Denver video editing business thoroughly. A video editor could polish the clip. They could perhaps improve the color contrast or saturation with a whole new feel. Adding specific elements, including animation and graphics, is a good idea as well.

Create your YouTube channel

This one needs a lot of work. You’ll be setting up your channel and optimizing it for search engines. If there’s one thing to keep in mind, it’s to always consider your brand.

Do analytics

Your YouTube videos are excellent marketing tools to go to waste by not monitoring their performance. Analytics allows you to determine the success of your video. You will know which kinds of videos attract the right traffic as well. Google already has its analytics platform, but if you want a more in-depth report, consider hiring an online marketing team.

Videos will dominate all types of platforms, from desktops to mobile devices. Ride the wave and use them to improve your marketing strategies online.

What Is Big Data and How Can It Benefit the Company?

Man working in a server roomAny business thrives on data. Data drives the decision-making in a company and can give you a bird’s-eye view of the current situation of the company. Your company can then make a decision on what strategies to employ to hit your targets. A growing trend now is the emergence of what is called big data.

Big data is basically the huge amount of information that is available on the internet. The data is so huge that IT development for big data is outsourced to companies such as CloudXtension, which can focus on the development of applications that can process all that data.

What is “big data”?

Imagine all the information and data that float around the internet. These include user information, profiles, likes, the users’ visit information, etc. Companies such as Facebook and Google capitalize on this information so that they can bring content relevant to you. By gathering and analyzing all the information, they can target the content and market to a specific audience.

That kind of data needs to be processed by an application or software that can go through all that information, sort it out, provide analytics and even predict a person’s needs and desires. The capability of knowing what a person would be interested in is something most big businesses will want to have as it can drive their sales and enable them to be prepared to meet market needs.

Why should you outsource IT development?

Big data may be obtained from user profiles, which may include personal information like civil status, sex, age, work, and preferences such as sports and hobbies. There are so many bits of information to sort through that it may even overload a single server or a group of servers.

With that much information, no one can manually do it using in-house data from a small server. You need to implement auto data mining and analytics of this big data for it become useful. If you try to go through the information manually, it may take years or even decades. By then, the information may no longer be relevant.

This is why it is best to leave big data collection and processing to a company that knows what it is doing. There are many software and IT development companies that design the tools you need to use big data. They will be able to customize tools and software for you based on your objective.

This way, a business can focus on other things and leave IT development in the capable hands of another company. Outsourcing IT services to a tech company is hassle-free and a win for both parties.

IT security guy

NCSC Expects Major Cybersecurity Attack in the UK the Next 2 Years

IT security guyThe UK needs to be prepared for a major cybersecurity attack that could happen in the next two years, according to National Cyber Security Centre head Ciaran Martin.

Otherwise called a category one (C1) attack, Martin said that the country has been able to avoid such threats in the last 15 months due to pure luck.

Risk management

While it may not be entirely possible to prevent cyber-attacks, a company should be able to “cauterise the damage,” according to Martin. So far, the most prominent cyber-attack to hit the UK happened in May 2017, when the WannaCry virus affected many National Health Services facilities in the country.

This ransomware attack only constituted a C2 level type. On the other hand, a C1 level attack would seriously affect critical infrastructure and put human lives at risk. If these are not enough reasons, then paying a steep penalty for not having cybersecurity initiatives could compel businesses to begin adopting more stringent measures.

Steep fines

The British government plans to impose up to £17 million of fines to companies for non-compliance with a new cybersecurity rule. The regulation will take effect on May 10 and will require industries to be prepared against online threats, particularly those that work in the energy, healthcare, transportation and water industries. Former Digital Minister Matt Hancock said that the fines would be a last-ditch effort to expand the practice of cybersecurity among different sectors.

This means you should already have updated protocols for security, including contingency plans for an efficient HR management system. Modules for human resource management software systems are necessary particularly for employees that handle sensitive information.

As early as now, companies must be ready to protect their digital infrastructure and confidential information or risk paying a high price in the future. What is your strategy against cyber-attacks?

Girl using a laptop

4 Clever Tips to Take Your Business Online

Girl using a laptopHave you been thinking about upgrading your business operations lately? You might be having some thoughts about getting your products and services more accessible to consumers in a few taps. Well, that’s a good place to start. Here are some great ideas to consider:

Get your business an exclusive app

Instead of building a website for your business, why not develop an exclusive app for it? If you have the funds for both, cloudxtension.com says that you should go for them. You may want to tap some custom app development services to make this all possible. Feel free to reach a team of IT experts to help translate your ideas using the right programming language and computer tricks.

Put everything into the basket

If you are into making an app to support your operations, you must have everything planned out very well. It would be useful to gather your team for a brainstorming of parameters to be incorporated in making the app. Your experienced staff along with senior executives can tag along to give their inputs.

Work closely with the developer

While an outsourced service provider can work independently, it wouldn’t hurt to be involved every step of the way. Remember that you should be there especially in the process of choosing your app’s skin. The overall look and packaging of your business application are worth your time and scrutiny.

Test the app before launching

A product test will always come in handy to make sure you have got it all right. The good thing about app designers is that you can always bargain for post-design services like updating and upgrading of the app. Sure, you can always give them a call in case of troubleshooting, too. Make sure you have also developed a harmonious professional relationship with them.

Whether you are talking if internal or external clients, you can always make your business accessible with the right app at hand. All you have to do is call a reputable service provider and sit down for the details.

3 Attacks That Can Wipe Out Your Database

Woman Mad In Front of her Laptop

As companies become more wired and the number of information grows, more and more companies start using databases. As their name suggests, databases act as repositories of several different things, from a person’s name to addresses and financial details. Those who use the cloud system mean they can access their data any time and anywhere. For this reason, databases are a favourite target for attacks.

What kinds of attacks are we talking about? Check out the following list:

1. Brute Force

Brute force is a simple and straightforward type of hacking. Hackers try to guess your password using trial and error. Cracking tools are usually out of the picture. For many people, knowing the password in this manner sounds impossible. But, many databases are poorly secured and companies still rely on the default passwords.

2. Abuse of Privileges

Do you know one of the leading causes of security breaches is an inside job? Although some incidents are “accidental” – for instance, an employee didn’t log out of the database and another person took over and messed with it – in a number of cases, the attack is deliberate. A common trigger is excessive privileges. A database administrator may gain access to information out of his or her job’s description.

3. SQL Injection

SQL injection is an attack where the hacker sends malicious queries to the database by spotting vulnerabilities on the web applications and procedures. If it’s successful, the person will not only see but also modify and extract information.

It takes only a few seconds for a well-planned attack to wreak havoc in your database and scrap away protection for your data. To better safeguard your business against attacks and costly unplanned outages, hire remote DBA services. They can provide you with quality administration and monitoring, as well as round-the-clock support to prevent or minimise significantly these threats.

Headset, laptop and telephone over the table

Workplace Trends of the Future

Headset, laptop and telephone over the tableOver the years, work operations across the globe have changed completely, the same way our way of living has. In the 90s, the most advanced technology in HR systems was process automation for recruiting and hiring, while today’s cloud based systems allow them to engage employees on multiple levels like performance management and training. The corporate landscape is continuously changing and evolving it might be time to check if you need to do some catching up.

Man versus Machines

This century marks the beginning of an era of artificial intelligence and automation where robots displace human jobs to make the future of workplaces more efficient. More and more companies are relying on computers to store information and in some cases, make calculated decisions based on data.

The future is already here,” says Peter Andrew, a workplace strategy director. "Humans have biases, and artificial intelligence (AI) eliminates those biases.”

While some may see AI as a threat to the workforce, it gives people more opportunities to take on better, less monotonous jobs. Creative work and tasks that require human flexibility are just two of the many things that technology cannot replace, and Andrew says people need not be afraid of this development.

Creative, Collaborative Space

The rise of technology also has seen the rise in the demand for a much more collaborative work culture, one which fosters team spirit of employees. Cubicles are no longer necessary, and people prefer working near social and commercial centres. With the well-being and happiness of staff in mind, work environments just like these Paya Lebar offices are designed to provide a dynamic working eco-system where the team can make the most out of their talent and ideas they generate.

According to William Lee, director of real-estate strategy at Microsoft, a vibrant ecosystem encourages employees to discuss with and help each other. He quoted an example of a campus-like environment where people are able to talk on the way to the office, on the way to the meetings. The aim is to create better working environments strengthening the country’s already massive innovation hubs. Just in the last few years, Singapore has committed S$19 billion to support research and development for this key focus area.

Technology and corporate culture are playing a greater role in promoting a better work experience for employees all over the world. It may be time to rethink your operations to see if a more cohesive, all-encompassing model works better.

Three Ways to Have a Good Relationship With a SaaS Vendor

A group of employees working on a program Software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendors offer more than an application or software. They provide expertise in a specific area that benefits their clients on a long-term basis, such as a full-service online banking system for credit unions and community banks. So when you engage with a SaaS vendor, you are entering into a partnership that goes deeper than merely buying a product from them.

Of course, you’ll want to have a partnership with your SaaS vendor that is mutually beneficially for both of you. So here are some of the best management practices you can observe when working with SaaS vendors:

1. Include service level agreements (SLAs) in your contract

Many SaaS vendors do not state the level of service they provide in the contract, so make sure you look for it before signing or renewing a contract. If they have promised 24/7 service or 99 percent uptime performance, then you had better receive it once you sign the contract. You can add SLAS through an addendum to the contract, so don’t be afraid to speak up about it.

When dealing with multiple vendors, consider using management software, as advised by MetaSaaS.com. This application can help you keep track of the contract terms during renewals.

2. Ask for the vendor’s security, IT, and financial audits

In a way, you’re outsourcing a part of your business operations when working with a SaaS vendor. Thus, it is important that they meet your corporate and security standards. Most SaaS vendors let their clients take a peek at their security, IT, and financial audits, especially during the clients’ annual audits. If your vendor can’t provide these necessary documents, you might want to look for another provider.

3. Participate in product development

SaaS vendors continually improve their applications to improve their service to their clients. Again, you’re outsourcing a business operation when you engaged with a SaaS vendor, so it is crucial that you have a voice in the SaaS vendor’s product development. Make sure you participate in the user conferences and meetings. This way, you can contribute ideas for future product upgrades.

With these three management tips, you can make certain that both you and your vendor will get the most out of your business partnership — from the beginning until the end of the relationship.

3 Facebook Changes That Can Affect the Way You Market Online

User Browsing Facebook There is no doubt Facebook is presently the biggest social networking website in the world. In fact, it is so huge it is now less likely to find someone who does not have an FB account.

For this reason, Facebook is a great online marketing option especially for businesses that want to improve their customer reach and engagement. Thankfully, the website does not disappoint when it comes to providing tools for businesses. When it updates a feature, however, you should be aware of its effects on your marketing strategy. Here are some of them.

Advanced Measurement

Any online marketer needs to track advertising performance. Facebook is trying to help you in this area through Advanced Measurement. This tool will be helpful in determining your reach and attribution not only on this website but also in Facebook networks such as Instagram and other publishers.

What You Can Do: It is not enough you just buy social signals. Work with a company in helping you track performance using this tool.

Reactions vs. Likes

If you want your posts to appear more often in the news feed, you need to get more than a virtual thumbs-up. It looks like Facebook’s algorithm update favours reactions such as sad, happy, or love icons than the staple blue thumbs-up. One of the possible reasons is the idea these reactions portray a much better picture of the user’s level of engagement or interest on the post.

What You Can Do: Emotions are a powerful tool for marketing, and you can capitalise on that when doing Facebook ads.

Tagging Fake News

Facebook is also taking the new adage “Think before you click” more seriously. Due to the increasing complaints of the growth and spread of fake news on the social media site, Facebook is now tagging suspicious news links, displaying the word “disputed” along with the organisations that evaluated the source.

What You Can Do: Do your own policing. Before posting any third-party content, verify all the information to avoid the risk of ruining your credibility.

These updates are still in their infancy, so it is unclear their main impact to online marketing, but that does not mean you should ignore them. Explore, get to know more about these changes, and modify accordingly to give yourself a good head start against competitors.

TV Buying Guide: Understanding Complicated Terms and Jargons

A man showing a selection of televisions to a couple Nowadays, it’s easy to get lost with all the buying jargons and acronyms when buying a television. LED, LCD, HDTV, and 3D are only among the most commonly heard terms when choosing a unit.

If you’re among the majority who has no idea about these, you would obviously need a knowledge or two about the latest in television technology. Ninostrading.com and other known sellers recommend taking note of the following before anything else:

1. Screen size

When it comes to screen size, bigger is not necessarily better. The location of the television as well as the angle where the people are supposed to sit and watch and the size of the room itself should be taken into consideration. Still not sure with your screen size? Look for free online calculators to help compute your distance and size ratio.

2. Screen resolution

The standard resolution for television is 1080p. Anything below that should not be considered, as technology advances rapidly. Ultra HD and 4k resolution are the most recommended ones, but can be costlier than the standard 1080p.

3. Features

Smart TV is a television that can connect to the web, run apps, and function like a computer. Smart TVs won’t be going away anytime soon, so if you want to enjoy your new television to its fullest potential for the next 5 years, choosing one would be recommended.

4. Ports and connections

In choosing a TV, make sure it has at least three to four HDMI ports to have more flexibility and lesser hassle in connecting other appliance (i.e. sound system, Blu-Ray players etc.) to your TV.

Now that you have these things in mind, finding the right television for your home needs would be easier. Happy shopping!