Technology & Productivity Weekly

Printer Friendly
Text Size: A A A A

Aug. 8, 2014 Headlines

Yes. You Need a Disaster Plan for Your Phones
The Many Faces of Workflow
Nine Simple and Free Tech Support Tips For Your Office
Keys to Successful Backups
Nine Things Your Company Should Do Before Switching Email Service Providers
Can Wearable Technology Boost Sales Productivity?
Environmental Monitoring Isn’t Complicated Anymore
Why Data Security Is Important for Small Companies

The links at the end of each abstract are to the publisher, publication, or article. Some links may require registration or subscription. Information, Inc. is not affiliated with the referenced publications.


To The Top

Yes. You Need a Disaster Plan for Your Phones

Small Business Computing (08/05/14); Hernandez, Pedro

There are three reasons small businesses should migrate to cloud-based Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) systems, according to Thiago Modelli of cloud VoIP provider ESI. Modelli says the first reason to select a cloud VoIP provider is safeguarding from a natural disaster, which could catastrophically impact a small business relying on local phone service. Through cloud providers, SMBs are protected via redundant data centers which are more reliable than traditional phone services. Modelli says another advantage of using cloud-based VoIP is the comfort of knowing client calls will be communicated regardless of weather or outages. The cloud provides the option of SMBs configuring features like call forwarding for receiving client calls. The last reason for selecting a cloud VoIP provider is guaranteed failover, particularly through user-friendly services that allow SMBs to route calls directly to voicemail or to call different numbers if a primary contact number is unavailable. Read More


To The Top

The Many Faces of Workflow

Accounting Today (08/01/2014); McClure, Dave

Accountants' workflow remains a critical area of constant improvement. COMPTIA reports that firms are aiming to regulate workflow by addressing major challenges like bottlenecks, duplicated work, and poor communications between departments. COMPTIA also noted that difficulty locating documents and a lack of visible business process were additional challenges encountered by firms. Firms seeking better workflow solutions might consider CCH Axcess WorkStream, which is a cloud-based tax preparation and firm management solution featuring master templates and a dashboard. XCM Workflow Automation Software is another solution designed to allow accountants flexibility of working from multiple mobile devices. Through Doc.It Workflow, another workflow management solution, offering accountants with the ability to create user-friendly projects which can be integrated with other applications. Read More


To The Top

Nine Simple and Free Tech Support Tips For Your Office

Small Business Technology (07/21/14); Ray, Ramon

According to Bobbi Dangerfield of Dell, there are nine easy technology tips small businesses can follow. The first is using diagnostic tools available on employees' computer systems, like Dell PC Diagnostics. Dangerfield advises SMBs to use a remote desktop session for troubleshooting technology issues, like the Chrome Remote Desktop application from Google. Since much time is spent troubleshooting different systems according to the model, software, and other technology specific, SMBs should create a list of these specs in advance. Dangerfield warns employees to be wary of malicious links and email, and to keep security patches updated on all devices. Creating USB flash drives with the most common resources for fixing systems and including file recovery software is also useful. Finally, SMBs should backup data constantly, be proactive about data security, and encourage employees to use tech help forums. Read More


To The Top

Keys to Successful Backups

Processor.com (07/11/14)Vol. 36, No. 14

Conducting successful backups require several strategies. Businesses should prioritize backups according to the critical status of data, as well as the resources committed to protect this data. Analysts recommend assessing the value of data over time, noting that businesses should avoid generalizing data sets. Businesses should evaluate current practices, policies, and hardware. Reviewing the current backup environment and its efficacy is also useful to understanding how well existing processes are working. Recovery processes should be revised according to a business' needs, as well as growth. Businesses should also consider solutions that feature automated processes, which include deduplication and file compression. Read More


To The Top

Nine Things Your Company Should Do Before Switching Email Service Providers

Small Business Technology (07/21/14); Young Entrepreneur Council

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) recommends nine steps companies should follow prior to switching email service providers. The first step is ensuring data will migrate seamlessly. Email should be configured so that employees can retrieve email on mobile devices, and companies should ensure that the transition is tested prior to the full migration. Since DNS MX records must be changed during the transition to a new email service provider, companies should confirm the Time To Live (TTL) for the old records is lower so the new change in DNS will not continue to direct viewers to the old site. IP addresses should be clean, and email providers should allow companies to upload contacts without needing to resubscribe. Simple migrations are favored, which will allow businesses to continue regular workflow without much interruption. Other reminders when migrating to a new provider include exporting data prior to the migration, preserving user preferences during the transition, and retaining old contacts. Read More


To The Top

Can Wearable Technology Boost Sales Productivity?

Business2Community (07/08/14); Prialto

Wearable technology is the new mobile device phenomenon. According to London researchers, wearable technology could improve workplace productivity by nearly 10 percent. The number of wearable tech devices are expected to surpass 50 million this year, growing at an astonishingly faster pace than smartphones. There are a few ways that wearable technology could be used to strategically increase profits, beginning with the ability to provide information on-demand. Tools like Google Glass with recording features are expected to support on-the-job training through remote management observations, as well as the option to review footage of employees' progress. The augmented reality component of wearable technology is another benefit to businesses, allowing customers a more compelling perspective about the specific offerings of a business. Read More


To The Top

Environmental Monitoring Isn’t Complicated Anymore

Processor.com (07/11/14)Vol. 36, No. 14

AVTECH has created GoToMyDevices.com as a solution to environmental monitoring. According to GoToMyDevices CEO and President Michael Sigourney, "Environmental monitoring is one of the things people put off to the last minute until they have a problem." Sigourney says his company has provided a solution for businesses by using email servers which store communication securely via a hosting service. Configuration is simple, and Room Alert monitors and sensors can be tracked from any mobile device or computer. Room Alert monitors are enabled for DHCP, which auto-connect to networks to transmit secure data to these devices. Environmental alerts are sent to email addresses and sensors' preferences can be set according to a business' needs, and GoToMyDevices provides a dashboard and usage reports. Read More


To The Top

Why Data Security Is Important for Small Companies

Small Business Computing (07/08/14); Maliyil, Tim

Small businesses are particularly at-risk for experiencing data breaches. SMBs must prioritize client security, as security vulnerabilities could potentially bankrupt a business. SMBs should evaluate security solutions based on the kinds of data protected and the cost of protection. Creating a security culture is equally important. SMBs should consider the ways employees work and whether the security solution will be minimally disruptive to employees. SMBs must also account for factors like the weakest points of a business, including human error, former employees, and internal company threats. Read More


 

LAST UPDATED 8/8/2014