Technology & Productivity Weekly

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Feb. 7, 2014 Headlines

Six Huge Tech Trends Headed Your Way
Maximize Your Team's Productivity Through Technology
The Small Business Guide to Modern Web Hosting
Augmented Reality Could 'Greatly Enhance Office Productivity'
Backup Is Still Important - Options and Strategies for Accounting Firms
Take Steps to Improve Data Center Efficiency
Panasonic Intros Toughest Tablet Yet
Four Best Practices to Increase Firm or Product Sales

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Six Huge Tech Trends Headed Your Way

Inc.com (02/01/14); Weisul, Kimberly

According to a report from Accenture, there are six major technology trends that will revolutionize businesses in 2014. The first trend is blurring the lines between digital and physical worlds, through products like Google Glass and Fitband that seek to integrate everyday human activities with productivity. Crowdsourcing is also expected to become more common among businesses. Accenture projects businesses will begin leveraging the power of data similar to the way in which supply chains are managed. Businesses will seek new ways of optimizing power consumption and processors, as well as existing infrastructure. Applications will also flourish as more businesses seek customized apps for their clients. The last trend Accenture predicts for this year is systems that are designed for running steadily 24/7. Read More


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Maximize Your Team's Productivity Through Technology

Forbes (01/20/14); Morse, Ty

Technology is an essential part of maximizing an office's productivity. Mobile tools have eased the work of telecommuting, while an expansion of technology tools have innovated ways of communication among employees. At Songwhale, employees are equipped with several flat screen televisions that support teleconferencing needs. To keep employee's updated with other team members' projects, Songwhale conducts a standing meeting every day for 15 minutes. For project management needs, Songwhale employees use Pivotal Tracker that allows employees to receive individual tasks and monitor a task's progress. Finally, Songwhale recommends experimenting with different kinds of technology to determine the kind that works best for a team and their unique productivity needs. Read More


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The Small Business Guide to Modern Web Hosting

Small Business Computing (01/17/14); Schroder, Carla

Small businesses must evaluate four main considerations during the evaluation of Web hosting services: content management systems (CMS); developer tools; cloud-based services vs. non-cloud-based services; and managed or unmanaged services. Selecting the CMS is a critical part of the decision making process because migrating to another CMS in the future will be costly. Searching for a developer with adequate tools to maintain a site is equally important, and developers should always track changes and have existing rollback systems in place. Deciding between cloud-based services and non-cloud-based services is another choice, although many firms will discover the ease and cost-effectiveness of using cloud providers. Finally, choosing whether a firm will use a managed or unmanaged provider is the key to ensuring robust network administration and a reliable system. Read More


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Augmented Reality Could 'Greatly Enhance Office Productivity'

Telegraph (01/14/14); Williams, Rhiannon

Augmented reality, the virtual world of integration with real-world objects, is expected to boost productivity for workers of the future. Gartner predicts augmented reality will assist employees identify potential hazards through the use of cutting-edge technology leveraging 3D content management, imaging, and recognition. The most famous launch of augmented reality tools thus far is Google Glass, the glasses that use object and motion tracking algorithms and computer-vision-based technology along with facial recognition. Gartner says this technology is expected to assist users with critical decision-making, as well as allowing speedier responses in an office environment. Mobile integration with location services are other benefits of using augmented reality tools, complemented by virtual enhancements of text and graphics. Augmented reality technology is also projected to streamline business' project management needs, employee training processes, and with the overall improvement of an organization. Read More


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Backup Is Still Important - Options and Strategies for Accounting Firms

CPA Practice Advisor (01/12/14); Johnston, Randy

Accounting firms should prioritize conducting data backups for protecting overall security and ensuring business continuity. Several data backup solutions are available, but firms should assess vendor offerings according to a few major considerations. The first is the mount of time will be needed for a data recovery and the recovery point object (RPO) or how much data a firm is willing to lose. Firms should carefully note whether backup copies of data are stored on cloud servers following termination of a contract or whether data is permanently stored. Smaller firms might select USB drives and Network Attached Storage (NAS) solutions, although these options do not backup open files, SQL databases, or email. Cost is another point in selecting a backup solution, with offerings ranging from $3,000 to $11,000. Read More


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Take Steps to Improve Data Center Efficiency

Processor.com (01/10/14)Vol. 36, No. 1, P. 14

Businesses can follow a few steps for improving data center efficiency. Identifying older, less efficient equipment is the first step in creating a data improvement plan. Equipment should be consolidated or replaced for maximum efficiency. Businesses should leverage the power of existing systems, if possible, rather than conducting a costly equipment overhaul. However, if necessary, purchasing new data hardware that is energy-efficient will lower cooling costs while increasing productivity. A data plan should be created that maximizes rack space, improving airflow, and cables should be tidied. Lastly,, considering overhauls to cooling space efficiency and using logical cooling systems will significantly improve a data center's efficiency and reliability. Read More


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Panasonic Intros Toughest Tablet Yet

NewsFactor Network (01/07/14); LeClaire, Jennifer

The Toughpad FZ-M1will be released by Panasonic this spring. The starting price of $2,099 features customization options, as well as the ability to work for eight hours on battery. The Toughpad is engineered with the MIL-STD-810G specifications to withstand up to a 5-foot drop, extreme temperatures, and shock. The tablet has been hailed as the lightest and thinnest model on the market, a formidable competitor to iOS and Android devices. According to Panasonic, the Toughpad has been engineered for a variety of industries, aimed at mission-critical tasks like mobile point-of-sales and inventory management. The 1-pound touchscreen tablet also features a daylight-readable WXGA display with anti-reflexive screen treatment, optimal for outdoor usage. Read More


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Four Best Practices to Increase Firm or Product Sales

Accounting Today (01/01/2014); Severance, Mark

Mark Severance, Director of Marketing and Sales at Arxis Technology, advises firms to follow four best practices for increasing sales. Severance's first recommendation consists of leveraging subtlety for sales. Instead of "pushing" a sale, Severance advises firms to focus on valuable solutions that are clear and focus on a prospective client's needs. Severance notes that becoming a trusted referral source will automatically increase a firm's reputation and revenue. Firms should educate themselves about their competition and become familiar with their offerings. Communicating with clients should be clear, and firms should avoid surprises during the sales process. Finally, Severance advises firms to be patient; sales that are worthwhile will occur when firms are educated about their offerings and set realistic expectations. Read More

 

LAST UPDATED 2/7/2014