How Cloud Computing Can Save Your Business Money

Cloud computing is more than just a hot IT buzzword or the latest trend. It presents you with a new and improved way to operate your business on many levels. While secure hybrid cloud services are touted as a safer and less demanding alternative to the option of having a dedicated server on-site, the reality is that there are numerous financial benefits associated with cloud computing as well. In fact, you may be able to improve your bottom line in several ways by using a managed hosting solution that offers cloud-based solutions. With a closer look at how your company can benefit financially from this transition, you may be ready to start exploring the options today.

Improved Efficiency
Through a secure hybrid cloud function, your employees can more quickly and easily collaborate. This includes sharing information, editing, presenting and more from any location where they have an Internet connection. The old way of sharing files, for example, was to email the files or to save them to a network server. However, emailing files may mean that workers are working on two separate versions of the file at the same time. Storing the files to a network server means that only those connected to the network can access the files. If the server is damaged, all work is lost. When you want to reduce these and other inefficiencies in your office, cloud services are a great solution.

Reduced Overhead
There are many costs associated with the old way of doing things. Without the cloud, most businesses will need to have at least one or more network servers in operation in their office. There is cost associated with purchasing this equipment as well as maintaining it, licensing it, upgrading it and more. There are utilizes costs, labor costs and even the cost associated with the physical use of your office space. You can reduce overhead through cloud computing.

Diminished Liability Risks
When you have a physical server on-site, you run the risk of having the entire server stolen or of having information on that server stolen. When customers’ or employers’ valuable personal information is stolen, you run the risk of facing liability-related expenses. With a secure hybrid cloud function, you can dramatically reduce these risks, and there is financial benefit associated with this.

Making the transition to cloud computing sounds like it would be costly and time-consuming, and because of this, some companies have not yet made the transition. However, with how simplified the process of cloud computing has become, this may be a natural and easy process to complete. You can begin exploring cloud-based solutions today as a first step in making this transition. You may find the information and resources available at Carbon60 Networks to be very useful.

Boosting Business Productivity with Mobile Work Forms

Mobile solutions help you improve the way in which your field workers function, collect, monitor and share data to improve business processes. The main goal of using form app is to help contractors, business owners, and operational teams save money and time, leading to increased productivity.

Multipurpose Usage

Using a mobile app in completing forms means it’s possible to choose specific access functions such as geo-location or the camera to enhance the data being captured or reported. If, for example, a hazard is being reported, photos can be taken and the exact location also recorded.

Send Notifications to Your Clients/Customers

Send your clients or customers timely notifications when the task or job has been completed using the information captured through the mobile form. This may include invoices and confirmation emails. You can also share copies of the completed forms with team members or your end user clients.

Track Employees

You can record the location of your employees as well as time when they are out working in the field easily. A good mobile form app will assist you in sending out real-time job despatches to your available operational field teams. You can also automatically record customer visits, inspection sites, and respective departure times from work sites for purposes of auditing performance.

Customize To Your Specific Needs

Within your mobile form app, you can create and design dynamic skip logic functionality that allows you to customize the way you capture and report data to meet the needs of your individual customers. Design beautiful looking reports to be presented in real-time to your customers and for easy reference.

Schedule Appointments

If a job cannot be finished on time, you may want a mobile app that allows members of your team to first check the entry prior to rescheduling. You could even design your mobile forms to have a field for the new appointment date as well as your client’s email through which they can also propose corrections on your suggested appointment, thus saving you lots of time.

Stay In Touch With Clients

After a job is done, remember to collect the contact details of customers in your mobile form. This can later be added to your company’s email marketing list or some other data bank. Keep your business on the minds of your customers even after the current job is finished.

Conclusion

The goal of any business is to generate profit and this is only possible when you apply and use the most effective and latest technology. When you want to empower your field teams and boost their performance, you’ll need a mobile app that has been specifically designed for collecting data collection. This will enable team members to enter the data needed using an easy-to-use mobile form for better service and faster response times. There are plenty of resources available at the ProntoForms blog for more information.

Why Enterprises Must Keep Up with the Growing Adoption of IPv6

In 2015, the IPv4 pool finally dried up—everywhere around the globe, except in Africa, there are very few addressees left. As a result, the need for IPv6 has been brought into stark focus and major organizations across a number of sectors are throwing their support behind this versatile protocol—Facebook and Google are all IPv6-enabled and all app developers are required by Apple to use IPv6.

The coming years will even be huge for IPv6 adoption as the trend grows and IPv4 exhaustion shifts from being an issue for network administrators to solve to a daily reality with significant impacts on business operations. Now is the time for enterprises in Canada and globally to join the bandwagon, or risk losing out on the numerous connected business opportunities in the years to come.

Why IPv6 adoption matters now?

Basically, every application or device that connects to the internet requires an IP addresses—and the world has nearly run out of them. The initial version—Ipv4—was designed to accommodate 4.3 billion possible addresses. This number seemed like plenty in the previous years when the internet world was still in its experimental stages. Today, however, it is no longer enough to accommodate the global network that the modern internet space has become.

The new alternative or version–IPv6—can accommodate 340 trillion, trillion, trillion IP addresses—which is enough to connect every device that you can think about to the internet. However, IPv6 doesn’t speak the same language as IPv4, and the two protocols must be run alongside one another. If your business is using only one, you won’t be able to connect to other parties or clients using the other.

Over 12.5% of users globally are currently accessing Google and other major search engines via IPv6, and this number has been growing steadily. As aforementioned, now really is the right time for enterprises to be IPv6-enabled. It is inevitable that more and more networks globally will continue to deploy the new protocol and that the current networks will continue to deploy IPv6 to more of their clients or end-users.

Bottom Line

As IPv4 exhaustion pressures grows and as IPv6 usage, especially in solving real world problems increases, there will be even more benefits of IPv6 deployment. The only question that remains unanswered is whether IPv6 deployment will continue to grow at the rate that has been witnessed in the past few years. Nonetheless, with unprecedented adoption of IPv6 in many parts of the globe, and particularly in the mobile space, the two protocols’ production quality operation has currently become the norm—and will be in the future. Accordingly, going forward, every enterprise should ensure that its IPv6 status is compatible and working perfectly with their products and services as well as web properties. For additional info, visit BlueCat and learn more from their online references.

Getting IT Management Software- Considerations to Make

IT Management Software has been designed to enable easier oversight and monitoring of the diverse tasks involved in a project. The goal is enhancing efficiency while at the same time ensuring that each detail gets attended. With this software, your managers can ensure timely tasks completion, balanced staff workloads and better time management through an effective IT monitoring platform.

There are, however, several vital considerations before embracing any new software.Is The Cost Justified?

The biggest investment mistake your company can ever make with a software that is meant to boost productivity is to add extra minutes of work to any team member and ultimately, it only ends up saving 5 minutes. This is time consuming as your staff will have spent valuable time mastering the new software which really has brought no great value to your processes. And it is expensive. But choosing the right software solution will make work exponentially easier, ultimately allowing the new software to pay for itself.

Try Different Alternatives

For example, does the IT Management Software support remote monitoring and management? RMM capability allows gathering of information about the project from clients and employees in the field as well as offering any needed technical support remotely. Does it facilitate Automated Setup and Automated Onboarding or will your IT administrator still have to authorize it? An excellent way of trying out different software options at minimal or at no cost is trying those with free trial option. This way, you will be sure of what you are finally getting.

Get Team Feedback

The main issue is whether the software you are planning on getting is actually one that your team members will actually use in solving problems. When testing any new software, the best approach that will give you useful feedback is to let team members try it out, rather than ram it down their throats.

Mobile Access

The ability of connecting all your stakeholders and communicating effectively on the project status in real time is a key benefit of any management software. Today, you will want an IT monitoring platform that not only offers social connectivity but one that can provide your workers with automated maintenance, remote access via mobile connectivity.

Software Security

The risk of data and information theft is always a major concern whenever you are getting software from third parties. Therefore, it goes without saying that whenever possible get software that guarantees the highest levels of security, both for your company, employees and clients, an IT monitoring platform that offers automated reporting, automated maintenance and one that can be managed in-house.

Conclusion

IT Management Software packages are meant to ensure that all key players in your project or business stay on task as work progresses. Certainly, with no dearth of software options available today on the market, it’s important that you carefully consider your specific IT monitoring platform requirements and weigh them against the cost and features available.

Automating your IT Support Services—What It Means

One of the most misused terms in the information technology (IT) industry is automation. The term is often used to portray different meanings depending on situation and context. These include operations automation, tools automation, service provider automation, process automation, and monitoring automation among others. Lately, thanks to the wide adoption of cloud computing, the use of the term has increased manifold, and more and more variations have come up.

What Is Automation?By and large, automation describes non-manual ways of completing tasks—and this is applicable to IT as well. While other industries use robots and machines, automation in IT involves the use of programs, scripts, and other methods of achieving automation. In the IT world, automation can be used to accomplish a plethora of activities, including creating new infrastructures, operation IT infrastructure, modifying IT infrastructure, and gathering metrics among others.

Automation in IT support provision

In IT consulting services, automation can be applied into three distinct categories:

  • Workflow automation: This involves any automation that helps in moving tasks or work items. Common examples include approval processing, alert-to-ticket automation and auto-escalation among other tasks.
  • Workload automation: Encompasses any form of scheduled automation. Common examples include cleanup activities, reporting, triggering backup tasks, moving files, and automating on-demand among others.
  • IT process automation: Encompasses all the major aspects of IT including incident management, event management, capability planning, dashboarding, reporting and service management among others.

The value of automating your IT support services

In this new era of dynamic IT infrastructure, it is vital that normal IT functions are automated. New infrastructures are developed on a need basis and their monitoring and management need to be updated in real time. As an IT consulting services provider, it is not advisable to depend on manual solutions to update new IT infrastructures.

Additionally, the dynamic IT infrastructure comes with a wide range of new change management processes. Conventional maintenance periods or change windows are things of the past. Problem management, incident management, and reporting need to be done in real time and should be accompanied with comprehensive information that details the root cause of the problem. Besides, to effectively solve a problem, you need to get a true picture of the infrastructure that was active, when it was active, and when the issue occurred. These are other crucial areas where automation can help.

Conclusion

As an IT consultant, automation can help you take better command of your clients’ IT infrastructure: complete visibility, fewer errors, more speed, full control, and improved service levels. However, automation shouldn’t be the end but just the beginning of an effective and efficient IT support provision. A continuous automation program can go a long way in improving your clients’ IT operations and providing additional coverage to their IT environments.

The Impact of Technology on Indoor Navigation

An indoor positioning system provides an exact object position within closed structures like airports, shopping malls, university campuses, hospitals, and subways. The goal is to give precise and useful indoor maps for navigation purposes.

Indoor location technology allows for greater connectivity between smartphones and more convenience for users. Examples include people attending conferences, friends and families out in a mall shopping. Retailers too, realize the potential that comes with indoor positioning system technologies and are paying keen attention to the new marketing opportunities being offered by this technology.

Global Positioning System (GPS)

GPS is the most widely used navigation system in locating the position of objects particularly for the outdoor environment. However, GPS doesn’t work well within indoor setups, mainly due to the presence of physical obstacles that come between the receiver and the transmitting satellite.

As people generally tend to spend lots of their time indoors (environments that are enclosed) GPS is therefore not well suited for tracking positions indoors. GPS for indoors will not work well close to walls and in underground environments because the GPS satellites signal is weak to penetrate through structure, thus making GPS indoors ineffective for localization.

Wi-Fi-Based Indoor Localization

An important benefit of using Wi-Fi Positioning Systems for locating every Wi-Fi compatible device within distance is that it can be achieved without manipulating the hardware or having to install extra software. Beside this, when using W-Fi for indoor locating, a line of sight is not necessary. This has made Wi-Fi positioning systems to be the most widespread indoor localization approach.

System Scalability

In any indoor maps and indoors navigation system, a desirable property is scalability. It is indicative how well the particular system can perform with a larger coverage and with a surge in location requests.

An indoor positioning system that is scalable ought to handle large tag numbers without causing unnecessary system strain. Poor scalability will lead to poor system performance and higher levels of unreliability.

More Opportunities for Indoor Location Services

The majority of the startups currently using location services are found in the retail market largely due to high user demand. However, opportunities exist where positioning technology can be used.

An indoor positioning system could have a positive impact on building efficiency. For instance, the efficiency of home or office heating, cooling, and lighting could be improved through enhanced connectivity interaction with more devices. In a similar way, the accuracy of city underground transportation systems could be increased.

Conclusion

Regardless of the numerous approaches already in place to handle the challenge of indoor navigation, they cannot cope with the levels of performance required. To achieve better results and overcome this shortcoming, more research into more effective indoors navigation approaches assumes even greater significance, while the current technologies must be improved upon. There is a lot of useful information available at the Jibestream website.

System Integration Testing Standards are Influencing Mobile Application Development

The system integration testing process involves inspecting each individual component in a complete system to ensure that it works. This can include both hardware and software when looking at a digital device. System integration testing of hardware running on embedded software can be particularly tricky. Software testing in these situations is often indistinguishable from hardware testing. This might explain why so many quality assurance organizations now ask all software to follow certain set paradigms.

Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX) standards have made it much easier for quality assurance personnel to do their jobs. These standards make an operating system completely manufacturer-neutral, which translates into standardized software testing across the board. All modern derivatives of Unix are compliant with the POSIX standard. Using clones of the Unix operating system is revolutionizing the entire field of system integration testing.

Mobile Device Operating Systems

System integration testing on mobile devices is particularly difficult for technicians because of the issues surrounding embedded systems. Modern mobile operating systems make this process much easier. The most popular mobile operating system in Canada is Google Android, which is based on Unix. While Android isn’t complaint with POSIX standards in the strictest sense, testing integrated Android systems is still much easier than testing anything for an older mobile platform.

Apple’s Changing Role

Apple’s iOS is picking up the slack in every industry that Android hasn’t become dominant in. Once again iOS isn’t strictly compliant with the POSIX standards that makes software testing a breeze. Some quality assurance personnel have actually asked Apple to switch to this kind of system, but it’s doubtful that they’ll become compliant anytime soon.

The iOS platform is powered by Apple’s open source Darwin operating system. Darwin itself is mostly compatible with the POSIX standards, and parts of the operating system can be individually compiled from source. Several Canadian organizations compile their own tools based on source code made available by Apple’s engineers.

Apple’s role is quickly changing to that of a software vendor, but they’re still very specific about what hardware is used to run iOS and even desktop OS X applications. Software testing for these sorts of integrated systems should remain easy for years. Apple publishes specification sheets about all the hardware they publish for. This means that testing an application on only a few machines will ensure that it’s compatible with the hardware consumers have.

Future Integrated Systems

System integration testing is a difficult undertaking. More than likely quality assurance experts will push for further compliance with standards in the near future. Canadian legislators are unlikely to get involved, but the software testing community can be expected to publish their own requirements. Vendors will have to abide by these to stay competitive in the market. For those of you interested, there is more information available at QA Consultants.

The Future of Remote Desktop Software and IT Security

A prediction about the future of cloud computing based on a 2016 Morgan Stanley survey was made. The possibility of a 19.4 percent year over year increase by 2019 in world cloud computing is anticipated. This includes usage of remote support software for clients who need technical assistance.

2016 Cloud Computing Usage and Development

Cutting costs and increasing efficiency are two reasons why more companies are moving to the cloud. Not only that but at least one in five university graduates works at home as of about 2008. Therefore, providing technical support via a remote location is becoming more commonplace.

Not all computer network repairs can be completed from a remote location. However, many fixes related to hacking or security maintenance are often completed from anywhere. With that in mind, Canada is one location that reportedly strives to make IT solutions more agile.

What is more, customers are now more than ever making use of online chatting for technical help. To make online assistance more efficient, helpdesk software frequently includes video and image screenshot functions. Live screen sharing that is more secure than the standard public collaboration software also now seems to benefit more customers.

Remote Support Software Security — Staying Safe

Places of business that use any kind of remote software are aware of possible vulnerabilities. One case in particular reported in August 2016 concerns the way hackers breach point of sales machines. This involves the use of retrieving information from legacy credit or debit cards before the data from them was encrypted. The information was accessed from the POS system, not the cards themselves.

Retail stores are not the only industry susceptible to remote hacking, and it also affects remote support software. Security breaches happen in banks, government offices, marketing agencies and more. However, trained IT professionals usually work full time to stay one step ahead of computer and Internet intruders. Therefore, it seems that confidence in cloud computing that also includes remote connection is likely to continue. Besides, it is probably safe to say that in a few years cloud computing will be even more advanced than in 2016.

Breaches sometimes are inevitable because no network security is 100 percent perfect. However, upgrades such as military-class encryption could be used during tech support conversations. Furthermore, PIN access or another form of added security layer is often required when working with remote desktop software. This ensures maximum protection of files, documents and data.

Of course, making sure that a company trusts their employees also helps. In addition, project teams are usually warned how network exploits usually take place. When proper safeguarding of company information at the office is established, it lowers risks associated with cloud computing.