19 Jun 2019

How to calculate the TCO of VoIP

2019-06-19T08:00:36-07:00

Picking a VoIP solution for your business can be tricky since there are so many data plans to choose from. But here’s a pro tip: Calculate the total cost of ownership (TCO) and not just the monthly fees.

What is TCO?
TCO is the overall sum of procuring, deploying, and operating a VoIP system over its life cycle, which is typically five years. An experienced VoIP expert should be able to give you an informed approximation.

Upfront costs
Upfront costs are largely determined by whether you buy a VoIP system outright or rent it from a reputable third party. Although the former carries a steep upfront cost, payment will not continue indefinitely. This makes sense for large, fully staffed corporations with massive budgets. Meanwhile, the latter option is better for small- and medium-sized businesses that prefer to pay a small monthly subscription rather than make a huge investment.

Beyond the price of the VoIP package, upfront costs also include additional costs like headsets, […]

How to calculate the TCO of VoIP2019-06-19T08:00:36-07:00
18 Jun 2019

Step up your PowerPoint game with these pointers

2019-06-18T08:00:24-07:00

Do your officemates groan whenever they have to sit through another PowerPoint presentation? Once it’s your turn, knock their socks off by using these easy-to-follow tips.

Start slideshows instantly
The audience doesn’t want to see the speaker’s cluttered desktop or unread emails as the PowerPoint presentation is being set up. Simply select the file and save it as a PowerPoint Show. Bypass the editing mode and start the show with a double click and end it with the Esc key.

Pull back the focus with blackouts and whiteouts
Audience members tend to lose focus or drift away when presentations are longer than usual. If you suspect audience members are starting to lose focus, hit the B key for a complete blackout or the W key for a total whiteout. Then hit any key or click the mouse to return to the slides — this technique helps get the eyes back on you, where they belong.

Say no to bullet points
Both Steve Jobs and Tim Cook agree that bulleted lists aren’t the ticket. A […]

Step up your PowerPoint game with these pointers2019-06-18T08:00:24-07:00
17 Jun 2019

Presenting Google Drive’s PDF management features

2019-06-17T08:00:41-07:00

These days, cloud services such as Google Drive are gaining prominence as more teams rely on them to accomplish business goals with increased cost savings and productivity. But for some reason, Google Drive’s PDF-handling features have gone underappreciated, despite PDFs being a mainstay in workstations and offices for quite some time now. It’s time you knew about those features.

Save PDFs to Google Drive

Google Chrome’s PDF viewer can do much more than just read your PDFs. Like other web browsers, Chrome lets you save web pages as PDFs by right-clicking on the web page, selecting Print… from the menu, and selecting Save as PDF from the Destination drop-down menu.

However, if you’re logged into Chrome, you can save PDF files into your Google Drive. To do this, go back to the Print window, click the Destination drop-down, and select Save to Google Drive. This will save you some time from having to go to your Google Drive and manually uploading the file […]

Presenting Google Drive’s PDF management features2019-06-17T08:00:41-07:00
14 Jun 2019

Boosting SMB marketing with automation

2019-06-14T08:00:39-07:00

Small business marketing has often been a difficult endeavor for small business owners. Marketing involves a great deal of time and effort, and can require a significant financial investment. Previously, only large corporations could afford marketing automation, but that’s no longer the case. Read the five most profitable benefits of this new IT innovation here.

Instant responses to email requests
If a customer or prospect sends your business an email via your website or a “Contact Us” form, any delay in response could ultimately cost you a client. But if you have a marketing automation plan in place, you can customize automatic email responses to respond to these leads as soon as an email is received. This either provides potential customers with the information they requested or informs them that you will be responding in greater detail soon.

Stop leaving voicemails and start closing deals
There’s a reason most people prefer to communicate via email: Keeping in touch over the phone can be tough […]

Boosting SMB marketing with automation2019-06-14T08:00:39-07:00
14 Jun 2019

Cloud-based ERP and its benefits

2019-06-14T08:00:02-07:00

Using the cloud is so common these days that most small- to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) have at least one cloud service supporting their operations. An increasingly popular cloud-based service is enterprise resource planning (ERP). But what is it? And what are the advantages of using a cloud-based ERP? Here’s a quick and informative overview.

Define: Cloud-based ERP

ERP is management software, usually offered as a bundle of applications, that aims to help businesses automate the collection, storage, management, and interpretation of data from various sources like accounting, inventory, marketing, service delivery, etc. With ERP, business owners and managers can get an integrated real-time view of business processes, resources, and commitments.

Cloud-based ERP solutions are simply a suite of ERP apps delivered to users over the Internet, usually accessed via a browser. The software usually does not need to be installed on computers and is offered on a per-user, per-month, flat-rate fee.

Companies using a cloud-based integrated ERP solution have experienced the following five benefits:

1. […]

Cloud-based ERP and its benefits2019-06-14T08:00:02-07:00
12 Jun 2019

Windows 10 May 2019 Update’s best features

2019-06-12T08:00:04-07:00

The Windows 10 May 2019 Update is now available for download, and it brings a wealth of new features, tools, and apps that will help you and your team be more productive and efficient, as well as give you a better user experience. Read on to find out about Windows 10’s best new features.

Light theme

If Windows 10’s dark mode is, well, too dark for you, you’ll love the new light mode. You can enable light mode on your Windows 10 computer by tweaking the Colors settings. In the Settings app, click on Personalization > Colors, then select the Light option from the “Choose your color” drop-down menu.

Alternatively, you can enable light mode by changing your PC’s Themes settings. In the Settings app, click on Themes > Windows (light).

A cleaner Start menu

The May 2019 Update features a new, less cluttered Start menu. The tiles and shortcuts are now arranged in a single column instead of the default two columns in previous versions.

Also, for those using a new Windows computer […]

Windows 10 May 2019 Update’s best features2019-06-12T08:00:04-07:00
11 Jun 2019

Turn Instagram followers into customers

2019-06-11T08:00:27-07:00

Instagram has gone from an app that shares puppy photos with vintage-themed filters, to a marketing tool that savvy businesses are taking advantage of. The photo-sharing giant has a billion monthly active users, making it an ideal online marketplace. If you know how to create and promote compelling content on Instagram, you can get more from it than just photogenic filters.

Ensure your posts are shoppable

This simply means providing a convenient path where your followers can buy the products posted on your page. With the right Instagram tool, you can direct users to your online shop where they can make an actual purchase. Instagram is, arguably, not the best eCommerce platform to use if you depend on clickable media, but if you know how to tweak the app to your advantage — and provide an attractive presentation of your products — you can turn likes into sales.

Give away discount codes or coupons

Turn Instagram followers into customers2019-06-11T08:00:27-07:00
10 Jun 2019

5 Tips for protecting corporate data

2019-06-10T08:00:58-07:00

A data breach can happen to anyone, even to the most secure businesses or financial institutions — and cybercriminals could even attack your company’s network. How can you be sure your network is completely hacker-safe? As a business owner, you can’t afford a data breach, as it could cost you your clients and reputation. Employing strict security measures can make any cybercriminal think twice about trying to break into your network. Here are some tips to protect your corporate data.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

Using a complicated password to secure your system is no longer an effective way to solve the issue of cybersecurity. We tend to use that same complex password in our email accounts or bank accounts, and if one of your logins is compromised, this can result in grave consequences.

Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security for your systems and accounts. It can be biometric verification for devices that you own, or a time-sensitive […]

5 Tips for protecting corporate data2019-06-10T08:00:58-07:00
7 Jun 2019

Updates from Apple’s WWDC 2019

2019-06-07T08:00:00-07:00

Apple continues to push the frontiers of innovation with a slew of hardware and software releases. This year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference is expected to contribute to shaping the future of media production, digital processing, and home & office productivity. Here’s what you need to know about the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2019.

Privacy commitment

In Mr. Cook’s keynote speech, he hammered home Apple’s commitment to ensuring user privacy. According to him, Apple will be utilizing new privacy tools that will allow users to sign into third-party apps with their AppleID without giving away excessive user information the way conventional sign-in methods do.

iOS 13 launch

Another exciting update is the launch of iOS 13, Apple’s next-generation version of its famed mobile operating system. iOS 13 is projected to be the first iOS version to deploy dark mode, a new and improved sleep mode, app optimizations, Files app improvements, an updated CarPlay interface, a less obtrusive volume HUD, and a new WiFi-less tracking feature that connects using proximity with other devices.

iPadOS

Apple […]

Updates from Apple’s WWDC 20192019-06-07T08:00:00-07:00
6 Jun 2019

Save money with your data center

2019-06-06T08:00:06-07:00

Is your data center sucking you dry like a vampire? Many business owners would like to believe that the server room and data center don’t exist. But whether you acknowledge them or not, they could be eating up your resources every month. Here’s what to do to cut costs. 

Perform an energy audit

There’s a good chance your IT staff has never thought about how much energy your server room and data center are consuming. The first thing to do to rectify the problem is to identify how much power is being used. 

To get you started, here are a few questions to ask: 

  • How much of the data center’s power budget goes to support systems?
  • How much goes to IT systems?
  • How much IT output do you get for every kilowatt/hour of power used by your data center IT systems? 

Answering these questions will help you […]

Save money with your data center2019-06-06T08:00:06-07:00