21Feb/16
IOT

Posts from around the web: Challenges in Securing Internet of Things (IoT) Technology

What do we actually mean by “challenges in securing Internet of Things” ? What is the necessity to secure our watches and lights at home that are connected to the internet? We have all heard of hackers. Some of us may have even been hacked. So if the internet is hack-able, then so is everything connected to the internet. Internet of Things is already considered to be the next industrial revolution. This includes the soon-approaching trillion mark of number of sensors that are being added to products via IoT. Gartner estimates that 26 billion units would be added to the internet by 2020 and this is exclusive of the PCs, laptops and smartphones. It is pretty critical to secure all these systems that are well on the way of becoming essential parts of our lives. The following are the major security challenges in IoT in 2016.

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/cybersecurity/challenges-securing-internet-things-iot-technology-01456342#FC6KrpH5uK6ZuuEg.99

15Feb/16

Posts from around the web: We Are All Salespeople. Use These 3 Techniques to Become a Better One.

You may not have the title of a salesperson, but it’s imperative that you polish up on your skills and become a better communicator to win in business and in life. Whether you run your own company or currently employed by one, there is a good chance that at some point throughout the day you are spending time doing sales related work. All of us, regardless of job title or influence, do some type of sales on almost a daily basis.

Parents spend a significant time trying to sell their children on to make their bed, do the chores and study for the upcoming test. A startup entrepreneur spends a significant time trying to sell their idea and newly founded organization to investors and other key players that can help them to advance the process of growth.        Source:  http://www.entrepreneur.com/                        Full Article:   Read Here

15Feb/16

Google to shut down Picasa and replace it with Google Photos

As with other services Google has taken over in the past few years, it is Picasa’s turn to head down the path to retirement.  Well, it will be retired, as it is known today as Picasa.    Picasa was originally acquired by Google in 2004.  This long-standing online photo manipulation and storage tool has been the staple for many photography nuts and individuals who have not wanted to shell out big bucks for Adobe Photoshop or other costly services and tools.

Google Photos will now emerge as the new tool for Picasa users and newcomers to the online photo portal.  Picasa users will be able to upload all their photos to the new service, and will still be able to view specific content, such as tags, captions, and comments from their old albums. Google said Picasa users will automatically see their photos in Google Photos. The full transition from to Google Photos will begin now and finally take place May 1.

So, we see it only took a year for Google to start Photos and kill off Picasa.  Google Photos, which launched in May of 2015, is a more powerful, mobile-focused service.  The Google Photo service give the user ability to upload any number of videos and photos for free and has a robust search feature – go figure, right.

28Jul/15

Waze – the best GPS App ever

If you use a gps app and travel a lot, get Waze. This is a mix of gps targeting and social app engineering and sharing.

This app uses other Waze users’ input and sharing to alert you of traffic issues, police activity, accidents, construction, etc., while traveling. Passenger waze users plot actions and happenings on the road and waze alerts other waze users and asks for their input to verify this activity.

If heavy traffic is reported, Waze suggets and reroutes you to the best way around it. It will take you through side roads and alt routes to get you around the delay and back on track.

I highly recommend this app for use. Much better then Google maps app or any other I have tried. I used to be a staunch Google Maps app user, but no more.

17Jul/15
DataDrivenMarketing

Data Driven Marketing: Big Data not necessary

With all the rage and pomp and circumstance being on “Big Data”, I think content creators and curators tend to get scared and “out of their element” when discussions surround data and their Marketing and Content efforts.  If you boil it down to the basics, it really is not that complicated and is not that big of an ocean to cross.  With a little strategy and common sense, anyone can handle data-driven Marketing.

1.  Know what you can handle when it comes to data and do that well.

If you know that you either do not have a top-notch IBM-style data team or provider, take the easy approach and only collect and report on what data you can handle.  That can be as easy as 5 fields you ask on a form – First Name, Last Name, Company, Job Title and Business served.  These 5 data points should allow ANYONE the ability to use easy tools such as Constant Contact, Strong View, ClickStream, Marketo, etc. to approach their audience.

2.  Segment your data smart.

Again, don’t get too carried away here and/or scared.  If you only collect the above 5 data points, you can easily do 4 simple select segments – Company, Job Title, Business served, ALL names.  Find out what you want to accomplish with each segment and email offers out tailored to that segment.

3.  Test

It is not a bad thing to email your users, provided you have a written privacy policy and they understand what you can do with their name.  Don’t abuse the email address or the relationship.  If you have something they want, they will read what you have to offer.  Be smart and start small.  See what the audience tolerance is to messaging and work within those parameters.  Until you know what you are doing and what your message is, don’t rent lists or do any crazy email tactics.  Keep it simple and communicate to your users as you would want to be communicated with.

4.  Adjust

Make constant adjustments and work within your business segment to understand trends, wants, needs and ultimately what problems your industry or customers face and help them.

5.  Test

 

 

12Jul/15

Backblaze backup

Now, this is not a native Ad post, paid posting or anything like that.  I just wanted to let people know about this online backup service that is fast and really cool.  I don’t use it at work or at home, because I have a really sweet deal with my current backup vendor (it’s nice to be in the same colocation facility as a cloud backup provider that you can just tap into a backbone and get no “over-the-wire” charges, right?)/

Anyway, I have been following BackBlaze for many years, and if I can get the budget (again, not that expensive), I actually want to buy their chasis, drives and boards, to build and scale out my company’s Virtual environment.  You can get close to petabytes of storage from one of their chasis at a fraction of the cost and host your own virtual server farm.

These guys have racks and racks of the sweet red box BackBlaze servers running to host online backup and file storage and can fire up more space before you know it, at pennies on the dollar compared to others.  If you are not familiar with them, visit their site and see for yourself.

Also, for you tech nuts that want to increase your virtual backbone in servers, check out what you can do with their stuff.

 

10Jul/15

Financial Business Intelligence firm Quatrro introduces new BI tool

SOURCE Quatrro Business Support Services

ROSEMONT, Illinois, July 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ —

Quatrro Business Support Services (Quatrro), a market leader in providing cloud based business support services, announced the launch of an innovative Business Intelligence (BI) and Financial Analytics tool to enhance financial visibility and enable informed decision making for hundreds and thousands of Small & Medium businesses and Franchisors across the United States.

As per a report by IDC and EMC, the overall data in the world will grow by 50 times by 2020, but only 37% of this data will be structured. With the emergence of Social Media, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) as the new benchmark to measure success of digital businesses, the Small and Medium businesses will need to leverage the SMAC technology stack to extract strategic business insights from piles of unstructured data.

Quatrro’s next-gen BI Tool combines tailored analytics with cloud based technology to address these compelling business needs. From business intelligence to financial performance analysis and strategic management, Quatrro’s BI Tool is designed to enable key decision makers in the organization make the decisions that achieve better business outcomes – for now and in the future.

The tool is equipped with best-in-class reporting mix that includes financial dashboards, alerts and reporting templates that offer actionable business insights to the small businesses and franchisors at prices that are at a fraction of the benefits obtained.

Some of the key benefits are as highlighted below:

  1. Financial Planning & Analysis – Allows for benchmarking and comparison of unit-wise performance that leads to identification of trends and red-flags
  2. Planning, budgeting and forecasting – Enables tracking of current state of operations and drive future growth across the stores through predictive analysis and forecasting
  3. Inventory and Expense Management – Enhances visibility into cost reduction opportunities
  4. Revenue & Profitability Management – Enables small business owners to take informed business decisions that drive profitability
  5. Cash-Flow and Balance Sheet Management – Improves Cash-flow analysis with integrated, up-to date information and enhanced Balance Sheet visibility
  6. Financial Governance, Risk Management and Compliance – Delivers greater transparency by integrating data and aligning governance models

 

Commenting on the enhanced business value that Quatrro’s BI Tool offers to the franchise industry, Charles Harmonick, President  Quatrro Business Support Services, said, “Quatrro’s BI Tool encapsulates important features and benefits at every step, from data access and consolidation to generation of financial reports, reporting, financial analysis and forecasting. It will equip the franchisors with greater financial insights and transparency that will aid in strategy formulation and contribute to their bottom-line growth”.

Quatrro’s BI Tool has already received positive feedback from its clients and will now be offered to clients across diverse industry verticals including Restaurant, Retail, Auto, Hospitality, NFP and Healthcare in the next few months.

About Quatrro Business Support Services (Quatrro)

Quatrro Business Support Services, one of the leading businesses under the Quatrro brand, consists of a range of affordable business support services that are offered through industry’s first ‘Click and Buy’ interface on the cloud. Built on the innovative “Internet of Things” concept, the digital portal enables SMB clients to review, evaluate and buy a bundle of services off-the-shelf on a 24×7 basis.

Quatrro FPO Solutions is the Finance & Accounting business unit under the ‘Quatrro Business Support Services’ brand. It offers a broad range of platforms and cloud based accounting services by leveraging the industry’s leading accounting platforms designed to create economies of scale resulting in enhanced financial visibility, lower costs and improved business processes. Its client base includes over 6500+ Small & Medium Businesses across auto parts, restaurant, retail, healthcare and hospitality industries, that include franchises of some of the legendary and iconic brands in the nation, as well as not-for-profit organizations.

For more information, visit http://www.QuatrroFPO.com

Media Contacts:

Kane Polakoff
Senior Vice President
Quatrro
Kane.Polakoff@quatrro.com

©2015 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.

10Jul/15
3D Supercar

3D-Printing: Supercar, first 3D printed supercar

 

 

 

 

3D Supercar  I don’t normally like to write very short stuff and just link you off to other sites for the heck of it, but man, I think this is cool.  I believe that 3D printing of almost     anything and everything is going to shake up all aspects of technology and everyday life.  This, is the coolest I have seen.  I saw that they actually make 3D homes    in China with concrete print screens as well, but I think advances are coming to the point that we will be able to reduce inventory in our warehouses, shelves, and  every parts store.

I know I said that I would take you away to the story, and I will, but I like rambling on about this sort of tech stuff.  Anyway, here is a snippet from the source: Gizmag.com about this car and then off you go to read about it.  Don’t stay away too long though.  I think I am going to start a category just on 3D because what it can do for human life is amazing, most interestingly how it is already helping those that need hand, arm, leg replacements due to accidents or birth defects.

Wait….I said I would take you away and here you go:

Automobiles have made great strides in recent years in becoming cleaner and greener, but according to Divergent Microfactories, they still have miles to go. The problem, as the company sees it, is that while powertrains have become cleaner thanks to the use of alternative energy sources like battery power and fuel cells, manufacturing is dirtier than ever. The start-up puts forth a solution in the all-new Blade, which it calls “the world’s first 3D-printed supercar.”

Based in California, Divergent Microfactories was founded by Kevin Czinger, who also founded Coda Automotive. With Coda, he was focused on cleaning up the highways by promoting electric vehicle adoption. Coda’s electric car flopped, and the company filed for bankruptcy in 2013, emerging as the newly organized Coda Energy, a company that remains focused on energy storage for commercial and industrial applications.

Read More at the Source [Gizmag.com]

10Jul/15
windows10

Windows 10 Update – When is free really free?

windows10  So it seems like the allure to get Windows 10 for free actually has a time limit on what the free refers to.  I was wondering how the freebie was going to work and how Microsoft was actually going to make coin off of this thing.  Well, apparently there is a lifetime on the “device” being used or by means of the leaked info, “form factor”.  Those that work in the industry equate form factor to the device type you are working on:  Desktop, Laptop, small form factor desktop (those smaller models), Workstations (powerhouse desktops), tablets, phones etc.

There were some sales-type slides leaked and acquired by Computer World, in which we see a bit behind the curtain on what is the plan, or the “plan” of how to decipher some of this.  Still very gray and unclear in most cases, as we see reference to having to pay for updates after 2 to 4 years depending on the device “form factor”.

“Revenue allocated is deferred and recognized on a straight-line basis over the estimated period the software upgrades are expected to be provided by estimated device life…. [The estimated device life] can range from two to four years.”

‘Device life’ is the key phrase here. Microsoft has already stated revenue earned from Windows 10 must be deferred because of the free upgrade model (cash isn’t taken upfront), but it repeatedly stressed Windows 10 owners can expect to get free updates for the “supported lifetime of the device”.

This freebie would end up leaving many computers vulnerable to attacks and hacks once paid support was to start.  It also make me wonder how long the lifespan is now planned for Windows 10, as we have seen OS’ being updated and replace quite frequently these days.  This update and vulnerability headache still is something we, in the industry, have to deal with, while still using XP – don’t bash for the fact of still using XP!  I know it is not supposed to be used and we have to upgrade, but some apps just don’t work on 7 and above.  In the process of writing and/or replacing older legacy software that causes this issue (many of you know what I am talking about).

Anyway, we need to keep an eye on this one to see how it flushes out and where we go from here.  If they offer free OS’ every two years, will this even matter for home users?

12Apr/15

Big Buzz – IOT

iot_image Interestingly enough, more and more people are becoming aware of IOT, The Internet of Things.  Pretty funny nomenclature if you ask me.  IOT is the interconnecting of any and all electronics and devices to the Internet for communication, updates, notices, etc.  We have moved beyond just normal computing devices acting as Internet enabled devices and gateways.

It makes perfect sense for your phone, TV, tablet, etc., to be interconnected.  But now, not really now, but for a while now, all devices make sense to do this.  Your fridge in your house, your microwave, stove, picture frames (electronic of course).  All of these items come together to make up IOT.

Imagine, like your business machines, your home and other appliances calling out for service on their own, getting accessory updates, and supplies ordered for you.  Why would you ask, am I covering these home IOT items here on this blog and not segmented over on our consumer blog?  Good question, it is because the concept and strategy started with business machines.  Copiers, multi-function printers, servers, etc., started this with their “call home” features.  These concepts all stem from business-related needs and upgrades.

So many lines are blurred now, that there is a need to show how and why business technology is apparent and necessary in everyday life outside of the office.  What comes out of the need to better business, spills over into our daily home life as well.  Think about it, everyone is running a business to do something for someone.  Each appliance in your home has been provided to you by a business looking to find better ways to update you and your home with more purchases –  eh-hem – SELL YOU MORE STUFF by telling you that you need new filters for your fridge or AC system.

Don’t be fooled by tech advances, they are being passed into your home and other areas for larger scale revenue and convenience purposes.  The easier it is to buy and upgrade/update your equipment, the more hands-off and “hand-in-wallet” everyone can be.

Enjoy the future!  Soon, we won’t know how to drive either…. but that is for another post.