Change old modes of thinking when migrating to the cloud

Not every business owner who migrates to the cloud achieves great results. As much as the service is touted with words like “freedom,” “productivity,” and “collaboration,” realizing the full benefits of the cloud is not a given. So if you’re thinking about transitioning to the cloud, how can you ensure you optimize the technology for your business? Well, it all starts with your attitude before migration. Here are some mental shifts you should make before getting started.

Consider cloud value over costs
When considering the cloud, too many entrepreneurs get hung up on costs. Instead, as a business owner, think about how the cloud impacts your business and saves you money. You must look at the cloud as no different than any other investment you made to grow your organization.

To help you make the proper shift in thinking, ask your IT leaders just how the cloud will benefit your business. They’ll mention how the cloud will provide you value, such as easier team collaboration and the ability for anyone in your organization to work anytime, anywhere.

Think “strategy” before migration
Once you’ve considered the value the cloud provides, you’ll likely come up with goals you’ll want it to accomplish for your business. If you haven’t, do it now, before signing up for the service.

Let’s say you want to gain the productivity benefits of letting your staff work remotely without sacrificing cybersecurity. Therefore, prior to rolling out the cloud in your company, have the specific goal of increasing the use of vetted mobile devices among employees.
Clearly define your cloud goals beforehand, then work with your IT staff to come up with the nuts and bolts of the plan for accomplishing that goal. By having a plan instead of just winging it, you’ll have a better idea of what you want to achieve, have the ability to recognize when you’re getting off-track, and be more prepared to make adjustments in case things don’t go as expected.

Learn to love the quickly evolving nature of the cloud
Compared to other IT tech, the cloud is still relatively new and subject to rapid change. New updates, features, and enhancements are rolled out regularly, so if you want to get the most out of your cloud, it’s best to keep up. Of course, this is a scary idea for many business owners and IT managers alike as fast-paced flux can feel like instability and chaos.

Some cloud services make it easier than ever to keep up with changes. Let’s take Office 365, for example. Adding users and implementing new changes can take mere minutes. Yes, adapting can be frightening, but just remember that Microsoft and your IT managers are in your corner. If you still have some bad memories of long and frustration-filled transition periods after updating your legacy technology, rest assured that updates to cloud-based services nowadays often only require a small learning curve. Most new features are intuitive by nature, making adjustment to these changes painless and problem-free.

One of the best ways to assure your cloud updates go as smoothly as possible is to have a cloud enthusiast who’ll be up to date on the newest features and enhancements and can quickly tell you whether or not an update will benefit your business.

Moving to the cloud is pretty much an all-or-nothing business decision. If you adopt it, the cloud will become an integral part of your business, and you and all of your staff will interact with it on a daily basis. So be prepared for a big transition and a big payoff of higher productivity and connectivity for your entire company.

Are you ready to embrace cloud solutions? Give us a call to learn more about how we can help you migrate to the cloud and realize its full potential for your business.

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To succeed on the cloud, you may need attitude adjustments

Cloud computing is not some magic pill you can take to make your business instantly successful. As with any business tool, it must be used properly to be of any help to your company. If you have any preconceived notions about the promises of the cloud, you’ll need to adjust your mindset so you can start off on the right foot.

Consider cloud value over costs
When considering the cloud, too many entrepreneurs get hung up on costs. Instead, as a business owner, think about how the cloud impacts your business and saves you money. You must look at the cloud as no different than any other investment you made to grow your organization.

To help you make the proper shift in thinking, ask your IT leaders just how the cloud will benefit your business. They’ll mention how the cloud will provide you value, such as easier team collaboration and the ability for anyone in your organization to work anytime, anywhere.

Think “strategy” before migration
Once you’ve considered the value the cloud provides, you’ll likely come up with goals you’ll want it to accomplish for your business. If you haven’t, do it now, before signing up for the service.

Let’s say you want to gain the productivity benefits of letting your staff work remotely without sacrificing cybersecurity. Therefore, prior to rolling out the cloud in your company, have the specific goal of increasing the use of vetted mobile devices among employees.
Clearly define your cloud goals beforehand, then work with your IT staff to come up with the nuts and bolts of the plan for accomplishing that goal. By having a plan instead of just winging it, you’ll have a better idea of what you want to achieve, have the ability to recognize when you’re getting off-track, and be more prepared to make adjustments in case things don’t go as expected.

Learn to love the quickly evolving nature of the cloud
Compared to other IT tech, the cloud is still relatively new and subject to rapid change. New updates, features, and enhancements are rolled out regularly, so if you want to get the most out of your cloud, it’s best to keep up. Of course, this is a scary idea for many business owners and IT managers alike as fast-paced flux can feel like instability and chaos.

Some cloud services make it easier than ever to keep up with changes. Let’s take Office 365, for example. Adding users and implementing new changes can take mere minutes. Yes, adapting can be frightening, but just remember that Microsoft and your IT managers are in your corner. If you still have some bad memories of long and frustration-filled transition periods after updating your legacy technology, rest assured that updates to cloud-based services nowadays often only require a small learning curve. Most new features are intuitive by nature, making adjustment to these changes painless and problem-free.

One of the best ways to assure your cloud updates go as smoothly as possible is to have a cloud enthusiast who’ll be up to date on the newest features and enhancements and can quickly tell you whether or not an update will benefit your business.

Moving to the cloud is pretty much an all-or-nothing business decision. If you adopt it, the cloud will become an integral part of your business, and you and all of your staff will interact with it on a daily basis. So be prepared for a big transition and a big payoff of higher productivity and connectivity for your entire company.

Are you ready to embrace cloud solutions? Give us a call to learn more about how we can help you migrate to the cloud and realize its full potential for your business.

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Tweak your mindset to achieve success on the cloud

The cloud is not like some magic beans that’ll sprout sky-high stalks overnight and lead you to a castle full of riches. Don’t be misled by shiny words such as “increased productivity” and “collaboration” — your organization won’t realize these benefits unless everyone actually puts in the work to make the cloud work. If you want to use the cloud successfully, you might have to change your mind about a thing or two before you migrate to the cloud.

Consider cloud value over costs
When considering the cloud, too many entrepreneurs get hung up on costs. Instead, as a business owner, think about how the cloud impacts your business and saves you money. You must look at the cloud as no different than any other investment you made to grow your organization.

To help you make the proper shift in thinking, ask your IT leaders just how the cloud will benefit your business. They’ll mention how the cloud will provide you value, such as easier team collaboration and the ability for anyone in your organization to work anytime, anywhere.

Think “strategy” before migration
Once you’ve considered the value the cloud provides, you’ll likely come up with goals you’ll want it to accomplish for your business. If you haven’t, do it now, before signing up for the service.

Let’s say you want to gain the productivity benefits of letting your staff work remotely without sacrificing cybersecurity. Therefore, prior to rolling out the cloud in your company, have the specific goal of increasing the use of vetted mobile devices among employees.
Clearly define your cloud goals beforehand, then work with your IT staff to come up with the nuts and bolts of the plan for accomplishing that goal. By having a plan instead of just winging it, you’ll have a better idea of what you want to achieve, have the ability to recognize when you’re getting off-track, and be more prepared to make adjustments in case things don’t go as expected.

Learn to love the quickly evolving nature of the cloud
Compared to other IT tech, the cloud is still relatively new and subject to rapid change. New updates, features, and enhancements are rolled out regularly, so if you want to get the most out of your cloud, it’s best to keep up. Of course, this is a scary idea for many business owners and IT managers alike as fast-paced flux can feel like instability and chaos.

Some cloud services make it easier than ever to keep up with changes. Let’s take Office 365, for example. Adding users and implementing new changes can take mere minutes. Yes, adapting can be frightening, but just remember that Microsoft and your IT managers are in your corner. If you still have some bad memories of long and frustration-filled transition periods after updating your legacy technology, rest assured that updates to cloud-based services nowadays often only require a small learning curve. Most new features are intuitive by nature, making adjustment to these changes painless and problem-free.

One of the best ways to assure your cloud updates go as smoothly as possible is to have a cloud enthusiast who’ll be up to date on the newest features and enhancements and can quickly tell you whether or not an update will benefit your business.

Moving to the cloud is pretty much an all-or-nothing business decision. If you adopt it, the cloud will become an integral part of your business, and you and all of your staff will interact with it on a daily basis. So be prepared for a big transition and a big payoff of higher productivity and connectivity for your entire company.

Are you ready to embrace cloud solutions? Give us a call to learn more about how we can help you migrate to the cloud and realize its full potential for your business.

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Simple ways you can increase your LinkedIn connections

Five hundred-plus LinkedIn connections can seem like a lofty goal. You have a business to run, and probably don’t have much time to use the platform. However, carving out the time to grow your LinkedIn network positions you as an authority in a certain field and gives you the opportunity to connect with new clients. So how can you get to this number? Here are some ideas.

Network every day

If you’re struggling to grow your LinkedIn network, you may not be spending enough time on the platform. So dedicate 15–30 minutes a day to network on LinkedIn, and make it a goal to reach 500+ connections.

Join and participate in groups

Utilizing LinkedIn groups presents an opportunity to meet other professionals, and learn and share valuable advice. The point is not to just join a group, but actively participate in it. This requires a degree of focus and smart selection.

How many groups should you join? Shoot for around 10. This ensures that you have time to participate in each group and connect with its members. As for the groups you join, you’ll obviously want to join those in your industry, but you should also diversify. Choose five within your industry and five that relate to your other interests. Some suggestions to consider are university alumni groups, causes/charities you care about, and groups that relate to a new skill you’re hoping to learn. Ensure that all the groups you join are active. Avoid groups that only post once a week.

Spend some time every day contributing in at least five of your 10 groups. Ask questions, provide advice, or share valuable articles or original content you’ve created. Once you’ve developed a rapport with group members, you’ll have an easy, non-awkward way to connect with them.

Personalize your “Connect” request

If a LinkedIn user doesn’t know you, they might not connect with you if you send a generic connection request. You know the one: “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

Many people will simply ignore requests like this. Include a quick note that either refreshes that person’s memory of you, mentions a common interest or connection you might share, or simply introduces yourself and your reason for connecting. The more personal your note, the better.

Use keywords in your profile

Just like Google, Bing, and other search engines, keywords help you get discovered on LinkedIn. Plant these keywords in your professional headline, profile summary, and skill endorsement section.

How do you know what keywords to use? Think about what you want yourself or your business to be endorsed for. What skills do you have to offer your clients? For instance, if your business specializes in web solutions, some ideal keywords would include “SEO” or “web content”.

As for your skills, don’t choose narrow keywords. For example, if your business is in the financial services and tax preparation industry, don’t use the names of niche tax solutions you specialize in such as “estate taxes” or “small business taxes” as your endorsed skills. Instead, choose more general phrases like “tax preparation”. By doing this, your connections will be more likely to endorse you.

By following these tips and spending significant time on LinkedIn, you’re sure to grow your social network. The more connections you make, the less work you’ll have to do to as more people take notice and send you connection requests instead. This will provide more business opportunities and chances for you to meet new clients. If you’d like more ideas on how to improve your social media efforts, feel free to email or give us a call.

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How to get 500+ LinkedIn connections

Five hundred-plus LinkedIn connections can open doors for your organization. It can lead to more business, new clients, and elevate your company’s status. So how can you break through and become a LinkedIn power networker? Here are a few handy tips you can follow.

Network every day

If you’re struggling to grow your LinkedIn network, you may not be spending enough time on the platform. So dedicate 15–30 minutes a day to network on LinkedIn, and make it a goal to reach 500+ connections.

Join and participate in groups

Utilizing LinkedIn groups presents an opportunity to meet other professionals, and learn and share valuable advice. The point is not to just join a group, but actively participate in it. This requires a degree of focus and smart selection.

How many groups should you join? Shoot for around 10. This ensures that you have time to participate in each group and connect with its members. As for the groups you join, you’ll obviously want to join those in your industry, but you should also diversify. Choose five within your industry and five that relate to your other interests. Some suggestions to consider are university alumni groups, causes/charities you care about, and groups that relate to a new skill you’re hoping to learn. Ensure that all the groups you join are active. Avoid groups that only post once a week.

Spend some time every day contributing in at least five of your 10 groups. Ask questions, provide advice, or share valuable articles or original content you’ve created. Once you’ve developed a rapport with group members, you’ll have an easy, non-awkward way to connect with them.

Personalize your “Connect” request

If a LinkedIn user doesn’t know you, they might not connect with you if you send a generic connection request. You know the one: “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

Many people will simply ignore requests like this. Include a quick note that either refreshes that person’s memory of you, mentions a common interest or connection you might share, or simply introduces yourself and your reason for connecting. The more personal your note, the better.

Use keywords in your profile

Just like Google, Bing, and other search engines, keywords help you get discovered on LinkedIn. Plant these keywords in your professional headline, profile summary, and skill endorsement section.

How do you know what keywords to use? Think about what you want yourself or your business to be endorsed for. What skills do you have to offer your clients? For instance, if your business specializes in web solutions, some ideal keywords would include “SEO” or “web content”.

As for your skills, don’t choose narrow keywords. For example, if your business is in the financial services and tax preparation industry, don’t use the names of niche tax solutions you specialize in such as “estate taxes” or “small business taxes” as your endorsed skills. Instead, choose more general phrases like “tax preparation”. By doing this, your connections will be more likely to endorse you.

By following these tips and spending significant time on LinkedIn, you’re sure to grow your social network. The more connections you make, the less work you’ll have to do to as more people take notice and send you connection requests instead. This will provide more business opportunities and chances for you to meet new clients. If you’d like more ideas on how to improve your social media efforts, feel free to email or give us a call.

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Tips on getting 500+ LinkedIn connections

Most people are still impressed when they see a LinkedIn profile with 500+ connections. It gives that person authority in their industry and shows they’re worth doing business with. In other words, 500+ connections can help sell you and your business. So how can you reach this coveted number? Here are some tips to get started.

Network every day

If you’re struggling to grow your LinkedIn network, you may not be spending enough time on the platform. So dedicate 15–30 minutes a day to network on LinkedIn, and make it a goal to reach 500+ connections.

Join and participate in groups

Utilizing LinkedIn groups presents an opportunity to meet other professionals, and learn and share valuable advice. The point is not to just join a group, but actively participate in it. This requires a degree of focus and smart selection.

How many groups should you join? Shoot for around 10. This ensures that you have time to participate in each group and connect with its members. As for the groups you join, you’ll obviously want to join those in your industry, but you should also diversify. Choose five within your industry and five that relate to your other interests. Some suggestions to consider are university alumni groups, causes/charities you care about, and groups that relate to a new skill you’re hoping to learn. Ensure that all the groups you join are active. Avoid groups that only post once a week.

Spend some time every day contributing in at least five of your 10 groups. Ask questions, provide advice, or share valuable articles or original content you’ve created. Once you’ve developed a rapport with group members, you’ll have an easy, non-awkward way to connect with them.

Personalize your “Connect” request

If a LinkedIn user doesn’t know you, they might not connect with you if you send a generic connection request. You know the one: “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

Many people will simply ignore requests like this. Include a quick note that either refreshes that person’s memory of you, mentions a common interest or connection you might share, or simply introduces yourself and your reason for connecting. The more personal your note, the better.

Use keywords in your profile

Just like Google, Bing, and other search engines, keywords help you get discovered on LinkedIn. Plant these keywords in your professional headline, profile summary, and skill endorsement section.

How do you know what keywords to use? Think about what you want yourself or your business to be endorsed for. What skills do you have to offer your clients? For instance, if your business specializes in web solutions, some ideal keywords would include “SEO” or “web content”.

As for your skills, don’t choose narrow keywords. For example, if your business is in the financial services and tax preparation industry, don’t use the names of niche tax solutions you specialize in such as “estate taxes” or “small business taxes” as your endorsed skills. Instead, choose more general phrases like “tax preparation”. By doing this, your connections will be more likely to endorse you.

By following these tips and spending significant time on LinkedIn, you’re sure to grow your social network. The more connections you make, the less work you’ll have to do to as more people take notice and send you connection requests instead. This will provide more business opportunities and chances for you to meet new clients. If you’d like more ideas on how to improve your social media efforts, feel free to email or give us a call.

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Biometrics authentication on smartphones

The World Wide Web Consortium recently launched the FIDO2 project, allowing users to log in to online accounts with fingerprints, facial scans, and voice recognition. This technology is now also available in popular mobile browsers like Chrome and Firefox Lite, which not only boosts security, but also makes account management much simpler.

Authenticate your profile on your mobile device

Chrome OS, Windows, MacOS, Linux, and Android are all adding features to help users safely log in using biometric identification via USB, Bluetooth, and NFC devices connected to smartphones and tablets. With such convenience, users can verify their accounts on the go.

Preventing cyberattacks with browser-based biometrics

Passwords are notoriously bad at protecting users’ accounts and the information they store. Facial scans, fingerprints, and voice recognition would make it exponentially harder for hackers to commit identity theft. That means you’re also less likely to be duped by an email from a hacker pretending to be your boss asking for the company credit card’s details.

Enjoy more secure online transactions

Biometric verification will also retire the need for logging in your information when shopping online, streaming video, using cloud applications, and other internet-based transactions. Windows 10 has already adopted features that offer limited account management with fingerprints and facial scans. Samsung phones now have Samsung Pay, which turns them into digital wallets that are protected by fingerprint or iris scans.

Browser-based biometrics is starting to revolutionize and streamline the steps in verifying online accounts. It promises to add more security and ease in logging in and transacting on the internet. To keep up with the latest and greatest in browser-related innovations at your company, give us a call now.

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Smartphone browsers now support biometrics

Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox Lite support web-based biometric authentication. The leading mobile browsers now allow users to sign in to online profiles through fingerprint scanners, facial recognition, and the like. What’s more, online biometric authentication through these browsers requires no additional software.

Authenticate your profile on your mobile device

Chrome OS, Windows, MacOS, Linux, and Android are all adding features to help users safely log in using biometric identification via USB, Bluetooth, and NFC devices connected to smartphones and tablets. With such convenience, users can verify their accounts on the go.

Preventing cyberattacks with browser-based biometrics

Passwords are notoriously bad at protecting users’ accounts and the information they store. Facial scans, fingerprints, and voice recognition would make it exponentially harder for hackers to commit identity theft. That means you’re also less likely to be duped by an email from a hacker pretending to be your boss asking for the company credit card’s details.

Enjoy more secure online transactions

Biometric verification will also retire the need for logging in your information when shopping online, streaming video, using cloud applications, and other internet-based transactions. Windows 10 has already adopted features that offer limited account management with fingerprints and facial scans. Samsung phones now have Samsung Pay, which turns them into digital wallets that are protected by fingerprint or iris scans.

Browser-based biometrics is starting to revolutionize and streamline the steps in verifying online accounts. It promises to add more security and ease in logging in and transacting on the internet. To keep up with the latest and greatest in browser-related innovations at your company, give us a call now.

Posted in General Articles B, Web & Cloud | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Mobile phone biometrics enhances security

Constantly using passwords on a smartphone can be a pain, not to mention a high security risk. Luckily, popular mobile browsers like Chrome and Firefox Lite are now supporting biometrics for authentication to make logging in to social media, email, and online shopping accounts easier and more secure. Here’s what you need to know about the Web Authentication API.

Authenticate your profile on your mobile device

Chrome OS, Windows, MacOS, Linux, and Android are all adding features to help users safely log in using biometric identification via USB, Bluetooth, and NFC devices connected to smartphones and tablets. With such convenience, users can verify their accounts on the go.

Preventing cyberattacks with browser-based biometrics

Passwords are notoriously bad at protecting users’ accounts and the information they store. Facial scans, fingerprints, and voice recognition would make it exponentially harder for hackers to commit identity theft. That means you’re also less likely to be duped by an email from a hacker pretending to be your boss asking for the company credit card’s details.

Enjoy more secure online transactions

Biometric verification will also retire the need for logging in your information when shopping online, streaming video, using cloud applications, and other internet-based transactions. Windows 10 has already adopted features that offer limited account management with fingerprints and facial scans. Samsung phones now have Samsung Pay, which turns them into digital wallets that are protected by fingerprint or iris scans.

Browser-based biometrics is starting to revolutionize and streamline the steps in verifying online accounts. It promises to add more security and ease in logging in and transacting on the internet. To keep up with the latest and greatest in browser-related innovations at your company, give us a call now.

Posted in General Articles A, Web & Cloud | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

5 Ways you can benefit from business dashboards

Data dashboards have become increasingly popular for businesses over the past few years. They are a great data visualization tool that gives you an overview of your business at a glance. Dashboards can cater to a wide variety of users, from marketing staff to project managers. Let’s take a look at how dashboards can support your business activities.

Marketing insights

An organization’s marketing department typically analyzes a significant amount of data from various channels. Whether the purpose is to forecast monthly sales, predict trends, or build marketing strategies, marketing officers use dashboards to compare, sort, and analyze raw data to churn out meaningful information presented in an easy-to-understand format. This allows key decision makers to easily make decisions using that information.

Tracking sales opportunities

Sales dashboards are perfect for tracking products and services. They help you identify sales opportunities by monitoring top-selling products and comparing the growth in revenue on a periodical basis. They sync to your raw data, so your charts are always up to date, thus eliminating the need to spend hours manually entering and preparing sales reports and charts.

Social media management

Social media management is more than just posting regularly on your business’s social media accounts. And in most cases, your social media platform’s default dashboard doesn’t give you deep insight into your social media campaigns. What’s more, managing multiple social media accounts can quickly become a cumbersome process since you have to use several login credentials. Instead, you can manage your accounts all at once through a comprehensive social media dashboard, saving you valuable time and effort.

Financial reports

Presenting financial data is so complex that it often leads to misinterpretation and misunderstanding of critical data. Dashboards make creating financial reports much easier, and financial analysts can take advantage of dashboards to display sensitive data in a comprehensible graphical format — be it customer invoices, progress toward revenue goals, or business expenses.

Project collaboration

Businesses of all sizes require their employees to collaborate on projects, whether on-site or online. Project supervisors need to get their teams together to give them projects’ requirements, deadlines, and responsibilities, and to get progress updates. With the help of project collaboration dashboards, members will see the complete workflow of the project, allowing for a more efficient and collaborative working environment.

Dashboards eliminate the complications of presenting complex business data and make your team more efficient. If you’re looking to implement dashboards and other cutting-edge tools to make your job easier, contact our consultants today.

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