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5 Technology Tips Every Small Business Needs to Know

Bianca Fermiza

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Technology and business go hand-in-hand. The premise is simple – technology can adjust and handle an increased workload. It gives you the ability to take on new opportunities to make your business more efficient in its operations. This enables you to consider the possibility of expanding and entering new markets.

Some entrepreneurs might consider investing in technology a challenge, but if it is done and deployed properly, it will drastically improve the way you do business. It has the capacity to increase sales, boost employee productivity, and ease miscommunication and error in your daily operations. No matter what size your company might be, technology has both tangible and intangible benefits.

Here are 5 technology tips that every small business needs to know.

1. Consider Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System

Enterprise Resource Planning is all-purpose software that can do anything from accounting, inventory, human resource, warehouse operations, finances, and a lot more. ERP software like SAP and Microsoft Dynamics NAV help integrate all your core business processes and enable you to stay ahead of the competition. A lot of people find it challenging to find the right ERP software for their business.

However, if you research your needs thoroughly and seek expert advice, you will be able to choose the right technology for you. You can also involve employees in the process of selecting a program. Having ERP software gives the different departments of your company transparent access to relevant data. This will result in less error, increased productivity, and reduced expenses on human resource. ERP software provides real-time data that is beneficial for management to make effective business decisions and adapt to rapidly changing business environment.

2. Connect With Customers

Every business owner knows that one of the most important factors in doing a successful business venture is taking care of your customers. There has to be customer intimacy. You have to understand their needs and you need to tailor your products and services to suit what they want. For small businesses, having Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is an effective way for them to stay competitive in the ever-changing landscape of their chosen industry.

CRM software can store detailed information about your customers’ behaviors and enables targeted marketing, product development, and sales activities. You need to make your business more efficient to keep increasing revenue.

3. Engage in Social Media

Social media can be considered as one of the fastest and most reliable ways to connect with people all around the world. If you have a business, having an online presence will efficiently validate your brand. A lot of companies use social media sites for them to market the products and services that they are offering.

It also enables your customers to easily get in touch with you. For you to successfully utilize social media to your advantage, you have to set goals, know your target audience, decide on the type of digital media you want to focus on, have a social media strategy, and constantly analyze your engagements, for you to know if there is something to be changed or improved.

4. Optimize Your Website

Just like having social media identity, it is also important for your company to have its own website. You can use your own website to showcase your products and services to your customers. It also gives credibility because, in this technology-rich world, people tend to trust businesses that have their own website.

You can optimize your site by researching keywords and creating content based on that, speeding it up for users, using landing pages, and update your page titles every now and then for them to rank up in search engines to create traffic. These methods can be efficiently executed by a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist. An SEO Specialist helps you make your website more popular in Google.

5. Boost Efficiency with Productivity Tools

These are computer programs which allow users to create specific items quickly and easily rather than doing these things by hand. Some examples of these tools are Word Processing, Spreadsheets, and Databases. Productivity tools can be considered as game-changers for entrepreneurs. One of the most common productivity tools is Microsoft Office. It offers different programs like MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Outlook, just to mention a few.

On the other hand, databases and spreadsheets are commonly used for organizing, storing, calculating, sorting, and graphing information. These applications permit the creation of a whole new and calculated data. With these tools, you can precisely evaluate your company’s performance in the market and look for ways to improve your operations.

Bianca Fermiza is a Content Marketing Writer for an IT company that provides business solutions for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs). She currently gives tips about SAP Hong Kong. The authorized distributor of small business solutions and top of the line software SAP Business One in Hong Kong.

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Technology

The Lock and Key System and Why You Should Choose the High-Tech Version

Michael Dunne

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Locks and bolts are reliable and simple security systems that can be easily installed in homes and in commercial establishments. These systems have been used for thousands of years since the early beginnings of human civilization.

Modern-day security threats, however, have become increasingly sophisticated. Some thieves are highly skilled in opening locks of various forms, including combination type locks. This is why high-tech security systems are necessary for homes and business establishments for better security and protection.

History of the lock and key system

The most ancient lock and the key device were discovered in an archaeological site in Nineveh, the capital of the ancient Assyrian Empire. The Egyptians developed a wooden pin lock device that had the basic mechanisms of modern pin and tumbler metal locks.

The Egyptian pin lock system had a bolt and door fixture, which could be opened using a customized key. The pins within the lock were lifted out drilled holes within the bolt when the key was inserted. This allowed the bolt to move while the key was inserted.

Meanwhile, the oldest type of lock device in Europe is the warded lock. It was the most common lock design in Europe from the Early Medieval to Renaissance period. Purely metal locks were developed in Europe from around the year 870 to year 900. English craftsmen were credited for developing these locks.

Robert Barron perfected the design of the lever tumbler lock in 1778. The lock had a set of lever mechanisms that prevented the movement of the bolt if the key was not inserted. The double-acting lever mechanism required the lever to be lifted to a specific height by a key specifically customized for the lock.

Jeremiah Chubb made significant improvements on the lever tumbler lock starting in 1818. He designed locks that had multiple levers that needed to be precisely aligned to allow the bolt to move. Later designs involved spring-loaded pins that also prevented the bolt from moving. The keyless combination lock is a modification of this design.

High-tech modern locks

Classic lock designs are still used today with some modifications.

Many types of high-tech modern locks are actually a result of the convergence among the mechanical, electronic and digital types. The basic lock and bolt design are maintained but some electronic and digital components have been added. For instance, some high-tech locks require biometric keys like fingerprints to be opened.

High-tech locks can range from small padlocks to complex vault locks or blast door locks. The key components are modified to have multiple authentication requirements. These are also programmable and customizable depending on the user.

One of the simplest forms of electronic lock system is the PIN number system that requires the user to enter a pre-programmed PIN on a keypad. This system is also oftentimes integrated with an alarm system that will be triggered if the PIN is entered incorrectly in three successive attempts.

Electronic locks and alarm systems may also be connected to a phone line that can alert the local police. You may also be alerted via your mobile devices through SMS or the internet.

Here are some of the reasons why you should choose electronic and digital lock systems:

1. Added layers of protection

Using digital lock systems will provide your house or establishment additional protection.

Unlike ordinary mechanical locks that can be opened by skilled lock pickers using simple DIY tools, electronic or digital locks are more sophisticated. They require higher skills and more sophisticated instruments to hack.

If the electronic lock system has an alarm, it would provide another layer of protection that could deter would-be thieves.

A simple 4-digit PIN-enabled lock system has thousands of permutations/combinations, 10,000 possibilities to be exact. Most systems are programmed to allow only a maximum of three attempts before the alarm is activated.

2. Convenience of use

Simple mechanical locks need exact key configurations to be opened. The key to a lock needs to be duplicated to allow other members of a family or an establishment to have access. So if you have multiple doors in your house or workplace, you will need multiple keys and multiple duplicates.

Electronic lock systems may only need one master PIN code that can be memorized by authorized persons. On the other hand, the individual fingerprints of authorized persons can be used as keys. Biometric keys are more convenient than physical keys which can be easily duplicated or lost.

3. Flexibility of access

PIN codes, passwords, and biometric parameters can be programmed into the digital lock and key systems. Multiple users can be granted access without needing to bring physical keys. On the other hand, electronic key cards may also be required for employees to serve as their IDs and monitor their attendance.

Digital lock systems may also be programmed to provide multi-tiered security authorization. For instance, some employees of a bank may only have limited access to the bank vault.

4. Easy integration with other systems

You may easily integrate a digital lock and key system with existing systems. In many instances, you do not even need to remove the standard mechanical locks. Alarms, biometric sensors, cameras, apps, and mobile devices can be connected to electronic or digital locks.

It would be possible to remotely lock or unlock doors using your mobile device even if you are hundreds of kilometers away. Depending on your security provider, you may use a special app for this purpose. This way, you can allow guests to enter your house or establishment even if you have not yet arrived. You may simply need to enter the necessary PIN codes via your mobile smartphone.

5. Long-term cost-effectiveness

Considering the various features and benefits of using an electronic lock and key systems, you will be able to save money in the long run.

One common problem with the purely mechanical lock and key system is losing the key. This can be avoided by eliminating the need for physical keys. You will not need to have multiple duplicates of keys for various rooms in a house or work establishment.

The advantages of using an electronic lock and key system truly outweigh those of older lock and key versions and types. Hence, it is the better choice when it comes to ensuring the safety and security of your home and/or business establishment.

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Software

Network Olympus: Why Use It?

Steven Sanders

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IT Staff in Different Offices Can Monitor

If your IT team is spread out through multiple locations, who are responsible for helping monitor the network performance, the remote access enables for the staff in other cities, branches, countries, or offices to check the network performance – even if the software is installed on the headquarters.

This means that if the device is down at a remote location, a network expert can help you troubleshoot the issue without getting involved. And, he doesn’t have to ask you what you’re viewing on your end – he can see updated metrics and network maps himself.

Remain Mobile Without Neglect

Having the ability to access the network remotely means that your team doesn’t have to be on the site constantly. If you have to work from the local coffee shop or home, the remote access allows you to see the device status on your mobile device or laptop.

Mobile network monitoring helps users keep their network data, so they don’t have to risk outages due to lack of access.

Access Levels Are Managed For Better Security

Some network administrators might not like the idea of remote access due to the remote security threats lying behind it. One way to keep the network secure is through encrypted authentication and by making sure each user logs in with the same method.

Another form of protection against security issues is its ability to customize your user access. Most of Network Olympus remote monitoring tools will help you give access to the user or admin level to certain dashboards or maps. Managing the access to your users will help you keep the connection fully secure.

Also, get a tool that will consistently update and give patches to any security holes that surface. Although security threats are common, having good tools to notify your users once a patch has been released. This allows you to take advantage of improved security measures as much as possible.

With The Right Connectivity, You’ll Always Find Access

Network Olympus gives users more access due to its remote capabilities. As long as you’re on the network due to a point to point or VPN connectivity, you’ll be able to utilize and manage the connected devices within the network. Regardless of where they or you are located.

By giving more remote monitoring capabilities for you and your IT team, you’ll have enough flexibility to handle what the modern work world requires. And you can gain peace of mind that no matter where you’re at, you can see the network at a glance, whether it spans from a country, world, or city.

Conclusion

Basically, Network Olympus can be used to help you utilize your network. Not only does it have multiple features to help monitor your goods, but also helps keep your team on track. Thus, try to utilize it so you can keep your IT team running efficiently.

Need to learn more about Network Olympus?

Tell us in the comments below!

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Technology

For-Profit Or Fun: Why Some A Crypto Trading Bot

Steven Sanders

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Wall Street is in an uproar. Papers are flying; curse words are being hurled, financial portfolios are in disarray and have been for the past year because of one word: crypto.

What has happened? What changed?

Well, in the past year, a lot.  I’m not talking just the earth-shattering, meteoric rise and fall of bitcoin as a $20,000+ asset that has made billionaires. I’m not talking about the billions in ICO fundraising that has left some in the blockchain in the community very wealthy, nor the assets lost by foolish investors.

I’m talking about the perplexing case of what exactly cryptocurrency can do for the average layman.  For those without thousands laying around who got in late or those that were too afraid to take the leap, it begs the question: What is the opportunity that remains?

There is a market for cryptocurrency development services. There is also a market for marketing for blockchain companies. Within cryptocurrency as subject, there are dozens upon dozens of opportunities to still profit even as it falls harder than ever before.  

One that has many’s attention is that of the cryptocurrency trading bot.  

Much like forex, stocks, and a flurry of other bots that have been developed to isolate and profit from signals that exist in the market, cryptocurrency has proven no different.

Cryptocurrency bots operate on a trading algorithm set by its developer whom should be or is working with a trader.  These traders often boast about their profits, and that they have systemized some form of reliability by isolating trends/criteria that lead to profitable trades.

The Market & its Infancy

While there are definitely plenty of bots that are successful, there is one drawback to creating a cryptocurrency bot that trades.  The market even with its current fervor is still in its infancy. It is totally new to the manipulations that we have seen happen by governments, social influence, and random freak occurrences.  

There are so many factors that tie into pricing that its hard to predict what will make a bot trade successfully. One one hand, a bot that trades based on analyzing or at least compiling news/trend data, and then offering the ability to select what to trade based on could potentially work.  The difficulty is in sifting through the fake news and what is actually relevant.

News sources naturally sensationalize, but the problem doesn’t only lie there.  Communities like Reddit and telegram are usually far ahead of any development within cryptocurrency.

So unless a bot takes into consideration mentions of particular cryptocurrencies and any words that can help it judge the context, it’d be harder for it to adapt to little more than buying and sell order fluctuations.

Technical analysis is still being worked out, but some have made strides and are certainly profiting regularly, such as Ian Balina and other associates.

That said, a systemized approach of any kind will need to have its kinks worked out, so only time will tell how successful it would be to create a crypto trading bot.  

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