Using Technology to Get Ahead

Are you getting the most out of the technology at your business? Are the tablets, laptops, mobile devices, networks, and hardware/software helping your business enough? A recent Gartner survey found that CEOs are not utilizing breakthrough technologies ⧿ the Internet of things, 3D printing, AI automation ⧿ to improve productivity. Some are not even using the technology that has been around for years to its fullest extent. How can your company start optimizing its technology usage to get ahead in this very competitive world in which we live?

 

  • Review Your Current Technology – Conduct a staff meeting to review what technology is currently being used and what is available. Take stock of what employees need training or advanced training on the hardware or software that you currently have. Many free trainings are online, or splurge and sign a group up for a training seminar.

 

  • Make A Wish List – Create a list of technology that you would love to have at your fingertips to get your company ahead. Explore options such as tech shares to cut the cost burden with other businesses in your area.

 

  • Start Small – Many employees and business leadership get overwhelmed when too much tech happens at once. Start introducing technology slowly so that proper training and adjustments can be made in the office. This will give workers a chance to become accustomed to the changes and not feel outdated or undertrained.

 

  • Network – Talk to other businesses to see how technology is helping them advance. While you may not want to give away your trade secrets, you will want to talk shop and find out what your competitors are doing so you can remain competitive yourselves.

 

If you need help deciding how technology can further your business goals, call M&H Consulting  at 1-(866)-964-8324 for a free initial consultation.

Creating a Teched-Out Conference Room

So your business is thriving and you need to have access to a conference room that allows you to present, teach, train, and hold professional meetings with clients, vendors, and employees. What you need is a teched-out conference room that will “wow” your clients and make your work more efficient and professional looking. But how do you decide what technology you may need to install?

 

Creating a conference room for your business is an investment, so before you begin buying AV equipment, know what you need and how you will be able to use it to showcase your service, product, or company as a whole. Here are some wish list items from our consultants to make your presentations and meetings amazing.

 

  • Phone System – With so many remote clients to deal with, having a phone system that allows you to conference call is a must in any professional business conference room. Be sure it can integrate with computers, messaging, and possibly allow for video conferencing as well.

 

  • Visual Display – Whether it is a smart board, television screen, or projector, being able to show and present is a huge part of having a conference room. Be sure you have the ability to design your presentations and link to your conference room equipment quickly and with ease so you don’t need to call in the IT department every time you want to meet with a client.

 

  • Sound System – Nothing is worse than a dull presentation. Install a sound system that can give your presentation some “pop” with music, microphones, or projecting to a large group and the ability to have remote listeners.

 

  • Ports, Plugs, and Adapters – Going to a presentation is no longer a passive event. Viewers may bring laptops, phones, tablets, and all sorts of technology to enhance their experience. Be sure to have ample ports, plugs, and adapters.

 

  • Control Systems – If you really want a “tricked out” conference room be sure it is all integrated with remotes so that presenting is as easy as clicking a button. This should include sound, visuals, and even shades that darken the room.

 

Call M&H Consulting for more ideas and help designing your technology packed conference room.

Benefits of Software Updates

As computer owners we are inundated with emails and reminders to update our software and protect our computers on a regular basis. While it may be easy to ignore those calls for updates, it may be foolhardy to do so. Freezing your IT solutions at the level that it was at the time of purchase can cause problems with production, efficiency, security and the occasional computer bug. Here are the top reasons why you should be sure to upgrade your software at regular intervals or according to the recommendations of your IT department/consultants.

  • Bug Fixes – Although computer companies work relentlessly to be sure systems are working properly, there are on occasion bugs that can cause your computer systems and software to operate improperly. Upgrades in software offer bug fixes and patches that can make your computer run smoothly and at its most efficient level.
  • Enhancement in Performance – With each new release of a software there are improvements and enhancements that have been made based upon customer reviews and comments. This means that your new upgrade could be easier to operate or have fewer customer complaints.
  • New Features – Upgrading your software may open a whole new slew of features that could make your job easier or more efficient. If your company fails to upgrade software you may be missing out on the latest and greatest feature that make client relations or some aspect of your job better.
  • Improved Security –  Upgrading software allows your computer to benefit from additional protections and levels of security. Ensuring your system has the latest defensive solutions help limit the threat posed by malware and hackers. Malicious parties are continually innovating, devising new ways of attacking users’ systems, and in response, the IT security industry has to find ways of reducing or eliminating this threat.

If you are wondering what software or upgrades may help your company contact M&H Consulting for a professional evaluation of your system.

Business Apps for Getting Organized

One of the characteristics of a good business leader, whether you own a small business or large corporation, is the ability to stay organized. If you feel like you are always searching for items or find it hard to stay productive, you may need to “tweak” your organizational skills. Thankfully, technology has come a long way to help you get organized and stay that way from the moment you walk into work until the lights go out at closing. Here are some apps to consider that your IT department could easily put on your mobile devices.

  • To Do Lists – Do you need to maintain a running list of items that need to be accomplished either short or long term? There are apps that can help you quickly jot down items that may slip through the cracks during a busy work day. Two such app are Wunderlist which allows you to share work project lists and EasilyDo which allows for task lists to be prioritized and distributed to employees.
  • Note Taking – We have all been in meetings where we need to take notes, copy and share them with other members of the team. Evernote is a note taking application that lets you record and collect information that you have found interest in.  You can also share your notes with your team members using this application.
  • Financial Organization – Organization specifically geared toward financial expenses can be easily tracked using Expensify. This app allows you to take pictures of your receipts and store them all on one convenient dashboard.
  • Appointments and Event Organizing – As a business leader or manager, there are probably a million appointments, phone calls or conferences that you attend annually. Keeping those dates and times organized can be simple when using Google Calendar or Doodle. These apps allow you to manage and track your calendars across multiple platforms that include Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo.

Windows 10 Fall Creators

Among several new projects and updates that Microsoft has in the works, they recently released a major new update. Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is set to have a release this September.

The Fall Creators Update will be the official debut of Microsoft’s Fluent Design System, previously known as Project Neon. This interface allows building apps that can work across several devices and input types. Although, there are more features to come, this update will bring a new focus to bring Windows experiences to Android and iOS devices.

With this new update, it is including four key new additions:

  • Timeline – Timeline is a feature that helps improve the task view area to provide a list of apps and workspaces that were in use previously in your device or on your devices as well.
  • Pick up where you left off – This new feature combines with Timeline, as it allows you to resume apps and sessions on multiple devices. This feature will specifically be useful and helpful on mobile devices.
  • OneDrive files On-Demand – Similar to Microsoft’s placeholder files, this feature will let you easily fetch files from OneDrive without having to sync them or download entire folders all at once. Instead, OneDrive allows users to pick out data from the cloud whenever it is needed–making it faster and easier. With this feature, it will help decrease the amount of space required for the files, as you’ll mostly use this feature while online and only meant to pull out the files that are needed at the moment.
  • Clipboard – Similar to Apple’s universal clipboard, the clipboard feature will help roam across Windows, iOS, and Android as it will allow users to copy content from a PC and paste it straight on a phone.

Majority of these features work and compliment each other as it makes experiences for users much easier and better to use. However, more features will continue to be developed and released as the release date gets closer.

 

Android Wear 2.0

Do you enjoy your regular wrist watches just as much as you enjoy your smartphone? Do you find that Android watches are more stylistic than Apple’s Watches? Well, you are in luck because Android Wear 2.0 is here!

Google recently confirmed that many of their watches will have the Android wear update between April and late May 2017. With this new update comes the introduction to use it on LG smartwatches, and now, iOS system.

Some of the new features for Android Wear 2.0 include:

  • Google Assistant – Google assistant was first used in Google’s Pixel smartphones, but now, this helper is ready to respond to a simple ‘OK Google’ command or press of a button on your watch. Assistant can help make reservations for you, provide you with the weather report, and will also work with smart home devices, leaving you completely hands–free.
  • Complications – Initially, complications are features that provide more than just the watch face information of hours and minutes. Android wear adds support for third-party complications. This means Fitbit, Spotify and similar apps will be able to integrated directly to your watch face.
  • Notifications – While some of us love to receive notifications, even if it does cover the whole screen, Android wear will have small icons that can easily be tapped to expand on the specific notification such as a text content or email.
  • Standalone apps – Android wear apps work independently with phone apps. In other words, the app will work perfectly even if your phone is nowhere near you.

There are several watches that can support Android wear 2.0 and are perfect for any style. As more smartwatches will be added to the list, here are some of the watches available:

  • Asus ZenWatch2, Asus ZenWatch 3
  • Casio WSD F10
  • Fossil Q Founder, Fossil Q Wander, Fossil Q Marshal
  • Huawei Watch, Huawei Watch Ladies
  • Michael Kors Access Bradshaw Smartwatch
  • LG G Watch R, LG G Watch Urbane (1st gen)
  • New Balance RunIQ

What you Need to know about Servers

Not many people know the use and function of servers, and for those who are not tech savvy or experts in IT, it is important to know the use and function of your computers server.

A server is a computer, or computer program, that is setup to run one or multiple server applications such as mail, network, applications, print and web servers among many others. Basically, it is the main component of a network, since it manages access to the resources, files, programs used by all other computers. Many believe they have to be custom-built, but that isn’t the case. Servers simply have to be able to run server applications when you need them to. Older and less expensive computers can also be setup as servers.

There are different types of servers, such as:

  • Dedicated servers – A dedicated server is a single computer within a network that is used for only one single purpose. They are mainly used when talking about web hosting, which allows you to make a website that is accessible to the internet.
  • Virtual Private servers – Instead of having one physical computer used for one business’ needs, a virtual private server (VPS) is used on a single server computer but services multiple customers.
  • Cloud servers – A cloud server is created, hosted and delivered through a cloud platform. A cloud server is made up of remote servers that are all hosted online. When using a cloud server, you are renting virtual server space and accessing it remotely through a cloud provider.

Servers are essentially the spine and life blood of your business. If it crashes, then your business crashes. As a result, you want to take reasonable precaution to get rid off any single points of failure in your server’s architecture. Many ‘server-class’ computer has multiple levels of redundancies and typically has hot-plug capabilities.
Now you can know the importance of servers without being an IT expert.

Amazon Web Services

Many of us enjoy using Amazon on a daily basis when we order products through Amazon Prime or watch movies through the Amazon Stick. But did you know that small and medium sized businesses have been using Amazon Web Services for features such as: computing, storage, database storage, analytics, application, and deployment services that help organizations move faster, lower IT costs, and scale applications. Millions customers are using Amazon Web Services for products and solutions. Let’s take a closer look at this and how it may be a good choice for your business.

 

Whether you are running applications that share photos to millions of mobile users or you’re supporting the critical operations of your business, a cloud services platform provides rapid access to flexible and low cost IT resources. Here are some of the benefits that businesses may procure with the use of Amazon Web Services.

 

  • Ease of Use – The intuitive applications of Amazon allow users to quickly and safely run aspects of business.
  • Affordable – Businesses only pay for the compute power, storage, and other resources used, with no long-term contracts or up-front commitments.
  • Security – Businesses will benefit from a data center and network architecture built to meet the requirements of the most security-sensitive organizations.
  • Flexible – Select the operating system, programming language, web application platform, database, and other services you need. With Amazon Web Services, your business will  receive a virtual environment that lets you load the software and services your application requires.

 

Contact M&H Consulting to find out more about these web services and whether they can be helpful; to your company.

 

What is Wi-Fi Certified TimeSync?

Do you have wireless connecting surround systems in your home of various other wireless connected devices throughout your home that don’t seem to sync correctly? Maybe your surround system, although sounding amazing, is a second or a few milliseconds delayed. This can all change later on this year thanks to Wi-Fi Certified TimeSync.

According to studies shared by Wi-Fi Alliance, an average home has about eight connected devices per home, which makes TimeSync useful for everyone. This is a tool that is designed to keep time and functions synced all the way down to the microsecond. This tool will work with audio playback, which means that you will no longer have to deal with mismatched audio and video play. This tool will also support vehicles with multiple video screens, allowing visuals to appear at the same exact time.

Although home systems will surely benefit from TimeSync, this new tool will be of greater help for the manufacturing and healthcare industries. In the manufacturing industry timing is of essence. Many tasks in the industry have to be completed in precise and perfect alignment. This is what helps manufacturers complet materials with limited errors and of great quantity. This is where TimeSync will come in to make sure tasks are completed in perfect alignment.

TimeSync will play an important role in the healthcare industry for many reasons. One major reason for its importance has to do with the fact that different sensors on patients need to be time synced in order to help doctors fully understand how one particular action in time can affect the patient. In order to do this accurately, the timing of each event has to be accurate as well. Having this tool in hospitals and throughout the many healthcare devices will help create accurate and effective data.

For more information on what TimeSync is and how it can affect your business, contact M&H for help.

Tech Skills for 2017

As mentioned in our previous blog, the IT industry can be a competitive one, especially for those who are looking for an entry level job. Because of this, we have decided to share with you some marketable technological skills that could help you land an IT job in this New Year. If you find that you have many of these tech skills already, be sure to advertise them when attending job interviews.

Programming Skills:

Programming skills are a useful skill to have for software and application developments. Many companies that have applications or specific software also hire those with programming skills to help upkeep and maintain it.

Technical Support Skills:

By this we mean having the full knowledge of various software and hardware to be able to help other businesses and individuals with any technological complications. Being able to have such skill could help you sell yourself in many interviews since this type of job is the most in demand.

Analytics Skills:

If you are analytics certified, market it! This is just almost as important of a skill as coding/programming in the IT industry. Being able to know and understand how to analyze certain information is important in helping businesses determine the advantages and weaknesses of each company.

Cloud Computing Skills:

Because many businesses are switching to cloud computing to better save and easily access their data, being able to observe, organize, and maintain cloud services is a significantly useful skill. Many businesses with unique cloud computing services need to have a well organized service in order to be able to do work efficiently and cloud architects can help ensure that it gets done without complications.

There are many other skills not mentioned here that can help you land an IT job. Simply be prepared to know which ones could be the most important for the job you are interviewing for in order to stand out.