You’re moving to the Cloud. What services will best help your small business? We’ve listed six that stand out.
- Dropbox for Business. Sync work across all your devices, manage accounts, and monitor activity using storage software.
- Google Drive. Edit documents in the browser, access revision history, host a video conference and install third-party apps.
- Carbonite Business. Back up your files automatically with 250 GB of space. Restore files easily, and get more space any time.
- Mindomo. Use maps to brainstorm effectively with project management software.
- Salesforce.com. Master e-mail marketing, sales forecasts and more using this leading CRM-focused service.
- OfficeTime. Ideal for small business owners, OfficeTime records billable hours and creates invoices.
With storage, project management, backup and productivity taken care of, you’ll be free to grow and run your small business with confidence.
Are you ready to move to Cloud computing? Take care of these factors first.
Pick a vendor. Compare prices and services offered. You should be comfortable with the user interface and ready to commit long-term. Make sure your vendor has been tested by an auditing firm to ensure compliance.
Consider bandwidth. Storing data includes bandwidth challenges. You should have solid network performance.
Ensure data security. Cloud storage services can back up data to prevent loss. Implement a system to handle cloud identity.
Verify format. Make sure you can export files in Word, Excel or any other program you use frequently.
If you approach Cloud computing with research and a strategy, you’re more likely to make a successful transition.
IT consultants are experts in the information and computer technology industry. Since computers are crucial to your small business, we’ve listed five reasons to hire an IT consulting firm:
- Cost savings. When you outsource your IT, you save on hiring, and can often get needed equipment at a lower rate. Small businesses may save 25 to 40% by some estimates.
- Expertise. BVA staffs up on trained problem solvers, and when you hire the firm, you benefit from the team’s collective experience.
- Resources. Real-world solutions mean you can serve more clients. You’ll also save on staff training and free employees to focus on their work rather than IT issues.
- Product creation. Need a new website or analytics program? Updating your database? IT consultants can create these and any other custom software.
- Data security. Backup systems and cyber security are essentials, and BVA prioritizes security and disaster recovery.
In a fast-moving world, what are the next steps for your small business?
Cloud computing may be one. For anytime/anywhere access, more businesses are starting projects and moving apps to public and private clouds. BVA and our team of expert consultants will optimize your websites as you transition to a tech platform accessible to mobile device users.
The Internet of Things – connecting different devices to the Internet – will generate interest and collect data quickly. Real-time data collection allows you to see problems and immediately implement solutions. BVA, with its focus on dynamic problem solving, offers frequent status reporting and the chance to see how solutions work in a product environment. And we always have a backup solution.
Comprehensive marketing platforms combining e-mail, CRM, and website optimization will also be trending this year. BVA’s strategic and solution-oriented focus will take your marketing platform to the next level, so you can reach as many customers as possible.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is “the smartphone to beat” according to TechCrunch’s John Biggs. The Edge’s unique design and features make it a cut above the S6.
Available in 64 and 128GB variants, the Edge stands out for its stunning 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display and pixel-free screen. Samsung includes a heart rate monitor doubling as a flash, and the SHealth feature measures steps and pulse. The phone also comes with Hancom Office.
The battery life allows the Edge to run for a full day on a charge. A useful lock screen and 3G of RAM round out the phone’s advantages.
Biggs noted the difficulty of using the fingerprint sensor, the lack of waterproofing, and the absent SD card slot and removable battery. He says, however, that the edge will make Samsung “a mobile company.”
Microsoft’s newest innovation has arrived. The Surface 3 tablet runs real Windows 8.1, with a free upgrade to Windows 10 upon release. Pre-orders have begun with a May 5 ship date.
The tablet boasts a 10-point touch screen and a wide 3:2 aspect ratio. A 1,920 by 1,280 pixel resolution makes for a crystal clear view.
There’s also plenty of storage space. The $499 model offers 2GB RAM and 64GB SSD of storage, along with the option to expand through a hidden microSD card slot. An Intel Atom processor runs inside at 1.6GHz. The design includes a standard microUSB port for charging.
Sold as a unit with the keyboard, the tablet costs $629. It can function as a Windows laptop with keyboard attached.
What’s so great about the iPhone 6? Al Sacco at Network World compares Apple’s new phone to the Samsung Galaxy S6 and highlights four standout iPhone 6 features.
- Touch ID on the iPhone 6 lets you make purchases, unlock Google Drive, and authenticate yourself to use services (such as a checking account), all with one touch. Samsung’s Touch ID only unlocks your phone.
- Apple’s device instantly installs software updates, while Android devices like the Galaxy S6 take longer.
- The iPhone 6 works with any other Apple devices you own, integrating services such as answering phone calls and SMS messages. Samsung’s phone won’t adapt as smoothly.
- Light-up lock-screen functionality on the iPhone 6, lacking on the Galaxy S6, allows you to see relevant notifications without touching your phone.
You’ve heard the buzz behind the Apple Watch. But what really went into its development?
Apple execs sensed that technology would move onto our bodies, says Alan Dye, head of Apple’s human interface group. The wrist, he added, was a logical spot. Work on the Apple Watch began shortly after Steve Jobs’ passing, and represents a new product category for the tech giant.
Its purpose is surprising – designers want the watch to get users away from their phones. Even the Apple team feels that constant phone notifications distract them from enjoying daily life. A less interruptive device may help.
To learn more, check out Wired’s detailed analysis of the Apple Watch from idea to product.
Better design is on the way – Adobe can now contribute to Microsoft’s platform. Project Spartan, a new and enhanced browser, boasts the full benefit of both programs.
Bogdan Brinza, a Project Spartan program manager, says the partnership signals a more open stance for Microsoft. The Web platform plans to enhance its services through collaboration with other entities, such as Adobe.
Users will see Adobe’s influence in Project Spartan’s layout, graphic design, motion and typography. CSS gradient midpoints or “color hints” are one supported feature. Full support for blend modes is another. Project Spartan expands blend modes to include color-dodge, color-burn, hard light, soft light, difference, saturation, hue and more.
Project Spartan will make its debut in the next Windows 10 technical preview.
Concerned about online security and privacy? You’re not alone. 84 percent of IT organizations are worried about security breaches in 2015, according to a survey by Tech Pro Research, ZDNet reports.
They have good reason to be aware. 35 percent of companies reported a security or privacy breach in 2014, with government the most affected industry. Education, by contrast, had no breaches at all.
Only 15 percent plan to significantly increase their security funding, however. Although companies realize the level of risk, many may feel their current resources are sufficient. Most organizations remain confident, with 59 percent expecting to be more secure in 2015 than in 2014.