Saturday, December 10, 2016

Predictions for 2017 -- Changes in Business Technology

Every time a year comes to an end, the entire business technology responds with some incredible anticipation and optimism. It never matters how bleak or uneven things were in the previous year; there is always a great anticipation about the brand new year.

The year 2016 is almost coming to an end there is a great hope of great and massive boom in business technology come 2017. Augmentation and technology revolution in the business continue to barrel forward with emerging and disruptive trends escalating every single day. With startup taking over, current businesses have started sporting environments that are rich with the adoption of technology. The emergency of digital transformation globally has helped in reshaping almost all aspects of firms. Herein are some of the expected business technology predictions for the year 2017.

Wireless technology will become the new norm

Hybrid wireless technology will ensure connection of two or more devices and provide a seamless experience for users. Wireless technology has already been adopted by some companies such as Apple which has already launched the iPhone 7 that allows wireless headphones, and they are in line to launch iPhone 8 which is expected to have a wireless charging capability. There is great anticipation for 2017 as other companies want to join in on producing wireless technology as well. Internet and cable providers are also planning to provide wireless services come 2017. Wireless tech will continue to be an essential amenity for most dwelling units.

Internet of things (IoT) will create valuable customer experience

With the latest tools of technology expectations from customers has considerably increased and most firms are looking for a way to ensure that their clients get satisfying experiences from them. IoT is significant in ensuring that this is possible. Thus, it is expected to exceed most customers’ expectation and become valuable. Companies will ensure that customers become smarter through the use of IoT services.

Big data will be a great influencer

Implementation of big data to all organization will become paramount to most firms in the year 2017. The implementation will lead to major upgrades for efficiency and speed with technological change to companies that will have improved data storage. Big data storage will also create a competitive advantage for most companies.

Mobility domination

The mobile workplace is looking forward to becoming the new norm trending come the year 2017. Most businesses have already adopted the current trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and year 2017 will show most firms coming up with strategies to make the most out of the trend. Technology is becoming more mobile making it tough for firms to restrict workers from using their own devices and this will enhance productivity. Cloud-based service will ensure that firms overcome the challenges of mobile technology integrating with their systems. Driven by the mobile technology trend, cloud computing will enormously become popular in the year 2017.

5 Challenges Tech Startups Face

To most of the entrepreneurs, technology has become their industry of choice. It is a wide, fast-growing field attracting ventures and investors capitalists with an enormous payout potential if the startup succeeds. The attraction of launching tech startup is very easy to understand though startups fail to consider the unique risks they are likely going to face in the competitive world of technology. Herein are some of the challenges most tech startups are likely to come up against:

  1. Rapid technological change

    Constant change in technology is the greatest challenge facing most tech startup which can kick them out of the market. There is a lot of pressure to most tech entrepreneurs to move quickly and overcome the fierce competition in the world. If you can’t execute an idea fast enough, the window of opportunity for your product may close even before it is ready for the market.

  2. Hiring employees

    It is paramount to most tech startup to hire too many people before they can get ready in the market and this can be a big challenge for most startups. Tech startups are the fastest growing business and are attracting a huge amount of funding though it is very hard to accommodate such a growth well. These startups are notorious for hiring too many workers prematurely and over scaling which leads to its failure. New tech businesses also face the challenge of being unable to attract top talent employees into the startup environment. These challenges usually affect startups because of their limited cash flow.

  3. Cyber risks

    Nearly most of the businesses entirely depend on the web, other businesses such as retail stores don’t have the same kind of cyber security as tech startup operating online. Most tech startups serve the business to business market meaning that other firms highly depend on them in order to run their own businesses smoothly. Since tech firms provide a service or product that helps other entrepreneurs perform, they are open to risks of errors, omission, and other exposures.

  4. Fierce competition

    Tech startups face a steeper competition than most of other startups in other industries do. The competition is fierce because of the relatively low barriers to entry. There are so many opportunities to most tech entrepreneurs because most of the customers in this industry are always ready and willing to try new and untested technologies in the market. Because of the rapid growth in technology, there is always a tough competition among tech startup and other established businesses that come up with newer, better, and cheaper products. However, startups normally have a great reward when they find a niche market and differentiate themselves from their competitors.

  5. Inability to attain initial goals

    Because of the rapid growth in technology most tech startups face a stiff challenge of being unable to attain their initial goals hindering them from completing what they had initially set in their startup. Due to this growth, startups refuse to accept failure in their business and the changing directions and let their business just to lie stagnant. In the world of technology, it is important for startups always to try again if they fail and try to achieve their goals much faster.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Why Should Startups Hire Consultants When Starting Their Business?

Consultants are a team of experts in a specific area of business who transfer knowledge to companies at a fee. Some startups are devoid of several essential skills and expertise needed for the proper running of various departments. These experts provide informed advice on specific issues that could be dragging the business down. Once the problematic area is resolved, the consultant leaves the startup in a better place and more likely to succeed in the area.

Present a third opinion

It is sometimes hard for the startup owner to realize that they are making a mistake because they are relying on their own thinking. A consultant evaluates their ideas and goals and gives an expert opinion. The consultant also comes in handy in family-run startups where a radical idea may create disharmony in the running of the business.

Provide expertise at lower price

Most startups are cash strapped. They do not have enough money to hire and maintain highly skilled individuals in each area for business. Fortunately, they can rely on the consultants when they need expertise in dealing with a matter at the business. The consultant only charges for the specific task. Thus, he is cheaper than hiring staff.

Temporary replacement

A consultant can fill the role that has been left open by a worker until you have found a replacement. This is important especially in cases where the job is critical to the running of the business, and the hiring process might take too long for the temporary fill.

Support the transition

Transitions are common in business. The startup could be adopting a new management system, changing locations and business model, changing the business structure, or buying off another business. The changes have a negative effect on the working of the staff. A consultant helps in managing the change and transition to new ways of doing business so that it has little negative effect on the workings of the company.

Support of projects

Consultants assist in ensuring that business projects such as buying and commissioning of new equipment or buildings are done as per the business and legal requirements. This saves the startup from wasting time on projects that it has no expertise in while ensuring that quality standards are met.

There are consultants in accounting, marketing, human resource, IT, building and construction, and legal among others. Startups should identify the area of weakness and seek the assistance of a consultancy.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

New Zealand Approves Drone Deliveries

There's a major buzz encompassing some companies utilizing drones for delivery-related tasks. A few companies have begun actualizing and testing drone delivery services. Whatever the situation, more often than not this thought is looked upon as just a dream not prepared to be satisfied soon enough. It has become a reality for some cities in the world and drone delivery has been used in those cities for some time now, as delivery time is drastically reduced when compared with using drivers that often get stuck in traffic. Companies that are already using drones for delivery have their productivity to show for it since more customers can receive what they ordered for within the shortest possible time. To further look into drone delivery, let's consider some major providers of the drone delivery service today.

Drone Delivery in New Zealand

New Zealand has approved the use of drones for delivery, and the first drone delivery was over Auckland, which most people were amazed by. Although it was the coordinated efforts of two companies to make it possible, the successful delivery has given a new meaning to drone delivery in general; since it was only seen in theory in the past. Actualizing this dream is a step in the right direction because now more companies are beginning to appreciate the possibility of integrating drone delivery services to their delivery processes, which is guaranteed to reduce cost and save time.

The Amazon Prime Air

Amazon has been handling orders from millions of people from all over the world for several years now. The company has become a household name for online shopping and also in Information Technology with products such as the Amazon Web Services (AWS). The company has Prime Air, where packages are sent to online shoppers using drones. Like any other company utilizing this delivery method, Amazon has been reaping the benefits. With the approval of the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), Amazon was able to expand its delivery services using drones, which deliver packages than delivery vans.

Google X Venture Wing

Google is another company that is taking a shot at automated delivery using flying vehicles. Google has been doing this for some time now, with the first announcement in August 2014. The drones used by the Venture Wing project take off vertically and carefully rotate to a stable horizontal position for flying around in the city. The drone hovers and drops the package to the specified address.

The future of drone delivery

Delivering packages using drones is a process that is here to stay and although there are some challenges that come with it, the benefits overweigh those challenges. Using drones to deliver packages to your customers simply means you need to get approval from the authorities, depending on the country you wish to carry out drone delivery. Tall buildings and skyscrapers are often seen as obstacles to drones, considering the fact that there is a limit to how high they can fly. Generally, the process makes things easier for the delivery companies since delivery time is drastically reduced, keeping the company more effective and the customers happy.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

How to Make an Interactive Voice Response System More User-Friendly

An Interactive Voice Response system (IVR) is very useful to both customers and businesses. It is the system that is used when you make a call and hear, “To reach billing, press 1; to reach accounts, press 2…”

To clients, the system is usually fast, can be accessed at any time of the day or night, and simple to follow. To the business, the system is cost-effective, effective, accurate, and solves the problem of how to sort through high volumes of calls.

However, a large number of clients still prefer interacting with live personnel as opposed to an IVR system due to the following:

  • It can take a while to arrive at the right option
  • They seem not to understand what the voice prompt is saying
  • The solutions offered do not match with their needs

Most of the IVRs have so many prompts that can be confusing, which make impatient callers irate. Moreover, some have to repeat the verbalized menu due to poor voice quality or forgetting which number to press. To eliminate the problem, most press the ‘0’ button to talk to customer service members. Unfortunately, they are put on hold for several minutes or moved from one department to the other, as their call is not sorted by the IVR. They end up hanging up in anger after wasting several minutes. These customers later vent the anger on the social media and forums messing up the brand reputation.

Organizations can escape the problem by designing an IVR system that is able to meet the needs of all the publics including the clients, customer service agents, and the IT personnel. Here are some easy ways to achieve this.

  • Know what the customers need most and design a menu that captures the needs accordingly. Get rid of menu options to problems for which they rarely seek assistance.
  • Do not automate all solutions. Overstuffing your system with an IVR only makes it confusing and cumbersome. Have call center agents to deal with more complex and creative problems with your products.
  • Keep the voice prompt language simple. Use a friendly tone in the voice prompt. Avoid the industry jargon as well as unfamiliar acronyms. Moreover, use concise sentences for menu items and following explanations.
  • Identify the callers by name. If callers use numbers stored in the database, have the IVR address them by their names. If not, design an IVR system that can capture their names when they identify themselves.
  • Go visual in IVR selection. Customers are more likely to use the IVR when they get a visual interactive menu either on the website or on their phones. It makes it easier to navigate through a complex menu. Include an option to have them called by an agent later.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

7 Biggest Challenges Entrepreneurs are Bound to Face

Entrepreneurship is a wonderful option for those who are driven and dedicated, and that is why there are about 50 million new startups every year. However, it is not always a smooth ride once the business has started. Here are common challenges faced by startup entrepreneurs.

  1. Fierce competition
    There are very few startups that are joining an industry without competition. Competition is getting tougher each day with companies trying to outdo each other for a bigger chunk of the market. The business owners should be aggressive and innovative in marketing their products.

  2. Cash flow problems
    Every business requires a stable cash flow for survival. Unfortunately, many startup owners struggle to pay their bills and those of the business when clients delay their payments. Business should ask for a down payment and put in place a budget to help maintain a cash flow.

  3. Inability to manage time
    Entrepreneurs have to wear many hats at the workplace. This takes all the time for critical tasks. This often leads to delay in service delivery and not meeting set deadlines. To eliminate the problem, entrepreneurs should set goals and follow them to the T, delegate tasks when possible, and assure every single deadline is met.

  4. Choice of products to sell
    Most startups end up lost in the huge variety of the products for sale in different niches. This often leads poor sales and lack of proper goals. It is important that startup owners do a market research on possible gaps they can fill in line with their strengths and capabilities.

  5. Lack of capital
    Many entrepreneurs have great ideas for the business but have little capital to start the ventures. They end up not starting at all. Entrepreneurs should seek various methods of funding in the business field and go for the less risky options wherever possible.

  6. Management of the business
    Most entrepreneurs are managing an entity for the first time. Thus, they face many challenges when making decisions on various issues concerning the business. Sometimes they make grave mistakes that bring the business down. Consultancies can help in coming up with proper decisions especially in the critical areas of the business.

  7. Hiring the right employees
    The employees are a business’s most important asset. They produce the goods and services and are a market touch point. Thus, having employees with the right qualities is a plus. Unfortunately, most startups do not know what skills and personal attributes are needed at the workplace when hiring. Entrepreneurs could remedy this by seeking the assistance of human resource consultancies in coming up with job descriptions and the hiring process.

Friday, October 21, 2016

5 Reasons Why its Difficult to be An Entrepreneur

Everyone in the working world thinks that entrepreneurship is the way to go. It is a great option until you consider the challenges that entrepreneurs experience in order to put their business together. Here is why it’s difficult to be an entrepreneur.

You do not get time off with yourself
Entrepreneurs do not rest. They are either in their businesses or thinking about the businesses. This is unlike the career people who are able to get some time off after leaving the office for the day. Most entrepreneur’s spouses and families decry the lack of time to spend with their partners as they are always focused on their business.

You have to do everything
Before you have set up a team to look at different functions of the business, you will be forced to do everything from writing sales copy to invoicing customers. Of course, you may not enjoy all these responsibilities but you will be forced to do them.

You will not be able to stop yourself from doing it
It feels so awesome to be an entrepreneur. The idea of running a successful entity is a powerful magnet that gets you up and running each morning. Even in the cases that the business fails, you will find yourself picking up the pieces and trying it once again. It hurts to keep going to the same pain while you cannot stop yourself.

The government does not give you peace
The government will always be on the other side of the coin. It will keep blasting you with healthcare costs and tax increases on almost a yearly basis, permits, workers’ relations regulations, state audits of our business finances, compensation claims and so much more. You will spend much of your time trying to ensure compliance or negotiating with the government who has an upper hand in the negotiations.

There is always uncertainty
The future of your business is never guaranteed. What if there is a great slump in sales in the fourth quarter and you have a loan that you are repaying? What if someone comes up with a better product? What if a client sues me for injuring himself with my product? What if the bigger competitor tries to buy me off? Insurance does not pay for such things as reputation, acts of God, or any other uncontrollable thing that can damage your market. You live with this worry as long as you are an entrepreneur.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Google Green: Leading By Example

Google claims it is the leading private purchaser of renewable energy in the world. This is not an idle boast by the tech giant. Google has committed to buy 2.5 Gigawatts of renewable energy to make it 100% green, and invest a further $2.5 billion in making green energy more accessible for US homes. That is like taking 1 million cars off the road.

This push is largest in Europe where Google has seven agreements to power up its data centers. By the end of 2018 Google is looking to add 236MW of energy to the present 500 MW. This investment has also been seen in the US, where Google has invested in a 114 MW wind power farm, and Chile where it has invested in a solar power farm.

Economic sense
Marc Oman, Google’s head of Global Infrastructure, says that the decision to go green is based on better economic sense as well as concern for the earth’s sustainability. Renewable energy does not fluctuate unlike fossil fuels. In the long term, fossil energy will be become increasingly expensive as the resources dwindle. Google reasons that investing in green energy today will help to avoid more expensive costs in the future.

Google has also led in efficient use of energy. Data centers are designed to use 50% less energy than conventional data centers. The firm shuttles its 4500+ employees on its own shuttle buses named “Google Fleet,” which takes 3000+ vehicles off the road.

There is a serious recycling culture at Google. They do not buy new equipment if the outdated equipment can be recycled. Whatever cannot be recycled is repurposed and put to better use in the outside world.

Global push
A 2010 study by Buck Consultants, a subsidiary of Xerox, showed that more US companies are making an effort to go green. 69% of 120 US organizations interviewed said that they had implemented one form of energy efficiency.

The biggest reasons for going green are creating community goodwill and reduced costs. 90% of these businesses realized cost savings: 68% on heating and cooling and 70% on electricity. Clearly the better returns are making businesses consider going green a good investment.

Implementing green initiatives is still a challenge for many businesses. Reasons given include high initial costs, inadequate skills to do it, and greening not being an organizational priority.

Experts say that businesses that invest in green energy like Google also encourage more innovation and investment in renewable energy. Green tech startups will be the biggest beneficiaries of this global greening initiative as demand for renewable energy rises.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

An Update on the Status of Brexit

While the media buzz around Brexit has dialed down somewhat in recent weeks, the actual events that will lead Great Britain out of the European Union are just now beginning to take effect. Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May has made the official departure a top priority, and while she has taken some criticism for her role in the divorce between the two entities, she seems to be handling things rather well considering. However, in the wake of the Brexit decision, there have been some clear economic consequences, such as lower hiring rates, and the British Pound’s decline, even during the vote to leave. Meanwhile, according to Express (UK), the staffing required in launching the Brexit and International trade departments to make Britain’s departure occur is still in the early stages, with one department having only about 100 of the required 1,000 or more. In order for Britain to have a healthy economy following Brexit, they will need to get more serious about actually cutting ties and getting on their feet. It will not just happen overnight and without hard work.

In addition to the need to swiftly and accurately break with the European Union, Britain will have to take measures to shore up their limping economy. According to multiple Irish news agencies, the actual date of departure from the EU is not likely to be until 2019, nearly three years away. However, the repercussions of the decision to leave the EU are being felt now in the UK. So the benefits of Brexit will not actually come for another three years, meanwhile, the consequences are an issue now. In order to deal with this, the current pace of events will have to be increased, and the British government will need to make a more focused effort on completing the break, as well as mitigating the drawbacks and negative results that are being experienced in the UK right now, in advance of the rift.

While Brexit is not entirely a bad idea, and the United Kingdom does stand to gain from being separated from the European Union, I think the current state of affairs should be considered unacceptable by their government, and they should certainly do something to light a fire under the agencies who are most responsible for the proper execution of their departure from the EU. If the process drags out then it will quickly become a disaster, and there will not be much benefit from Brexit in the first place.

When all is said and done, Britain will be alright, provided they take seriously the task they have taken upon themselves. Without a sense of urgency, what could have been a great success might prove to be just as the critics feared.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Apple's Bug Bounty Program

While many tech companies have established the so-called “bug bounty” as an industry standard, it seems strange that a company like Apple, a true technology giant always years ahead of its time, was so late to the table in this regard. While many large tech companies have offered rewards to users who identified and/or offered fixes to flaws in their products for years, Apple only began to offer the bug bounties on the heels of the incident in San Bernardino, in which the FBI requested Apple create a back-door into the iPhone so that they might be able to access the iPhone of a mass shooter. The controversy over this event made major waves, with Apple refusing to comply with what they saw as a huge threat to the privacy of citizens. On the other hand, they were dealing with a unique incident involving the investigation of a terror attack, which led some to condemn Apple for refusing to assist the FBI. In any case, in the wake of this tragedy, Apple felt compelled to begin a bug bounty program, rewarding those who identified and resolved issues in Apple systems.

One of the huge advantages of the bug bounty system for the company is that it saves them the time and effort of locating bugs themselves. With the inordinate task of locating every bug in every system released, they would be entirely overwhelmed. Instead, the cost of identifying these issues is drastically reduced and, if the bugs are fixed, even more time is saved. It really seems like an easy decision for any company, despite the long time that it took Apple to get with the program. Now that they are on board with the whole bug bounty concept, I am sure they will find it very beneficial and it will help them to focus much more attention on fixes rather than finding the problems.

On the other hand, it is also good for the consumers, as they can actually play a role in solving a problem that they themselves have experienced, as well as many others. When such an act is incentivized monetarily it tends to become more popular, but this is hardly a bad thing. It will also generate more interest in learning how to fix bugs that users might experience, and make users more self-reliant and better capable of handling technological issues they might experience in other areas.

With all of the advantages a bug bounty system creates, it is hard to argue with its implementation. And while it certainly took Apple a very long time to participate in this rather common practice, the fact that they do now is a great sign, and, hopefully, it will prove to be a mutually beneficial arrangement for both Apple and Apple users.

Monday, August 8, 2016

To Link or Not To Link

We live in an age of media. With smart devices in nearly every pocket or purse, the idea of “availability” has taken on a whole new meaning; there is no way to get around that. Almost everyone everywhere has some form of a smart device whether it is a tablet, smart phone, an iPod with Wi-Fi connection, or even a smart watch to alert them when they receive an incoming call or a text message.

It used to be that unless an individual was physically in their office or at home, they were “out of the office” or simply, “unavailable” to take a call or answer their emails. Now, most of us have a home phone, an in-office work phone, a personal cell phone, and, newest of them all, an email account that can alert your smart device whenever you receive an incoming message. It is almost virtually impossible to be unable to get a hold of someone unless they turn their email or text message alerts off or on silent.

So it beckons the question: “Should my work email be attached to my personal cell phone?”

There are definitely pros and cons to this particular inquiry, and we have taken the liberty to discuss some of those pros and cons to help you decide where you stand on the matter.

If work is at the very top of your priority list, then having your work email alert you on your personal cell phone whenever you get a message is a great tool. It allows the freedom to get out of the office to go for a walk, grab some coffee, or to work from home once work hours are over if need be. Another pro is that it allows for instant recall of important information before meeting with clients or important prospects- all of the information they sent you is right there in your work email and is available to you anywhere you are. It also allows for you to be able to go on extended vacation without having to worry about what is going on back at the office. You will be able to connect with your important clients from wherever you are, therefore making them feel important and of utmost priority to you.

If family, however, is at the top of your priority list, or if you become easily stressed out when it feels like work follows you wherever you go, then having your work email attached to your personal cell phone may not be the best choice for you. It has the potential to offer the picture that you are always working and cannot focus on what matters to your significant other, kids, or loved ones. It also has the potential to cause significant stress during your time off and may interfere with the rest and relaxation you desperately need. Unless you are someone with incredible discipline to be able to separate “work” from “family time” or “independent introvert time”, then it may be best for you to unlink your email from your personal cell phone and leave responding to work emails for whenever you are actually at work.  

Either way, it truly depends on what values stand highest on your personal priority totem pole and it also depends on what you truly want most out of life. If being available 100% of the time to your clients is the most important thing to you, then linking your work email and your cell phone is great! But if you, however, truly need time away from the office to recharge and invest in other things, then having your work email and your personal cell phone linked may be unwise. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Apple and FBI Team Up to Bring Down One of the Largest Torrent Sites in the World

Well-known for its superfine technology and exceptionally sophisticated handsets, Apple Inc. is one of the largest computer technology and electronics manufacturing companies in the world. It has provided users with some of the best gadgets we see today, and has grown in the past two decades at a neck break speed. In recent news, it has helped the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to carry out a crack-down on the owner of one of the largest torrent sites of the world, Artem Vaulin of Kick Ass Torrents, and arrest him in Poland. However, the question which is popping-up, in the minds of many thinkers sitting at the back panel is – why did Apple Inc. help FBI in this case, but not in the one of the San Bernardino shooting? Here is a brief look into why Apple Inc. backed out on the San Bernardino case, even after being ordered by the Law of California.
The Kick Ass Torrent Case:
Artem Vaulin, the alleged owner of one of the largest torrent directories in the world called Kick Ass Torrents, was arrested in Poland, earlier this week. The person was charged with money laundering and copyright infringement. It turns out that Apple Inc. and Facebook provided IP addresses of Vaulin during the investigation. Sources said that Vaulin had an Apple account, which he used to make purchases to two different IP addresses. Almost a week ago, the final location of Vaulin was traced and after a crack-down by FBI and he was arrested in Poland.
The San Bernardino Case:
In 2015, a shooter named Farooq killed 14 people and was on the run. The FBI was tracing the killer for a long period of time, and after finding out that the killer owned an iPhone, the department approached Apple Inc. for help. However, opposing the decision of the Law of California, Apple Inc. refused to help and cited a privacy breach. The CEO said that it would be a backdoor to every iPhone out there and Apple Inc. would never help in creating something which was this dangerous.
What is The Difference? In the San Bernardino Shooting case, Apple Inc. was asked by the Government of the US to hack Farooq’s phone and let FBI know about his whereabouts and his recent activities. However, as there was no financial gain included in the case, Apple Inc. refused to use its resource, and cited privacy breach against a serial killer.
Whereas, if we take a look at the arrest of Kickass Torrent’s owner, it is clearly shown that with the removal of websites which provided pirated movies to the users, Apple Inc. could make a lot of money by selling their products on iTunes and the App Store. Moreover, it was an indirect way of reducing competition, which was being faced by Apple Inc. for a long period of time.
The Bottom Line:
Without any financial gains in the process, the multinational Apple Inc. backed off from the San Bernardino’s shooting case, and denied to help FBI in hacking the iPhone of the shooter. The facts and the figures prove that in order to cut the competition, achieve a greater position in the market and remove pirated movies, so people pay-per-view of each movie, Apple Inc. helped the FBI in catching Artem Vaulin.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Maintaining an Organized Work Space

Whether you work in an office or at home, keeping an organized workspace is essential in helping you work more efficiently. When your desk is clear and everything is tidy, it helps you stay focused and gives an air of organization. It also helps you find things when you need them.

When a workspace is cluttered with notes, letters, files, empty drink cups, and general stuff, you cannot find what you need. If you are one of these people who proudly states “I know where everything is” as your boss, looks at your desk with disdain, then you really need to have a clear up.

Having a clear work space clears your mind. You may think you know where everything is on your desk, but you are wasting brain energy keeping record of your ungainly filling system. This in turn makes you less efficient, because not only can you not find the things you need quickly, your brain is trying to recall when you had it last and what has been put on top of it.

Some companies have now introduced a clear desk policy. This means that anything other than your necessary tools, like your computer and telephone should not be on show when you leave your desk at the end of the day. All files must be kept filed away especially at the end of the day and anything you are working on should be covered if you leave your desk.

This is as much a security issue for companies as anything. We may work with very sensitive information like people’s finances or legal information; even personal details on a computer are subject to the data protection laws. Therefore it is good practice to close your screen and put files in your drawer whenever you leave your desk. This kind of organization can only be achieved if your workspace is clear of all unnecessary items.
It may seem that an office is a safe environment and it can be felt that papers and on screen information is all part of the job and all the workers are okay, but this cannot be taken for granted. If you think about the way computer systems are structured in business then you will know that not everyone in the building has access to all computer files. You have access to folders and files that are relevant to your work, but nothing outside that area.

Large companies are particularly aware of this kind of security. If you have worked in this type of environment you will be aware that it takes a while to be set up with authority to areas when you first start a job. This is the company protecting itself by the organization of its own security.

When you are working from home it can seem irrelevant as no one ever goes into your office but good organization of your work place is still essential as it can help make you work more efficiently. A clear desk and space to work, without moving piles of files means that you are able to focus on the work in hand.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Keeping High Morale in the Workplace: Great Tips for a Great Sales Manager

Everyone has their bad days at work; we all have our own personal problems to deal with. Whether it be relationship issues, family domestic issues, or whatever the case, in order to harmonize your call center success you will need to keep in mind that people are only human. Some people struggle with addictions not necessarily to drugs, but even something simple like their favorite champion on league of legends (online based strategy game). Some of these things that you may consider a distraction as a manager, may truly be motivators, moral boosters, and even add to problem solving skills and team building.

Start the day right, with high energy, and pumping up
Times have changed. Office environments are so much more different than they were 20 years ago, especially depending on how successful the company is you work for. Look at Google for example, as you can see from the movie "Interns" that they really care about their employees, and know how to do fun team building exercises that keep your brain sharp. Running a tight ship is one thing, but sometimes, loosening the sails a bit more, and listening to what makes your team happy might be the ultimate breakthrough to the success of your call center. 

Get to know your employees, who is the top seller, I love good conversation 
This could be a bit difficult but sometimes it just takes a little eaves dropping to see what they are really interested in. Don't worry if you hear them talking about a souped up Honda, and you know nothing about cars do research periodically and strike up conversation with them. Find a common denominator. By that I mean, find something in the office everyone enjoys as a team, so that you can work together to solve a common problem. Encourage the sharing of sales tactics, and giving credit where credit is due. Maybe you can have a day where you surprise everyone and play Pandemic the board game. Everyone loves a fun boss, and everyone loves opportunities to make money, let your employees talk it out, you would be surprised what problems get solved with good conversation.

Take notice in a caring way when you see a fellow employee struggling
I know especially as a manager that this could be very frustrating. Employees seem to be complacent texting on their phone not getting work done, and all you want to do is yell at them. Another approach may be to sit back, relax and have a chat with them (in your office as to not to draw attention) and ask them if they are problems before screaming about their cell phone usage at work. Sometimes just showing you care, might be all the difference. Remember you want people to want to work for you, not feel like they can't do it, or it's too hard. All brains work different. Try to accommodate and work with what you have. We all have our strengths and weaknesses.

What makes a manager great? Do you have any other tips, for managers out there that strive to succeed? Feel free to leave it in the comments along with the office you manage.

Track your ad buying campaigns using the best call tracking service in the industry. Not only will it help make you a better manager, but it will also help you get more sales!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Is Running Your Own Remote Call Center a Good Solution for You?

There’s nothing more irritating than feeling tethered to your desk while dealing with the uncertainty of not knowing where your career is going. We all dream of being our own bosses or achieving autonomy within our professional lives, but we ultimately discard those notions and regard them as only wishful thinking.

But, with virtual call center software, it is now possible for everyone to be their own boss.

Starting your own virtual call center requires very little in terms of start up: if you have a computer and a headset you’re ready to go.

The next step is creating a business plan. Try to get as organized as you can. This is obviously going to vary depending on what you want to use your virtual call center to achieve, but giving yourself an idea of what it is you want to achieve through is a good way of starting off

After you have any idea of what you want to ask yourself what tools you’ll need.

You’ll most likely want to find virtual call center software to try and navigate through some of the more technical and legal nuances in this process. Good call center software will integrate your current Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, and integrate it. It will also scrub that list for numbers that are registered on the “Do Not Call List” which should help you avoid any sticky interactions with the FCC.

I would recommend which is now offering free trials. They are on top of predictive dialing, automatic dialing, and even offer a great CRM platform.

I also recommend visiting this and this website to get some ideas on crafting a good script.

Good luck and happy calling!

3 Tips for Being More Effective at Work

1.Plug in
Wearing headphones and putting some music on is a fantastic way to detach yourself from the distractions of your office. With noise and coworkers coming in and out of your cubicle it can be difficult to abstain from distractions.

2. Check your emails a little less often
Checking your emails while you’re trying to work makes you less productive. Stopping what you’re doing to review something else and then attempting to pick up where you left off takes a considerable amount of time.

3. Learn how to prioritize
Your time is valuable and when you’re organized you can make the most out of it. When receiving a new project take a quick moment to skim through and ask any questions you have upfront. Ask more questions! Find out all you can about deadlines, sensitive information. From there just decide what needs to get done now and what can get done later.

Do you have any more tips for how to be more effective? Feel free to comment below.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Attitude is Everything

Certain events that occur are beyond our control; that may be one of our least favorite parts of life. These events, while unpleasant, ultimately help shape us into the people that we are. They have the opportunity to allow us to show our true character and to become better people. While it  may be hard to see this in the moment, it's important to never lose hope. Hope is the one thing in life that can always motivate us to be more.

These trying times are when your support system and the people that care about you are the most important. It can be difficult to let other people know that you need help, but no person is an island.

Many people are afraid to share their feelings with their loved ones for fear of feeling like a burden, but more often than not those we care about are happy to extend comfort to someone in their time of need.

During difficult periods in your life it's also important to keep pushing yourself to be present. Take the time to enjoy the things you've always enjoyed. Don't let who you are fundamentally be changed by negative experiences. Learning how to take a little time to care for yourself is something will benefit you endlessly during difficult times.

Monday, February 29, 2016

More Employees Are Voluntarily Quitting

There has been a recent trend in suggesting that employees begin to plan for “unexpected career changes”, meaning they need to start planning ahead just in case they decide to quit. Why is it that we have to begin cultivating the mentality of always being prepared for a better job?
There is a prevalent notion that job security is a thing of the past. Employees no longer feel as though a job can translate over to a career.

Trends would suggest that the quit rate is the highest it has been in several years, with the job market finally beginning to stabilize itself the question still remains: why?

Employers still aren’t giving their employees enough incentive to stay. With the cost of living constantly, rising employees can’t afford to have job loyalty anymore. Sure, they offer you “job security”, but what that ends up translating to is a low paying job for the next five years.

Rather than addressing that issue employers have been quick to offer quick solutions to attempt and create worker happiness. They’ve stocked up the break room and offer quick (cheap) solutions to attempt and help.

It’s time for employers to realize that job seekers are now feeling more empowered than ever and less likely to settle for low pay and office politics.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Importance of Living Graciously

The phrase, “Live graciously,” sounds like something you would find written on a chalkboard behind a hashtag at a coffee shop in Downtown Los Angeles that charges ten dollars for a cup of coffee.
It sounds like on those silly empty phrases that people just throw around because it really is. Without any actual effort into implementing an ideology into your everyday life, any motivational phrase will ultimately be a hollow statement.

What does it actually mean to live graciously?

It means being grateful for your job that might be causing you stress that day because that job helps you support yourself and puts food on the table.The objective of that kind of thinking isn’t to shame yourself or to feel ungrateful, it’s to put things in perspective and to alleviate some of those negative thoughts that accumulate throughout the day.

Optimism isn’t inherently ingrained in us. Those traits are something that you have to work and build upon on a daily basis. The difference that a change in word choice makes is astounding. You’ll have to actively remind yourself to be positive because, as creatures of habit, our nature is always leading us back into the comfort of our old actions.