April 2016 Newsletter
We will begin Cybersecurity Audits for Ranger Total Care clients in May. The result of the audit will be an Information Security Policy Document that details the best practices in place to ensure a safe office computing environment and what to do in the event of a security breach. Contact me at 214.329.1349 if you would like to know more about establishing an information security policy for your office.
Who Else Wants To Win A $75 Gift Card?
Here is last month’s Trivia Challenge Quiz: Accord-ing to US government statistics, as of December 2015, which Internet browser had the highest overall usage share around the world? The cor-rect answer was b) Chrome.
Now, here’s this month’s trivia question. The winner will receive a $75 gift card.
What does the “V” in DVD stand for??
Call us right now with your answer!
Which Flavor Of The Cloud Is Right For You
Secure data backup, greater reliability, better resource and growth management options, and improved collaboration are just a few of the reasons to take full advantage of cloud computing today.
Yet understanding the choices you have can help you avoid some VERY costly mistakes you could wind up seriously regretting later. To help you move forward with confidence, here are some important points to consider.
Three “Flavors” Of The Cloud
Not all cloud models are the same. A cloud environment that works for a dental practice with a half dozen locations may not be entirely suitable for a new law firm with just a single office.
In determining what the best cloud model is for your organization, it’s important to know how cloud services are structured.
Basically, there are three types of cloud: public, private and hybrid.
Public Cloud Services Offer Flexibility And Lower Cost
A public cloud comprises a collection of data storage and software services that can be accessed on an as-needed monthly basis, somewhat like an electric utility or fitness club. It houses data facilities outside the corporate firewall that you access through an Internet browser without having to make any initial or ongoing capital investment.
Well-known examples of public cloud services include Google Drive, Microsoft Office Online, Apple iCloud and Amazon Cloud Drive. They provide data storage and, in many cases, web apps.
Public clouds are best used where a high level of privacy is not required. They can provide access to a growing pool of newer technologies that would not be affordable if developed individually.
“Each type of cloud has its own pros and cons.”
Private Clouds Support Highly Specialized Apps
A private cloud resides within an organization’s firewall, and is typically owned, managed and supported by that business. IT resources are available to members of the organization from their own data center.
Private clouds can support highly specialized and/or privacy-restricted applications, like medical-records software for a health-care organization concerned about HIPPA requirements, for example.
And, while it can be more expensive to set up initially, a private cloud may deliver a higher ROI in the long run since you’re not paying for ongoing shared services.
Hybrid Clouds: Balancing Complexity With Flexibility
Merging the flexibility of public cloud services with the control of a private cloud, a hybrid cloud can provide the ideal infrastructure for some organizations.
A hybrid cloud enables you to put some of your apps and data – archives and e-mail, for instance – in a public cloud, and the remainder in your private cloud. This provides the cost savings and benefits of the public cloud while retaining the customization and security advantages of a private cloud.
While it can be more complex to deploy and manage than a pure public or private cloud, a hybrid cloud may deliver the best blend of control, flexibility and cost-effectiveness for some organizations.
So Which “Flavor” Is Right For You?
There is no perfect solution – each type of cloud has its own pros and cons. That being said, here are a few key factors to consider when determining the best approach for your particular business:
Public cloud solutions are best suited to the flexibility and budget requirements of smaller businesses that want access to the kind of IT resources that bigger organizations can afford, without the cost of development and ongoing support and management.
A private cloud, managed and supported by an in-house IT team, may be ideal for your organization if control and privacy are of paramount concern.
A hybrid cloud could be the ideal solution for any enterprise that wants to manage sensitive data in-house while availing itself of third-party software and data storage for uses where the data involved isn’t as sensitive.
How To Get The Best Professional Help
While hiring a cloud-computing expert can prove extremely beneficial in the long run, it’s critical to work with a professional who has depth of experience in all types of cloud environments.
We’ve helped dozens of companies set up and run cost-effective, powerful and secure cloud networks. For a Free Cloud Readiness Assessment, contact us at (214) 329-1349 or firstname.lastname@example.org today.
VIRUS OF THE MONTH: Rootkit
“A rootkit is a piece of software that hides programs or processes running on a computer. It can be used to conceal computer misuse or data theft.
A significant proportion of current malware installs root-kits upon infection to hide its activity. A rootkit can hide keystroke loggers or password sniffers, which capture confidential information and send it to hackers via the Internet. It can also allow hackers to use the computer for illicit purposes (e.g., to launch a denial-of-service attack against other computers, or send out spam email) without the user’s knowledge.
Endpoint security products now detect and remove root-kits such as TDL and ZAccess as part of their standard anti-malware routines. However, some rootkits require a standalone removal tool to effectively remove them.
- "Rootkit." Threatsaurus: the a-z of computer and data security threats.. Boston: Sophos, 2009. 60. Print.
Customers Expect More
In today’s market, as in none before, it is crucial that we learn selling savvy. The sales environment has changed radically in four distinct ways:
1. Customers are better-educated, more sophisticated and more value-conscious. In other words, they are harder to please; they want more for their money. Think about your own demands as a consumer. You insist on quality goods and efficient service. You don’t want some slick con artist trying to trick you into buying a product or service you don’t want or need. And you don’t want to be abandoned after the sale. You expect follow-up service. If something goes wrong, you want to know that the salesperson and the company are going to stand behind the sale.
This means that salespeople have to stay on top of their markets. They have to be knowledgeable about the products and services they are selling. And they have to be honest—they have to be sincerely interested in helping their customers find value and derive satisfaction.
2. Competition is stiffer. Customers now have so many options that price will always be the deciding factor—unless you can offer a strong differential advantage. That means you have to offer something that sets you apart from all the other salespeople who are trying to get your customers to buy from them. You have to provide quicker service, more up-to-date product knowledge and better follow-up. Moreover, your customers must acknowledge the superiority of your products and services, and the object of your presentation should be to lead them toward that recognition and acknowledgment.
If you can’t lead your customers to that acknowledgment, you won’t get the sale, no matter how good your product. Your success in selling depends less and less on the product you are selling, and more and more on your skills as a salesperson.
3. Technology is rapidly replacing peddlers. People are buying more through direct mail. The Internet is making it possible to buy almost anything you want at the click of a mouse. Companies are no longer looking for peddlers to handle items that are much easier to sell online or through the mail. In many cases, they’re setting up self-service systems that can be operated by clerks. Of course, there are plenty of very good opportunities for really sharp salespeople who can sell with power and skill, especially in the industrial field.
To be successful as a salesperson, you must find ways to distinguish yourself from the inexpensive clerks and the commonplace peddlers. You must rise to the challenge with proficient skills, depth of knowledge and a positive attitude.
4. Time has become a priceless commodity. Prospects don’t want salespeople wasting their time. And if you’re serious about becoming successful, you don’t have time to wander around showing your products or services to anyone who will look at them.
To survive in today’s volatile marketplace, you need a clear and effective strategy. You need the skills to implement that strategy. And you need the know-how to make that strategy work for you. When you acquire and apply these things, you’re demonstrating selling savvy.
Dr. Nido Qubein is president of High Point University, an undergraduate and graduate institution with 4,300 students from 40 countries. He has authored two dozen books and audio programs distributed worldwide. As a business leader, he is chairman of the Great Harvest Bread Company, with 220 stores in 43 states. He serves on the boards of several national organizations, including BB&T (a Fortune 500 company with $185 billion in assets), the La-Z-Boy Corporation (one of the largest and most recognized furniture brands worldwide) and Dots Stores (a chain of fashion boutiques with more than 400 locations across the country). As a professional speaker, Dr. Qubein has received many distinctions, including the Golden Gavel Medal, induction into the International Speaker Hall of Fame and as the founder of the NSA Foundation in Arizona. To learn more about Dr. Qubein, go to: http://www.nidoqubein.com/
Shiny New Gadget Of The Month:
New Printer Fits In Your Pocket
So, what’s about the size of a deck of cards and prints instant photos from your smartphone – with no ink needed?
Yes, there is such a thing, and if you guessed the new Polaroid Zip, you’d be right.
Selling for $129.99, it prints full-color 2x3-inch prints with an optional peel-off sticky backing. Each print costs about 25 cents and they look okay, all things considered – just don’t expect ink-jet print quality.
How does it not need ink? It uses Polaroid’s Zink zero-ink paper, embedded with cyan, yellow and magenta crystals. They turn into the appropriate colors when activated by a heat process. And since there’s no ink, there’s no stickiness, smearing or waiting for photos to dry.
Connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth, then just shoot and print!
More glitches ahead.
Software bugs have been around for a while now. But with so much new technology going online – often without sufficient testing – the interactions are getting harder to predict. A glitch grounded 5,000 United Airlines planes for two hours. Other glitches have halted trading at the New York Stock Exchange. And a glitch at Netflix caused this odd summary: “This Disney film follows a gentle, crippled bell ringer as he faces prejudice and tries to save the eyes of individual dinosaurs.” Unlike software bugs, which can be tested and corrected, glitches happen when technology breaks in unexpected ways. Bottom line? No need to abandon technology – just monitor systems and communicate with IT managers more frequently. -Harvard Business Review
Naturally successful people "sprint," then relax.
An American schoolteacher who moved to Finland in 2014 was skeptical of the Finnish practice of giving students 15 minutes of free time every hour. Until he tried it. He was astounded when they went from dragging their feet to having a bounce in their step and more focus in their studies. The makers of DeskTime, a software that tracks employee time use, studied the habits of the most productive 10% of their 36,000-employee user base. The surprising results? They work for 52 minutes then break for 17 on average. They treat the 52 minutes like a sprint. During the break they tend to go for a walk or tune out, rather than checking e-mail or Facebook. -Reader’s Digest
Your tech: Productive…or distracting?
With constantly evolving technologies, it’s getting harder to know where your time is best spent. To help you stay on track, here are three questions to ask about any situation in your business where technology is involved. 1) Who’s the right person to handle this? For example, let your IT partners help employees with tech support questions. 2) Will this save us time and money? Cloud-based productivity solutions, for example, can give your firm access to the resources of big IT without the need to build it yourself. 3) Is this making your job easier or harder? Syncing devices, for instance, could free you and your sales force from the desk to meet with customers. -Entrepreneur
What’s your business missing by not accepting bitcoin?
Here’s what you need to know: on the plus side, bitcoin allows direct transactions between end users and product or service providers. That makes it fast and free from transaction fees. It’s also extremely difficult to counterfeit, and virtually guarantees user anonymity and security. And promoting that you accept it could enable you to tap into a lucrative demographic. On the other hand, since bitcoins aren’t maintained by a single repository, daily exchange rates can fluctuate rapidly. A bitcoin payment you accepted yesterday could be worth half as much today. That, along with a lack of regulatory oversight and ambivalence toward bitcoin by the U.S. Treasury Dept., suggests a wait-and-see approach. -CBS Pulse