Who Else Wants To Win A $50 Gift Card?
Now, here’s this month’s trivia question. The winner will receive a $50 gift card to Best Buy!
Spindletop was the first major Texan…?
b) Air Force Base
c) Oil Well
d) Oil Rig
E-mail Us Right Now With Your Answer!
*Trivia winners are eligible to win again after 90 days of previous win.
What The Heck Is Cloud Computing?
(And Why You Should Care)
Instead of purchasing hardware and software for your office, you can use cloud computing to put your programs on a highly secure “super server” online. All you need is an Internet connection to your office and you’re in business.
There’s a good chance that MOST of the software applications you use every day are now “software as a service” applications. In other words, you don’t have to install them on your server or PC – you simply access the software as a pay-as-you-go model for only the licenses, space and features you use. This gives you the ability to access highly sophisticated software and functionality at a fraction of the cost – or even for free – and without long-term commitments.
For example, Google is a massive, free cloud application – the power required to search billions of web sites and content in seconds and deliver the relevant results to your screen far exceeds the capacity of your PC. Facebook is another free cloud application that allows you to post pictures and connect with your friends in real time without having to install any software on your computer. Of course, there are also applications such as Salesforce, Constant Contact, SurveyMonkey, etc., that you pay to use.
It is quickly becoming unnecessary for some businesses to purchase and maintain an on-site server. Now companies can host one or more of their applications, data, e-mail and other functions “in the cloud.” That simply means it’s stored off-site in a highly secure, high-availability “utility” company that has far more power and resources than you could ever logically have on-site as a small business. And with devices getting cheaper and Internet connectivity exploding, cloud computing is suddenly a very smart, viable option for small business owners.
Is Cloud Computing A Good Fit For Your Company?
While there are a ton of benefits to cloud computing, it’s NOT right for every company. Some applications don’t play well in the cloud. You need commercial-grade Internet connectivity, and some functions, like working with big graphics files, are better kept local or the slowness will make you crazy. However, in almost every case, parts of your computer network (functions) can easily be put in the cloud to save you money and give you better service. So before you donate your server and sign up for Google Apps or Office 365, it’s important you talk to someone who can honestly assess your unique situation and tell you the pros and cons of making the switch to cloud computing.
Want To Find Out If Your Business Is “Cloud-Ready”?
During the month of May we’re offing a FREE Cloud Readiness Assessment to any North Texas business with 10 or more PCs and a server. At no cost or obligation, we’ll come to your office and conduct a complete review of your computer network, data, software, hardware and how you work. From there, we’ll provide you with insights and helpful answers as to how you could benefit from cloud computing.
To claim your free Cloud Readiness Assessment, simply e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 214-329-1349. Offer ends May 31, 2014.
What Are The Benefits Of Cloud Computing?
- Eliminates the need for expensive server upgrades and allows you to use cheaper devices (PCs, etc.) to get the same work done.
- Frees you to access applications from any device and any location. All you need is an Internet connection.
- Built-in disaster recovery and business continuity.
- Only pay for what you need and use (utility pricing).
VIRUS OF THE MONTH: FAKE ANTIVIRUS MALWARE
“Fake antivirus malware reports non-existent threats in order to scare the user into paying for unnecessary product registration and cleanup.
Fake antivirus malware is commonly known as scareware. Typically it is installed through malicious websites and takes the form of fake online scans. Cybercriminals attract traffic to these sites by sending out spam messages containing links or by compromising legitimate websites. Frequently they also attempt to poison the results of popular search engines (blackhat SEO) so that users access the malicious distribution sites when conducting a search.
Fake antivirus malware is financially motivated and is a big earner for cybercriminals. The large profits provide significant resources for investment into creation and distribution of fake antivirus. Hacking gangs are very good at rapidly producing professional-looking bogus websites that pose as legitimate security vendors.
Using up-to-date, legitimate antivirus or endpoint security software will protect you against fake antivirus software.”
- “Ransomeware.: Threatsaurus: the a-z of computer and data security threats. Boston: Sophos, 2009. 41. Print.
4 Ways To Use LinkedIn To Generate More Appointments And Clients
LinkedIn is one of the best social media sites for generating QUALITY leads and new clients. Although it may not deliver a flood of business, if you’re going to spend time on social media, you’ll want to put your focus on LinkedIn, especially if you’re selling business-to-business services. Here are four ways to use LinkedIn:
1) Linkedin Ads (www.linkedin.com/ads). These are a lot like the ads you see on Facebook running down the right column. It IS passive advertising, which means prospects aren’t necessarily
SEARCHING for your services as they do on Google, but the quality of a prospect going there is much, much better. To maximize your results:
√ Target your ads to your specific prospects. Job title, location, company size and industry are some of the selections you can use for targeting WHO your ad displays to.
√ Test different headlines and offers. Always split-test at least two ads at a time, varying the headline, image and the offer.
√ Drive visitors to a landing page on your web site, not just your home page. You should have a specific landing page for LinkedIn visitors so you can track results back to the source. It can be a landing page with the offer from your ad OR a replica of your home page, if that’s appropriate.
2) Join LinkedIn groups. Participation in discussion groups is a great way to get involved in a niche. Post when you have something of value to add, not just a sales pitch, focusing on building your credibility with the other members of the group.
3) Get Referrals. Look up your clients on LinkedIn and see who THEY are connected to – then ask them to make an introduction. Make sure to connect with all of your clients, warm prospects and business friends on LinkedIn to increase your 1st- and 2nddegree connections and give you yet another way to communicate with them.
4) Build or scrub your list. Depending on your LinkedIn member level, you can search within groups, by industry, location, job function, seniority level, company size, interests and more. If you’re not a premium paid member on LinkedIn, then your search parameters are going to be somewhat limited, but you can use LinkedIn to better prepare for the telemarketing calls you are already making. Some companies have all their employees listed, giving you a snapshot of other key influencers in the organization who you may want to include in your marketing efforts (like the IT
manager, office manager, etc.).
Like anything else, LinkedIn can be a huge distraction if you’re not using it with a goal and a focus. Use the above strategies to enhance your marketing and, when possible, see where you can systematize and delegate these tasks to someone else in your company to better leverage your time as the CEO.
Shiny New Gadget of The Month:
Smart Phone Anti-fingerprint Screen Polish
Introducing the anti-fingerprint PhoneSoap Touch Screen Polish. This is a premium, all-natural, antibacterial polish specially formulated to kill bacteria and help prevent fingerprints and smudges on smart phone and tablet touch screens.
Now you can clean, sanitize and share your device without worry or smudges!
Get yours at: www.SkyMall.com
How Much Has Technology Changed In The Last 9 Years?
Technology changes faster and faster than ever. Consider how much technology has changed since this time in 2005, just a few short years ago…
Can You Believe That These Technologies Didn’t Even Exist in 2005?
We lived in a world without smartphones, tablets, e-readers, Facebook, in-home WiFi and Netflix. What did we do with all of that extra free time!
- E-readers such as the Kindle and Nook did not exist yet and now 40% of consumers own at least one.
- Smartphones did not exist. Now 62% of consumers have one.
- Tablets/iPads were nonexistent. Now over 40% of consumers own one.
- Netflix was merely a service to order DVDs in the mail.
- We were still connected to a wall since in-home WiFi had yet to arrive.
- Facebook was a small social networking service on the campus of Harvard.
In 2005, most consumers owned VCRs and mobile phones. How much longer will it be before we only see these items in a museum?
Are These Technologies Here For The Long Haul?
Even with all of the technological advancements, the possession of many of these electronic devices has hardly changed:
- Cable TV – Even with streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and many other apps, the percentage of consumers with cable TV has remained exactly the same (68%).
- DVD/Blu-ray Players – Ownership down only 3% over the last 9 years.
- Desktop Computers – Down only 8% (interestingly, the ownership of laptop computers has more than doubled during this period).
The Lighter Side: That’s “No Picnic”
It’s that time of year—the weather is warming and you want to get out more. What better way to spend a sunny afternoon than on a picnic with family or friends! But what are picnics really and where did they come from? Find out here:
- Originally a picnic was a fashionable social event to which each guest contributed some food.
- In the first half of the 19th century, a Picnic Society met in London at the Pantheon, a place of public entertainment in Oxford Street.
- In the year 2000, a 600-mile-long picnic took place in France on July 14 to celebrate the first Bastille Day of the new millennium.
- The French started the modern fashion for picnics when they opened their royal parks to the public after the revolution of 1789.
- The use of the phrase “no picnic” to describe something unenjoyable dates back to 1884.
- The 1955 film Picnic, with William Holden and Kim Novak, was nominated for six Oscars and won two, for best art direction and best film editing.
- Our word “picnic” dates back to 1794, exactly 100 years after “pique-nique” was first seen in French.