October 18th, 2016

2016october18_apple_cUpgrading to the new iPhone 7 has several benefits and features that are obviously not available in the older versions. After Apple released their latest flagship smartphone, much of the talk revolved around the absence of the headphone jack. Although the iPhone 7 is a minor upgrade of iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, buyers will enjoy several benefits. Here are some of them.

Water resistance This is one of the features new to the iPhone. The iPhone is 7 is IP67, meaning that it is designed to withstand liquids and dust. Even though Apple doesn’t define liquid protection, this is similar to the original Apple Watch and is therefore able to survive splashes and accidental drops into a pool of water, a welcome addition for iPhone users who value water resistance in their gadgetry.

Future proof Future compatibility is another feature of iPhone 7. Apple's current mobile operating system is iOS 10 and runs a range of applications and features not available to outdated iPhone models. But iPhone 7 can virtually run any app ever created for the platform. Therefore, an iPhone 7 will carry its users well into the future by running on the latest technology. Users of iPhone 4 or 4S are out of compatibility and may consider upgrading. Users of iPhone 5 or 5C are on edge and should also probably consider an update.

Better graphics The iPhone 7 boasts a 4.7-inch screen and 1336 x 750 pixels at 326ppi, which allows users to run iPad-style apps in a landscape display. iPhone 7 also has DCI-P3 broad-range color, which means brighter photos, games, videos and more. People who demand rich graphics or have a high acute color sense certainly won’t be disappointed.

Faster and juicier Apple Fusion 10 and long battery life are the features that make iPhone 7 cutting edge. People who need an iPhone with more power and a battery that fully charges in minutes -- not hours -- will love this upgrade. The new iPhone 7 has a cutting-edge LTE + Wi-Fi, enabling faster transfer of data and connectivity. Users with 802.11ac router who want to open applications, load webpages, and stream videos at a faster rate won’t have anything to complain about once they’ve switched over to the new model.

Stellar camera iPhone 7 features a camera that can perform at the same-level as mid-range SLR cameras. With a 12-megapixel sensor and ƒ/1.8 aperture, as well as 7 megapixels for FaceTime conversations, individuals who want to fill their Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook accounts with high-quality photos will definitely have something to brag about. Finally, the iPhone 7’s 3D and live photos feature can add depth and movement to your photos.

Although the iPhone 7 may not look very different, there’s actually a lot going on under the hood that can probably enhance the user experience. So will you be lining up for this iPhone anytime soon? For more details on iPhone 7 trends and Apple innovation, contact us today.

Published with permission from Source.

Topic Apple
October 14th, 2016

2016october14_office_cEveryone has heard of machine learning, but not everyone knows exactly what it is. Although it’s extremely complicated, it can be summed up thusly: breaking human habits and actions into specific, analyzable data to create better software-based suggestions. It’s been a hot topic within the IT world for years, and Office 365 is finally bringing it to the consumer market. At the Ignite conference last month, Microsoft brought five new machine learning tools into its cloud-based productivity suite, and we’ve got all the information summarized for you right here.


How many times have you been working in a Word document or an Outlook email and needed to quote a report or copy in a graph from another file? With 365’s new ‘Tap’ service, you have the option to do that without even leaving the application you're working in. Microsoft’s intelligent assistant will even suggest information and data for you to insert based on what you’re writing. You may not even have to make the search -- it will predict what you need in advance!


A blank canvas is always intimidating when creating a presentation. Quickstarter for PowerPoint and Sway gives you the boost you need by suggesting outlines, layouts, and even information based on the subject you’re presenting on. For example, if you’re holding a meeting to discuss a business retreat, Quickstarter will suggest page layouts and important text for lodging, transportation, itinerary, etc. Half of your presentation could be finished within minutes of starting it.


Sometimes it seems like everyone else has stunningly beautiful PowerPoint presentations while ours just look like stock templates. And that’s why we’re so excited about the announcement of Designer. All you have to do is insert your text and your photos or graphics, and Microsoft’s machine learning will automatically position, resize, and fade each component so it looks like a professionally designed slide.


Everyone has made a graph based on Excel data before. It’s probably the swiftest software solution for transforming numbers into charts on the market, and it’s getting a pretty cool upgrade. Now you can convert geographic data like country names into colored and categorized maps. Go ahead and select a second column of data and watch the countries light up based on the differences between the data points in the second column. Do you have sales data that’s organized by location? Maps will let you create a chart that displays that information with little to no manipulation necessary.


The last announcement comes in the form of a standalone dashboard for aggregating your work habits. MyAnalytics pulls data from various 365 tasks to help you recognize meetings trends, most productive times of day, and project progression. And if you’re not ready to do anything with this data yourself, the dashboard will make suggestions to you such as ‘focus time,’ best collaborators, and productivity goals.

With these exciting and intelligent additions, entirely new levels of business productivity are possible. Even before Microsoft announced these features, Office 365 reigned supreme as one of only a few truly wonderful pieces of productivity software. If you haven’t made the transition yet, there’s no better time -- call us today.

Published with permission from Source.

Topic Office
October 13th, 2016

2016october13_android_cSci-fi movies have predicted a lot of modern technology, the touchscreens of Minority Report, the virtual reality headsets of Back to the Future, you name it. But for some reason, no matter how far into the future we go, everyone still has cash. There’s something visceral about Harrison Ford pulling out his wallet and showing his badge in Bladerunner, despite virtually every surface around him being a digital display. Thankfully, Android phones already have the tools to replace your leather wallet with a digital one. Let’s take a closer look.

Google introduced Android pay in September of 2015 as a successor to its simpler, less functional Google Wallet. And for the majority of its lifespan, Android Pay has been available only in the US, but as of July this year it’s also available in the UK, Singapore, and Australia. With the addition of those three countries came hundreds of supported financial institutions, totaling nearly 400 in all.

So, we know the who and the where...but what exactly is Android Pay? One of its functions is to safely store credit card, debit card, membership card, and gift card information until you need those details to complete a financial transaction. After installing and opening the app, you’ll see credit cards that are already associated with your Google account, and an option to add new cards -- which is as simple as taking a picture of it.

Obviously, we wouldn’t write an entire blog on a service that just stores this information, so you’ve probably guessed that you can also make payments from your phone as well. If technology is all about making things easy, Android Pay is way ahead of the curve. To make a payment, just unlock your phone and place it near any point-of-sale device that is compatible (usually marked by an Android Pay sticker). You don’t need to open up the app; the two devices automatically exchange a one-time encrypted token to create a secure connection, and you can tap which card you’d like to use.

All your transactions are organized in the app for quick reference and tracking, including payments made online rather than via tapping your phone at physical locations. All you need to utilize this futuristic service is a smartphone with Android 4.4 or higher and near field communication (NFC) hardware. Both are common on most modern smartphones.

Details on the security protocols for Android Pay are a bit complicated for this venue, but in a nutshell your accounts are even more safe than using physical credit and debit cards. Previously, when breaches of major retailers took place, attackers had access to records detailing customer card numbers. With Android Pay, all they have access to is the randomly generated tokens that authorize the transaction -- your account numbers are never transmitted wirelessly to prevent snooping criminals from grabbing them out of thin air.

It seems like every day there is some new technology or service that feels like something from a distant future. Between work and a personal life, most of us don’t have a lot of time for adopting groundbreaking technology, be it social or business-related. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Get in touch with us today, and your Android device will never be behind the times again.

Published with permission from Source.

Topic android
October 12th, 2016

2016october12_windows_cDespite a varied range of software such as Office 365 and Azure, Windows remains Microsoft’s darling. And although the most recent version has achieved widespread adoption and critical acclaim, its creators are hungry for more installs and more users. The try and lure more users, Microsoft has released a new tool to analyze and report on potential pain points for company-wide migrations to Windows 10. Read on for all the details.

Named the Windows Upgrade Analytics Service (WUAS), Microsoft is gifting administrators and service providers with tools very similar to those it uses to do its own bulk installs. By gathering data on multiple devices, applications, and hardware drivers on a network simultaneously, massive disruptions and troubleshooting events can be avoided entirely.

If any of these variables are customized or outdated, they may not work in a Windows 10, derailing a focused migration workflow. Available right now, this service does more than just inventory your workstations, it also uses the data it has gathered to guide administrators step-by-step through the most efficient order of upgrades possible.

If all your IT components are uniform and compatible with the most recent Windows 10 service pack, it will recommend a straightforward migration. However, if you have pockets of older, or more specialized machines, WUAS may suggest splitting the process up by upgrading those machines first to smooth the process.

Microsoft delivers the features of this service through its cloud-based Operations Management Suite. Make sure it's installed on your machines and add ‘Upgrade Analytics’ from the ‘Solutions Gallery.’ From there, a simple wizard will guide you one item at a time through the four-step process.

Windows gets several updates per year, and it's a waste of company resources for your staff to be stuck waiting for their machines to get back up and running while they update. Why not just outsource the entire process to professionals who will finish the task in a fraction of the time? Our managed services come with a flat fee, regardless of whether you want to upgrade all or just some of your workstations. Don’t believe us? Just call today to find out more!

Published with permission from Source.

Topic Windows
October 11th, 2016

2016october11_virtualization_cThanks to Microsoft’s latest announcement, cyber-criminals will have a harder time breaking into Windows systems. By dropping the Edge browser into a separate virtual container, workstations put distance between themselves and those who would do them harm under cover of the internet. For business owners interested in getting a taste of virtualization before fully investing in new solutions, testing out this new browser is the way to go.

Browsers are one of the most popular avenues for cyber-criminals to deliver their wares, and new security measures by Microsoft set out to reduce that risk significantly. In a first for internet browsers, Microsoft has burnt any potential bridges between malware and PC hard-drives. The new and virtualized Edge is only available for Windows 10, and administrators will be required to choose what runs inside, and outside of the container.

When enabled, malware cannot gain access to anything outside of the Edge browser. Think of it like reheating your leftover lasagna inside a covered container; when that gooey mozzarella tries to muck up the walls of your microwave, your tupperware ensures it stays clean. So in our case, the cheese is malware, and even if you download malware from an untrusted site, it cannot reach beyond the container that Edge uses to protect your files.

According to tests run by Microsoft, the Edge browser has the lowest chances of malware infection when compared to other browsers running on Windows. And that means a lot when you consider that when it comes to cyber-attacks, the default Windows browser is always the first target.

In addition to creating containers for limiting the exposure of workstations, any malicious data is deleted by resetting the virtual space after users are done with it -- not unlike tossing your dirty tupperware into the dishwasher after reheating last night’s saucy noodle goodness. Permanent cookies aren’t kept after the reset, and it’s impossible for malware to continue running without a space to do so. Every new session starts with a clear, clean browser.

For those new to the virtualization game, it may seem like running Edge in this environment could slow down the machine. But Microsoft has guaranteed a cutting-edge, extremely light burden when enabling the service. When your organization is looking for virtualization services, from creating all your desktops in a virtual, internet-based space, to simply making your browsing more secure with virtual Edge browsers -- there’s only one team to call. Pick up the phone and dial us today. You’re a short consultation away from a cheaper, safer IT infrastructure.

Published with permission from Source.

October 10th, 2016

2016october10_socialmedia_cFacebook has been looking for new ways to diversify the services it offers. One such example is Facebook at Work -- launching today. The new product is a way for enterprise firms to stay connected and share information just like the Facebook of yesteryears. There has been a need for the use of social tools in enterprise activities, and so far, Facebook is the only company making a bold step toward filling that void. If you’re curious about how the service works, we have a complete review here.

Facebook releases generally take place in the company’s home country, the US. However, this time around the social media giant will launch its take on enterprise communication tools in London, where Facebook at Work was first dreamed up.

Facebook at Work has set its sights on improving productivity in the workplace. In addition to aesthetic updates like changing from the iconic blue color to a business-friendly grey, users will have a totally separate platform from the original Facebook. Work accounts are strictly for work interactions and will not mix with users’ personal profiles. So how is it different from just creating a work-friendly account on the original platform?

Facebook at Work creates a microcosm of the social media site, just for your company. Employees can communicate with coworkers, post pictures, plan for upcoming events, and make office announcements at ease. As an added bonus, Facebook at Work will employ auto-translate functionality to make communication between foreign nationals easy.

Aside from the fact that transitions will be easy with so many people already using the site for personal accounts, Facebook at Work is hoping Work Chat and Video Call options will be able to rival the likes of Skype for Business, Google Hangouts, and Slack. And with the addition of new avenues of privacy come new security guarantees. In an attempt to assuage the concerns of HR departments and paranoid employees alike, the improved security measures in Facebook at Work are separate from the personal platform and unique to the enterprise.

Regardless of whether or not you’re a fan of the original, Facebook at Work is a product keen on helping enterprises improve communications and increase work productivity. If you’re interested in getting in on the ground floor of this new workplace application, we’re your ticket. From product updates to completely new social media sites, we’re your one-stop-shop for getting the word out about your business and your product. Message us for more information today.

Published with permission from Source.

Topic Social Media
October 7th, 2016

2016october7_security_cFor as long as there have been cybercriminals, there have been social engineers, or people who use tricks and scams to force other people to volunteer sensitive information. There are several ways to use social engineering to acquire valuable information like account passwords and bank accounts, but avoiding these scams comes down to one thing: training. Let’s take a look at some of the easiest ways for your employees to avoid one of these scams.

As more and more of our information moves into the digital realm, criminals are turning to social engineering to trick people into trusting them with their delicate information. People often trust others too easily and make themselves the targets of easy attacks from criminals. These attacks may come in the form of messages, baiting scenarios, fake company responses, and many others.

Most often, messages are sent to users in the form of an email that might contain a link or something to download. Although they may look legitimate, these emails often contain viruses; once the link is opened or you attempt to download it, a virus latches onto your computer, giving its creator free access to your email account and personal information.

Emails such as these can also come with a compelling story about needing help, winning the lottery, or even paying taxes to the government. Under the veil of legitimacy, criminals will ask you to trust them with your account details so they can either reward you or help you avoid fines and punishments. What you actually get is a bad case of identity theft.

In another scenario, criminals will bait their targets with “confidential information regarding their account.” This may come in the form of fake company messages that appear to be responses to your claims, which are followed up by a request for login details. While victims believe they are slamming the door on a crime by providing their information, they’ve actually provided their attackers with the keys.

There are several ways people can avoid becoming victims of social engineering. First, always ensure that you delete all spam from your email, and thoroughly research sources before responding to claims from a company -- even if it seems like the one you normally use.

The same applies for links. Confirm the destination of any link before clicking on it. Sites like are often used to shorten long and cumbersome links, but because users have grown accusomted to them they are often used to hide malacious misdirections.

Never give out sensitive information that includes your password, bank information, social security, or any other private details. No respectable financial institution will request this type of information through email or a site other than their own. If you’re unsure, navigate away from the page you’ve been sent to and visit the page you believe to be making the request. If the address doesn’t have the letter ‘s’ after ‘http,’ it’s likely a scam.

Last but not least, check that all your devices are protected by the most recent antivirus software. While the strength of social engineering lies in the fact that it’s people-driven rather than technology-driven, antivirus software can help detect and prevent requests from known cybercriminals.

Cyber security is essential to the success of any modern business. Don’t let yourself become victim to criminals who have mastered the art of social engineering. While we’re proud of our extensive experience as technology professionals, we also have more than enough expertise to keep your business safe from those who are using people-based exploits. Get in touch with us today for all your security concerns.

Published with permission from Source.

Topic Security
October 6th, 2016

2016october6_hardware_cHaving the proper equipment is important to a business. It improves the efficiency of the business and helps it to flourish. However, for the business to prosper, office equipment must be in line with current trends. Purchasing the equipment is expensive, and most companies are opting to get their IT from Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS) solutions as an affordable alternative. There are several benefits associated with HaaS -- let’s take a look.

Upfront Capital

The main benefit of HaaS is that it enables businesses to conserve on upfront capital expenditures. By replacing these high costs with a lease structure and low monthly payments, resources can be redirected toward other budget items. As a result, the business will have more resources that it could have otherwise used to purchase the computers.

More modern hardware

For businesses with outdated equipment, HaaS is an easy workaround for them to upgrade their IT hardware. A service provider can supply the latest equipment at a lower monthly cost, and when their client’s machines age, upgrades can be provided without fear of incurring additional costs. By choosing this route, SMBs won't have to deal with disposing their old equipment. The service provider will take full responsibility for that.

Taxes and accounting

When it comes to tax payments, businesses that opt for HaaS are also at an advantage. Equipment will be listed as a service from a vendor rather than a capital expense -- thereby decreasing their tax liability. SMBs will enjoy all the benefits of cutting-edge equipment, without the taxes that usually accompany it. HaaS allows companies to get the equipment they need without running the risk of incurring more debt. Having a balance sheet with less debt is beneficial to the business, as it provides the business with secure financial services to expand.

However, when it comes to HaaS, it is important to consider what sort of technology the business needs. For example, if there is a substantial need for equipment, the best option is to choose HaaS rather than incur debt from purchases. For more information on managed IT solutions and outsourcing your technology difficulties to the experts, contact us today.

Published with permission from Source.

Topic Hardware
October 4th, 2016

2016october4_webandcloud_cSEO is meant to increase traffic to a website so that more users interact with its content. However, there is more than one way to approach SEO. The right approach should also account for users who already know your brand, and make it easier for them to access your website and share it with other users. Read on if you’re looking for a way to incorporate your business’s brand identity into your SEO strategies.

One of the ways you can improve your branded search visibility is by ensuring your brand name is mentioned multiple times throughout your site. Make sure to link the brand name to the homepage of your website, include the brand name in descriptions of the company, and add meta descriptions to the site.

Because Google’s site indexing service is completely automated, just about anyone should be listed in the results. The goal isn’t getting listed, it’s getting listed first. Little things like placing your sitemap in an easy-to-find location, including descriptive titles, and always filling out meta descriptions to increase the chances of your brand links appearing on the search pages.

Social media may technically be a different story, but it works hand-in-hand in today’s search engine optimization efforts. These pages are very likely to be listed when customers are making ‘brand’ searches. Make sure you maintain profiles at every “big” social media site, and add as much information as you can concerning your brand identity. Because the ultimate goal is to drive traffic to your site, link to your website in every field that allows it.

Lastly, Google business reviews are more important in getting branded search results than most people realize. Claim your business on Google My Business and frequently encourage your top customers to leave positive reviews concerning your brand. The more positive reviews your website has, the higher your site will appear in the rankings.

SEO is important for business, but so is creating a brand identity. An intersection of these goals may seem difficult, but not impossible. For more information on SEO, branded search results and anything related to your Google search rankings, get in touch with us today.

Published with permission from Source.

Topic Web & Cloud
October 3rd, 2016

2016october3_healthcarearticles_cThe medical industry is one of the most data-rich business sectors of the 21st century. Patients that receive care have hundreds of data points associated with their medical history -- but how is this data being handled? In most cases, not carefully enough. By adopting one of business’s more popular solutions, your medical facility could save money and drastically improve care simultaneously. Let’s find out how.

Business intelligence (BI) software truly lives up to its name. At its core, BI is all about data analytics, and it is able to accept overwhelming amounts of data in short periods of time to use advanced analysis algorithms to search for trends that even the most experienced statistician cannot find.

By swapping out customer fields such as previous number of purchases, order size, and order frequency, in favor of patient fields such as income level, English proficiency, housing conditions, and community resources, hospital administrators can provide extra care that will help prevent expensive readmissions.

By combining socioeconomic data with electronic medical records (EMR) in a BI software environment, hospitals and doctor’s offices can easily create patient profiles that will predict how likely they are to require readmission, even before care is provided.

For the context of this article, readmission is when a patient returns for more care within 30 days of the original hospital stay. Cases like these usually stem from conditions immediately following the initial visit, such as mismanagement of the original condition, improper self-medication, and not enough access to proper medical services and medications in their community.

For practices looking for methods to reduce readmissions by three percent or greater, predictive analytics allow doctors to ensure that certain types of patients can totally avoid readmissions with proper initial care.

With effective implementation of these solutions, hospitals can save a lot of money. After reducing the incidence of readmissions by 6,000 patients annually, one particular practice was able to save $72 million on medical services, avoid $4 million in Medicare penalties, and boost its reputation by leaps and bounds.

Big data isn’t only for big business. BI software can deliver your practice unprecedented levels of care and efficiency, and we’re the ones who know how to get it done. Whether you want to lower readmission rates or ensure your EMR compliance, call us today to partner with a trusted IT expert.

Published with permission from Source.

Topic Healthcare