7 Tips To Use Mobile Apps To Boost Business Productivity

Wondering how mobile apps can benefit your business? See how your peers are succeeding with these tools. Use of mobile apps by small businesses has increased dramatically over the last two years, and business owners report saving large chunks of time because of them. These findings come from the 2014 AT&T Small Business Tech Poll, which also reveals that two-thirds of business owners who rely on mobile apps say they save at least three hours of precious time each week. Nearly the same percentage (65%) say using apps saves them money, with the majority estimating their savings at up to $6,000 per year.


If you are considering these tools but can’t quite envision how to use them, read these company snapshots to see them in play. The stories are fictional, but accurately predict how mobile apps can streamline operations, improve customer service, and increase revenues.

1. Retail
A boutique owner is increasing sales at street festivals, trade shows, and other locations outside of her store with a mobile payments app that allows her to process credit and debit card payments through her mobile phone. Instead of requiring customers to pay by cash or check, she simply enters their card information into her mobile phone keypad. The app integrates with the store’s inventory system to let her know when product levels are low, and it lets her email customized receipts for purchases. The ability to process card payments on the go helps the shop owner capture more sales, while integration with her inventory system helps her strengthen customer satisfaction by keeping stock at optimal levels.

2. Healthcare
A medical practice takes advantage of mobile apps to save time and even make decisions related to diagnoses and treatment. Doctors use one app to enter symptoms and receive a list of possible diagnoses, while another provides information about drug dosages and interactions. Doctors have also begun recommending apps to patients to help them monitor their health. For example, patients can record electrocardiograms using their smartphones. They touch sensors on a heart monitor connected to their phone, which produces an EKG that doctors can review.

3. Transportation
A small transportation company uses a GPS-based mobile app to improve drivers’ productivity and help ensure they are deployed as efficiently as possible. By providing drivers with mobile phones equipped with the app, the fleet supervisor can monitor their whereabouts, see when deliveries are made, and re-route drivers as needed through any Internet-connected computer. GPS allows drivers to find locations easily—helping to lower fuel costs—while electronic data improves timesheet accuracy and reduces paperwork.

4. Financial Services
A financial advisory firm can serve clients better with a customer relationship management (CRM) app that allows access to contact information, schedules, and detailed notes, all in one place. Employees can update their notes anytime and anywhere. For example, if they learn about a new product or service that might benefit a client, they can easily record it to discuss during their next meeting. They can also access current stock information for clients through their mobile devices to provide more in-depth service.

5. Legal
Through a time-tracking mobile app, a law firm needing an efficient way to track short, billable phone calls and emails is now able to record these communications and capture revenue that might have been lost. Lawyers can set a time threshold for billable events—say 10 minutes—and accumulate shorter events until the threshold is reached. They also use a stopwatch function on their mobile phones to record the duration of face-to-face meetings and work-related travel. The app automatically assigns client and project codes to the events, which helps to improve billing accuracy.

6. Real Estate
A real estate agency has improved responsiveness to clients with an app that allows employees to be reached when they’re not in the office. Employees select a fixed or mobile line for receiving calls, which they can change at any time. When clients dial the agency’s main number, they are routed automatically to the appropriate agent. The agency also takes advantage of a scanning app that allows employees to scan in and share documents directly from their smartphones, saving time on trips to the office.

7. Construction
A construction company with work crews distributed across multiple sites has improved its time reporting with a timecard app that allows workers to submit their hours remotely. In the past, time cards were delayed or inaccurate because some employees reported directly to their job sites and had no convenient way to deliver them to a central office. With the mobile app, time cards are automatically stamped with time, date, and location and submitted wirelessly for approval. Supervisors can access reports of time spent on tasks, helping them assess whether projects are on budget and improve the accuracy of future job bids.

How do you use mobile apps to improve business productivity?


Originally posted on http://www.entrepreneur.com


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Comparing of the cloud storage Titans: Amazon S3 versus Microsoft Azure

Although you haven’t any plan to implement yet this technology, but this article still give you useful information about important points you should consider if you have a plan to use cloud storage in the future. It is not an easy way to pick the right cloud based data storage provider because it really comes down to individual organizational needs. Enjoy read this article.


Comparing of the cloud storage Titans: Amazon S3 versus Microsoft Azure

Cloud storage has been around for quite some time. Google Drive, Amazon Simple Storage Service, Firedrive, OneDrive and even the ill-fated Yahoo! Briefcase have all tried their hands at securing and monopolizing the game of Internet based online storage. From an individual standpoint, it’s quite simple to figure which cloud based data storage solution to use; simply sign up for the one that’s giving the most free storage and register. But businesses don’t have that simple luxury, which is why on-premises storage has held its fort for such a long time.

But the advent of cloud computing, in conjunction with cloud storage, has rung the bell for on-premise storage facilities. Not only are these new cloud based services clean, competent and effective, they have also been able to open new avenues as to what an enterprise could do with the data being stored and managed online. They have reached the level of integration with applications and services that it is becoming increasing hard to distinguish between online and onsite storage alternatives. As such, many organizations are realizing that it is time to be competing in this field, with two of the most popular data storage services being Microsoft Azure and Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3). Together they dominate the market, leaving Google and its cloud storage solution in the dust. For the time being, Microsoft and Amazon are dueling it out for dominance, which is why we want to contrast and compare these two competing offerings.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft launched its cloud based storage and compute services in 2010, and given Microsoft’s reputation of being the latecomer that demolishes the competition, they seem to have done themselves proud. A recent Nasuni report claimed to have concluded in its research that Microsoft is winning the cloud wars, dethroning the old guard of Amazon S3. Microsoft seems to be doing well when we consider the fact that they have been able to lure 53% of the Fortune 500 companies into using Azure. Thanks to a decent ecosystem, that  dominance seems destined to continue unless the obvious competitor comes up with a drastic upgrade over Azure. But for the time being, they are winning.

There appears to be a feeling of wholesomeness when one looks at what Microsoft Azure has to offer its prospective users. The modern interface, helped by wizards, only makes it easy to use and choose, but any decisions must be taken after a good analysis of both Azure and the competing Amazon S3, which in itself has been quite successful.

Here are some of the key points of interest that is helping Azure win over the hearts and minds of enterprise customers:

  • A free 90-day trial/preview, all with 35 GB of storage, 750 compute hours cloud computing usage every month for three months, 1 DU of SQL Database and 20 GB of outbound data transfer without any cap on incoming data transfer per month.

  • A rich interface, with easy to configure wizards

  • Security, with 512 bit keys being implemented to ensure security of vital data.

  • Tight integration with other native Microsoft Windows applications such as SharePoint, SQL Server, and Visual Studio among others.

  • A complete set of features for cloud computing and analysis of data with equipment like Marketplace, SQL Reporting, Azure Machine Learning, Hadoop, Access Control, Rights Management, Media and Mobile Services. Besides, the cloud services in themselves can be configured and programmed with the help of official SDKs for Java, Python as well as .NET and others.

  • Data centers across the globe. Data centers are located everywhere from Japan, Ireland, Netherlands, China, Singapore, Brazil, and of course, the USA. This vast number of locations ensures that failures at a couple of places won’t be enough to cause any damage to that much valued data.

Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3):

Cleverly named, Amazon’s S3 has been quite successful, garnering substantial market share ever since its launch in 2006. Much like Azure, Amazon S3 owes much of its success to the cloud computing features that helped enterprises work with their online data in the cloud. Prior to Azure’s recent rise to the top, Amazon had been the clear leader, and its APIs continue to be the de-facto standards in the industry. Here is what Amazon S3 has to offer.

Features-Amazon S3:

  • Integration with Amazon’s EC2 platform, which helps in Analyzing the data stored in the cloud, large amount of data can easily be tested and analyzed, giving researchers and developers some free time to focus on more important matters.

  • Although Dynamic website hosting is not possible specifically with S3, Amazon S3 can help you get a static website up and running and that too with your own custom URL.

  • Amazon S3 is a cost effective service, bar for that one feature which counts usage in real life hours instead of Compute hours, nonetheless S3 makes up for it with its inexpensive pricing structure.

  • It’s as reliable, secure and scalable as any of its competitors, however, its sole fault lies in the fact that not many data centers are located outside of USA, and that can be a matter of concern to some people. Nevertheless, no data can be lost on Amazon S3.

  • A Hybrid model is also available that stores data locally as well while backing it up in the cloud for any feasible purposes.

Verdict: Azure or S3?

Both Azure and S3 are complete products in their own right, and choosing between the two can be quite difficult. The fact is, both platforms provide a robust and reliable data storage system in the cloud, and as it currently stands, the two services are quite similar in the functionalities they provide. Choosing the right cloud based data storage provider really comes down to individual organizational needs, and figuring out which product aligns best with the organizations needs.

By TheServerSide.com

25 Aug 2014

Ready for a change?

Change is the difficult thing to do by almost of us. But, infact change is needed. This video will show you how the change can be done, even only transform from conventional to a new one tools. Let’s enjoy and make fun your day.

Google outs unpatched Windows 8.1 vulnerability, and debate rages on both sides | PCWorld


A Google researcher has disclosed an unpatched vulnerability in Windows 8.1 after Microsoft didn’t fix the problem within a 90-day window Google gave its competitor.

The disclosure of the bug on Google’s security research website early this week stirred up a debate about whether outing the vulnerability was appropriate.

The bug allows low-level Windows users to become administrators in some cases, but some posters on the Google site said the company should have kept its mouth shut. Google said it was unclear if versions of the Windows OS earlier than 8.1 were affected by the bug.

“Automatically disclosing this vulnerability when a deadline is reached with absolutely zero context strikes me as incredibly irresponsible and I’d have expected a greater degree of care and maturity from a company like Google,” one poster at the Google site wrote.

The vulnerability is “your average” local privilege escalation vulnerability, the same poster wrote. “That’s bad and unfortunate, but it’s also a fairly typical class of vulnerability, and not in the same class as those that keep people like me up at night patching servers,” the poster said. “The sad reality is that these sort of vulnerabilities are a dime a dozen on Windows.”

Another poster, in what may be a slight overstatement, suggested the versions of Windows affected are run by “billions” of computer users. “Exposing vulnerabilities like this has far reaching consequences,” the poster wrote. “People could get hurt by this and it doesn’t bring anyone closer to a solution. When an organization is as big and powerful as [Google], people working there need to think of themselves as stewards of a great power and work to be fair and regulate the harm that can come of misusing this great power when possible.”

Was it a secret worth telling?
Other posters praised Google for sticking to a deadline it’s had in place since it launched its Project Zero bug-tracking team last July. “No one is done any good by keeping it secret,” one poster wrote. “By exposing the [vulnerability] they allow those billions who may be running vulnerable systems to be aware of the threat to their own security and take countermeasures. A patch isn’t the only way to mitigate the issue. Given the nature of this vulnerability, there are other steps administrators can take to start protecting their vulnerable systems while they await a patch.”

Microsoft said in a statement it is working to release a security update to the reported vulnerability. “It is important to note that for a would-be attacker to potentially exploit a system, they would first need to have valid logon credentials and be able to log on locally to a targeted machine,” a spokesman said by email. “We encourage customers to keep their anti-virus software up to date, install all available security updates and enable the firewall on their computer.”

Google, in a statement published on Engadget, defended the release of the vulnerability information.

Google’s 90-day deadline for fixing bug is “the result of many years of careful consideration and industry-wide discussions about vulnerability remediation,” the company said. “Security researchers have been using roughly the same disclosure principles for the past 13 years … and we think that our disclosure principles need to evolve with the changing infosec ecosystem. In other words, as threats change, so should our disclosure policy.”

Google will monitor the effects of its policy closely, the company added. “We want our decisions here to be data driven, and we’re constantly seeking improvements that will benefit user security,” the company added. “We’re happy to say that initial results have shown that the majority of the bugs that we have reported under the disclosure deadline get fixed under deadline, which is a testament to the hard work of the vendors.”

Original link :

5 Tips and Tricks for the SmartBoard

Some great secrets of the Smart Notebook 10 Software

SMART Board M600 Interactive Whiteboard

The world’s most popular interactive whiteboard now has dual touch, making it much more than solely a front of the room device. With dual-touch capability, students can now collaborate together at the front, or anywhere else in the classroom.


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SMART Kapp: The Dry-Erase Board Reinvented

Meet SMART Kapp, the 21st century dry-erase board. Collaboration has never been as simple and versatile: simply use SMART Kapp as you would any other dry-erase board while easily capturing, saving and sharing your notes from brainstorming and problem solving sessions. That means team members anywhere in the world can join sessions and actively participate, improving business collaboration and productivity. SMART Kapp is an easy replacement for any dry-erase board or flip chart.

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10 Ways to Make Your Laptop Battery Last Longer

Handy laptop battery life tips

With the latest laptops, working on the move has never been easier, but laptops are still slaves to the National Grid.

You can do practically anything on a modern laptop, but their advanced features drain battery life to the extent that you can often only get a couple of hours out of your laptop before its battery drains.

While laptop battery life is a chief cause of mobile moans, it’s possible to get significant improvements by good practice and a few software tweaks. To help you get a longer laptop battery life, here are 10 easy ways to improve it.

1. Dim your screen

The screen is one of the most power-hungry parts of the laptop. It takes serious amounts of battery power to keep your display looking clear and bright. Saving this power is simply a question of turning the brightness down. The screen brightness button is usually located as a second function of one of the F keys, and is represented by a little sun symbol with up and down icons. To use it, just hold down the correct function key and then choose up or down.

2. Change power settings

Windows comes with some great power features, which enable you to eke out the best performance when you’re plugged into the mains, and optimise battery life when on the move. Type power options into the Start Search box and choose Power saver from the list. The Windows Mobility Center has more methods for saving battery life. These include settings for powering off the monitor and kicking into sleep mode more quickly.

3. Switch off Wi-Fi

One of the biggest battery sappers is the wireless networking capabilities built into most laptops. Wi-Fi drains the battery by constantly drawing power from the battery and, when not connected, looking for networks. When you’re using your laptop away from the grid, the likelihood is you’re away from wireless networks, so you can turn this device off. Many laptops have a function button that enables you to turn off the wireless adaptor manually to save yourself the unnecessary waste, but older laptops often don’t have this. If this is the case, just go to the Control Panel, access the Network Connections menu and disable your wireless connection manually.

4. Turn off peripherals

Using USB peripherals can put a big drain on your system, because your motherboard has to power them, so unplugging everything saves juice. USB sticks, mice and webcams are common offenders, so copy all your information across and eject your devices as soon as possible, and put up with laptop track pads over your USB mouse. Many laptops have function buttons to turn off the built-in webcam, which drains the battery if given the chance. And switch your speakers to mute if you’ve no need for sound – your laptop beeping every time it gets an email or boots Windows can be a drain.

5. Eject your disc drives

Having a disc spinning in the drive is a huge drain on resources, and many programs constantly do this. Simply eject your discs before you switch to battery power to gain vital extra minutes from your working day.

6. Invest in some hardware

Good practice can go some way to extending your battery life, but if you need to use your laptop throughout your working day, you’re going to need some help. Most laptops come with a six-cell battery, but many manufacturers offer eight- or even 12-cell optional upgrades, which can double your power. The alternative to expensive laptop batteries are products such as the Philips Portable Power Pack, which gives you valuable extra hours for all your devices. The Philips is a compact battery unit that has adaptors for most laptops and mobile phones, which is portable enough to be placed in a bag and has enough capacity to double the length of your charge.

7. Disable features

Windows has some handy built-in features, but many put demands on your system that are unnecessary when working on the move. Take the simple measure of turning off Windows Aero when you’re on the move to make your laptop more efficient.

8. Battery care

Lithium-Ion batteries don’t need a complete discharge (contrary to popular belief) but also you should use a battery once you’ve charged it. If you have a spare you keep topped up, use that instead of your main regularly. If you have an older non-Lithium-Ion battery, you’ll need to regularly discharge it.

9. Get more memory

Give your laptop a break. If you’re using intensive apps that usually require a lot of virtual memory, you’d be better off buying more RAM (though it’s worth noting that more memory will need more power). Virtual memory isn’t too efficient when it comes to battery life; it spins your hard disk more.

10. Don’t install apps from disc on the move

Try to reduce the time you use optical drives to a minimum; they can be pretty power hungry and installing apps from CD or DVD can have an instant effect on your battery life indicator.

Source article : http://m.techradar.com/news/mobile-computing/10-ways-to-make-your-laptop-battery-last-longer-513756

How to print from a mobile device with Google’s Cloud Print

Nick Barber@nickjb 
Dec 3, 2012 10:40 AM

Just because you’re on a smartphone or tablet doesn’t mean you can’t print. In a few easy steps, you can set up Google Cloud Print to print from just about any mobile device. For more extensive mobile printing tips, see PCWorld’s definitive guide to mobile printing. The first thing you need to do is sit down at a desktop or laptop that’s already connected to a printer. Sign into your Chrome browser and go to the Cloud Print page to set up the printers and mobile devices so they match your preferences.

Back on your Android device, go to Google Play and download Cloud Print. It’s a free app. (For iOS users, there are apps out there for you, too—this Macworld video looks at using Printopia to print from you iPhone or iPad.). Once you’re in Cloud Print, you can open something in Google Drive, Dropbox, Google Calendar, or even Mail and send it to the printer that’s linked to your desktop or laptop.If you want to print a Web page, it’s easy: Just go to the Web page, click share, and send it to Cloud Print. You’ll find that document waiting for you on the printer in no time.