RSSCategory: productivity

Seek Out Segments

October 4, 2016 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

Segmented emails have the power to transform your marketing efforts and are an important part of a solid marketing strategy. They are messages that, while not individualized, are personalized to a targeted section of your company’s email list. Targeted variables include location, gender, and shopping habits. This is done by dividing your contact list into smaller demographic and consumer behavior segments. This way, if you are in the business of body care you could promote aftershave to men and tinted lip balm to women.

Advantages

The biggest advantage of splitting your email list into segments and sending more personalized content is that you can benefit through a dramatically higher click through rate than a general marketing campaign. By delivering relevant content, unsubscribes and abuse reports may decrease as well. Aligning content to different groups of consumers is only as good as the identification process for separating a contact list.

Identification

When you are considering a segmentation strategy for your marketing efforts, you need to know who your target audience is. This is so you can segment your lists based on data collected from forms as well as online behavior patterns. USC MCM considers audience identification an absolutely essential step to make a segmentation marketing strategy viable. Start with the service or product that you offer when identifying audiences. What wants or needs does it meet?

The audience for an affordable fragrance-free soap is likely to be quite different from a scented luxury soap. While both groups need soap, their wants differ widely. One group is likely concerned with meeting a household budget and sees added scent as less desirable, and the other group has disposable income and enjoys fragrances. Once different consumer groups are segmented, you are able to put your outreach into action.

Effective Implementation

An effective, segmented campaign sends the most pertinent content to the right people at the ideal time. This is facilitated by the development of a buyer persona for each of your audience segments. The identification of customer personas has been a marketing practice for some time, but is especially useful in this application for writing relevant content for various segments.

The tone of an email to a finance executive will be different than one used for a college student for example. The subject line is another important element in communicating with segments that should not be overlooked. Even if the product offered would appeal to both an executive and a student, the subject line should be personalized to resonate optimally with each group.

As the implementation cycle of your marketing plan continues, further segmentation can be done based upon engagement levels. Highly engaged and loyal purchasers of your product may not need as much contact to keep them subscribed to your updates. There is also a category of engagement in which a consumer shares your content, yet does not ever make a purchase. They are also useful to keep engaged with useful content that they will, in turn, be likely to share with their network with friends and associates. Whether your segmented list is a frequent buyer or is an influential content sharer, they have a purpose in the sales funnel.

Segmentation can integrate seamlessly with a well programmed marketing automation system that takes into account lead nurturing practices. It also can also be integrated with call to action features on your blog as well as social media monitoring.

List segmentation helps you to generate customers rather than just prospective leads. Taking time to segment your large email list into several specific consumer categories lets you increase your chances of connecting the right target audience to the right product or service to meet their needs. With a list segmentation strategy, the engagement with your audience can grow along with your rate of return.

Advantages of Digital Devices

August 5, 2016 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

Digital transcription equipment is innovative technology at its best. This is an extraordinary alternative from the archaic methods of transcribing medical information, recording depositions and meetings that needed to be transcribed word-for-word. Recording text from voice is geared toward making work more proficient.

Why People Use Digital Devices

Digital equipment used for transcribing has much to offer. Connecting properly and making clear recordings has never been easier. Going backward to cassette recorders is simply not an option. What does matter is being confident in the equipment you choose to get the job done.

The utilization of digital voice recorders to complement your work flow may include:
Knowing this type of transcription equipment permits you to record data to use for reference and documentation. Recording fundamental data to sort and store. You can return to the information at any time, even beginning at the last point where you stopped previously. Notices and reports are completed within seconds because of the indexing feature, which makes your work day more efficient.
Digital equipment for transcribing enables you to integrate the device with your organization’s structure. Setup predefined workflows or customize them based on a specific task.
A finished transcribed document can be automatically sent to another person for review. Most equipment includes a status feature where you can define the document as either ‘pending’ or ‘finished.’ This also adds to the efficiency of your workflow.

What to Look for When Selecting a Digital Device

Purchasing a digital dictation machine is easy, especially when you know what one should include. Keep these six requirements close to compare your options.
Portability – this is essential if you travel to different locations to record meetings or interviews at offsite locations.
Computer integration – seamless integration with your laptop or desktop is important, so make sure it is compatible with your computer.
Editing capabilities – audio and file editing makes it convenient to bookmark passages and perform keyword searches.
Sound quality – high sampling rate and limited external noise interference are essential features.
Microphone – whether internal or external, you want a strong device that picks up voices clear to help with accuracy.
Memory capacity – high memory capacity allows more recording time. This is particularly helpful when recording a deposition, which can last for hours.

These extraordinary elements of digital recorders empower you to do a substantial amount of work more efficiently. Find one with high quality of recording capabilities and you may wonder how you ever got work done without it.

BizTalk Fundamentals for Administrators

August 26, 2015 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

Are you an administrator or IT professional new to the BizTalk server game? QuickLearn offers a “BizTalk 2013 R2 Administrator Fundamentals” class that is the ideal solution. You will gain the basic knowledge you need to utilize BizTalk, including an introduction to BizTalk, guidance with BizTalk applications and hosts, and tips for tracking and troubleshooting.

This BizTalk 2013 training course will provide you with six hours of instruction and six hours of hands-on labs. The overall course is twelve hours, but extra lab hours are provided to give you the optimum amount of hands on experience. However, the class is not run on a strict schedule; rather, it is self-directed during a sixty day period for your convenience. If you need help during your instruction, there is online support included. After completing this course, you can take advanced courses on BizTalk to learn even more!

Team Foundation Server 2015 Training

June 30, 2015 | By | Reply More

Reading time: < 1 minute

QuickLearn now offers different levels of Microsoft TFS training to help companies improve their product management. The program was made to get more out of development teams. The three different types of training they offer are Introductory, Professional, and Advanced training to meet everyone’s needs.

Microsoft just came out with the TSF 2015, which include expanded features for those with the basic license. A few of the new items offered include team rooms and web-based test execution. Not sure what those mean? Take the training to find out!

If you want to become more familiar with the program make sure to sign up for Microsoft TFS training, to insure you know how to utilize all the functions. The great thing about the training is it is also available online so you can learn anywhere in the world.

The Cloud Has Revolutionized Computing

March 10, 2015 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

Every few years, new technology comes along that completely changes everything where Internet interaction is concerned. Cloud technology, which relies less on resources on individual computers, has helped revolutionize both business and consumer computing. Some of the biggest names in the industry rely primarily on the cloud to provide services to their customers.

Charles Phillips of Infor is an example of one key person in the technology industry who is shaping cloud computing for the better. One of the challenges that many companies face is having to upgrade their clouds to keep up with the competition. After many companies upgrade, they experience serious growth.

One of the things that people can expect from the cloud is the fact that many applications were released in a way that allows for customization. User-friendly interfaces help make it easier for employees to adapt to the new software. The cloud hosting helps eliminate many of the issues associated with multiple users. What is probably the most important part of cloud applications is that they make the integration easier.

The use of the cloud initially gained attention through the work of many major companies that decided it was a more efficient way to store and deliver content. Once the public became familiar with it through use of the sites that employed its technology, they became comfortable with the concept. Many consumers who used sites that offered cloud storage appreciated the extra space that was available. Once consumers started using cloud storage, the demand for cloud applications increased among hosting providers.

Many companies that use the cloud have found ways to adapt the technology according to their needs. At one time, companies would have relied on generic platforms that did not necessarily suit the needs of the industry. Today’s platforms make it easier for companies to adapt their software interfaces according to special compliance needs or other issues specific to the industry.

One thing that many people are unaware of is that it is possible to integrate everything into the cloud. It isn’t just the secure documents that employees access that goes into the cloud. Supply chain management systems are some of the most important applications in the cloud. The increased security makes importing as much information into the cloud as possible a good idea.

Many people are concerned about the security and stability of a new system when they first try it. In fact, security and stability are two of the most common concerns that make people hold back from upgrading to the cloud. However, it is easy for IT professionals to address both of these issues. In fact, the nature of the cloud itself makes upgrades much easier.

One way in which the cloud has created a better end-user experience is by reducing maintenance and upgrade costs. Because both of these require less work on the part of the staff, it is no longer necessary to pass the costs on to customers. The cloud has created a better experience for both businesses and consumers.

Timesheet Tracking for Freelancers

January 22, 2015 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

For freelancers like me, getting things done is of primary importance in order to stay on top of your competition. The faster turnaround time, the better feedback but of course, the more efficient you do things, the more productive you can be.

While getting things done is paramount, you obviously don’t want to second guess if you’re being paid timely on every effort you put into your projects. Time tracking is very important in order for you to get paid timely and correctly everytime you perform tasks for your client.

A Timesheet Portal software can easily track the hours you’ve worked up to the last minute. It simplifies your task of keeping track of minutes between each break and those times you’re off your desk. Like similar software in the market, Timesheet Portal will allows its users to jot down expenses aside from earnings. It even allows time off scheduling for each team member making sure that you can always find someone to fill-in within your team in case someone gets sick.

After work hours are tracked, the software provides you with the ability to send invoices to your clients. Budget management for projects are also available on the software so you can be sure that you’re working within the allocated budget. You can even sync your invoices to other platforms such as Sage, Quickbooks, and Xero.

Automated Engineering For Manufacturing

March 25, 2014 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Modern engineering services provide essential analysis on various manufacturing and assembly processes. Robotics and automated systems track down complicated processes in factories and other production facilities. For example, there are advanced optical systems that keep track of the movement of various products that are being assembled. A sensor may be programmed to look for certain shapes in unfinished items that are in a production line. The detection of a missing part may automatically stop all of the machinery in the assembly equipment. An actual human worker needs to come over and inspect a part that’s considered to be faulty for any number of reasons.

Three dimensional scanning systems are also available to keep track of the proper shape and size of products being produced. Special optical and electromagnetic scanners can create three dimensional digital images of items that go through a production line. Improper drilling of holes in certain parts of a product may call for a complete stop of production equipment in order to inspect the faulty items.

Similarly, automated scanning systems in factories may measure the weight of an item that is being assembled. At any given instant, each unfinished product should have the same weight. Significant differences in weight of an item may indicate improper assembly. For example, some parts of a product may not have been properly carved out or drilled. Manufacturing plants can buy today automatic scanning systems that could detect slight imperfections in products of various sizes, even on a small scale of millimeters.

Importance of Employee Time Tracking

January 29, 2014 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

Owning your own business is a dream that many people have had in their lives. So many of us sit behind a desk or in a cubicle and dream about being your own boss, setting your own hours and selling a product or a service that you have always wanted to make on your own. But running your own business isn’t as simple as choosing to strike out on your own and doing well. There are many things you have to do to keep your business up and running, including keeping costs down to something reasonable. For many new business owners, this is the toughest part of running their own business. Thankfully, with a little insight and these tips and tricks you can begin to cut costs and see profit in your business.

When it comes to keeping up with employee time, it can be a complicated process. Computer systems offer an easy way to keep track of your employee’s time, but it may not be the best choice for all small businesses. A computer automated system runs the risk of having errors, or less than honest employees using the system to log more time than they have actually worked. That is why many small businesses choose to use a traditional stamping time clock to manage their employee’s time.

If you choose to use a traditional time clock, there are ways that you can cut down on costs and still keep an honest record of time when it comes to your employees without costing you an arm and a leg. Buying your time cards in bulk is an easy way to save money. With the type of website you can visit now, you can get a great price on your time cards so that you only have to buy them a few times a year, which will cut down on costs on shipping and travel to get what you need.

Another way to cut costs around the office is by doing your own shredding. Many businesses pay a fee to their bank in order to have their papers shredded. But a one time cost of a good, professional shredder can save you in the long run. This will allow you to do all of your shredding in house, and will also make sure you are confident in how the shredded documents are taken care of when it comes to disposal.

Adopting An Inventory Management System for 2014

January 5, 2014 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Advanced computer software now makes it easy for any company to handle all logistical operations involving different products. An inventory management program is designed to provide detailed analysis of all the steps involved in getting a product from point A to point B. Business managers can have access to accurate information of all the products that are shipped out from a company’s factories, production plants, warehouses and regional distribution centers.

product detailInventory is managed and tracked properly to reduce the risk of theft and other losses that can be costly for a company. In fact, unaccounted inventory is usually associated with black market operations that involve large scale stealing operations from warehouses. Warehouse management software is usually integrated into one main inventory managing program. The most important goal of these tools is to account for every product that is in the process of being transported in between locations.

Once a product reaches a desired final destination, managers may continue to track other data that involves sales. For example, the management software can shows reports on the daily sales of all products that have been tracked and delivered successfully. Such detailed reports may expose some problems in the logistics operations of a business. For example, perhaps too much time is spent handling packages in a warehouse. The wasting of time may account for poor sale figures if the products arrive later than advertised sale promotions within a store. Inventory managing programs are also compatible with the latest smartphones for easy remote access.

Making Slideshows Work for You

October 30, 2013 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

Presentations are the cornerstone for any successful business meeting in order to get a specific message across to their employees. However, many businesses do not have the current resources to clearly and concisely put together a professional slide show or other interactive presentation. In an age of increased consumer electronics and short attention spans, computerized presentations are often the norm in large corporations. They help many company employees sell ideas, garner funds, and even display goals they would like their employees to reach. Often, computerized presentations are delivered in slideshow formats for their impressive designs and ease-of-use functionality.

Although most computer slideshows for business use have been around for years, they still remain a popular and highly-sought method to deliver presentations in the workplace. Schools also utilize their functions, delivering lectures and notes needed for a test or homework assignment. Professional computer slideshow designers, like the ones at Eslide.com, often aid professionals develop and design slideshows that work for their unique goals. When delivering a presentation via a slideshow, the photos, videos, font, and overall design will influence how it is perceived by others. This is why so many professionals and teachers alike have been learning more about the inner workings of designing a perfect slideshow.

Although not the sole tool for any business or organization, the use of a professional slideshow does not seem to be going out of style any time soon. Alongside the use of slideshows, virtual conferences via online messenger systems are also making a profound impact on business. Many companies that hold meetings on the Internet with employees and clients will often use slideshows during the meeting to provide a visual component to the meeting, one that virtual conferences will often lack.

When it comes to the corporate world, professional-looking slideshows are more than just a means of communication between employers and employees. It is a way in which employers can display their figures, statistics, diagrams, and projections for the coming year. According to corporate workplace statistics, slideshows are presented a business meetings more often than not, with more and more companies employing this tool as an effective strategy for gaining employer and client attention. Many businesses use slideshows on clients to gain new business, as the slideshows will often represent ideas, video and pictures, as well as relevant information and statistics used to sway the opinion of the client.

Energy Management Solutions for the Hotel Industry

October 18, 2013 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Ever checked-in into a hotel room using a keycard? That keycard brings a whole lot of difference into energy management for the hotel industry. Once inserted, the keycard not only opens the assigned guest room but also the lighting and a whole bunch of other stuff inside the room of which, the establishment saves from 30-50% on utility costs. Not only does it add appeal to the guest’s experience, it’s also easier to use and easy to install for hoteliers.

As part of energy management initiative, keycards are outfitted with all of the necessary replacement switches, outlets, and plug-in modules the control lighting and television energy usage in a hotel guest room. It also offers energy saving modes upon room occupancy.

As the guest inserts the keycard into a wall mount, it initiates the control of the lighting, HVAC system, TV, temperature control, etc. when the guest leaves the room and removes the keycard, it then turns off all the lighting, powers down the TV and places the HVAC system into “energy saving” mode.

As more and more hoteliers update their facilities, it’s almost everything is being automated nowadays giving more hoteliers time at the front desk automating check-ins and getting rooms ready for their guests without the hassle of walking them through to their rooms.

State of the art energy management solutions are easier deployed nowadays plus the costs are not higher than it first started due to the presence of many competitors. One of the programming capabilities allows customization on each lighting and temperature which can also include future expansion of existing systems such as LCD room lighting and automation line.

Keycard, being an integral part of today’s energy management initiatives, is not just cost-efficient but also enhances guest’s experience. Aside from the mentioned lighting controls and temperature specification automations, it can also facilitate in customer housekeeping and privacy requests seamlessly.

Steps in Maximizing Your Warehouse Efficiency

July 29, 2013 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Keeping your warehouse organized is vital to your company’s success. By having an organized warehouse, you will be able to deliver more efficient customer service and earn greater profits. Keeping your inventory up to date and your organization system current is the first step in maximizing your warehouse efficiency.

Manage Your Inventory

Endlessly searching for misplaced inventory costs your company money. The time it takes for your staff to search for a product is time wasted. If you are slow in delivering a product to your customer, you will likely lose them to a competitor. Having an inventory management system that works is key to finding the right products when you need them. Barcode scanners and label systems are a proven tool for inventory management.

Plan Your Shelving

Loading and unloading products in a warehouse is time-consuming work. Encourage your staff to work quickly but safely. Ensure that your pallets are not overloading your shelves, causing a safety hazard. Purchase a pallet scale from FloorScalesDirect.com and make sure that your shelves can support the weight of your pallets. This will also help you to keep track of any losses in your warehouse.

Manage Your Staff

Low employee morale can cost you in the long run. Disgruntled employees will sabotage your company by slowing down and not completing their work. Keep them motivated and thank them for their efforts. Rewarding your employees may seem like a minor detail, but it’s not. Your staff keeps your warehouse running and are important to the team.

Organize your warehouse and increase profits today.

Making User Interfaces Work for You

July 25, 2013 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

Achieving desirable user interface designs that will hook users to fall in love with it is not an easy task. There are lots of techniques and patters of doing it plus factors to consider in order to come-up with user interfaces for websites and software.

How do you make a user interface work for you and your customers?

One of the things that need to be achieved is clarity. Enabling interaction between the user and the system that is meaningful—what it does and where to go.

When everything is clear, keep explanations at minimum because this can stray user’s focus.

It’s best as well to make icons or menus very much familiar to anyone. Something your users will not second guess on how a button works when clicked.

Who doesn’t love a responsive UI? User interface that takes time to load requests can be frustrating for your users. It can make or break user interest in no time.

Strive to be consistent in everything. Although you might want to be playful and take risks with designs, you should remember to be consistent with your design so your users can achieve a sense of ease and adapt a certain behavioral usage pattern making them more attuned to the software or website menus so that any future changes (be it minimal) will not make them feel lost.

Who doesn’t love aesthetics? Again, playfulness and creativity can be beneficial to attract users attention but remember to make it minimal yet still striving for consistency and simplicity.

When it looks good, it doesn’t always mean it’s better.

Efficiency leads to the user’s satisfaction. Lead your users to what they want and showcase what your software or website can do for them.

Allow users to fix errors on their own when mistakes arise. A simple undo button will boost their trust that somehow they can make mistakes on the interface but can still correct it.

As they always say, less is more…sounds cliché, right? Users will always admire simple and easy UI. It’s a no-brainer. If you’re someone who needs more ideas on how to develop UIs that will work for you, visit the UI blog, you’ll see!

Remote Home Computer Tech Support: Convenience vs. Cost

July 13, 2013 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

Getting your home computer fixed when things get awry is essential especially when you use the system frequently for work or communicating with friends and family and don’t have a backup. It may entail cost when troubleshooting is beyond your knowledge or when the problem is beyond your expertise.

Tech support is given by most computer manufacturers. While some require physical check-up, others can be done over the phone to the convenience of its customers. It can be very helpful when the end-user is able to follow instructions from the telephone support agent and can understand common technical jargon but for the not-so-techy customer it can be a pain and that is where some service like iTok comes in.

Tech support services like iTok helps customers fix their home computer problems remotely. They access the recipient’s system and fix the problem right there and then. It doesn’t need back and forth questioning interaction on both ends because the technician resolves the issue while the unit is on. Other than fixing any current problem, the remote technician also prevents any future problem that may arise on the system giving the client more value for money without the hassle of bringing the physical unit into a computer shop.

How E-Procurement Bolsters the Hospitality Industry

June 27, 2013 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

Business operations run into procurement on a frequent basis in order to continue providing services and produce goods for its customers. In the hospitality industry, procurement plays a huge role in keeping ample in-house supplies that their clientele can use to eventually make them satisfied with their stay, come back, and spread the word.

Epsys provides an end-to-end solution for businesses that seek to level-up the efficiency and cost effectiveness of their current procurement system.

Epsys allows stream order placement with suppliers, make the most out of online product and price file management and streamline purchasing approval and invoicing process in order to achieve greater productivity.

E-procurement systems must tailor-fit the demands of any organization however, it’s very much flexible, highly customizable platform which makes it adoptable. It can seamlessly be integrated with any existing business applications with only an internet connection requirement which dynamically links all key personnel across multiple departments to suppliers.

An e-procurement solution offers 24/7/365 monitoring to keep up-time at 100% without hardware installation thus keeping it low on the investment budget.

Adopting e-procurement system can really do advantage for the hospitality industry. As travel and tourism continues to grow with more and more people going from one country to another, it is indeed an industry getting stronger by the day.

What are the disadvantages of Outsourced Medical Billing?

September 27, 2012 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

As the medical billing industry started to boom, many advantages have already been cited like in August 2012 we have featured why medical billing forms matter in today’s growing healthcare industry demands.

Since medical billing is tedious, small medical practices had been in the firing line. That’s why many physicians or specialists opt to outsourcing their medical billing to professional medical billing companies.

Considering that this action may lessen the burden of the medical professionals, there are still considerable risks or disadvantages of doing so especially in the outsourcing process.

Because the jobs are outsourced, you have absolutely no control over the employees of the outsourcing company. As their client, you have to trust them (the outsourcing company) that your tasks are undertaken.

While outsourcing can help you focus more on other things, it can lessen your interaction with your patients thus losing that “personal touch” since you’ve passed them along to the medical billing company to settle their bills.

medical claim formYou may also consider running into the risk of any possible disclosure of patient health information as you outsource your billing requirements.

And because your medical billing is outsourced, there may be possible hidden costs that may arise that could be charged to your clients by the outsourcing company so you have to tackle this in contracts. There is also flexibility issues that may arise especially during critical seasons as patient numbers double at certain times of the year so since the medical billing is outsourced, your hands are tied to their own deadlines and hours of operation.

Limitations in information can matter so better discuss with your outsourcing company what they would need from your patients when they speak with them.

Lastly, communicate to avoid contractual misunderstandings. Make sure both parties understand what’s agreed upon in the contract.

Basically, be able to assure that you’ve weigh in all options before outsourcing your medical billing tasks.

Why medical billing forms matter?

August 24, 2012 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

As far as I can remember, I have once created a client website catering to their medical billing services. At that time I have not much of an idea what it was until I came into some really important facts about it.

Based on a new study recently released by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), three-quarters of all health insurance claims are now being submitted electronically, of course using medical billing forms with a massive increase from 24 percent in 1995 to 75 percent today.medical billing form

Insurance claims submitted electronically reduce administrative costs while significantly speeding up payments to hospitals and doctors.

The proportion of insurance claims submitted to health plans electronically has more than tripled in the last decade, reducing administrative costs and significantly speeding up payments to doctors and hospitals.

Paper claims, on the other hand, are proven to have significant delay before health insurance plans receive claims from health care providers mostly due to incorrect or incomplete information adding nine days more to the process.

And to add, paper claims are costly than electronic claims.

In today’s age, automated technology must be utilized for getting insurance claims payment however not all providers can afford to thus making outsourcing of the claims process an alternative.

Small Business Budgeting Outright

August 10, 2012 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Small business owners often encounter a whole bunch of paper works come tax payment dues—spreadsheets, data entry and the like.

Imagine having to do all these all the time. It can be tedious. But would it be great if you can do all these small business accounting paper works on autopilot? This definitely gives you more time to focus on other things that matter to you other than your business but your family as well.

outrightBeing able to organize your data into one place making it easily accessible when needed puts you into a winning situation where you can spend your time wisely worry-free.

Outright budgeting software takes this job seriously by allowing you to do all these things such as data importing from bank and credit card accounts, organizing and filtering data, interpreting data into understandable graphs, keeps track of your budget, and of course, keeps you on top of your tax deadlines.

While there are many web-based financial management tools available today, it’s still important to note the reliability of the provider you choose. It must be safe and secure mostly with 256-bit SSL security which is the same used by most major U.S. banks with service monitored and verified through TRUSTe and McAfee, has online backup system, and is widely used with a solid customer support.

Benefits of Online Project Management Tools

May 28, 2012 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

Having worked as a project manager for an online company years ago has been monetarily rewarding and professionally boosting experience. However, the demands of taking the post are not as easy as it was today especially with the availability of an appropriate project management tool like Zoho projects that can help each task become simpler and easier.

Online project management software normally has collaboration tools and bug tracking functionality that allows teams to easily collaborate and complete sets of tasks efficiently and effectively.

The right planning and tracking will allow you to complete the project on-time or on schedule while collaboration tools enhances communication within the members of the team.

project management tool

Among the many benefits of adapting an online project management tool includes:

Task management
Monitoring the progress of a project can be divided into milestones which will make it easier.

Time tracking
Recording work hours for time keeping and payout calculations are a must for any project.

Organizing events in calendar
Calendar allows teams to easily set-up a schedule for future meetings, notes, and a lot more.

Integrates with online file sharing apps
Sharing files with team members can’t be any easier when it integrates with online file sharing applications like Dropbox.

Bug fixing and submission
As projects run, bugs can be encountered thus submitting it to the appropriate team for tracking and fixing is essential to avoid any future problems that may arise.

Progress analysis
While project management tools provide milestones and time tracking, graphical representations like Gantt charts makes data easier to grasp and interpret especially during team meetings.

Manage projects on the go
Some project management tools allows users to do their tasks while on the go or using their iPhone. This surely makes project management mobile anytime, anywhere.

There you have it, if you know any project management tools that do something else in one or more ways than those mentioned above, please mention the feature in the comments.

A Quick Look at Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

May 12, 2012 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

When we talk about organizational management from the internal to external aspect, we often come across ERP. ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning, a system that integrates internal and external information across an entire organization.

On a deeper perspective, ERP automates activities that relate to finance or accounting, manufacturing, sales and service, customer relationship management and the likes using an ERP software.

This system streamlines the flow of information between all business functions inside the boundaries of the organization and manages the connection to outside stakeholders.

enterprise resource planningERP systems require a variety of computer hardware and network configurations thus making use of a database as an information repository.

Installing an ERP system may not require an elaborate application or data integration by an IT expert.
Some of the components of an ERP include a transactional database, a management portal or dashboard, a business intelligence system, customizable reporting, external access through web services, search option, document management tools, instant messaging (IM) or chat, a wiki and a workflow management tool.

Most ERP system incorporates “Best practices”. Meaning, the software reflects the vendor’s interpretation of an effective business process.

The use of best practices eases the compliance with local and international industry standards e.g., an electronic funds transfer. Such is a procedure can be readily codified within the ERP software and replicated with confidence across multiple businesses who share the same business requirement.

Monitoring End User Experience for Citrix and Virtual Environments

May 12, 2012 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Current IT reports predict that the highest-impact trend for IT in 2012 is virtualization which will determine how IT experts manage, deploy, purchase and plan for their upcoming and future strategies. While this can be true, there are various aspects of IT services that need to be considered. Understanding, monitoring and managing end user behavior is crucial in determining their actual experience with complex IT services such as virtual desktop infrastructures.

citrixCitrix monitoring come into play in Citrix environments in order for organizations to get a deeper insight into the true analytics into the end user experience.

Traditional Application Performance Management monitoring tools can help companies understand the health of an overall Citrix application but with more sophisticated demands from IT enterprises, a comprehensive visibility in monitoring Citrix XenDesktops maybe able to effectively measure the impact of virtual technologies on the performance of businesses mainly productivity output.

In terms of understanding the resources required to support multiple users, each running a variety of different applications across virtual desktop servers, the best virtualization tool matter.

Combined virtualization assessment and planning with real-time performance deviation detection promote optimization of guest virtual machine mappings in VDI scenarios resulting to dynamic agility boost for adding new applications and desktops into the VDI pool. This in turn will recreate a requirement for VDI monitoring which may require a comprehensive Frontline Performance Intelligence solution and human resource for planning and support on this emerging environment.

A Look at Online Customer Relationship Manager

May 12, 2012 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Businesses in order to sustain its market presence embrace strategies that help them manage their market base, attract new customers, retain old ones and strengthen advocacies for their brand.

One of which is the widely implemented model called CRM which is used for managing company communications with customers, clients and sales prospects. An online customer relationship manager however does exactly the same but is more web-based.

all clientsCRM (Customer Relationship Manager) involves the use of technology to streamline business processes such as automation of interactions, organization of contacts, and synchronization of tasks relating to sales activities and customer service.

The main goal of CRM adoption is to find, attract and win new clients or customers, retain loyal customers and entice those who’ve lost contact while at the same time reducing marketing cost and client services for the company.

CRM is a business-wide strategy that includes customer interaction on all levels of the company as it’s critical in measuring and valuing the results of its implementation.

The benefits of adapting Customer Relationship Management system is believed to provide the following advantages:

  • Quality and efficiency
  • Decrease in overall costs
  • Decision support
  • Enterprise ability
  • Customer Attentions
  • Increase profitability
  • Improved planning
  • Improved product development

Just like any system, there are obstacles like inability to interpret and understand large complex data without adequate training. Obviously, everything will not be smooth sailing at first. However, considering all the benefits of using this system still has a lot of potential.

How to Access your PC from a Remote Location

December 28, 2011 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Having reviewed countless software in the past, I have already encountered countless types of software which includes remote desktop software or remote control software.

This type of software allows you to get access to a remote computer. Specifically, it allows you to view the remote desktop, manipulate the mouse cursor of the remote computer and send keystrokes. Additionally, many remote desktop software programs also allow sending files to and from the remote computer, chatting with user working at the remote PC and perform other operations.

remote desktop softwareRemote desktop software utilizes the so called client-server model. Normally, the client part is called the Viewer, whereas the server part is called the Server, or the Host. However, different programs may have different names for the client and server. Also, sometimes the developers combine both parts in a single installer file, in order to make the installation process simpler for the user.

This kind of software is often used by technical support teams that handle large scale hardware and computer networks. In order for them to undertake support troubleshooting, they use remote desktop software to access that troublesome system from their remote location without the need to be physically present on that troubled system.
Other than mentioned, there are many uses of this software which can also include server administration, software upgrades from remote computers, file exchanges, remote printing, and countless other things.

Send Fax via Email: Is it possible?

October 27, 2011 | By | 1 Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Ever tried sending fax via email? If you answered “no”, then read on. Since I’ve been blogging for a while, well since 2008, I’ve already tried this kind of service here.

This service really gives more flexibility in terms of sending and receiving fax messages while at the same time reducing the cost on buying fax paper rolls. On the brighter side, we’re also helping the environment through minimized use of paper.

Fax from Google DocsInternet fax like InterFax offer sap fax services which enables a user to conveniently fax documents directly from a SAP system such as purchase orders, sales invoices, and account statements.

Cloud-based SAP fax solutions such as these easily integrates with SAP and handles all fax delivery issues eliminating as mentioned earlier hardware and software, maintenance and admin costs and manual faxing thereby boosting productivity because you can take care of your business while the system does the rest of the task.

Among the many features of SAP fax is that it can fax any printable document from just about any SAP module, broadcasts faxes up to 20,000 recipients, receives faxes and delivery notifications within SAP, simply and smooth setup using SAP’s Fax and Paging/SMS interface amongst others.

With the right technology in place, we can always be productive in every way we do. Send and receive fax via email now!

Understanding Real-Time Analytics

October 10, 2011 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

In order to understand enterprise customers better and make better and quicker business decisions, in-memory analytics is implemented especially on CRM (Customer Relations Management) settings.

By technical definition, real-time analytics is the use or the capacity to use all available enterprise data and resources when needed. It normally consists of dynamic analysis and reporting based on data entered into a system less than one minute before the actual time of use.

ActivePivot real-time olapAn example of real-time analytics is ActivePivot which is a robust tool and powerful object-based Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) tool that provides real time analytics capabilities through its transactional engine and multi-threaded processing capabilities.

Real-time push technology which powers most real-time analytics tools allow for timely decision making as based above since the aggregated data from simultaneous multiple sources enables fast navigation and slice and dice filtering.
Most real time analytics tools also allow queries to run continuously in order to generate real-time alerts on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set by the tools or the companies themselves. As a result, faster and better decisions are made using complex business logic.

In a CRM model, real-time analytics can support instant refreshes to corporate dashboards to reflect business. In a data warehouse setting, real-time analytics supports unpredictable, ad hoc queries against large data sets. In scientific analysis usage, it can be used to track a hurricane’s path, intensity and wind field hours in advance.
Real-time analytics is also known as real-time data analytics, real-time data integration, and real-time intelligence.

Emulate Classic Menus and Toolbars on MS Office 2007/2010 Ribbon

August 26, 2011 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Many of us don’t easily follow the trends or change our ways of doing things which is normal for various reasons. You cannot, of course, expect a senior to adapt to a certain system or OS for reasons of familiarity and adeptness. Even professionals in many different fields don’t embrace change so openly unless otherwise training is provided by the corporate environment. In other words, it’s not easy to adapt to changes and some even dreads it.

For people who have been using MS Office 2003, 2000, or 98 for years, they may find using MS Office 2007/2010 very complicated. I even have a hard time myself, until now, finding what I need to click while typing or editing documents, inserting icons, or special characters despite having used one since its release, what more for the first-time users?

Demo Shots Word 2007 shortcuts

If you’re so adept in using MS Office version 2003 or older and you find using the newer version difficult and having to learn it reduces your productivity overtime, there’s another way out.

An application has been developed that will Add Office 2007 menus in Ribbon for emulate the look and feel of classic menus and toolbars normally seen on older versions of MS Office to appear on the newer versions of MS Office which are 2007 and 2010.

The objective is using the newer version of MS Office while keeping your familiarity with the old or classic menus and toolbars from the old version intact. Not all people are blessed with so much time for studying a new piece of software when they can be productive with their work instead.

Check out this software ‘cause this might just be the one you’re looking for.

Do More With PlanningForce Express Planner

April 4, 2011 | By | 1 Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

PlanningForce Express Planner is a free planning software offered by Intelligent Software Company, Belgian company specializing in planning solutions. The company also develops and markets other solutions related to project planning and wished to offer small companies a free way to optimize the planning of their projects and their resources.

All your projects are in one file and you share resources between projects. The big difference with other free software is that this software has a scheduling engine that automatically solves all the problems of over-utilization of resources; result is a realistic schedule in which we can trust.

planningforce

What you can do and get with Express Planner.

You play with all the dimensions of projects and tasks such as resource requirements, duration, progress and date constraints.

You create and organize your resources to reflect the organization of your business. You have the freedom to define the availability of your resources by using calendars.

You share resources between projects while eliminating over-utilization problems thanks to the automatic scheduling engine.

The automatic scheduling process calculates automatically realistic start and end dates of tasks and projects.

You obtain up to 6 reports which can be printed in several formats (html, Excel, PowerPoint…)

This application is very easy to handle and a first schedule can be obtained in minutes. A community is made available to users, they can ask their questions and have many resources such as videos and models of planning.

Features overview of PlanningForce Express Planner

  • Plan unlimited Projects, group of tasks, tasks and milestones;
  • Apply Date constraints and goals;
  • Create unlimited resources, contract dates and daily intensity;
  • Create individual and global calendars;
  • Eliminate over-allocation issues thanks to an automatic scheduling engine;
  • End-dates and start-dates of projects and tasks are automatically calculated;
  • Generate up to 6 reports to share your plan results;

This planning software is ideal for small companies wishing to plan their projects and anticipate the impact of new projects within their current portfolio. This Free Planning Software is available for both Mac and Windows.
Gone are the days when we had as many files as projects, everything is centralized in one.
Download PlanningForce Express Planner here http://www.planningforce-express.com/free-planning-software.php

Perform Multiple Data Transfers plus Backup with Uranium Backup Software

March 2, 2011 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

If you think that data transfers are only exclusive to software like FileZilla and CoreFTP, you might be missing out much in terms of productivity. Files or data backup nowadays are no longer limited to cloud file sharing accounts or using SpiderOak. Now, you can do both—file transfers and data backup in one software. It’s like having an iPad with Wi-Fi capability, or a car with built-in GPS.

Backing up files can be tedious at times and depending on your internet connection it could be a nightmare. But no matter what your situation is, you’ll always end up completing the task and with the aid of better tools to do the job; your task can be a breeze. It’s like having a whisk than using a fork when an electric mixer can’t operate; well at least, this is just to exaggerate the obvious.

Uranium Backup SSL

Uranium Backup software offers the best of both worlds—a file transfer client and a backup tool.
Web developers like yours truly definitely could make use of the FTP (file transfer protocol) feature for SQL Server Backup and Restoration purposes while geeks or PC enthusiasts would appreciate the backup support but Mac users have to be patient ‘til this software becomes compatible to Apple’s OS.

Uranium Backup provides Tape backup (read more about Tape backup) and easily integrates with Windows Backup architecture, and allows to make backup copies of the entire system drive, creating image files that can be used to restore the complete system in case your system goes berserk.

If you think that using this software would limit you to just these techy and a bit boring features, you’re absolutely wrong. Call it your CD/DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-Ray Burning partner on the side.

If you’re into doing things automatically, you can schedule backups at any time while doing things that matter to you plus be informed through email notifications if those backups were completed successfully.

Multitasking is what most people do today and if software like Uranium Backup performs multiple tasks at the same time, what more could you ask for? Try Uranium Backup Software now!

Add Tab Functionality on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint with Office Tabs

December 22, 2010 | By | 4 Replies More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

We all know that tabbed browsing can be found only on IE, Firefox and other widely used browsers. This functionality makes it easier for us to switch from one webpage to another with ease. While this functionality is normal to almost all existing internet browsers, this may seem to be uncommon on Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Many versions have already been released but it seems that this functionality was never even planned to put into use. While the software giant has no intention of getting this added to future releases, the good thing is that tabbed functionality can now be implemented via an add-in called Office Tab which is designed for Microsoft Office’s Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Office Tab includes three (3) Office add-ins: Workbook Tabs for Excel, Document Tabs for Word and Presentation Tabs for PowerPoint.

With Office Tab, you can open multiple documents in a tabbed window of Microsoft Office 2010, 2007 or 2003 with ease just like browsing on your favorite web browser.

Eliminate minimization of multiple opened documents through this tabbed interface to better manage your documents, save time and increase productivity.

Tabs for Projects, on the other hand, brings tabbed browsing to the Microsoft Project interface within a single window.

Grab this software now and change the way you work with documents. Get easy, get savvy.

Measuring Productivity with EPM Tools

April 19, 2010 | By | 1 Reply More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

The corporate environment is probably one of the toughest places to dwell yet one of the best places to grow and develop your full potential as an individual. The current economic downturn has indeed shaken even the most stable amongst businesses but despite of these, some continues to thrive by means of implementing strategies to completely assess their workplace and keep the best guys in.

Performance drives businesses and through the aid of Enterprise Performance Management Software that assists the delivery of strategic and operational goals of a company, managing employee or system performance is efficiently facilitated.

A Balanced Scorecard Software as a strategic performance management tool then provides a detailed report based on a pre-designed method and automation tools to project whether a certain performance meets the aligned expectations either on the aspect of a process or an employee’s productivity index.

There are basically a lot of metrics nowadays that companies use to gauge their employees on how they perform on a certain task or area within the scope of their job. Most of the time, these findings are indicators used to determine promotion or success within the organization however with all these automation and criteria, employers still has to treat their employees as humans with shortcomings.

Boost Productivity Using Google to MS Office Sync Tool

December 4, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More

Reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

Multitasking nowadays in basically the single most important skill everybody should live with at this time of day. It’s inevitable that no matter what we do, chances are high that at some point within our day-to-day living, we’ll be obliged to perform certain tasks all at the same time when the situations calls.

Working with documents in the office or at home would require much of our time and if urgency requires us to meet deadlines, we are staggered with so many things to do that we sometimes tend to skip our meals just to maximize our time or much worse, we don’t take the time off.

Now is the right time to start being productive because there are tools that will help us accomplish tasks easier and faster than we can imagine.

Suppose you have a Google Account, why not sign-up for Google docs and sync them with your Microsoft Office application? You can achieve this with OffiSync, a nifty productivity enhancement add-on that allows you to sync your Office files to your Google Docs account for document collaboration in real-time.

OffiSync interface within Microsoft Office

OffiSync interface within Microsoft Office

With OffiSync, you can save and open your MS Office files directly to Google Docs including the ability to create, delete and move folders and files in Google Docs right from within Office interface. Among the other salient features of the tool include collaboration management for emails, document, Google web and image searches fairly reasonable enough for the free download however, a premium download is also available for added functionality like Google Sites integration, saving files in their native format and direct support from OffiSync and their partners.

In order to use OffiSync, you must meet the following requirements:

  • A PC with Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 OS installed.
  • Microsoft .Net Framework version 3.5 (Will auto-install on PCs that don’t have it)
  • MS Office 2003 or Office 2007
  • A Google Docs or Google Apps account.

To fully understand how OffiSync works, watch the video below:

Download this MS Office add-on here.

I’m currently using this add-on along with MS Office 2002; I thought it wouldn’t work since it requires Office 2003 or 2007 however it’s working fine anyhow.

So, what are your thoughts about this add-on? Do you find it helpful?

Update 20 Dec 2009

OffiSync can actually slow down MS Office application loading time. The usual time it takes for my MS Word app to open has increased significantly by a few seconds up to the point of freezing. I have uninstalled the add-on after such incident since using MSWord for my posts is crucial so a responsive application is what’s important for me. If you’re looking at using this add-on, expect these things to happen.

Microsoft Office 2010 (Beta) Download Now Available

November 21, 2009 | By | 3 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Microsoft has recently launched the beta version of Office 2010 available for download. According to Microsoft, the beta or trial version is made available to the public in order to gather feedback and reports on bugs which are common practice for beta releases.

Microsoft Office 2010 Beta - Free Download

Microsoft Office 2010 Beta - Free Download

Jacob Jaffe, Microsoft’s Information Worker Business Group leader, said during the Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles that they had been planning the package before they released Office 2007.

Among the highlights of the beta release include a new file tab and set of visuals for ease of use plus the ability to save documents directly to Windows Live Skydrive (Microsoft’s online storage), from within the desktop application.

Both 32 and 64-bit formats are supported by the new office app and is compatible with XP (Service Pack 3), Vista, and the new OS—Windows 7.

Normal editions such as Office Professional 2010, Office Home and Business 2010, and Office 2010 Home and Student edition will me made available sometime in the first half of 2010.

HOW TO: Make MS 2007 Files Compatible on Older Systems

November 19, 2009 | By | Reply More

Reading time: < 1 minute

My post about making docx files compatible on older MS Office installations makes use of web services or online converters to achieve file extension adoptability on older systems.

This post however will do us otherwise a big favor of keeping MS Office 2007 files compatible with older MS Office applications by simply installing Compatibility Pack for the 2007 Office System.

This move would eventually make all files generated by the Office 2007 usable on say for example MS 2002 install.

So, if you gave a docx file that you’d want to open on a 2002 MS Office application, you can actually do it.

Challenges of Satellite Internet Access

November 10, 2009 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

Certain locations where terrestrial internet access is not available normally utilize satellite internet services including those people who are always on the go. Geostationary satellites then provide what most of us use nowadays—Broadband Internet. In some areas on high altitude depend largely on Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites.

In order to use the most appropriate service, end-users must understand the types of satellite communication systems mentioned above in order to make intelligent decisions.

One of the technical aspects that need to be considered is signal latency or the amount of time it takes a packet of data to reach from one specific point to another. Satellite communications are challenged by environmental factors wherein moisture and precipitation can largely affect clear signal rendering in relation to line of sight between dish and satellite.

Considering these factors above, Clear Broadband Internet access boasts relatively increased productivity that would save much of your time whenever you access the Internet. Clear internet offered by clear.com offers options where you can have Internet speeds four times faster than 3G.

Whatever internet provider you may wish to choose in the future or wish to transfer service in, the best way to succeed is by doing your research.

No More Repetitive Tasks with WinAutomation

September 16, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

If I were to ask which everyday tasks do you normally undertake on your computer, I’m sure that it’s going to be quite a long list to enumerate especially on a Windows-based system, correct?

For most of us that uses the computer almost everyday, it can be tiresome and boring to do the same tasks over again like controlling computer applications, printing documents, working with files and folders, web pages, automating FTP tasks, sending emails, working with databases and many more.

However, we don’t always have to handle the burdens of repetitious tasks. WinAutomation can give you the power to accomplish things that previously requires a programmer or learning codes with its powerful and easy-to-use graphical interface.

WinAutomation Console and Job Designer window

WinAutomation Console and Job Designer window

WinAutomation allows you to build simple and complex jobs that auto-run using a powerful macro recorder that records mouse clicks and key strokes. The automated jobs can be built using a ready-made action to control applications to run those repetitive tasks mentioned above and much more.

Creating an automated job is easy. Simply drag and drop the actions on its editor, add a few details about the task and you’re ready to go.

It’s powerful and adequate enough for even the most complex jobs with integrated support for variables and loops and conditionals, extensive error handling, with a built-in debugger, plus advanced features such as image recognition that literally sees what is displayed on your screen.

After creating a job, you can attach triggers to automate your tasks (based on your preferred schedule) that you setup using a hot key to monitor folders—if it’s modified, transferred or deleted; Internet connection, web servers and a lot more. In order to keep track of jobs, simply view the log files for complete details.

The professional edition of WinAutomation includes a job compiler that allows you to compile the jobs you’ve made into stand-alone .net exe application which you can distribute and run on any Windows-based computer without the need to have WinAutomation installed.

There are many great features and benefits this automation software provides and having one yourself is priceless. I’m a seeing myself using this software for a very long time thus increasing my productivity in so many ways possible.

I’m still on the process of getting used to it (but I’m actually having loads of fun) and hopefully when I get to encounter something beneficial to share, I’ll let you all know. There’s really nothing to rant about because it’s really a great software. To get a glimpse of what WinAutomation can do for you, simply play the succeeding embedded video.

A 30-day trial of the software can be downloaded from here. In case you have further questions or inquiries about this program, feel free to leave it at the comments section.

WinAutomation is brought to you by our friends from WinAutomation.com. An exclusive professional license is provided to me to give it a full run. They will also be giving away three WinAutomation 3.0 complimentary licenses as a giveaway to the readers of this blog so watch out for it.

I apologize to all my readers who were able to read the preceding paragraph. Unfortunately, this will no longer be happening because right after this post was published, I’ve never heard anything from them. Updated 23rd September 2009.

Jag Foo from WinAutomation contacted us and confirmed that the said giveaways will push through. I’ll keep you all posted. Updated 30th September 2009.

Network Fax: Utilizing Email Capabilities without the Bulky Machine

September 13, 2009 | By | 7 Replies More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

Would you like to receive faxed documents through your email client? If your answer is yes, then better read the rest of this post.

I’ve once talked about this system because I find this very robust. I even have one for myself on a free service so my account is limited to just receiving faxes.

Utilizing Network Fax systems have a lot of advantages mainly because it saves a lot on paper making your company environmentally friendly while at the same time increasing productivity. Network Fax systems provide the ability to send, receive, print, archive, and track incoming and outgoing fax documents as easy as handling an email.

It makes use of the network fax software that integrates with email clients such as Outlook, GroupWise and virtually any SMTP mail server with the addition of scan to fax functionality.

Most of these types of service are subscription based but considering the reduced cost on fax paper and machine maintenance that you can save plus the benefits of an improved communication network minus the frustration normally associated with traditional faxing; I think it’s worth the investment.

The benefits of implementing a network fax system can be irresistible however it’s still advisable to weigh your options so you can decide if this is for you.

What do Controlpad, Launchy and Fingertips all have in common?

August 28, 2009 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

Launching applications from our computer can sometimes become an issue of productivity. While most of us settle in just choosing the app from the start menu, it can be unwieldy for some users who are actually more attached to using the keyboard.

There’s really no need to go any farther because I already came across some valuable softwares that would do such job. Controlpad, Launchy and Fingertips can easily launch applications using numerical keypads. With Controlpad, a user only needs to hold down the * (asterisk) button on the numerical keyboard then enter the corresponding code assigned to launch a specific program or web address. It also allows functionality to laptop users via the Laptop Mode using F12 instead of the asterisk key. The only drawback I can think of in using this software is the user’s ability to memorize the code corresponding to the application or program being used but I can’t find any problem with it unless the codes correspond to those softwares that are frequently used.

Controlpad launching applications on Windows via the numerical keyboard

Controlpad launching applications on Windows via the numerical keyboard

Launchy, on the other hand, functions almost the same however it doesn’t use codes (no memorization needed) instead it functions like a search form which provides results depending on the search query term or command used.

 Launchy - launches applications on Windows via a search form query

Launchy - launches applications on Windows via a search form query

Fingertips, however functions similarly to Launchy but the only difference is that it cannot launch softwares or applications which means both Fingertips and Launchy must work hand-in-hand to achieve good results. Fingertips works well with Outlook because it can be used to quickly create new appointments, emails, or display different parts of Outlook such as notes and inboxes.

As quick launcher programs become increasingly popular, there’s just no perfect software however, I can only advise that you have to choose which one really suits your needs and preference.

Which one do you think is the best? Are you willing to try any one of these?

Software as a Service (SaaS) Simplified

July 22, 2009 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

Software Critics will not be complete without ever touching this one-of-a-kind service that has been widely discussed and yet still remain a matter of debate but considerably an option worth looking at especially by small businesses.

What is Saas? Saas stands for Software as a Service, a software deployment model whereby a provider licenses an application to customers as a subscription service. Saas software vendors normally host the application on their own web servers or download the application to the consumer’s (subscriber) device which can be disabled once the application is no longer in use or when the subscription contract expires.

The salient features of Saas are as follows:

Subscription driven. The business model of SaaS is nonetheless a contracted service which requires careful selection especially when choosing the right provider. A proven track record like most subscription based services is something to look at but this one is more than just your regular cable TV subscription!

Hosted Service. Remember, like any hosting service similar to a website or blog, you are likely to experience outages and slowdowns. In the Saas model, a dedicated server with a copy of an application running on an Internet-connected service makes possible multi-tenancy however it is required that each customer’s data are safe and secure. Like all hosting providers, 24/7 uptime and support is a must.

Web-based interface. The flexibility of running a Saas powered environment makes it easy for administrators to access the application anywhere at anytime of day whenever there’s an internet connection.

Hassle-Free Updates. Each update is implemented only on one single platform or dedicated server which makes rolling out of updates an easy task.

Low TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). Minimizes infrastructure investments and maintenance expenses as SaaS reduces IT efforts especially during solution upgrades compared to on-premise installations.

Software as a Service (SaaS) functionality diagram

Software as a Service (SaaS) functionality diagram

The challenges of SaaS

Embracing SaaS may require deeper understanding of its scope and implementation. Unlike regular web hosting, transition from one vendor to another will take a considerable amount of effort and time due to vendor lock-in, a lack of portability between vendors, as a major drawback.

Another important thing to look at is the IT dependency of clients over providers which overtime might cause a significant over-dependency when on-premise and traditional on-site IT is abandoned.

Since SaaS operates on the Internet, there’s always a question of security wherein storage of highly sensitive information is concerned unless SaaS providers can deliver tight integration with sensitive back-end systems that makes it impossible from a remote system to create holes in the firewall that would permit an outside server to initiate actions on internal systems. Also, the need to transfer large files over the Internet can delay results compared to Ethernet transfer speeds since the typical Internet connectivity speeds of 100kbs – 1000kbs is less admirable than internal Ethernet speeds of up to 1,000,000kbs.

SaaS providers like most web hosting service have to be financially viable with a long standing revenue sources and reliable track record in order to attract customers aside from the fact that they should provide a balanced Service Agreement that will benefit mutual understanding between parties within the scope and acceptability requirements of the contract not compromising both the intention and the ability to safeguard unsolicited and confidential information. In order to makes this work, internet security procedures such as SSL or encryption technologies should be required by all SaaS consumers.

SaaS is very promising but unlike any other service available on the internet, these requires thorough analysis considering acquiring a hosting software as a service implemented via a remote server, a vendor has to have the structural capability of providing security and confidence in everyway.

Adobe BrowserLab: A powerful online tool for cross-browser compatibility testing

June 4, 2009 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

If you are a web designer, a webmaster, a blogger or what have you, testing your webpage’s renderings on multiple browsers would be a great deal of help to pinpoint issues with browser compatibility. The newly launched Adobe BrowserLab, an online service which is accessible from virtually any computer connected to the internet, can do exactly what every professional web designer aims. It’s multiple viewing, comparison tools, and customizable preferences make it very attractive, savvy and functional.

Adobe BrowserLab users can get actual browser renderings generated in real time, with multiple viewing options via screenshots either on a single view, side by side, or as an overlay view with varied transparencies and added zoom functionality.

Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 software users have access to it adding functionality such as testing local and active content. While everybody is trying to get a glimpse of its limited free preview, I too have tried to be one but unfortunately, I guess I’m missing out all the fun and here’s what I got:

As per Adobe’s advice, the BrowserLab free preview is available only to a limited number of users. How much limited is limited? I have an account but I cannot login. Oh well, this could be a one great online service but it seems that after the limited free viewing, Adobe is likely to open it for a fee. Yes, chances are, once the service goes well and as it seems, it has been getting a lot attention (while writing this article, I have noticed that some tweets having the term “Adobe BrowserLab” contains links poiting to a different site-a somewhat affiliate site, not sure if it’s a scam site with screenshots below. It seems that everybody’s riding the heat.) rather than to Adobe BrowserLab, then expect that the online service, may be discontinued in whole or in part without notice, of course you may also have to expect that some online services, and features, during the preview may not be available in all countries and languages.

Adobe BrowserLab free limited viewing full message

Adobe BrowserLab free limited viewing full message

Affiliate site where tweets about Adobe BrowserLab containg links are pointing to dubious sites

Affiliate site where tweets about Adobe BrowserLab containg links are pointing to dubious sites

Affiliate site where tweets about Adobe BrowserLab containg links are pointing to

Affiliate site where tweets about Adobe BrowserLab containg links are pointing to

The browsers and operating systems that are available for testing in BrowserLab include:

* Firefox 2.x and 3.x, Windows XP and Mac OS X

* Internet Explorer 6.x and 7.x, Windows XP

* Safari 3.x, Mac OS X

PDF Reader Smaller Than Adobe?

December 12, 2008 | By | 2 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

Software users nowadays are looking for smaller pieces of applications that has the same functionality as its counterparts that are bigger in sizes.

For certain documents extensions such as .pdf, it is widely known that in the past, you’ve had to download a huge PDF reader from another software company, go through a lengthy installation process and wait for an annoying splash window to disappear just to open a PDF document.

Moreover, if you want to annotate a PDF document, you have to pay a large amount to buy certain software.

End-users then has to undownload with no choice but to allocate high HDD memory just install one piece of software.

Today, a certain PDF document viewer has been released. Some may not have known that this tiny piece of software can view PDF files breezingly fast with rich feature set and supports most Windows versions. Its core function is compatible with PDF Standard 1.7.

Now you don’t have to endure such pain any more. The following is a list of compelling advantages of this tiny piece of software I came to know as Foxit Reader.

Incredibly small: The download size of Foxit Reader is just a fraction of Acrobat Reader 20 M size.

Breezing-fast: When you run Foxit Reader, it launches instantly without any delay. You are not forced to view an annoying splash window displaying company logo, author names, etc.

Annotation tool: Have you ever wished to annotate (or comment on) a PDF document when you are reading it? Foxit Reader allows you to draw graphics, highlight text, type text and make notes on a PDF document and then print out or save the annotated document.

Text converter: You may convert the whole PDF document into a simple text file.

High security and privacy: Foxit Reader highly respects the security and privacy of users and will never connect to the Internet without users’ permission. While other PDF readers often silently connect to the Internet in the background. Foxit PDF Reader does not contain any spyware.

Foxit Reader itself is free. You can use the following functions for free:
View or print PDF document, add or edit bookmarks in a PDF file if the security settings allow basic PDF form operations i.e. filling out PDF forms and printing them out. Advanced PDF form operations, such as saving filled-out forms and import/export forms, free for personal and non-personal usage. View PDF as text, add-ons such as UI language package, JPEG2000/JBIG decoder, CJK package, GDI+ for early Windows version, plus some advanced add-ons can be added for reasonable cost.

Software review:

“I personally use this software and have not encountered any setbacks so far. Very efficient, lightweight and functional. I highly recommend this wonderful piece of software to all end-users.”

Kudos to the software developers in sharing this functional PDF reader.

For further details regarding this amazing software, visit their website through this link: http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/rd_intro.php