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- How the Internet of Things Will Affect Your Business
Thanks to technology, the pace of business has increased to breakneck speed. But if trends are to be followed, the next wave of technology is already here and we are about to see will come even quicker.
By 2020 there will be approximately 13.5 billion Internet connected devices. But what’s IoT anyway and how will businesses be affected by it?
Internet of Things
IoT is the name given to Internet-ready and enabled devices such as smart gadgets including your Smart TV, Smart Lock, iWatch, thermostat system and, of course, Alexa.
The number of these connected devices will just continue to grow, further transforming business. The supply chain side of businesses is already changing for the better with the use of IoTs. Inventory updates, for example, happen with minimal human interaction in some upscales eCommerce businesses such as Amazon.
Here is how your business will be affected by these internet-ready devices:
Greater Speed of Business
Public transport, traffic signals and cars may also be included in the list of IoT devices. Your employees may have shorter commutes with the integration of such technology, for example. Moreover, your business will get things done quicker than before.
There may be self-driving trucks, integrated with Google Maps to find the best (shortest and fastest) route for your deliveries. You may still have drivers to overcome any shortcomings in the initial stages. They may even take care of timely maintenance of these self-driving trucks.
It’s all in line with providing, more efficient, speedy service for your customers.
Remote Working: A Definite Possibility
Cloud hosting software and easily accessible tablets (and other portable IoT devices) will allow remote working to become standard. There are many companies that already allow employees to work from home and still get the level of performance that they expect.
Managing work from remote location will be easier once IoT devices become more commonplace. Staging these devices on a single network may allow managers to control a whole production line with a stable internet connection and a working tablet.
Other than that, deep sea and underground exploration will also be benefitted from more interconnected IoT devices. It’s going to help explore the depths of the ocean or the earth from the comfort of a vessel or research laboratory at the surface, for instance.
Better Tracking and Management of Inventory
Coming back to businesses, inventories are tracked with the help of barcodes. When there are internet-enabled devices that keep a track of that inventory, at an almost intuitive level.
When your devices, products and equipment is on a single network, changes in inventory will be tracked easily and you’ll have a track record of it all. You’ll be able to track vital numbers and metrics easily, and make necessary process changes to optimize performance.
If you would like to buy internet-enabled devices or simply know more about the advantages of IoT to your business, contact Crumbacher.
- Fortnite Might Be Giving You a Virus
Fortnite is a very popular game among children, adults and teens alike. It’s kind of like PUBG in the sense that it is an open world, battleground where players can face off against each other in an all-out “Battle Royale.”
You can have solo missions and also have a squad supporting you. This gaming sensation took the world by storm when it first launched almost a year ago in July 25th 2017.
But we’re not here to talk about how successful this game has become and how it’s giving a huge fanbase to NinjasHyper after he played Fortnite with Drake and became insanely great at it.
The “Fortnite” Virus
What we’re here to talk about is a threat presenting itself in the form of a computer virus that is spreading to thousands of Fortnite players, many of whom are using computers. Hackers behind the development of the virus want to capitalize on the sheer number of players playing Fortnite on a daily basis.
YouTube is the medium chosen by hackers as security researchers at Rainway game-streaming discovered. A YouTube video that allegedly offers free V-Bucks that can be used in Fortnite as a virtual currency, but in reality, it infects players’ computers with a virus.
When Rainway got error reports on their gaming and streaming platform, their researchers headed out in search of answers. Most players who were having problems were playing Fortnite and researchers took to YouTube to find the video that had malicious links causing the problems in the first place.
They stumbled across the hack video that lets players *cheat* and get more V-bucks. Not only that, it gave an aimbot to sharpen players’ aims. This is the combination that made the video particularly lethal to users addicted to Fortnite.
How the Virus Works
The Fortnite virus would use the internet connection of the user who clicked. That would allow hackers to install dangerous software. 78,000 people had already been infected by downloading the dangerous software by the time Rainway reported the problem.
Who knows how many of such videos are floating around on YouTube, where people are leveraging the insane popularity of this online game to further their own agenda through computer viruses. The sheer believability of the different YouTube videos redirecting to apps via the description are very high.
Trojan SMS, ransomware, bank malware and spy software could also be existing in the description of such videos.
One must always be very cautious, especially when playing online games and stick to the rules without the need to cheat. If you would like to get rid of the different viruses slowing down your computer or if you believe that you’ve been hacked, Crumbacher can help you solve these issues.
- Why Should You Outsource Your IT Infrastructure Management Tasks
Effective management of IT infrastructure is a key to a smooth running business. However, instead of hiring an in-house team for this purpose, more and more businesses are outsourcing it.
Let’s dig into the benefits of outsourcing IT management to help you understand how it’ll benefit your business:
IT firms are expert at what they do. They can carry out tasks with higher efficiency within a brief time. They offer 24/7 support for IT management, so you need not worry about complex tasks.
Whether there’s a hacking attack on the network or a hardware malfunction, they will effectively deal with the challenges so that business operations can run smoothly. They will also create a secure backup of data so that you can recover information if it’s deleted by mistake.
Technology is constantly evolving and you need to update business procedures to adapt. A professional IT team can make sure new technology fits your business needs.
It costs a lot to hire a skilled and experienced in-house IT team to manage operations. Aside from paying a monthly salary, you’ll also have to offer additional benefits. But you can cut down on costs by outsourcing IT management.
In order to ensure that your business complies with national and international standards, it’s a good option to outsource IT management tasks. The professional team will be aware of IT standards and therefore, help your business comply with the rules and regulations to protect you from legal consequences.
More Time for Primary Business Operations
As your business grows, you may find it difficult to focus on core business activities while trying to maintain and improve IT infrastructure. This will only waste time for your in-house IT team and take your focus away from important tasks.
You can rather outsource infrastructure management to save time. This will give you more time to streamline business operations and carry out important tasks more effectively.
Outsourcing IT infrastructure management can positively impact your business. The skilled team will share current industry knowledge with your in-house team and can train them to resolve complex issues. They will also offer quality services to improve business operations.
So, you’re in a dilemma as to whether or not you should outsource IT infrastructure management to a professional firm? You should consider the aforementioned benefits of outsourcing the tasks to make the right choice.
- Why Your Business Needs a Guest Wireless Network
“What’s your Wi-Fi password?” is probably the most frequently asked question if you are an entrepreneur and welcome a good number of guests to your business every day. Uninterrupted internet connectivity has become a necessity of modern user. However, not everyone fancies the thought of subscribing internet data packages from their cellular network providers and hence they look for public Wi-Fi networks.
To ensure an environment of courtesy, business owners have to provide their Wi-Fi passwords even if they are reluctant to do so. It would certainly be rude to not give away your password to guests, particularly if they are potential clients.
Guess Wireless Network Can be the Solution
If you want to maintain the limited accessibility to your network and also want to provide internet connection to unauthorized individuals (incoming clientele), then a guest wireless network is a handy option. To make the utility of guest wireless network clearer, we are going to outline some reasons why your business will benefit from it.
For Improved Privacy and Security
This is the biggest reason why you should get a guest wireless network for your business. You can’t tell if the visitors are using the secure or infected device and they may have no way of knowing so you can you ask them this before giving the Wi-Fi password. This is why it is important to separate your operational network from the public network.
Infected devices connected to your main network can quickly become a disaster. Confidential business information can be in danger of being exposed to an external digital environment if it hosts an infected or corrupted device.
For Temporary Access
If you are worried that most of your internet data have been consumed by visiting vendors and customers, then a guest wireless network is the answer. Like standard Wi-Fi passwords that are cached and provide continuous access to the user once the password is entered, a guest wireless network caches them in a different manner.
Even frequent visitors are prompted to enter a Wi-Fi password every single time. Moreover, you can also easily change the password of guest networks to limit the consumption of internet data.
You Can Establish Different Levels of Access With Guest Wireless Network
If you want to ensure the safe use of the internet on your business premises, then you can implement it with the help of a guest wireless network. Like parental control, guest wireless provides you to filter the content that is accessed through it. Only allowing safe, secure, and authentic web surfing is considered as a good digital practice.
You can Also Control the Bandwidth
If you have the same internet connection to power both primary and guest network, then be prepared to face the issue of limited bandwidth. Keep in mind that primary network is your main priority and it should not face any bandwidth problem.
A guest wireless networks provide you the option to regulate its bandwidth. With a guest wireless network, you can set the bandwidth to allow reasonable internet resources for visitors without affecting your network performance.
In the event that you need to add a guest network to your business internet, get in touch with a reliable IT service provider to help you facilitate the internet needs of your visitors.
- Wi-Fi Systems for Restaurants and Coffee Shops
For the success of any restaurant and coffee shop, two things matter the most–quality of their menu and customer service. If we discuss customer service, in particular, we see that this covers a wide range of amenities. For instance, providing internet access on the premises has become an essential requirement for establishing good customer service.
Different surveys suggest that consumers now consider Wi-Fi connection a basic amenity in any restaurant or coffee shop. In one poll, more than 70 percent people rate a good Wi-Fi connection as the second most important thing after coffee. Similarly, it has been found out that one in five people constantly use the phone when they dine out.
In this context, Wi-Fi systems have become an important feature of eateries and cafes.
For Improved Customer Satisfaction
It has been often noticed that consumers compromise on the quality of the menu to some extent, but if the service is not good they don’t visit the place again. Therefore, providing them top-quality comfort and satisfaction is the ultimate goal of every customer service.
It is now a fact that smartphone has become a regular part of peoples’ lives. Younger lot wants to remain connected to the world through different social apps wherever they are. We also know that phone data does not provide the ease of use attributed to a Wi-Fi connection. So, by establishing a complimentary Wi-Fi system in your restaurant, you can improve and enhance customer satisfaction.
Customer Satisfaction Also Builds Loyalty
Customers repeatedly want to visit the place that provides fast, uninterrupted internet connection. This means a good Wi-Fi system can also help in automatically building customer loyalty.
Whether it’s Instagram or Facebook, people love to share their experience with their social circle. While sipping a latte, many people want to share their location (a coffee shop etc) on the internet. But they can’t do it without an internet connection.
By providing an instant Wi-Fi internet connection, the coffee shop can facilitate its own free and subtle marketing with the help of consumers who love to check in their locations on social media wherever they go.
Improved Sales on Slow Days
Mid-afternoons are considered slow dayparts. However, you can also improve the sales in that time window by providing a high-speed Wi-Fi internet connection. There are many people out there who would love to spend some quiet time with a cup of coffee and a good internet connection.
Types of Wi-Fi Connections Available for Restaurants and Coffee Shops
According to expert IT service providers, there are two types of Wi-Fi connections that best suits the utility of eateries and coffee shops.
A regular Wi-Fi setup used in homes is handy for small single-story coffee shops and restaurants. This Wi-Fi system comprises a simple internet gateway (through a modem or cable) and a wireless router, both of these components are also available in a single assembly.
Enterprise Wi-Fi System
For large multistory restaurants and hotels, enterprise Wi-Fi is a good option. It consists of an internet gateway, various wireless access points installed at different locations and the main router. A high bandwidth connection can be transmitted through such Wi-Fi systems.
- Have a Wi-Fi Dead Zone? Here’s how to Fix it
How irritating does it feel when you have a working internet connection in your home, but still can’t use it in the comfort of your bedroom because it’s a Wi-Fi dead zone? Believe us, we all have been a victim of Wi-Fi dead zones. However, with better IT options available today, you can easily fix the issues of no or very weak internet signals. Let’s have a look at some of the options that can be used to fix Wi-Fi dead zones.
Replacement of Antenna
Wi-Fi dead zones are often created because of the weak signals transmitted by the router. The culprit often is the antenna that relays the signal all over the space. By replacing the built-in antenna with a large, high range option, you can fix the dead Wi-Fi zones.
Prefer a Directional Antenna
Majority of the built-in antennas are omnidirectional i.e. transmit signals in all the directions. If you are going for an antenna replacement make sure that it’s directional because chances are you experience a Wi-Fi dead zone in a particular part of the building.
Also, make sure that you replace it with a ‘high-gain’ antenna because it is configured to transmit stronger signals. Once fixed on the router, point the tip of directional antenna to the Wi-Fi dead zone.
Wireless Range Extender
In cases Wi-Fi dead zones are created in the building because of the distance, then wireless range extenders are the right option to fix them. Every router is designed to broadcast Wi-Fi signals to a certain range. In this situation, antenna replacement might remain futile.
Aside from improving Wi-Fi coverage over a long distance, wireless range extenders are also good to fix dead zones if they are created due to:
- Thick walls
- Other obstructions in the form of heavy furniture or equipment
These physical elements can lead to the blockade of internet signals within a building and range extender can help in negating their effect. It is important to understand that a range extender works like any router. In other words, it just re-broadcast the signal from the router to extend its coverage. When installing a range extender, make sure that it is placed in between the router and the supposed dead zone so that it can pick and relay stronger signals.
For spaces suffering from more than one dead zone, access points provide a better alternative as compared to range extenders. Access points are installed at different locations in the construction to create a meshwork that reinforces Wi-Fi signals in the space. Offices and other large-space constructions often experience multiple Wi-Fi dead zones. However, the installment of access points can help in getting rid of the problem of weak and no signal.
It is imperative to address the issue of Wi-Fi dead zones because what’s the point of paying internet subscription fees if you can’t use it with convenience. If you are not sure how to implement the above-discussed improvements to fix the issue of weak or no signal, get in touch with experienced IT professionals who have enough expertise to fix Wi-Fi dead zones.
- Benefits of Cloud Backup for Your Business
Digitization is the phenomenon that has taken the world under its garb. Businesses whether large or small-scale, have also adopted the digital ways. Gone are the days when paper files and registries were used to carry out everyday business activity. Now everything is stored in soft format digitally.
Much like photocopies of original files were used to make backups back in the day, in this virtual age, digital backups are needed so that a copy of critical data remains available following any unfortunate incidents. Unavailability of data can turn into tangible losses for a business. Therefore, making data backups is important from a financial point of view as well.
Among different types of digital backups available, cloud storages are the best option for commercial entities. Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of setting up cloud backups.
For the Prevention of Downtime
Increased cyber attacks are one of the unwanted consequences of digitization. Every year companies lose billions of dollars to cybercriminals.
With cloud backups, you can resume your business operations from any remote location should your main digital setup has been hit by a deadly malware attack. With a simple internet connection and a computing device, you can set up a makeshift digital front for your business, thanks to cloud backups.
No Investment for Physical Infrastructure
Capital investment is an important concern for business owners. Before putting any new feature in place, they assess the investment required to make it fruitful. Thankfully, to establish cloud backups, you won’t need to spend a money on setting up any physical infrastructure. All of it will be online and you won’t need to spend on any hardware equipment.
No Overwork for IT Department
Getting cloud backups will also help to increase the efficiency of your IT Department. With the setup of cloud backups, there is no need for hardware data backups and manual upgrading. Cloud backups are developed to work automatically to store data on regular basis. Therefore, there is no need to hire extra IT staff if data protection is taken care through cloud backups.
Protection From any Unforeseen Catastrophe
Physical data backups in the form of tapes and disks are always subjected to damages due to any unforeseen crisis. A sudden blaze on the site or power interruption can culminate in the failure of these data backups. However, this is not the case with cloud data backups because they are hosted through servers installed at a safe and secure location. Moreover, it is easier to recover data from clouds storage as compared to magnetic tapes. Quick data recovery also helps in reducing the downtime.
It is better to hire a third-party cloud hosting service to back up your critical business data so that you can easily focus on other business operations with a peace of mind that your data is in safe hands.
- Is VoIP a Right Option For Your Business Communications?
Whether you are running a business out of your garage or have a venture spread out in multiple cities, communication is the key to ensure smooth operations. The widespread prevalence of internet has provided us with the means of communications that has transformed the business activities all around the world by replacing traditional communication tool.
For instance, conventional landline phones can be substituted by VoIP services now, an internet version of phone calls with many additional features. If you are starting a new venture or want to give a lift up to your existing business, we recommend you to get VoIP services as your main communication medium.
What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. In simple words, it is the exchange of voice data just like a normal phone call. However, it uses an internet connection to transmit those data packets. Let’s find out how businesses can benefit from the use of VoIP services.
A Good Voice Quality Means Better Customer Interaction
Having a pleasant customer interaction is imperative to build your business reputation. In fixed-line phones, voice quality is not that good meanwhile distortion is a constant bother. So, if you are using it to communicate and converse with your clients, then you might not be able to deliver better customer experience.
On the other hand, the high speed of internet provides better voice quality in VoIP services, and without a continuous buzz in the line. With the help of crystal clear voice quality, you can manage to make consumer interaction a pleasant experience.
VoIP can Facilitate Flexible Business Operations
VoIP is a flexible option of communication. With an internet connection, you can use your VoIP number from anywhere in the world. In short, your business contact number can remain operational 24/7, and this feature doesn’t cost you any extra.
VoIP is a Cost-Effective Option
For businesses, saving costs are akin to profit maximization. With the installation of VoIP in your establishment, you can save a lot on your communication expenses.
In contrast to fixed-line connections, you don’t have to pay extra for long-distance phone calls in VoIP services, since all communications use the same internet bandwidth. Moreover, the installation of VoIP services won’t eat up a lot of your budget.
VoIP can Deliver Multiple Functions
VoIP is not just about phone calls. From video conferencing to web fax, many features are part of VoIP services that can modernize business communications.
VoIP Services of Crumbacher
Crumbacher understands that every business has different communication needs. Therefore, we provide customized VoIP services to our clients. From the customization of voice greetings to devise unique caller menus, our team can customize every bit of VoIP services.
The utility of VoIP can increase manifold with its integration with different computer applications. Therefore, we provide VoIP services that can be integrated with your email portal. Moreover, VoIP services can also be incorporated with different CRM applications. Last but not the least, we can port your business contact to VoIP without causing any disruption to your business operations.
- Top Reasons to Use Cloud Backup
Even if you are operating a brick and mortar store, chances are your daily registries would be compiled digitally. With this overdependence on digital systems, we constantly face a risk of data loss. A virus attack or sudden power failure resulting in corruption of the storage device, we can lose digital data in many ways.
However, the domain of internet has provided us with an option to secure our digital data through backups powered by cloud storage. In cloud storage, the data is saved in logical pools managed by high-performance servers, instead of physical magnetic storage of hard drives and USBs.
There are many reasons why cloud backups services are the best option available to businesses for the protection of their data.
If you think it will add another task to your everyday work, then that’s not the case. Cloud backups of any good IT service providers just like Crumbacher are automated. This means all new files and data will automatically become part of the online backup and you won’t need to do anything manually.
Cloud backups don’t appear on your computer screen all the time. It will quietly run in the background without disturbing any of your computing activity.
Better Than Traditional Backups
External hard drives are not an efficient form of data storage as compared to online backups. You are required to make backup manually in hard storage. Moreover, they are prone to physical damages and can be stolen. With cloud backups, you don’t face any of these issues.
You Will Save Money
By paying a nominal subscription fee for the use of online backups, you can save costs in many other areas.
- You can reduce your energy bills
- You don’t have to spend on external hard drives every other month
- You will save your valuable work hours that can be employed for more productive things
All these factors collectively make online backups a cost-effective option for commercial entities.
Cloud Backups Make Location and Time Immaterial
If you are availing online backup services, then the restoration of data will be as easier as a single click. Notwithstanding the time and geographical location, you can retrieve your data whenever you want wherever you want.
Even if your business computers couldn’t start for any reason, you won’t suffer any downtime because cloud backups are literally available at your fingertips (yes, you can access them through your cell phone).
Encrypted Transfer of Data
In the beginning, insecure internet connections were a problem for online backup systems. However, experts have also addressed this issue by encrypting the data that is transferred over the internet. This means your data will remain protected from any instance of cybercriminal activity.
As you can see, there are only benefits of using a cloud backup. If you want to run your business operations with a peace of mind then you should immediately get in touch with IT professionals of Crumbacher. They will make your business operations more streamlined by integrating cloud backups.
- Which Type of Computer Best Suits Your Business Needs?
We all know how businesses are completely dependent upon computers nowadays. However, each business has different needs, meaning they each require a different type of computer. Here is some information to help you identify the type that suits your needs best.
Let’s have a look at the common types used in businesses.
1. Stand Alone Computers
These types of computers are full-fledged personal computers with a processor, mouse, keyboard, and monitor. They are meant to stay fixed in a particular location. Companies that don’t have a large number of employees can function just fine with these.
Such computers are merely connected to a particular network to share details with one another. They don’t need a combined server.
2. Thin Clients
These are look-alikes of the stand-alone computers. The only difference between these two is in terms of the processor. These computers don’t have separate processors, instead, each of these is connected to just one server that holds all the company’s data and work and the computers just function to facilitate the end-user.
These are designed for companies that have a large number of employees.
These types of computers are large servers that contain and maintain the company data. All large companies have separate servers to make sure that in the event of a calamity, the company data survives and the business continues to have perpetual existence.
If you need portability, laptops are the choice for your business. However, their maintenance cost can be on the higher size. In addition, their portability puts them at the risk of being stolen or otherwise damaged. Due to this, it is often found that only high-level employees of a company such as AVPs or VPs or Presidents are assigned laptops.
Other than them, employees that have definite traveling hours included in their jobs are also assigned laptops due to their nature of the job.
Again, these are the luxury that only very high-level employees of the company are given. Sales managers and other employees who have to keep an eye on regular updates and news about the company targets have a good use for tablets.
Employees who have a data entry job are seldom given tablets as they require keyboards to work efficiently. Tablets would only slow them down. Employees who take reports from their subordinates have better uses for tablets.
Several business needs are met on a daily basis with the use of these devices. Let’s have a look at some of the common tasks these computers perform.
- Payroll Management
- Data Management
- Coordination (Through emails and shared software)
- Efficient Filing Systems
Since the evolution of computers, businesses have gone paper free. They can operate well without the need to put many things on physical records. This has revolutionized businesses by producing quick results and ensuring long and successful tenures by many companies.
Technology will always extend a hand to help, what you need to know is which one meets your requirements in the best way. Crumbacher can help you in making the right choice. We deal with the latest and the best in business technology. If you live in Albuquerque or Santa Fe, NM then contact us to make your business the best in town!