Jun 27, 2014
Arijit Basu

What Canada Telecom Needs To Grow

The Canadian Telecom Summit 2014 was held at the Toronto Congress Centre earlier this month. In one of his speeches during the course of the event, Rogers CEO Guy Laurence, made a bold statement – as an industry, telecom was resorting to complex pricing plans and methods that was not helping their customers get productive. One example of productivity that Guy mentioned was with respect to resolving issues through a call centre. Guy said that a lot of people do not want to talk to a call center person regarding these complexities because that inevitably stretches the discussion to 30 minutes or more. People want to go online and fix their problem in 3 minutes, not 30.

What Guy mentioned illustrates the growing need for telecom operators to make their after-sales support and service seamless and frictionless. With telecom operators today offering a wide range of services from landline, wireless, broadband, business networking, broadband TV, etc., customers find it cumbersome simply juggling through the various options thrown at them by the IVRS before they can talk to a customer service representative.

The good news is that the telecom operators are already looking at ways to streamline the operations. Guy Laurence is only six months into his job and has announced plans to streamline operations within the company to increase customer productivity. Rogers is not alone. One of the other companies that is seen to taking up rapid strides in this area is Manitoba based AllStream. Last month, AllStream became the first major telecom network in Canada to be MEF CE 2.0 certified. In a press release, AllStream noted that this certification is an acknowledgement of process innovation in their E-Line and E-Access line of carrier ethernet network services. These services in the company’s portfolio are aimed at simplifying the network infrastructure for organizations in multiple locations.

The announcement of simplification of processes is a great step for better telecom infrastructure in Canada. A study published by The School Of Public Policy last year noted that while the pricing policies of Canadian telecom providers was not out of the ordinary and compared well with similar markets worldwide, one of the main reasons that is ailing the sector is ‘political interference’ which in turn has been the reason for the general lack of innovation within the industry.

Various studies have shown that Canada is witnessing robust growth in modern telecom services including wireless technology. The subscriptions and consequently the revenue growth have been multi-fold over the past decade or two. The rapid growth could often make old restrictive practices redundant. The need of the hour is then for the government to take a re-look at all the policies and amend them in order to ensure telecom carriers can grow freely and widely in future. This, and the competition that will ensue will be the primary driver for simplification and process improvements that this industry so desperately needs.

4 Lesser Known Ways NetSuite Can Help Optimize Your Resources

The idea for this blog post was triggered by a marketing email I received from one of my clients. After a little digging through, I realized that their email was sent from a third party email marketing service provider. I found it interesting because this client happens to use NetSuite for their ERP and CRM requirements, which has an in-built email marketing solution. As it turns out, the client had no idea NetSuite offered such a tool with CRM+. If you are using NetSuite at your workplace, here are some ways your business can save costs and increase revenues.

Subscription Management:

A study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit last year showed that business models among companies are rapidly evolving with a lot of businesses now integrating subscription/membership into their offerings because of the profitability. If your business has a subscription model, you do not have to build the necessary back-end infrastructure from scratch since NetSuite already has the necessary features for you to get going. With NetSuite’s subscription services feature, you could track and schedule orders, monitor fulfillment and deploy a recurring billing system. Each fulfillment in a subscription is consolidated as part of a single transaction that is scheduled to dispatch periodic deliveries. If you have not given this a spin yet, it’s high time you do.

Saved Searches:

This is one of the most powerful, yet overlooked, part of the NetSuite suite. The saved search feature is a goldmine and can be used to extract, format and customize data in a variety of ways to suit one’s requirements. If your job involves preparing monthly reports and analyzing them, mastering the various provisions of the saved searches feature will save you hours of work every month; providing you with sufficient time and resource to analyze and derive more meaningful information from these reports.

Customer Data Mining:

NetSuite provides a range of options to sort and filter customer data. For instance, it is possible to filter out customers based on their acquisition channel (like phone call, website, outbound advertising, etc.), identify the behavior patterns of customers from each of these channels and make decisions based on their usage patterns. In addition to NetSuite’s native solution, there are also third party add-ons you could install which will help you look at the consolidated information from your NetSuite dashboard instead of having to login separately into each of these different services.

Event Management:

A number of businesses today use webinars as a marketing tool to attract leads. If you have been working on webinars yourself, then NetSuite’s event management tool should help in extensively tracking the leads generated from the event. Webinar events may also be integrated with NetSuite’s eCommerce tools if you plan to launch a paid webinar event. There are a number of third party tools that can help you with this. But by using the native features available here, you can be saving on money and time by deploying right from NetSuite.

May 30, 2014
Guest Author

What Is “Internet Of Things” And The Challenges We Face

If you have been following the technology section of news, you may have come across this term quite a few times. Notwithstanding the massive changes to our lifestyles since the advent of the internet, technology gurus have predicted that we have barely scratched the surface of the possibilities. “Internet of Things” is expected to be the next massive revolution in the technology space.

So what exactly is IoT? At a simplistic level, it refers to interacting with various devices and gadgets over the internet. For instance, did you forget to switch off the lights while you started off on your long vacation? A simple tap on a mobile app should do that for you with IoT. But that’s again the tip of the iceberg. Here is a quote from a recent article on Metro that should give you a better idea of where we are headed:

“Your alarm wakes you at the correct time after checking your schedule and adjusting itself for traffic and transport delays. Your coffee machine begins brewing, the heating and hot water turn on (adjusting the temperature according to the weather) and the car starts de-icing the windscreen.”

The Internet of Things, or Thingternet as we like to call it will definitely revolutionize the world over the next decade. According to a Gartner study, IoT will bring in close to $1.9 trillion worth of economic value add by 2020. That’s nearly 30 billion devices connected to the internet by then.

While the prediction appears exaggerated at the moment, we will get there with the right infusion of technology infrastructure. Enterprises today have already connected through high speed business internet plans to make them ready for the deployment of IoT at the workplace. This however cannot be said for domestic consumers. Although the average broadband speed in the US is a good 24.5 Mbps, some parts of the country still have extremely low speed internet connections. A lot of potential use-cases with IoT come in a domestic household environment and in the absence of a sufficiently good internet infrastructure, IoT may not take off.

The priority for governments across the world over the next 5 years needs to be on enhancing their internet infrastructure. Going by Gartner’s prediction, we are predicting a scenario where nearly 30-50 billion devices could be fitted with IoT within the next six years. That’s a massive addition of client devices to an already crowded ecosystem. It will be interesting to see how governments act on building the infrastructure in time for us to truly bear the fruits of the IoT innovation.

Jan 12, 2014
Guest Author

The UKs Changing IT Landscape: Where Does Cloud Fit In?

Owning and running a business in today’s ever changing and technologically advanced environment is not easy. It requires knowledge, skill, patience, an eye for detail and most importantly the ability to see advantages in your environment and go with them. The way we work has changed over the years and as technology is growing and becoming more complex it give us the ability to do new things in relation to both our business and personal lives.

Cloud is one of these recent technological innovations that will help to make the day to day running of your business and management of your data and information simple and straight forward. With Cloud your business has the potential to become more productive which will in turn improve your chances of growth and success. There are a number of other advantages to using Cloud services, including:

The Flexibility of the Service

As a business your needs are always changing and increasing and it is important that you have a service provider that can keep up with these needs and changes and work with you to ensure the smooth running of your business. The capacity that the cloud remote servers have is second to none and can provide almost instant action if your organisation needs extra bandwidth; and this is one of the reasons that many businesses choose to move to the cloud system.

Fast and Effective Disaster Recovery

Before cloud-based services, companies required complex plans in place in case of the need for disaster recovery. The cloud system is able to take care of most issues quickly and effectively, and faster than many other systems. As all the information is stored in one  place and is Internet-based rather than being computer-based, it is also possible to recover lost information in some cases, if the need arises. So you no longer need to worry about keeping all of your company’s information backed up by a separate organisation or in a different place as this can all be done through the innovative and useful tool that is cloud.

Control of Documents

In many organisations it is important for individuals and members of the company to collaborate and connect with people in different regions and countries; and without the use of cloud these individuals would have to work on one file at a time constantly re-saving it and amending it before passing it back to the other person. This makes the task of updating or changing a document extremely time-consuming for all those involved. With the help of cloud you are able to keep all of your files in a central location so that you can work off one copy. If you need to discuss anything with your colleague then you are also able to do this which can improve collaboration results and increase productivity and performance; which is ultimately what an organisation should be trying to do.

Completely Mobile

An extremely useful benefit of cloud services for Microsoft and other software is that no matter where you are in the country or the world, as long as you have access to the Internet it is possible to connect to cloud. This enables colleagues in different countries and time zones to connect effectively without having to go to the time and expense of travelling to meet each other.

With all these benefits it is easy to see why cloud is such a popular choice for companies throughout the world today. So isn’t it time for your organisation to reap the benefit of a simple and state-of-the-art system.

Oct 18, 2013
Anand Srinivasan

Kindle Case Stand From Snugg – Review

I’ve owned an Amazon Kindle for over a year now and love the bare look and feel of this device. If you are someone who reads a lot during your daily office commute, it makes sense to invest in a good cover for your Kindle – it protects from the avoidable scratches. While Amazon needs to be commended for providing us with a great device that is mostly resistant to scratches and accidental falls, the scratches caused by the keys and other metal objects in your purse or bag are not always expected. And when the scratches do happen, it simply ruins the reading experience; at least for me.

The Snugg Kindle case is a pretty stylish accessory that you should check out if you own a Kindle. Costing just about $10, this case also acts as a stand if your hands are full and you would still like to read from your Kindle. Snugg were gracious enough to send me a cover for review. Here are some noticeable aspects of the case:

Material : The case is made of genuine leather and comes in a stylish professional looking black color lined with white threaded stitches. While I love my Kindle for the sleek frame, it can be a problem when you are carrying it alongside several other stuffs – many times resulting in me dropping the Kindle. With the stiff cover made with an easy-grip texture, it is really hard to miss the Kindle. You actually can store your Kindle alongside your other paperbacks.

Kindle Case

Easy Read : If you are that guy or girl who loves to read on the move, this is a feature you would love. The inner fold of the Snugg Kindle case comes with a sort of strap where you can let your palms through to keep a firm grip on your Kindle even on the move.

Holding grip on Kindle case

Flip Stand: Like mentioned earlier, the outer case can also be flipped to set your Kindle on a stand and viewed at a convenient reading angle. This is a very good feature if you would like to read while doing things like chopping vegetables or even working on a computer.

Kindle stand for reading

Overall, this is a great product at a very reasonable price. You can check out the Kindle case on the Snugg website here. Would you be buying one? Tell us what you think in the comments.

Jul 30, 2013
Guest Author

Tips And Tricks To Regain Your Stolen Identity

Stolen identity is a frightening experience, and it causes a lot of headaches and frustration. The trick is to stay protected whether you’re shopping online or simply giving out your credit card to a live cashier. If you’re already a victim of identity theft, here are a few tips and tricks for regaining your identity:

Understand Identity Theft

Identity theft is more than just a stolen credit card number. Many thieves are now using private information, such as your social security number, birthdate, and/or name to commit fraud, such as applying for loans or credit cards under your name. Approximately 9 million Americans are part of an identity scam, but most aren’t as extreme. Even mild cases of identity theft are difficult to resolve, but with the right support, financial experts can help.

Act Fast When Your Identity is Stolen

The first thing to do is contact each of the credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. They can put an alert on all of your open accounts, and can also freeze your social security number from any other accounts being opened or accessed. Next, utilize resources on the FTC website. Many of the forms available on this site will help expedite the process. Depending on the type of theft, you may choose to file a police report with your local precinct.

Keep Track of all Your Information

Next, close any fraudulent accounts and if there are suspicious charges on your own accounts, close them out too. You can do this by calling your banks, credit card companies, and any other businesses with which you have accounts. Keep detailed records of how much time you spend, because if the case ends up going to court, you can seek damages for these hours. Several months after the loss, obtain a credit report to make sure that all the fraudulent charges are gone. Once you complete these steps, your credit will return to its original status.

Learn to Prevent Future Identity Theft

You can also take preventive steps to avoid identity theft before it happens. One tip is to never carry your social security card. If you use a debit card, don’t keep the Personal Identification Number with it. Some experts recommend that you never use a debit card for online purchases. Since this links to your checking account, a thief can drain your bank account in just a few transactions. A credit card is much more secure, since it’s much easier to reverse a charge and issue a credit instead of trying to replace stolen money. Be cautious when using websites to shop, and make sure they have valid security and encryption.

Use Tools That Help

If you receive credit card applications, bank statements, or other personal documents by mail, make sure to shred them instead of tossing them in the trash. Keep careful track of your credit card and bank statements, and report any unauthorized activity immediately. Another great tool is LifeLock id protection, which helps monitor your patterns and alert you of any changes in spending.

With so many resources, identity theft becomes more manageable, and those affected can resolve the problems and return to financial freedom.

Jul 19, 2013
Anand Srinivasan

5 Reasons Why Your Business Should Avoid Upgrading to Windows 8

After a lackluster release and sparse adoption, it seems like more and more businesses are taking the, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to the Windows 8 operating system. And, for PC-only offices and other advocates of all things Windows, lucky number 7 seems to fill the need just fine. So, what are some reasons why your business should avoid upgrading to Windows 8?

No Touch Screen = No Benefit

When designing its new operating system, Microsoft realized that touch screens are trending. To their credit, Microsoft was right, but that doesn’t account for all PC users – especially for those in the business world. Windows 8 does work just fine on regular screens found in offices across the country and world, but the operating system is touch screen optimized. So, if your office computer doesn’t respond to touch, you’re missing out on some incredibly intuitive features.

App Complications

With Windows 8, your operating system is essentially working off of two platforms: your traditional desktop and a new, ultra-modern operating experience. And, unfortunately, the best of both worlds only complicates matters when it comes to apps. In other words, your apps based in tradition won’t function in the modern world of Windows 8 and vice versa. Although these two platforms share the same operating system, their apps function on radically different levels, which translates to trouble.

A Lack of Applications

Speaking of apps, it doesn’t matter the kinds of applications your business needs or that you’re even able to download them at blazing fast speeds with your business’s DSL Internet Service, if there aren’t any apps available, then you’re out of luck with Windows 8. Sure, the Windows app store will likely create more apps as time goes on, but the question is, how long will that take? Apps make your personal and business life easier, and without them, you have an operating system that’s not operating at its full potential.

The Learning Curve

The drastically different Windows 8 operating system comes complete with a pretty steep learning curve. In fact, just to give you an idea of how different it really is, the standard start menu is gone and replaced with an eye-catching, time-consuming series of animated tiles. Tiles are fine, moving tiles are even better because they’re entertaining, but in the business world, these elements translate to a lack in productivity. Practice does make perfect, but at what cost to your businesses bottom dollar?

Companies Aren’t on Board

 Due to the lack of adoption by consumers, many companies aren’t supporting Windows 8. Facebook, one of the world’s most popular websites, has gone on record and stated that they have no plans to bring a Windows 8 app out. So, when it comes time to upgrade your office equipment, there’s a good chance everything’s going to come with Windows 7 pre-installed, thus requiring an additional operating system upgrade for those wanting Windows 8. If you’re still not convinced that Windows 8 isn’t the best operating system for your business, give it a try to see for yourself – just don’t say you weren’t warned.

 Author Bio:

 Joe Fortunato is a freelance writer from Tampa, Florida. He enjoys learning about new subjects, following his Baltimore Orioles, and traveling the country for fishing. You can find Joe on Twitter at @joey_fort.

Jun 3, 2013
Guest Author

What is the next step for mobile gaming?

Technology has continued to grow from strength to strength with the continual improvements of mobile phones, the introduction of tablets and the innovative design of Google Glass, but what is coming next for mobile gaming? One thing that most gamers are calling for is improved graphics, but it may be difficult to fetch the very best graphics to mobile devices without compromising the speed at which the game and device runs. One example could be the use of first-person shooters, and how this can be developed and controlled on mobile devices.

Increasing the graphic capabilities of any games – be it poker, multiplayer or simulation – would also mean increasing the memory and battery capabilities of the mobile devices used. There is nothing worse than being half way through a game and it stuttering and stopping, or your battery giving in and the screen going black. Most people are looking forward with a mixture of hope and scepticism to the days when you no longer have to carry chargers round with you when you’re nipping out for a few hours.

But what about hands free; is Google Glass the future of mobile gaming? Imagine walking along the street playing in a poker tournament and still being able to see everything and avoid walking into lampposts, or having your favourite multiplayer game in the corner of your vision and controlling it with your voice, leaving your hands free to do anything else needed.

Although there is of course the fact that Glass isn’t the most visually pleasing device and you might feel rather stupid walking down the street and looking as though you’re talking to yourself. However with it being the first generation it might just be too much for hearts to take when they want to do something, but the technology just isn’t that advanced yet.

Closer to the here and now though is the successful development of cross-platform gaming. Walking home playing football on your mobile or maybe a quick casino game, and being unable to pause and change it to your larger screen once indoors has long been the bane of many a gamer’s life. EA Casual Entertainment is one of several companies to announce they will be publishing games across various platforms allowing this magical transition to take place. Whatever the future of mobile gaming may be, for now you can play at the best Poker tables around.

May 25, 2013
Guest Author

Places Where Nano Ink Would Be Most Beneficial

Nano Ink is a revolutionary printing technology that alleviates many of the common problems associated with traditional printing methodologies. Nano Ink has a number of features that set it apart from other types of ink, making it useful in a wide variety of settings. The following situations are just some of those in which the use of Nano Ink would be beneficial.

High-Tech and Complex Graphics

When high-tech and complex graphics must be printed, Nano Ink is the ideal choice. Nano Ink consists of ultra-sharp dots which sharpen the overall image and don’t bleed, leaving precise, defined edges. Nano Ink also offers the widest gamut of CMYK colors, allowing for more color variations and truer richness to precisely match existing graphics printed on other materials and meet an organization’s need for consistent branding.

With the technologies possible on the Internet rapidly expanding, today’s corporations are making use of highly complex graphics to supplement content and brand their online presences. Most organizations prefer a consistent look and feel across all branded materials. Nano Ink makes it possible to transition the same rich graphics from the Web to their print media, providing an indistinguishable branding experience for clients and customers.

Printing on Non-Traditional Media

Even the glossy magazines you see on stands everywhere can benefit from Nano Ink. That’s because Nano Ink allows the media it’s printed on to retain its original characteristics—meaning no interference resulting from the paper type, bleeding, swelling and other after-printing effects that can reduce the quality of images and change the look or feel of the media it’s printed on.

Wedding invitations, for example, are often constructed of unique paper variations. Traditional ink options sometimes don’t mesh well with various textures and glosses, leaving strange-looking fonts and graphics. Likewise, an organization wanting to create stand-out business cards on a different type of card stock would benefit from the precision offered by Nano Ink. The characteristics of the paper types used in either case wouldn’t change—meaning there is no minimized gloss or loss of texture after the printing process, maintaining the integrity of the intended look and feel.

Green Tech and Environmentally Friendly Companies

Any organization placing an emphasis on environmental friendliness and green technologies will appreciate the eco-friendly nature of Nano Ink. Using Nano Ink for printed materials means low energy consumption and zero emissions, features well aligned with the goals of modern green-friendly corporations. The use of Nano Ink can help reduce a company’s overall energy consumption, which can push them closer to meeting industry regulations or company-specific emissions and environmental goals.

For instance, a bottled water company using Nano Ink to print packaging can include these energy and emissions savings in advertised calculations. Printed materials can also list the use of Nano Ink as an environmentally friendly initiative.

Cost-Cutting Initiatives

Not only is Nano Ink eco-friendly, but it’s budget-friendly as well with the lowest costs of any type of digital printing. Many industries are in flux and under pressure today to make the most of existing assets and resources, so any cost-cutting measure is a welcome alternative. A small publisher shifting all its printing to Nano Ink can realize cost savings that can be invested in other areas to push the company forward. Healthcare providers printing patient education materials can reduce the associated costs, alleviating some of the burden of rapidly rising costs for supplies and equipment.

These few examples provide some insight into the variety of benefits offered by Nano Ink and the various situations in which this new digital printing technology makes sense. There are hundreds of examples of situations in which Nano Ink can be beneficial to both consumers and corporations. Coupled with the environmental benefits and cost savings, Nano Ink is a logical solution for a vast array of printing needs.

Author Bio

Ricky Soars writes for nano ink from landano.com a printing company that is always exploring new ways to make the printing industry more effect and efficient!

May 14, 2013
Guest Author

Galaxy S2 Vs. Galaxy S3 Mini Comparison

If you have been looking at purchasing a Samsung Galaxy handset, then the S2 and S3 mini are two very good options to look at. Both the phones come at a similar price range and that makes a comparison between the two a very useful topic for discussion. Here is a short and crisp comparison of the two phones.

Processor and Dimension

Let us first look at the specifications. The Galaxy S2 comes with a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor that powers this device with a large 4.3 inches display screen. In comparison, the Galaxy S3 mini is equipped with a 1Ghz dual-core processor and a 4.0 inch display screen. Notice how these core specs on the S3 Mini are slightly lower than the S2? That’s been a deliberate strategy to launch the Galaxy at a lower price for customers with a lower budget. The Galaxy S3 mini is available at a price of around $412 while the Samsung Galaxy S2 is priced at $492.

Camera

Perhaps the biggest reason why I would go for a Galaxy S2 and not a S3 mini is the camera. The former comes with an impressive 8 MP camera whereas the S3 Mini has a 5 Mp camera. A lot of experts would tell you that camera resolution is just one part and there are several other factors to decide camera quality. But considering that we are comparing two phone cameras from the same manufacturer, we could well ignore the other aspects of the camera that is likely to be similar on both the phones and just go with the resolution.

Mobile OS

Here is the tricky part. The S2 runs on the older Gingerbread version of Android whereas the Galaxy S3 Mini runs on the newer Jellybean OS. A layman user may not find too many reasons to pick one OS over the other, but if you are a geek, then you would probably want to own a Jellybean Android phone rather than one running on Gingerbread.

So there you go – specs wise, the S2 is definitely the better phone. But if you have a lower budget or if you are picky about running the latest Android version, then the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini is what you should be going for.

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