Why Developing a Strategy for IT Asset Management Is a Must for Today’s Businesses

All businesses should have a strategy for IT asset management. This strategy protects companies against compliance audits that software vendors carry out now and then. By constantly keeping tabs on the software and systems in use within your business organization, it gets easy to make purchase decisions of business assets. But, perhaps more than anything else, ITAM tools help businesses to avoid the fines and other problems that can result from issues with your company software licenses.

Software companies have been known to penalize users heavily when they catch them using software that does not comply with their licensing agreement that you agreed to when you purchased the software.

 

IT Asset Management

Sometimes the software companies can fine you up to $30,000 every time they find the non-compliant software in a computer within your organization. Imagine the software has been installed in 10 computers with none having complied with the licensing agreement.

It would result to a fine of $300,000. What’s more, when the tech company finds your organization is noncompliant, other companies often quickly make their way to your facility to audit compliance with their licenses.

Consequences of an audit that returns a licensing noncompliance verdict

Noncompliance is seen as fraud: Often when an audit returns a noncompliance verdict, lawyers representing that company sit down with lawyers from the software company and try to agree on how much the company should pay in fines. Noncompliance is a crime as is seen in the same light as fraud.

That is why most companies would rather come to an out of court agreement. Sadly, most businesses do not fail to comply knowingly.

Because of not having IT asset tools that can remind them to comply, they find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Given that ignorance has no defense, they will struggle to explain why their licenses are not up to date.

The cost of not having IT asset tools far outweighs the cost of using ITAM software: ITAM tools have many benefits to a business enterprise, yet some business leaders insist they cannot afford it. The problem with this argument is that over time, the same company will painfully spend money paying off fines to prevent software companies from suing them for stealing their intellectual property.

When a company installs ITAM tools in its internal network, it becomes easy for it to answer compliance questions that software companies often ask before making the decision to do a full audit of your business. If your business is able to adequately respond to all the queries that the software company sends, it is unlikely that the software company will pursue the issue further.

Cloud Managed Services Finding Their Way into Almost All Enterprises Today

According to the most recent market study by analysts, Edmonton IT firm for cloud-based managed services continues to experience tremendous growth because of the uptake of mobility, security, and hosting services. Technavio analysts predict that the market will grow at a CAGR of roughly 20% in the forecast period. What will drive this growth is the significant market segment of security services as well as primary vendors such as IBM, HP, and Cisco.

Cloud Managed Services Finding Their Way

Cloud-Based Managed Security Services

Last year, cloud-based managed security services division led the market. It accounted for 24.3% share. According to Technavio, the segment is expected to maintain its tremendous growth rate throughout the forecast period.

To impeccably secure the enterprise network, there is an absolute need for cloud service providers to deploy security devices on premise. Increased security risks, as well as the need to adhere to compliance requirements, have encouraged most organizations to invest in a variety of security solutions. Enterprises opt for cloud managed security services to monitor and maintain the security devices, which have been deployed to secure their networks efficiently. As a good number of companies miserably fail to deal with growing complexities of the cyber threat, there will be increased adoption of cloud managed security services.

Amit Sharma, one of the lead cloud-computing analysts at Technavio said that with the growth in the utilization of mobile data security services, the cloud-based security services are turning out to be an inseparable part of any growing organization.

Amit further added, ‘The market always remains a highly attractive space for any cloud service provider to expand his or her product offerings. When it comes to organizational data security, companies are concerned more about data encryption, which is a brand new area of growth. Nevertheless, data encryption remains a complicated process. Web-based security services, identity management, access management, and cloud-based email security remain highly sought offerings from some of the market’s leading vendors.’

Picking The Right Managed Services

As the demand for cloud-based managed services grows, there will be a need to know a thing or two about how to choose managed services. You need managed services to understand your management and mission perspective fully. It is highly important to settle for a service provider that meet all your needs.

What Are The Packages Being Offered And Who Are The Clients?

If the managed services only provide one plan, then most likely, it will not work. Working with different customers, from small and mid-sized corporations to big ones makes for robust managed services. It goes miles to providing a varied experience that addresses all your needs. Your managed services provider ought to have different IT plans. Doing so ensures you have the right fit for your business needs.

Does Your Prospective Managed Services Provider Only Support Particular Products?

Your managed services must be product neutral. If a service provider is neutral, then he or she will be able to work efficiently with all architecture and system. Such an approach enables providers to offer nothing short of an independent view regarding IT technologies and networking.

Cloud-based managed services were of great help to organizations. It is, therefore, important to take your time while in the market for a managed services provider. Doing so ensures you get the best deal.

A Look into the IT Service Company for Professional Services

As far as IT is concerned, professional services are services offered by a product vendor or a contractor so as to help their clients in the planning, designing, implementing and managing of their technology systems and projects. Among IT professionals who are in a position to offer professional services include managed services provider Philadelphia city, solution providers, system integrators and value-added resellers. Just like IT consultancy, the primary function of these firms is lined in professional services. Alternatively, some might opt to offer professional services as add-on sales to a primary offering for instance product reselling.

A Look into the IT Service Company for Professional Services

However, professional services are not only provided by solution and service providers. Networking, hardware, software and storage vendors are also well equipped to offer professional services. In such cases, the services are sold as an after-sale support for the implementation of product and service offered by the vendor.

Initially, professional services used to be billed at an hourly basis. However, as demand increases, providers are embracing the fixed rate billing. This billing pattern is similar to the transitioning to managed services from break/fix.

As the professional business for a vendor or contractor grows, managing the expanded operations is no longer possible by use of spreadsheets alone. The company might want to incorporate the professional services automation (PSA) software which makes it easier to manage resources, projects and billing. The software can also be used in other crucial products that are service provider automated for instance remote management and monitoring.

Professional services stand to benefit both the service provider and the customers. Customers having IT resources installed in other projects or those that do not have in-house IT workers can make use of professional services to manage a project or to implement a system. On the other hand, providers of professional services benefit from having a wider range services on offer which means an increased customer base and even more revenue.

The professional services offered usually vary depending on the company. However, they usually include:

  • Requirements analysis Consulting System design Project management System implementation vCIO Cloud/software migration.
  • These professional services in the IT environment developed from a wider professional service industry. This covers major fields such as law, architecture, engineering and accounting. It is actually the accounting sector that facilitated the growth of professional services as far as IT is concerned.
  • It then gradually expanded to the other fields. Over time, professional IT services have become an intergral part of most businesses.

This all began in the 1980s when the top firms in accounting started expanding their services in management advisory from just operating in the accounting and tax lines to IT lines. This technology aspect was rapid at growth eventually leading to some of these companies venturing in the practices of IT professional services. Another important breeding ground that led to IT professional services is the public sector.

For a long time now, Washington, D.C. has been the main point for provision of professional services due to the great demand for technology implementation and advice by the federal government of the United States.

Tips To Help You Start an IT Business

You just graduated out of campus with an IT degree or better yet you have been working for an b2b seo company since you graduated? You have an entrepreneurial spirit in you calling out for you to start your own business? Then you need to know one or two thing before you venture out. Since clearly the competition is intense, the starting and running an IT business is riddled with its own unique challenges. However, despite the gloom and doom of the situation, you can start and run a successful IT venture due to sheer size of the market and the need for innovative IT services and products.

B2B-Business

TIP 1:- Open your eyes, IT is all around you

People have taken up to using mobile phones, tablets and laptops and have made them sort of an extension of their own bodies. Hence when problems arises with these products repairs and maintenance work is needed. And these needs range in complexity, size and individual preferences. So don’t be afraid, there is enough work to go around. This all based on the type of research and how relevant the information you will acquire will help you.

TIP 2:- What are the basics of the business?

Each venture at the end of it all has the chief goal of earning money. However, each business has unique strength, opportunities, threats and weaknesses. These four will help you develop a criteria of what you need to know about your business and how to manage it. For example the tools of the trade, unique jargon of the trade, experts that can help when you get stuck, IT solution tools needed to help you in your day to day job.

TIP 3: – The aspects of a successful entrepreneurship

When anyone starts to think about flexing their entrepreneurial muscles there things that one must maybe able to study and understand about the venture in order to make it a success;

Financing- you need to know where you will acquire funds to start the venture and run it. If you decide to be a stockiest or supplier of IT products, money to acquire stock and keep the stock fresh and full.

Business plan- this is always modeled around other plans have been tried and tested and succeeded. This will help have a clear goal of where to begin and progress.

Location of the business- location is everything, and no matter how low or high your funds are you can reach any sizeable audience member from a strategic locale.

Personnel and human resource- you also need to know if you will need any help and how much help you will need. If the help is permanent or temporary, skill sets you need and the personalities and attitudes.

TIP 4:- specialize…it’s the best way to go

Yes, at the beginning you will make close to nothing and you will have to be a jack of all trade. But with time you need to set yourself apart so that your work is distinct and clientele can rely on you for a given product or service.

IT businesses are all set and based on how resilient you will be to shocks and stimuli that you will encounter during the first six months. But if you have something good to offer and persist all your efforts will pay off.

Fleet Maintenance Software: The Features Will Show You Its Importance

Fleet maintenance software

When time and money are considered in dealing with the most significantly important savings, the idea around using the resources in order to save money is very practical. However, there must be a decisive explanation, which can show the relevance of spending for an organizing tool such as a fleet maintenance program. While it may appear unnecessary to some, this post will make you believe that in one way or another, the software is a big help.

What are its benefits?

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Realizing the advantages of applying the fleet maintenance software will make you wonder why its importance in the industry has been understated. The enhanced efficiency, along with time savings are significant; however, since they are not measured by quantity. The highlight should be placed on concrete advantages.

A summary of the functional advantages of the software for fleet maintenance includes the facts that the:

  • Training project is going to play an important role in the application procedure.

  • The internal process of the organization is going to be shaped following a configuration that can completely benefit from the fleet management software.

Scaling Down Activities

This time of inactivity among organizations, both private and public, has made a great deal of effect on their earnings. Applying maintenance procedures to avoid this will be very important in controlling the equivalent costs, including the inactivity itself. Intangible and tangible expenses are both generated from this, where the most unfavorable expense is the potential loss of business because of the failure of services.

A well-planned and applied fleet management tool must offer a larger effect on the reduced activity than a 25% reduction through determining the repeated equipment failures which have been previously unnoticed.

Handling of the Staffing Expenses

The fleet managers that have internal shops are aware of the significance of correct mechanic staffing to the sequence of work in the shops, as well as the idea that the costs of labor can bring a great expense. Applying a complete fleet management software will impact more than 10% of savings on the costs of labor according to the practical knowledge of the organizations that already applied the fleet management software.

Increasing the Productive Service of the Equipment

The correct preventative maintenance method has a key role in extending the productive service of the organization’s assets. Fleet maintenance software will provide the needed tools for the managers to get the possible significant concrete benefit. The cost reduction will differ according to the usage and form of asset.

The cost reductions and the concrete benefits that are evidently gathered from the adequate application of a completed software for fleet maintenance should be considered. These are only some of the many possibilities for the enhancement of functional efficiency as well as limiting of expenses with the effective set of software for fleet maintenance. A few of the rest of easily measured advantages are:

  • Reduced expenses from the enhanced fuel economy.

  • More accurate handling of inventory.

  • Reduced expenses on seized warranty work.

Any delay in the application of software for fleet maintenance will bring more permanent costs compared to the temporary expenses of its implementation.

Azure Management: Educate Yourself About The Opportunities Of Virtual Management

azure management

Azure Management is the method of managing and monitoring the processes and operations on virtual machines presented on the Azure Cloud Service Platform. The software offers virtualization and cloud administrators with choices to build, monitor and deploy their Azure environments. Azure Virtual Machines Management is typically facilitated through processes, a set of tools, and technologies that are all operating together for managing Azure Virtual Machines infrastructure.

How is Azure Virtual Machines Management used?

Azure Virtual Machines Management mainly works in securing performance, availability and holistic administration of Windows or Linux virtual machines presented on the Azure Cloud Service Platform. Azure Virtual Machines Management assists cloud administrators in via:

  • Scaling and Utilization: Observe virtual machine infrastructure utilization and scale if necessary.

  • Resource Management: Control the allotment of infrastructure resources to virtual machines.

  • Maintenance and Troubleshooting: Fix performance and technical issues, updates, virtual machine recovery and more.

How can Azure Management Software help Cloud Administrators and Virtualization?

  • Provide in depth virtual machine performance knowledge through charts and dashboards.

  • Monitor performance counters and note important information from event logs.

  • Check full system processes over their virtual machine infrastructure.

  • Immediate application of PowerShell commands and scalability of servers and more. 

What are the Benefits and Features of Windows Azure?

  1. Windows Azure lets users launch a Linux OS or Windows Server while using the cloud. Virtual Machines can store images in the gallery as well from which they have the option to publish.

  2. With Windows Azure, they can scale requested resources to expand their business. They can move virtual hard disks between on-premises and cloud servers with Azure’s System Center.

  3. Windows Azure Management Portal gives them the capability to design a web application within minutes. Management Portal receives scripts from PowerShell or CLI tools on any operating system. They can deploy an existing site from CodePlex, Git, DropBox, GitHub and Bitbucket.

  4. Developers are able to right-click on any ASP.net website to launch. Any site controlled within Windows Azure can be managed directly in Visual Studio, while giving live data streams and site logs.

  5. Azure permits developers to create applications using different other languages like PHP, ASP, ASP, net, Python, or Node.js. The Web Application Gallery includes DotNetNike, Drupal, WordPress, Django, CakePHP, and Express.

  6. Azure entitles users to leverage data options to create global changes immediately. Mobile Services let users store confidential data on-premises instead of storing it on the cloud.

  7. Blobs (Binary Large Objects) are one of the simplest ways to keep unstructured text and binary data like images, audio and video. They can use the Import or Export feature on Windows Azure to move the data in and out of Blob storage as needed.

  8. Windows Azure is equipped with SQL database functionality, which helps massive scale-out, built-in availability, and flexible management. Tiered services keep costs down for basic needs.

  9. Azure integrates with Microsoft BI tools like PowerPivot, HDInsight, and Power View. Analyze Hadoop data for insights, or combine data from several sources.

Business organizations should consider the use of Azure Management and read some experts’ overview to help them decide.

Cloud Migration – The Various Stages

cloud migration

At present companies spend a considerable portion of their IT budgets on cloud based services. And cloud migration continues. Cloud based services offer conveniences and cost savings which are just too hard to ignore. But cloud migration has to be properly planned and implemented, otherwise some of those benefits may be lost.

The Different Stages Of Cloud Migration

There is no universal solution out there, so each company must define its needs properly. Thus the first stage in cloud migration is assessment.

It is not as if cloud providers provide the same kind of service which would leave you to choose solely based on prices. Make sure to know your needs sufficiently to be able to choose the best fit. You need to consider your workload demands. If you choose a company which offers over-the-top capacities, you will be paying for more than you need; on the other hand, a cloud service provider without a bit of room for workload peaks is almost sure to let you down. If you have existing tools, procedures and applications, it would be a great help if you choose a cloud vendor which offers the necessary support. Then of course there is the realistic cost to consider. If you do not define your needs properly, you may end up surprised by special charges for features you failed to ask for initially.

When you have sufficiently defined your needs and chosen a cloud vendor, it is time to come up with an implementation plan. You need to consider moving a few non-critical applications first. This will allow your staff to cope and give you chance to test the waters. Make a list of the applications and the order you want to follow in migrating them to the cloud. Most companies take a hybrid approach when it is not practical to move some applications and files offsite. Plan to include the procedural changes the differences between the architecture of onsite and cloud environments will prompt. Users will have to be identified and passwords issued. Staff will also need training. Most importantly, don’t move anything before you do a simulation or test-run.

Implementation comes next. Do not expect everything to run smoothly and allow for minor glitches. Actual transfer of data may be done directly through the internet for small files; organizations with large amounts of data to transfer should consider compressing the data and physically shipping storage devices to the cloud vendor. It is important to ensure adequate security controls are in place during data transfer. Migrating applications may require some configuration changes, both to enable deployment to the clouds as well as to make processes more efficient.

Last on the list is to confirm that all your processes work as you expected. Users should be able to access applications. Verify that all the data you have transferred to the cloud have reached their destination. This online article explains why verification testing is important in cloud migrations.

Proper evaluation of your needs, adequate planning, phased implementation and verification will ensure your move to the cloud involve only minor hiccups at most.

Touch Screen Technology – The Most Commonly Used Types

touch screen technology

From desk tops to smart phones, passive screens are on the way out. Almost everyone, it seems, is enamored of touch screen technology. That is not so surprising considering its advantages over the old view only screens. It seems like touch screen technology is here to stay, though not many people truly understand how they work. The convenience offered by the use of touch screen technology has made it an indispensable feature of smart devices.

A touch screen is an input device layered on top of a visual display usually of a computer or a smart device. Through various technologies, touch screens enable the user to interact with what is displayed on the screen instead of having to use a mouse, touchpad or keyboard. With a few deft touches, such screens will display an onscreen version of the keyboard for data input. Though the technology started with the use touch screens able to process only one touch at a time, multiple touch of multi touch screens are getting more common.

There are four main types of technologies used for touch screens, which are:

  1. Resistive technology: Touch screens using this technology have two layers with electrical conductors arranged on a grid. The layers are separated by space so that the conductors only touch at the point where finger pressure is applied. The point where conductors meet provides horizontal and vertical axis grid locations, which is then translated to a data input or command. Because the outer layer has to give or bend a little for the conductor grids to meet, conductors can break. Most resistive screens can only handle a single touch at a time.

  2. Capacitive technology: Capacitive touch screens have an overlay made of glass coated with capacitive material (capable of storing a charge. Circuits at the corners of the overlay continuously measure the capacitance, which changes slightly at the point or points where it is touched by a human hand. Changes in capacitance at the point of touch is then converted first to x and y coordinates, and from there to instructions or data input. While they are resistant to scratching, touches by non-conductors, including most types of gloves, will not register.

  3. Infrared technology: Touch screens using infrared technology have pairs of light emitting diodes (LED’s) and phototransistor detectors arranged on its sides. These produce a grid of infrared light which is broken at points of touch. The photocells detect the x and y locations at points of touch and translate these to instructions or data input. While this technology is very robust and reliable, setting a solid object on top of the screen causes problems.

  4. Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology: This type of touch screens uses sound waves inaudible to humans. The sounds are transmitted to detect vertical and horizontal point. Touch causes the sound waves to be broken which allows horizontal and vertical receiver arrays to determine location and translate these to input. The technology is very reliable, but also cost a bit more.

Each type of touch screen technology has its own pros and cons; something members of organizations like the Computer and Communications Industry Association are well aware of. Some are more affordable, some are more robust, while others can handle multiple simultaneous touches. Compare and find the technology that fits your needs best.

Inbound Call Center Solution And The Advantage Of Live Chat

inbound call center solution

 

Many companies now realize there are lots of benefits that working with contact center companies can provide. An inbound call center solution professionalizes the way a company deals with clients or potential clients who communicate with them. Through an inbound call center solution, the company’s image, its products, and its services are always presented in the same positive way no matter who the person at the other end of the line may be, and which part of the world he or she comes from.

Fielding inbound calls is a golden opportunity to communicate with your target market, no matter whether they are current or potential clients. The way incoming calls are handled greatly affect the way clients perceive the company; thus no effort must be spared to ensure that no one drops the ball.

One aspect of inbound call center service that not all companies have learned to use to their advantage is live chat; that is so surprising considering the many benefits that may be derived from such a feature. If companies only realize how positively their clients and potential clients look at live chat, they will surely line up to get the service on their websites. It is almost certain that most members of organizations like Contact Centre Nova Scotia are aware of the benefits of live chat.

Live chat is just another form of inbound call service. The advantage over other forms of inbound calls is the convenience it affords the client. Prospective clients are less likely to move away from ecommerce sites which have live chat features. Majority of online shoppers express preference for sites which offer live persons who can immediately provide information they need. In addition wait times for live chat is usually shorter than that for other types of inbound communication platforms such as interactive voice response and a telephone help desk.

Sales performance analysis conducted by many companies reveals significant increases in sales performance after live chat is added. Clients react favorably when someone walks them through the sales process. In essence, an inbound call center solution which includes a live chat feature provides advice from an expert; clients learn about the pros and cons of each product or service which allows them to make better informed choices.

Especially when you consider all the benefits, getting live chat added to your inbound call center service package is far from expensive. Live chat software actually says on both phone expenses and employee time; experienced chat representative can handle multiple chats simultaneously.

Live chat also provides a relatively affordable way to get an edge over your competition. Considering the potential for increased sales, no online merchant should ever be without live chat.

One other benefit you can derive by simply adding live chat feature to your company’s inbound contact center solution package is getting a real feel for your customer’s sentiments. There are times when client feedback can lead to new products and services; at the very least feedbacks give the company a view about which products and strategies should be maintained and which ones need tweaking.

If your company sells products online, you should not miss out on the benefits offered by live chat.

Security Systems: How Safe Are They?

industrial cctv security systems

How safe does your security systems make you feel?  That is the one question that many people routinely ask themselves whether they are trying to secure their homes or place of business.  It is a question that they really should ask from time to time, as they need to keep up with technology.  Alarm and detection systems installed several years back may not sufficient protection today.  In today’s modern age network security systems can be implemented with full WiFi access and WAN/LAN capabilities to ensure maximum utility and protection at the same time.

One telling factor when trying to decide how much security you, your home, or your business needs is the level of threat they face.  Businesses exposed to large crowds of people on a regular basis may need a whole lot more protection than a small manufacturing outfit.  Sports arenas are inviting targets for terrorist threats and must be adequately protected not only by security systems but by sufficient numbers of physical security personnel.

Another consideration is the value of assets being protected.  Thieves with high levels of technical skill may not bother with businesses and homes where the pickings are of low value, but premises housing high value items need high levels of security protection.  Financial institutions and gambling casinos are good examples of business enterprises that require high levels of security; the high flow of easy to carry cash make them attractive to would be robbers.

While a high level of security measures, equipment and systems would provide a more secure feeling, it may not always be appropriate for certain applications.  To exaggerate a bit, imagine a restaurant where patrons are required to enter pin codes or provide biometric identification before being granted entry.  In the same manner, home security measures and systems can only inconvenience the occupants so much before the owner decides to scale it down a little.  In such cases, a small measure of common sense would be helpful to find the right balance of between security and inconvenience.

The use of cctv security systems is fast gaining popularity.  Almost every household or business enterprise wants surveillance cameras installed on their premises. But not all CCTV systems are the same.  A security professional can help decide what features you need on your CCTV surveillance and recording equipment.  They can also help decide strategic placement of surveillance equipment to cover the most important areas without going over the top with installations.  Many security companies listed with the Canadian Security Association are capable of designing and installing even complex industrial cctv security systems.

Certain businesses require the use of access control systems.  In their premises, some areas are more sensitive than others and require more stringent controls over who may enter and who may not.  The rule of thumb has always been granting access strictly on need basis.  It also helps to keep; records of who gets in and when.

If you really want to know how safe your security systems keep your business, then you need to consult with companies which provide professional security services.  They can assess your requirements and advise on any upgrades you may need to keep your home or your business safe.