How Technology Is Changing the Grocery Shopping Experience

Grocery Shopping

There was a time when shoppers would spend hours in a supermarket trying to find all the grocery they wanted. Slowly but surely, this is becoming a thing of the past. Much of today’s grocery shopping experience is just a click or swipe away. However, this is just the start of the revolution in grocery shopping.

We expect upcoming shopping innovations, such as augmented reality and robotics, to take the grocery shopping experience to a whole new level. So, how is new technology expected to give us an unprecedented grocery shopping experience that improves upon the current one?

How Innovative Technologies are Changing How We Shop for Groceries

Today, the grocery shopping experience is changing rapidly. Department stores and big retailers have started to offer services like home-delivery and checkout-free shopping to make the experience convenient for shoppers. We are also seeing the in-store experience being reshaped according to the needs and wants of the modern customer.

More and more integrated technology solutions are popping up in grocery stores across the United States that ensures a personalized and convenient experience for shoppers. These technology solutions guide shoppers in store and make payments extremely easy for them. Providing innovative solutions to their customers is no longer an option for retailers and department stores. Instead, it has become a necessity.

According to a recent survey by refrigeration company Phononic, more and more Americans today desire a more innovative supermarket shopping experience. Perhaps, this is the reasons we are seeing an increasing number of retailers and department stores offer a range of innovative solutions to shoppers. So, what are the innovative technologies that are changing the face of grocery shopping? They are mentioned below:

1.     Home Delivery

Today, there is wide availability of fast home delivery. Now, some retailers are looking to take this to the next level. For example, Walmart recently partnered with August Homes, a smart lock company, to not only deliver groceries to a customer’s home but also stock them in their refrigerator.

Existing innovative delivery services for grocery shoppers are getting upgraded with a rapid delivery system called Rappie. Some adopters of Rappie include Amazon’s next-day delivery and Dutch supermarket Albert Heijn. The delivery system used by Albert Heijn allows shoppers to place an order through a dedicated application. The order is delivered within two hours after being placed. Additionally, the Dutch supermarket is testing a delivery service that employs bicycle courier to deliver the popular food-to-go items of the mart within fifteen minutes.

2.     Check-Out Free Shopping

When it comes to in-store convenience, there’s nothing that can top checkout-free grocery shopping. Having to stand in long queues for checkout is one of the most frustrating things about shopping at grocery stores. The good news is that some retailers today are allowing shoppers to avoid the queue entirely.

An example of this is the Amazon Go store in Seattle. Customers that visit the store can use a QR-based application and in-store technology to avoid paying at a register. In addition to Amazon, another retailer California Fresh Market also offers a ‘no checkout’ experience to shoppers. The retailer enables this experience through its mobile app.

Another company that offers a checkout-free experience is Kroger. Shoppers visiting Kroger’s retail stores can use the company’s front-end-optimized pilot program to bag items while shipping, scan to account for each product, and scan an additional register code to make payment before exiting the store. Currently, this technology is only available at Kroger’s Cincinnati stores.

Checkout-free shopping experiences are not just limited to American retail outlets. In the U.K, Amazon Fresh and Sainsbury’s also allow shoppers to use a smartphone application to scan products and pay using Apple Pay.

3.     Mobile Pay

According to a report by Retail Dive, mobile payments could exceed $300 billion by 2020. Traditionally, mobile payments to retailers have been made through PayPal and Venmo. However, this is expected to change in the coming years as the big retailers come up with their own mobile payment platforms. An example of this is Walmart’s mobile payment platform that is offered in selected stores.

Using the mobile payment platform of Walmart, shoppers can make payments to retailers through their Android or Apple smartphones. The shoppers can opt to pay with either credit cards or credit cards. The shopper can choose their desired payment option at the register and then scan a QR code using their phone’s camera.

While mobile payment platforms such as Amazon Pay make payment to retailers convenient, shoppers are still not convinced about their advantages. According to a study by Bank of America, mobile wallets contributed less than 1% to total money spent in retail. Retailers are now trying to lure shoppers to make payments using their mobile payment platforms by offering them incentives and touting the ease and financial security of these platforms.

4.     AR Shopping Experience

Today, grocery stores are turning to augmented reality (AR) for transforming in-store shopping experiences. For example, Dent Reality, a UK-based technology company, offers smartphone tools that retailers can use to create incredible AR experiences in their stores. By simply holding the camera of their phone over a product, shoppers can easily read their pricing and nutritional information. AR technology, such as the one offered by Dent Reality, promises to make in-store shopping a less time-consuming and more convenient experience.

In addition to the above, other technologies transforming the grocery shopping experience include robot deliveries, voice-activated experiences, and self-driving mobile grocery. However, this list is not exhaustive and there are many more technologies changing how we shop. To know about them, keep following our posts!


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Percento is a Professional IT Consulting, Implementation and Management firm.  To find out how we can help your organization, please contact one of our friendly sales representatives for a review of your system and a comprehensive (No Obligation) proposal of services. Call today toll-free at 800.614-7886 [Austin | Dallas | Houston | League City | Sugar Land | The Woodlands  | San Antonio] or email us at sales@percentotech.com.

Virtual Private Server (VPS)—What It is and Why It’s Just Like Buying a Car

Ready to get your website up and running? Looking for a web hosting solution?  Then, you may have heard a lot about virtual private server or VPS. But, you may not be entirely sure what VPS hosting is. Luckily, we’re here to provide you with the answers.


Virtual Private ServerSo, you were on this online forum, asking people to recommend a web hosting solution. All sorts of ideas were floated your way, but nothing clicked. That was until you heard someone say, “Use a VPS. It’s cheaper than most web hosting solutions and still runs better and faster than them”. Possible immediate reaction can be:

“Wow!”

“What a deal.”

“I should have been using VPS a long time ago.”

But, then counter thoughts started to infiltrate your mind:

“Why should I trust what this person says about VPS?”

“If VPS was really the be-all, end-all of web hosting, then I would have heard about it a long time back.”

You wrestle with these thoughts and go on a mission to find everything there is to know about a virtual private server (VPS). You turn to Google for answers, typing in the query box “what is a virtual private server”. The search engine returns a wide range of results, but this further complicates matters for you.

However, a few seconds later, something catches your eye; a link to a page on how subscribing to a Virtual Private Server (VPS) is just like buying a car. You decide to click on it and voila, you’re here.

Since you’ve chosen this write-up over all other pieces of information on the internet, we will make sure that you get all the answers that you seek, starting with what VPS means.

What Is a VPS?

Sold as a service by an internet hosting provider, a virtual private server (VPS) is an isolated machine on a physical server. Depending on the specifications of the physical server, several virtual private servers can be created on a single physical server.

In a technical sense, VPS hosting is both shared hosting and technical hosting as it mimics a dedicated server within a shared hosting environment. A server within a big server with its own copy of operating system and allocated server resources, VPS uses virtualization technology to split a powerful server into multiple virtual servers. Since VPS is a ‘private’ server, you won’t have to share RAM, CPU, or any data with other users.

VPS vs. Dedicated Hosting and Shared Hosting

To truly understand the benefit of using VPS, one needs to compare it with the other two web hosting options available today—dedicated hosting and shared hosting. Considered the most common form of web hosting, shared hosting works well for many website owners but there are several downsides to it, mainly because you have to share the server. If you opt for shared hosting, then the increased traffic on the server is likely to affect your website’s performance.

While you get complete control over your resources and can customize software to meet your individual needs, dedicated hosting can be extremely expensive. For most people, it’s like buying a car they can barely afford. So, unless you’re loaded and have no financial constraints, then it’s best to ditch this hosting option. This leaves us with only one, truly viable web hosting option i.e. VPS hosting.

VPS offers the best of both dedicated hosting and shared hosting. Your website is the only domain allocated to a dedicated virtual server. This means that you have dedicated storage, unlimited bandwidth, powerful CPU, your own operating system, and a scalable RAM. And, all this is available for far less than what you’d have to pay for dedicated hosting.

Why Getting a VPS is Like Buying a Car?

Since you are curious about our title, we’re going to tell you why getting a VPS is like buying a car. When you want to buy a car, what is the first thing you look for? It’s affordability. The same is the case with web hosting. The first thing that website owners look for when choosing a web hosting solution is affordability.

Let’s say you like a car and its features but can’t afford to pay for it in full, what would you do? Give up buying the car? No, you would look for other ways to secure the car, leasing the car being one of them. Leasing a car is just like buying a car. Even though you don’t have complete ownership of the car, you don’t have to share it with anyone.  You and your family are the only ones who get to travel and drive the car.

Similarly, when you opt for VPS hosting, you don’t have complete ownership of the server, but you still get to avail all the features of the server without having to share it with anyone. Now, you could have gone for the more expensive option of getting dedicated hosting, which is like paying for a car in full or shared hosting, which is like sharing a car with a sibling, a neighbor or friend. You get to drive it, sit in it but since it used by more than one person, it may not perform like you want it to.

You get the basic point, right? Subscribing to A Virtual Private Server (VPS) is like buying a car you want for its features without having to pay for it in full. You get the hosting service provider you want, the space you require, and the service satisfaction you need.

For more information on Virtual Private Server (VPS) and how it works, get in touch with us today!

Contact Us

Percento is a Professional IT Consulting, Implementation and Management firm.  To find out how we can help your organization, please contact one of our friendly sales representatives for a review of your system and a comprehensive (No Obligation) proposal of services. Call today toll-free at 800.614-7886 [Austin | Dallas | Houston | League City | Sugar Land | The Woodlands  | San Antonio] or email us at sales@percentotech.com.

Phone Review: Sony Xperia 1

Sony Xperia 1When it comes to its phones, the one thing that Sony takes great pride in is the design. With the launch of its latest phone Xperia 1, Sony hopes to stand apart from the competitors. Sony is pinning great hopes on the Xperia 1 which is a successor to the Xperia XZ2 premium. The most noticeable feature of this latest phone offering by Sony is the 21:9 aspect ratio screen.  This gives the Xperia 1 a tall and slender frame. What was the purpose of this and what else does the Sony Xperia 1 feature? Let’s find out.

Is Sony Xperia 1 the New Best Friend of Vloggers and Filmmakers?

Although the Sony Xperia 1 has a lot of other features, the 21:9 screen is that one feature of the phone that Sony has been aggressively pitching to potential buyers. The basic idea behind the 21:9 screen is to enhance the video viewing and gaming experience on the phone. However, the target audience is actually vloggers and filmmakers who would want to create content for 21:9 screen.

A phone with a great display, the Sony Xperia 1 sits at the very top of the smartphone portfolio of Sony. However, the question is that can the Xperia 1 compete with other Android phones such as Huawei and Samsung phones? Perhaps, we will have a better idea of this once we’ve gone through the design, display, cameras, and performance of the Sony Xperia 1. So, let’s begin.

1.     Design and Display

The Sony Xperia 1 has a narrow and slender body. The design of the phone is similar to the Motorola One Vision and if you’ve used a type 19:9 phone, then you’ll find the Xperia 1 is a little thin. The phone’s dimensions are exactly the same as that of Xperia 10 plus: 167 x 72 x 8.2mm. The back of the phone has a Corning Gorilla Glass covering with a metal frame in the middle.

The phone is a bit fragile on the rear side and may feel very delicate at time. So, you would have to handle the Xperia 1’s rear side with extreme care. The read side of the phone is specs heavy and features a camera shutter button, small power button, fingerprint sensor, and a volume rocker. The shutter button and the sensor are especially worth mentioning since they give the Xperia a unique look and feel.

In addition to the above, you will find on the phone a SIM card tray and a USB-C port. Another noticeable feature of the phone is the OLED HDR display. While this looks good in writing, you would barely be able to view the screen when you take out the phone in the sun to take pictures. This is because the screen has a surprisingly low brightness. However, the color accuracy of the Xperia is fine.

All in all, although the Xperia 1 has a 4k resolution, it may not be great for taking pictures when you step outside of your home and into the sun. Considering the phone has a premium price, we would say that the display of the phone is disappointing. As for the design, we would say it is decent enough.

2.     Cameras

The rear of the Xperia 1 features three 12-megapixel cameras. Two of the cameras have an ultra-wide angle while the third one has a telephoto lens. In the past, we have seen Sony’s focus a lot on megapixels in its phones. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case with the Xperia 1. Also, this is the first time a Sony phone features a triple lens camera.

According to Sony, its phone applies the Alpha algorithm to a raw image which significantly reduces noise. Additionally, the eye tracking autofocus of the camera allows users to keep better track of the person/ thing they’re capturing. The phone allows you to shoot video in 24 fps.

The camera results are still a bit of a mystery because the phone was launched only a few days ago. So, we will have to wait a bit before we can a full review of the Xperia 1’s camera performance. It will be interesting to see how Sony’s new camera system works.

3.     Performance

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset is used to operate the Xperia1. However, the phone is not 5G compatible. Other hardware features of the Xperia 1 include an internal storage of 128GB, a 6GB RAM, and support for microSD up to 512GB. Additionally, you can replace the microSD card with a dual SIM.  The Xperia 1 has a battery capacity of 3330mAh. This seems quite low when you consider that the phone is designed for shooting footage in 4k resolution.

In addition to the above, there are several features that benefit from the 21:9 screen. This includes the Multi-Window user interface (UI). This new user interface allows users to run two apps on the phone at the same time. One screen runs at the top of the screen and the other at the bottom. Another great thing about the phone is that you can launch Facebook and Album in Multi-Window by giving the instruction to Google Assistant.

To add to the above, there is also the Side Sense feature. This feature makes it possible for users to double tap the screen’s right side to see their most frequent apps on the screen. This ensures quicker access to frequently used apps. Also, there is a games enhancer with a Focus Mode that you can select when playing an interactive game such as Fortnite. With this feature, you can choose between battery life and performance and also disable notifications to play games without disturbance.

 

While the Xperia 1 has a great display and features, it does not live up to its price. However, it may be worth a try if you like watching videos or playing games on a ‘Big’ screen.

Contact Us

Percento is a Professional IT Consulting, Implementation and Management firm.  To find out how we can help your organization, please contact one of our friendly sales representatives for a review of your system and a comprehensive (No Obligation) proposal of services. Call today toll-free at 800.614-7886 [Austin | Dallas | Houston | League City | Sugar Land | The Woodlands  | San Antonio] or email us at sales@percentotech.com.

5 Ways Technology Will Change Banking in 2019

Technology will continue to disrupt industries in 2019; the banking sector being one of them. Once the domain of financial technology (fintech) startups, innovative traits and practices disrupting the financial sector are now being widely adopted in the banking sector. Here are the 5 ways in which technology will change banking in 2019.


Banking of 2019Competition in the financial sector is fierce currently. To keep pace with their competitors, more and more banks are now investing handsome amounts into technology that will digitize every aspect of their business. The traditional banking landscape is changing rapidly and is expected to transform completely in the next five years.

An increasing number of remote applications that make branchless banking a reality, and advanced biometrics and cryptography that increase protection against bank scams are some of the many technological developments that we can expect to see in the banking sector in 2019 and beyond. However, the impact of technology in banking is not limited to these. There are many more ways technology will take banking into the future. Following are some of them:

1.     Online Banking with Continue to Replace Branch Banking

Thousands of brick-and-mortar bank branches closed during the current decade as more and more banks looked to shift their customer operations online. This clearly indicates that customers are no longer interested in bank branching like they did in the past. This trend will only grow in 2019 and beyond.

There are several reasons people are opting for online banking over traditional branch banking. These include, but are not limited to, a better customer experience, a faster banking experience, and lower costs. While bank branches won’t go away completely—at least not anytime soon—they will start to lose their appeal. More and more banks will start offering their services online. Ultimately, branch banking may become something to be found only in history books.

2.     Banking Customers Will Have Greater Control Over Their Data

Today, a lot of data gets shared without consumers’ knowledge — the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica fiasco being a perfect example of this. The good news is that this practice will be curbed from this year onwards.

According to one estimate, majority of consumer banking accounts will have controls in 2019 that allow consumers to hand-pick who can access their data and how. This is expected to happen by fall this year as application programming interfaces with the above controls are implemented by the large banks. However, this capability will not be limited to just the large banks. Smaller banks are also expected to find a way to give their consumers control over who can access their data and how.

3.     Mobile Payments Will Continue to Grow Globally

Processing more than a billion dollars per day, the global mobile banking and payments industry is enormous. Regions that have witnessed widespread adoption of mobile payments are sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. This increased adoption is a response to financial exclusion caused by lack of financial services such as banks in these regions.

Financial exclusion is mostly prevalent in poor or economically unstable regions or regions where traditional financial services do not see any value in setting up their businesses. Barriers to entry for brick-and-mortar financial institutions do not help either. However, on the other side on the coin, this is resulting in increased development and widespread use of mobile banking services as primary financial management resource.

Many people in economically disadvantaged regions fail to qualify for a bank account as they are unable to provide the funds and proof of identification required by traditional/brick-and-mortar banks. Another barrier is the distance that needs to travelled in order to access these banks; a challenge for people in remote locations such as rural areas. With mobile banking services, these people have a convenient way of meeting their financial needs and obligations.

Compared to traditional banks, mobile banking services are far more accessible. This accessibility is increasing with the adoption of smartphones. Without having to open a traditional bank account, anyone with a smartphone and internet access can become a part of the mobile banking system. In 2019, mobile banking is expected to grow at a rapid pace, especially in areas that are currently dependent on technology. Additionally, we are likely to see blockchain become an integral part of the financial technology within the mobile banking sector.

Those looking to utilize mobile payment solutions will be provided with an unshakable record of personal data, which will provide the mobile banking industry with another layer of security. These blockchain solutions will come with in-built security that not only prevents fraud, but also make it easier for people to join the formal financial system. The development and deployment of 5G technology is another development that will increase the adoption of mobile banking and payment solutions in 2019 and beyond since it’s paramount for mobile banking’s increasing ubiquity.

4.     Upgraded Automated Teller Machines (ATMs)

When they were first introduced in the 1960s, automated teller machines (ATMs) completely transformed the banking system. 2019 will see the next revolution in ATMs take place and this will involve contactless payments. Just like contactless payments are possible with Google Wallet or Apple Pay today, contactless ATM transactions using a smartphone will be possible from 2019 onwards.

5.     AI-Driven Predictive Banking

Our fifth and final prediction for the ways technology will change banking in 2019 is AI-driven predictive banking. A trend continuing from 2018, the real-time development of predictive profiles of banking customers is made possible by consolidating all internal and external data. Regardless of their size, all banks today can not only know their customers better but they can also provide them with advice for the future. This is all made possible due to the rich, accessible and financially viable data generated from AI-driven predictive banking.

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Percento is a Professional IT Consulting, Implementation and Management firm.  To find out how we can help your organization, please contact one of our friendly sales representatives for a review of your system and a comprehensive (No Obligation) proposal of services. Call today toll-free at 800.614-7886 [Austin | Dallas | Houston | League City | Sugar Land | The Woodlands  | San Antonio] or email us at sales@percentotech.com.

Voice Recognition: The Technology That Is Essentially Revolutionizing the Health Care Sector

The steadily growing affluence, not to mention the ever increasing population of the developed world has basically led to a really large addition to the overall workload of many, health care facilities. And this is not just in the case of the United States, but pretty much all over the world.

And in this regard, if you were to vector in the generally sedentary lifestyle of the individuals who constitute the majority of the populace in the developed world, it is easy to see why there is so much illness and afflictions that people end up succumbing to, and therefore require medical attention.

In the long run, this state of affairs has led to a steady increase in pressure on various different health care resources, not to mention the many health care services that the patients would actually need during the course of the treatment. Naturally, this has led to an addition in the already heavy workload amongst the large number of peoplewho work in this sector along with the entire associated primary, secondary and tertiary level hospices clinics, and hospitals.

o   Dealing with endless paperwork

And of course, along with these really high patient workloads will be included the massive amounts of paperwork that are part and parcel of the daily work routines of not just doctors, but also their assistants, nurses and attendants.

This is really the part where voice or speech recognition technology comes into the picture. Not only is this a really easy, but also a considerably less time consuming method of taking notes. And as a matter of fact, it is not just the doctors alone, but also their associated staff members too, who can do with a bit of help in order to substantially cut down their huge workload. This is possible with the help of voice recognition technology.

By using this technology they will have considerably more time to spend on the actual task that they should be performing, and that is taking proper care of the patients entrusted to them.

Long before speech recognition technology was mainstreamed, many of these people were effectively forced to spend a large amount of time, in making many different reports, in order to keep their patient record data as completely up to date, as possible.

However, it is vital to keep in mind the fact that all personnel related to the medical field have to be specific indeed, when it comes to the maintenance of their patients’ health records. This is largely because even the smallest mistake has the potential to be the causative factor of the most lethal consequences for the patient.

And such mistakes can be committed all too easily during the whole transcription process when the physician carefully listens and jots down the patent’s symptoms and prescribes the treatment. The physician then dictates his notes to his assistant who in turn, types them down and puts them in a file. In this process, lies the crux of the problem.

With so many people involved, not only is it time consuming, but the error of a catastrophic mistake also rises every time an additional layer is added to the equation. Following are different ways, though which SR can help in creating value for doctors and their support staff alike:

o   Greater flexibility of speech

Speech recognition software these days offers multiple options whereupon it is quite possible to detect even the most faintly mispronounced words, regardless of the accent or the dialect of the speaker. This is why today’s perpetually busy clinician now finds it pretty easy to store the relevant information in a digital (speech to text) format with minimum hassle.

Basically, all that the good doctor has to do, is to just ‘talk’ to his smart device suitably equipped with a speech recognition program) and it will do be able to do the rest,by typing out exactly what has been stated onto the microphone, verbatim.

Furthermore, many of the state of the art speech recognition software programs and apps that are not able to understand the spoken word, will actually stop the transcription in mid-sentence and ask the speaker for any clarifications before deciding to proceed onwards.

This way the software itself will ensure that any transcription related mistakes are kept to a bare minimum, in the final document, before it is proof read by the person dictating the notes.

o   EHRs or electronic health records

Many different hospitals as well as various other health care service facilities in many countries all over the world,have started utilizing EHRs or electronic health records for their patients. This has been done so that patient data can be safely, easily and confidently updated in actual real time.

Here, it is deemed pertinent to understand that should a doctor even take just 20 minutes to update the EHR,then that is certainly 20 minutes too much. Especially if he has a whole lot of patients to attend to. These 20 minute time intervals can keep him away from his core task of taking care of his patients.

This is the part where speech recognition (SR) technology comes into the picture. Thanks to this highly convenient technology, the doctor can reduce the amount of time required to update the EHR to a bare minimum, thus effectively ensuring that his precious time is spent in taking care of his patients rather than sifting through endless reams of paperwork.

In the light of the above, we can now safely see that speech recognition is not only the dawn of a new era, but should it be implemented across the board, it will easily serve the many physicians doctors and their support staff, while simultaneously augmenting their treatment efforts, so that they are able to do what they do best. And that is heal people.

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Percento is a Professional IT Consulting, Implementation and Management firm.  To find out how we can help your organization, please contact one of our friendly sales representatives for a review of your system and a comprehensive (No Obligation) proposal of services. Call today toll-free at 800.614-7886 [Austin | Dallas | Houston | League City | Sugar Land | The Woodlands  | San Antonio] or email us at sales@percentotech.com.

How Fiber Internet Can Benefit Your Business

FiberTechnology that has been around for a long time, fiber optics is continually evolving to provide more benefits than before. These benefits are experienced by both individual and business users. Fiber optic internet is extremely popular in today’s hyperconnected world and there’s good reason for it.

The emergence of cloud computing and the need for instant access to data means that users are desperately seeking an internet connection that offers the following: extreme bandwidth, fast and reliable internet speeds, and increased security measures. Fiber internet fill the bill perfectly and following are the reasons for it.

1.     Faster Speeds

A fast internet technology, fiber internet makes it easy and fast for businesses to transfer, download, and upload data. With a fiber internet connection, you can get speeds of up to 100 Gbps. This means that you can email and send files much faster than with a dial-up or copper-based internet connection.

According to a Sandisk research, slow internet connections decrease employee productivity by a full week per year.  By increasing the time required to complete a task, a slow internet connection adds up over time, which decreases productivity. On the other hand, fiber internet is seamless, fast, and capable of supporting employees’ workflow. Additionally, the speeds of fiber internet are symmetrical. This means that you will get the same speeds whether you are uploading or downloading a file.

The internet connection of most businesses is shared amongst laptops, desktops and VOIP systems. Additionally, some employees also connect their mobile phones and tablets to the internet network. This slows down the connection to affect the overall productivity of the organization. Therefore, it is critical for businesses to have enough bandwidth to support all the devices in their organizations. A fiber internet connection can provide just that.

2.     Reliability

Compared to copper or coaxial-based internet connections, fiber-based internet connection is much more stable. This means that the fiber optic cable is less likely to be cut or get damaged. Built to last, fiber optic cables are extremely durable, and they can keep their shape for more than thirty years. Additionally, inclement weather conditions can cause them little harm. All this makes fiber internet an extremely reliable internet connection.

3.     Cloud Access

Today, it would be hard to find a business that does not have presence in the cloud. In fact, 82% of the organizations worldwide are using the cloud in some way. It goes without saying that businesses in the cloud need a fast and reliable internet connection. Faster access to information in the cloud via SaaS tools and other platforms can benefit your business in several ways. This includes eliminating the delays your sales and customer services teams face in communicating with prospects and customers.

Therefore, you need an internet connection that provides you with fast access to data and applications in the cloud. Fiber internet can ensure this by providing the required speed and bandwidth. A fiber-internet connection is becoming critical for businesses as they transition more services to the cloud.

With cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive etc., businesses can more easily and remotely store, manage, and process their data. This allows them to lower costs and manage workload more efficiently. For optimal performance, the cloud services need a reliable and fast internet connection. A fiber-internet connection can ensure both.

4.     Increased Security

If you want to secure your business against cybercrime, then using a fiber internet connection is a great way to achieve that. This is because fiber internet is not easy to penetrate. Anyone wanting to hack into your network would have to physically cut the fibers to cause the signals to disappear.

Loss of signal in fiber internet means that someone has penetrated your network. This means that you will know right away when your connection is tampered. Compared to fiber internet, wireless or copper connections are far easier to infiltrate and gain access to by hackers. However, with fiber internet, your data and network are always secure.

5.     Signal Strength

Improved signal strength is another key benefit of using a fiber internet connection. When it travels over long distances, copper cabling can lose it signal strength. However, this rarely happens with fiber optic cables. According to a recent research, the loss of signal strength with copper cabling over hundred meters is 94%. The loss of signal strength in fiber optic over the same distance is just 3%.

The signal in a copper-based internet connection quickly gets weaker as users move further from the switch. With fiber-internet connection, it takes much longer for signal to weaken as users move further from the location of the connection. This is great news for organizations with very large facilities where a good internet signal strength is needed throughout the facility. Employees far from the telecommunications room can get the same signal strength as employees in an office next to it.

6.     Cost Savings

The sixth and perhaps the biggest benefit of a fiber-internet connection for a business is cost savings. The increased competition on the market means that fiber internet is now more affordable than ever. A fiber-internet connection costs more upfront that a copper-based connection. However, the increased reliability of fiber internet reduces your network’s downtime. This results in long-term benefits not experienced with other types of internet connections. The benefits include fewer hardware needed and reduced maintenance costs.

As seen above, there are many benefits of fiber internet for your business including faster speeds, reliable connection, faster access to the cloud, increased security, signal strength, and cost savings. The positive impact of fiber internet, as indicated above, should be reason enough for you to invest in fiber internet.

Contact Us

Percento is a Professional IT Consulting, Implementation and Management firm.  To find out how we can help your organization, please contact one of our friendly sales representatives for a review of your system and a comprehensive (No Obligation) proposal of services. Call today toll-free at 800.614-7886 [Austin | Dallas | Houston | League City | Sugar Land | The Woodlands  | San Antonio] or email us at sales@percentotech.com.

Speech Recognition: The Newest Tool in The Never Ending War Against Crime

Police and other law enforcement personnel, ranging from the elite members of the law enforcement apparatus all the way to the street pounding beat cops, together are amongst the most important members of the various communities that they ‘defend and protect’ from criminals of all kinds. This is due to them being responsible for the real world safety, and security of all individuals living in the localities and areas that are part of their jurisdiction.

Nevertheless, this is but only a single piece of the overall picture at large. The police and other law enforcement agency’s work does not merely include exciting late night raids to collar criminals. It encompasses the former and all the requisite paperwork and other proper documentation of the myriad different crimes that have occurred, alongside other equally important ancillary issues that form a crucial part of their erstwhile daily routine.

o   The importance of ‘due process’ in police work

After all, a police officer certainly cannot arrest anyone without something known as “just cause” or a pressing reason that justifies the arrest. This means that there is a copious amount of paperwork that is required to make just about any arrest legitimate enough to be prosecuted in the eyes of the law.  Without all of this paperwork, the arrest will be treated as illegitimate and not only will the officer/s be censured, but the suspect will walk free.

Nonetheless, all these tedious hours upon hours of painstaking documentation that duly encompasses each and every facet of police work basically means that the cops in question are spending more time in their offices than where they should be. And that place is on the streets, doing precisely what they are supposed to be doing, which is stopping crime right in its tracks and thereby making the mean streets of just about any town or city considerably safer for the common man.

Apart from the above, extremely overworked policed officers can and almost certainly do make mistakes while they go about preparing reports, which they cannot afford to make due to the case relying on such reports to make a suitable judgment. There are times when an otherwise purely inadvertent error made during the transcription process can easily lead to the subsequent acquittal of a really dangerous criminal. In a nutshell, this means that really low conviction rates are a product of transcription errors due to which criminals and other felons eventually end up walking free, instead of ending up where they belong, I.e. behind bars.

This is a sad reality that occurs all too often. If it wasn’t for this extra load, enforcement personnel would not be forced to cut a few corners in their mad rush to get their paperwork in order. This causes them to rush through crucial reports that they have not had the time to properly vet. This, in turn also ends up leading to markedly low conviction rates, where the cases are contested in the courts of criminal law.

o   Speech recognition and its impact on law enforcement

This is the part where voice and speech recognition technology comes to the fore. Before the invention of speech recognition devices and their subsequent adaptation by the law enforcement sector, many county sheriff and police departments required their relevant personnel to transcribe the files themselves, word for word, on paper. The handwritten notes had to be handed over to various typists and stenographers so that these critical notes could be digitalized in the precinct’s own system. Basically, this meant that an even further burden, in terms of man hours was placed on all personnel involved. This went hand in glove with a sharply higher propensity of transcription errors to occur.

However, that was before speech recognition was almost uniformly adapted in the law enforcement sector. Today, thanks to the rapid advancements in cutting-edge speech recognition technology, law enforcement officers who arrive to their precinct or county sheriff’s office, fresh from the crime scene quite simply go about reviewing their encounter on any voice recognition device that subsequently transcribes their spoken words onto written speech. The police officer will then thoroughly read it, then proceed to rectify any errors (albeit, it is unlikely that there will be any, thanks to the tremendous advancements in voice recognition technology) on his word processor and he or she will be finished with their documentation duty.

In fact, this technology has certainly gone a really long way when it comes to streamlining the work of all the different police departments not just in the USA, but pretty much all over the world. This boils down to speech recognition technology essentially ensuring a certain measure of quick justice for all concerned parties.

In a courtroom, hard evidence is all that matters, and the onus of the responsibility of proving a crime rests with the prosecution. This is because the culprit is presumed ‘innocent till he or she is proven guilty’. And any mistakes in the transcription due to a stenographical error can and is often taken by the defense attorney as a glaring contradiction, helping the culprit walk out a free man. By reducing the layers of red tape, it is now possible to effectively ensure that the whole process is streamlined as much as possible. This leads to errors either out rightly being eliminated, or kept to a bare minimum.

o   Conclusion

Once we take in the intricacies of the old system and its propensity for making mistakes, it would not be wrong to state that this truly remarkable innovation has led to a steep decline in the overall workload for many different police departments. At the same it has also successfully helped to free up vital manpower resources that are absolutely critical for the task of providing security to a community.

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Percento is a Professional IT Consulting, Implementation and Management firm.  To find out how we can help your organization, please contact one of our friendly sales representatives for a review of your system and a comprehensive (No Obligation) proposal of services. Call today toll-free at 800.614-7886 [Austin | Dallas | Houston | League City | Sugar Land | The Woodlands  | San Antonio] or email us at sales@percentotech.com.

How AI is Affecting the Job Market Today

AI

Artificial intelligence is the new buzz word these days. It stems from multiple technological advancements taking place in the world more or less simultaneously. From voice recognition technology, all the way to the use of machine intelligence in HR practices in companies all over the world.

Of course, there have been the usual predictions of artificial intelligence leading to massive unemployment rates. Not to mention the massive social impact of so many different people on global society at a holistic level.

However, it does not really have to be this way at all, thanks to the fact that the whole socioeconomic system (as it exists today) is currently quite busy in entering a phase of increasingly fast paced transformation.

That is, it is evolving from a human labor intensive system to one based on an AI set up. These will include thegovernment sector, various large businesses, education and social welfare, themarkets as well as employment models. All of which will be profoundly affected by machine learning and artificial intelligence.

o   The different roles, jobs and tasks that are considered to be at risk

There are many tasks and jobs that are considered to be monotonous. These (oft menial) tasks can, all too easily be automated with the help of artificial Intelligence. And in the long run, this will effectively mean that slowly and gradually, certain roles will become entirely obsolete.

Many tasks and activities that are directly related to customer care and call center operations (for instance), machine operation, content moderation, discovery and retrieval systemsand document classification will eventually end up being assigned to AI.

In other words, artificial intelligence will easily take over those jobs that are tedious and repetitive, and substitutethe same via automation, especially of the type that generally requires minimal human involvement.

The same is also quite true for many of those roles that are basically related to the overall operation and support of extended production lines in different plants all over the world. As a matter of fact, the assembly line’s workforce has largely been substituted with robots and AI, with humans playing the role of supervisors.

This was not the case barely a generation before. However, this has not led to the predicted job losses, per se. On the contrary, people simply moved on and took over other roles and tasks that required more meaningful human input, such as monitoring the robots and ensuring that they are doing their assigned tasks properly.

Furthermore, many load intensive tasks such as moving heavy objects and the like, can now be performed by smart robots who have been equipped with machine learning capabilities.

In this respect, as with many others, artificial intelligence has proven to be an extremely effective means of accomplishing many tasks that had hitherto being performed solely by human beings.

o   The utility of RPA in the HR function

RPA or ‘Robotic Process Automation’ is currently taking over many front line HR tasks, that had initially been the domain of the human labor force. This is especially true when it comes to recruitments and subsequent job placements.

Looking at Robotic Process Automation through the HR prism, we can easily see that the entire process begins with the automation of both data storage as well as retrieval systems of the CVs and resumes of any candidatewho is considered to be eligible for any job in the organization. In fact, the overall automation of the ‘resume search’ task has led to a significant decrease in man hours. This is largely due to the fact that the work that people did manually can now, all too easily be undertaken with a simple click of an icon.

In addition to the above, the really diverse number as well as types of applicant tracking tools also means that it is quite possible to speed up the whole painstaking process of individually sifting through different resumes. As of now, the most relevant ones can easily be retrieved from the digital database in order of their relevance, literally within seconds, at most.

Furthermore, there are many more functions as well that have now been taken over by RPA Robotic and their associated tools including ‘candidate relationship management.’ This is an AI process that has been specifically designed so as to conduct multiple types of screening and assessments of the candidates by the AI equipped system. This in turn, further simplifies the vetting procedure and makes it all the easier for the human element to come right at the end of the whole process, thereby saving the precious man hours of senior and junior staff members alike, thereby freeing their time for more critical day to day operations.

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Percento is a Professional IT Consulting, Implementation and Management firm.  To find out how we can help your organization, please contact one of our friendly sales representatives for a review of your system and a comprehensive (No Obligation) proposal of services. Call today toll-free at 800.614-7886 [Austin | Dallas | Houston | League City | Sugar Land | The Woodlands  | San Antonio] or email us at sales@percentotech.com.

Top 8 Benefits of Technology Parks

Technology ParkTechnology parks (also called science parks or technopoles) are open spaces that serve as business incubators for startups that are affiliated with a university.

Ever since the first technology park was created near Stanford University in the 1950s, these spaces have launched countless tech startups all over the world.

Technology parks have become the next frontier in the field of IT, and for the right reasons.

If you’re planning to launch a tech-based startup soon, here are eight reasons to choose a technology park as your initial base of operations.

1.     Boost Economy

Governments all over the world often invest in technology parks to boost their regional and national economies. For instance, Singapore invested more than $7 billion to develop the one-north technology park in order to respond to the various overseas threats its manufacturing industries faced in the 90s. Similarly, the Riyadh Techno Valley (RTV) initiative is aimed to promote greater collaboration between private and public sectors and facilitate startups in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

2.     Provide Abundant Space for Growth

Unlike office buildings, technology parks are large outdoor spaces that facilitate business growth and expansion. These parks contain adequate office space, fully-equipped laboratories, proper storage and warehouse facilities, and high-quality conference rooms and meeting centers. Since most startups have limited funds and high preliminary expenses, they can benefit from these facilities.

3.     Encourage Business Development

As startups grow, they often require bigger offices and more facilities. Most technology parks provide ample space for business development.

Take the case of University of Arizona Science and Technology Park. During the first few years of its operations, the park was able to accommodate two companies with more than 700 employees. Today, the park houses more than 40 companies and supports over 7000 employees. The park spreads over an area of 1300 acres of land and nearly 2 million square feet of office, production, and research space. The technology park also contributes more than $3 billion toward the economy.

4.     Facilitate Training Sessions

Technology parks offer access to a wide variety of education and training resources. For instance, the University of Arizona Science and Technology Park is one of the first tech parks in the United States that houses a high school. The students at this school have greatly benefitted from the vast technical training opportunities offered at the UA Tech Park.

5.     Include the Latest Technology

Like all public parks, technology parks must comply with basic infrastructure requirements such as clean bathrooms and ample walking space. However, tech parks are also equipped with high-speed broadband internet and telecommunication facilities that make it easy to establish and manage a business.

Technology parks are primarily located in certain places that have been designated as IT hubs by the government. For instance, the Kista Science City is the largest information and communications technology center in Europe. It is located in Stockholm (Sweden), about 15 minutes away from the Arlanda airport and Stockholm city center.

At present, Sweden’s largest company Ericsson is headquartered in this park. Other businesses that operate from within the Kista Science City include Miscrosoft, Sun, and IBM. The entire park complex is equipped with broadband internet and several other amenities.

6.     Come with a Range of Amenities

When technology parks were initially introduced in the 50s, they were designed as business incubators. The purpose of these parks was to provide a place where innovative businesses could develop and prosper. The earliest tech parks were built around university campuses, since most of the startups were funded by the universities.

However, technology parks have now grown in size and complexity. Some of the largest tech parks in the world have housing facilities that can accommodate thousands of people at once. The influx of employees and their families to these parks has created “smart cities.”

Today, technology parks all over the world have gyms, shopping centers, restaurants, and nurseries. At the very basic, a tech park has proper office space and parking. Once a tech park grows in size, the government can add more amenities along the way.

7.     Promote Rest & Recreation

Over the past few years, corporations all over the world have been investing in their employees’ health and wellbeing. From increasing paid leaves to reducing working hours, there are several ways companies are contributing toward employee welfare.

Working at a tech park has its perks. The park typically spreads over a large and green area. When tired from their work, employees can simply head out and enjoy a refreshing stroll across the park.

Technology parks are also equipped with gyms, and these fitness centers are usually free of charge. If your startup is located in a technology park, you can easily hit the gym after a long and tiring day. You may not have to pay any charges.

8.     Equipped with Various Security Features

Technology parks house all types of companies, from emerging startups to established multinational organizations. Since most of the corporations in a technology park are IT-based companies, the park contains tons of sensitive data.

To prevent data theft and vandalism, technology parks are equipped with state-of-the-art security features. From surveillance cameras to a network of security guards, these parks have several measures in place to reduce the likelihood of criminal activities.

A good example of a secure technology park is the Studsvik Tech Park in Sweden. The park is heavily guarded by a team of security professionals who work 24/7 all-year round. The area is surrounded by a deep-water harbor that can easily receive ships. However, all ships and shipments leaving and entering the park must have the highest security specifications.

Setting up a company in a technology park isn’t enough. To make your business grow, you’ll need to streamline various businesses processes by investing in IT tools and technologies. If you require customized and high-quality IT solutions, call one of our experts today!

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Percento is a Professional IT Consulting, Implementation and Management firm.  To find out how we can help your organization, please contact one of our friendly sales representatives for a review of your system and a comprehensive (No Obligation) proposal of services. Call today toll-free at 800.614-7886 [Austin | Dallas | Houston | League City | Sugar Land | The Woodlands  | San Antonio] or email us at sales@percentotech.com.

Is Artificial Intelligence Affecting the Legal Sector?

Legal Sector - Artificial IntelligenceUp till a few years back, litigators would balk at the idea of artificial intelligence (AI) affecting the legal sector. Times have changed since then, and lawyers have now graciously accepted the fact that AI is reshaping their careers and professional lives.

AI is speeding up what humans do. In the legal world, it shows promising results in carrying out mundane and time-consuming tasks with ease and unerring accuracy.

Here’s what you need to know about the impact of artificial intelligence on the legal sector.

Understanding the Basics of Artificial Intelligence

Hollywood movies have often portrayed AI as a supercomputer that wants to destroy mankind. The computer either sends terminators back in time or creates an illusionary matrix to blind human beings from the reality. However, all these representations are incorrect at best and offensive at worst.

The purpose of AI is to carry out certain procedures with better competence and capabilities compared to a human being. The technology relies on complex algorithms and self-learning software that analyzes data to make out patterns and make the best possible decisions.

Will AI Replace Lawyers?

In 2017, JPMorgan developed an AI system that interpreted various commercial loan agreements by analyzing 360,000 hours of work in just a few seconds. The news spread like wildfire and left several lawyers across the United States worried about their jobs.

However, a quick look into the working of the system shows that there’s nothing to worry about. The AI tool only analyzed existing data and took out the element of guesswork to provide a logical conclusion. Such technology, if implemented nationwide, could free up a lot of time for lawyers to focus on strategic matters instead of worrying about mundane documentation.

In essence, developing a smart artificial intelligence system could benefit the legal community in the following ways.

 

Reviewing Legal Research

Most of the AI-powered supercomputers are capable of analyzing tons of data in a jiffy. These computers can quickly scan through a library of data (or a legal database) to review documents and mark them as relevant for a particular case.

Machines are much faster than human beings at scanning documents, and their outputs can easily be statistically verified. In recent times, ROSS Intelligence has created a learning computer that uses natural language to process several legal documents at once.

Predicting Decisions

When dealing with a new or existing client, lawyers are often questioned about the probability of success for a particular case. For instance, your client may ask you the following question:

“If I go to trial, will I win this case?”

As a lawyer, it’s difficult for you to answer with a yes or a no. However, an AI-based system can assess existing cases to determine the probability for success. You can simply use the software to find out about similar cases and their success rates. This way, you can provide a definitive answer to your client and discuss the best possible course of action.

Performing Due Diligence

In almost every law office around the globe, several legal experts are involved in conducting due diligence. The process involves uncovering background information for clients by confirming various facts and figures. It is only after the due diligence is complete that a lawyer can offer proper counsel to his or her client.

Due diligence is an exhausting procedure, and lawyers often find it difficult to corroborate information. Having an AI system in place can greatly speed up the process. Dedicated AI software can perform accurate due diligence and remove human errors and any inherent subjectivity involved with the process.

Facilitating Divorce Proceedings

Divorce proceedings in the United States cost around $30,000 on average. These proceedings are not only costly for the couple, but they can also be tedious for their lawyers. However, a recently developed AI system called Wevorce offers a simple and effective solution to make divorces amicable.

Using this AI tool, couples can easily state their optimal outcomes. These outcomes state where each spouse wants to be after the divorce settlement. The system then guides each spouse through a series of modules that provide details on the legal documentation required to obtain the optimal outcome.

Wevorce includes topics on co-parenting and financial planning. The system also offers a free consultation with a licensed divorce attorney when couples get started. However, the system does not generate trials and proceedings, and a lawyer’s assistance will be required.

Assessing Contracts

Many corporate attorneys spend a lot of their time reviewing their clients’ contractual agreements with other parties. The objective of this exercise is to look for any clauses or stipulations that could harm their client’s interests. The exercise is painstakingly exhausting, and it takes an eagle-eyed lawyer to spot hidden terms and clauses that could prove disastrous for their clients.

Various companies have created smart AI tools that are capable of reviewing contracts. These systems are designed to analyze all contractual obligations and detect the harmful clauses that should be scrapped out of the agreement. The AI systems could also offer advice on whether or not these contracts should be accepted. Some of the best AI-based systems for reviewing contracts include those developed by eBrevia, LawGeex, and Kira Systems.

The Future of Law Firms

In 2016, Deloitte published a paper on the impact of AI on the legal sector. The firm estimates that more than 100,000 jobs in the legal sector are likely to be automated within the next twenty years. The report also states that nearly 40% of all jobs in the legal industry will undergo radical changes within the next ten years.

To tackle the challenges of automation, law firms need to develop a comprehensive strategy. Possible solutions include hiring employees who have the necessary knowledge and skills to operate AI-based machinery. Since technology will replace many functions currently performed by humans, it may best for law firms to scale back on some of the services they offer.

Industry-wide automation is creating an extremely competitive environment for businesses. If you’re looking for the right tools and strategies to streamline your business operations for continual growth, talk to one of our experts today!

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Percento is a Professional IT Consulting, Implementation and Management firm.  To find out how we can help your organization, please contact one of our friendly sales representatives for a review of your system and a comprehensive (No Obligation) proposal of services. Call today toll-free at 800.614-7886 [Austin | Dallas | Houston | League City | Sugar Land | The Woodlands  | San Antonio] or email us at sales@percentotech.com.