Wi-Fi Connectivity is Crucial for Successful IOT Deployment: Here’s Why

Internet of ThingsIn 2011, the United Nations declared the internet a human right. According to the UN report published in 2011, blocking access to the internet was a human rights violation and against international law. So, this establishes one thing: internet access is your right and coffee shops in New York and other parts of the U.S should not be denying you this right.

Having said this — while filing a lawsuit against New York’s coffee shops for denying you your right may be a bit too much, you should definitely exercise your right and ask these shops for their Wi-Fi password. After all, being disconnected from the world, even for a fraction of a second, may cause you to lose money, business or both. Today, there are 3.5 billion internet users — that’s almost half of the world’s population. This is reason enough to stay connected to the internet 24/7.

Bringing Internet Connectivity to the World with Wireless Technology

Right now, the internet community is 3.5 billion strong and it has plans to grow even further. More than half of the world’s population does not have access to the World Wide Web but the world’s technology leaders are working to change this. The tool they’re planning to use to bring internet connectivity to the entire world is wireless technology.

Compared to landline networks, wireless technology is cheaper to extend to the remote corners of the world and enable on every street of the world. For this reason, Wi-Fi technology is the perfect tool to extend the access to internet: a human right, and breakdown economic and infrastructure barriers.

Why Wi-Fi is Crucial for IOT Deployments

The ubiquitous nature of Wi-Fi makes it ideal for IOT deployments. As it’s flexible and easy to connect to, Wi-Fi can be extremely useful for connecting sensors and other things which make up the Internet of Things (IOT). According to a recent report by Aruba, more than 50% of the companies in the U.S have already adopted the Internet of Things (IOT) and this number is expected to grow to 85% by 2019. To successfully deploy IOT, all the companies relied on wireless technology.

Just like fish cannot survive without water, IOT cannot survive without Wi-Fi. This is how important Wi-Fi is to IOT. Today, almost all enterprises have Wi-Fi. However, only a few of them have a network that can support a flux of IOT devices. For successful IOT deployment, a company’s network must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Work to maximum capacity
  • Support numerous applications
  • Support various mobile and IOT devices
  • Ensure network and device access security

Following are four IOT adopters and what they’re using the Internet of Things for.

Enterprises

To enable a smart workplace that drives work effectiveness and employee productivity, enterprises are using IOT to implement remote monitoring and indoor location-based services.

Industrial Sector

To increase visibility and business efficiency, the industrial sector is using IOT to track and maintain industrial functions.

Healthcare

The healthcare sector is using the Internet of Things to maintain equipment/system, track asset, monitor patients, while reducing costs.

Retailers

To improve customer experience and boost sales revenue, retailers are using IOT to implement location-based services.

The Requirements for Successful IOT Deployment and How Wi-Fi can Help Meet Them

The following requirements need to be met for successful IOT deployment:

  • Ability to evolve quickly
  • Capability to easily manage and track the network
  • Ease of connecting ‘things’ to the cloud
  • Integration with existing systems and standardization
  • Security challenges of an ever-expanding network

Wi-Fi can help meet each of these requirements.

Connecting Devices to the Cloud with Wi-Fi

Connecting IOT devices to the cloud is often a problem and many hardware vendors go to great lengths to ensure that devices connect reliably and securely to the cloud. There is a significant advantage of using Wi-Fi here. Without any additional gateway hardware or physical layer protocol bridges, Wi-Fi can connect directly with a secure key exchange. This helps minimize both cost and network architecture complexity.

Integration with Existing Systems

As Wi-Fi is a standardized technology, building an Internet of Things network over it is far less challenging than doing the same with other internet-connectivity options. After they incorporate Wi-Fi into their network, most enterprises will not find any difference between HaLow devices and existing IP. This means that integrating the new Halow standard will be simple. Additionally, as Wi-Fi can be leverage in IOT, scaling network becomes easy, which makes Wi-Fi ideal for future expansion.

Overcome Security Challenges

Though Wi-Fi alone cannot meet the security and policy extensions in IOT strategies, it can easily integrate with options such as cloud management and software-defined networking (SDN) to enable them across the network and that too from a single central management platform.

In addition to ensuring the network’s security, SDN and cloud management helps reduce the time required to market and new features. Additionally, they help optimize performance and enable administrators to track and manage the network on a continuing basis.

Standardization

Wi-Fi’s ubiquitous nature helps simplify global roll out and certifications. This in turn ensures adherence to standards for consistency. The amortization of the R &D effort in consumer applications is another benefit of this. This helps reduce the overall cost for chipsets, silico etc. For this reason, compared to other similar technologies, Wi-Fi is a cost-effective solution.

Today, many companies are using Wi-Fi to implement the Internet of Things. The aforementioned- benefits of using Wi-Fi for IOT devices are just a few of the countless reasons Wi-Fi connectivity is crucial for successful IOT deployment. You may have not realized it yet – but without Wi-Fi, you will always be a step behind your competition.

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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 | Houston | The Woodlands | Dallas | San Antonio] or email us at sales@percentotech.com.

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The 4 Best Portable Chargers

Power ChargersBattery is the life-force, the fuel that keeps us going. Our life is becoming increasingly dependent on technology and the devices that enable it and what is enabling these devices? Yes, you guessed it right—batteries. Without batteries, technology and the devices that enable it would like a lifeless corpse. Now, when you’re at your home, lounging over the couch, you can easily stretch out to a plug point and charge your device as soon as it is low on power. But, what if you’re out and about and don’t have any instant access to a power source. The only solution here is a portable power charger.

Are you always on the go but need your phone to be accessible to you and others 24/7? If yes, then the last thing you’d want is your smartphone running low on battery. Low battery often triggers a crisis-mode in people as most of us are so dependent on our handheld devices. There’s nothing worse than a phone battery that dies on you when it’s crucial for you to contact someone for an important task. To ensure that doesn’t happen to you, get a portable mobile device charger.

Why Portable Chargers are a Life Saver

Most of the times we need to rush out for work, gatherings, and meetings, etc. And, in this rush, we often forget to charge our mobile devices to the ‘required level’. The result of this is a smartphone battery that runs out of power at some point during the day, and this may be disastrous if it happens while you’re on the go. The best thing in such scenarios are portable chargers. As soon as your battery starts losing power, simply grab your portable charger and power your device to a ‘desired’ level. This is why portable chargers are considered  as life-saving devices.One of the best things about portable chargers is that you can charge a host of devices including tablets, iPhone, iPods, and digital cameras through a single portable charger. Today, more and more mobile device owners are buying these chargers and there are several reasons for this. Following are some of them:

Easy to Carry

As the name suggests, portable chargers are portable devices that can be carried anywhere. Lightweight and small in size, portable charges are designed to ensure portability. As it can be an inconvenient and often frustrating experience, no one wants to carry a heavy and big-sized accessory with them. Thankfully, portable chargers don’t fit that bill. Devices that can easily fitted into purses or handbags or tucked inside pockets of trousers, portable chargers are convenient to carry and this makes them even more likeable.

Can Charge your Device to Full Power

Surely, a gadget that can charge your mobile device on the go would have sort of loophole? Maybe it malfunctions often? Or Maybe if fails to charge the device to full power? If you’re thinking like that then stop now! Portable chargers hardly malfunction and they can charge your device to full power. What more do you want?

No unnecessary Cables and Wires

When you’re on the go, carrying devices that come with ‘too many’ wires and cables can be hassle. As portable chargers don’t come with any such handicaps, they are ‘great’ to carry.

There you have it—why more and more mobile device owners are buying portable chargers. With that discussed, it’s time to the four best portable charges available in the market today.

1.   Anker PowerCore Power Bank

There’s a good chance that you heard of Anker. If you haven’t, then no need to worry as we’re not discussing Anker here. Instead, we’re discussing PowerCore Power bank offered by it. The battery size of this portable charger is ‘huge’. To be precise, it has a 20,100mAh battery. So, before you recharge your Anker charger, you can use it multiple times to charge up your mobile or tablet devices. One con of this charger is that it’s a little heavier than most portable chargers available in the market today.

2.   Nifty External Battery

A compact device, Nifty portable charger doesn’t have a huge battery capacity. But, finished with a textured plastic, the portable charger is lightweight and good to look at.  As soon as you tap this charger, both the USB port lights and the LED array will light up to indicate the remaining battery power, which is great when you’re moving in the dark. Regardless of what device you have, nifty will charge your device pretty fast.

3.   AmazonBasics Portable External Battery Charger

This portable charger comes with different battery capacities, ranging from 5,600mAh to 16,100mAh. You can use the latter to charge a burly tablet while the former can give your smartphone a minimum of one full charge. If you want the perfect balance between power and portability, then go for the 10,000mAh model. Regardless of what battery capacity you get, the AmazonBasics charger will feature 4 LED lights on the front that indicate how much power remains in the battery.

4.   Aukey Power Bank

If you want something similar to Anker Power bank, but a bit cheaper then, one of the best options you have is the Aukey Power bank. A portable charger with a battery capacity of 20,000mAh, Aukey Power Bank features two ports, allowing you to charge two devices at the same time. The portable charger has a light that shows how much power remains in the battery. A disadvantage of choosing this battery is that it chargers slower than most other portable chargers available today.

The aforementioned-portable chargers are the four chargers we think are best portable chargers available today. But, there are many other portable chargers you should consider before choosing a portable charger for your smartphone or tablet device.

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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 | Houston | The Woodlands | Dallas | San Antonio] or email us at sales@percentotech.com.

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Technology is Making Construction Safer: Here’s How

Construction TechnologyTechnology is constantly improving our lives including making construction safer. People working at construction sites are exposed to a variety of risks. This includes the risk of electrocution due to bad wiring, the risk of slips and falls, and the potential for respiratory tract problems due to toxic airborne fibers or asbestos. It also includes, the risk of crushing injuries due to moving and falling objects and risk of on-site accidents due to moving vehicles that are dangerous to maneuver. In short, a lot can go wrong at construction sites including serious injuries and even death. The good news is that technology is helping to mitigate these risks and make construction safer.

Technology and Safer Constructions Sites

Safe construction sites lead to better productivity which ultimately leads to increased profits. With increased construction safety, construction businesses can lower the money spent on repairing damaged equipment, lower insurance premiums, and save time lost due to accidents. All this will result in reduced costs and increased revenues.

Traditionally, construction businesses haven’t been big on adopting the latest technology. However, as mentioned above, people working at construction sites are exposed to a variety of risks. So, if you want to lower construction accidents, decrease costs and increases profits then you must be open to adopting technology that makes construction safer. To help you better understand the importance of technology in construction, following are some of the ways technology is making construction safer.

Centralized Safety Reports

To file safety reports, most construction sites still use paper.  This in turn makes it extremely difficult for site managers to access the information required to determine the optimal ways of making sites safer.  The good news is that things have started to change. Today, a new trend is emerging—more and more constructions sites are starting to enter safety reports into a computer database. And, future innovations are predicted to take that innovation to the next level.

Today, there are computer programs that monitor trends for site managers after gathering all safety reports generated in a certain region. With this kind of information at their disposal, site managers can make decisions that’ll ensure worker safety and help avoid safety issues that have occurred repeatedly in the past.

Drones in the Air

The demand for drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), for commercial use has increased significantly ever since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) established rules and regulations for their use in 2016. Ranging from surveillance to inspecting structures, drones are being used on construction work sites for a variety of purposes. More importantly, they’re being used to make construction safer. By identifying potential hazards each day and quickly performing work site inspections, drones make construction sites safer. Moreover, they ensure the safety of construction workers by allowing supervisors to monitor workers throughout the day.

Wearables On the Field

By enabling the tracking and monitoring of people working in hazardous environment, wearable technology makes work sites such as construction sites safer. Seeing the ability of wearable technology to make work sites safer, businesses across the globe are implementing it in their work environment. With the help of wearable technology, businesses are able to detect red flags such as gas, heat, lack of movement, etc.

In case a problem is detected, close- by co-workers and management would be automatically alerted. This will increase the chances of a worker receiving immediate medical attention which in turn will increases his/her chances of recover and/or survival. In short, wearable technology can help you to detect an accident or injury at a construction site before it occurs which makes the construction sites safer.

Mobile Technology

Construction TechnologyYes, you heard that right—something as simple as a smartphone are making construction sites safer. Smartphones combined with cloud technology and mobile app are fully digitizing the construction safety processes. With an alternative in smartphones, contractors no longer need to wait several weeks to get phone service to a work site. And, these smartphones as well as tablets can be used to make construction jobs safer.

With mobile technology, both safety checklists and approvals can be completed in real time. For example, a worker who needs to carry out dangerous work at a large height has to acquire a work permit to start the job. To get the permit, he has to go through several safety checks on the software. Only after he’s progressed through those checks, the worker will be issued a permit to work. This processed information is then digitally shared with management, supervisors and co-workers.

This digitization of safety processes via mobile devices ensures smarter output, increased productivity and real time detection of conflicting activities.  According to NoteVault.com, a company that develops innovative mobile solutions for project teams, many contractors are using mobile technology to provide site managers with important information and ensure that everyone at the construction site understands the flow of work.

As they’re aware of what everyone at the construction site is doing, workers can avoid the collisions and accidents that are a common occurrence at construction sites.

Driverless Trucks

You may or may not know this but driverless trucks are now a reality. In 2015, Royal Truck & Equipment, Inc., a company that offers used trucks to businesses, unveiled its driverless truck. By handling jobs prone to accidents such as installing a traffic signal, inspecting a bridge or blacktopping a road, the driverless truck of Royal Truck & Equipment makes many labor-intensive jobs safer. This includes the work done at construction sites.

There you have it—how technology is making construction safer. In addition to improving the things around us, technology is making them safer. This includes safer construction sites. The aforementioned-things are just a few of the many ways technology is making construction safer.

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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 | Houston | Dallas | San Antonio] or email us at sales@percentotech.com.

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Here’s Why You need Business Intelligence Software

Business Intelligence SoftwareThere are no two ways about it—either you know something or you don’t know it. In spite of this, many business owners and managers today are making important business decisions based on limited information. Some act on ‘gut’ feeling or intuition while others rely on reports produced by their IT departments. Often, the picture portrayed by IT reports is misleading. So, relying on spreadsheets to make key business decisions is a mistake.

On the other hand, there is no involvement of data in decisions made based on ‘gut’ feeling. These decisions are based on intuition, which may or may not be correct. Often, decisions based on intuition lead to decreased productivity, frustration and loss of revenue over time. If you want your business to prosper in today’s competitive environment, then you must consider using business intelligence software to assess risks and make key business decisions. Software that allows you to collect, analyze and leverage a wide variety of data, business intelligence helps your business to increase its visibility and gain competitive advantage. Following are 9 benefits of using business intelligence software.

1. Reporting
Data is continuously gathered and analyzed by business intelligence software. With business intelligence software, you can generate a wide variety of reports including reports related to customer service, staffing, operations process, and expenses. While these reports are useful, the biggest benefit of using business intelligence software is the relevance of information. As they contain relevant data that is easy to understand, BI reports allow businesses to make informed decisions.

2. Less Guesswork
Running a business is not gambling and this is something you should always keep in mind. ‘Going with the gut feeling’ or ‘making the best guess’ to make key business decisions is a big NO! The future of your company depends on the decisions you make for it. Surely, you wouldn’t want the future on your business to be dependent on hit- and- miss guesswork. By using business intelligence software, you will get access accurate data and real time updates which in turn will allow to more accurately ‘predict’ how a decision will affect your business in the future.

3. Elimination of Waste
Anything that does not add value to your business is referred to as waste. By identifying the areas of waste in your company that you may not have noticed till now, BI software helps you to eliminate the waste in your company. By eliminating waste, you can increase business productivity and ultimately, revenues.

4. Performance Management
Business can use business intelligence software to set performance goals and track progress on a daily basis. Known as performance management, this ability of the BI software allows businesses to easily and effectively implement and manage performance goals. This is turn helps businesses to improve performances and increase productivity.

5. Easy Access to Data
In an effort to improve their processes, businesses have traditionally relied on several different software systems to gather transactional data. However, as these rich data resources continue to grow, businesses are finding it incredibly hard to manage, evaluate and process the data. By gathering information from multiple and often dissimilar systems, as well as from an organization’s various geographic locations and merging it into a single, integrated gateway, business intelligence software makes it easy for business owners and manages to access all the data for extensive auditing, reporting and predictive analysis.

6. Respond FasterBusiness Intelligence Software
Instead of waiting till the month’s end for it, business owners and managers can use BI software to view reports daily. This in turn will allow them to respond faster to even the most unforeseeable situations. As a business owner or manager, you can get a clearer understanding of what’s happening in the business by using BI to access operating data and customize report views. This will enable you to immediately make changes that improve performance rather than wait until it’s too late.

7. Better Tracking of Inventory
Business intelligence software makes it easy for businesses to track spending, assess suppliers, develop strategies to minimize spending, perform in-depth financial analysis, analyze procurement data and measure performance. Additionally, to minimize extraordinary buying and ensure compliance, the procurement department can turn to the BI software.

The business intelligence software churns our detailed reports that you can use to understand spending trends and patterns to make more informed decisions that conserve resources and increase revenue.

8. Easily identify Problem Areas
Problem areas that might otherwise go unchecked in a business such as poor performance and fraud can be easily identified with a business intelligence software. For example, if your floor manager notices an increased exhaustion of an item but can’t find sales that match that then, a BI software will allow him to track purchases vs. earnings so that the required adjustments can be made.

9. An improved Customer Experience
By integrating BI software into your daily operations, you can improve customer experience and build long-term relationships with them. Using BI software, you can provide a more personalized experience to your customers i.e. an experience which is more in line with their interests and preferences. This in turn will allow you to boost satisfaction and increase customer loyalty.

In today’s competitive world, customers expect an extraordinary and personalized experience and ensuring this requires a lot more than spreadsheets and ‘gut feeling’ to operate at maximum efficiency. To protect your market share or increase it, you don’t need to work harder. You just need to work smarter and this is something a business intelligence software can help you to do.
There you have it—the 9 benefits of using business intelligence software. With BI software, you can improve both decision making and customer experience, which will ultimately lead to business growth.

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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 | Houston | Dallas | San Antonio] or email us at sales@percentotech.com.

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How Cool is Apple’s Spaceship Campus?

Apple Spaceship CampusIn 2011, Steve Jobs, a tech guru and co-founder of Apple Inc., unveiled his plan to build a new Apple campus in Cupertino, California. While Jobs didn’t stick around to see his plan become a reality, his compatriots have achieved what he envisioned: creating the world’s best office building. Called the spaceship campus, Apple’s new headquarters is a spaceship-styled structure that has won praise and admiration from all over. So, how cool is Apple’s spaceship campus and what are its most ‘eye candy’ features? Let’s find out.

A Giant Saucer with Features Galore!

Appearing as a giant saucer, Apple’s new spaceship campus will be home to thirteen thousand employees. Want to be impressed? Pay a visit to Apple’s new campus. Boasting a 300,000-sq. ft. of research space, the spaceship campus encompasses a range of impressive features including jogging and cycling trails, a 1000-seater auditorium and a 360-degree central courtyard. Other notable features include underground parking and low energy LED lighting.

One of the largest solar installations in the world, Apple’s new spaceship campus boasts 100% renewable energy. Additionally, it displays the campus and its design to visitors via an augmented reality experience. There’s also a large retail store from where employees can do their ‘grocery-shopping’.

Impressive Underground Auditorium

A venue where Apple will hold key meetings before product launches, the underground auditorium of the new spaceship campus is camouflaged with a round glass pavilion. Also, as mentioned earlier, the auditorium can host up to 1000 people at a time. In short, the auditorium is spacious and pleasing to the eye.

Opportunity to Flex Some Muscles

While working at the new spaceship campus, Apple’s employees will have a real opportunity to flex their muscles and become fit. That opportunity comes in the shape of the campus’s jogging and cycling trails, with the latter featuring over 1000 bikes on site all times.

Park in the Shade

Apple’s new spaceship campus has an underground parking, with 80% of the site surrounded by trees. So, the staff at the spaceship campus can park their vehicles in the shade, protecting it from any and all damage that the sun’s rays can cause.

Some Interesting Facts about Apple’s Spaceship Campus

The dream envisioned by Steve Jobs five years ago is about to become a reality. Apple’s new spaceship campus is nearing completion and it would be open to employees soon. We’ve already discussed quite a bit about the building’s features and what it will look like as a whole. But, there are some interesting facts about the spaceship campus that we haven’t discussed yet, facts that you most definitely need to know about. So, here you go.

The Biggest Pieces of Curved Glass Will Make Up Its Walls

To allow employees to view the landscape facing the building’s exterior or look into the inner garden, both sides of the building are completely surrounded by curved glass. Once the building is completed, over three thousand curved glass sheets will wrap around it.

80% of the Campus will be Green Space

Once completed, Apple’s new spaceship campus will have over seven thousand trees on site. A great feature of many of these trees is that they can adapt to climate change. According to Dan Whisenhunt, the senior director of real estate and facilities at Apple, the company has selected plants that are native to the plan and can tolerate drought. This will ensure that a minimum amount of water is required to irrigate these plants.

The Campus will run on 100% Renewable Energy

Okay, maybe we did mention this before, but we did not go into the detail of things. Apple’s new spaceship campus will run on completely on renewable energy, including biofuels and solar energy. The campus will feature 700,000-sq. ft. of solar panels. Additionally, it’ll be equipped with low carbon central plant on site. Renewable energy from the grid will be used to supplement energy whenever there’s a surge in demand.

Apple’s Spaceship Campus will have a Natural Ventilation System

For more than half of the year, Apple’s new spaceship campus will not require air conditioning or heating. This is due to the natural ventilation system of the campus. Taking advantage of Northern California’s ideal weather, Apple has decided to use a natural ventilation system at its new spaceship campus. In addition to lowering the company’s operational costs, the natural ventilation system will help Apple to lower its greenhouse emissions, which is a major goal of the company.

The Campus will use Recycled Water to Stay Green

Its looks as if Apple has decided to go completely ‘green’. At least, this is what one deciphers from the company’s plan for its new spaceship campus. According to San Jose Mercury News, over 150,000 gallons of recycled water will flow into the spaceship campus each day. This water will then be used for a variety of purposes including plumbing, cooling towers and landscaping.

There will be a Fully-Equipped Wellness Center

We’ve already told you about the cycling and jogging trails of Apple’s new spaceship campus but there’s more—the new campus will have a fully-equipped wellness center where employees can unwind, work out and get completely fit.

Apple’s Spaceship campus will be open to Traffic by the End of this Year

Construction of Apple’s spaceship campus is expected to be completed by the end of this year, after which it’ll be opened for employees and other relevant people. Once completed, the total cost of the project would about half a billion dollars. Looking at these numbers, one can safely say that Apple’s new spaceship campus is going to be something special and all the eyes and attention will be on it once its completed.

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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 | Houston | Dallas | San Antonio] or email us at sales@percentotech.com.

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6 Digital Payment Options every small business should consider

Digital PaymentsToday, it’s extremely important for businesses to offer as many payment options as possible to their customers. By doing this, businesses will give payment choices to customers and capture every sale they make. The payment options that you need to offer your customers include cash, checks, credit cards and online/digital payments. However, in today’s digital age, your focus should be on the digital payment options.

Whether you run small coffee shop or a big retail chain, a digital payment option can ensure the future success of your business. Safe money transfer is what a digital payment option enables. Accepting credit card involves a lot more than a simple payment transaction: you must always keep this in mind. Using a digital payment-processing option is smart way to make money transfer and fulfill all your payment-processing needs. With a digital payment option, you can accommodate all types of customer payment requests. Moreover, you can use the digital payment option to gain real time access to payment related information. Following are some of the benefits of using a digital payment option.

Ability to serve various geographical markets

A digital payment option provides multi-site and multi-currency capabilities. This is turn enables you to serve various geographical markets.

Flexible money transfer

You can accept many different types of credit and debit cards as well as other electronic forms of payment with a digital payment option. Additionally, the digital payment option supports card payments for recurring and installment billing. All of this ensures flexible money transfer.

Minimize or eliminate fraud

Minimizing or eliminating fraud is a major benefit of using a digital payment option. Digital payment options help you to prevent fraud by performing card related encryption, authentication and verification.

Ensure excellent customer serviceDigital Payments

Delivering excellent customer service is one of the foremost reasons to use a digital payment option. Providing ample service and exceeding expectations are two things businesses do to ensure customer loyalty. You can significantly reduce customer wait time by using a digital payment option. Moreover, you can use it to process almost all types of payment methods. Finally, you can use the digital payment option to review transactions immediately in order to reduce or eliminate mistakes. All of these things help you to ensure excellent customer service.

Increase profitability

You can increase your business’s profitability with digital payment options. By allowing you to accept multiple credit card types and even mobile payments almost immediately, a digital payment option helps you to increase customer order size and ultimately profitability!

 

As seen above, there are many benefits of using a digital payment option for your small business. Thanks to the advancement in technology, hundreds of digital payment options for businesses are available today. Since so many digital payment options for businesses are available today, choosing the right digital payment option for your business can be difficult. To make thing easy for you, we’re going to look at the 5 digital payment option every small business should consider.

6 Digital Payment Options Every Small Business Should Consider

As mentioned above, there are hundreds of digital payment options for businesses today. For this reason, choosing the right digital payment option for your small business can be difficult. To make things easy for you, following are the 6 best digital payment options for small businesses.

PayPal

PayPal is a digital payment option that you probably already know about. Today, many small businesses use PayPal as the standard way for accepting payments from customers digitally. Using PayPal, customers can buy an item from your website. When you use PayPal, visitors to your site are directed to a page where they can pay you in a number of ways. Using PayPal, you can create, receive and send payments.

Due

You may or may not have heard about due but this digital payment service is one of the best digital wallets for businesses available today. Using this digital payment service, you can easily transfer money to another business in the United States. Moreover, you can use Due to process credit cards to receive payments. Other benefits of using this digital payment option include charge-back protection, reports and analytics and prevention of fraud.

Square

The number one competitor of PayPal, Square is a website where businesses can list and sell their products and services. Using square, you can send and receive payments on invoices. Finally, your customers can use this digital payment option to complete their transactions.

Paymentech

Property of Chase, Paymentech is a digital payment option that allows businesses to accept payments from customers online, in store and via mobile devices. Paymentech accepts a number of payment methods including electronic checks, PayPal and credit cards. Other benefits of using this digital payment option include online reporting and prevention of fraud. Also, using this digital payment option, you can receive money from virtually anywhere in the world.

Dwolla

In many ways, Dwolla is a unique digital payment option. Using this digital payment option, you can send and receive payments through email. It is important for you to know that you cannot accept credit card payments with this payment option. However, you can run the app when using another card reader.

Elavon

The final digital payment option on our list is Elavon. This digital payment option is designed specifically for small businesses. Using this digital payment options, you accept electronic gift cards, electronic checks and debit/credit cards from customers. Moreover, this digital payment option works with Samsung Pay, Android Pay and Apple Pay. Finally, Elavon offers charge-back protection and detailed reports.

To stay competitive, you must offer as many payment options as possible to your customers including digital payment options. The aforementioned digital payments options are 6 digital payment options that every small business should consider.

 

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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 | Houston | Dallas | San Antonio] or email us at sales@percentotech.com.

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The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation

General Data Protection RegulationLast year, the European Union approved the General Data Protection Regulation, also known as GDPR. Boasted as this century’s most important update to data privacy regulation, this provision is aimed to create a more comprehensive, regulated system by improving Europe’s existing data privacy laws. With the amount of data breaches increasing each day, officials realized the urgency of the need to update the existing data privacy laws that were added in 1995 and guidelines created in 1980. The new regulation was passed in April of 2016 and companies have until May 25, 2018 to prepare for this new regulation.

The original Data Protection Directive addressed the variation in laws across the EU and the transfer of sensitive information to parties outside of the EU. These outside parties were required to have stringent data protection policies in order to receive information. Accountability for this regulation was ensured through Data Protection Authorities that were placed within each state.  However, because this was a directive rather than a law, there were questions on its enforcement.

Recently, two different cases were brought to the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding data privacy. The Weltimmo case regarded the ability of data protection regulators to handle matters within organizations outside of the EU. This case involved a Slovakian company who was sued in a Hungarian court. The court ruled that if an outside organization is mainly established in a member state, it is subject to the laws of that state. This prompted a collapse of the “Safe Harbour Agreement,” which regulated the transfer of EU citizen’s data to the US. With differing laws in the two state organizations, it became important to ensure companies were held to the standards the EU set out.

The new laws mandate a simple, legible consent process that clearly outlines the data collected and who it is being transferred to and allows citizens to opt-out of if desired.  Also, if there is a breach, customers and controllers must be notified within 72 hours. Today’s laws will apply not only to governments and businesses within the EU, but also any companies who process the personal data of its citizens. If a breach of core principals is detected, fines will equal either 4% of annual turnover or €20 Million, depending on which is greater.  Smaller fines for things such as failure to notify after a breach or failure to perform risk assessments will only equal to 2% of annual turnover.

This new legislation will be a tremendous improvement to existing laws regarding the privacy and protection of European Union citizens’ data. We look forward to seeing the results it has on each of these countries and learning from their new practices. Stay tuned to our blog for more IT regulation updates, tips and tricks, or company news!

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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 | Houston | Dallas | San Antonio] or email us at sales@percentotech.com.

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Tackling Post-Disaster IT Recovery

Disaster IT RecoveryThe recent damage that Texans faced after Hurricane Harvey showed businesses across the country the threats that they face. As one of the most expensive storms in US history, this storm affected an economy that was valued at $600 billion. Major industries taking a hit include shipping, oil & gas, chemicals, insurance, and agriculture. Now that the flood waters are slowly receding, business owners will finally be able to enter their businesses and begin the process of recovering and rebuilding.

Recovery

Unfortunately, if the proper steps weren’t taken to prepare for this type of emergency it will be hard to recover. Information that is only stored on-site will be easily lost if these servers come into contact with water, are overheated, lose power, etc. The first step to recovering all other data is taking an inventory of all of the information that survived. This can be found in previous emails, which are often cloud based, and online in software designed for collaboration or sharing. Once all of this information is collected, it will be a priority to organize it and update customers and team members on the status of lost data. Depending on what type of information was stored, there will be unique notification requirements. For example, lost medical data will be governed by different HIPAA regulations than lost payment information. It is best to consult a legal advisor before proceeding with these steps in order to ensure compliance.

Prevention

The next step in recovery is to take a proactive approach in order to prevent the same issues from recurring. It is important to consult with an expert in order to ensure the proper steps are taken to protect your business and customers. The following are a few simple steps that can be taken to reduce the risks your business’ IT infrastructure faces:

Offsite Storage

While many companies are comfortable managing their servers, there is no way to guarantee the safety of a single storage space. Storing this information off-site will help your business have a duplicate copy of server information. Additionally, off-site server facilities typically have strict security measDisaster IT Recoveryures in place. This includes not only the proper temperature controls and power sources for the servers, but also strict security measures for the facility itself. Technology such as access control and security cameras will prevent the theft of this information.

Cloud Technology

By implementing a cloud infrastructure before the disaster, your company will have a backup of the stored information securely online. There are many different applications of cloud technology which each store and manage separate parts of the infrastructure. Popular examples include software as a service, which stores software programs and infrastructure as a service, which stores company data much like a server.  After a disaster, this information will be able to be accessed as soon as it can be downloaded from the cloud to a connected device. This means that from a safe location, the information can be accessed and managed during the time of the disaster and shortly after.

Testing

It is critical that not only are these precautions put into place, but also that they are tested frequently. These tests will ensure that the recovery will be quickly accessed and produce full results. These tests can also help businesses ensure that their IT provider is trustworthy and performing adequately. If there are any errors in the backups, this will provide a great opportunity to fix them.

For cities across the “hurricane highway” and across the country that face the threat of natural disasters, it is clear that there are many precautions that can help create a proactive IT system. If natural disasters do occur without the proper preparation, companies will be forced to attempt to recover without their critical information. To learn more about the steps your company should take to protect its future, contact us today.

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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 | Houston | Dallas | San Antonio] or email us at sales@percentotech.com.

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It’s gotta be ‘Ruff’ to be a dog… Happy National Dog Day!

National Dog DayWe love our pets at Percento Technologies.  Here are some ways to Celebrate National Dog Day:

The National Dog Day website offers a list of ways to celebrate today, including these:

Adopt a dog from your local shelter or rescue organization.

Alternatives: Volunteer at your local shelter and offer to walk or play with a dog, clean cages, or anything else they need help with. Donate blankets, food, and toys to animal welfare organizations.

– Have a National Dog Day party and invite all your friends and their dogs!

Spend the day taking photos of your dog.

– Assist an ill or elderly neighbor by walking their dog.

– Buy your dog a fun new dog toy… or two… or five.

Or maybe: Buy your dog a fashionable collar and leash.

– Give your dog some fun exercise by taking him or her to a doggy play resort.

– Brush your dog to eliminate excess fur.

– Teach your dog a new trick.


Percento Loves DogsConsidering Adoption? One of These Dogs Would Love to Come Home with You

If you’re thinking about adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue organization as a way to celebrate National Dog Day, I hope you’ll keep in mind that certain kinds of pets – through no fault of their own – have a much harder time finding a new home than others.

By far the pets least likely to find new families to love are older pets, followed by animals with medical problems, dogs suffering from breed prejudice (primarily pit bulls), shy pets, and pets that need to be the only animal in the home.

Large dogs, black dogs, and pets with special needs also tend to languish in shelters much longer, and are euthanized more often, than animals considered more desirable by adoptive families.


10 Reasons to Open Your Heart to a Senior Dog Today

  1. Older dogs have manners. Unlike puppies, many grown-up dogs have spent years living with a family and being socialized to life with humans. They may have received obedience training and respond to commands like Sit, Stay, and Down.

Many are house trained and it takes a matter of hours or a day or two to help them learn the potty rules in their new home.

  1. Senior pets are less destructive. Most older adoptive pets are well past the search-and-destroy phase.

You don’t need to worry so much about finding your favorite pair of shoes or a table leg chewed beyond recognition. Chances are your senior kitty has no urge to overturn your potted plant or shred the handmade quilt your grandma gave you.

  1. What you see is what you get. A senior pet holds no surprises as to how big he might get, what color his adult coat will be, or whether his hips will be healthy. A senior pet comes to you with his own history, which makes his future much more predictable than that of an 8-week old puppy or kitten.
  2. You can teach an old dog new tricks. Adult dogs can focus on the task at hand (unlike many of their much younger counterparts). If your adopted older pet needs to learn a few things in her new life with you, not to worry. Enroll her in an obedience class, contact a trainer, or go the do-it-yourself route. Older dogs are more attentive than puppies, and more eager to please their humans.
  3. You can custom order your senior pet. If you’re looking for a short-haired cat, for example, or a kitty with no history of dental disease, you can search until you find an older pet with exactly those attributes. If you already have a cat and need your adoptive dog to get along with cats, again, you’ll have a much better chance of finding an older adoptive dog who is a perfect companion for your family.
  4. You can adopt a purebred pet if you want. If you really love a certain breed of dog or cat, chances are there’s a breed rescue club that can point you in the direction of older purebred pets in need of homes.
  5. Senior pets are great company for senior citizens. Many elderly people find the calm presence of an older pet very comforting. They appreciate having a companion who is also “getting up there” in age, doesn’t mind hearing the same stories again and again, and is content to move through life at a slower speed.
  6. Older pets are relaxing to hang out with.  Senior dogs and cats have all the basics down and aren’t full of wild energy to burn. Because you’re not constantly chasing around or cleaning up after your older pet, you have a lot more time to spend finding fun things to do or just relaxing together.
  7. Adopted senior pets are grateful for your kindness. Somehow, older pets seem to know you gave them a home when no one else would. Many new owners form a close bond very quickly with their senior dog or cat, because the pet shows them a level of attention and devotion that is unique to older adopted animals.
  8. You can be a hero to a deserving dog or cat. Almost without exception, people who adopt older animals feel a special sense of pride and purpose in opening their heart to a hard-to-place pet. Doing a good thing really does make you feel good!
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How Your Business Will Benefit From Data Analytics

Data analytics refers to both qualitative and quantitative data that is extracted from your business and then categorized. This information can stem from employee productivity, customer satisfaction, machine performance, online engagement, and more. The examination of this data is referred to as data analysis. With so much data being collected these days, it is critical that your business utilizes the information to promote growth. Performing data analysis will give you more insight into the operations of your business, which will prompt more educated actions.

Customer Behavior

In today’s day and age, the purchasing process is more automated than ever before. Gathering multiple contact points from your customer will allow you to have a more complete profile of them, and tracking their behavior and interactions will allow you to better anticipate their needs. You will also be able to more easily group customers and cater your communication and advertisements to their behavior. This will lead to more predictable sales and a better customer experience. Additionally, having detailed transaction histories will help prevent fraud by making suspicious charges more obvious.

Performance

Analytics of operations can help to strengthen both your internal team and your customer experience. This can include the performance of critical systems, such as HVAC and lighting, as well as inventory. Customer demands will be more easily predicted which shortens the sales process and reduces surpluses.  This insight will also help with the research and design of new products, which can be catered around customer demands. Insight into the performance of building operations will help detect minor issues before they become more severe, and potentially more expensive.

Trust

The most important factor of this data is that it is authentic. This means no more digging through trend reports to create your next product and trusting on quarterly reports to analyze your team. Over time, this data will become more encompassing and you will be able to make more educated predictions. You will also be able to better measure the results of new initiatives and ensure the success of your operations.

If you are curious about which analysis tools will benefit your company the most, or are ready to implement an analytics program, contact us today! Our team has the experience and training necessary to help you collect critical data and utilize it to grow your business. Stay tuned to our blog for more IT initiative suggestions, industry highlights, and company achievements!

 

Contact Us

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 | Houston | Dallas | San Antonio] or email us at sales@percentotech.com.

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