What Is Blockchain and How Can It Benefit the World

BlockchainA technology that has taken the world by storm, Blockchain is an ingenious invention that seeks to change the world. How exactly? Read on to find out!

An invention of a person bearing the pseudonym: Satoshi Nakamoto, blockchain enables the distribution of information over the internet without allowing it to be copied. The blockchain technology has come a long way since it was first introduced. Today, it is the basis for a new type of currency—a digital currency—cryptocurrency.

Ever head of Bitcoin? You probably have! Bitcoin was the reason the blockchain technology was invented. But today, the technology is being used for a lot more. Blockchain is like the internet in the sense that you can use it without knowing how it works. However, finding out how this technology works won’t do you any harm. In fact, it will do you a world of good. So, without wasting any more time, let’s look at how the blockchain technology works.

How the Blockchain Technology Works

Knowing how blockchain works isn’t necessary for using it but a bit of knowledge is always good. So, here you go. We’ll start things off with a definition of blockchain by Don and Alex, two people who co-authored a book on blockchain called ‘Blockchain Revolution’. Following is how they define this technology:

The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”

The above definition of blockchain gives a good idea of what can be achieved with the technology. But, we won’t leave you guessing instead we’re going to tell you exactly what can be achieved with blockchain. Before we get to that, let’s take a quick look at how the technology works.

A type of a distributed database, blockchain is like a mammoth, spreadsheet that is available to users across the globe and can run on millions of computers simultaneously. As it is open source technology, anyone—including you and me, can alter the underlying code and unveil what’s happening. Since it is a true P2P technology, blockchain authenticates or settles transactions without the help of any intermediary at all.

Blockchain is a globally distributed database that uses futuristic cryptography to record any transaction done by you over it. But, what else does this database record? In addition to the transactional data such as who paid who or who married who, it can also record any structured information. The world is fast moving towards the Internet of Things, and as such, having a blockchain system for settlements will soon become necessary or mandatory or however you want to say it. The blockchain technology is going to enable the settlement of trillions of transactions in real-time between connected things—something that banks don’t have the capacity to do. For this reason, the blockchain technology is nothing short of extraordinary.

A platform that promotes trust and truth, blockchain is a stable database of virtual belongings that cannot be hacked. This makes blockchain the ideal transactional technology, not just for the financial-services industry, but also for the society in general. And, the next section is where we discuss how blockchain can benefit the world.

How Blockchain Can Benefit the World

A one of a kind technology, blockchain can be private or public. The popularity of this technology can be gauged by the fact that by 2024, the global blockchain market is expected to be worth over $20 billion and these are just conservative numbers, it could be a lot more! So, what are the qualities of the blockchain technology that are attracting people to it—Not just people from the finance industry, but also people from all professions and walks of life? Without wasting any time, let’s get straight to the answers.

Efficiency

Blockchain is making the world more efficient, and there’s no doubting this. Transactions are settled quickly on blockchain and there’s a reason for it— digitized information is used and no intermediary is required to complete the transactions between the relevant parties. And, the good thigs keep rolling in. In addition to enabling the completion of transactions without an intermediary, blockchain provides the ability to run ‘smart contracts’. To fulfill the criteria mentioned in the contract, these contracts automatically activate commercial actions. This streamlines the processes considerably, which in turn save time and money.

Traceability

One of the major advantages of the blockchain technology is enabling better traceability. With this technology, you can track where an item is currently residing by tracking goods forwarding. And when the item changes hand, any information related to it can be communicated to or from the new handler for possible action.

Security

Blockchain makes transactions more secure, but how exactly? You can as good as assure the authenticity of the information in a blockchain. The reason is that a complex cryptography that is verified independently is used to verify each transaction within the network. One of the keys to unlock the benefits of the Internet of Things (IOT) is authenticated information. To protect IP and verify instructions, the defense industry is currently using a version of blockchain. So, the use of blockchain to ensure security over the internet has already started.

Feedback

The final way blockchain can benefit the world is enabling feedback. Blockchain enables the traceability of a product throughout its lifecycle, allowing manufacturers and designers of the product to manage their products through their life and in turn make them more effective. This is good not just for the manufactures and designers of products, but also for the people using them.

Blockchain technology is changing the world, and the sooner you move to it, the better it will be for you. The reasons are given above.

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

Apps for Finding Food and Voting for Your Favorite Places to Eat

Apps Finding FoodGot a Smartphone or Tablet? If yes, then that alone is enough for you to find food and vote for your favorite places to eat. Today, there are a whole host of apps that quickly direct you to the best restaurants in an area. But, that isn’t all these apps do. They also offer you discounts, advise you on what dish to order and allow you to vote for your favorite restaurants. So, what’s to achieve from these apps? Let’s find out.

Fulfill Your Insatiable Need for Food with These Apps

Considering the food and dietary limitations in the world today, it is no surprise that people become irked when they’re hungry and in an alien location. The good news is that there are food apps today that can help you to meet your insatiable need for food in any location. Finding a great dining-out place in your area should not be a problem for you. But, you’ll have to do a bit of work to find out about the restaurants that only recently opened or find a suitable place to eat in a foreign location or an area you just moved to.

There is so much that cellphones apps can do for your and this includes helping you to fulfill your insatiable need for food. Whether you’re an iPhone or Android user, there are a whole host of apps that you can use to find theme-based, upscale or just darn delicious restaurants. So, without wasting any further time, let’s take a look at the best apps for meeting your food cravings.

The Best Food Finder Apps

There’s no shortage of excellent food apps in the Android or iOS App Store. However, following are the five best apps for finding restaurants in a location, checking their ratings and leaving a review for your favorite dine-out place.

Urbanspoon

When it comes to user-reviewed restaurant listing sites, there’s no name bigger than Urbanspoon, a broad directory that you can search using a range of filters. Some filters that you can search by include free wi-fi, kid-friendly, price, cuisine, and suburb. Got GPS in your phone? Shake it to get a random restaurant in a random, or chosen area. Finally, you can share your review and pictures and add restaurant to your ‘wishlist’ by creating your own Urbanspoon profile.

YumTable

This is one food app that you need to look out for. This app allows you to search for restaurants, claim discounts and reserve tables. With the mission of making fine dining affordable, YumTable offers introductory discounts to users after they download and sign up with the app.

Food Truck Follower

You don’t necessarily need to look for upscale restaurants to find great food in an area. Some of the best food today comes from hawker stands present around town. Unlike the fine-dine restaurants, these road side eateries are focused and dedicated to deliver the best food and service to each and every customer that visits them. You can use the Food Truck Follower app to find food trucks in a location.

OpenTable

This app is available to users of iOS devices. A free to download app, OpenTable is designed to make restaurant reservations easier. The app supports more than thirty thousand restaurants. In addition to allowing you to view menus and user ratings, this app ensure real time availability and in-app reservation. Some of the popular features of this app include email integration, list of nearby restaurants, and dining reward points. Additionally, new features have been added to the app including user reviews, a restaurant finder, reward points and popular dishes at each restaurant.

Dining Deals

At times, finding a restaurant is as difficult a task as finding inexpensive food. This is a problem that dining deals solves. A smartphone app that you download to an android or iOS device, Dining Deals helps you to find inexpensive restaurants in a location so that you can save some money.

Foodspotting

A free iOS app that works like Urbanspoon, Foodspotting is designed to help you find new restaurants. Unlike Urbanspoon, Foodspotting takes a visual approach—the app displays pictures of food and dishes at restaurants uploaded/submitted by users. The quality of the image depends entirely on the users uploading the image. However, the app does have plenty of drool-worthy food pics for you to gaze at. You can use this app to look up a restaurant by name to see what it looks like and what people are saying about it. A unique app, Foodspotting has an eye-catching interface. Some other noticeable features of this app include dish reviews, and multiple-third party camera features.

Yelp

If you’re looking for a place to eat, then you just have to download the Yelp app. A free app, Yelp will help you find restaurants based on your location, and food, price and atmosphere preferences.

The Taste App

A recent arrival, the Taste app is available to users of iOS devices. The App helps you to find the best places to eat and drink through the locals. Locals vote for their favorite in each restaurant/food category. Even you can vote on this app if you think your vote will help people find a good place to eat. This app does not allow reviews or one-to-five star ratings. Instead, it ranks restaurants based on how many people voted for them. So, if you like a restaurant, download the Taste app and vote for them there.

Today, finding a place to eat and drink is easier than ever and you can easily show you love and admiration for a particular restaurant. Download the above-mentioned apps today to find good places to eat and drink and vote for your favorite eatery.

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

Tips and Tricks for iOS 11

ios 11Technology giant Apple has recently released the finished version of iOS 11, the latest version of the iOS operating system. The finished version of iOS 11 brings with it all kinds of goodies. Equipped with a ton of new features, the iOS 11 mobile operating system has many custom options that you can use to tailor the experience to your needs. The recent update to the iOS operating system for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, iOS 11 boasts features that will change the way you interact with people, get your news, listen to music, and work on the go.

The iOS 11 boasts more changes than we could cover in this piece. So, what we’ve chosen to do is list the 4 features that we think you’re going to love the most. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 4 changes in iOS 11.

Dock

After you install the beta, the first change, and probably the most significant change, that you’ll notice is the new dock. Unlike the old dock where you could have just four to six apps icons, the new dock allows you to have as many as 14 icons. Additionally, the dock can be accessed from any screen, not just the Home Screen(s). This gives you easy access to your favorite apps and you have the option to drag the app icons to the main screen and turn them into a split screen tab.

QR Code Scanner

In the past, you needed to download an often-poorly made third-party app to scan QR codes on an iPhone or iPad. With iOS 11, this is no longer required. You can now scan QR codes on your iPhone or iPad with a QR code scanner built into the native Camera App. Simply open the app, point the iOS device at a QR code, and tap on the drop-down notification to perform the scan. This works whether the QR code to add contact details to your address book, a prompt to join a Wi-Fi network, or a link to a webpage. The feature turns on by default but you can turn it on or off from the Camera section of the Settings app.

One-Handed QuickType Keyboard

iPhone users will find this feature particularly handy. A new optional keyboard layout, the one-handed QuickType keyboard pushes the keys over to one side so that they’re closer to your thumb. This is ideal for one-handed typing. To activate this feature, tap the global icon when you’re using the system keyboard to bring up the palette and select the alternative layout.

Screen Recording

This new feature allows you to do screen recordings. So, if you want to teach your dad how to change his Facebook settings, just record a little video with this feature and send it to him. To activate this feature, go to the settings> control center >customize control, and then add screen recording to your ‘Include’ list. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and press the record icon to access the feature.

There you have it—the best changes to the iOS operating system in iOS 11. While iOS 11 boasts some amazing features, updating to a new version can be anxiety-inducing. So, to make the adjustment easier for you, we’ve come up with some useful iOS 11 tips and tricks. So, let’s get right into them!

Customize Control Center

Quite different from the one in iOS 10, the iOS 11 control center puts everything on a single page instead of spreading it over multiple cards. Don’t like the default choices? No worries! You can easily customize the Control Center to your liking by going to Settings> Control Center> Customize Controls, and the adding and removing items or rearranging the order in which they appear.

Easily Access Your Notifications

In iOS 11, the lock screen and the notification center are merged. You no longer need to swipe down to another notification screen after unlocking your phone. Now, you can swipe down to reveal your lock screen, and see all your notifications separated by day. Swipe the notification to the left to clear or view them and swipe fully to the right to open each one. Also, you can interact with the notification, such a send a reply to an iMessage, by tapping and holding via 3D Touch. Finally, in this new notification center, you can swipe to the left to access your camera, and to the right, to access the Today view.

Type to Siri

You don’t always want to shout to Siri for something you want it to do. With iOS 11, you can breathe a big sigh of relief! IOS 11 gives you the option to type to Siri. Simply go to Settings>General>Accessibility >Siri and enable type to Siri. Long-press the Home button to bring up the keyboard to type to your personal assistant.

Increase Storage Space

There are several new ways to improve your available storage in iOS 11. This includes new, more efficient file formats for photo and video. Now, one way for you to increase storage space in iOS 11 is freeing up storage space by enabling iCloud sync for Messages by going to Settings>Messages> Messages on iCloud and then deleting message attachments from the same page. Additionally, you can use the ‘offload’ apps feature to delete apps while keeping their data.

Scan Documents

You can scan your documents with a feature in the Notes app in iOS 11. Just click on the bottom of the screen and tap ‘scan documents’ to scan a document. The camera will take a photo of the document and add it to your notes.

With the aforementioned-tips and tricks for iOS 11, you can get the most out of iOS device and enhance your overall iOS experience.

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

iPhone 8 Plus vs. Galaxy Note 8: The Great SmartPhone Battle

The Great SmartPhone War is On Once Again

Galaxy Note 8The rivalry between Apple and Samsung is the most talked about face-off in the smartphone industry. Recently, both companies release their flagship models for the year. At the end of August, Samsung, the Korean tech giant, unveiled the last version of its Galaxy Note series: The Note 8—a powerhouse smartphone with all the tools you’d expect a Note-series phone to have.

With Samsung releasing its latest smartphone offering, it was only a matter before Apple came up with own smartphone offering for the year. So, on September 22nd, Apple, the American tech company, released the latest version of the iPhone: the iPhone 8 plus. Ever since then, people have been comparing the Galaxy Note 8 with the iPhone 8 plus to determine which phone’s better. We don’t want to be bias. So, we won’t say outright which one’s better. Instead, we’re going to compare a few aspects of the two phones to help you make an informed decision.

Design and Screen

As far as the design is concerned, and iPhone lovers may cringe on this fact, there is no contest—the Note 8 wins hands down. The iPhone 8 plus screen is essentially the same as its iPhone 7 plus counterpart, albeit with one crucial difference. Unlike the previous year’s model, the iPhone 8 has a 5.5in Full HD LCD display. Additionally, the iPhone 8 Plus boasts the Apple’s True Tone Technology—the same tech used in the recent iPads. This technology automatically adjusts the screen’s white balance to make reading easier on the eyes in various conditions.

Designed to be durable, the iPhone 8 Plus is water resistant and has a noticeably wider and heavier screen than the Note 8. The iPhone 8 Plus is available in three different colors: silver, gold, and space gray. The iPhone 8 Plus’ 1080p LCD screen offers a wide color gamut and is bright and fairly colorful. But, most people aren’t too impressed with the display and this is one of the reasons Apple is moving to OLED for the iPhone X.

We now come to the Note 8, probably one of the sexiest phones you can buy today. The Infinity Display of the Note 8 stretches it curves and nearly edge to edge, as it meets the side. Compared to the iPhone 8 Plus’ LCD screen, the Super AMOLED screen on the Note 8 is not just sharper, but it also renders more of the SRGB color gamut. This is 204 percent compared to the 122.5 percent for the iPhone 8 Plus. Though, the display of the iPhone 8 is slightly more accurate with a Delta-E rating of 0.25, compared to 0.5 for the Note 8. However, there are other advantages of the OLED such as wider viewing angles and deeper blacks.

The Galaxy Smartphone has always excelled in the aesthetics department and the Note 8 is no exception. The Galaxy S8’s ‘Infinity display’ design that peels back the side bezels with a screen that cover almost the entire face of the phone, is used even more effectively in the Note 8. This has resulted in a 6.3in QHD+ display, with image quality second to none. One area where the iPhone 8 Plus beats the Note 8 is the color options. The Note 8 comes with only two color options: Orchid Gray and Midnight Black.

So, considering what’s been said above, it would be fair to declare the Note 8 as the winner in terms of design and display screen.

Camera

Smartphone’s are utilized a lot for taking selfies. So, it’s natural for buyers of Note 8 or iPhone 8 Plus to be concerned about camera quality. In terms of capability, the cameras of iPhone 8 Plus and Note 8 are at parity. However, better contrasts and more vivid colors in the shots gives iPhone 8 Plus the edge. Both phone use 12-megapixel OIS-capable sensors in the rear, with one primary difference—the iPhone 8 Plus uses dual sensors while Note 8 employs the rear sensors.

There are few areas where the Note 8’s camera performs better such as capturing sharper images in some settings, more detail in shadows, and letting users adjust the intensity of the blur effect for portraits. However, there are few things that you can only do in the iPhone 8 Plus such as editing Live Photos and adding special effects to them. Also, there’s difference in the rear camera’s f-stop on the Note 8. However, this does not affect the picture quality and light sensitivity too much. Overall, the iPhone 8 Plus wins the Camera quality and feature battle, which means it’s all square.

Special Features

On to the tie-breaker. There are so many aspects that we could have chosen to compare the two to give a final verdict but since people tend to be interested in the ‘additional’ features a lot, we’re going to see what special features the two phones boast. The Galaxy smartphone has always been known for its ‘special’ features and the Note 8 is no exception.

A noticeable accessory that comes with the Note 8 is the S pen that allows users to take up to hundred pages of notes using a screen-off memo feature. Also, there are multiple ways to unlock the device, including facial recognition, iris scanning, and fingerprint sensor. Another great feature of this phone is App pair, which users can use to open to apps side by side with a single tap. Special features in the iPhone 8 Plus include support for augmented reality apps, and Touch ID.

Final Verdict

The Note 8 has a better design and display but iPhone 8 wins the Camera battle and there pretty much at par in terms of ‘special’ features. So, you’ll have to test-try the phones yourself to determine which one’s better for you.

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

The Best Password Managers

Password ManagersRecently, hackers breached the security at Equifax, a credit reporting agency headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The security breach allowed the hackers to get access to the personal information of 143 million Americans. Wow, that’s some feat! They got names, addresses, credit card numbers, and driver’s license numbers. While reports don’t show passwords being part of the loot, it is likely that they’ve been compromised too. After investigating the matter, cyber-security cops learned that the user database in Equifax’s Argentina office had ‘admin’ as both username and password.

Unbelievable! Isn’t it? So, don’t be like Equifax. Use a unique, strong password for every site.

The Need for a Password Manager

There are so many websites and programs for which we need to set a password and this can be overwhelming. So, to make things simple for themselves, most people take the easier and often dangerous route of setting the same password for every site they’re on. And, who can blame them, it’s as good as impossible to remember ten or more different passwords.

Now, users aren’t the only ones to blame. Services also contribute to the problem. The demand of the different services vary immensely, with some requiring passwords of minimum length, while others want users to include both upper and lower case letters as well as numbers and symbols in their passwords. To overcome this hassle, most people employ a simple yet dangerous practice of setting the same password for all the sites they’re on.

A major security risk, having the same password for all the sites you’re on will result in someone getting access to all your accounts in case the security of any of the services you use is compromised and this is a serious problem. There’s only one solution to this—a password manager that stores all of your passwords in a single secure database that’s password protected.  You can skip past all the confusion and potential security holes by using a password manager!

How the Password Manager Works

Basic password managers perform only one function—they save your login information for different websites so you don’t have to. Though there’s a possibility to save your login information in your browser, it’ll leave you prone to data theft. So, using a standalone password manager is a far better choice. Password managers encrypt login information and other type of data that users often hand over to a site, such as their address or credit card details. So, with a password manager, you can keep your personal data secure, while keeping the array of passwords that many of us have to manage organized!

Password managers help users to generate unique, complicated passwords that are extremely difficult to crack. Password managers ensure that you have the strongest possible password and they perform the hard task of remembering all of your passwords for you. ideally, a password manager should perform all of the above security functions.

In addition to the above, quality password managers include password ranking, which lets you know which of your passwords are weak and which are strong, giving you the ability to change passwords that are likely to be compromised.

The Best Password Managers

Now that you know why password managers are important and how they work, it’s time to look at the best password managers out there. Following are the 3 password managers that we think are the best password managers to secure you passwords and avoid a security breach.

LastPass

Look up the internet for the best password managers and the first name that’ll pop-up is LastPass. Clearly the juggernaut here, LastPass was one of the first password managers to hit the market and, it was one of the first to offer an easy way to store passwords, both locally on one device and online, synched with other computers and devices.

Once you’ve set up your master password, the password manager allows you to import your saved login credentials i.e. your usernames and passwords from multiple browsers including Safari, Opera, Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox. If you want, you can then delete all of the information from your computer to keep it secure.

DashLane

Launched back in 2012, DashLane got a refreshed user-interface (UI) in 2016. The streamlined interface of this password manager is extremely simple and intuitive. DashLane allows two-factor authentication and gives you the ability to change a host of passwords spanning multiple sites with just a few clicks.

In addition to the above, the password manager will notify you if have an account on a site that’s been compromised, and with the built-in password changer of DashLane, you can prompt the password manager to reset the password to a new, unique, strong one without leaving the interface. Finally, DashLane gives you the option of storing your passwords locally in an encrypted vault or syncing them to the devices and then accessing them on the web.

RoboForm

According to RoboForm, it has the best password manager, and there’s certainly a case to be made in its favor. First, this password manager

Password Manager

allows you to store an unlimited number of logins. Second, it features application logins, multi-platform support, the ability to receive emergency access and secure storage of notes. Third, it provides the ability to sync across devices, cloud backup, and the ability to grant yourself emergency access.

Though it doesn’t boast the same feature list as LastPass and DashLane, RoboForm is a useful password manager to have and you get access to free mobile apps. In short, it’s worth a try!

Final Word

Two, three, ten, hundred! Regardless of the number, if you have more than one password for the different sites you’re on then, it will be hard for you to remember all of them. But then, you can’t compromise your online security by having the same password for all the sites you’re on. The best solution here is getting one of the passwords managers mentioned above—this is in your best interest.

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

Go Green—How Transitioning to Green IT can Benefit Your Business

Today, the need for businesses to be environmentally aware is more important than ever before. Being environmentally aware simply means knowing the impact your business is having on the environment. By investing in energy-saving technologies and implementing green policies, you can make your business environmentally-friendly. In addition to having a positive impact on the environment, a green approach to IT and computing can help you to reduce your costs and save money.

When it comes to technology, minimizing the amount of space required for servers and decreasing their impact on the environment is the first step in making your business eco-friendly. A responsible thing to do, going green will have a positive impact on your business. So, what is Green IT and how can it help your business? Let’s take a look.

A relatively new concept, Green IT or green computing promotes the efficient and responsible use of technology and reduction of electronic waste. To reduce electronic waste, you need to determine the amount of energy used by you and where you can cut back. Moreover, you should ensure that your practices to dispose of business waste are environmentally friendly. To ensure adherence to Green IT, you should encourage eco-friendly IT practices in your company such as proper recycling habits, power management and virtualization. More importantly, you should look to manufacture environmentally friendly products.

The importance of going green can be gauged by the fact that the government recently suggested compliance regulations that would be used to certify data centers as green. Some of the requirements for data centers included using green technologies, recycling and using low-emission building materials. With the importance of going green done and discussed, let’s look at some of the benefits of green computing for your business.

Lower Energy Bills

The most obvious benefit of green computing is lowering energy bills. Green information technology practices can help you to lower your overall power usage. Determining the number of computers, printers, phones and other electronic devices in your workplace, how they’re used and how much energy they consumer is the first step in the Green IT practice. Using the aforementioned-information, you can do away with non-essential items which will help you to reduce your overall power usage. This will ultimately result in lower energy bills.

Less Waste

Many companies pay money to get rid of the waste in their workplace. green information technology involves moving to a paperless system. By moving to a paperless system, you can minimize waste significantly in your workplace. This in turn will help you to reduce your company’s carbon footprint and save money.

Reduce Office Expense

You can minimize your general office supply expenses by utilizing more green IT in your business. Paper is an expense that most people are aware of but there are few other expenses that you need to consider. By transitioning to a digital platform, you can reduce expenditure on pens, markers, paperclips and more. How much do your business spend on these items each year? I’m guessing it’s in the thousands. If you save money on these expenditures, then the best thing that you can do is move to a digital and green IT system. Also, when you move to a digital platform, the storage required for the aforementioned-items is reduced, which makes room for other equipment and needs.

Improve Workplace Productivity

Increased productivity is another benefit of employing eco-friendly technology. For example, compared to sifting through a filing cabinet, finding digital documents on the Cloud is an easier and faster way of locating the documents you want. Mobile technology and messaging systems are positively impacting how people perform their jobs. Infact, some companies have reported a 25% increase in productivity after moving to a digital platform. Depending on the type of services the company renders, this increase in productivity could lead to an increase in revenue.

Trickle Down Effect of Green IT

The majority of the data centers consume thousand times more power than office space of equal size.  Additionally, IT equipment accounts for a major proportion of all energy consumed by businesses. So, the trickle-down effect of transitioning to Green IT impacts the cost of business operations on so many levels. Some companies experience a return of investment of a green IT initiative in three to six months. However, there are cases where the impact is almost immediate. Keep in mind that I’ve explained the trickle- down effect of Green IT without even touching the cost-saving potential of virtualization and virtualization is just one aspect of Green information technology.

Save Money Across the Board

If you want to save money across the board then, moving to green IT can do you a world of good. You can utilize the savings you achieve through green IT in other aspects of your business to generate even more revenue. For instance, you can use the money saved in energy bills to improve your marketing efforts or products features. Or, you can reinvest that money to further improve your business such as investing more in social media or hiring additional staff.

Tax Benefits

Finally, if you play your cards right, you can enjoy tax benefits after making the switch to Green IT. Depending on what technology you implement, your green devices could help you get a tax break. For instance, by installing solar panels at their workplace, many businesses are enjoying tax savings of as much as 30% and this is just one scenario where switching to green IT results in tax savings.

In addition to being an environmentally friendly practice, green information technology can help your business to save money and grow. The aforementioned-information reveals exactly how.

To check out Percento’s Green IT efforts, you can visit here:  CLICK HERE

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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