Monthly Archives

April 2017

Why you need to back up your mobile devices

By | Business, Managed Technology, Web & Cloud

There was a time when mobile phones were used exclusively for calling and texting. Now, they can do so much more. Regardless of your level of tolerance or skill for managing documents in such a small gadget, mobile devices allow you to send and receive email, download and upload media files, store data, and even close business deals. As mobile devices became indispensable in everyone’s personal and professional life, the security risks have also increased — and backing up became more critical than ever.

Malware on mobile

More than 50% of the world’s adult population use a mobile phone with internet connection, so dangers in these handy devices are to be expected. Scarier than the thought of being offline is being online and exposed to malware.

If you use your mobile devices as an extension of your work computers, backing up is a must. Mobile phones have become as vulnerable to malware as laptops and desktops have, especially if you consider the fact that many professionals and business owners use them for emailing confidential documents and storing business-critical files.

Device disasters

Other than malware, other types of disasters can happen on your device. Because you carry it wherever your go, your device can easily be stolen, misplaced, or damaged. They may be easily replaceable, but the data contained in them may not. Having completely backed up data on your devices helps prevent a minor inconvenience from turning into a disastrous situation.

Backup options

Performing backups in iPhone and Android devices is a seamless process. Their operating systems require only minimal effort from users, and backing up entails nothing more than logging into their Apple or Google account. However, other users have different devices with different operating systems, slightly complicating the process.

Mobile devices’ safety is essential to business continuity plans. So whether your office users are tied to a single operating system or prefer different devices, there are options to back up all your organization’s mobile devices. There are cloud backup services that enable syncing of all devices and that back up files, contacts, photos, videos, and other critical files in one neat backup system. These mobile backup tools are offered on monthly or lifetime subscription schemes, which provides small businesses with enough flexibility to ensure protection.

Mobile phones have become so ubiquitous to how people function that many feel the need to have two or more phones, mostly to have one for personal use and another for business. With all these options on hand, there’s no excuse for not backing up data on your mobile devices.

Our experts can provide practical advice on security for your business’s computers and mobile devices. Call Simpatico Systems for mobile backup and other security solutions today at 855.476.6347.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Mac Pro gets revamped

By | Apple

Mac Pro users have long awaited the release date of the new workstation, and who could blame them when the current model has been available since 2013. Thankfully, Apple just confirmed that the revamped Mac Pro is on its way. From specs, features, and design changes, here’s the latest information we have about Apple’s high-end desktop.

Processor

The new Mac Pro is rumored to feature the next-generation Intel Xeon E5 processor. While the current models are configurable up to 3.5GHz for the six-core option, 3.0GHz for the eight-core option, and 2.7GHz for the 12-core option, the 2018 model could offer up to 14 or 18 cores per processor. What’s more, each model will likely come equipped with the Iris Pro Graphics P580, a highly powerful graphics processing unit (GPU) that will make heavy file renders a breeze.

However, there’s a small chance that Apple might abandon Intel chips altogether and move to AMD’s RYZEN 7 CPUs, which just set a new standard for high performing CPU processors.

RAM and storage

The new Intel Xeon chips are rumored to have DDR4 memory controllers, and if that’s true, you can expect uber fast memory and low latency without having to worry about issues with overheating. Currently, the 15-inch MacBook Pro comes with 16GB RAM, so it’s likely that you could expect the same RAM with the updated entry-level model of the Mac Pro. And because Apple knows that users usually work with very large files, an option for 2TB flash storage could be possible.

Ports

Claims that the new Mac Pro might offer more Thunderbolt ports in the form of USB-3 are also up in the air. This makes sense as it brings Thunderbolt to USB-C at 40Gbps which ensures faster data transfer speed.

While a number of users wish Apple would offer PCI slots so they could add faster SSDs and more powerful video cards, looking back at the company’s previous releases, we don’t think you should get your hopes up just yet.

Design

According to Apple, the triangular design of the Mac Pro’s thermal core was what limited them from offering updates to the machine. Because of that, we’ll probably see a completely new design in the 2018 model.

Prices

Apple just rolled out some minor updates to the current Mac Pro, including enhanced specs at lower price points. For the $2,999, you now get a 6-core Intel Xeon processor, dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs and 16GB of memory. And for $3,999, you now get an 8-core processor and dual D700 GPUs.

Having said that, you can expect slightly higher prices for the new Mac Pro than the current models, like with most new Apple releases.

Release date

The timeframe is 2018, but keep in mind that the present Mac Pro was unveiled at WWDC in 2013 and supply was so restrained that people didn’t get theirs until the following spring. Therefore it’s highly possible that the new model will be launched at WWDC 2018 during summer and won’t probably ship until the end of the year.

Stay tuned for more updates on the new Mac Pro.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Risk vs Uncertainty – How To Save Yourself From Mediocrity

By | Uncategorized

Let’s play a game. You have two bags of marbles in front of you. One bag has 5 blue and 5 orange marbles. The second bag has 10 marbles but with an unknown ratio of blue to orange. The second bag has equal chances to have any possible ratio of 10 marbles between two colors. To win the game you need to choose a blue marble from one of the bags without looking. Which bag do you choose?

Without taking a survey, I know that the vast majority of my readers chose the bag with the known 50/50 odds. So we need to answer two questions about this choice: why does choosing the known bag seem like the obvious answer and is it really?

Starting with the latter, we know that the “unknown” bag could be all orange marbles with no chance to win. It also has the same probability of being the opposite with no chance to lose. Let’s instead look at this from a purely statistical point of view. If you play this game 10 times with the “unknown” bag, each ratio has an equal likelihood of 10%. This means your chances of winning range from 0% to 100%. Adding up these probabilities and taking the average, you actually have a 50% chance of choosing the blue marble. Exactly the same ratio as your “known” bag. This leads us to our first question: why does the known bag seem like the obvious choice when your probabilities are identical?

This phenomenon is called the Ellsberg Paradox.

The Ellsberg Paradox tells us that we have a shared, general human condition of choosing a known risk over uncertainty or ambiguity. Humans have a natural aversion to uncertainty. It’s why you may deal with a bad boss for 10 years rather than take the risk that a new boss at a new job may be worse. It’s choosing the devil you know over the one you don’t.

It’s also why most are struck with some level of analysis paralysis when they are faced with the prospect of making a big change with how their business has always operated. Maybe it’s adopting a brand new product, process, or team. Perhaps it’s supplementing or even completely replacing a function through outsourcing that has always been internal.

When making such a big change we want to avoid making mistakes, so we plan, debate, hear proposals, form committees, hold meetings and in the end we decide we don’t have enough information to comfortably move forward. Nowhere is this more evident than watching government work. There is a common saying you’ve probably heard if you’re a business leader: even a wrong decision is better than no decision at all.

This is not to say one needs to skip their due diligence, but leaders need to be more comfortable with the unknown, while at the same time understanding that any decision can be adjusted, edited or completely reversed. The real danger is doing nothing at all, especially when you know what you’re doing isn’t working or isn’t working well.

So the next time you have an opportunity to make a change and you’re suffering from analysis paralysis, remember, the bag may be 100% blue marbles but you’re only going to know if you make the decision to accept some level of unknown.

About the author: Logan McLean is an amateur writer, a poor woodworker and an expert queso critic. Born and raised in Texas, he avoids country music and any sort of group dancing. He surrounds himself with people who are more intelligent and successful than he is… they are not difficult to find. He loves technology, epic fantasy novels and low budget sci-fi movies almost as much as he loves his wife and kids. Logan serves as Director of Business Development for Simpatico Systems. Contact Logan at logan.mclean@simpat.co

To see this and other original content over life, the universe and everything, visit http://www.simpat.co/blog-posts/.

The best features of Android’s Nougat 7.0

By | Android

The good news? Google will be rolling out more features for Android 7.0 Nougat and Marshmallow devices earlier than expected! The bad news? Google hasn’t yet confirmed which devices are eligible for the latest upgrades. In the meantime, here are four prominent features you should be keeping your eyes on:

Quick Switch
What this feature allows you to do is to quickly jump between the two most recently used apps with a double-tap on the Overview button. (That’s the square icon located to the right of the three virtual navigation buttons at the bottom of the display.)

Multi-Window
After ensuring the application’s compatibility, simply long-press the square Overview button to shrink the app to fill half the screen. This feature allows you to easily run two apps side-by-side on your smartphone or tablet.

Better battery
First introduced with Marshmallow, Doze is a power-saving tool that prevents your apps from sending or receiving data without disabling your mobile data. It gets a boost in Android 7.0 Nougat. Doze utilizes sensors to detect when the device is idle — even when it’s being moved around — and lowers power consumption.

Data Saver
After activating this function from the notification dropdown, Data Saver mode reduces cellular data used by applications. It does so by blocking background data usage, limiting bit rate for streaming, reducing image quality, just to name a few.

Enhanced encryption
In Android Nougat, each file and folder saved on the device is individually encrypted and protected as opposed to being encrypted as a whole, like previous versions of the mobile operating system were.

The latest tech innovations might succeed in enticing consumers, but it’s usually the operating system that seals the deal.This is merely a preview of Android 7.0 Nougat’s capabilities. By no means does this list detail all the awesome functions that await Android users. If you’re interested in getting the latest updates or would like to have your Android-related questions answered, just give us a call at 855.476.6347!

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Enhance customer service through video chat

By | VoIP

Online video chat turns stiff customer service interactions into a more personal experience. Seeing the person you’re talking to makes for a more substantial conversation. With that in mind, businesses ought to integrate such a function if they want to make significant changes to the way they handle customer inquiries. Despite the obvious advantage, few companies have adopted an online video chat functionality. It’s predicted that by 2018, that will change.

More visuals, better service

Unlike other customer service platforms such as phone, online chat, social media, and email, online video chat is highly personal and markedly interactive. The advantage is obvious: Customers see the person they’re talking to, which lends a greater sense of urgency and professionalism to a conversation. Businesses looking to improve their customer satisfaction rating can also benefit from a video-enhanced customer service capability.

That is not to say that an online chat or other ‘less visual’ modes of communication are insufficient in handling or managing complaints or queries. For some businesses, certain product or service inquiries could benefit from a visual demonstration, such as fixing a malfunctioning electronic equipment or assembling furniture. A video chat can also be massively beneficial to customers seeking help for an extremely technical computer issue.

Not all customers, however, would opt for a video chat to get assistance, but having it as an option is definitely going the extra mile. Having a video option also expands the customers’ options and increases their confidence in your capacity to assist.

Is online video chat really necessary?

Some companies aren’t eager to adopt a video-based customer service functionality due to several factors, such as costs associated mostly with staff training and contact center structure improvements. Despite being the least personal of all customer interactions, interactive voice response systems are still preferred by many because they’re cheaper to implement and maintain.

Other hurdles include inconsistent video chat quality and customer preference. The ubiquity of other platforms such as social media also poses a barrier to adapting video chat. Why spend money hiring extra staff and expend effort adding video capabilities when you can have anyone on the team log on to Twitter — for free — and solve complaint tickets?

Despite widely recognizing customer service and experience as a competitive differentiation, many businesses still resist video technology. For small- and medium-sized firms with limited resources that are therefore slow to adjust to new changes, this is understandable. Nevertheless, exploring video chat’s potential can undoubtedly enhance their customers’ experience, and, in time, prove invaluable.

As with many advances in unified communications technology, it wouldn’t be surprising if online video chat decimated other VoIP services and became the new norm rather than a budding trend. Do you want to explore the various features of your existing VoIP systems for your business? We make it simple…really!  Call Simpatico Systems today at 855-476-6347.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.