Covid-19 May Have a Positive Impact on Household Dynamics

(NewsUSA) - Turns out a lot of us actually like certain changes we've made in our lives while holed up at home since the coronavirus hit.

No, we're not talking about what turned out to be the not so stop-gap measures experts usually cite in arguing the entire world has been forever transformed due to COVD-19. Telemedicine. Telemeetings. Fist bumps -- well, okay, maybe not fist bumps, but (sadly) "handshakes may be one of the last things to come back," the Boston Globe reported.

Instead, a new survey of U.S. adults aged 18 and over provides rare insight into what could be the pandemic's long-term impact on individual household dynamics.

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Pandemic Behavior Revelations

Zach Shulman teaches at the Johnson School at Cornell University, and is the Director of Entrepreneurship@Cornell. He is also a partner in Cayuga Venture Fund, a locally based venture capital organization. Their office is across the hall from The Computing Center at the Cornell Business and Technology Park. We're used to seeing Zach regularly, but with the pandemic, we haven't seen him and many others for much of the past year. Here are some of his views on behaviour revelations he has gained during the pandemic. For more thoughts from Zach on entrepreneurialship and VCs, visit: ithacavc.com/ 

The pandemic has been tough on many people. I would like you to fill in your own definition of "tough" as the range of impact is really wide and I am definitely not qualified to define it for you. Even for people who question the pandemic or are anti-vaccine, the pandemic has been tough (again, define it yourself). For clarity, I clearly consider the pandemic to be just that - a pandemic - and I received my first dose of Moderna the other day. 

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Moving to Online - Is it for you?

 When to Move from Brick and Mortar to Online

 

If your business sells products, should you have an online presence? Something to consider. For the past several years, The Computing Center has had a small online presence. We sell printer inks and toners through the Amazon platform. Prior to March 2020, that platform provided us with a small additional outlet for these consumables. However, since last March, this area has grown quite dramatically. Daily, we ship toners and inks all over the US. Those additional sales provided our business with a demonstrable extra boost during a year when normal forcasting went out the window. While we have absolutely no intention of changing our business model, online definitely helped us in 2020.

This article from HP Tech@work outlines some of the steps necessary to create an online presence. We'd be happy to discuss our experiences and what we've learned from being "online". 

While the transition from in-store sales to ecommerce began long before the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 accelerated online sales growth in a way that no one could have imagined!

A recent survey revealed that a shift in buying habits favored online shopping for everything from magazines to hygiene products. The pandemic specifically motivated up to 31% of shoppers who would have normally purchased in-store to take their business to the internet.
 
Restaurants, booksellers, and clothing retailers all saw a shift, but how can you know if it’s time for you to make the move?

Brick and mortar vs online sales

First, it's helpful to review the differences between in-store and web-based shopping. Some stores stick strictly to in-person sales, with others moving online for ordering while still asking shoppers to stop by in person to pick up their purchases. Brick and mortar, whether it uses web-based tools for sales and logistics or not, exists mainly as a physical store you can visit for an in-person experience.

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Microsoft to end support for IE 11 in Microsoft 365

Many Computing Center clients use Microsoft 365 applications along with Internet Explorer (IE 11). Some clients integrate IE 11 iwith other 3rd party applications.  Microsoft is planning on discontinuing support for IE 11 and Microsoft 365 in August 2021. It's evident that from a Microsoft perspective, they are supporting Microsoft Edge as their primary browser application going forward.  Below is their general announcement. If you drill down into the links there is further detail.  We can assist you with the transition to Microsoft Edge or any other browser application that will best integrate with your business or organization and users.

 As communicated in MC220490 (August ’20), Microsoft 365 apps and services will be focusing their efforts on modern browser support over the coming year. As a result, Microsoft 365 apps and services will no longer support Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) after August 17, 2021; after this date, Microsoft 365 apps and services will be unable to connect, or have a degraded feature experience, when accessed on IE11.

For a full list of Microsoft apps with intentions to end support on IE11, please see this Docs page. 

Please note: The IE 11 changes are specific to Microsoft 365 apps and services. IE 11 remains a supported browser as a component of the Windows operating system and will follow the Lifecycle Policy for the product on which it is installed. 

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