Secrets to Successful Online Collaboration

We sell and support a number of collaboration tools and systems.  However just because you have the software doesn't mean that your collaborations with co-workers or clients will be successful.  Here's some great ideas regarding what it takes for successful collaborations.

In a world where more than 30 million people work from home at least one day a week, the virtual workforce is rapidly becoming the rule, rather than the exception. And whether you work from your home office, your favorite coffee shop or your kitchen table, chances are good that online collaboration is critical to just about everything you do.

Of course, working with people who may be a city, state, time zone or country away can be tricky, but with a few simple tips, a little patience and a steaming mug of caffeinated goodness, you can probably get more done at home than at the office. In fact, according to a study by the Telework Research Network, more than two-thirds of employers report increased productivity among their teleworkers.


Switching to the New Credit Card Terminals

We've been quite surprised how little press this issue has received.  Even larger businesses that have made the investment in the new POS terminals are still swiping cards rather than using the EMV chips.  This article contains basic information regarding upgrading to the new terminals and the shift in liability from the card issuer to the business. 

On October 1, 2015, businesses of all sizes are required to have updated POS terminals and backend software to begin accepting EMV chip cards. If you haven't made the shift by October 1, your business, instead of the credit card company, becomes liable for incidents of credit card fraud.

The year of EMV migration is upon us and for U.S. SMBs that means significant changes when it comes to processing customer payments.

Have no idea what I mean by EMV? You're not alone. You've likely seen the tiny gold design on the front of many credit cards during transactions in recent months, but thought of it as more decorative than deliberate. Short for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, EMV is a payments standard in which the designs — which are actually computer chips — are embedded into credit cards to create a unique impression.


Common Technology Issues & Solutions

 5 common tech problems and their DIY solutionsTechnology issues are a thorn in the side of many businesses. Even an action as simple as opening and printing out an email attachment can come with its fair share of bumps in the road. And the whole process of calling for support and waiting for service—that can often be as painful as the issue itself. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just fix these problems yourself? Well, sometimes you can. Our friends at Hewlett Packard discuss "do it yourself" solutions to five all-too-familiar tech problems:


Don't let a Natural Disaster create a Data Security Nightmare

 by Lisa Weintraub Schifferle

"Natural Disaster happen elsewhere,  We're fine here."  We hear comments like this all too often.  Unfortunately, that's not the case.  We do get our share of natural disasters right here. Read on for some helpful tips on how to prepare.

A natural disaster can wreak havoc on any business. But it's even worse when that real-world catastrophe becomes a data security calamity.

Before the summer storm season arrives, get your business ready. Just like you gather flashlights, bottled water, and emergency supplies, you can prepare your business by reviewing data retention and disposal practices.

Why are data retention practices important? As Bob Dylan said, “the answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind.” Remember the Brooklyn warehouse fire, where media reports indicate that medical records (including drug tests), bank checks, and Social Security numbers were strewn about the neighborhood. Or tornados in the Midwest which literally blew away sensitive personal information, sometimes even across state lines. 

No one wants that to happen to their business. Of course, you can't stop a hurricane or tornado. But while the sun is still shining, you can reduce the risk to customers and employees by safely disposing of paperwork you no longer need. The last thing you want is old records, that you should've securely destroyed years ago, blowing in the wind. If you hold onto only what you really need, it's easier to keep it safe – and there's less to lose in a natural disaster.


Check yourself before sending that email

Editor's Note - How many times have you received an email and wondered what the sender was thinking when they wrote it? Before any email gets sent a content review usually makes sense.  Here are some additional tips.

Despite the numerous means of communication, email is still heavily relied upon to deliver messages in the business world, especially for remote workers. Even in the office, it often seems easier to shoot off emails to colleagues instead of walking the 50 feet to their desk. If email is replacing some basic human interactions, we need to pay more attention to how we’re using it.

When composing an email, it’s often easy to forget there’s a human on the other side. You should manually check the tone of each and every message you send to make sure you’re communicating your message in the most effective way possible, leaving less room for misinterpretation.


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