EMV Technology for Your Business

You may have noticed that a lot of newer credit cards have chips imbedded in them.  This new technology is more secure for the consumer, but for it to be "really" more secure, businesses that accept credit cards need the new readers.  Additionally, there's a shift in liability from the card issuer to the business.  We installed our new chip card reader back in September.  In addition to the old swipe cards and chip cards, our new reader will accept Apple Pay and Google Wallet.  For your business, if you're not up to speed this article is a good introduction into the world of EMV.

What is EMV chip card technology? Is it really more secure than magnetic stripe technology? Is compliance worth the cost of upgrading? It’s been over a month since the "EMV liability shift" went into effect in the U.S. on October 1, 2015, but many businesses still have unanswered questions.

To help you get the answers you need to minimize your liability, we’ve enlisted expert insight from Lorena Kubera, VP & GM of HP Retail Solutions Global Business Unit, and Cory McElroy, Director of Product Management & Marketing for HP Retail Solutions.

Here’s what you need to know to master the EMV shift.

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The Seasons Change -- Be Prepared

As summer turns to fall, it’s easy to get caught up in seasonal activities like choosing Halloween costumes, picking apples and pumpkins, or for small business, even getting ready for the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

But if a disaster struck your business, would you be ready? Seasonal changes provide an ideal time to check your business’s emergency preparedness plans, especially for weather-related emergencies. FEMA reports that between 40 and 60 percent of small businesses never reopen following a disaster. Blocking out some time on a quarterly basis to think proactively about unexpected and unfortunate events can help your business stay strong through difficult times.

Review your emergency preparedness plans each quarter

“Defeating Downtime, Keep Your Business Weatherproof,” a SCORE webinar with Jennifer Shaheen of Technology Therapy Group, Shaheen reminds us that no matter how big or small your business, every company has essential supplies and equipment. “Make a list of items your business can’t survive without,” she advises, by taking an inventory of important equipment and breakables. You may have taken a similar inventory in the past when you obtained or updated your insurance policy. But a routine check of essential items and expensive tools accounts for any new pieces of equipment or changes to your business.

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Investing in business class PCs and Laptops

About once a quarter or so, one of our clients contacts us about an issue with a low-cost consumer level PC or laptop they acquired. Usually the questions involve connecting the machine to their network, removing some of the junk or demo programs, or why their new machine won't run their company's specialized software.  It will take our engineers and techs an hour or two to get these machines working properly and occassionally, it can't be done.  Here's an article from Hewlett Packard's Technology at work Blog that talks about why it's worth investing in business-class PCs and laptops for your business or organization.

Think back to the last time you bought a new PC or laptop for your business. Did you approach the purchase the same way you would for a personal device? And if you had a problem, were you satisfied with the level of service you received?

Many small and medium-sized businesses purchase consumer-grade PCs and notebooks by default,1 not realizing the amount of difference a business-class model can make.2,3 Consumer-grade devices can work fine for many organizations, but businesses with more stringent performance, reliability, and support needs can save time and frustration by moving up to business-class devices.

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Shakespeare, Ethics & Common Sense

Editor's Note:  Many of us believe that ethics are digital. There's always a right way to do something - a defined path way to take the high road.  Well maybe not always.  This story points out that sometimes it takes common sense and a "bit of the Bard" to see the right path!
 

Expert Author Patricia J Moser

If Shakespeare was alive today, he would already have penned a tragedy reflecting the lack of ethics as continuously reflected in procurement activities world-wide.

"To take or not to take -- that is the question. If I get discovered, I might suffer slings and arrows, however I might have amassed an outrageous fortune. There may be a sea of troubles it may cause, yet I can always (with lawyers) oppose and thereby end them!"

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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.

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