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The Value of Answering Services

Article Written and Submitted By Herb Kimble.

For any business to grow and stay competitive, it needs to have competent answering services to take customer and affiliate calls. There’s nothing more irritating to a customer than not being able to call a company in relation to issues they’re having with products or services. If you want your customers to trust you, your company has to be accountable, and a big part of that is being able to answer all your customers’ calls at any time of the day, and on any day of the week.

You don’t have to shed blood, sweat and tears into putting up telephone answering services in your company. All you have to do is to hire some other company to do it. Answering service companies will do it all for you. They will allow you to have the ability to take customer calls in no time. If there’s anything that will please customers more, it’s having the opportunity to talk to a sensible, well mannered and knowledgeable customer support agent over the line to discuss any and all issues they’re having with your product or service.

A small business answering service is the quick solution for young businesses that wish to earn the trust of their customers. To be able to drive customers to your business, they have to be able to reach you offline, meaning they’ll have to be able to call you over a hotline. Not only that—your hotline has to be able to accommodate as many calls each hour as possible. The last thing you want is to lose the business of potential customers who wish to place their orders over the telephone.

About The Author:

Herb Kimble was perhaps the most famous outbound call center CEO and the best sales trainer in the Philippines. Herb Kimble is co-founder of CineFocus Productions, a movie production and soundstage rental company.

Three common web design mistakes designers still make

Even in 2019, a lot of web designers still make the same mistakes, driving visitors away and losing revenue in the process. Web design is an art, but it is something where a technical decision can have unintended consequences. Here are some tips from Rack Alley on some common mistakes:

Mobile text size

Some sites disable zoom and then present tiny text on mobile devices. If you are going to disable zoom on text, then ensure that you set your font sizes correctly to match the screen size you need. In a world where a lot of web traffic is from mobile devices, you cannot afford to make this mistake.

Popups

Many designers forget that popups and popovers are now synonymous with the shady and sketchy sites that want to sell you some snake oil. The problem with popups is that a lot of visitors get a big popup even before they spent time going through the site. If the visitor is still on your site minutes after the initial visit, then this is a good time to show them an offer.

Auto Play

Sites that have video auto play (with sound) are so annoying that users are installing browser addons just to avoid them. Do not be like one of the many news sites that just want to increase video impressions because it looks better.

We have three examples here, of many, so take the time to think about your actions as a designer and how it might or might not affect your visitors. Don’t let your investment in Los Angeles colocation go to waste.

How a Command Center Can Strengthen a Company

Summary: A command center, when implemented well, has the potential to strengthen how your company operates.

In an open market companies are usually forced to compete with one another, in order to stay afloat and increase profits. Competition is important because it drives organizations to push towards making better products, offering better support for customers, and attracting customers. The need for improvement is beneficial for everyone, because companies develop practices that make them better and customers are given the freedom to choose to do business with the companies that deserve their money.

Operations centers have high upfront costs but do not let the steep barrier to entry scare you away. A command center can improve the flow of information coming from outside of or within the organization, and it can also speed up how quickly you and your teams are able to produce.

Multiple Operations at Once

One way a command center can help your company grow is by allowing you to closely monitor multiple operations at once. For instance, if your company has a lot of moving parts that can be tough to keep track of, then network operations center consoles can make it easier to take in important statistics and project details. A video wall can give you real-time updates on how each project is coming along.

Organizational Restructuring

A system from a company like ConstantTech.com can force a company to restructure and find a method that works efficiently. Theses systems are designed to help information and relevant data flow more easily. When determining how to integrate the system you may realize some areas can be fixed and some departments can be enhanced.

Setting up a wireless network

For home and small offices, getting specialist engineers to do a site survey is both expensive and excessive. If you want to follow a similar process as the professionals, follow the four-step process below to assess, test and adjust your wireless network for optimum performance:

Investigate

In this step determine the type of connection you have, if can you use third party routers, and if you can move the location of the router. Also, note if it’s possible to run a cable from the router to any other equipment, if not wireless extenders are the only option. Make a note of the requirements, such as the number of people who will use the network and from where in the building.

Plan

Use a rough floor plan along with the data from step one to map out where you need to install additional access points. When looking at the radius of the coverage from each router/access point, look at the specifications of the device and assume half that number. That number will account for obstruction and walls on the strength of the signal.

Test

For this step, you will need at least a single access point in addition to the router. Place the access point according to the plan in step two. Test the speed from each location against a baseline from the router or close to it.

Adjust

Based on the results from Step three, move the access point and router around for the best coverage. Be prepared for some compromises or the need for more access points for certain areas.

Devices that you didn’t know could be hacked

The marketing hype is all about the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem that will revolutionize how we live. There are conveniences to modern connected devices and home appliances. However, these devices are also vulnerable to attacks by hackers and criminals. The problems being with lax security on the part of the vendor and insufficient safeguards built into the protocols the devices use to communicate. Here are some devices that are vulnerable to hackers:

Router

The most vulnerable item in your household is your router. Unless you have taken measures to secure the device, most routers come with a common administration username and password, a default wireless network name and password. Even your neighbor could hack your router with a little bit of knowledge.

Cameras

Another potentially vulnerable device in your home is the security camera. Most new cameras connect to the internet and use a service to enable remote viewing of the video feed. Unfortunately, some cameras pass the username and password along with the link making it easy for the intrusion.

Door locks

More and more vendors are introducing smart and connected locks that will open or close with a key, combination, or an app. A recent presentation at the security conference DEFCON shows that more than half of all connected locks are easily hackable.

iOS flaws that hijack iPhones patched by Apple

People believe that iPhones are secure, however new reports out today have Apple scrambling to fix vulnerabilities that are actively being exploited.

There are three flaws that have come out, and all are known as 0-day (zero day). These flaws were previously unknown and based on what some users are saying has been in use for years. At least from 2014.

The flaws allow the attacker (or government in this case) to take over a victim’s phone when they click on a link in a text message. This description of the flaw is according to Lookout a cybersecurity firm that looks for security holes in mobile products, and Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs.

“This is the most sophisticated bad actor we have ever seen targeting mobile phones out in the wild,” said Mike Murray, vice president of security research at Lookout.

The Spyware was discovered when pro-democracy activist Ahmed Mansoor received two text messages promising “secrets” about prisoners tortured in United Arab Emirates jails. He was immediately suspicious as he has been the target of Malware before and has been jailed for activism before. The past incidents of Malware have been traced back to the UAE government by security researchers.

Apple has since released a new version of iOS that fixes the flaw and is encouraging all users to update to the latest version as soon as possible. Fortunately this should protect users from this immediate threat as Apple’s devices are update more regularly than Android.

The ideal home networking environment

The typical home will have a router provided by the ISP with its own wireless network. That was fine a few years ago, however, going forward it is unlikely that will suffice for the typical family. Now a family of four could have as many as 20 devices on the network, requiring coverage all over the house. This is why it is important to get a network set up correctly with future growth in mind. Here are the components of an ideal home network:

Router

The first point to upgrade would be the router. Internet connection speeds get faster every year, some exceed 100Mbps, which means you will need a router that is capable of gigabit speeds. Also, new routers provide additional features like segmentation, parental controls, etc.

Wireless access

There is no point in buying range extenders and wireless bridge devices. The best devices to get now are mesh-capable wireless devices like Google Wi-Fi or EERO. These units talk to each other and provide best in class performance for homes.

Ethernet

Network attached storage devices, and streaming players work best when connected to a wired network. The best way to do this is to get a router with multiple ports and connect these devices directly. If it is possible, run a cable from the router to a gigabit network switch and connect all devices with physical network ports directly.

Cameras

There are affordable home security cameras that connect and use the wireless network. The problem is that several of these cameras can use up most of the available wireless network bandwidth. Get around this by setting up a separate network only for cameras. This will also provide additional security.

How to Improve Circulation for Overheating Command Centers

Summary: Good circulation is a necessity in every command center.

Command centers require an immense amount of power. With a variety of high-tech equipment like your network operations center video wall stored within each center, there needs to be a significant amount of cooling to create a comfortable balance. This guide will walk you through some ways that you can improve the overall circulation in your command center.

Be Careful Using Standard A/C Units

As you already know, command centers must be performing at peak efficiency 24/7. If an emergency were to occur and a computer was malfunctioning because of excessive dust, severe issues could arise. Your standard A/C units may supply significant cooling to a spot, but it can also spew out clouds of dust if not cleaned properly. An alternative would be to purchase an HVAC unit that comes with disposable filters. You’ll want to clean these on a monthly basis.

Install Water Cooling

Computers tend to run hot when they start overclocking and working themselves beyond their capacity. If your command center utilizes software and programs that are demanding, you might want to integrate water cooling within each computer instead of your standard fan. The latter tends to blow out dust and can create an environment that’s filled with dust particles. Water cooling on the other hand provides less dust output and keeps the entire computer cool and at safe temperatures.

Relocate Equipment

Another option you can take advantage of is relocating certain equipment to a sealed off area. Not only will this provide more room for your operators, but it can also reduce the amount of heat and dust coming out from each computer. Be sure to consult with a professional A/V integrator beforehand like ConstantTech.com to ensure everything can be moved safely without causing any interruptions.

Use Google’s Pixel camera software on other phones

When reviews of Google’s Pixel phone came out, the camera was the highlight of the phone. In fact, it was a testament to the work Google had put in that photos from the camera were talked about in the same ballpark as the iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S7. Most smartphones use the same Sony image sensor, in other words, what makes one camera better than the other is the software. The Google Pixel camera app was special, and now it works on other phones.

What you get is not an official version of the app. A Ukranian developer has ported the app so that it works on other Android phones with the Snapdragon 820/821 or 835 processors. One of the staff at XDA Developers ran the app on LG G6, a OnePlus 3, a OnePlus 3T, a OnePlus 5, and a Samsung Galaxy S8 without any issue.

What makes the Pixel Camera app special is the HDR+ image processing that produces great images in even low-light conditions. The app uses the Hexagon digital signal processor to take a continuous stream of images from the time the app opens. When you take a shot, all the app does is mark the time, and use the images to build the best possible HDR image.

Please remember that the app probably includes optimizations for the specific hardware in the Pixel and will probably not produce images as good as the Pixel.

Medium and Large-Scale Network Monitoring Efforts Are Scaling Upwards

Summary: Network Operations Centers are bridging the gap between network security and scalability.

 

A Network Operations Center (NOC) plays a crucial role for any medium or large-scale network monitoring effort. Within the center, your staff will monitor and respond to any problems with the network. The NOC will also form a link between the detection of a network problem as well as implementing a solution – typically by sending a technician to the remote site.

 

Some companies are in a transitional phase of growth, meaning they are not open every 24/7. Additionally, their network is vast enough to have a NOC center constructed, but can’t justify the expense of staffing it outside of business hours. In this case, many companies will utilize after-hours notifications that email or call the technician in the case of a misnomer or other error that appears.

 

Within the NOC, control center consoles are outfitted to work alongside the central master console. This console essentially accepts inputs from thousands of remote devices that are in your network.

 

Alarm Remotes

 

Alarm remotes are special monitoring devices that are designed to collect alarms from contact closures and sensors, which will send the signal back to the NOC. Note that a single alarm remote can cover dozens of remote devices, depending on the alarms that they each put out. It’s important to remember as you develop and upgrade your NOC, it’s important that you avoid several common pitfalls that will negatively impact the overall performance of your center as well. This can be countered by opting for a integrator such as Constant Technologies Inc. that can provide a custom-built center that’s perfect for any solution.