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The opportunity benefits of EDI

Written by Act Data Services, Inc. 1-800-ACT-DATA

Going ahead with an EDI implementation has many benefits. There are the strategic benefits such being able to adopt new business processes. Then there are the operational benefits such as cost reduction, elimination of human error and improved cash flow. One aspect that is often not given prominence are the opportunity benefits that EDI services can provide.

There are two primary opportunity benefits: Enhanced image and competitive edge.

Most organizations have to deal with customers one way or another. These customers can be end users and consumers or other businesses. Often customer service affects how the business is seen. The product can be robust, but if the customer service is sub-par then the company image suffers. This is where using an EDI provider comes in. It provides customer service agents or staff the ability, in real-time, to see the current state of an order. This allows them to provide the customer with an accurate estimation of completion.

Competitive edge follows a similar concept. Both the strategic and operational benefits of EDI directly affect the ability of the company to respond to market changes. Potential customers can be won over with the lower costs, accurate delivery estimates, and faster order completion. This competitive edge extends to all parts of the company: customer service, sales, marketing, and management.


Act Data is an internet EDI provider for retail and supplier environments.


The basics of web hosting

Written by Rack Alley

In the most basic sense, web hosting is an intangible service. There are cheap web hosting companies that rely on its intangible nature to promote these plans over the more expensive alternatives. In order to better understand the various pricing schemes available and arrive at the best decision, it is important to know what goes into web hosting.


This is one of the biggest sources of expenditure. With the exception of cases like LA colocation, all servers, and related equipment are purchased and owned by the hosting company. In some cases, higher fees are due to the constant upgrade cycle. This is a good thing as faster servers mean better performance.

Data Centers

The servers will be located at one of the many data centers used by hosting companies. The cost of this is a part of the charges included. These large buildings are designed specifically to host thousands or tens of thousands of servers. Some host will allow region selection like an LA data center.


With the exception of a few open source applications, most software that both runs and runs on servers are proprietary. This is another one of the major costs in hosting. The difference can be seen when comparing the cost of a Linux server and a windows one.


Web hosting companies purchase web hosting just any other normal organization would. The advantage is that since the connections are large, these costs savings filter down to the individual hosts. However, since the connections need to be distributed amongst thousands of customers, there are strict limits and charges for exceeding those limits.


Rack Alley is a provider of colocation and server hosting Los Angeles at their LA data center.


A Brief Look at the History of Sputter Deposition

Sputter deposition dates all the way back to the mid 1800s.

When it comes to the history of sputter deposition, it should be noted that it dates all the way back to a century ago. The idea of thin film deposition was first conceived back in 1852 by Grove. This style of thin film production became commonly used in the 1920s when it came to the preparation of reflective coatings. Then, the major company Western Electric started utilizing sputter deposition to deposit gold on wax masters. This was only the beginning for deposition as new methods began to emerge and replace older styles of thin film production.

The Reemergence of Sputter Deposition

Sputter deposition started to fade into the distance after thermal evaporation became available. It was a new and improved type of process, at the time, and proved that it can still provide an outstanding film with the use of thermal energy. Now, this doesn’t mean that sputter deposition became completely obsolete. In the 1950s, sputter deposition began hitting the main stage yet again when Bell Laboratories developed tantalum hybrid circuit technology through the use of sputter deposition. Once again, sputter deposition proved that it was here to stay.

Today’s Outlook on Thin Film Deposition

Fast forward to today’s deposition techniques, there are a variety of different methods and tactics when it comes to the production of thin films. New vacuum coating systems have been created that provide all of the benefit that your standard system would, but within a vacuum environment, and other products have made their mark on society.

Denton Vacuum, LLC can help you find the right vacuum evaporation system for your deposition needs. With years of experience on their side, trust that Denton Vacuum, LLC can assist you with all your thin film needs.


How APUs Play a Significant Role in Airport Emissions

APUs are being used in a dysfunctional fashion, and the environment is being ignored.

airport-terminalThe use of Auxiliary Power Units (APU) in airports is becoming excessive, environmentally harming, and costly. Furthermore, the amount of time that the plane’s jet engines are idling is adding more fuel to the fire. The push to replace the use of these APUs for ground power units (GPU) instead could effectively improve a variety of areas.

Breaking Down the Issue with APUs

The APU is designed to perform three essential functions: starting the airplane’s main engines, providing adequate power to the plane when the main engines aren’t running, and providing compressed air to the plane’s air conditioning unit. Now, if you break it down, the ground power and air conditioning unit can be easily replaced by the use of electrical equipment, which in turn will reduce emission levels. Now, this isn’t the only concern that many airports are facing today. There are also numerous issues that revolve around economics, ramp congestion, and fuel savings. There are problems that a ground power unit can fix, if utilized in conjunction with an APU correctly.

Understanding Ground Power Units

These ground power units come in a variety of electrical power levels. For instance, many smaller airports have 28 volt power supplies attached to a cart that drives out to the airplane when it is taxied. However, due to financial constraints, the push to switch to electrical power has left many ground power units operating solely on diesel. This just adds to the environmental issues that airports are currently facing.

Now, let’s move on to the problems created by APUs. The overall issue of emissions at airports are becoming a serious concern all across the country. And, APUs are playing a significant role in adding to this problem. APU usage generates three sources of emission: carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxide. Consider the amount of flights that go on in one day – that’s one huge cluster of gas being pumped out every second. You can see why red flags are being raised all over the place.

The solution itself isn’t an easy one. There are numerous factors and limitations that must be considered. However, with the right push, and funding, there could potentially be a substantial change coming in the future. These current problems can be fixed, and hopefully there will be significant changes with the development of new technologies.

Start Pac can supply you with the highest quality 28 volt battery pack for your aircraft. Trust the specialists at Start Pac and visit them online today.


The benefits of using VANS for EDI

Written by Act Data Services, Inc. 1-800-ACT-DATA

EDI is electronically communicating with business or trading partners. The most important component of that is the actual communication between the two parties. There were times when this was done by exchanging physical discs. Unsurprisingly this was found to be inefficient and communicating via data links was adopted.

There are two ways to use communication links to transfer the EDI data. The first is to use in-house links. The other is to use an EDI provider of a VAN, also known as a Value Added Network. There are some major benefits of using VANS over in-house links:


When using VANS, the only concern is the link between the organization and the VAN. Any compatibility issues with other partners is not a concern. It is also much easier to manage than individual links to multiple partners. The links between the VAN and the partner is their concern. The organization need only be concerned about the EDI services.


Most of the information that occurs between business partners is confidential. VANS provide a high level of security. Not only is the communication password protected, but the actual arrangements to send and receive packets has to be set up in advance on both ends.


There are complete audit trails available for all transactions. Due to the electronic nature of the system, everything is just a click away. However, not all service providers have audit trails enabled. It should be one of the requirements when selecting VANS.


Act Data is an internet EDI service bureau that provides EDI solutions and logistics standards implementation.


What is cloud computing and cloud hosting

Written by Rack Alley

The latest buzz word in hosting and LA data center circles is cloud computing. The initial misconception was that any service that was stored or hosted on the cloud was considered cloud computing. When in reality, it is far more than that. For example, services like Google Drive and Dropbox are all online services, but can hardly be considered cloud computing or cloud services. They are just online services.

Cloud computing is more than just about the service that is provided. In fact, it is more about how the service is delivered. The main difference between online service and cloud services is that cloud services are scalable.

It is also what makes it so important. The ability to start with a server that has a certain amount computing resource (like processor and memory) and be able to increase and decrease in real-time is what sets it apart. In addition, the billing is by the hour which makes a short burst of usage possible.

This applies to all aspects of cloud services. Granular, scalable services are available for storage, databases business intelligence, AI and so much more. Without the advent of cloud computing, most of the today’s startups would not exist. It gives very small companies the ability to buy the resources they need when they need it.

It should be noted that larger organizations still run in-house and hybrid deployments but focus on LA colocation and private cloud implementations as opposed to using public clouds.


Rack Alley provides premium colocation services and server hosting Los Angeles at their data center.

computers room

Basic devices in a computer network

computers room
computers room

A computer network is made of multiple devices that are connected physically and logically to enable communication between each other and devices outside the network. When designing a network for a workplace or for a home it is important to understand the basics of designing a network and the various components. Here is a basic rundown of the various devices.


This is the device that provides a connection to an external network like the internet. Every home and office with an internet connection will connect their network to a router.


This device sits between the router and the rest of the internal network. It provides several levels of protection for the devices and is also used to control access to certain resources. For example, a router could allow certain users to use certain services and bar others from doing so. In addition, some higher-level firewall will detect malware and other problematic traffic and block them.


Any network that requires access to physical network ports will also need a switch. A switch routes traffic internally between computers and to other devices like the firewall. A gateway is defined on each of the computers (that is usually the firewall) and that is the destination for traffic that is considered to be external to the network.

Access point

Wireless network access has become a necessity in any environment. Some organizations no longer have a physical network and access only using Wi-Fi. Access points are the physical devices that provide that access to the network.


What Makes a Digital Wallet Quality?

A digital wallet is a piece of software that helps users move money using the Internet. Modern digital wallets utilize layers of encryption in order to ensure every transaction is private. This process is called “tokenization”, and it is used to make data anonymous and create a disposable session where the transaction can take place.

All that is useful, but it doesn’t help us understand how to shop for a great digital wallet. What qualities should you look for when you’re deciding where to store your money online? Here are some thoughts on what makes a quality digital wallet.


Stanford has some helpful ideas on what basics you should be looking for as a consumer. The best digital wallets are extensible, meaning they can handle any of the payment methods you may choose to use at a given moment. Vendors also shouldn’t be able to initiate transactions without your explicit say-so, thus making security extremely important.

Low fees are another great quality to look for, and those are achieved by re-using the same technology. You’ll never get a behind-the-scenes peak at this portion, so shop around for the lowest fees you can find.

And finally, Stanford concludes that digital wallets should be able to run on any device. You shouldn’t need your PC to complete a transaction, especially since smartphone adoption rates are rising.

Other Qualities

Other qualities to look for include discounts and special offers. More digital wallets are working directly with retailers to make sure they offer personalized discounts to customers using these payment methods.

Payza offers convenience and security for sending and receiving money online. You can read Payza reviews to find out what actual customers are saying, or download the app yourself in iTunes or the Google App store.


Hi-tech kitchen gadgets coming soon

Silicon Valley disruption has affected so many parts of our lives. There are startups like Uber and Airbnb that have become the catalysts for large levels of change in their respective industries. Although these can’t be classified as disruption, tech-driven change is starting to make its way to home appliances. Here are some of the changes to expect in standard home appliances in the near future:


Recently an oven was released that can be controlled by a smartphone and has a camera built-in. The user can monitor the level of cooking through the video and control various parameters of the cooking process. Expect this to become a feature of ovens and ranges in the near future.

Washing machines

Connected washing machines will let us control the washing machine and provide notifications when cycles are complete. Put the clothes and detergent in and then start the cycle from the smartphone. Expect to be able to queue wash, spin, and dry cycles.

Air conditioners

Another appliance that will benefit from remote-control is the air conditioner. Current models have only one method of programming and it is limited to a single one and the trigger. Aside from control using a smart home hub, individual units can be controlled with vendor apps.

The future is looking good for hub driven automation as well as by vendor apps. The only danger is that some vendors might require lock-in to benefit from a connected ecosystem of appliances.


Avoid Scams When You Shop Online

Shopping online is becoming more and more popular, especially with the convenience of smartphones and tablets. When looking for online shopping deals, consumers often turn to less traditional websites that they might not be familiar with because they advertise prices at largely reduced rates when compared to large retailers. This method can be disastrous if you’re not careful.

Avoid scams when shopping online by implementing the following tips:

Only Shop Securely

One of the most important factors to consider when discount shopping is whether or not you’re using a secure website.

Secure websites will always start with “https” instead of just “http”. The additional “s” at the end signifies that the website uses an SSL certificate to ensure that your information is being protected when you shop and when you check out.

Read Reviews of eCommerce Stores First

If you plan on shopping at an eCommerce store that you’ve never heard of before, try to locate customer reviews first. They’ll tell you whether or not the website is a scam, how good the customer service is, and what type of quality you can expect from the products.

Online stores that have mostly negative reviews should be avoided at all costs.

Stay Clear of Rock Bottom Deal Websites

It might be tempting to buy a purse for $50 from a discount website that normally costs $1,000, but in most cases, you’ll either be buying a fake or you won’t receive anything at all.

Deals that sound too good to be true probably are.

With Costbuys, you can find online shopping deals buying in bulk and having everything shipped direct to your doorstep.