IoT SMB: The “Second Mover Benefit” for Small Business

Standard

 

There is yet another storm brewing where mobile left off, with a new world called “The Internet of Things” (IoT). Twenty-six billion new devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020 (Gartner Group). IoT homes, known as smarthomes, or Connect Homes, are, and will be, the first adopters of these new devices. Small businesses will be the second.
McKinley IoT article-2Small business owners are also home owners, many of whom will try out new IoT devices in their homes. The decision process is much quicker for SMBs, and if decision makers like what they see, they can quickly translate, implement, and deploy new things in the workplace.

In order to gain a “second mover benefit,” however, you need to know what technologies will migrate from home to business. You also need to understand which ones will provide a high ROI (return on investment).

The top two types of devices on which SMB owners should educate themselves – and implement in their homes as a trial – are energy and security devices. Ten percent of US households with broadband have at least one smart device with energy-related functions, including eight percent with a smart thermostat and six percent with smart lighting (Parks Associates, Feb 2015).  Canary is one of the first smarthome security devices ($249 USD). It tracks motion, temperature and vibrations. http://canary.is/ SMB will move faster than enterprise companies, and they will have an immediate, positive ROI by implementing solutions which reduce energy consumption and increase security.

To further learn which technologies are best suited for both your home and business, look at solutions that address these key areas: smart thermostats, smart locks, smart light bulbs, smart smoke detectors, smart energy management devices, smart alarms, surveillance IP cameras, and smart hubs. You should note that some solutions are still in their infancy, but manufacturers have already begun to identify vital opportunities to improve both product and business continuity.

Then, regardless of the device you select to migrate to your business, after evaluating your potential ROI, it’s important to examine the security risk of exposing more of your network and critical data to yet another device that is linked to the Cloud. Work with your managed service provider or internal IT department to assess the exposure. An experienced tech team, like Everon, can ensure you have the best protections in place to be able to safely implement home solutions in your small business.

——-

You may also like:

 

Is Your Backup Plan Obsolete?

Standard

1982_ltd_country_squire_frontleft

Just because it’s still functional doesn’t mean it’s the ideal solution. Right? [Photo credit: Sunstarfire, on Wikimedia Commons.]

 

Technology is ever-evolving. In a blink of an eye, what was the latest and greatest is now unsupported and obsolete. Do you know anyone who uses a cell phone older than 3 or 4 years? Have you seen one recently and thought, “A flip phone, I can’t believe they still have one of those!” Or, “That old iPhone is too slow to do what I need to do.” The first iPad came out only 5 years ago, but tablets have become mainstream in that brief time. Now everyone not only seems to have one, but they’re on their second or third. It’s easy to recognize the benefits of improved/better/faster/safer machines.

In fact, you probably apply that same thought process to your Mac, PC, or server for your business.

You know that moment when you drop your phone in water? Or when your hard drive fails in your computer? The first thing that probably comes to mind is, “Shoot! I hope I can recover my pictures, contacts, documents, (etc.)! I don’t know what I will do if I’ve lost those.” You quickly realize that it doesn’t matter that you had the latest and greatest. If your data isn’t backed up properly, you now have bigger concerns than shelling out some money for replacement or hassling with a warranty repair. Data loss can be a huge inconvenience to your personal life.

But it can cripple your business.

Backup solutions, like every other technology, are also ever-evolving. What you bought back when it was considered cutting edge may have now fallen behind times. There may be new solutions out there that better fit your business. It’s a good idea to evaluate your backup plan as often as you do your smart phone or computer. Of the many options out there, it’s important to strike a balance between cost, features, and your business’s current needs.

For instance, one of our vendors, Datto, has a line of products called TDPs (total data protection) with scalable solutions that not only provide local backups every 15 minutes, for speedy recovery, but also sync offsite for disaster recovery situation, like a building fire, so your data is still safe. Another solution is the Datto NAS, in the event that you don’t have a server but need a central and reliable place to store files. (Think dedicated file server, plugged into your network, without the big cost.) The NAS, like its TDP brethren, also backs-up automatically offsite.

Everon monitors all of the backup devices we offer, 24/7. If a problem arises, we quickly address the issue to ensure your data remains protected. Monthly plans start at only $169, hardware included. Contact us today if you would like to discuss finding the right backup solution for your business! 888-244-1748 or info@everonit.com. We’re here for you.

Capture

You may also like:

Google Chrome Malware Cleaner

Standard

Google Chrome has quickly become a top contender in wanting to be your internet browser of choice. With its speed, customizability, and ease of use, I thoroughly enjoy and recommend it to everyone. Unfortunately, when any application starts to gain attention and a user base it also gains the attention of malware developers.

Screenshot 2014-10-13 11.03.23

Browser malware can interrupt many things. It can hijack your searches to other search providers. It can add an incredible amount of ads and/or pop-ups. Or it can simply just slow things down to a crawl when browsing or opening/closing the application itself.

Screenshot 2014-10-13 11.15.21

That’s where the Google Chrome Software Removal Tool comes into play. It is available to download at https://www.google.com/chrome/srt/.

Downloading and running the tool will do a quick scan, which will check for anything suspicious, then request to clear caches and such.

Screenshot 2014-10-13 11.16.49

Screenshot 2014-10-13 11.16.56

Very handy tool worth checking out, if Chrome is acting up for you. Only takes a few moments! 

What you can do to improve Outlook performance

Standard

 

If you’re like me, you are in a constant battle with an ever-growing mailbox that seems to get slower and slower every week. I have used and loved Outlook for a long time. Its stability and ease keep me from moving to its competitors. However, one flaw I have found is that sometimes when I am cleaning up my mailbox, the actual size of the mailbox remains the same. This slows it down. There are a few built-in tools you can use to pep up your mail browsing.

“Compacting” your mailbox removes all the items in your mailbox that you have marked for deletion and lowers the size of your mailbox on your hard drive. Smaller file equals faster access. In Outlook 2010 and 2013 the process is exactly the same.

Select the File tab at the top and press Account Settings > Account Settings.

Screenshot 2014-06-26 08.08.31

Select the Data Files tab > Highlight your data file > Select Settings

Screenshot 2014-06-26 08.08.57

Select Advance and press the Outlook Data File Settings button. Press Compact Now and give it some time (especially if your mailbox is as big as mine!)

 

Screenshot 2014-06-26 08.10.57

 

Once that’s done there should be some improvement to your Outlook performance, depending on how unhealthy your mailbox is. If you have multiple mailboxes you should consider doing this process on all of them. Good Luck! And remember: if you need help, you can always call us at Everon (888-244-1748).

How to Stop Internet Explorer 11′s Browsing “Suggestions”

Standard

 

Whether you like it or not, by now (unless you told the Windows Update not to) you have been updated to Internet Explorer 11.  I, personally, don’t use IE unless I absolutely have too (I prefer Chrome).  But I have noticed that it picked up a new habit from the last version: it seems to be automatically trying to guess the website I am going to, regardless of whether I have ever been there before.  A small nuisance, but a nuisance nonetheless. Here’s how to turn it off.

When in Internet Explorer 11, select the gear in the upper right-hand corner.

Screenshot 2014-05-06 14.10.53

 

From there, open up Internet Options and select the “Content” tab.

Screenshot 2014-05-06 14.13.01

Under Content, go to the AutoComplete section. Press “Settings.”

Screenshot 2014-05-06 14.13.06

 

Here is where all the AutoComplete magic happens — the culprit in question is the Suggested URLs, but feel free to experiment!

Screenshot 2014-05-06 14.13.11

Happy Internet  Exploring!