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Test the VoIP waters with these 4 apps
September 28 2018 0 comment

Test the VoIP waters with these 4 apps

Installing a VoIP system in your business may be an afterthought. The name itself sounds confusing enough, so you’d rather not bother with it - especially when you already have a traditional phone line. So what if there was an easy way to give VoIP a try that could save you some money in the short term? Well, now there is. These four apps give you a chance to see how VoIP works on a small scale, so you can get a taste of how it will work on the large scale should you choose to integrate it into your business operations.

WhatsApp

The increasingly popular WhatsApp provides more than just text chats between users. There is also an call option, the equivalent of VoIP calls with the option of using video. So if you’re texting with a business colleague, friend or spouse, and need to communicate more clearly or face-to-face, you can easily switch your text chat to a more personal voice or video one. WhatsApp texting and VoIP service is free to download and use, and is available for all major smartphones.

Skype

Even seldom Internet users and the non-tech savvy are likely to be familiar with Skype. This VoIP trailblazer was allowing users to place calls over the Internet long before many even knew what VoIP was. But for those who are unfamiliar with this service, Skype users can place voice or video calls to other Skype users for free. You can also call a landline or mobile that doesn’t use the app for a very small fee. As for new changes, you can now conduct conference calls with the group video calling function that Skype has recently added.

Viber

Like Skype, you can use this service to place free VoIP calls to other Viber users. You can also call non-Viber users for a low fee, which is usually less than most cellular service plans. And because Viber is primarily a mobile app, it also has some nice benefits if you’re using it on your cell. Unlike other free VoIP services, Viber doesn’t require a username. Instead, you simply use your cell number as an identifier, which makes it easy for you to call contacts on your phone. What’s more, it also doesn’t eat up a large amount of data per call, only using 250KB per minute.

Viber is available for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices, and requires no registration to use the app.

Google Hangouts Dialer

If you’re a Google Apps user, you’re likely familiar with Hangouts. What you may not know, however, is that you can install an app, Hangouts Dialer, that enables VoIP calls. Once Dialer is installed to the Hangouts app, you can use it to call any phone number in the world, including landlines. Best of all, most calls to Canada and the US are free.

For business owners who are a bit tentative of VoIP, these four apps will give you an easy opportunity to test the waters. If you have any VoIP questions, or are ready to start saving money and install a VoIP system in your business, call us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
LinkedIn tips for the SMB
September 07 2018 0 comment

LinkedIn tips for the SMB

As a small business owner, you may be a bit perplexed how to gain the most value out of LinkedIn. You may have already spent countless hours trying to leverage the platform with little success. So what are you doing wrong? And how can you make the most out of your time on the platform? Here are a few tactics any SMB can follow to gain more value from LinkedIn.

Know LinkedIn’s purpose

Simply put, LinkedIn is not a content marketing platform. Yes, people do publish articles and posts, but if you have a small budget and are short on time, you will get more bang for your buck on social media networks that are more content marketing friendly. For example, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are all far better options in this scenario. Many users are on these platforms to view content in one form or another. On LinkedIn, content can undoubtedly be viewed, but people are primarily there to make connections. Of course that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t post an occasional article on LinkedIn. It just means don’t make it the main source of your content marketing efforts.

Another way businesses misconceive LinkedIn is in terms of lead generation. Basically, you shouldn’t expect your LinkedIn page to generate a large amount of leads. As an SMB, your marketing budget is limited, so you’ll be better off using your advertising budget to drive leads to your actual website or even a Facebook business page. Your LinkedIn business page should be used instead to validate your experience, credentials, and professionalism. With that said, make sure your page is polished and updated with all this information.

Double down on business trips

We all know that LinkedIn is a great platform to connect with business colleagues. If you’re active on the platform, you likely have hundreds of connections. So when you make that next business trip, why not tap your network to book additional meetings in the city you’re traveling to? Ask yourself, which of your connections could help you extend your sales in that region or benefit your business in some other way? You don’t have to stick to business colleagues you know personally. You can create valuable new relationships by tapping your current LinkedIn network. To do this, search first and second degree connections using the geographic search option, and filter your results to job titles, industry, and company size of your ideal prospect. Once you’ve found potential contacts, see if you can get an introduction from one of your first connections, or simply InMail them and reach out yourself.

Your page is about your business—not you

A very common small business mistake on LinkedIn is making your company page about you, not your business. You may mistakenly create this page like your personal profile, listing accolades and job experience. What you should really be focusing on, however, is something much bigger: the story of your business or brand. A story will help engage your prospects, creating an impression in their minds, and also give you an opportunity to touch on the value your business provides to customers. Your profile should also include some of the top brands your business has helped. If one of your clients is Target, The Gap, Whole Foods or another big name, make sure to mention it, as it proves your credibility as a business or service provider.

Find talented hires

While big companies have the budget and time to post job openings on LinkedIn, as an SMB, there’s a good chance you’re lacking both. Fortunately, there’s an alternative way to find top talent on LinkedIn. Simply search for them yourself.

Before you get started, you need to know exactly what kind of hire you’re looking for. Think about people you already know who would be perfect for the job. While you may not have the ability or budget to hire them, look them up on LinkedIn and see their career path. What kind of roles did this person previously have? What kind of experience did he or she have before their current position? With this information in hand, now you can search for people who are in or have held similar positions, and will likely share qualities of your ideal candidate. Once you have a pool of potential applicants, reach out to them through InMail or a shared connection to see if they’re interested in your job.

Ask for help, and be helpful

Like all social media platforms, if you don’t engage with your connections, you’ll see little value generated from your time using it. However, with LinkedIn, the type of engagement you participate in can be extremely valuable for your business. All it requires is for you to ask for help or feedback. For example, if you have several logo designs for a new product and are unsure of which is best, share some of them with your network to get feedback. If you’re curious about a new productivity tool and wonder if it’s worth investing in, ask your network if anyone’s used it before. Oftentimes in the business world, people are happy to help you if you just speak up. However, don’t forget to return the favor. If you become the person who seems to only be taking advice without giving any in return, it can have a negative effect on your reputation.

If you’d like more ideas on how social media or technology can create value for your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our IT solutions can help you overcome challenges, and create an even more valuable business.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
How to avoid common VoIP problems
August 31 2018 0 comment

How to avoid common VoIP problems

With its ability to eliminate the expense of a traditional phone line and slash costs, it’s no wonder that companies jump on the VoIP bandwagon without giving it much thought. However, transitioning without a plan can cause a range of issues that many business owners never expected. Here are a few to be aware of.

  1. Poor call quality
  2. Complicated and frustrating management of the VoIP system
  3. Negative on-hold experience for customers

You’re likely aware that a drop in call quality can tarnish the reputation of your business and result in a loss of profits. So obviously, issues like the three mentioned above may sound alarming. So does that mean that you should avoid installing a VoIP system altogether? Probably not. The thing is, VoIP isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it is likely the future of telephony service for many businesses around the globe. Any technology that has the power to dramatically cut costs, such as VoIP, is here to stay. And as the service continues to evolve, it will become even more powerful and versatile.

In the meantime, what can you do to ensure your business doesn’t suffer any of these three problems? There are a couple of solutions.

Know what you want out of your VoIP phone solution

If your business handles hundreds of customer service calls a day, your telephony needs will be different than a business that is mainly using their phone system as a method for internal communication. This is why it’s important to know exactly what you want out of your VoIP phone solution. Do you want your employees using it to make sales calls? Do you want to use it to simply answer a few customer service calls a day and communicate between internal staff? Will you be holding video meetings on it? If you know what you want out of your VoIP system in advance, it sets you up to have a practical discussion of your needs with a VoIP provider. And that leads to our next point.

Find an experienced, trusted service provider

When it comes to VoIP, who you choose as your provider can make or break the success of your new phone system. It really is that big of a deal. The three problems listed above can all be avoided with an experienced VoIP provider installing and maintaining your system. They can let you know the strengths, weaknesses and limitations of the technology, and give you realistic expectations of what you’ll get from the service. This ensures you aren’t let down and that you don’t suffer a bad telephony experience that irritates customers.

A trusted VoIP provider will have experience and has likely installed hundreds of VoIP systems. They can help you define a strategy that meets your business’s specific needs, provide recommendations on system design and management, and enable your business to get the superb call experience your customers expect. Additionally, the right VoIP provider will also provide training and support to ensure you understand how to use the system most effectively, and will be a quick phone call away to help you if problems bubble up.

And if you’ve already installed a VoIP system that’s turned buggy?

Although it’s better to consult with an experienced VoIP provider before your initial installation, it’s not too late to correct course. A trusted VoIP provider can help you resolve many of the issues you’re experiencing. Don’t settle for a VoIP system that hurts your business. You can make VoIP work for your business, and save thousands of dollars in the process.

If you need advice installing a new VoIP system or fixing your current one, don’t hesitate to call us. Our experts can provide you the consultation, support and service that enables your business to enjoy the costs savings and power of VoIP. Call us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Should you recommend apps or wearable tech
August 03 2018 0 comment

Should you recommend apps or wearable tech

As wearable technology and health-based mobile applications become more prevalent among patients, there is a growing demand for healthcare professionals to be able to recommend these to patients. Many people simply see this as an extension of medical advice, after all you are already recommending medications, treatments, and care options. Realistically, the decision to recommend these is left to each healthcare professional, but here are a few things to consider if you think you’re ready to do it.

A growing number of doctors are being quizzed by patients about which healthcare apps and wearable technology they should be using. Last year, healthcare market research company MedPanel conducted a poll that found only 15 percent of doctors are speaking with patients about the benefits of these.

With the popularity and prevalence of both technologies set to increase over the coming years, doctors are going to have to decide if these will be something they recommend or even advise patients on. It can be a tough decision but here are a few of the issues you’ll need to take into consideration before making your choice.

What devices/operating systems do you feel comfortable with?

The problem for many healthcare professionals is that the sudden expansion of the mobile apps and wearable technology market left them out of the loop when it comes to these. A lot of doctors are apprehensive about making recommendations without knowing the ins and outs of how something works and this is why many of them are avoiding this subject when dealing with patients.

Realistically you will want to figure out what operating system you prefer to use. Chances are if you use an iPhone, it will be easier for you to download and test apps for iOS than Android. It should be the same with wearable technology devices. Take a few out for a test drive and learn more about them. This way, you have a general idea of what they can do should a patient ask about them. It’s also possible to have your technology provider arrange a demonstration of any of these devices and a better explanation of just how they work.

Figure out the scope of your recommendations

One thing doctors tend to notice when exploring the world of health apps and wearable technology is just how massive and varied it can be. If you’re a specialist, it will be much easier to figure out what you want to recommend to patients, but for general health practitioners and others who cover a broader range of medicine, you might find yourself lost in a neverending world of technology.

When it comes to wearable technology, it is a little easier to figure out the items patients will be interested in and what they probably won’t ask you about. However, when it comes to health apps, you need to be on your toes. Because the scope of these can vary wildly from nutrition and medicine reminders to heart health and stroke prevention, you are going to want to focus your recommendations on a few areas you feel comfortable with.

Talk to your patients

A lot of doctors don’t take the time to speak with their patients about what mobile health apps or wearable technology they use or are thinking about using. By talking to them, it will help you get a better idea of what your patients want from this technology and make it easier for you to figure what you should be focusing on.

Ask a tech expert

Just because a piece of wearable technology or a mobile app works great for you, doesn’t mean your patients will have the same experience. There are a lot of technological factors when it comes to wearable technology and mobile apps and learning more about these will be important to you and your patients. Tech experts, like those found on our staff, are able to let you know if mobile health apps or wearable technology is secure and able to adequately protect your personal information among numerous other issues. There would be nothing worse than you recommending a technology that contains viruses or other harmful problems to your patients.

If you want to be able to recommend wearable technology and mobile apps to your patients, get in touch with us first. We’ll make sure your picks have a clean bill of health.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Data Breaches in Healthcare Industry to Increase in 2016
July 20 2018 0 comment

Data Breaches in Healthcare Industry to Increase in 2016

We’ll see more healthcare data breaches in 2016. You could bet on it. Why? It is a known fact that personal medical records are being sold now for ten times the price of credit card numbers on the “dark web” and cyber-attacks in the healthcare industry happen 340% more than in any other industry.

This increase in data theft is alarming, and in most instances is not if they get attacked, but when. That is why last year Congress responded to the healthcare provider community by enacting the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015, which advise to improve preparedness against cyber threats.

Some notable examples from 2015 are:

  • A blog from IMB’s Security Intelligence estimates that there was “a 1,166 percent increase in reported health care records breached from 2014 to 2015.”  IBM also reports “that in the first 10 months of 2015, healthcare ranked #1 in terms of records compromised, with nearly 34 percent of all records compromised across all industries.”
  • According to a KPMG survey from August it was reported that “eighty-one percent of health care executives report that their organizations were compromised by at least one malware, botnet, or other cyber-attack during the past two years, and only half feel that they are adequately prepared in preventing attacks.”
  • High profile data breaches in 2015 exposing up to 78.8 million customers’ records - included attacks on health insurer Anthem, Inc. and Premera Blue Cross, exposing up to 11 million customers’ records.

All medical providers who have suffered a breach can be subject to class action and individual lawsuits, based on allegations of negligence, breach of contract, and breach of various state data breach and consumer protection statutes. Class action lawsuits against Anthem and Premera, based on the breaches mentioned above, are ongoing. The legal consequences of a medical record breach can be annihilating, its range potentially including lawsuits, fines, and government actions.

The threat of litigation is formidable. Providers can face fines of up to $1.5 million in addition to various state-level fines from the Department of Health and Human Services now that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is increasingly bringing legal actions against breached companies for deficient data protection practices.

You need to be prepared by educating yourself first, and remember that EOX Technology can provide you with the appropriate solution specifically for your company.

 

Understanding Google Analytics
July 06 2018 0 comment

Understanding Google Analytics

In today’s competitive business world, it’s imperative that you have a thorough understanding of who your visitors are and what are their expectations. If you’re looking for a powerful analytical tool for your company’s website, Google Analytics one of the best options in the market. Yet trying to understand Google Analytics and its strategic use can make your head spin. If you’re just starting out, here’s an overview of Google Analytics and its key metrics that are noteworthy.

What exactly is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free website analytic product offered by Google. It is an application that collates visitor data from your website and provides basic statistics and analytical tools for search engine optimization (SEO). The data is used to generate reports that give you insights as to how your visitors are engaging with your website.

With Google Analytics, you can analyze your traffic to discover whether your target market is finding your website, how they’re finding it, and if they’re taking the actions you expect them to take while on your site. By tracking and analyzing your traffic you can increase the engagement and enhance your marketing strategies.

Google Analytics’ Key Metrics

Navigating Google Analytics can be mind-numbing, since you are likely to get lost in its many features, variables, and settings. Check out these basic key metrics that will help you analyze your website traffic.

Unique Visitors
Most people tend to confuse this metric with “Visits”. The Unique Visitors metric can give you an accurate number as to how much real traffic you receive on a daily basis because, unlike the Visits metric, it doesn’t solely rely on cookies to count. This means any of your visitors would be counted once, even if they cleared their computer of cookies.

Pageviews
The Pageviews metric should increase in direct proportion to the numbers shown in Unique Visitors. This metric represents how deep your unique visitors go into your website pages. If the percentage is low, your content may not be engaging enough to encourage visitors to explore the your website further than the home or landing page.

Bounce Rate
The Bounce Rate metric will tell you the percentage of visitors who left your website after viewing only one page. High bounce rates can mean that your website is not appealing to visitors in certain aspects such as the design, content, navigation, and so on. Tracking your website’s bounce rate will quickly help you identify things that are not working well on your website, so you can fix the problem accordingly and ensure you grab visitors' attention from the first click.

Traffic Sources
This metric shows which sources drive the most and least traffic to your website. Generally there are four types of metrics: Referral, Direct, Organic Search, and Social.

  • Referral traffic - These visitors found your site via your off-page marketing efforts, such as backlinks and blog articles on other websites.
  • Direct traffic - These visitors are highly targeted, since they type your URL directly into their web browser.
  • Organic search - These visitors discover your site after searching a keyword in a search engine, usually from Google.
  • Social traffic - These visitors came from social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

These are the metrics that matter to tracking your website’s visitors. They consist of basic numbers that are easy to understand and interpret. Once you get a handle of these metrics, you can make your way to more advanced metrics that provider deeper level and more accurate insight.

For more tips on how to utilize your business data with Google Analytics, contact our specialists today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.