Tag Archive: Science


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Businesses existed before there were computers, fax machines, telephones and copiers, but few entrepreneurs these days would want to try to grow a company without the advantages modern information technology can bring.

Merely having access to the internet- with its myriad opportunities for finding customers, building brands, researching suppliers and communicating with employees and others – can easily justify updating the technology in your office. For many companies, having the appropriate office technology can mean the difference between a successful expansion and one that falls flat on its face.

Managing technology and taking advantage of the opportunities it provides can prove daunting-particularly for small-business owners who lack an extensive budget and a dedicated IT department.

After all, achieving success in this technology-dominant era is far more complicated than putting a personal computer and a printer on a desk. You now have to understand how to take advantage of an IT infrastructure, including a robust network, to compete more effectively. Ultimately, it’s as much about vision-and developing a viable strategy-as it is about actual computing.
Too often, companies jump from one system or application to another but never realize the full benefit of their technology. Without a defined strategy, they make poor buying decisions, adopt ineffective tools, and often experience a high level of frustration. Businesses that excel typically establish technology strategies that help them gain a competitive advantage through cost savings, process improvements, faster time to market, and improved quality and service levels. These firms often exceed the expectations of customers, business partners and employees.

Developing a Tech Strategy


The smartest companies embrace a process for evaluating their technology goals and requirements before implementation. Your first step is to conduct an IT/network audit to document the technologies you already have in place and how they match your goals. You’ll want to determine the strengths and shortcomings of your current systems and their relative importance to your business objectives. The audit should cover the following areas:

  • Your company’s business requirements paired with the corresponding technology hardware/software/services solutions that address them.
  • A timeline for investment and deployment, showing how the timeline tracks to the priorities in the overall company business plan.
  • A design for a robust network architecture, which should include a network map of where your company is today technically–and how you plan to build your network in an evolutionary way.
  • Metrics and ways to measure the success of the IT investments.

Technology is vital to your business, but that doesn’t mean you always have to have the latest, greatest piece of equipment or software. Here’s how to evaluate your current technology to see whether it’s time to upgrade:
Computers are most likely to need upgrading as a result of a software update. If you’ve recently begun using a new version of an important software package and your computers’ performance seems unsatisfactorily slow, it may be time to buy new hardware. Otherwise, you can-and probably should-make do with what you have. Don’t delay buying new computers just because the ones you have are only a few years old, though. During that span of time, performance of the models on the market typically doubles. Forcing customers and employees to wait on slow computers can cost you far more than a new system would.

Telephone systems should be upgraded quickly if a problem develops because they’re your lifeline to customers and suppliers. If customers complain about being kept on hold, about phones not ringing or calls not being answered, you may need to add lines, improve your answering system, or perhaps hire more telephone operators. If you expect your call volume to surge sharply-perhaps because of an upcoming new product launch or seasonal buying-you may want to upgrade your phone system before trouble starts, making sure you have enough time to implement a new system, train employees and work out all the bugs.

High-end copiers can cost more than a whole office full of computers. Today’s models are increasingly interchangeable with printers, thanks to the new generation of digital, network-ready copiers. Some late-model digital copiers will also scan documents and send faxes. But fancy features don’t mean you need one of these costly machines. Upgrade your copiers when you experience or foresee a significant increase in the volume of copies you produce. Adding extras such as automatic document feeders and staplers are nice but probably don’t justify an upgrade.

The great thing about the march of technology is not so much that the equipment keeps getting cheaper, it’s that it keeps getting better. And while you don’t want to be on the bleeding edge of technology adoption, one exception is when you absolutely need a specific technology that has been introduced very recently. Most new gadgets go through a steep price decline after an initial phase of high pricing. If you need something that’s currently the latest thing but you can live without it for a while, you can save significant amounts of money by waiting to purchase until several months after it debuts.

What About Upgrading?

Even when you can’t justify purchasing new equipment, that doesn’t mean your old tech has to languish. You can always improve your office computers by making upgrades–adding memory or purchasing external storage devices or faster processors. Many people would rather prolong the lives of their computers than get rid of them, and upgrading piece by piece can also eliminate the learning curve needed to adjust to a new machine. You’ll need to be somewhat tech-savvy to take care of these upgrades yourself–or have access to a tech savvy employee or friend.
Here are some of the most effective and least expensive items you may want to buy to bring your older computers back up to speed:

  • Hard Drives. One of the most important features of any computer is its ability to store large amounts of data. Many systems today come standard with 20 to 40 gigabytes (GB) of storage, but with the growing interest in digital music and digital video, even 40GB may not be enough.
  • Whether you need desktop drives to back up your primary hard drives or store your digital video files, or a portable large-capacity drive to carry a hefty business presentation, there are several solutions that may help meet your needs. Consumer hard drives, such as FireWire and FireWire/USB combo hard drives, offer anywhere from an extra 20GB to upwards of more than 300GB of storage capacity. Such external drives allow for quick transfer rates between systems and other drives. Most come with accessories and are easy to install, making the upgrade process quick and painless. And when you’re ready to invest in new computers for the office, you’ll always have the extra digital storage space on hand should you need it.
  • CD-ROM/R/RW and DVD-ROM/R/RW Drives. If you regularly use your computer’s original CD drive to install or run software, listen to music and so on, you’ve probably noticed that it isn’t as fast as it used to be. You’ll find that CD-R/RW and DVD-R/RW drives are a good option because they allow you to burn large amounts of data, making them an ideal storage solution.
  • Processor Upgrades and Accelerators.Perhaps you’re simply looking for a little more “zoom.” Processor upgrades and accelerators allow you to increase the overall performance of a computer by allowing it to process information faster. Accelerators do this by shifting operational functionality and providing additional cache memory, thereby freeing up the computer’s main processor so it can do its real job–running software applications. And with recently released processor upgrades available at great values that enable older computers to perform at faster clock speeds, anyone planning to replace office computers simply because “new ones are faster” should seriously reconsider.
  • Memory. While everything that’s already been mentioned can help increase the usability of your current computers, one of the most tried-and-true ways to improve performance is to simply install more random access memory (RAM). If your office is running applications that require large portions of system resources, upgrading the amount and/or type of memory can speed up those applications and allow you to run more programs with less strain on your hardware. And with memory prices currently near bargain-basement levels, upgrading a computer’s RAM is one of the most affordable options you have to prolong its life.

The bottom line is that even with computer prices dropping, the more you can do to upgrade your existing machines, the more money you’re going to save until you’re ready to purchase the new machines. In the long run, upgrading one piece at a time allows you to further extend the effective lives of your computers without cutting out chunks of your bottom line.

Purchasing New Technology

If you’ve absolutely decided that you need to do more than upgrade your current equipment and software, however, it’s important to answer a few questions when considering making a new technology purchase:

  • Can my business achieve an immediate gain from the technology?
  • What benefits are possible and how long will it take us to achieve success?
  • What resources are required to implement and manage the technology?
  • Does the hardware or application support a foundation for future growth?

Once you know what you really need, you can start shopping around. One of the most common tech products entrepreneurs consider purchasing is new software. But before you rush off to buy any new programs, keep in mind that you have several factors to consider other than just the capabilities and costs of the software. Your selections should be based on your company’s size, industry, internal organization, computing environment, technical expertise and, of course, the ever-important user interface. Even a great product can end up being a nuisance if it’s not intuitive to you as a user.
Before you go shopping, be sure to evaluate your company’s staple software. For each program, draw up a wish list of features or enhancements that would make using the package easier. Often, the solution may be as simple as an upgrade to the latest version available. Consider hiring an IT professional to examine your system and business needs and tell you whether you even need to upgrade. Getting an expert opinion can be a money-saving move for small-business owners who would prefer to spend time keeping up on the latest developments in their industries than on the latest in software.

Once you decide you need something new, try it before you buy it:

Check out software company websites for downloadable demos that can help you better gauge how easy their products are to use. If a demo version isn’t available, there’s usually a detailed online tour that gives you a lot more information than a paper brochure. And before you buy the package outright, check with the software company to see if it’s bundled with other software or equipment that you might be in the market to buy anyway. If you’re shopping for a new accounting package or other critical software, consider doing a “scripted demo,” where you enter your data and run through test scenarios specific to your business’s transactions. It may be time-consuming, but if you buy the wrong software, it will be more costly later.Take a good look at your business and pinpoint those activities that take more time than you’d like-the ones that make you mutter to yourself.

“There must be something out there that can do this quicker than I can.”

No doubt, there probably is. For that matter, think about those activities you never seem to have time to do. From tools for creating websites to time-billing software, new products could provide brilliant solutions to problems you haven’t yet resolved. Make sure, though, that the solutions are worth the money and time you’ll have to spend to implement them successfully.

A customer relationship management (CRM) solution can help you streamline customer service, simplify sales and marketing efforts, find new customers and generate more revenue from existing customers. You can record customer interactions with sales and customer service personnel and keep a centralized database with current customer information that everyone in your company can access. This will allow your entire organization to understand what each customer wants and needs and give you a 360-degree view of your business 24/7, which will help you keep customers happy and boost your bottom line.

Improving Your Network

While setting up a traditional wired network for your computers and peripherals is still a viable option, wireless networks are becoming faster, more affordable and easier to adopt than ever. Growing small businesses that have adopted a wireless solution are already reporting immediate paybacks in higher productivity, flexible application mobility and greater worker satisfaction.

A wireless infrastructure can make it easier to reconfigure your office space as your company grows and changes. Also, the total cost of a wireless local area network (LAN) is relatively inexpensive–it’s become very affordable in the past few years and prices are continuing to drop. And a wireless network can help you improve your productivity:
Multiple computers can share printers and a single broadband internet connection without the hassle of running cables through walls. You can access your customer database whether you’re in your office or meeting clients in a conference room. Employees in the stockroom can update your inventory database in real-time using wireless PDAs. When you take into account productivity gains, both inside the office and at public “hot spots,” going wireless is an obvious choice, especially when compared to the cost of running a Cat 5 network LAN cable throughout a building.

However, since wireless networks transmit data over radio waves, which can potentially be intercepted, it’s important to have a security strategy for your wireless network. An unprotected wireless network is like an unlocked door–and too many small businesses are leaving their doors wide open. Below are some steps small businesses can take to make their wireless connection more secure:

  • Change your device’s default password. Wireless access points/routers come with default passwords set by the factory. Once entered, the password gives you access to change the device’s settings. Hackers know these default passwords and can use them to access your wireless access point/router and change its settings, for instance, turning off security features. To prevent unauthorized access to your wireless network equipment, change the device’s password to something difficult to guess. This password should preferably be an alphanumeric combination longer than 10 characters.
  • Change the default SSID
  • A service set identifier (SSID) is the name used to identify your wireless network. Your wireless access point/router came with a default, preset SSID. Hackers often look specifically for these preset SSIDs when scanning for networks, because they’re considered easy targets. As soon as possible, change the default SSID to something unique and, for extra security, change it regularly.
  • Don’t broadcast the SSIDBy default, wireless access points/routers broadcast SSIDs, making it easy for legitimate users–as well as hackers–to find and join a wireless network. However, you can choose not to broadcast your network’s SSID. Devices such as wireless computers and PDAs that require access to the network can be configured to automatically connect to your network’s SSID, so they don’t need the SSID to be broadcast to hook up.
  • Keep your wireless hardware’s firmware updatedThe software that enables access points/routers to operate properly, called firmware, is frequently updated by the device manufacturer. Often, updates include enhanced security. Updated firmware is available for free downloading online. Check your device manufacturer’s website support area regularly to ensure you have the most current firmware version installed.
  • Enable MAC address filteringA media access control (MAC) address is a unique series of numbers and letters assigned to every network device. You can configure your wireless access point/router to only allow access to specified MAC addresses (such as the addresses of each wireless computer on your network). MAC address filtering makes it much more difficult for hackers to access your network. The downside: It’s also more difficult to give wireless network access to clients, partners or others visiting your offices or locations. But protecting your system may be worth it.
  • Set a wireless policyCreate a clear but simple wireless network usage policy for all your employees to follow. The policy should include guidelines on the use of passwords, personal devices, such as wireless PDAs, and public Wi-Fi hot spots.

Disposing of Old Tech

Old PCs don’t die, and they don’t fade away, either. The average PC will run almost forever, and the harmful chemicals inside it will survive in your local landfill for even longer. How many long-lived-but-obsolete computers is your company moving around among staffers? There’s definitely a point of diminishing returns in holding on to PCs past their prime, as well as hidden costs in just about any disposal method you choose. Recycling, selling them to employees or giving them to charity are all viable options, but they all have costs attached–many of which may surprise you. It’s a good idea to have an exit strategy for your old hardware–and it should be in place long before the intrinsic value of your PCs hits zero.

Complete depreciation is often here before you know it, but there’s good news in that respect: The average middle-of-the-road PC now has a useful life of about three years; a high-end desktop, about four years. But be careful: Nurse an old PC along for too long, and productivity suffers–for low-level staffers as well as managers. Worker efficiency declines along with equipment efficiency, so when software takes longer to load, screens take longer to redraw and incompatibilities start to occur, memory upgrades need to be deployed. Most old PCs have years of utility left in them–just not for you. There are tons of schools, community groups, senior homes and other needy institutions that would be happy to take them off your hands.

Unfortunately, donation is another of the more costly disposal options. By the time you get done with moving, temporarily storing, shipping, tax record-keeping, making contractual arrangements with the beneficiary, possible testing and repair, and, of course, facing the ever-present legal exposure, IDC figures it will cost you $344 for each PC donated.
And the legal exposure is real. You could get sued for donating a defective or virus-infected computer, or you may be asked to defend the tax deduction. On the upside, the infrastructure for charitable donations is well-advanced, making this option less time-consuming.

One popular option for PC disposal is selling them. IDC says your net out-of-pocket per PC is $272 if you can sell it to an employee for $100, and $119 if you sell it to a third-party broker for $200. (Remember, costs vary among disposal options and you’ll still need to scrub the machines of company information.) The good news is, the PC is gone. But in both cases, you have to sell the PC before its value reaches zero. And those three years for a mid-range PC and four years for a high-end box go by quickly. Of course, brands vary. You can look up the residual value of your PC in the Orion Computer Blue Book. You can purchase the latest version of the Blue Book with the most recent prices from the Orion Research website. You also can look up prices for individual PCs online at $3.99 per shot.

In general, a lot of PC disposal costs are realized in soft dollars, and a certain amount of those are fixed. IDC says it will cost companies at least $150 for every PC taken out of service. First, there’s the labor involved in physically removing a system and its network components, disconnecting peripherals and scrubbing the hard drive of software, passwords and sensitive company files. Then there’s the downtime for employees during the move. After that, your costs will vary depending on how you choose to dispose of the old PC and may include payment for things like testing and repair or, in many cases, contractual or other legal costs.

And don’t even think about tossing them in the trash. Old PCs have chlorinated and brominated substances, Poly Chlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC), heavy metals, gases, acids and plastic additives–and that’s just for starters. All those chemicals have incredibly long half-lives. You want your new house sitting on top of this stuff? Not to mention, the EPA will be all over you if you’re discovered throwing PCs in the trash.

Training


Buying new technology is usually just the beginning. If employees aren’t trained on how to use the new equipment, your business won’t get the full benefit of your investment. You can get employees trained in almost any technology, at any level and any subject. Even highly experienced users may need training to use the latest programming and networking tools.

Start your search for training by quizzing the company that sold you the technology. Many vendors have on-staff professional trainers who can come to your site to train employees on using new technologies. If not, they can probably refer you to a local firm that offers appropriate training. You can also look in the business Yellow Pages under “Training Programs” and “Training Consultants.” You can choose from various types of training: Classroom training with a live instructor can be done at your business or off-site, in the form of a short tutorial or continuing series of classroom lessons. Having an instructor on hand helps learners get questions answered.

If you can do without a live teacher, check out video-based training. Class starts when you insert a pre-recorded tape or DVD into a VCR or DVD player. Students take notes and follow along in workbooks, just like with live teachers. Video courses can be repeated any time and are low in cost. Computerized training can be delivered in a classroom with PCs, or via the web. Internet classes let students choose the time, place and pace of learning. Some are taught by an instructor who communicates over the internet. Students can mix, mingle and discuss lessons in online chat rooms.

Managing Your Technology Costs

Many business owners today tend to set their tech budgets without having done adequate research–and therefore have unrealistic expectations about how much technology really costs. In fact, many businesses don’t have a good understanding of the total cost of ownership of their technology. When making decisions about technology budgets, businesses should focus less on the technology itself and make decisions about how technology complements other areas of the business. Figure out what you need to do to run your business better, and then go find the tools to support it.
Steps you can take to lower technology cost include timely purchases, clever negotiation and internal controls can help businesses save megabucks. You can renegotiate existing contracts for services such as network support and consulting.

Telecom is especially ripe for bargains. You can start by setting bench marks for rates and auditing bills to ensure you’re not overpaying. And instead of buying all long-distance, local phone and other telecom services from one vendor, dual-source it.

You should also make sure you need whatever new technology you do buy. Inventory all PCs, printers and software. Look for opportunities to consolidate purchases, standardize configurations and root out duplication. Set up a system to keep doing it. Pick a team of people from IT and other departments, and meet with them regularly to discuss what they need and how to save on it.
Another way to save money on tech purchases is buying refurbished hardware. Many online manufacturers and retailers have sections of their websites devoted to clearance outlets. You may have to poke around the site to find them, but it’s worth checking into when you’re on a tight budget. Refurbished items are usually returns that have been looked over and checked for functionality. As with auctions, check to see if all documentation and software is included. Compare prices to what is normally charged to see if the savings is worthwhile. Often warranties are shortened. What might have originally come with a one-year warranty may only include a 90-day warranty when it’s sold as refurbished. If you’re comfortable with that, go ahead and save some money.

Looking online for deals is also a great way to save money on your tech budget. And bargain hunting over the Internet doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Web sites such as PriceGrabber.com, PriceSCAN.com and MySimon.comare hubs for price comparisons. They’re especially handy if you already know what you want and are just looking for the lowest price. Don’t be blinded by what seem to be incredible bargains. Always check into an online retailer’s reputation if you’re not already familiar with it. You probably know this already, but always use a credit card for your purchases in case you have to dispute charges later.
Another great resource for hardware is eBay. You can pick up a wide array of products-from extra cell phone batteries to monitors and ink cartridges-at prices that would make some retailers blush. But eBay is no utopia. You still have to check into the seller’s reputation. Also check to see if the product you’re buying is refurbished, if it comes with an original warranty or tech support, and if all documentation and pieces are included. Some entrepreneurs may decide that the savings are worth living without some or all of those things. It’s not good or bad, it’s just a matter of deciding what you feel comfortable with.

If you’re the type of person who likes to “handle the merchandise” before you buy, find a local retailer you can visit in person. Prices may be a little higher when you just walk into a store, but you also have the security of having a physical location to return the product to in case of a problem. The Sunday ads are a good place to compare prices, and you should keep an eye out for specials and rebates at your local stores.

Buy or Lease?

As quickly as technology becomes obsolete, it sometimes makes sense to rent instead of buy your next round of upgrades. You can rent or lease most kinds of office technology, including computers, printers, copiers and phone systems. Here’s how your options stack up:

Leasing


If you’re like many small businesses, you’re willing to lease costly technology that’s likely to become quickly outdated. Leasing lets you get higher-end, more costly gear while reducing upfront outlays. Monthly payments will also usually be lower than those for credit-purchased equipment. Maybe most important, however, you’re transferring the risk of obsolescence to somebody else. If that high-end PC is a clunker by lease’s end, just hand it back to the owner and get a new model. Check the terms of your lease carefully. Scrutinize your options for the end of the lease. You may be able to buy the equipment for a small additional fee if you want to.

The ability to have the latest equipment is leasing’s number-one perceived benefit and you’ll have predictable monthly expenses. With a lease, you have a pre-determined monthly line item, which can help you budget more effectively. Many small businesses struggle with cash flow and must keep their coffers as full as possible, and leasing means you won’t have to invest cash up front. Because leases rarely require a down payment, you can acquire new equipment without tapping much-needed funds.

The downside of leasing is that you’ll pay more in the long run. Ultimately, leasing is almost always more expensive than purchasing. For example, a $4,000 computer would cost a total of $5,760 if leased for three years at $160 per month, but only $4,000 (plus sales tax) if purchased outright.

And you’re obligated to keep paying even if you stop using the equipment. Depending on the lease terms, you may have to make payments for the entire lease period, even if you no longer need the equipment, which can happen if your business changes.

Buying


Buying your equipment costs more upfront. If you’re buying on an installment plan rather than paying cash, monthly payments are usually higher. It may be comforting to know you own your equipment rather than rent it, but you may find yourself with an out-of-date machine right as you put the last check in the mail. One of the benefits of buying is that it’s easier than leasing. Buying equipment is easy–you decide what you need, then go out and buy it. Taking out a lease, however, involves at least some paperwork, as leasing companies often ask for detailed, updated financial information. They may also ask how and where the leased equipment will be used. Also, lease terms can be complicated to negotiate. And if you don’t negotiate properly, you could end up paying more than you should or receive unfavorable terms.

When you purchase equipment, you call the shots regarding maintenance. Equipment leases often require you to maintain equipment according to the leasing company’s specifications, and that can get expensive. When you buy the equipment outright, you determine the maintenance schedule yourself. Buying equipment is also tax deductible. Section 179 of the IRS code lets you deduct the full cost of newly purchased assets, such as computer equipment, in the first year. With most leases favored by small businesses–called operating leases–you can only deduct the monthly payment.

The disadvantages of buying equipment is that the initial outlay may be too much. Your business may have to tie up lines of credit or cough up a hefty sum to acquire the equipment it needs. Those lines of credit and funds could be used elsewhere for marketing, advertising or other functions that can help grow your business.

And eventually, you’re stuck with outdated equipment. As mentioned earlier, computer technology becomes outdated quickly. A growing small business may need to refresh its technology in some areas every 18 months. That means you’re eventually stuck with outdated equipment that you must donate, sell or recycle.

Contingency Plan


You never know how much you depend on technology until you don’t have access to it anymore. If a disaster strikes, you may not only suffer direct losses of data and hardware, but indirect losses due to downtime. But with some foresight and planning, you can avoid sustained downtime–and lost profits.

First, create a broad, holistic plan to ensure business continuity, not just disaster recovery. This plan should involve every part of your business, such as processes, operations, assets, employees and so on. Your overall goal: to prevent business disruption–then minimize it if it does occur. To this end, you should:

  • Conduct an impact analysis. How much downtime, loss of productivity, loss of data, loss of revenues and so on can your company sustain? For how long?
  • Develop a plan for dealing with mission-critical (revenue-impacting, customer-facing) functions and business-critical (back office, supply chain, e-mail) functions under various disruptive scenarios. Determine which business technologies to employ.
  • Educate your workers about the plan before a crisis occurs.
  • From time to time, revisit the plan to make sure it remains practicable and viable.

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Latest News Section Involving Key Financial and Monetary Statistics

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All sorts of organisations use the vocabulary of strategy. Compare these extracts from the statements of communications giants Nokia and Kingston University, a public institution based in London with 200.000 students.

“Nokia’s vision and mission believes in communicating, sharing, and in the awesome potential in connecting the 2 billion who do with 4 bilion who don’t. Connecting is about helping people to feel close to what matters.”

If we focus on people, and use technology to help people, than growth will follow. In a world where everyone can be connected, Nokia takes a human approach to technology.
Nokia’s priority is to be the most proffered partner to operators , retailers and enterprises. A strategy where customers remain our top priority.

In line with this priorities, Nokia ‘s business portfolio strategy focusses on five areas, with each have long-term objectives: create winning devices; embrace customer Internet services; deliver enterprise solutions; build scale in networks, expand professional services.
There are three strategic assets that Nokia will invest in and prioritize:

1. Brand and design

2. Costumer engagement and fulfilment

3. Technology and architecture.

“Kingston University’s mission is to promote participation in higher education, which it regards as a democratic entitlement; to strive for excellence in learning,teaching and research, to realise the creative potential and fire the imagination of all its members.”

The vision is to be comprehensive and to create by present possibilities, with a grander and more aspirational vision of the future.
The University’s goals are to provide all students equal opportunities to:

🔹Realise their learning ambitions;

🔹Create authority in research and professional practice for the benefit of individuals, society and economy

🔹Develop collaborative links with providers and stakeholders within the region, nationally and internationally;

🔹Manage and develop its human, physical and financial resource to achieve the best possible academic value and value for money.

“Strategy is part of every day language of work.”

Strategy vocabulary therefore is used in many different contexts for many different purposes.


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Latest News for Strategy Business Developments

A new branding around the initiative is to make it more visible to the organisations.

To succeed with SEO you need trust.Trust is the core component of Google’s relevancy-oriented search. Without trust, you’re simply not relevant. Yet, building trust is a double-edged sword and somewhat of a catch-22. For newcomers, especially, gaining visibility without trust has become incredibly difficult.
However, without visibility, how are people supposed to garner those all-important shares and links to your content? If someone can’t discover your products, how are they supposed to engage with it and like it enough to send it to their friends or share it on social media? Clearly, in the beginning, the odds are stacked up against us. But there is a way forward. Trust is most certainly the pathway to Google’s heart, if there ever was such a thing. And by leveraging this understanding of trust, we can succeed with SEO to make money online, build passive income streams and build a successful business in the long term – as long as we play by Google’s many rules.
At the core of Google’s relevancy equation, trust itself is created through three fundamental pillars. Within those three pillars, there are more than 200 different factors that help to comprise the search giant’s core algorithms. Once you understand these fundamental pillars, you can work on building up your trust across each of these areas. But before I launch into a discussion about that – and convey some of the strategies that will allow you to explode your presence by using the inherent power of search engine optimization -let me give you a bit of history. You see, the reason why it’s so difficult to dominate Google’s search results is because the search engine has been scorned once too often. As Google’s search grew over the years and turned into the dominant player that it is today, people realized the importance of ranking high organically.
Clearly, the near-limitless amount of free traffic can send any business into the stratosphere. Everyone knows that, and because of it, everyone is drawn to it.Yet, over time, as people understood how the system worked, they began to take advantage of certain less-than-scrupulous strategies that allowed them to rank their content quickly at the top of Google’s search. These weren’t the most relevant search results, which enraged Google. Because of that, Google knew things had to change. As an upshot, SEO has seen some dramatic upheavals in recent years at the behest of Google and its core mission to cultivate an internet to wield more inherent value for the global populous. And while things have calmed down recently, the last five years has seen a massive overhaul in the way Google determines what the most relevant search result is.

SEO algorithm updates

Before you can really understand what it takes to rocket up Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), you have to digest what’s changed. The reason? The changes are integral to the bigger picture and just what Google’s intentions are with the web. Google’s main aim is to deliver the most relevant search result in the quickest manner possible.
Clearly, it’s perfected that. So much so that it digitally obliterated its competition, vastly skewing the major market share towards its powerful search, while making the company a household name in the process.
The algorithm updates that have been put in play have gone by names like Panda, Penguin, and more recently, Hummingbird, amongst droves of others. These algorithm updates have been intended to improve the user experience, eliminate spam and scams, and to increase the overall relevancy of search. By understanding what’s changed, you can gain perspective into Google’s intentions on what it’s attempting to achieve. It desires content that helps to improve the lives of others, delivers value and that users want to engage with. Those are the most relevant search results. That’s what Google is after. But for years, it got quite the opposite. It dealt with unscrupulous individuals attempting to “game” the system.

How to dominate SEO

In a book entitled SEO, Master Search Engine Optimization, I lay the groundwork for Google’s trust, which is represented by three fundamental pillars. These pillars are integral to Google’s relevancy equation, and if you fail to address each of these pillars of trust, you’ll find yourself floundering in a sea of competition, unable to gain the precious visibility that you’re after.
1. Age
Age is more than a number. Google relies on its relationship with you over time to judge just how much it can trust you. The longer it’s known about you and the more often it sees you creating high-quality content that delivers tremendous amounts of value, the more it’s going to trust you. Age also doesn’t rely on the date you first purchased your domain. Age refers to the indexed age, meaning when Google actually discovered your domain. If you buy a domain and leave it dormant for years, that won’t help you. You have to actually do something with it.
2. Authority
The second pillar of trust is authority. Google relies on other sites that it already trusts to determine what newcomers should be trusted. If you have a site with great content, and other websites that Google already trusts are linking to you organically, your trust will naturally increase over time.

However, building authority is incredibly difficult at the outset. When you’re new, and you’re unable to get discovered at the top of Google’s SERPs, how are people supposed to find you and subsequently link to you? Unless you quite literally go viral, you have a steep uphill battle ahead of you, but authority is also incredibly important to your overall ability to rank.

3. Content
The third underlying component of trust is content. Your content plays a large role in your visibility on Google’s SERPs. Simply put, you can’t push out subpar content and expect to gain traction. Your content has to deliver enormous amounts of value if you’re serious about attaining the search giant’s attention. But it’s not just about one-off content. You need to regularly deliver great content on your site, the kind that people want to share and engage with. Without great content, you have nothing, and no matter what SEO strategy you employ, it will fail. No one will link to a site with poor content. Don’t waste your time by trying to cut corners or take shorcuts. Content is most certainly still king.

Five SEO strategies to help you rank

Beyond these three pillars of trust, there are more than 200 ranking factors that are involved in Google’s search. These ranking factors run the gamut from obvious to obscure. For example, one such ranking factor is just how long remains before your domain name expires.
The rationale is that domains that are registered for a short period – such as a year – are more likely fly-by-night sites. The longer the domain is registered for, the more likely it’s going to be to stick around. While this is a small relevancy signal, it just goes to show you some of the obscurity involved in ranking factors of Google’s algorithms.

Strategy 1 – Market your content

One of the most important SEO strategies to use in 2017 is content marketing. At the heart of this strategy is high-quality content that delivers a tremendous amount of value. This so-called “anchor content” is located on your website. However, it doesn’t end there. You need to market that content on authority sites such as Quora, Reddit, WiseLike, LinkedIn and other highly-trafficked destinations on the web.
Engaging in content marketing is not easy by any measure, but this single SEO strategy will help you rocket just about any of your listings to the top of Google’s SERPs over time, as long as it’s done the right way. To do this, there’s a very specific method. You have to ensure that you build similar and relevant content that’s keyword specific on authority sites such as Medium.com, LinkedIn.com and Quora.com, and that the content has a single link from the authority site back to the main anchor content on your primary domain.
Strategy 2 – Improve page speed

The page speed of your site has a big influence on the user’s experience. Slow-loading pages take away from the user experience, while fast-loading pages help to add to it. Google is acutely concerned with the user’s overall experience, and improving the page speed is one such way you can drastically improve that experience.
Use tools such as Google’s Page Speed, GTMetrix or Varvy’s Page Speed Tool to run insights and gain suggestions on how to improve your site’s page speed. If you’re not technically savvy, you might need to enlist the help of a web developer to optimize your site’s page speed.

Strategy 3 – Focus on mobile and AMP

Google has made a concerted push to mobile. Considering that mobile searches are now far surpassing desktop searches, it’s no wonder the search giant is so focused on mobile. However, most people are still behind the curve when it comes to mobile. Their sites load properly on desktop browsers, but not on mobile devices or even tablets.
Leverage a responsive design for your site, if you presently don’t have one right now, to ensure that your site is optimized for mobile devices. Google has also recently launched its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project, which further increases mobile load times. You can learn more about the AMP specification here.

Strategy 4 – Leverage the power of videos

Whether, for that matter, every SEO strategy needs the power of video marketing. Videos take your content into the stratosphere due to the popularity of video platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo. Creating useful tutorials and other informative videos are also a great way to deliver real value to people in a multimedia format that’s easily accessible to anyone with a smartphone camera.
Build relevant videos to further deliver the point made in a particular article on your site, and ensure that the description is keyword rich – but not keyword stuffed. Leverage elements such as the title and tags to fuse the keyword-centric nature of your video content.

Strategy 5 – Be social and engage with others

Authority is built up over time, but it also can’t be built up unless you’re social and you engage with others. In the beginning, they won’t come to you. In fact, what you’ve likely noticed is that it’s incredibly hard to rank any content at the outset. That’s because most newcomers have very little age and very little authority. So you have to get out there and build it.
This isn’t just about sharing your content repeatedly with others. You can’t simply cheerlead your own cause and expect to get ahead. You need to be social, add value to conversations, follow others and take an interest in what those people are doing if you want them to take an interest in you.


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Latest News Section Sources Including Companies and Bank Reviews

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Internal experts and external brought in sessions, that articulate the organisation vision and added insights to new opportunities.

Is your team fully engaged to give their best, day in and day out? In a recent study by TowersWatson, an international HR consulting firm, fewer than 21 percent of employees surveyed described themselves as “highly engaged,” down from 31 percent. 8 percent admitted to being fully disengaged.“
Having only one-fifth of your employees highly engaged is not the hallmark of a “Winning Business.” Other studies show that employee engagement derives from three important factors:

  1. Alignment of the employee with the goals and vision of the company.
  2. Faith of the employee in the competence of management and their commitment to realize the goals and vision.
  3. Trust in their direct supervisor that he or she will support his or her people and help them to succeed.

It has often been said that employees rarely quit companies. Instead, employees quit their managers or supervisors by leaving the company. Mark Herbert, a consultant focused on engagement, says:

“Engagement lives and dies on the front line of your business.”
Increasing positive managerial behavior and reducing negative managerial behavior will go a long way towards improving employee engagement. When your talented employees are engaged, they are able to perform spectacularly and build and improve your winning business. Here are some ways to get managers and supervisors started in focusing on ways to improve engagement (and to be better managers).

1. DON’T get angry

Getting angry is easy. Anyone can do that. But getting angry in the right way in the right amount at the right time, now that is hard.”
Mark Twain

Anger does not belong in your managerial kit bag.

2. DON’T be cold, distant, rude or unfriendly

Especially in difficult times, employees take cues from their immediate supervisors and need to hear from them. As such, your team will judge you by your action, moods, and behaviors, not by your intent.

3. DON’T send mixed messages to your employees so that they never know where you stand

Keep your message simple, focused and prioritized. Too many messages and initiatives just confuse and alienate people.

4. DON’T BS your team

This includes saying things that you don’t believe in. This includes hiding information and just plain lying. By the time each of us is in our early 20′s, we have all developed very well-tuned BS detectors.

5. DON’T act more concerned about your own welfare than anything else
Your success will come through the success of your team. “Self-serving detectors” are also very well-tuned in most employees.

6. DON’T avoid taking responsibility for your actions
You are the boss. As such, you are accountable and the buck stops with you. You are trying to develop accountability throughout your company. So, lead by example.

7. DON’T jump to conclusions without checking your facts first

A few years ago, I watched in horror as a colleague of mine started screaming at an employee of his who had missed an important meeting that morning. After several minutes, the employee responded:

“I apologize and should have contacted you. But, I just got back from the hospital as a relative has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.”

Now here are the dos, which are even more important than the don’ts…

8. DO what you say you are going to do when you are going to do it

There is no better way to communicate the message that you are accountable for your promises and that everyone in your company should be accountable as well.

9. DO be responsive (return phone calls, emails)

As a manager, your team can be considered to be your customer.
You want your sales team to punctually respond back to customer requests, so you should do the same.

10. DO publicly support your people

Your disagreements and disappointment with your employees can be communicated later and in private. Nothing appears so hollow as your attempt to blame your team for failures.

11. DO admit your mistakes …

…and take the blame for failures.

12. DO recognize your team

“You can never underestimate the power of simple recognition for a job well done.”

13. DO ask and listen

“The manager of the future will know how to ask rather than how to tell.”
Peter Drucker

Some of the most dangerous words for a manager to ever say include:

But, you just don’t understand…” “Because I said so…

14. DO smile and laugh

Have some fun. But, be genuine; programmed fun and faked laughter is worse than doing nothing. 
When appropriate, laugh at yourself; it will humanize you.


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Latest News for Strategy Business Developments

Connected Revolution

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In challenge, success is based on others success.

The adage that two brains are better than one may explain why a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners, including me, create partnerships. However, it’s not just those brains that should work well together. Partners’ personalities need to get along too.

As a serial entrepreneur who’s launched many companies, I’ve made a number of partnerships. Along the way, I’ve learned some lessons when creating those partnerships.

Among the most helpful tips that I’ve discovered is making sure that you get along with your business partner. It’s important to find someone who complements your skills, but don’t underestimate the importance liking one another.

Communication is another big part of a business relationship

There’s a great article from earlier this year about a long-lasting business partnership and communication is a theme that runs throughout.

I’ve learned many things about creating and maintaining partnerships during the past two decades. Although there are dozens of tips, here are five key lessons:

  • Partnership agreements: As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been burned by not having the right agreements in place. It’s important for business partners to have clear partnership agreements drafted by attorneys.
  • Clear expectations: I’ve also learned the hard way that people, including business partners, can’t read my mind. I believe business partners should consistently set their expectations with each other.
  • Think about your clients: When evaluating a potential business partnership, I look at my weaknesses and what I need help with. I also think about my clients and what type of partnership would benefit them.
  • Mutually beneficial: It might sound obvious, but still should be noted. Partnerships should be mutually beneficial. In my experience, both sides need to gain something from the relationship for it to be worthwhile.
  • It’s ok to walk away: Like any relationship, a business partnership holds a great deal of promise. However, sometimes it doesn’t work out. That’s alright. Don’t stay in a business partnership if you believe it’s no longer viable. I’ve learned that it’s better to end the partnership and regroup than to force something that’s not working.

“For a better understanding to how to get started in achieving good partnerships, is taking in consideration the history in the early 1700s when workers gave way to machine operations and then the 1800s Henry Ford in mass production changed manufacturing forever, then came robotics, computers, lean manufacturing and the lean sigma. “

Each revolution is made to get products out the door and now we got a connected revolution.


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The Latest News On Contemporary Developments in Business Strategy Practise

When you think of artificial intelligence (AI), you might think of dehumanizing interactions. Don’t confuse AI with primitive marketing automation.

Artificial Intelligence Drives Customer Experience, as AI expert and leading keynote speaker Christopher Penn, VP of Marketing Technology for SHIFT Communications says,

There are three levels of machine learning: AI where machines perform tasks normally performed by humans; machine learning.”

There are three levels of machine learning: AI where machines perform tasks normally performed by humans; machine learning.”

.”

circle-of-virtues.png

There is an old-fashioned word for the body of skills. Character, writes Amitai Etzioni, the George Washington University, social theorist, is the

Psychological muscle that moral conduct requires.”

The bedrock of character is self-discipline, the virtuous life, since Aristotel have observed, is based on self-control. A related keystone of character is being able to motivate and guide ourselves, whether in doing homework, finishing a job, or getting up in the morning. As we have seen the ability to channel one’s urges to act is a basic emotional skill, one that in a former day was called will.

We need to be in control of ourselves – our appetites, our passions to do right by others”,

notes Tomas Lickona, writing about character education.

It takes will to keep emotion under the control of reason.”

Being able to put aside one’s self-centered focus and impulses has social benefits, opens the way to empathy, to real listening. to another person’s perspective. Empathy as we have seen, leads to caring, altruism and compassion.

Seeing things from another’s perspective breaks down biases stereotypes, and so breads tolerance and acceptance of differences.

These capacities are ever more called on in our increasingly pluralistic society, allowing people to live together in mutual respect and creating the possibility of productive public discourse. Theses are basic arts of democracy.


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