February Business Tech Bytes

Guard against network attacks

Columnist, Jill Van Hoesen

Columnist, Jill Van Hoesen

Just a few short weeks into 2015 and we’ve had the “The Interview” Sony hack and the Central Command Twitter and YouTube account breaches, just to name a few. This is all the more reason to ensure your business and customers are not the target of cyber criminals. Last October, USA Today featured s report headlined: “Hacking a big danger for small businesses,” which highlighted the reason why cyber attacks are increasingly not just reserved for large enterprises. As breaches at Home Depot and Target dominated news reports in 2014, you and your business continue to be targets that are more at risk than ever. [Read more…]

Web design starts with a strategy

Jill Van Hoesen

Business Tech Bytes column || by Jill Van Hoesen

Now that the Internet is providing enormous amounts of consumer information and transparency in the form of reviews, price comparisons and social media sharing, creating a Web presence is just as imperative to your business’s success as the resources most commonly associated with building a brand. If you are just starting your website or planning a redesign it is imperative you focus on how and where your customers will be accessing your website and begin to differentiate yourself. [Read more…]

Business Tech Bytes: Understand value of CRM systems

It was not so long ago your business had customers. Your customers came to your brick-and-mortar building or at least called your office on a landline. This is no longer necessarily true today as the Internet has led to websites and mobile devices that enable you to reach a larger audience without geographical boundaries. With this new reach come new challenges as to how to manage a new pool of potential customers and is sometimes referred to as audience reach. Recently more and more companies are turning to customer relationship management systems or CRMs. Such systems come in all price ranges and can help your business streamline your sales processes and increase productivity and revenue while managing demographic and other audience-specific information. [Read more…]

4G LTE network good for business

Jill Van Hoesen

Jill Van Hoesen

What is 4G LTE? The term “4G” stands for fourth-generation wireless technology. First-generation wireless was standard analog voice service. Remember when your old analog cellphone would no longer work and “digital” was arriving on the scene? That was second generation, or 2G wireless, this included not only digital voice but data service. Unfortunately, the data download was still very slow and clunky on a cell phone and we were definitely not all toting around iPads and tablets since data speeds were roughly equivalent to dial-up. [Read more…]

Vigilance key to safe online activity

Jill Van Hoesen

Jill Van Hoesen

Internet threats constantly emerge and the latest two are no exception. Are you still browsing the Internet using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer? It really is time you move to Chrome, Firefox or even Opera and this is especially true if you are still running Windows XP. [Read more…]

Job hunting? There’s an app for that

Jill VanHoesen

Jill VanHoesen

According to a February Learnvest article, “politicians and pundits had a field day with the Congressional Budget Office’s recent report on the Affordable Care Act and whether it would lead to Americans walking away from jobs now that they no longer had to worry about health care.” This is really only one component of what is a larger growing worry: the number of Americans who are dissatisfied with their jobs and what that can mean to your business and the economy. [Read more…]

Ensure telemarketing compliance

Jill Van Hoesen

Jill Van Hoesen

The rules have changed for new or existing customer telemarketing phone calls or advertising SMS text messages, cellphone or residential landlines with the latest Telephone Consumer Protection Act regulation. This new ruling, effective Oct. 16, removes the “established business relationship” exception and replaces it with the obligation of the telemarketer to receive “prior express written consent” to make telemarketing calls or send marketing text messages using an auto dialer or robocall technology.

This is the third regulation, stemming from the FCC’s Feb. 15, 2012 ruling, which also brought further consumer protection with call abandonment calculations and automated opt-out requirements, effective in November 2012 and January 2013.

Does your business use an autodialer or pre-recorded voice calls to market and advertise to new or existing customers? Do you make telephone calls or send text messages that include advertisements? If so, have you received a traditional written signature “opting in” from customers you plan on marketing to? Or did you receive an electronic or digital form of signature via your website or SMS message reply? [Read more…]

IP phone systems worth the move

Jill Van Hoesen

Jill Van Hoesen

Even as more and more people are sporting cellphones, your business’s land line is in many ways still the lifeline to your customers. If you have not made the move already, 2014 should be the time you look to an Internet Protocol phone system and unified communications at your organization. An IP phone system uses your existing Internet connection to converge or unify your voice, data and even video conferencing, providing cost savings over traditional copper telephone lines and a PBX phone system.

Before you make the leap, there are several considerations to ensure a satisfactory employee and customer experience. Voice and video conferencing are not as forgiving as mail and file sharing. Have you experienced a slight delay when retrieving email or downloading something from your file server or the Internet? [Read more…]

Pop your hood for amazing tech

Jill Van Hoesen

It was back in the late 1970s when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began to insist that automakers devise ways to monitor the effectiveness of automobile emission control systems. This led to the birth of the first version of the standardized On-Board Diagnostics protocol. Late model cars now have the second generation OBD, known as OBD-II, and require a Controller Area Network to efficiently connect all of a vehicle’s sensors.

Vehicles are increasingly becoming computers with wheels—a system of software protocols and wires connecting a vehicle’s computers and sensors. [Read more…]

Apps, e-portals improve patient care

Jill Van Hoesen

Does anyone remember a doctor making a house call complete with the famous black bag? Does your health care provider still have shelves and shelves of the color-coded manila folders? I personally haven’t been to a doctor, dentist or even an urgent care office that is not only taking appointments, but now conducting most patient care via laptops or iPads.

During my latest visit to the Women to Women Samaritan Family Health Center, I was introduced to and enrolled in MySamaritanHealth.com. All I needed to provide was an email address and within minutes I had a login, temporary password and the website www.MySamaritanHealth.com up on my Android. As a matter of fact, I also got to check my email and send some text messages, but wait times are for another time and column.

The MySamaritanHealth.com website as well as the Healow app are using software from eClinicalWorks, a leader in ambulatory clinic technology solutions boasting a customer base of more than 80,000 physicians and 472,000 other assorted medical professionals in all 50 states. [Read more…]