What to Look for When Hiring IT Pros For Your Business

first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now » 4 min read January 29, 2014 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. When businesses grow from the startup phase to a full-on company, entrepreneurs are faced with a challenge: Which technologies should they invest in?The typical path is to begin with an email provider and website and then develop a lead generation and contact management tool. Within just a few months of starting a company, a business can easily be utilizing nearly a dozen platforms from many providers. While this technology can (and should) make an entrepreneur’s life easier, it can be tricky to get the hang of all the moving parts.Often entrepreneurs end up outsourcing the IT support or hire their own internal team. Either way, a lot of IT professionals don’t have the insight as to how the rest of the company works, making it difficult to effectively integrate the many different apps and platforms business users are leveraging on a daily basis. As a result, a company may spend too much time and money trying to solve IT issues. This doesn’t have to be the case.Related: How to Recruit a Great Programmer as a PartnerFor entrepreneurs looking to disentangle the IT web, here are three questions to ask your IT professional:How can we empower the business user? When looking to hire IT support, you should make sure IT has the end user (aka the person using the technology) in mind. This will not only help the business user but the technology department too.Today’s IT teams are too resource constrained to respond as quickly as business users require, resulting in a bottleneck. As a result, business users are striving to become more self-sufficient as they look for faster ways to connect with customers, launch new marketing campaigns and enter new markets.It makes sense to view technology integration as a business application rather than a developer tool. Once organizations begin to give business users the tools to take over IT tasks like data mapping and the ability to self-provision customers and partners, IT no longer acts as a bottleneck but rather a value-added broker for business users.What do IT processes look like for the non-technical user? With entrepreneurs constantly connected to their company, they have zero time (or patience) for the IT department to fix a problem.Related: Former Software Engineer Takes a High-Tech Approach to FarmingBusiness users want an easy-to-use interface that enables workflow automation — not a platform that requires advanced knowledge of code and an IT request ticket. When shifting lower level IT tasks to the business user, simplicity is key. Integration solutions should allow users with a non-technical background to build these interfaces without writing any code, such as using a drag-and-drop interface. Savvy business users and analysts will then be able to create connections, access data, configure triggers and map data formats using visual, web-based applications.How can we leverage our existing IT infrastructure? Completely replacing existing systems aren’t viable from both a cost and IT standpoint. While integration platforms must provide end users with the functionality and ease of use they require, IT has often already made significant investments in a number of different business applications. Look for integration solutions and platforms that work with your existing IT architecture to avoid costly, time consuming projects.Ideally, IT should implement a platform that can then be deployed to business users for day-to-day use and management. This way, IT can remain in control from a distance, while still empowering business users to take over between 60 and 70 percent of the daily tasks that traditionally fell under IT’s wheelhouse.By enabling business users to take over day-to-day IT tasks, your entire organization wins. Not only does it allow users to make better and faster decisions by utilizing accessible data, but it also frees up IT to focus on high-level tasks that drive value, efficiency, and productivity across the entire business. Related: Paying for Tech Help With Future Royaltieslast_img read more

You Can Soon Buy an 8K TV But Theres a Catch

first_img Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now September 16, 2015 2 min read Japanese electronics company Sharp is planning to release the world’s first commercially available 8K television in October and it can be yours for 16 million yen ($133,000).8K refers to the television’s resolution, which is even sharper than 4K or ultra-high definition (ultra-HD). 8K delivers 16 times the resolution of full-HD (high definition).Sharp says the TV will go on sale on October 30 and will be an 85-inch set.But should you rush out and buy this future piece of tech? Probably not, as there is no 8K content to watch.Japan’s public broadcaster is testing long-distance 8K television broadcasts, but isn’t aiming to deploy it until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.Most companies are only just discussing 4K. BT Sport, a U.K. bundle of television channels, broadcast a soccer match this year in 4K and has one ultra-HD channel that shows matches occasionally. Netflix and Amazon both have a small amount of content in 4K.And earlier this month, Samsung unveiled its first ultra-HD Blu-ray player. At the same time, Samsung announced that its current “SUHD” brand of TVs would begin supporting high-dynamic-range imaging (HDR) content. LG also unveiled a HDR-capable 4K TV – seen as the near-term future in the industry.Images shot in HDR essentially make the contrast between light and dark colors more prominent, so the white highlights are even brighter. The purpose is to make the image on screen look more realistic.Sharp’s 8K TV will also support HDR content. But Sharp has not announced any partners that it is working with to create 8K content, whereas both LG and Samsung have said they are talking to movie studios and streaming services to release 4K programming.Samsung has partnered with Fox so that all of its new movie releases will be brought out on ultra-HD Blu-ray. LG has struck a partnership with Amazon to allow users to stream some of the U.S. e-commerce giant’s original programs such as “Transparent” in HDR quality.Sharp showed off this 8K model at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, while Samsung took the wraps off a 110-inch 8K TV. Still, Sharp’s model is the first commercially available one on the market. This story originally appeared on CNBClast_img read more

ACV offers airinclusive Cuba cruise packages with Celestyal

first_imgTags: Air Canada Vacations, Celestyal Cruises Travelweek Group ACV offers air-inclusive Cuba cruise packages with Celestyal MONTREAL — Air Canada Vacations has partnered with Celestyal Cruises to offer seven-night air-inclusive Cuba cruise packages out of Montego Bay, onboard Celestyal Crystal.The program starts Nov. 18 and runs until the end of December 2017 with sailings every Friday. The itinerary includes two days in Havana; a day in Punta Frances; a day in Cienfuegos; a day in Santiago de Cuba and one day at sea.All packages include flights, seven-day cruise, three included shore excursions, onboard meals, an unlimited beverage package, transfers, gratuities and all taxes and fees. Flights are operated by Air Canada Rouge out of Toronto with connections available from 64 Canadian cities. Travelers can also earn and redeem Aeroplan Miles on their cruise package booking.Bookings made by Sept. 30, 2016 qualify for an instant savings of $200 per person plus a reduced deposit of $100 per person (normally $500). Agents also receive 2% bonus commission for a total commission of 12%.More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaThe new air-inclusive cruise packages are available for agents on Sirev, Amadeus and Galileo. Sharecenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Monday, September 26, 2016 last_img read more