How Companies Can Reduce Wasted Smartphone Hours


Smart devices are a great part of modern technology, but they are also a constant source of distraction. Increasing numbers of employees admit to using their smartphones to play games and idly chat with friends while working. If this is causing problems at your business, here are some steps you can take to stop the problem.

Provide Enough Work

If your employees are using their phones to waste time at work a lot, it might be time for some self-examination. It’s not always easy to look at yourself as the potential cause of these problems, but if even your high-achieving employees seem to be looking down at their Candy Crush games when you walk through your office, you may not be giving people enough to do. Bored employees will seek to entertain themselves; if you have given them a good volume of tasks, they will be too busy for diversions.

Have a Meeting

If the phone use problem seems to be low key at your business, consider just having a meeting and talking through issues. This works best at a small workplace where the whole team can talk, but larger firms can have conferences followed by breakout groups. Explain to your employees that you are concerned about the possible productivity issues caused by smart devices, and then give them a chance to discuss what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate uses of company internet resources and time. If nothing else, a good meeting will let you identify potential problem employees.

Issue Business Phones

Some businesses rely more on smart devices than others. If these gadgets play a significant role in your business, actually banning or restricting phone use may be impractical for day-to-day operations. Instead, you should consider issuing business phones to employees. You can pick up a set of the same phone type, like the excellent LG G6 smartphone from a reliable provider, so that it is easy to tell on first view if an employee is working on a personal phone or a business model. The law also allows you far greater reach into the contents of a phone you provide.

Block Sites Through the Wi-Fi

Since a lot of modern smartphone plans set caps on wireless data usage, consumers have gotten in the habit of using Wi-Fi networks for internet usage. This is good for you, since there are several options that your IT department can exploit to keep your employees honest. Your computer people should be able to block off common productivity killers like Facebook and Twitter, and they may even be able to stop your employees from accessing popular games through your network. And they should also be able to track the things your people do look at on the network as well.

Train Managers to Watch for Slackers

Smartphone

Image via Flickr by UnitedSoybeanBoard

Your management team is your first line of defense against workplace productivity killers like overuse of smart devices on shift. You need to make sure that your front line soldiers are well-trained and equipped to enforce policy. Teach them both how to watch out for employees using smartphones to goof off, and also how to use the tech tools your IT department can provide to block and track use of your company internet. Though your managers don’t need to be computer experts, knowing a few things about security helps.

Banning Cell Use

Of course, there is always the nuclear option — banning all cell phone usage at work. This needs to be handled carefully, or else your employees are going to be upset enough that some may reconsider their employment situation. Moreover, it is important that you allow people to contact your workers in the case of a real emergency, so this works best with employer-issued phones, where you can make sure that calls are not frivolous. Actually collecting phones from employees coming on shift is overkill and probably of dubious legality; instead, ask them to leave devices at home or in lockers, and penalize anyone you see using one.

Smartphones are not the enemy of the modern workplace, but rather just another tool. Used well, they can make your business more profitable than ever before; used poorly, they will harm you. Make sure you have a good smart device strategy in place.

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ADSL vs Cable internet


What sort of things determine the speed of ADSL and cable?

You may have a choice between getting your Internet via ADSL or via cable, so you’ll want to know what is going to affect the connectivity speeds you can achieve. There are different factors which can have an effect depending on which provision you decide on.

The speed of your Internet is important, especially if you watch video or play video games on line. It can be really irritating if your speed is slow, and costly if you use the Internet for work purposes. So what can have an effect on the level of connectivity speed you can achieve?

What is ADSL, and what can affect its speed?

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, or ADSL, allows you to have access to phone, fax and Internet simultaneously, as different signals can travel down the same line. The name alludes to the fact that connection speeds differ spending on whether you are downloading or uploading; the download speed is always significantly faster.

For normal Internet use this doesn’t present a problem as the vast majority of the time you will be downloading data. The speed of ADSL is often determined by how close your location is to the location of the central wiring; the closer you are, the faster your Internet connection is.

How does cable differ from ADSL?

If you are subscribing to a cable provider you will be paying for a certain speed of connection. You can chose a basic package, or you can choose to invest on upgrading so that you attain a higher speed of connectivity. It should be noted that even enhanced speeds can be adversely affected by external factors.

If you are accessing the Internet in an area where a lot of other cable users are also accessing at the same time this is going to reduce the speed you can achieve. It can often be a case of needing to be patient at times of high traffic. You can learn more about the NBN rollout in Tasmania on the iINet blog.

If you’re having problems with the speed of your cable Internet, it’s a good idea to check your modem. If a modem is old then this can cause problems. You need to establish if your modem is compatible with any updates that you need to make. If it isn’t, then you need to take action to remedy the situation. The only way to do this is to replace the modem with a new one. There are two options available to enable you to do this; you can either purchase a modem yourself, or hire one from your service provider.

ADSL and cable can both provide an excellent Internet service but, for both, this service can be reduced by external factors. If you have ADSL, and you live a long distance away from the main center, then you aren’t going to achieve the best speeds. If you have cable, and there is a lot of cable traffic in the area where you live then speeds can be significantly slower at times when a high number of users are attempting to access the Internet.

Cloud led-Big data or small data for SMEs in India?


Big data has been a buzz word for quite some time now. In fact it could have been the word of the year by oxford dictionary. And even though not many really understand what it is and whether or others are using it already or not, the term manages to echo in most of the board rooms.
You will read many articles on big data and giant moguls talking about the advent of big data, but seldom do you read about anyone from SMEs (Small and Medium enterprises) industry talking about the new ‘it’ or ‘IT’.

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 Download Free EBooks and Whitepapers on Big DATA

In India, SMEs contribute about 45-50 % total exports and spans across a range of industries from food industry, textiles to services. 90% of the Industrial Units in India belong to the SME sector. The contribution of the SME sector to the entire output of the country is 40%. The SSI (Small scale industries) sector in India alone contributes 7% to India’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
What is unique to SMEs is the benefits and challenges associated to it. The major benefits are employment (45% of total employment), large reach with India being largely a rural country, steady rise of entrepreneurship and less capital extensive nature. The challenges mainly are marketing, scalability, technology, information, budget, resources, accessibility, skilled manpower all these that render SMEs dwarfism in front of global established giants. More insights can be found at SMEs_Indian Economy.

So now the big question is that whether SMEs really need the Big Data or not.

One side of argument:

Specialists argue that SMEs need a repository of data, but it doesn’t have to be really large in volume and that CRM (Customer Relationship Management), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning),  Cloud Telephony, will do enough for SMEs. Google analytics and other such tools available online can help them make sense of business performance on not so big data that is generally required by SMEs as compared to large organizations.

The other side of argument:

A group of specialists argue that SMEs do after all require Big Data and can make use of cloud technology to compete global giants by not overlooking important areas trends that may be identified out of the big data and help target the right market, expand business and stay relevant.

Analytics-as-a-service model for cloud based big data analytics for SMEs can do wonders. Cloud technology can help store big data in a very cost effective way. It will not only help in better administration by reducing manpower and level of monitoring but also move from batch data to real time data within organization. Predictive analytics would help them with business strategies, and make them agile and shock resistant.

In UK, the government wants to put half of all new IT spending through small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across all areas of purchasing, by 2015 to break the oligopoly of major system integrators that dominate IT. Earlier, 80% of central government IT work was undertaken by just 18 large suppliers. The traditional large IT suppliers are also being strongly encouraged to use more SMEs as subcontractors in their work (UK SMEs ). Such government projects and initiatives should also be undertaken in IT sector in India.
They will also be able to make use of social media and SEO in India where internet users are ever increasing with 137 million (11% of total Indian population) online and second largest population on facebook in the world. This can enable SMEs which have to expand the realms of traditional marketing.

There is no gainsaying that not all SMEs in India would require cloud technology and big data after all ‘one size fits all’ approach wouldn’t work. It will vary from industry to industry, company to company on the basis of factors mainly goals and vision, products and services offered, target customers and markets. But the underlying guiding factor is staying relevant in all the spheres of business as globalization today is visible not only globally but persists locally too.

This article is contributed by Sakshi Shioramwar,MBA(marketing) student, DMS, IIT-Delhi. It was first published here.

Start College Right With These 6 Tech Tools


6 Tech Tools

Seems like super seniors really create a presence on college campuses. Only 31 percent of public college students are able to graduate within four years, notes Fox Business. Prevent obtaining super senior status (being a fifth-year, sixth-year, seventh-year senior…) and graduate on time (and successfully!) with the following tech tools.

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Windows – Download Free EBooks and Whitepapers

ApplyMate

Step one for a successful college experience — get into a good school. Equipped with the free web app ApplyMate, you can keep track of all your college applications so that you don’t miss any deadlines or interviews. Use ApplyMate to apply for scholarships and grants. The proactive student who seeks financial opportunities can reduce out-of-pocket costs during school and post-graduation debt.

Clever Careerist

When you graduate college and enter the job market, befriend the Clever Careerist. You can create a resume, search for job openings, take notes about positions that interest you and even submit job applications with this app. Maximize your job search and use this tool in conjunction with any career matching services your school has available. For example, online school Penn Foster offers its own online career building service that you can use to stay organized as you search for your first position.

Mint

Organizing your finances in college is one of the most effective strategies for reducing debt and leaving college with the best financial health possible. Mint is a free online tool that you can easily use to track your monthly spending while in school. Rely on Mint to organize your expenses by category, create a budget and set short-term as well as long-term financial goals.

Desmos

For many students, one of the most difficult subject areas to master is mathematics. Using Desmos, you can explore advanced mathematical topics in an interactive, dynamic environment. Desmos helps improve how you learn and understand mathematical concepts. To support math literacy, Desmos built “the next generation of the graphic calculator,” which “can instantly plot any equation, from lines and parabolas up through derivatives and Fourier series.”

Study Blue

The higher your grades, the more opportunities you have to receive scholarship money while in school. A high grade point average at graduation can also lead to a better career. Study Blue helps improve your grades by enhancing the quality of the time you spend studying. It’s an online tool for creating and reviewing flashcards based on your course material. Study Blue also includes an extensive library of ready-made flashcards that you can use when you don’t have time to make your own.

School Helper

You’re responsible for meeting homework assignment deadlines, test dates and other obligations. School Helper is a mobile application with an interactive calendar that you can use to keep track of important dates. You can also use this app to jot down quick notes and calculate your approximate grade in each of your courses.