MAXIMIZE PRODUCTIVITY IN YOUR SMALL BUSINESS

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DISRUPTING BIG BUSINESS: HOW STARTUPS ARE FIGHTING FOR – AND WINNING – BIGGER MARKET SHARES

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Small businesses and startups are often able to take early advantage of disruptive technologies well before big businesses do because they are lean and agile. Zipcar (now owned by Avis) thought up “wheels when you need them” before the car rental industry did. It was Uber, not a major taxi fleet, which put a personal cab dispatcher in the hands of everyone who owns a smartphone. These companies took advantage of an opportunity in order to gain a competitive advantage in a previously commoditized market.

We asked three influential SMB consultants for their take on how and why small businesses are using disruptive technologies to create big impact, here is what we found out:

Gary Bizzo, an author and small business consultant, notes that “disruptive technologies make things easier and cheaper so it’s here to stay. Rather than improving on products, disruptive technologies create a new and better alternative. True disruptive technology is coming from new players in unexpected places leaving market leaders in a scramble to either catch-up, innovate or create their own technologies.”1

Small business and technology evangelist, Ramon Ray, believes that startups have a couple of advantages over the bigs, namely that they’re faster and nimbler, which are attributes that “big companies will have to adopt.” Ray also foresees that “b

A small workforce can also help a company be more innovative. Without the burden of existing infrastructure, it’s easier to change and experiment with new tools and technology.

Jackie Nagle, the founder of Synnovatia, an SMB consulting firm, views it this way: “the majority of the older companies are too big, too mired down in process, paperwork, and red tape to leverage disruptive technology. They’re not nimble enough. By the time they’re ready to move forward, technology will have moved on.”3

Both Bizzo and Nagel agree that small business culture may also give them an edge. Being personally invested in your work (and often having a financial stake) and being on a first-name basis with the founder can help attract and keep talent.

Disruptive technology is a game changer. While big businesses have big resources, it’s difficult for entrenched organizations to innovate. Small businesses and startups have the agility to exploit the potential of disruptive technologies and, time and time again, they’re doing it.

1 Gary Bizzo
2 Ramon Ray
3 Synnovatia


         

How to make the most of your Remote Control toolbar

There is a lot more to Pro than simply accessing a host computer from another location, and the best way to take advantage of those features is with the Remote Control toolbar. You’ll see the Remote Control toolbar once your remote session is launched and it appears at the top of your screen in a long rectangular bar that looks like this:

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First thing you should know about the Remote Control toolbar: your toolbar will be hidden when you go into full screen mode with your remote session. To ensure you can always see the toolbar and access the features, you should click the pin icon to keep it visible at all times during a session.

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Now that you can see your toolbar, let’s talk about what it helps you do. There are many ways to use the toolbar, such as to adjust color settings, change screen sizes, zoom in, and more, but let’s show you the most common features that Pro users love:

  • Magnify the Screen – If you’re having trouble reading or seeing something on your host computer’s screen, click on the Magnify icon in the toolbar and a box pointer will appear. Drag the box to the area you want to magnify and you’ll see that area displayed 100% of its original size. This is perfect for small text or simply a screen with a low resolution.
  • Manage Two Host Monitors – Does your host computer have two monitors setup? No problem. Your toolbar will automatically detect the second monitor and you’ll see a “Switch Monitors” icon on the toolbar. Simply click that to switch between monitors during a remote session.
  • Blank the Screen – Even though you have to leave your host computer on, you don’t have to let everyone in the office see your screen when you remote into it. Simply click on Options and then Blank Screen when you want your host computer screen to go blank. No one at the office will know or see anything that you’re doing.

Are there certain features you use more frequently than others during remote sessions? Customize your Remote Control toolbar to add the features you use most. Click Customize Toolbar and select the ones you want to show all the time.

Have more questions on the Remote Control toolbar? Check out the online guide with how-to’s for all features available in the toolbar and then log in to start customizing your remote sessions.


         

Mobile Shopping Is Taking Off – Take It Further with Mobile Engagement

We’re always on the lookout for mobile news, so we were quite interested when we came across Criteo’s Q2 State of Mobile Commerce report. For this report, Criteo analyzed transaction data from thousands of online retailers and found that mobile commerce is taking off more rapidly than you may have imagined.

Here are a few of their intriguing results:

  • In Q2 2015, mobile – smartphone and tablet – accounted for 30% of overall eCommerce transactions in the U.S., and was significant in all the consumer retail sectors evaluated.
  • Cross-device purchasing is enormous. In 40% of transactions, consumers used some combination of smartphone, tablet, and desktop.
  • Having a mobile-optimized site pays dividends. The conversion rate for optimized sites was more than double that of non-optimized sites.
  • Investing in apps pays off too. Retailers who offered mobile apps (vs. browser-based shopping) find that apps are driving nearly half of their mCommerce sales. And conversion rates for mobile apps are higher than those for mobile browsers and desktop sites.

Criteo_App vs. Browser Share & mCommerce Conversion Rates

Of course, having a mobile app is just part of the overall mobile experience. Mobile engagement – whether it’s during the research phase, the actual sale, or follow-up support – is critical. And BoldChat lets you offer a truly mobile-optimized chat experience right out of the box – whether you have a mobile app or not.

Another interesting finding Criteo found is that two-thirds of mobile transactions are now done via iPhones. BoldChat is the only chat provider that fully supports iPhone shoppers, no matter what customers’ browser settings are. Whether the customer is using iOS or Android, BoldChat offers an open SDK that will let you easily incorporate chat into your app. (And remember: apps are key to conversion rates.)

         

Central helps E la Carte transform the dining experience

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As creators of the Presto™ tabletop tablet, E la Carte is at the forefront of the digital technology that is changing the dining experience for both customers and the restaurants themselves. Earlier this year, E la Carte was named by Fast Company as one of the ‘World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies’ and has deployed their technology at restaurant chains across the country, including Applebee’s and Johnny Rockets.

Since its founding in 2008, E la Carte designed and deployed their tabletop tablets and software across thousands of restaurants, and in that process the company faced multiple challenges, such as the ability to provide quick deployment, scalable support, and automation they could control.

E la Carte turned to LogMeIn Central to deploy host software across all in-restaurant servers for instant installations, reliable control, and day-to-day support. They rely on Central features like One2Many to push updates, Alerts & Monitoring to be aware of downtime, and two-step verification for an added layer of security.

“LogMeIn is on each of our Windows servers at every restaurant we support. That’s over 1,500 restaurants where we offer our tableside tablet service. We can securely manage and support every device independently of the restaurant.”

– Dan Smith, Director of Operations & Information Security, E la Carte

Click here to read the complete case study or watch the webinar with Dan Smith and Mike Church, CMO at E la Carte, as they talk about how the company is changing the restaurant experience with technology.

         

Developing a work from home policy that works for your business

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In the 2010 U.S. census, the number of workers who work primarily from home tripled in comparison to 1980.1 Thanks to the Internet, laptops, mobile devices, and remote access capabilities, working from home (WFH) has become an option for more workers. While there used to be concerns about how difficult it would be to supervise employees who WFH, more businesses are encouraging employees to work remotely for part or all of the workweek.

But before allowing your employees to WFH, it’s best to have a comprehensive policy. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Can employees work efficiently without one-on-one supervision? There are plenty of distractions at the office – but there are even more distractions at home (kids, laundry, the dog), and all of your employees may not be able to tune these distractions out. Before awarding an employee the privilege of working remotely, you will need to factor in their ability to work unsupervised. Your HR team should be able to help structure a WFH policy that determines which positions are eligible and how long employees need to be at the company before this perk is offered. This privilege should tie into the performance review process as well.
  • Can you provide your employees with the tools they need to WFH? Employees who work from home should not have to worry about being their own IT department and helpdesk. They need to be focused on the job you hired them to do. There are automated programs that handle critical tasks – like backups and updates; and remote support tools that let your IT team take care of technical problems, without requiring employees to waste their day problem-solving.
  • Stay in touch: make sure “out of sight” isn’t “out of mind.” Especially for those working remotely, keeping employees in touch with their managers and colleagues is critical. So plan on scheduling regular phones calls or video conferences, and have full-time, remote workers stop by the office occasionally for some face-to-face time.

There are many reasons to allow working from home: helping employees juggle work and family responsibilities, letting them occasionally dodge a brutal commute, and hiring a key employee who is unable to relocate. Allowing employees to WFH can translate into a happier and more productive workforce and it gives companies the flexibility to recruit and retain employees. Just make sure that your business is ready for it.

1 2010 Census

 

         

LogMeIn’s Latest Release Improves Privacy and Connectivity

The LogMeIn team is excited to announce a few key product enhancements to provide you the best remote access experience possible. Today’s release includes some of our most popular requests and will improve data privacy, connectivity, and automation for LogMeIn Pro and LogMeIn Central.

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Users and administrators alike no longer have to worry about manually blanking the screen of the machine they are accessing or remember to lock the host.  LogMeIn will automatically black out the screen of the computer you’re accessing at the start of each remote session and can automatically lock the computer at the end of each session to enhance the privacy of your sensitive information.

When you connect to a computer for the first time, you will be presented with the screen blanking option and once the session is finished, you can choose to lock the remote hosts as the default for all sessions.  You can change your remote control preferences from the toolbar at any time.

Available with LogMeIn Pro and LogMeIn Central

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Whether you are an individual accessing your work computer from home or an IT administrator managing multiple remote computers, having constant connectivity is key. Our new Auto-reconnect feature provides support in the event of a connection dropout and automatically attempts to reconnect your session every time.

Available with LogMeIn Pro and LogMeIn Central

 

 

AV Enhancements

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For IT administrators managing Anti-Virus Software, LogMeIn Central Premier allows you to track whether your computers are protected.  LogMeIn Central now has three new providers added to our list of over 100 fully supported AVs:

  • Trend Micro Worry Free Business Security Agent 19.x
  • Symantec Hosted Endpoint Protection 2.x
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 2.x

Available with LogMeIn Central Premier

 

 

Both Privacy and Auto-reconnect features are currently available for Windows only with Mac, iOS and Android support coming soon.  Log in now or start a trial to see them all in action.

         

What kind of Password Protector are you? Take the quiz to find out!

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It’s no secret that people’s password habits are concerning. We recently published research results that found more than half of people store their passwords in a spreadsheet and over 25% still write passwords down on paper or sticky notes! Considering these passwords contain valuable personal information like bank statements, credit card information, financial info, and much more, it’s alarming that individuals are so haphazard with their passwords.

To help you get a pulse on your own password habits, we’ve created a new password quiz to see if you’re doing a good job protecting your data, or if you need to spruce up your habits. So far, we’re impressed with the results. Just over half of people earned the most secure status from the quiz, “Password Secret Service,” which means they’re generating diverse, unique passwords, storing them securely, and more. For the other 50% that could do some housekeeping on their password habits, here are 3 easy tips to help you protect valuable personal information and be a better password protector:

  • Don’t use the same password for too long: Many websites don’t have strict password requirements, meaning you could easily create an account, which includes your credit card info, with some of the weakest, worst passwords. Stronger passwords can be achieved simply by adding numbers, letters, and symbols. Make these changes and create unique passwords across every account, app, and device. This is the only way to keep your data secure.
  • Stop relying on memory: The root of the issue is often the number of accounts and passwords people are being asked to create, and then manage in order to carry out simple day-to-day activities. The easiest way to keep track of all of these unique accounts (and strong passwords) is to use a password manager. This will ease the burden of password management and encourage strong passwords that don’t have to be committed to memory.
  • Share accounts, not passwords: There are certainly circumstances where individuals need to be able to share passwords with one another. Passwords are often shared through insecure channels such as email and instant messaging. Password managers, like Meldium, are designed for business and team use – encourage proper password hygiene and allow access to the specific account or application without bothering with passwords. These tools add convenience and an extra layer of security.

If you haven’t already, take the Password Quiz to get see you how you stack up against others. If you need to up the ante on your security, follow these 3 easy steps to keep your accounts, passwords, and personal information safe.

         

BoldChat’s Latest Release Increases Extensibility & Efficiency

We’re excited to announce a new release of BoldChat (v8.0) that includes features designed to create extensibility, simplicity and flexibility. Increased connectivity and accessibility to information (made possible with our latest enhancements) enable companies to increase efficiencies and maximize productivity.

Built with portability in mind, we have launched a new Web Dashboard that works seamlessly across all devices, providing supervisors with real-time insights on contact center performance. The dashboard includes a fully customizable 360-degree view with custom filtering criteria and interactive graphs optimized for smartphones, tablets, and TV displays.

With this release, we are also launching the Workflow API, which enables companies to support blended agents and increase efficiencies. The API supports integrations with external systems like telephony, workforce management, etc., allowing agent availability to be synchronized across internal and external channels. Businesses can also implement custom workflow logic (e.g. change routing rules, disable automatic chat distribution, etc.) quickly via middleware code.

In addition to these enhancements, our latest release also includes:

  • Provisioning API for automated operator setup
  • Chat Window SDK to create fully customized chat windows
  • New Email Reports and Chat Report Filters for additional analysis
  • Windows 10 Compatibility for the desktop client and visitor chat windows

Contact us to learn more or schedule a demo today!

         

4 Ways Windows 10 & Central can simplify your day-to-day

With Windows 10, Microsoft brought things back to basics and many users are already delighted with the new OS, noting that it’s “wonderful” and “just works”.  With LogMeIn being completely Windows 10 ready, we figured for those early adopters, and those considering the migration to Windows 10 soon, we’d pull together four tips on how the new OS and our software complement one another, can simplify your day, and help you do more with less time.

1 – Efficiently Multitask

We all want to do more with less time, and not all of us have multiple monitors.  With Windows 10 virtual desktop with Task View, you can create separate workspaces and then flip back and forth between them with just a keystroke.  Many of Windows 10’s power users will love the ability to shift between apps on their virtual desktops.  For LogMeIn power users, our Multi-Monitor Display seamlessly supports multiple monitors (including Windows 10 virtual desktops).

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2 – Boost user productivity

When Windows restarts automatically (without the users consent), work is almost always lost. If IT requires a restart during a busy workday, that can be just as frustrating for end users.  If you’ve have updates that require you to reboot, Windows 10 will allow you to schedule a specific time for reboots.  With LogMeIn Central there are several options to reboot a host computer. This way, not only can software updates be automated across multiple machines with LogMeIn Central, but also you can schedule a date and time to reboot multiple machines by executing a remote command and run batch updates during off-peak hours.  Plus, you can emergency reboot along with other options to solve a problem in a pinch.

3 – Seamlessly manage Windows and Microsoft Updates
Windows 10 introduces a new option that lets you download updates using peer-to-peer technology.  This new option allows users to download apps and OS updates from multiple sources to obtain them more quickly while also saving bandwidth.  Apps and OS updates can be downloaded from Microsoft and PCs on a local network, or a combination of local PCs, internet PCs, and Microsoft’s traditional Windows Update servers. You can download the new patch once from Microsoft, then share it among the PCs on your network. To control how Windows and Microsoft updates are installed across all of your managed endpoints and automate tasks, use LogMeIn Central’s One2Many.

4 – Save time with Enhanced Search 

Search has improved with the new version of Windows, and if the exact file name or app are misspelled, Windows 10 allows you to find exactly what you were looking for, in comparison to a stricter Windows 8.  LogMeIn Central’s search functionality similarly streamlines your search process when you’re managing a number of computers.  You can search all criteria simultaneously, search for Alerts, Status, Groups, and more as well as setup custom fields to find computers more easily.

For more information on Windows 10, please visit the Microsoft website. Haven’t tried Central yet? Take out a free trial today.