Friday, January 29, 2010

Solving problems or making sales?

I usually buy car parts at Autozone. No, they’re not paying me to say that. And yes, I do have a good reason which very much applies to running a business.

Let me explain: A few years back, my car had a minor problem that I could fix on my own. A small plastic part had cracked and needed replacing. Not too difficult. I took the cracked part to an auto parts store, but no one in the store could identify the part. Instead, they tried to sell me a similar part and convince me it would work.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Top 10 tech trends for the next decade

I had an argument with a friend the other day. I believe that technology is critical to the success of a business, but he disagrees. Technology, he said, is overrated, and many successful businesses are quite “behind the times” from a technology standpoint.

You know what? He’s a certain extent.

You don't have to keep up with technology in the business world. Keep the fax machine. Keep manually entering your data. Offer 24-hour turnaround. You can run a business and avoid technology. what cost?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Don’t drive with your eyes closed

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend across many businesses. They have data, lots of data, but have no way of easily accessing that data. Some have to request reports from IT, which can take days to receive. For others, analyzing data from the past months or years usually involves spreadsheets and can take up to a week to complete.

How can you direct a company if you can’t easily access real-time business data whenever you want? It’s like driving with your eyes closed.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Are you complaining or doing?

The business landscape is changing for many industries, driven largely by the internet and new technology. Many companies are realizing something: What worked a few years ago no longer works today. What works today may not work in a few years.

My question is this: What is your company doing about it?

I’ve heard many people, even high-ranking executives, complain about the changing business climate. “If it wasn’t for (fill in the blank), we would be successful,” is the common refrain.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The 5 best products of CES 2010, for business users

Every year, I pay attention to the Consumer Electronics Show, looking out for new technology that might affect business. Although it’s aimed at consumers, I always run across a few items with the potential to increase business productivity.

Obviously, you’d have a hard time justifying 3D TV for the business, which was one of the show’s biggest products. Other gadgets, however, like the coming wave of tablet computers, could very well find their way inside the business world this year.

If you’d like to see other CES products aimed at business users, here’s a nice list on How about you? Did you see any products at CES that could affect our business lives?

Monday, January 18, 2010

3D web apps

If there’s one thing a country struggling with obesity doesn’t need, it’s more interesting televisions. From the news coming out of the recent CES show, that’s exactly what we’re getting: 3D TV is coming!

If you’ve never experienced 3D TV, you may not understand the hoopla. Doesn’t regular TV work fine? Why do I need 3D? I’ll warn you though…when you try it, you won’t want to go back.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Moving forward: JDK upgrade

In order to take advantage of newer technologies and allow us to continue to keep m-Power on the leading edge of technology, we are changing our minimum JDK requirement. In the past, m-Power customers were required to run JDK 1.4 or later. The minimum JDK requirement has been raised to version 1.6.

We’ve written up some instructions for making the upgrade to JDK 1.6, which can be found below:

Windows users: Click here

Linux/AS400 users: Click here

Please contact our support desk if you run into any problems.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Budget tips for 2010

The big question surrounding 2010 is this: How much will the economy improve? Some predict massive improvements. Most predict a gradual change. I agree with the latter.

How will the uncertainty surrounding the economy impact IT spending budgets, if at all? I believe the spending mentality is changing, and companies aren’t willing to write out the big checks like they were in the past. Two reasons drive this change: First, the uncertain economy will lead to a cautious approach to spending. Second, companies have more options than ever before. Why spend 6-figures for enterprise software when they have 10 other viable alternatives for a fraction of the price?

Monday, January 11, 2010

The cheapest outsourcing destination

It's not China, or even India. Nope, not Africa either. Give up? Look around you. Given the right tools, the cheapest outsourcing destination is right inside your office.

If that sounds crazy, take a look at this company. They needed Java web-based portals, but no one had any experience with Java. Rather than outsource the project or hire consultants, they did it themselves.

The result: They completed the project faster and cheaper than any outsourcer or consultants could have.

Friday, January 08, 2010

How to run a meeting like Google

Chances are you've attended an unproductive meeting. You've probably even attended an unproductive meeting in preparation for another unproductive meeting. Many complain that they could accomplish so much more if they didn't have so many meetings.

Meetings are not inherently unproductive. Whether or not a meeting is productive falls squarely on the meeting leader’s shoulders. If the leader allows attendees to stray away from the main topic, the meeting quickly becomes a waste of time. However, if the leader keeps the attendees focused, meetings can actually solve problems and increase productivity.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

4 technology trends for 2010

Technology holds the greatest opportunities for businesses wishing to save money or increase productivity. However, technology’s rapid rate of advancement often leaves companies struggling to catch up. If you want to get a leg up on the competition in 2010, pay attention to these 4 tech trends:

Monday, January 04, 2010

Unplug and give your mind a break

We live in a very “plugged in” age.  At work, we sit in front of a computer.  On the road, we listen to music or talk on the phone.  At home, we have televisions, computers, game consoles, etc….  The point is, how much time do you spend completely unplugged from outside distractions?  Probably not much.

Your brain is a muscle, one that needs a break once in a while.  Sometimes we need to unplug--turn everything off, and just think.  While I have no science to back this up, I truly believe this improves productivity.  I’ve noticed it to be true for me--when I give my mind a break, my productivity increases.  Try it sometime, you might surprise yourself.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Free money-saving tips

In a struggling economy, everyone wants new ways to save money. Sure, you could hire expensive consultants to come in and show you how to save money...but that kind of defeats the purpose.

Or, you could learn from others. Here's a good example for you: One of our customers had a staff member who spent half of his time collecting, sorting, and distributing data with Excel. Realizing that this wasn't the best use of his time, they created an automated web application that did everything for him, allowing him to spend time on more mission-critical tasks.

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