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Mar
1
WHAT'S NEW IN TECHNOLOGY FOR MARCH 2017
Posted by S2C Staff on 01 March 2017 01:25 PM

Technology: Oops! Recalling Emails

Perhaps it’s a glaring typo in a business email or a hastily written rebuke that you regret sending, but probably everyone wishes at times we could undo the send button. Depending upon which email program you use, and some other factors, you may be able to recall an email. Here’s how:

  • Recalling a message in Outlook with an Exchange Account is easy if both you and your recipient are using Microsoft Exchange email and you are both on the same server.  You won’t be able to recall messages that you have sent to a Gmail or Yahoo account because once an email has left your server, you have no further control over it. If you and the intended recipient are both Outlook users with Exchange accounts on the same server, here’s what to do:

    1. Navigate to Sent Folder and open the message you want to retrieve.  Make sure you have the Message Tab open, and then click on Action;
    2. From Action, select the option Recall This Message;
    3. You will then have two options: Delete Unread Copies or Delete Unread Copies and Replace with New Message
  • Additional Factors that Prevent an Outlook Recall:
    1. If the recipient gets to the email first and opens it before your recall request is received;
    2. If the recipient’s inbox has a rule that moves your incoming email to another folder;
    3. If the email lands in a public inbox and is opened by someone other than the intended recipient, you won’t be able to recall it;
    4. Recall efforts will not work if the intended recipient is viewing their emails outside the Outlook Desktop Program, for example on their smart phone or iPad or through Outlook Web.
  • Outlook Message Transmittal Delay is usefulfor an Outlook user whouses the recall feature frequently and/or has email contacts that can’t be recalled through a common server. To activate the delay feature, navigate the File tab to find Manage Rules & Alerts.  You then can set up a delayed delivery – up to 120 minutes. This feature also allows you to bypass the delayed feature for specific people and customize the conditions to suit your needs.
  • Recalling a Gmail message can be easy ifyou have enabled the feature that allows you to do so. With Gmail, a little advanced planning can save you from yourself. To do this, click on the Settings (the little gear symbol) in Gmail and navigate to the General tab. Check that Enable Undo is selected, and finally click on Save Change.
  • To recall an email using Gmail (only if you have the above-mentioned function enabled), click Cancel immediately and then click Undo when Cancel appears. You will still need to be pretty fast off the mark for this to work – at least 5 seconds to Unsend by default and up to 30 seconds if you have changed the time allotment in Setting. If you are someone who is likely to use the recall function, increase the time allotment.

Bottom line: there are some recall options for Gmail and Outlook, but there are obvious pitfalls involved in relying on them. There is often a good chance you won’t be fast enough, or that your Outlook account can’t connect with the recipient’s email program. Try to avoid sending a message any time you are angry or upset. Put your message in the Drafts folder and revisit it when you’ve had a chance to recover your composure, or when you’ve had a chance to talk to a colleague.


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Feb
7
WHAT'S NEW IN TECHNOLOGY FOR FEBRUARY 2017
Posted by S2C Staff on 07 February 2017 01:49 AM

Major Trends at CES

Major Trends at CES Consumer Electronics Show SEO Website ContentIndustry gurus and eager consumers often face a tough task separating breakthrough trends from over-hyped gimmicks amidst the clamor and marketing frenzy that characterizes the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Opinions vary concerning the products, but here are some of the categories that attracted significant interest at the show.

  • Virtual reality as a corporate tool. VR is not new, but after more than a few years large corporations like Boeing and Ford are beginning to recognize that virtual reality can deliver in the workplace as well as in the marketplace. Sales and marketing pros are increasingly excited about how VR can give potential customers a taste of new product lines. Experts also anticipate that companies will recognize the value of VR as a low-risk training tool to improve workplace health and safety. It’s been a long time coming, but new software upgrades and improved headset design have positioned VR to expand well beyond its gaming origins. Demos using VR in a business setting attracted major crowds at the show, with attendees eager to don headsets and try out industrial/business apps for themselves.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) can now anticipate needs and voice recognition goes beyond mere dictation to allow users to access and link all the various applications – such as customer management and email – to service customers while on the move.  Experts believe we will see more anticipatory AI programs, such as automobile software that records driving routes and calendar information. They also can scan local traffic information to provide alternate route options to avoid traffic delays without the need for driver input.
  • Autonomous driving systems are designed to port airborne delivery drones and large delivery vehicles. It may take a few years for consumers to accept the idea, but transportation experts believe eventually we will see autonomous driving on major freight routes. In the meantime, expect to see more assisted-driving options in automobiles – programs that monitor for signs of driver inattention, issue suggestions for a rest break, and offer dashboard alerts for corrective action if the highway surface becomes slippery or hazardous. Think of these monitoring and driver-assistance programs as a precursor to self-driving vehicles by demonstrating how automation can support safer driving.
  • Inherent connectivity. Increasingly, consumers are becoming comfortable with the increased interconnectivity of the Internet.  No longer will we rely on our personal interaction with visible hardware to provide the technological support for our work and leisure time. As computers have shrunk in size, we have become used to the idea of computer capabilities being embedded into products ranging from phones to automobiles and appliances – capabilities that allow these products to communicate and respond without our prompting. We can expect to see this embedded computing power to improve efficiencies and make our work and home life smoother and more productive.

 


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Jan
2
What's New in Technology January 2017
Posted by S2C Staff on 02 January 2017 11:18 AM

Tech-Fueled Marketing Trends for 2017

Technology experts anticipate that certain strong trends that debuted in 2016 will gain further momentum in the New Year. Here are some of the tactics and strategies that marketers expect to see:

  • Virtual reality (VR) has been around for a while, but it took its application into the gaming world to open marketers’ eyes to its potential as a sales and marketing tool. Increasing online retail business, virtual reality, and its cousin, augmented reality (AR) – the force behind the Pokémon GO phenomenon – enabled savvy marketers to provide potential customers with a novel opportunity to “try it before you buy it”. This provides an experience with which video and photography just can’t compare. VR headsets are becoming more affordable and more smart phones are becoming headset compatible. Marketers expect to see major advances and continued experimentation with both VR and AR.
  • Many marketers are betting that our reliance on smart phones will continue to accelerate. Desktop users are rapidly being overtaken by mobile technology users. It is no longer sufficient to have websites that are merely mobile-friendly. Forward-thinking marketing pros are encouraging clients to make their mobile internet strategy the major element in their marketing plan, ditching mobile-friendly to become mobile-centric. If your strategy is not aligned with current search engine optimization trends and mobile marketing, you could lose clients to competitors who have recognized its importance.
  • Alongside the rapid growth of mobile consumers is the consumer’s increasing acceptance of, and preference for, mobile payment options. Consumers’ demand for mobile payment options puts pressure on banks, phone companies and even large retailers to devise new solutions that are fast, convenient and secure. Some have forecasted that mobile payments will top $60 billion in 2017. Larger companies with multiple outlets and nationwide operations find themselves at a disadvantage here because they are unable to switch their IT infrastructure quickly to accept many of the newer mobile payment options. In this area, the flexibility of small businesses gives them a crucial advantage over the mega-merchants.
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) marries the advantages of mobile technology with cloud-based computing to enable devices to react to surroundings without involving human beings. It may be something as basic and practical as your thermostat at home recognizing your schedule – and that it differs on weekends – or your vehicle suggesting alternate routes based on weather and traffic patterns. We are at the very beginning of the interconnectivity that will link devices to improve efficiency and cost effectiveness. Small business ventures are just as likely – if not more so – to benefit from smart IoT technology solutions as large enterprises.

Whatever the future brings, we can be sure that technology will continue to find countless ways to increase productivity and be more responsive to customer needs. Entrepreneurs – by their very nature – have a natural advantage when it comes to flexibility and willingness to embrace change. Perhaps the biggest challenge that small business owners face is staying current and able to make informed decisions amid a rapidly changing marketing environment. 

 

 


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Dec
12
What's New in Technology for December 2016
Posted by S2C Staff on 12 December 2016 10:39 AM
 

Technology: Cool Tech Gifts for the Holidays

’Tis the Season to be racking your brain thinking of gift ideas for family, friends and colleagues. Technology gifts can fit the bill for all ages and for all pocketbooks, but if you’re technologically challenged, things can get a little tricky. You can always ask for suggestions, but if you’d like a few ideas to get the ball rolling, here are some.

The Frequent Traveler

Whether it’s for business or pleasure, frequent flyers might appreciate the following:

  • Noise-canceling (NC) headphones. People on your gift list may already have them, but unless they are really top-of-the line (i.e. expensive), their NC headphones might not perform well. And, it must be noted that because NC headphones’ technology is designed to isolate and remove unwanted sounds whilst retaining the audio you do want to hear, inevitably there will be some loss in sound quality. Few will argue that Bose probably makes the best NC headphones – wireless and wired. However, not all models are designed to plug into consoles in the plane seat and therefore wouldn’t be a good choice for frequent flyers who like to plug into in-flight entertainment.
  • Bear in mind that noise isolating headphones are another option and a slightly less expensive option. Not as thorough as noise-canceling headphones, they can block some of the ambient noise. To be effective, you’ll need to find an in-ear version (the over-the-ear really doesn’t do much) that best fits the user’s ears.
  • A USB car charger with two ports is great for any driver. Many tech reviewers like the Scosche car charger, which can be ordered on Amazon. It provides 24 watts/4.8 amps of output and charges up to two devices quite quickly.

Home Office and Phones

Lots to choose from here, but consider these:

  • A portable charger that keeps phones and tablets charged up and ready to go when you can’t get to a regular socket. A popular choice at under $30 is the myCharge RazorPlus portable charger, and it works with any cell phone. It’s available at the big box stores – Best Buy and Walmart – as well as on Amazon.
  • Not a startlingly original suggestion, but the iPhone 7 (and iPhone 7 Plus) are Apple’s biggest and brashest phone offerings (around $650 and $770, respectively). For dedicated photographers, the Plus version offers a two-lens camera with optical zoom. Both versions are water resistant and have improved storage options. Apple got rid of the headphone jack in both versions, opting for Bluetooth technology.
  • Anyone who needs to keep several gadgets charged simultaneously in their home or office probably would love the 5-port USB charger from Anker 40W/8A. It’s small, fast and powerful.

There’s no shortage of great and innovative products out there to help our home and work life, as well as our travel, entertainment and health needs. Happy shopping!


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Nov
5
What's New in Technology for November 2016
Posted by S2C Staff on 05 November 2016 06:29 PM

Technology: Handling Negative Online Reviews

If you have a business that deals with the public, it is almost inevitable that you’ll get a negative online review at some point. To a small business owner, a highly critical review can be alarming, especially if the business is local and has a relatively small base of potential clients. If you are providing a specialized service (e.g. high-end wedding planning, special event catering, etc.) personal referrals and word-of-mouth carry much more weight than they might for a business with high volume and a varied base of customers.

Your reputation is the most precious commodity you have. Like it or not, we live in a digital world, and it is a good idea to be prepared to handle online reviews. Here are some steps to take to safeguard your good name.

  1. Time is of the essence. Know what is being said about your company on influential sites as soon as possible. If your business attracts the attention of reviewers on the bigger sites – Google, Yelp, Trip Advisor, etc. – consider investing in a service that can monitor multiple platforms in real time and will alert you when reviews appear online.
  2. Stay focused and calm when you see a negative review. It is very difficult (read: almost impossible) to persuade a review site to remove a negative post unless it comes from a competitor and you are able to prove it. Most sites will not arbitrate disputes between companies and customers; they will leave reviews up whether they are good, bad or indifferent.
  3. The sheer number of reviews and reviewers works in your favor. If you spot a bad review or two, encourage your repeat (happy) customers to write something with a different perspective. Along with your customer comment card and/or usual feedback mechanism, ask customers to review you on Yelp and/or other popular sites.
  4. Reply to all comments – not just the negative ones. Remember, you are managing your online reputation, not putting out fires. An acknowledgement or thank you for a compliment is just as important to your overall image as a measured response to a customer complaint.
  5. If you are replying to a bad review, make sure your response is polite, constructive and professional. If this is difficult because you are too angry, delegate the task to someone who can write well without succumbing to put-downs or sarcasm. Try to approach the criticism as an opportunity to identify a need for change. If you are genuine and helpful and offer a way to resolve problems, you take the sting out of the criticism and demonstrate to other customers that you are a caring, respectful business owner.
  6. If you discover a genuine mistake and realize that the customer’s complaint is legitimate, own up to it as quickly as possible. Everyone – no matter how committed to customer service – drops the ball once in a while. The willingness to step up, apologize and offer to set things right publicly demonstrates that your company is committed to providing good service.

Make sure your employees know that you value an open and honest approach to customer communications. Don’t fear bad reviews or let a negative comment create a disproportionate amount of distress in your company. View criticism as a chance to fix problems in a timely manner and to demonstrate a true commitment to customer care.

 


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