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Tech Term: Responsive Web Design

We all have our favorite websites to visit, as well as those we often have to visit to fulfill our responsibilities. As a result, it isn’t uncommon for us to try and access the same websites on both a desktop workstation and a mobile device, but some websites work better than others while trying this. This is because of something called responsive web design, which we’ll review below for our weekly Tech Term.

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What’s It Mean When Online Traffic is Concentrated to a Handful of Apps?

The Internet is always changing, and anyone who has been using it for a while has experienced this change for themselves. While it might be strange to think about, the latest statistics have proven that the current changes to the Internet are some of the most significant–especially for businesses. “Online business as usual” will be significantly different moving forward.

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The Future of Business is One Without Cash

Today’s businesses are looking to expand their cashless payment options to include those made through mobile devices. There are various benefits that doing so can provide your organization. Read more

Touch-Screens: Are they Really Increasing Productivity?

Touch-screens have changed the way that we as a society touch technology, and have greatly increased the mobility of business in that short time. This trend started with the smartphone, then spread to the 10-inch tablet and larger tablets – perfect for watching YouTube videos, Netflix, or other media consumption.

Touch-screens have brought about a revolution of superior user experience, integrating touch-screen usability to the point that it is almost expected by the consumer. Now, the touch-screen has taken the next step in its evolution by converting personal desktops and laptops to touch-screen technology. They have all of the power of a normal laptop with the convenience of a touch-screen display, but will these devices be what you need to improve your business’s productivity?

The laptop itself has worked wonders for businesses looking to increase productivity in the workplace or on the go. Being able to work while away from the office is just far too good to pass up, especially when the limitations of a laptop aren’t much different from a conventional desktop (for work purposes, at least). The laptop is a productivity machine, while tablets are generally more useful as a browser or media outlet with their integrated mobile apps. What these new touch-screen laptops have to offer is a productivity machine with easy-to-use touch controls that includes the best of both technologies.

The leading hardware industries have all foreseen the shift toward touch-screen technology, and the newest operating system softwares are generally capable of taking advantage of the touch screen. For example, Microsoft’s Windows 8 and 8.1 are both easier to navigate with a touch-screen monitor, though a desktop version of this software could be both static and cumbersome after prolonged use. Most users wouldn’t mind giving the old mouse a try after ten minutes when their arm grows tired. Some touch-screen laptops, however, can switch to a tablet and back with relative ease, making these hybrid models exceptionally useful at no additional expense to the consumer (or their arm muscles). Michell Consulting Group knows better than anyone how difficult it is to find quality hardware, and that some choices aren’t for everyone. There are numerous options and specifications to consider, and not all touch-screen devices are created equal.

The silver lining to these devices is that, in addition to their simple touch-screen capabilities, these systems also have options for those who prefer the old-school laptop PC controls. MCG’s trusted IT experts take great pride in our ability to provide business owners like you with an educated opinion when it comes to figuring out what kind of technology suits your company’s needs. For more information, or if you would like to speak with one of our technicians concerning your technological needs, call us today at 305.592.5433. We’ll dazzle you with countless solutions that will help increase your company’s productivity.

5 Essential Questions to Ask When Buying Mobile Devices for Your Business

Remember back when buying mobile devices for your business meant choosing between a handful of laptops? Thanks to the increased proliferation of devices like smartphones, tablets, netbooks, and the development new hybrid models, it’s become quite the task to pick out the right make and model. Here are five questions to consider when picking out mobile devices for your organization.

What Technology do Managers and Employees Need?
Communication is fundamental to the success of any project. To successfully pick out the best devices for your business, you will need to actually talk with the people that are going to use them in order to understand what they need. As a busy business owner, it’s easy to bypass communication because you may have wanted to take advantage of a time-sensitive sale, but if you go with a cheap product, then productivity will suffer and offset any savings from the sale. This is also the case if you overpay by going with the latest gadgets because you want your business to be trendy. While it’s always nice to have the latest toys, your business may be able to get by just fine with older models.

By making a comprehensive list of what to shop for after talking with your staff about their needs, you will reap the rewards of equipping your workforce with efficient tools. A few questions you can ask are: How many hours per day will they be using the device? Will they be using the company-provided device as their primary personal device? Are they more proficient with Android or iOS? You may be surprised to learn what an employee needs in a device and what you had in mind may be totally different.

What is the Best Platform for the Tasks they Undertake?
In line with the advice of asking employees what they prefer is to ask, “What kind of platform will best suite your company’s needs?” There’s a variety of different mobile devices on the market. For example, Forrester Research said that with touchscreen devices there are ten distinct categories which include new devices like touch-plus hybrids, convertibles, and miniature tablets. You will also want to look at the technical specs to see if your business critical applications are compatible. Out of all of the different devices and platforms on the market, one is perfect for your business. You will have to do your homework (or lean on Michell Consulting Group) in order to find this perfect device.

What Accessories will You Need?
Mobile device accessories are easy to forget about when you’re focused on comparing features. Accessories play an important role in the use of the device and can turn into a significant expense if overlooked. For example, if the work you do is very physical, then you will want to include a heavy duty protective case with each device. A quality case will start at $50, which can really add up if you’re buying a bundle of smartphones. There are also some devices like tablets that sell critical accessories like keyboards separately. Be sure to ask the device retailer what accessories you’re getting with the purchase of your device and what you’re not.

What Kind of Support is Available for Your New Device?
Another critical question to consider is what kind of support comes with your mobile device? It’s a bonus if your new device has solid backing from a reputable vendor with good service and support capabilities. You will also want to look at the mobile device management capabilities of your network and go with a technology that your IT infrastructure can support. You can have Michell Group Consulting provide IT support for your mobile devices with our managed IT services. If you’re planning on taking advantage of our remote services for your phone, then you will want to include us in the device buying process so you will end up with a gadget that’s compatible.

Is BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) a Viable Solution?
If you really want to save money on mobile hardware, you can take the ever-common route of not buying it yourself. That might sound like a joke, but there’s a good chance that some of your employees have their own mobile devices. If that’s the case, instead of purchasing smartphones and tablets, you can establish a solid BYOD policy and let your employees use their own gadgets. It’s important to consider your company’s sensitive data (which is one of the major points of a good BYOD plan). Fortunately, security policies can be put into place to wipe the data off a mobile device in the event the employee leaves the company or misplaces their device. If you need assistance mapping out your BYOD plan, be sure to reach out to Michell Consulting Group at 305-592-5433.

Unless you’re a technology lover that hotly anticipates the release of every new gadget (like certain tech junkies at Michell Consulting Group), then shopping for the best mobile devices for your business can be a complicated chore. It’s important that you outfit your staff with the right devices that will get the job done. When it comes down to it, all of these fancy new gadgets are nothing more than tools that should help you make more money. You will want these tools to grow your business, not hinder it. If you would like professional assistance picking out the very best technology for your company’s unique needs, then give us a call at 305-592-5433.