First of all, what is a CRM? CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, which is the technology that assists your business in tracking and cultivating your interactions with those you work with, pretty much as it says on the box. Not only does this help you keep track of all your business contacts, the many integrations that can be found for these kinds of solutions give you additional resources and capabilities to use to your advantage. Let’s go over the common integrations that CRM solutions offer to help you improve your business processes. Calendar Integration When you need to keep track of your customers and interactions you have with them, establishing a schedule to stick to is an important step. After all, you don’t want to have meetings overlap with your other activities and cause conflicts. Utilizing a CRM that integrates with your business calendar to helps you avoid overscheduling your activities, while also ensuring you are prepared to sustain your interactivity with your contacts. By automatically syncing your calendars to the events outlined in your CRM, your team can keep your projects and initiatives in progress while minimizing any potential scheduling and internal communication issues. Call Center and Customer Support Integration Your CRM solution should also work collaboratively with your external customer service and support tools. Let’s say that one of your customers reaches out to you with a question for your support team. It doesn’t make sense for your sales team to answer the call first, so a system that can direct these calls to the appropriate party from the get-go leads to increased productivity and improved customer relationships. Syncing these two solutions together can lead to impressive improvements across the board. Email Integration Many businesses also rely on email communications to keep in touch with their clients and customers. Using a CRM to power these communications can assist a business in lead generation and more personalized marketing efforts. Using a CRM to its full potential can help promote your operations and entice your prospective customers to reach out to you more often, often assisted by the integrations that are incorporated into it. For more ways that you can use your technology to increase your business’ productivity and efficacy, subscribe to this blog, or give SRS Networks a call at (831) 758-3636.
How Data is Collected Honestly, companies and websites acquire your data by asking you for it. Each time you purchase something online, or even just sign into a website to learn more about what they have to offer, you provide your contact information to them. The expectation, however, is that the information that you provide will be properly secured. Unfortunately, this security isn’t always provided as it should be. Many companies will resell the information that they collect to other companies in mass bundles. While this is still a common practice, the increased focus on data protection many individuals have today has led to this kind of behavior becoming more frowned upon. The major concern that persists, however, is that the company that has collected your data can potentially be breached. Consider the kind of thing that these companies regularly collect: your name, birthdate, credit card information, contact information, and many other examples of personally identifiable information (PII). If they are breached, you’re the one facing the brunt of the responsibility. Privacy on the Internet is less-than-ideal as it is. Literally everything done online produces a data trail that points right to you, whether it’s streaming content, messaging someone, everything. This trail, if someone cared to use it, could tell them a lot about you as a person. How to Protect Your Data (and Yourself) As your data carries with it inherent value, you need to protect it as much as you can. Here are a few ways you can help minimize the risks presented to your data: Use good passwords: Your password hygiene is a critically important consideration. You might consider putting together passphrases as an easier-to-remember, but more difficult to guess, alternative. Review the Terms of Service: Check the fine print on any website or mobile app where you’re considering an account. Track your finances: Finding a trustworthy service that can help you manage your finances and provide access to your credit reports can be a useful asset to you. Avoid public Wi-Fi whenever possible: Publicly available Wi-Fi is a hotbed for cyberattacks and malware. It is far better to use your own data plan instead. For more information and insights into how you can protect your business from the risks of a cyberattack, reach out to the professionals at SRS Networks. Give us a call at (831) 758-3636.
Rotating Pages You’ve probably encountered this: You get a PDF and open it only to find that the document is upside down. It might not be a huge issue, but you’d really prefer that it was right-side-up. To fix this, many PDF viewing programs like Adobe Acrobat Pro offer options to rotate the document. If you’re using Acrobat Pro, the Rotate Pages option can be found under the Document menu. Once opened, you can select the pages that you want to be rotated, and how they should be rotated. Some of the other PDF readers offer a quick button in the toolbar that allows you to rotate each page individually. Regardless of how you choose to get it done, rotating pages just makes reading them simpler. Signing PDFs These days, PDFs are routinely sent that need signatures, whether it’s to view the document, or because it is a contract of some type. For years, people would print out the document, sign it, and scan it back over to complete this task. Today, there is a solution that lets the recipient avoid the printer altogether. It’s as simple as downloading some free software, such as Adobe Reader. Once you download it, signing documents is relatively simple. With the PDF open, click on the Fill & Sign button, then Sign, and finally, Add Signature. At this point, you’ll have three options: Type – You type your name to indicate that you have seen the document, and an electronic signature is rendered (which almost certainly will not resemble your actual signature). Draw – Using your mouse as you would a pen, you draw your signature in the space provided. Image – You use a scanned image of your actual signature that is then saved for future use. At that point, just make sure your signature is positioned where it needs to be, click apply, and save. These days, many line-of-business applications produce signable PDFs to make contracts move faster. Password Protection There are times when you want to control who can (and more aptly who can’t) see a particular PDF. Make sure that any password you set up for PDFs are distributed through secure channels to avoid the document from being breached. Microsoft Word allows you to turn a file into a PDF by using the “Save as” function. All you have to do is select “PDF” as the file type. Before you click Save, you will be able to find a More options button, which will open another window, where encrypt document with a password can be found under Options. Selecting this gives you the ability to set a password that anyone viewing your PDF after that point will have to provide in order to open it. Merging Files Once you distribute a PDF, it is easy to lose track of all the different versions. PDFs allow you to consolidate versions to keep track of all the information in one place. You can accomplish this with various paid or free software titles. Pass it by your IT department first, so it doesn’t cause any problems. Assuming you choose Adobe Acrobat, this process is exceedingly simple. All you have to do is access the Tools menu and click on Combine files. Then, after you have used Add Files… to assemble all the PDFs […]
Cloud Considerations Businesses and individual users are both finding cloud resources to be exceptionally helpful, as they provide access to services such as file storage, file sharing, and web-based applications at the cost of a small monthly payment. Businesses are also now able to accurately gauge how much capital they have available. This might make you ask, “What’s the issue with cloud services?” Well, this access and affordability means that the cloud is a go-to resource for people hoping to get answers to their technology problems, which can in turn create whole other ones. Here are some topics to consider when thinking about how effective cloud computing can be for your business. Hardware Cloud computing means that your organization doesn’t need a centralized computing infrastructure on-site. With this in mind, however, some businesses still like to keep parts of their data infrastructure hosted on-site, and this requires hardware and tools needed to provision the system for your business’ needs. If you aren’t careful about this implementation process, you could see drastic differences in your business’ IT budget. It’s important to understand how you want to use these private and hybrid cloud environments so you’re not wasting resources. The Limitations of Hosted Hardware The cloud isn’t an endless computing resource. The more you use it, the more you will have to pay. Even if money isn’t a major issue for your organization, you need to be aware of the limitations of your hosted software, storage, and resources so that you can effectively plan and use your hosted hardware for your organization’s needs. Potential Expansion Your business will hopefully grow and produce more revenue, so your IT will play an important part in influencing this growth. It should be able to scale according to your needs. Cloud platforms will make it easier to grow, and through enhanced transparency you will be able to take better advantage of your business’ cloud resources. Of course, not every business will utilize the cloud in the same way. Unless you have tons of capital to throw away on trial and error, it is easier and more cost-efficient to work with trained IT professionals for your cloud needs. Whether you need a public, private, or hybrid cloud solution, we want you to know that SRS Networks will be there to assist you every step of the way. To learn more, reach out to us at (831) 758-3636.
How it Worked In the Past Office files could technically be edited in Google Docs before, but they had to be converted into a Google-friendly file format. Once the conversion is finished, Google’s collaboration tools can be used to edit and comment on the file. There was also the option to use a limited toolset through Office Compatibility Mode. Unfortunately, this method isn’t particularly convenient, especially for businesses, where extra steps means extra time spent on something that adds up in the long run. For the sake of collaboration and compatibility, Google is working on native support for some of the Microsoft-exclusive file formats, which is a considerable development to say the least. According to Google, its programs will be compatible with the following file formats: Word filetypes: .doc, .docx, .dot PowerPoint filetypes: .ppt, .pptx, .pps, .pot Excel filetypes: .xls, .xlsx, .xlsm, .xlt Other Collaborative Google Updates In addition to Microsoft’s various file types, Google intends to include similar features that will be implemented through Dropbox Business. What Does This Mean for Your Business? The one big way that this could affect your business is through enhanced collaboration. You should still keep your internal solutions standardized, but the one big takeaway from this is that, if you were to use Google for your operations, you wouldn’t have to worry that your solution isn’t compatible with other solutions on the market. Of course, whether Microsoft gets the hint and makes a similar move is yet to be determined. SRS Networks can equip your business with any solution it needs to stay competitive and productive. To learn more, reach out to us at (831) 758-3636.
We’ll go over a few practices that you should follow if you ever find yourself suspecting that a crucial file may have been deleted. Step One: Stop Creating More Data When a file is deleted, it usually isn’t actually deleted immediately. Instead, it’s only hidden. However, as you create and download more files and data, these deleted files are the ones that are overwritten by these new files. Therefore, you will want to avoid installing any software, streaming media, or downloading anything. Your files might not be overwritten if you do, but they could be, so it’s better to err on the side of caution and avoid the situation entirely. Step Two: Check the Recycle Bin/Deleted Items Unless you’ve deleted the contents of the Recycle Bin after deleting your file, there’s a decent chance that you’ll be able to find it there. This is simplified by the Search Recycle Bin option, as well as your ability take its contents and Sort by Date Deleted. If your file was stored in a cloud storage service, you have the opportunity to check your cloud’s deleted files and potentially restore your file from there. Step Three: Check That the File Wasn’t Just Misplaced Chances may be slim, but you may have just misfiled whatever it is you’re trying to find. This is where the File Explorer’s Search function really shines. Before you do anything else, check to see that the file wasn’t just moved by searching for it… you may just luck out and find it. Step Four: Turn to Your Backup Solution Of course, if you’ve committed to maintaining a backup solution that subscribes to best practices, you should be able to restore your deleted file from there. While backup solutions are commonly associated with disaster-level data restoration needs, they are just as invaluable in less-cataclysmic situations – like when a file is deleted accidentally. If your business is in need of a backup solution, reach out to the professionals at SRS Networks. Call (831) 758-3636 to learn more.